WorldWideScience

Sample records for exoplanet host stars

  1. Stellar Companions of Exoplanet Host Stars in K2

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. KEPLER EXOPLANET CANDIDATE HOST STARS ARE PREFERENTIALLY METAL RICH

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.; Laughlin, Gregory

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-15

    The spectral and temporal behavior of exoplanet host stars is a critical input to models of the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Ultraviolet photons influence the atmospheric temperature profiles and production of potential biomarkers on Earth-like planets around these stars. At present, little observational or theoretical basis exists for understanding the ultraviolet spectra of M dwarfs, despite their critical importance to predicting and interpreting the spectra of potentially habitable planets as they are obtained in the coming decades. Using observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, we present a study of the UV radiation fields around nearby M dwarf planet hosts that covers both far-UV (FUV) and near-UV (NUV) wavelengths. The combined FUV+NUV spectra are publicly available in machine-readable format. We find that all six exoplanet host stars in our sample (GJ 581, GJ 876, GJ 436, GJ 832, GJ 667C, and GJ 1214) exhibit some level of chromospheric and transition region UV emission. No 'UV-quiet' M dwarfs are observed. The bright stellar Ly{alpha} emission lines are reconstructed, and we find that the Ly{alpha} line fluxes comprise {approx}37%-75% of the total 1150-3100 A flux from most M dwarfs; {approx}>10{sup 3} times the solar value. We develop an empirical scaling relation between Ly{alpha} and Mg II emission, to be used when interstellar H I attenuation precludes the direct observation of Ly{alpha}. The intrinsic unreddened flux ratio is F(Ly{alpha})/F(Mg II) = 10 {+-} 3. The F(FUV)/F(NUV) flux ratio, a driver for abiotic production of the suggested biomarkers O{sub 2} and O{sub 3}, is shown to be {approx}0.5-3 for all M dwarfs in our sample, >10{sup 3} times the solar ratio. For the four stars with moderate signal-to-noise Cosmic Origins Spectrograph time-resolved spectra, we find UV emission line variability with amplitudes of 50%-500% on 10{sup 2}-10{sup 3} s timescales. This effect should be taken into account in future UV

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-12-20

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-10-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-10-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Belle, Gerard T.; Von Braun, Kaspar

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-09-20

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Preferred Hosts for Short-Period Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinan, E. F.

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkley, Sasha

    2012-04-01

    The current direct observations of brown dwarfs and exoplanets have been obtained using instruments not specifically designed for overcoming the large contrast ratio between the host star and any wide-separation faint companions. However, we are about to witness the birth of several new dedicated observing platforms specifically geared towards high contrast imaging of these objects. The Gemini Planet Imager, VLT-SPHERE, Subaru HiCIAO, and Project 1640 at the Palomar 5m telescope will return images of numerous exoplanets and brown dwarfs over hundreds of observing nights in the next five years. Along with diffraction-limited coronagraphs and high-order adaptive optics, these instruments also will return spectral and polarimetric information on any discovered targets, giving clues to their atmospheric compositions and characteristics. Such spectral characterization will be key to forming a detailed theory of comparative exoplanetary science which will be widely applicable to both exoplanets and brown dwarfs. Further, the prevalence of aperture masking interferometry in the field of high contrast imaging is also allowing observers to sense massive, young planets at solar system scales (~3-30 AU)- separations out of reach to conventional direct imaging techniques. Such observations can provide snapshots at the earliest phases of planet formation-information essential for constraining formation mechanisms as well as evolutionary models of planetary mass companions. As a demonstration of the power of this technique, I briefly review recent aperture masking observations of the HR 8799 system. Moreover, all of the aforementioned techniques are already extremely adept at detecting low-mass stellar companions to their target stars, and I present some recent highlights.

  12. Walking on Exoplanets: Is Star Wars Right?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballesteros, Fernando J.; Luque, B.

    2016-05-01

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

  13. Extrasolar planets and their host stars

    CERN Document Server

    von Braun, Kaspar

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, S.

    2010-12-01

    -mass planets and those further from the star. All in all, technology enables slow but sure progress, and this fuels ongoing discovery. Theory, like observations, also takes time to unfold and mature. We can anticipate an "ultimate" planet formation model similar to the "millenimum simulation" for galaxy formation and evolution. In time, incorporating detailed physics as well as being able to reproduce the generic outcome of planet populations (mass, radius, and orbital characteristics, including period) will enable a deeper understanding of planet formation and migration. Similarly, the ideal exoplanet atmosphere code of the future could be a three-dimensional Monte Carlo code that includes radiative transfer with inhomogeneous cloud coverage and surface features, a code that also solves for the temperature structure and combines with a hydrodynamical simulation to calculate the three-dimensional temperature and wind structure. Classical orbital mechanics, already reinvigorated by interesting exoplanet systems (e.g., planets in resonant orbits, hot Jupiter exoplanets that orbit in the direction opposite to the stellar rotation), also has a role to play in explaining fundamental mechanisms of how planetary system configurations came to be. Orbital dynamics modeling is driving the search for moons and other unseen planet companions by their perturbations on transiting planet signatures. Exoplanets is a unique science because it involves so many disciplines within and beyond planetary science and astrophysics. The other disciplines include geophysics, high-pressure mineral physics, quantum mechanics, chemistry, and even microbiology. While exoplanet observations clearly belong under the branch of astronomy, for many years the whole discipline of exoplanets lacked a true home. Physics departments have said "Exoplanets: It's interesting, but is it physics?" Planetary and Earth science departments used to collecting real data in their hands from Earth and in situ measurements from

  15. Interactions between exoplanets and the winds of young stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidotto A. A.

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Catalogue of Exoplanets in Multiple-Star-Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Kaitchuck

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linsky, Jeffrey L.

    2018-01-01

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

  19. MEASURING Be DEPLETION IN COOL STARS WITH EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delgado Mena, E.; Israelian, G.; Gonzalez Hernandez, J. I.; Rebolo, R.; Santos, N. C.

    2011-01-01

    We present new UVES spectra of a sample of 14 mostly cool unevolved stars with planetary companions with the aim of studying possible differences in Be abundance with respect to stars without detected planets. We determine Be abundances for these stars that show an increase in Be depletion as we move to lower temperatures. We carry out a differential analysis of spectra of analog stars with and without planets to establish a possible difference in Be content. While for hot stars no measurable difference is found in Be, for the only cool (T eff ∼ 5000 K) planet-host star with several analogs in the sample we find enhanced Be depletion by 0.25 dex. This is a first indication that the extra-depletion of Li in solar-type stars with planets may also happen for Be, but shifted toward lower temperatures (T eff < 5500 K) due to the depth of the convective envelopes. The processes that take place in the formation of planetary systems may affect the mixing of material inside their host stars and hence the abundances of light elements.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Pintr

    2013-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    light curve. Using the density constraint from asteroseismology, and stellar evolution modeling results in M * = 1.285 ± 0.026 M sun, R * = 1.507 ± 0.012 R sun, and a stellar age of 3.2 ± 0.3 Gyr. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science......Observations conducted with the Fine Guidance Sensor on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) providing high cadence and precision time-series photometry were obtained over 10 consecutive days in 2008 December on the host star of the transiting exoplanet HD 17156b. During this time, 1.0 × 1012 photons...... Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555....

  2. Exoplanet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-03

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss five candidate exoplanetary systems identified with the Kepler spacecraft. These five systems show transits from multiple exoplanet candidates. Should these objects prove to be planetary in nature, then these five systems open new opportunities for the field of exoplanets a...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Be ABUNDANCES IN COOL MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS WITH EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delgado Mena, E.; Israelian, G.; Gonzalez Hernandez, J. I.; Rebolo, R. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Santos, N. C., E-mail: edm@iac.es [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal)

    2012-02-10

    We present new Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) spectra of a sample of 15 cool unevolved stars with and without detected planetary companions. Together with previous determinations, we study Be depletion and possible differences in Be abundances between the two groups of stars. We obtain a final sample of 89 and 40 stars with and without planets, respectively, which covers a wide range of effective temperatures, from 4700 K to 6400 K, and includes several cool dwarf stars for the first time. We determine Be abundances for these stars and find that for most of them (the coolest ones) the Be II resonance lines are often undetectable, implying significant Be depletion. While for hot stars Be abundances are approximately constant, with a slight fall as T{sub eff} decreases and the Li-Be gap around 6300 K, we find a steep drop of Be content as T{sub eff} decreases for T{sub eff} < 5500 K, confirming the results of previous papers. Therefore, for these stars there is an unknown mechanism destroying Be that is not reflected in current models of Be depletion. Moreover, this strong Be depletion in cool objects takes place for all the stars regardless of the presence of planets; thus, the effect of extra Li depletion in solar-type stars with planets when compared with stars without detected planets does not seem to be present for Be, although the number of stars at those temperatures is still small to reach a final conclusion.

  7. Be ABUNDANCES IN COOL MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS WITH EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delgado Mena, E.; Israelian, G.; González Hernández, J. I.; Rebolo, R.; Santos, N. C.

    2012-01-01

    We present new Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) spectra of a sample of 15 cool unevolved stars with and without detected planetary companions. Together with previous determinations, we study Be depletion and possible differences in Be abundances between the two groups of stars. We obtain a final sample of 89 and 40 stars with and without planets, respectively, which covers a wide range of effective temperatures, from 4700 K to 6400 K, and includes several cool dwarf stars for the first time. We determine Be abundances for these stars and find that for most of them (the coolest ones) the Be II resonance lines are often undetectable, implying significant Be depletion. While for hot stars Be abundances are approximately constant, with a slight fall as T eff decreases and the Li-Be gap around 6300 K, we find a steep drop of Be content as T eff decreases for T eff < 5500 K, confirming the results of previous papers. Therefore, for these stars there is an unknown mechanism destroying Be that is not reflected in current models of Be depletion. Moreover, this strong Be depletion in cool objects takes place for all the stars regardless of the presence of planets; thus, the effect of extra Li depletion in solar-type stars with planets when compared with stars without detected planets does not seem to be present for Be, although the number of stars at those temperatures is still small to reach a final conclusion.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  11. Host Star Evolution for Planet Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallet, Florian; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis

    2016-11-01

    With about 2000 exoplanets discovered within a large range of different configurations of distance from the star, size, mass, and atmospheric conditions, the concept of habitability cannot rely only on the stellar effective temperature anymore. In addition to the natural evolution of habitability with the intrinsic stellar parameters, tidal, magnetic, and atmospheric interactions are believed to have strong impact on the relative position of the planets inside the so-called habitable zone. Moreover, the notion of habitability itself strongly depends on the definition we give to the term "habitable". The aim of this contribution is to provide a global and up-to-date overview of the work done during the last few years about the description and the modelling of the habitability, and to present the physical processes currently includes in this description.

  12. Relative stellar occurrence of exoplanets in habitable zones of the main sequence F, G, K stars

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pintr, Pavel; Peřinová, V.; Lukš, A.; Pathak, A.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 99, sept2014 (2014), s. 1-6 ISSN 0032-0633 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED2.1.00/03.0079 Institutional support: RVO:61389021 Keywords : Exoplanets * Methods: statistical * Stars: planetary systems Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.875, year: 2014 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003206331400172X#

  13. Advanced Exoplanet Star Tracker for Orbit Self Determination, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This proposal puts forth an innovative star tracker hardware sensor that allows for autonomous calculation of a spacecraft's orbit by employing Doppler Spectroscopy...

  14. Computing Models of M-type Host Stars and their Panchromatic Spectral Output

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linsky, Jeffrey; Tilipman, Dennis; France, Kevin

    2018-06-01

    We have begun a program of computing state-of-the-art model atmospheres from the photospheres to the coronae of M stars that are the host stars of known exoplanets. For each model we are computing the emergent radiation at all wavelengths that are critical for assessingphotochemistry and mass-loss from exoplanet atmospheres. In particular, we are computing the stellar extreme ultraviolet radiation that drives hydrodynamic mass loss from exoplanet atmospheres and is essential for determing whether an exoplanet is habitable. The model atmospheres are computed with the SSRPM radiative transfer/statistical equilibrium code developed by Dr. Juan Fontenla. The code solves for the non-LTE statistical equilibrium populations of 18,538 levels of 52 atomic and ion species and computes the radiation from all species (435,986 spectral lines) and about 20,000,000 spectral lines of 20 diatomic species.The first model computed in this program was for the modestly active M1.5 V star GJ 832 by Fontenla et al. (ApJ 830, 152 (2016)). We will report on a preliminary model for the more active M5 V star GJ 876 and compare this model and its emergent spectrum with GJ 832. In the future, we will compute and intercompare semi-empirical models and spectra for all of the stars observed with the HST MUSCLES Treasury Survey, the Mega-MUSCLES Treasury Survey, and additional stars including Proxima Cen and Trappist-1.This multiyear theory program is supported by a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

  15. Methods to Directly Image Exoplanets around Alpha Centauri and Other Multi-Star Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belikov, R.; Sirbu, D.; Bendek, E.; Pluzhnik, E.

    2017-12-01

    The majority of FGK stars exist as multi-star star systems, and thus form a potentially rich target sample for direct imaging of exoplanets. A large fraction of these stars have starlight leakage from their companion that is brighter than rocky planets. This is in particular true of Alpha Centauri, which is 2.4x closer and about an order of magnitude brighter than any other FGK star, and thus may be the best target for any direct imaging mission, if the light of both stars can be suppressed. Thus, the ability to suppress starlight from two stars improves both the quantity and quality of Sun-like targets for missions such as WFIRST, LUVOIR, and HabEx. We present an analysis of starlight leak challenges in multi-star systems and techniques to solve those challenges, with an emphasis on imaging Alpha Centauri with WFIRST. For the case of internal coronagraphs, the fundamental problem appears to be independent wavefront control of multiple stars (at least if the companion is close enough or bright enough that it cannot simply be removed by longer exposure times or post-processing). We present a technique called Multi-Star Wavefront Control (MSWC) as a solution to this challenge and describe the results of our technology development program that advanced MSWC to TRL 3. Our program consisted of lab demonstrations of dark zones in two-star systems, validated simulations, as well as simulated predictions demonstrating that with this technology, contrasts needed for Earth-like planets are in principle achievable. We also demonstrate MSWC in Super-Nyquist mode, which allows suppression of multiple stars at separations greater than the spatial Nyquist limit of the deformable mirror.

  16. Star formation quenching in quasar host galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carniani, Stefano

    2017-10-01

    Galaxy evolution is likely to be shaped by negative feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). In the whole range of redshifts and luminosities studied so far, galaxies hosting an AGN frequently show fast and extended outflows consisting in both ionised and molecular gas. Such outflows could potentially quench the start formation within the host galaxy, but a clear evidence of negative feedback in action is still missing. Hereby I will analyse integral-field spectroscopic data for six quasars at z ˜2.4 obtained with SINFONI in the H- and K-band. All the quasars show [OIII]λ5007 line detection of fast, extended outflows. Also, the high signal-to-noise SINFONI observations allow the identification of faint narrow Hα emission (FWHM anti-correlated with star-formation powered emission, i.e. star formation is suppressed in the area affected by the outflow. Nonetheless as narrow, spatially-extended Hα emission, indicating star formation rates of at least 50 - 100 M⊙/yr, has been detected, either AGN feedback is not affecting the whole host galaxy, or star formation is completely quenched only by several feedback episodes. On the other hand, a positive feedback scenario, supported by narrow emission in Hα extending along the edges of the outflow cone, suggests that galaxy-wide outflows could also have a twofold role in the evolution of the host galaxy. Finally, I will present CO(3-2) ALMA data for three out of the six QSOs observed with SINFONI. Flux maps obtained for the CO(3-2) transition suggest that molecular gas within the host galaxy is swept away by fast winds. A negative-feedback scenario is supported by the inferred molecular gas mass in all three objects, which is significantly below what observed in non-active main-sequence galaxies at high-z.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhave, Lars A; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W; Sasselov, Dimitar; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Isaacson, Howard; Juncher, Diana; Marcy, Geoffrey W

    2014-05-29

    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (∼4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes (radii between 1.7 and 3.9 Earth radii) and ice or gas giant planets (radii greater than 3.9 Earth radii). These transitions correspond well with those inferred from dynamical mass estimates, implying that host star metallicity, which is a proxy for the initial solids inventory of the protoplanetary disk, is a key ingredient regulating the structure of planetary systems.

  19. An Era of Precision Astrophysics for Exoplanets, Stars, and the Milky Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stassun, Keivan G.; Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT); Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS); Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)

    2018-06-01

    While observing stars teaches us about the physical properties of the stars themselves, that knowledge also is the key to measuring the properties of nearly all exoplanets, and also the history of the Galaxy. Combining data from current and upcoming all-sky surveys, including Gaia, TESS, and the fifth Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-V), will enable accurate, empirical measurements of fundamental properties for millions of stars throughout the Milky Way—including an increase by four orders of magnitude in the number of stars with reliable parallaxes, two orders of magnitude in the number with ultraprecise light curves, and two orders of magnitude in the number with detailed chemical abundances. We demonstrate that stellar masses, radii, temperatures, distances, space motions, and detailed chemical abundances can now be measured with precisions of order 1%, and with systematics better than ∼5% in most cases. We discuss the transformational advances that such precise stellar measurements promise for exoplanet science, including studies of planetary system architectures, forensic analyses of planet evolution pathways, testing planet formation theories, and even efforts to infer the mineralogy of planets. We also discuss the similarly transformational advances at hand for Galactic archaeology, including studies of stellar micro-populations, testing theories of star formation and of galaxy assembly, and even efforts to trace the chemical "family tree" of the Galaxy through stellar phylogenics. Finally, we discuss the revolution in stellar astrophysics represented by ultraprecise light curves of stars, specifically as probes of stellar interiors and therefore as stress-tests of stellar theory across the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.

  20. Helium discovered in the tail of an exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2018-05-01

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

  1. Star Formation Quenching in Quasar Host Galaxies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carniani, Stefano, E-mail: sc888@mrao.cam.ac.uk [Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom)

    2017-10-16

    Galaxy evolution is likely to be shaped by negative feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). In the whole range of redshifts and luminosities studied so far, galaxies hosting an AGN frequently show fast and extended outflows consisting in both ionized and molecular gas. Such outflows could potentially quench the start formation within the host galaxy, but a clear evidence of negative feedback in action is still missing. Hereby I will analyse integral-field spectroscopic data for six quasars at z ~ 2.4 obtained with SINFONI in the H- and K-band. All the quasars show [Oiii]λ5007 line detection of fast, extended outflows. Also, the high signal-to-noise SINFONI observations allow the identification of faint narrow Hα emission (FWHM < 500 km/s), which is spatially extended and associated with star formation in the host galaxy. On paper fast outflows are spatially anti-correlated with star-formation powered emission, i.e., star formation is suppressed in the area affected by the outflow. Nonetheless as narrow, spatially-extended Hα emission, indicating star formation rates of at least 50–100 M{sub ⊙} yr{sup −1}, has been detected, either AGN feedback is not affecting the whole host galaxy, or star formation is completely quenched only by several feedback episodes. On the other hand, a positive feedback scenario, supported by narrow emission in Hα extending along the edges of the outflow cone, suggests that galaxy-wide outflows could also have a twofold role in the evolution of the host galaxy. Finally, I will present CO(3-2) ALMA data for three out of the six QSOs observed with SINFONI. Flux maps obtained for the CO(3-2) transition suggest that molecular gas within the host galaxy is swept away by fast winds. A negative-feedback scenario is supported by the inferred molecular gas mass in all three objects, which is significantly below what observed in non-active main-sequence galaxies at high-z.

  2. Star Formation Quenching in Quasar Host Galaxies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Carniani

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Galaxy evolution is likely to be shaped by negative feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN. In the whole range of redshifts and luminosities studied so far, galaxies hosting an AGN frequently show fast and extended outflows consisting in both ionized and molecular gas. Such outflows could potentially quench the start formation within the host galaxy, but a clear evidence of negative feedback in action is still missing. Hereby I will analyse integral-field spectroscopic data for six quasars at z ~ 2.4 obtained with SINFONI in the H- and K-band. All the quasars show [Oiii]λ5007 line detection of fast, extended outflows. Also, the high signal-to-noise SINFONI observations allow the identification of faint narrow Hα emission (FWHM < 500 km/s, which is spatially extended and associated with star formation in the host galaxy. On paper fast outflows are spatially anti-correlated with star-formation powered emission, i.e., star formation is suppressed in the area affected by the outflow. Nonetheless as narrow, spatially-extended Hα emission, indicating star formation rates of at least 50–100 M⊙ yr−1, has been detected, either AGN feedback is not affecting the whole host galaxy, or star formation is completely quenched only by several feedback episodes. On the other hand, a positive feedback scenario, supported by narrow emission in Hα extending along the edges of the outflow cone, suggests that galaxy-wide outflows could also have a twofold role in the evolution of the host galaxy. Finally, I will present CO(3-2 ALMA data for three out of the six QSOs observed with SINFONI. Flux maps obtained for the CO(3-2 transition suggest that molecular gas within the host galaxy is swept away by fast winds. A negative-feedback scenario is supported by the inferred molecular gas mass in all three objects, which is significantly below what observed in non-active main-sequence galaxies at high-z.

  3. Star Formation Quenching in Quasar Host Galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carniani, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Galaxy evolution is likely to be shaped by negative feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). In the whole range of redshifts and luminosities studied so far, galaxies hosting an AGN frequently show fast and extended outflows consisting in both ionized and molecular gas. Such outflows could potentially quench the start formation within the host galaxy, but a clear evidence of negative feedback in action is still missing. Hereby I will analyse integral-field spectroscopic data for six quasars at z ~ 2.4 obtained with SINFONI in the H- and K-band. All the quasars show [Oiii]λ5007 line detection of fast, extended outflows. Also, the high signal-to-noise SINFONI observations allow the identification of faint narrow Hα emission (FWHM < 500 km/s), which is spatially extended and associated with star formation in the host galaxy. On paper fast outflows are spatially anti-correlated with star-formation powered emission, i.e., star formation is suppressed in the area affected by the outflow. Nonetheless as narrow, spatially-extended Hα emission, indicating star formation rates of at least 50–100 M ⊙ yr −1 , has been detected, either AGN feedback is not affecting the whole host galaxy, or star formation is completely quenched only by several feedback episodes. On the other hand, a positive feedback scenario, supported by narrow emission in Hα extending along the edges of the outflow cone, suggests that galaxy-wide outflows could also have a twofold role in the evolution of the host galaxy. Finally, I will present CO(3-2) ALMA data for three out of the six QSOs observed with SINFONI. Flux maps obtained for the CO(3-2) transition suggest that molecular gas within the host galaxy is swept away by fast winds. A negative-feedback scenario is supported by the inferred molecular gas mass in all three objects, which is significantly below what observed in non-active main-sequence galaxies at high-z.

  4. Simulation of a method to directly image exoplanets around multiple stars systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Sandrine J.; Bendek, Eduardo; Belikov, Ruslan

    2014-08-01

    Direct imaging of extra-solar planets has now become a reality, especially with the deployment and commissioning of the first generation of specialized ground-based instruments such as the GPI, SPHERE, P1640 and SCExAO. These systems will allow detection of planets 107 times fainter than their host star. For space- based missions, such as EXCEDE, EXO-C, EXO-S, WFIRST/AFTA, different teams have shown in laboratories contrasts reaching 10-10 within a few diffraction limits from the star using a combination of a coronagraph to suppress light coming from the host star and a wavefront control system. These demonstrations use a de- formable mirror (DM) to remove residual starlight (speckles) created by the imperfections of telescope. However, all these current and future systems focus on detecting faint planets around a single host star or unresolved bi- naries/multiples, while several targets or planet candidates are located around nearby binary stars such as our neighbor star Alpha Centauri. Until now, it has been thought that removing the light of a companion star is impossible with current technology, excluding binary star systems from target lists of direct imaging missions. Direct imaging around binaries/multiple systems at a level of contrast allowing Earth-like planet detection is challenging because the region of interest, where a dark zone is essential, is contaminated by the light coming from the hosts star companion. We propose a method to simultaneously correct aberrations and diffraction of light coming from the target star as well as its companion star in order to reveal planets orbiting the target star. This method works even if the companion star is outside the control region of the DM (beyond its half-Nyquist frequency), by taking advantage of aliasing effects.

  5. Stellar magnetic activity and exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidotto A.A.

    2017-01-01

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

  6. The Radiation Environment of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey L. Linsky

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzuhara, M.; Tamura, M.; Kudo, T.; Janson, M; Kandori, R.; Brandt, T. D.; Thalmann, C.; Spiegel, D.; Biller, B.; Carson, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Orbital misalignment of the Neptune-mass exoplanet GJ 436b with the spin of its cool star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourrier, Vincent; Lovis, Christophe; Beust, Hervé; Ehrenreich, David; Henry, Gregory W.; Astudillo-Defru, Nicola; Allart, Romain; Bonfils, Xavier; Ségransan, Damien; Delfosse, Xavier; Cegla, Heather M.; Wyttenbach, Aurélien; Heng, Kevin; Lavie, Baptiste; Pepe, Francesco

    2018-01-01

    The angle between the spin of a star and the orbital planes of its planets traces the history of the planetary system. Exoplanets orbiting close to cool stars are expected to be on circular, aligned orbits because of strong tidal interactions with the stellar convective envelope. Spin–orbit alignment can be measured when the planet transits its star, but such ground-based spectroscopic measurements are challenging for cool, slowly rotating stars. Here we report the three-dimensional characterization of the trajectory of an exoplanet around an M dwarf star, derived by mapping the spectrum of the stellar photosphere along the chord transited by the planet. We find that the eccentric orbit of the Neptune-mass exoplanet GJ 436b is nearly perpendicular to the stellar equator. Both eccentricity and misalignment, surprising around a cool star, can result from dynamical interactions (via Kozai migration) with a yet-undetected outer companion. This inward migration of GJ 436b could have triggered the atmospheric escape that now sustains its giant exosphere.

  9. Exoplanet Peer-Learning Exercises for Introductory Astronomy Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisniewski, John P.; Larson, A.

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Tidal Heating of Earth-like Exoplanets around M Stars: Thermal, Magnetic, and Orbital Evolutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, P E; Barnes, R

    2015-09-01

    The internal thermal and magnetic evolution of rocky exoplanets is critical to their habitability. We focus on the thermal-orbital evolution of Earth-mass planets around low-mass M stars whose radiative habitable zone overlaps with the "tidal zone," where tidal dissipation is expected to be a significant heat source in the interior. We develop a thermal-orbital evolution model calibrated to Earth that couples tidal dissipation, with a temperature-dependent Maxwell rheology, to orbital circularization and migration. We illustrate thermal-orbital steady states where surface heat flow is balanced by tidal dissipation and cooling can be stalled for billions of years until circularization occurs. Orbital energy dissipated as tidal heat in the interior drives both inward migration and circularization, with a circularization time that is inversely proportional to the dissipation rate. We identify a peak in the internal dissipation rate as the mantle passes through a viscoelastic state at mantle temperatures near 1800 K. Planets orbiting a 0.1 solar-mass star within 0.07 AU circularize before 10 Gyr, independent of initial eccentricity. Once circular, these planets cool monotonically and maintain dynamos similar to that of Earth. Planets forced into eccentric orbits can experience a super-cooling of the core and rapid core solidification, inhibiting dynamo action for planets in the habitable zone. We find that tidal heating is insignificant in the habitable zone around 0.45 (or larger) solar-mass stars because tidal dissipation is a stronger function of orbital distance than stellar mass, and the habitable zone is farther from larger stars. Suppression of the planetary magnetic field exposes the atmosphere to stellar wind erosion and the surface to harmful radiation. In addition to weak magnetic fields, massive melt eruption rates and prolonged magma oceans may render eccentric planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars inhospitable for life.

  11. Pulsating stars harbouring planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moya A.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Why bother with asteroseismology while studying exoplanets? There are several answers to this question. Asteroseismology and exoplanetary sciences have much in common and the synergy between the two opens up new aspects in both fields. These fields and stellar activity, when taken together, allow maximum extraction of information from exoplanet space missions. Asteroseismology of the host star has already proved its value in a number of exoplanet systems by its unprecedented precision in determining stellar parameters. In addition, asteroseismology allows the possibility of discovering new exoplanets through time delay studies. The study of the interaction between exoplanets and their host stars opens new windows on various physical processes. In this review I will summarize past and current research in exoplanet asteroseismology and explore some guidelines for the future.

  12. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Eylen Vincent

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Self-consistent atmosphere modeling with cloud formation for low-mass stars and exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juncher, Diana; Jørgensen, Uffe G.; Helling, Christiane

    2017-12-01

    Context. Low-mass stars and extrasolar planets have ultra-cool atmospheres where a rich chemistry occurs and clouds form. The increasing amount of spectroscopic observations for extrasolar planets requires self-consistent model atmosphere simulations to consistently include the formation processes that determine cloud formation and their feedback onto the atmosphere. Aims: Our aim is to complement the MARCS model atmosphere suit with simulations applicable to low-mass stars and exoplanets in preparation of E-ELT, JWST, PLATO and other upcoming facilities. Methods: The MARCS code calculates stellar atmosphere models, providing self-consistent solutions of the radiative transfer and the atmospheric structure and chemistry. We combine MARCS with a kinetic model that describes cloud formation in ultra-cool atmospheres (seed formation, growth/evaporation, gravitational settling, convective mixing, element depletion). Results: We present a small grid of self-consistently calculated atmosphere models for Teff = 2000-3000 K with solar initial abundances and log (g) = 4.5. Cloud formation in stellar and sub-stellar atmospheres appears for Teff day-night energy transport and no temperature inversion.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  16. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Hot super-Earths stripped by their host stars

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Atmospheric mass-loss of extrasolar planets orbiting magnetically active host stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalitha, Sairam; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Dash, Spandan

    2018-06-01

    Magnetic stellar activity of exoplanet hosts can lead to the production of large amounts of high-energy emission, which irradiates extrasolar planets, located in the immediate vicinity of such stars. This radiation is absorbed in the planets' upper atmospheres, which consequently heat up and evaporate, possibly leading to an irradiation-induced mass-loss. We present a study of the high-energy emission in the four magnetically active planet-bearing host stars, Kepler-63, Kepler-210, WASP-19, and HAT-P-11, based on new XMM-Newton observations. We find that the X-ray luminosities of these stars are rather high with orders of magnitude above the level of the active Sun. The total XUV irradiation of these planets is expected to be stronger than that of well-studied hot Jupiters. Using the estimated XUV luminosities as the energy input to the planetary atmospheres, we obtain upper limits for the total mass- loss in these hot Jupiters.

  19. Stellar oscillations in planet-hosting giant stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatzes, Artie P; Zechmeister, Mathias [Thueringer Landessternwarte, Sternwarte 5, D-07778 (Germany)], E-mail: artie@tls-tautenburg.de

    2008-10-15

    Recently a number of giant extrasolar planets have been discovered around giant stars. These discoveries are important because many of these giant stars have intermediate masses in the range 1.2-3 Msun. Early-type main sequence stars of this mass range have been avoided by radial velocity planet search surveys due the difficulty of getting the requisite radial velocity precision needed for planet discoveries. Thus, giant stars can tell us about planet formation for stars more massive than the sun. However, the determination of stellar masses for giant stars is difficult due to the fact that evolutionary tracks for stars covering a wide range of masses converge to the same region of the H-R diagram. We report here on stellar oscillations in three planet-hosting giant stars: HD 13189, {beta} Gem, and {iota} Dra. Precise stellar radial velocity measurements for these stars show variations whose periods and amplitudes are consistent with solar-like p-mode oscillations. The implied stellar masses for these objects based on the characteristics of the stellar oscillations are consistent with the predictions of stellar isochrones. An investigation of stellar oscillations in planet hosting giant stars offers us the possibility of getting an independent determination of the stellar mass for these objects which is of crucial importance for extrasolar planet studies.

  20. THE FREQUENCY OF LOW-MASS EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. The Frequency of Low-Mass Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  2. Advances in Telescope and Detector Technologies - Impacts on the Study and Understanding of Binary Star and Exoplanet Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinan, Edward F.; Engle, Scott; Devinney, Edward J.

    2012-04-01

    Current and planned telescope systems (both on the ground and in space) as well as new technologies will be discussed with emphasis on their impact on the studies of binary star and exoplanet systems. Although no telescopes or space missions are primarily designed to study binary stars (what a pity!), several are available (or will be shortly) to study exoplanet systems. Nonetheless those telescopes and instruments can also be powerful tools for studying binary and variable stars. For example, early microlensing missions (mid-1990s) such as EROS, MACHO and OGLE were initially designed for probing dark matter in the halos of galaxies but, serendipitously, these programs turned out to be a bonanza for the studies of eclipsing binaries and variable stars in the Magellanic Clouds and in the Galactic Bulge. A more recent example of this kind of serendipity is the Kepler Mission. Although Kepler was designed to discover exoplanet transits (and so far has been very successful, returning many planetary candidates), Kepler is turning out to be a ``stealth'' stellar astrophysics mission returning fundamentally important and new information on eclipsing binaries, variable stars and, in particular, providing a treasure trove of data of all types of pulsating stars suitable for detailed Asteroseismology studies. With this in mind, current and planned telescopes and networks, new instruments and techniques (including interferometers) are discussed that can play important roles in our understanding of both binary star and exoplanet systems. Recent advances in detectors (e.g. laser frequency comb spectrographs), telescope networks (both small and large - e.g. Super-WASP, HAT-net, RoboNet, Las Combres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) Network), wide field (panoramic) telescope systems (e.g. Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and Pan-Starrs), huge telescopes (e.g. the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), the Overwhelming Large Telescope (OWL) and the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT

  3. Exoplanets: A New Era of Comparative Planetology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria

    2014-11-01

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

  4. Four new planets around giant stars and the mass-metallicity correlation of planet-hosting stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, M. I.; Jenkins, J. S.; Brahm, R.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Olivares E., F.; Melo, C. H. F.; Rojo, P.; Jordán, A.; Drass, H.; Butler, R. P.; Wang, L.

    2016-05-01

    Context. Exoplanet searches have revealed interesting correlations between the stellar properties and the occurrence rate of planets. In particular, different independent surveys have demonstrated that giant planets are preferentially found around metal-rich stars and that their fraction increases with the stellar mass. Aims: During the past six years we have conducted a radial velocity follow-up program of 166 giant stars to detect substellar companions and to characterize their orbital properties. Using this information, we aim to study the role of the stellar evolution in the orbital parameters of the companions and to unveil possible correlations between the stellar properties and the occurrence rate of giant planets. Methods: We took multi-epoch spectra using FEROS and CHIRON for all of our targets, from which we computed precision radial velocities and derived atmospheric and physical parameters. Additionally, velocities computed from UCLES spectra are presented here. By studying the periodic radial velocity signals, we detected the presence of several substellar companions. Results: We present four new planetary systems around the giant stars HIP 8541, HIP 74890, HIP 84056, and HIP 95124. Additionally, we study the correlation between the occurrence rate of giant planets with the stellar mass and metallicity of our targets. We find that giant planets are more frequent around metal-rich stars, reaching a peak in the detection of f = 16.7+15.5-5.9% around stars with [Fe/H] ~ 0.35 dex. Similarly, we observe a positive correlation of the planet occurrence rate with the stellar mass, between M⋆ ~ 1.0 and 2.1 M⊙, with a maximum of f = 13.0+10.1-4.2% at M⋆ = 2.1 M⊙. Conclusions: We conclude that giant planets are preferentially formed around metal-rich stars. In addition, we conclude that they are more efficiently formed around more massive stars, in the stellar mass range of ~1.0-2.1 M⊙. These observational results confirm previous findings for solar

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Binary catalogue of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  7. Modelling the ionosphere of gas-giant exoplanets irradiated by low-mass stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadney, J.; Galand, M.; Unruh, Y.; Koskinen, T.; Sanz-Forcada, J.

    2015-10-01

    The composition and structure of the upper atmosphere of Extrasolar Giant Planets (EGPs) are affected by the high-energy spectrum of the host star from soft X-rays to Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) (0.1-10 nm). This emission depends on the activity level of the star, which is primarily determined by its age [1]. In this study, we focus upon EGPs orbiting K- and M-dwarf stars of different ages. XUV spectra for these stars are constructed using a coronal model [2]. These spectra are used to drive both a thermospheric [3] and an ionospheric model, providing densities of neutral and ion species. Ionisation is included through photo-ionisation and electronimpact processes. The former is calculated by solving the Lambert-Beer law, while the latter is calculated from a supra-thermal electron transport model [4]. Planets orbiting far from the star are found to undergo Jeans escape, whereas close-orbiting planets undergo hydrodynamic escape. The critical orbital distance of transition between the two regimes is dependent on the level of stellar activity. We also find that EGP ionospheres at all orbital distances considered (0.1-1 AU) and around all stars selected (eps Eri, AD Leo, AU Mic) are dominated by the long-lived H+ ion. In addition, planets in the Jeans escape regime also have a layer in which H3 + is the major ion at the base of the ionosphere. For fast-rotating planets, densities of short-lived H3 + undergo significant diurnal variations, their peak value being determined by the stellar X-ray flux. In contrast, densities of longer-lived H+ show very little day/night variability and their value is determined by the level of stellar EUV flux. The H3 + peak in EGPs in the hydrodynamic escape regime under strong stellar illumination is pushed to altitudes below the homopause, where this ion is likely to be destroyed through reactions with heavy species (e.g., hydrocarbons, water). Infrared emissions from H3 + shall also be discussed, as well as the impact of stellar

  8. 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: valerie.vangrootel@ulg.ac.be [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, Angelle

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

  10. Natural and artificial spectral edges in exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham

    2017-09-01

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

  11. Quenching of Star Formation in Molecular Outflow Host NGC 1266

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alatalo, K.; Nyland, K. E.; Graves, G.; Deustua, S.; Young, L. M.; Davis, T. A.; Crocker, A. F.; Bureau, M.; Bayet, E.; Blitz, L.; Bois, M.; Bournaud, F.; Cappellari, M.; Davies, R. L.; de Zeeuw, P. T.; Emsellem, E.; Khochfar, S.; Krajnovic, D.; Kuntschner, H.; McDermid, R. M.; Morganti, R.; Naab, T.; Oosterloo, T.; Sarzi, M.; Scott, N.; Serra, P.; Weijmans, A.; Wong, Tony; Ott, Jürgen

    We detail the rich molecular story of NGC 1266, its serendipitous discovery within the ATLAS3D survey (Cappellari et al. 2011) and how it plays host to an AGN-driven molecular outflow, potentially quenching all of its star formation (SF) within the next 100 Myr. While major mergers appear to play a

  12. Role of ocean heat transport in climates of tidally locked exoplanets around M dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yongyun; Yang, Jun

    2014-01-14

    The distinctive feature of tidally locked exoplanets is the very uneven heating by stellar radiation between the dayside and nightside. Previous work has focused on the role of atmospheric heat transport in preventing atmospheric collapse on the nightside for terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone around M dwarfs. In the present paper, we carry out simulations with a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model to investigate the role of ocean heat transport in climate states of tidally locked habitable exoplanets around M dwarfs. Our simulation results demonstrate that ocean heat transport substantially extends the area of open water along the equator, showing a lobster-like spatial pattern of open water, instead of an "eyeball." For sufficiently high-level greenhouse gases or strong stellar radiation, ocean heat transport can even lead to complete deglaciation of the nightside. Our simulations also 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.

  13. Monitoring the High-Energy Radiation Environment of Exoplanets around Lowmass Stars with SPARCS (Star-Planet Activity Research CubeSat)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkolnik, Evgenya

    Seventy-five billion M dwarfs in our galaxy host at least one small planet in the habitable zone (HZ). The stellar ultraviolet (UV) radiation from M dwarfs is strong and highly variable, and impacts planetary atmospheric loss, composition and habitability. These effects are amplified by the extreme proximity of their HZs (0.1–0.4 AU). JWST will characterize HZ M dwarf planets and attempt the first spectroscopic search for life beyond the Solar System. Knowing the UV environments of M dwarf planets will be crucial to understanding their atmospheric composition and a key parameter in discriminating between biological and abiotic sources for observed biosignatures. The UV flux emitted during the super-luminous premain sequence phase of M stars drives water loss and photochemical O2 buildup for terrestrial planets within the HZ. This phase can persist for up to a billion years for the lowest mass M stars. Afterwards, UV-driven photochemistry during the main sequence phase strongly affects a planet’s atmosphere, could limit the planet’s potential for habitability, and may confuse studies of habitability by creating false chemical biosignatures. Our proposed CubeSat observatory will be the first mission to provide the time-dependent spectral slope, intensity and evolution of M dwarf stellar UV radiation. These measurements are crucial to interpreting observations of planetary atmospheres around low-mass stars. Mission: The Star-Planet Activity Research CubeSat (SPARCS) will be a 6U CubeSat devoted to monitoring 25 M stars in two UV bands: SPARCS far-UV (S- FUV: 153–171 nm) and SPARCS near-UV (S-NUV: 260– 300 nm). For each target, SPARCS will observe continuously between one and three complete stellar rotations (4–45 days) over a mission lifetime of 2 years. A UV characterization survey of M dwarfs, the most common of planet hosts, is a perfect experiment for a CubeSat: - UV astronomy cannot be done from the ground because of Earth’s atmospheric absorption

  14. SILICON AND OXYGEN ABUNDANCES IN PLANET-HOST STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brugamyer, Erik; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.; Cochran, William D.; Sneden, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    The positive correlation between planet detection rate and host star iron abundance lends strong support to the core accretion theory of planet formation. However, iron is not the most significant mass contributor to the cores of giant planets. Since giant planet cores are thought to grow from silicate grains with icy mantles, the likelihood of gas giant formation should depend heavily on the oxygen and silicon abundance of the planet formation environment. Here we compare the silicon and oxygen abundances of a set of 76 planet hosts and a control sample of 80 metal-rich stars without any known giant planets. Our new, independent analysis was conducted using high resolution, high signal-to-noise data obtained at McDonald Observatory. Because we do not wish to simply reproduce the known planet-metallicity correlation, we have devised a statistical method for matching the underlying [Fe/H] distributions of our two sets of stars. We find a 99% probability that planet detection rate depends on the silicon abundance of the host star, over and above the observed planet-metallicity correlation. We do not detect any such correlation for oxygen. Our results would thus seem to suggest that grain nucleation, rather than subsequent icy mantle growth, is the important limiting factor in forming giant planets via core accretion. Based on our results and interpretation, we predict that planet detection should correlate with host star abundance for refractory elements responsible for grain nucleation and that no such trends should exist for the most abundant volatile elements responsible for icy mantle growth.

  15. Characterizing Exoplanet Habitability with Emission Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hébrard G.

    2011-02-01

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

  17. The great escape - II. Exoplanet ejection from dying multiple-star systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veras, Dimitri; Tout, Christopher A.

    2012-05-01

    Extrasolar planets and belts of debris orbiting post-main-sequence single stars may become unbound as the evolving star loses mass. In multiple-star systems, the presence or co-evolution of the additional stars can significantly complicate the prospects for orbital excitation and escape. Here, we investigate the dynamical consequences of multi-phasic, non-linear mass loss and establish a criterion for a system of any stellar multiplicity to retain a planet whose orbit surrounds all of the parent stars. For single stars which become white dwarfs, this criterion can be combined with the Chandrasekhar Limit to establish the maximum allowable mass-loss rate for planet retention. We then apply the criterion to circumbinary planets in evolving binary systems over the entire stellar mass phase space. Through about 105 stellar evolutionary track realizations, we characterize planetary ejection prospects as a function of binary separation, stellar mass and metallicity. This investigation reveals that planets residing at just a few tens of au from a central concentration of stars are susceptible to escape in a wide variety of multiple systems. Further, planets are significantly more susceptible to ejection from multiple-star systems than from single-star systems for a given system mass. For system masses greater than about 2 M⊙, multiple-star systems represent the greater source of free-floating planets.

  18. Hot super-Earths stripped by their host stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundkvist, M S; Kjeldsen, H; Albrecht, S; Davies, G R; Basu, S; Huber, D; Justesen, A B; Karoff, C; Silva Aguirre, V; Van Eylen, V; Vang, C; Arentoft, T; Barclay, T; Bedding, T R; Campante, T L; Chaplin, W J; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J; Elsworth, Y P; Gilliland, R L; Handberg, R; Hekker, S; Kawaler, S D; Lund, M N; Metcalfe, T S; Miglio, A; Rowe, J F; Stello, D; Tingley, B; White, T R

    2016-04-11

    Simulations predict that hot super-Earth sized exoplanets can have their envelopes stripped by photoevaporation, which would present itself as a lack of these exoplanets. However, this absence in the exoplanet population has escaped a firm detection. Here we demonstrate, using asteroseismology on a sample of exoplanets and exoplanet candidates observed during the Kepler mission that, while there is an abundance of super-Earth sized exoplanets with low incident fluxes, none are found with high incident fluxes. We do not find any exoplanets with radii between 2.2 and 3.8 Earth radii with incident flux above 650 times the incident flux on Earth. This gap in the population of exoplanets is explained by evaporation of volatile elements and thus supports the predictions. The confirmation of a hot-super-Earth desert caused by evaporation will add an important constraint on simulations of planetary systems, since they must be able to reproduce the dearth of close-in super-Earths.

  19. Exoplanets Detection, Formation, Properties, Habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, John W

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time: Searching for Young Stars in K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Nathan Ryan; Mann, Andrew; Rizzuto, Aaron

    2018-01-01

    Observations of planetary systems around young stars provide insight into the early stages of planetary system formation. Nearby young open clusters such as the Hyades, Pleiades, and Praesepe provide important benchmarks for the properties of stellar systems in general. These clusters are all known to be less than 1 Gyr old, making them ideal targets for a survey of young planetary systems. Few transiting planets have been detected around clusters stars, however, so this alone is too small of a sample. K2, the revived Kepler mission, has provided a vast number of light curves for young stars in clusters and elsewhere in the K2 field. This provides us with the opportunity to extend the sample of young systems to field stars while calibrating with cluster stars. We compute rotational periods from starspot patterns for ~36,000 K2 targets and use gyrochronological relationships derived from cluster stars to determine their ages. From there, we have begun searching for planets around young stars outside the clusters with the ultimate goal of shedding light on how planets and planetary systems evolve in their early, most formative years.

  1. Searching for Exoplanets around X-Ray Binaries with Accreting White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, and Black Holes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imara, Nia; Di Stefano, Rosanne

    2018-05-01

    We recommend that the search for exoplanets around binary stars be extended to include X-ray binaries (XRBs) in which the accretor is a white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole. We present a novel idea for detecting planets bound to such mass transfer binaries, proposing that the X-ray light curves of these binaries be inspected for signatures of transiting planets. X-ray transits may be the only way to detect planets around some systems, while providing a complementary approach to optical and/or radio observations in others. Any planets associated with XRBs must be in stable orbits. We consider the range of allowable separations and find that orbital periods can be hours or longer, while transit durations extend upward from about a minute for Earth-radius planets, to hours for Jupiter-radius planets. The search for planets around XRBs could begin at once with existing X-ray observations of these systems. If and when a planet is detected around an X-ray binary, the size and mass of the planet may be readily measured, and it may also be possible to study the transmission and absorption of X-rays through its atmosphere. Finally, a noteworthy application of our proposal is that the same technique could be used to search for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. If an advanced exocivilization placed a Dyson sphere or similar structure in orbit around the accretor of an XRB in order to capture energy, such an artificial structure might cause detectable transits in the X-ray light curve.

  2. TERRESTRIAL, HABITABLE-ZONE EXOPLANET FREQUENCY FROM KEPLER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Exoplanets Galore!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-05-01

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

  4. Metallicity of Sun-like G-stars that have Exoplanets

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Shashanka R. Gurumath

    2017-06-19

    Jun 19, 2017 ... Birth of a stellar system takes place in the nebula which consists of gas and dust ... occurrence rate of terrestrial planets or low mass planets is independent of the host .... 2008) statistical method. However, basic errors that ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  6. Wandering stars about planets and exo-planets : an introductory notebook

    CERN Document Server

    Cole, George H A

    2006-01-01

    The space vehicle spectaculars of recent years have been revealing the full scope and beauty of our own solar system but have also shown that a growing number of other stars too have planetary bodies orbiting around them. The study of these systems is just beginning. It seems that our galaxy contains untold numbers of planets, and presumably other galaxies will be similar to our own. Our solar system contains life, on Earth: do others as well? Such questions excite modern planetary scientists and astro-biologists. This situation is a far cry from ancient times when the five planets that can be

  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: bclee@kasi.re.kr [Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650011 (China)

    2017-07-20

    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. Fundamental Properties of Kepler Planet-candidate Host Stars using Asteroseismology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huber, D.; Chaplin, W.J.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Gilliland, R.L.; Kjeldsen, H.; Buchhave, L.A.; Fischer, D.A.; Lissauer, J.J.; Rowe, J.F.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Basu, S.; Handberg, R.; Hekker, S.; Howard, A.W.; Isaacson, H.; Karoff, C.; Latham, D.W.; Lund, M.N.; Lundkvist, M.; Marcy, G.W.; Miglio, A.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Stello, D.; Arentoft, T.; Barclay, T.; Bedding, T.R.; Burke, C.J.; Christiansen, J.L.; Elsworth, Y.P.; Haas, M.R.; Kawaler, S.D.; Metcalfe, T.S.; Mullally, F.; Thompson, S.E.

    2013-01-01

    We have used asteroseismology to determine fundamental properties for 66 Kepler planet-candidate host stars, with typical uncertainties of 3% and 7% in radius and mass, respectively. The results include new asteroseismic solutions for four host stars with confirmed planets (Kepler-4, Kepler-14,

  9. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  13. XO-2b: A HOT JUPITER WITH A VARIABLE HOST STAR THAT POTENTIALLY AFFECTS ITS MEASURED TRANSIT DEPTH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zellem, Robert T.; Griffith, Caitlin A. [Department of Planetary Sciences, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Pearson, Kyle A.; Fitzpatrick, M. Ryleigh; Teske, Johanna K.; Biddle, Lauren I. [Department of Astronomy, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Turner, Jake D. [Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Henry, Gregory W.; Williamson, Michael H., E-mail: rzellem@lpl.arizona.edu, E-mail: griffith@lpl.arizona.edu [Center of Excellence in Information Systems, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., P.O. Box 9501, Nashville, TN 37209 (United States)

    2015-09-01

    The transiting hot Jupiter XO-2b is an ideal target for multi-object photometry and spectroscopy as it has a relatively bright (V-mag = 11.25) K0V host star (XO-2N) and a large planet-to-star contrast ratio (R{sub p}/R{sub s} ≈ 0.015). It also has a nearby (31.″21) binary stellar companion (XO-2S) of nearly the same brightness (V-mag = 11.20) and spectral type (G9V), allowing for the characterization and removal of shared systematic errors (e.g., airmass brightness variations). We have therefore conducted a multiyear (2012–2015) study of XO-2b with the University of Arizona’s 61″ (1.55 m) Kuiper Telescope and Mont4k CCD in the Bessel U and Harris B photometric passbands to measure its Rayleigh scattering slope to place upper limits on the pressure-dependent radius at, e.g., 10 bar. Such measurements are needed to constrain its derived molecular abundances from primary transit observations. We have also been monitoring XO-2N since the 2013–2014 winter season with Tennessee State University’s Celestron-14 (0.36 m) automated imaging telescope to investigate stellar variability, which could affect XO-2b’s transit depth. Our observations indicate that XO-2N is variable, potentially due to cool star spots, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.0049 ± 0.0007 R-mag and a period of 29.89 ± 0.16 days for the 2013–2014 observing season and a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.0035 ± 0.0007 R-mag and 27.34 ± 0.21 day period for the 2014–2015 observing season. Because of the likely influence of XO-2N’s variability on the derivation of XO-2b’s transit depth, we cannot bin multiple nights of data to decrease our uncertainties, preventing us from constraining its gas abundances. This study demonstrates that long-term monitoring programs of exoplanet host stars are crucial for understanding host star variability.

  14. XO-2b: A HOT JUPITER WITH A VARIABLE HOST STAR THAT POTENTIALLY AFFECTS ITS MEASURED TRANSIT DEPTH

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zellem, Robert T.; Griffith, Caitlin A.; Pearson, Kyle A.; Fitzpatrick, M. Ryleigh; Teske, Johanna K.; Biddle, Lauren I.; Turner, Jake D.; Henry, Gregory W.; Williamson, Michael H.

    2015-01-01

    The transiting hot Jupiter XO-2b is an ideal target for multi-object photometry and spectroscopy as it has a relatively bright (V-mag = 11.25) K0V host star (XO-2N) and a large planet-to-star contrast ratio (R p /R s ≈ 0.015). It also has a nearby (31.″21) binary stellar companion (XO-2S) of nearly the same brightness (V-mag = 11.20) and spectral type (G9V), allowing for the characterization and removal of shared systematic errors (e.g., airmass brightness variations). We have therefore conducted a multiyear (2012–2015) study of XO-2b with the University of Arizona’s 61″ (1.55 m) Kuiper Telescope and Mont4k CCD in the Bessel U and Harris B photometric passbands to measure its Rayleigh scattering slope to place upper limits on the pressure-dependent radius at, e.g., 10 bar. Such measurements are needed to constrain its derived molecular abundances from primary transit observations. We have also been monitoring XO-2N since the 2013–2014 winter season with Tennessee State University’s Celestron-14 (0.36 m) automated imaging telescope to investigate stellar variability, which could affect XO-2b’s transit depth. Our observations indicate that XO-2N is variable, potentially due to cool star spots, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.0049 ± 0.0007 R-mag and a period of 29.89 ± 0.16 days for the 2013–2014 observing season and a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.0035 ± 0.0007 R-mag and 27.34 ± 0.21 day period for the 2014–2015 observing season. Because of the likely influence of XO-2N’s variability on the derivation of XO-2b’s transit depth, we cannot bin multiple nights of data to decrease our uncertainties, preventing us from constraining its gas abundances. This study demonstrates that long-term monitoring programs of exoplanet host stars are crucial for understanding host star variability

  15. Direct Detection of Polarized, Scattered Light from Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Gregory

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

  16. Formation and evolution of star clusters and their host galaxies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kruijssen, J.M.D.

    2011-01-01

    The vast majority of galaxies contains large populations of stellar clusters, which are bound groups of a few tens to millions of stars. A cluster is formed from a single giant molecular cloud and therefore its stars share the same age and chemical composition. The formation and evolution of star

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  18. The Effect of Starspots on Detectability of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Ryan; Berta-Thompson, Zachory

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. A New Spin to Exoplanet Habitability Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgoulis, M. K.; Patsourakos, S.

    2017-12-01

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

  1. The HOSTS Survey—Exozodiacal Dust Measurements for 30 Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ertel, S.; Defrère, D.; Hinz, P.; Mennesson, B.; Kennedy, G. M.; Danchi, W. C.; Gelino, C.; Hill, J. M.; Hoffmann, W. F.; Rieke, G.; Shannon, A.; Spalding, E.; Stone, J. M.; Vaz, A.; Weinberger, A. J.; Willems, P.; Absil, O.; Arbo, P.; Bailey, V. P.; Beichman, C.; Bryden, G.; Downey, E. C.; Durney, O.; Esposito, S.; Gaspar, A.; Grenz, P.; Haniff, C. A.; Leisenring, J. M.; Marion, L.; McMahon, T. J.; Millan-Gabet, R.; Montoya, M.; Morzinski, K. M.; Pinna, E.; Power, J.; Puglisi, A.; Roberge, A.; Serabyn, E.; Skemer, A. J.; Stapelfeldt, K.; Su, K. Y. L.; Vaitheeswaran, V.; Wyatt, M. C.

    2018-05-01

    The Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Systems survey searches for dust near the habitable zones (HZs) around nearby, bright main-sequence stars. We use nulling interferometry in the N band to suppress the bright stellar light and to probe for low levels of HZ dust around the 30 stars observed so far. Our overall detection rate is 18%, including four new detections, among which are the first three around Sun-like stars and the first two around stars without any previously known circumstellar dust. The inferred occurrence rates are comparable for early-type and Sun-like stars, but decrease from {60}-21+16% for stars with previously detected cold dust to {8}-3+10% for stars without such excess, confirming earlier results at higher sensitivity. For completed observations on individual stars, our sensitivity is five to ten times better than previous results. Assuming a lognormal excess luminosity function, we put upper limits on the median HZ dust level of 13 zodis (95% confidence) for a sample of stars without cold dust and of 26 zodis when focusing on Sun-like stars without cold dust. However, our data suggest that a more complex luminosity function may be more appropriate. For stars without detectable Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) excess, our upper limits are almost reduced by a factor of two, demonstrating the strength of LBTI target vetting for future exo-Earth imaging missions. Our statistics are limited so far, and extending the survey is critical to informing the design of future exo-Earth imaging surveys.

  2. Exoplanets: The Hunt Continues!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

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

  3. Qatar Exoplanet Survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Stellar magnetic activity – Star-Planet Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poppenhaeger, K.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Stellar magnetic activity is an important factor in the formation and evolution of exoplanets. Magnetic phenomena like stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, and high-energy emission affect the exoplanetary atmosphere and its mass loss over time. One major question is whether the magnetic evolution of exoplanet host stars is the same as for stars without planets; tidal and magnetic interactions of a star and its close-in planets may play a role in this. Stellar magnetic activity also shapes our ability to detect exoplanets with different methods in the first place, and therefore we need to understand it properly to derive an accurate estimate of the existing exoplanet population. I will review recent theoretical and observational results, as well as outline some avenues for future progress.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-02

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

  9. Monitoring the High-Energy Radiation Environment of Exoplanets Around Low-mass Stars with SPARCS (Star-Planet Activity Research CubeSat)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Ardila, David; Barman, Travis; Beasley, Matthew; Bowman, Judd D.; Gorjian, Varoujan; Jacobs, Daniel; Jewell, April; Llama, Joe; Meadows, Victoria; Nikzad, Shouleh; Scowen, Paul; Swain, Mark; Zellem, Robert

    2018-01-01

    Roughly seventy-five billion M dwarfs in our galaxy host at least one small planet in the habitable zone (HZ). The stellar ultraviolet (UV) radiation from M dwarfs is strong and highly variable, and impacts planetary atmospheric loss, composition and habitability. These effects are amplified by the extreme proximity of their HZs (0.1–0.4 AU). Knowing the UV environments of M dwarf planets will be crucial to understanding their atmospheric composition and a key parameter in discriminating between biological and abiotic sources for observed biosignatures. The Star-Planet Activity Research CubeSat (SPARCS) will be a 6U CubeSat devoted to photometric monitoring of M stars in the far-UV and near-UV, measuring the time-dependent spectral slope, intensity and evolution of M dwarf stellar UV radiation. For each target, SPARCS will observe continuously over at least one complete stellar rotation (5 - 45 days). SPARCS will also advance UV detector technology by flying high quantum efficiency, UV-optimized detectors developed at JPL. These Delta-doped detectors have a long history of deployment demonstrating greater than five times the quantum efficiency of the detectors used by GALEX. SPARCS will pave the way for their application in missions like LUVOIR or HabEx, including interim UV-capable missions. SPARCS will also be capable of ‘target-of-opportunity’ UV observations for the rocky planets in M dwarf HZs soon to be discovered by NASA’s TESS mission, providing the needed UV context for the first habitable planets that JWST will characterize.Acknowledgements: Funding for SPARCS is provided by NASA’s Astrophysics Research and Analysis program, NNH16ZDA001N.

  10. Tidal locking of habitable exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory

    2017-12-01

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

  11. TWO EXOPLANETS DISCOVERED AT KECK OBSERVATORY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Exoplanet Caught on the Move

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

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

  13. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Fundamental parameters of Kepler stars (Silva Aguirre+, 2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva Aguirre, V.; Davies, G. R.; Basu, S.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Creevey, O.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Bedding, T. R.; Casagrande, L.; Handberg, R.; Lund, M. N.; Nissen, P. E.; Chaplin, W. J.; Huber, D.; Serenelli, A. M.; Stello, D.; van Eylen, V.; Campante, T. L.; Elsworth, Y.; Gilliland, R. L.; Hekker, S.; Karoff, C.; Kawaler, S. D.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lundkvist, M. S.

    2016-02-01

    Our sample has been extracted from the 77 exoplanet host stars presented in Huber et al. (2013, Cat. J/ApJ/767/127). We have made use of the full time-base of observations from the Kepler satellite to uniformly determine precise fundamental stellar parameters, including ages, for a sample of exoplanet host stars where high-quality asteroseismic data were available. We devised a Bayesian procedure flexible in its input and applied it to different grids of models to study systematics from input physics and extract statistically robust properties for all stars. (4 data files).

  14. LOW Mg/Si PLANETARY HOST STARS AND THEIR Mg-DEPLETED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O' Brien, David P. [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E. Fort Lowell, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Delgado Mena, Elisa; Israelian, Garik; Gonzalez Hernandez, Jonay I. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Santos, Nuno C., E-mail: j.bond@unsw.edu.au [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal)

    2012-03-15

    Simulations have shown that a diverse range of extrasolar terrestrial planet bulk compositions are likely to exist based on the observed variations in host star elemental abundances. Based on recent studies, it is expected that a significant proportion of host stars may have Mg/Si ratios below 1. Here we examine this previously neglected group of systems. Planets simulated as forming within these systems are found to be Mg-depleted (compared to Earth), consisting of silicate species such as pyroxene and various feldspars. Planetary carbon abundances also vary in accordance with the host star C/O ratio. The predicted abundances are in keeping with observations of polluted white dwarfs, lending validity to this approach. Further studies are required to determine the full planetary impacts of the bulk compositions predicted here.

  15. 32 New Exoplanets Found

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-01

    oday, at an international ESO/CAUP exoplanet conference in Porto, the team who built the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, better known as HARPS, the spectrograph for ESO's 3.6-metre telescope, reports on the incredible discovery of some 32 new exoplanets, cementing HARPS's position as the world's foremost exoplanet hunter. This result also increases the number of known low-mass planets by an impressive 30%. Over the past five years HARPS has spotted more than 75 of the roughly 400 or so exoplanets now known. "HARPS is a unique, extremely high precision instrument that is ideal for discovering alien worlds," says Stéphane Udry, who made the announcement. "We have now completed our initial five-year programme, which has succeeded well beyond our expectations." The latest batch of exoplanets announced today comprises no less than 32 new discoveries. Including these new results, data from HARPS have led to the discovery of more than 75 exoplanets in 30 different planetary systems. In particular, thanks to its amazing precision, the search for small planets, those with a mass of a few times that of the Earth - known as super-Earths and Neptune-like planets - has been given a dramatic boost. HARPS has facilitated the discovery of 24 of the 28 planets known with masses below 20 Earth masses. As with the previously detected super-Earths, most of the new low-mass candidates reside in multi-planet systems, with up to five planets per system. In 1999, ESO launched a call for opportunities to build a high resolution, extremely precise spectrograph for the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile. Michel Mayor, from the Geneva Observatory, led a consortium to build HARPS, which was installed in 2003 and was soon able to measure the back-and-forward motions of stars by detecting small changes in a star's radial velocity - as small as 3.5 km/hour, a steady walking pace. Such a precision is crucial for the discovery of exoplanets and the radial velocity method

  16. A giant planet undergoing extreme-ultraviolet irradiation by its hot massive-star host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, B Scott; Stassun, Keivan G; Collins, Karen A; Beatty, Thomas G; Zhou, George; Latham, David W; Bieryla, Allyson; Eastman, Jason D; Siverd, Robert J; Crepp, Justin R; Gonzales, Erica J; Stevens, Daniel J; Buchhave, Lars A; Pepper, Joshua; Johnson, Marshall C; Colon, Knicole D; Jensen, Eric L N; Rodriguez, Joseph E; Bozza, Valerio; Novati, Sebastiano Calchi; D'Ago, Giuseppe; Dumont, Mary T; Ellis, Tyler; Gaillard, Clement; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Kasper, David H; Fukui, Akihiko; Gregorio, Joao; Ito, Ayaka; Kielkopf, John F; Manner, Mark; Matt, Kyle; Narita, Norio; Oberst, Thomas E; Reed, Phillip A; Scarpetta, Gaetano; Stephens, Denice C; Yeigh, Rex R; Zambelli, Roberto; Fulton, B J; Howard, Andrew W; James, David J; Penny, Matthew; Bayliss, Daniel; Curtis, Ivan A; DePoy, D L; Esquerdo, Gilbert A; Gould, Andrew; Joner, Michael D; Kuhn, Rudolf B; Labadie-Bartz, Jonathan; Lund, Michael B; Marshall, Jennifer L; McLeod, Kim K; Pogge, Richard W; Relles, Howard; Stockdale, Christopher; Tan, T G; Trueblood, Mark; Trueblood, Patricia

    2017-06-22

    The amount of ultraviolet irradiation and ablation experienced by a planet depends strongly on the temperature of its host star. Of the thousands of extrasolar planets now known, only six have been found that transit hot, A-type stars (with temperatures of 7,300-10,000 kelvin), and no planets are known to transit the even hotter B-type stars. For example, WASP-33 is an A-type star with a temperature of about 7,430 kelvin, which hosts the hottest known transiting planet, WASP-33b (ref. 1); the planet is itself as hot as a red dwarf star of type M (ref. 2). WASP-33b displays a large heat differential between its dayside and nightside, and is highly inflated-traits that have been linked to high insolation. However, even at the temperature of its dayside, its atmosphere probably resembles the molecule-dominated atmospheres of other planets and, given the level of ultraviolet irradiation it experiences, its atmosphere is unlikely to be substantially ablated over the lifetime of its star. Here we report observations of the bright star HD 195689 (also known as KELT-9), which reveal a close-in (orbital period of about 1.48 days) transiting giant planet, KELT-9b. At approximately 10,170 kelvin, the host star is at the dividing line between stars of type A and B, and we measure the dayside temperature of KELT-9b to be about 4,600 kelvin. This is as hot as stars of stellar type K4 (ref. 5). The molecules in K stars are entirely dissociated, and so the primary sources of opacity in the dayside atmosphere of KELT-9b are probably atomic metals. Furthermore, KELT-9b receives 700 times more extreme-ultraviolet radiation (that is, with wavelengths shorter than 91.2 nanometres) than WASP-33b, leading to a predicted range of mass-loss rates that could leave the planet largely stripped of its envelope during the main-sequence lifetime of the host star.

  17. Illusion and reality in the atmospheres of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake; Seager, Sara

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bentum, Marinus Jan

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Photometric Exoplanet Characterization and Multimedia Astronomy Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Kimberly M. S.

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

  1. A MATURE DUSTY STAR-FORMING GALAXY HOSTING GRB 080607 AT z = 3.036

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Hsiao-Wen; Perley, Daniel A.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Bloom, Joshua S.; Wilson, Christine D.; Levan, Andrew J.; Prochaska, Jason X.; Tanvir, Nial R.; Dessauges-Zavadsky, Miroslava; Pettini, Max

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of the host galaxy of Swift dark burst GRB 080607 at z GRB = 3.036. GRB 080607 is a unique case of a highly extinguished (A V ∼ 3 mag) afterglow that was yet sufficiently bright for high-quality absorption-line spectroscopy. The host galaxy is clearly resolved in deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WF3/IR F160W images and well detected in the Spitzer IRAC 3.5 μm and 4.5 μm channels, while displaying little/no fluxes in deep optical images from Keck and Magellan. The extremely red optical-infrared colors are consistent with the large extinction seen in the afterglow light, suggesting that the large amount of dust and gas surface mass density seen along the afterglow sight line is not merely local but likely reflects the global dust content across the entire host galaxy. Adopting the dust properties and metallicity of the host interstellar medium derived from studies of early-time afterglow light and absorption-line spectroscopy, we perform a stellar population synthesis analysis of the observed spectral energy distribution to constrain the intrinsic luminosity and stellar population of this dark burst host. The host galaxy is best described by an exponentially declining star formation rate of e-folding time τ = 2 Gyr and an age of ∼2 Gyr. We also derive an extinction-corrected star formation rate of SFR ∼ 125 h -2 M sun yr -1 and a total stellar mass of M * ∼ 4 x 10 11 h -2 M sun . Our study provides an example of massive, dusty star-forming galaxies contributing to the γ-ray burst (GRB) host galaxy population, supporting the notion that long-duration GRBs trace the bulk of cosmic star formation.

  2. A CENSUS OF ROTATION AND VARIABILITY IN L1495: A UNIFORM ANALYSIS OF TRANS-ATLANTIC EXOPLANET SURVEY LIGHT CURVES FOR PRE-MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS IN TAURUS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Hongyu; Covey, Kevin R.; Lloyd, James P.; Rebull, Luisa; Charbonneau, David; Mandushev, Georgi; O'Donovan, Francis; Slesnick, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    We analyze light curves obtained by the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) for a field centered on the L1495 dark cloud in Taurus. The Spitzer Taurus Legacy Survey catalog identifies 179 bona fide Taurus members within the TrES field; 48 of the known Taurus members are detected by TrES, as well as 26 candidate members identified by the Spitzer Legacy team. We quantify the variability of each star in our sample using the ratio of the standard deviation of the original light curve (σ orig. ) to the standard deviation of a light curve that has been smoothed by 9 or 1001 epochs (σ 9 and σ 1001 , respectively). Known Taurus members typically demonstrate (σ orig. /σ 9 ) orig. /σ 1001 ) orig. /σ 9 ) ∼ 3.0 and (σ orig. /σ 1001 ) ∼ 10, as expected for light curves dominated by unstructured white noise. Of the 74 Taurus members/candidates with TrES light curves, we detect significant variability in 49 sources. Adapting a quantitative metric originally developed to assess the reliability of transit detections, we measure the amount of red and white noise in each light curve and identify 18 known or candidate Taurus members with highly significant period measurements. These appear to be the first periods measured for four of these sources (HD 282276, CX Tau, FP Tau, TrES J042423+265008), and in two other cases, the first non-aliased periods (LkCa 21 and DK Tau AB). For the remainder, the TrES measurements typically agree very well (δP < 1%) with previously reported values. Including periods measured at lower confidence for 15 additional sources, we report periods for 11 objects where no previous periods were found, including 8 confirmed Taurus members. We also identify 10 of the 26 candidate Taurus members that demonstrate variability levels consistent with being bona fide T Tauri stars. A Kolomgorov-Smirnov (K-S) test confirms that these new periods confirm the distinction between the rotation period distributions of stars with and without circumstellar

  3. Revisiting The First Galaxies: The effects of Population III stars on their host galaxies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muratov, Alexander L. [U. Michigan, Dept. Astron.; Gnedin, Oleg Y. [U. Michigan, Dept. Astron.; Gnedin, Nickolay Y. [Chicago U., Astron. Astrophys. Ctr.; Zemp, Marcel [Beijing, KITPC

    2013-07-12

    We revisit the formation and evolution of the first galaxies using new hydrodynamic cosmological simulations with the adaptive refinement tree code. Our simulations feature a recently developed model for H2 formation and dissociation, and a star formation recipe that is based on molecular rather than atomic gas. Here, we develop and implement a recipe for the formation of metal-free Population III (Pop III) stars in galaxy-scale simulations that resolve primordial clouds with sufficiently high density. We base our recipe on the results of prior zoom-in simulations that resolved the protostellar collapse in pre-galactic objects. We find the epoch during which Pop III stars dominated the energy and metal budget of the first galaxies to be short-lived. Galaxies that host Pop III stars do not retain dynamical signatures of their thermal and radiative feedback for more than 108 years after the lives of the stars end in pair-instability supernovae, even when we consider the maximum reasonable efficiency of the feedback. Though metals ejected by the supernovae can travel well beyond the virial radius of the host galaxy, they typically begin to fall back quickly, and do not enrich a large fraction of the intergalactic medium. Galaxies with a total mass in excess of 3 × 106 M re-accrete most of their baryons and transition to metal-enriched Pop II star formation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Testing connections between exo-atmospheres and their host stars. GEMINI-N/GMOS ground-based transmission spectrum of Qatar-1b

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Exoplanet atmospheres physical processes

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, Sara

    2010-01-01

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

  8. FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES OF KEPLER PLANET-CANDIDATE HOST STARS USING ASTEROSEISMOLOGY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huber, Daniel; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Chaplin, William J. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen; Kjeldsen, Hans; Handberg, Rasmus; Karoff, Christoffer; Lund, Mikkel N.; Lundkvist, Mia [Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Gilliland, Ronald L. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Fischer, Debra A.; Basu, Sarbani [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto [Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Hekker, Saskia [Astronomical Institute ' ' Anton Pannekoek' ' , University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam (Netherlands); Howard, Andrew W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Isaacson, Howard; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Latham, David W., E-mail: daniel.huber@nasa.gov [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); and others

    2013-04-20

    We have used asteroseismology to determine fundamental properties for 66 Kepler planet-candidate host stars, with typical uncertainties of 3% and 7% in radius and mass, respectively. The results include new asteroseismic solutions for four host stars with confirmed planets (Kepler-4, Kepler-14, Kepler-23 and Kepler-25) and increase the total number of Kepler host stars with asteroseismic solutions to 77. A comparison with stellar properties in the planet-candidate catalog by Batalha et al. shows that radii for subgiants and giants obtained from spectroscopic follow-up are systematically too low by up to a factor of 1.5, while the properties for unevolved stars are in good agreement. We furthermore apply asteroseismology to confirm that a large majority of cool main-sequence hosts are indeed dwarfs and not misclassified giants. Using the revised stellar properties, we recalculate the radii for 107 planet candidates in our sample, and comment on candidates for which the radii change from a previously giant-planet/brown-dwarf/stellar regime to a sub-Jupiter size or vice versa. A comparison of stellar densities from asteroseismology with densities derived from transit models in Batalha et al. assuming circular orbits shows significant disagreement for more than half of the sample due to systematics in the modeled impact parameters or due to planet candidates that may be in eccentric orbits. Finally, we investigate tentative correlations between host-star masses and planet-candidate radii, orbital periods, and multiplicity, but caution that these results may be influenced by the small sample size and detection biases.

  9. Three body dynamics and its applications to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Musielak, Zdzislaw

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Physical constraints on the likelihood of life on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham

    2018-04-01

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

  11. Dwarf carbon stars are likely metal-poor binaries and unlikely hosts to carbon planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehouse, Lewis J.; Farihi, J.; Green, P. J.; Wilson, T. G.; Subasavage, J. P.

    2018-06-01

    Dwarf carbon stars make up the largest fraction of carbon stars in the Galaxy with ≈1200 candidates known to date primarily from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. They either possess primordial carbon-enhancements, or are polluted by mass transfer from an evolved companion such that C/O is enhanced beyond unity. To directly test the binary hypothesis, a radial velocity monitoring survey has been carried out on 28 dwarf carbon stars, resulting in the detection of variations in 21 targets. Using Monte Carlo simulations,this detection fraction is found to be consistent with a 100% binary population and orbital periods on the order of hundreds of days. This result supports the post-mass transfer nature of dwarf carbon stars, and implies they are not likely hosts to carbon planets.

  12. THE LICK-CARNEGIE EXOPLANET SURVEY: A SATURN-MASS PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE NEARBY M4V STAR HIP 57050

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

    Precision radial velocities (RV) from Keck/HIRES reveal a Saturn-mass planet orbiting the nearby M4V star HIP 57050. The planet has a minimum mass of Msin i ∼ 0.3 M J , an orbital period of 41.4 days, and an orbital eccentricity of 0.31. V-band photometry reveals a clear stellar rotation signature of the host star with a period of 98 days, well separated from the period of the RV variations and reinforcing a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. The orbital period of this planet corresponds to an orbit in the habitable zone of HIP 57050, with an expected planetary temperature of ∼230 K. The star has a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.32 ± 0.06 dex, of order twice solar and among the highest metallicity stars in the immediate solar neighborhood. This newly discovered planet provides further support that the well-known planet-metallicity correlation for F, G, and K stars also extends down into the M-dwarf regime. The a priori geometric probability for transits of this planet is only about 1%. However, the expected eclipse depth is ∼7%, considerably larger than that yet observed for any transiting planet. Though long on the odds, such a transit is worth pursuing as it would allow for high quality studies of the atmosphere via transmission spectroscopy with Hubble Space Telescope. At the expected planetary effective temperature, the atmosphere may contain water clouds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

    Precision radial velocities (RV) from Keck/HIRES reveal a Saturn-mass planet orbiting the nearby M4V star HIP 57050. The planet has a minimum mass of Msin i ~ 0.3 M J, an orbital period of 41.4 days, and an orbital eccentricity of 0.31. V-band photometry reveals a clear stellar rotation signature of the host star with a period of 98 days, well separated from the period of the RV variations and reinforcing a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. The orbital period of this planet corresponds to an orbit in the habitable zone of HIP 57050, with an expected planetary temperature of ~230 K. The star has a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.32 ± 0.06 dex, of order twice solar and among the highest metallicity stars in the immediate solar neighborhood. This newly discovered planet provides further support that the well-known planet-metallicity correlation for F, G, and K stars also extends down into the M-dwarf regime. The a priori geometric probability for transits of this planet is only about 1%. However, the expected eclipse depth is ~7%, considerably larger than that yet observed for any transiting planet. Though long on the odds, such a transit is worth pursuing as it would allow for high quality studies of the atmosphere via transmission spectroscopy with Hubble Space Telescope. At the expected planetary effective temperature, the atmosphere may contain water clouds.

  14. Lightning and Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  15. Exoplanet dynamics. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Wu, Hanbo; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman

    2015-02-06

    Planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars are often assumed to be in a state of tidally synchronized rotation, which would considerably affect their putative habitability. Although thermal tides cause Venus to rotate retrogradely, simple scaling arguments tend to attribute this peculiarity to the massive Venusian atmosphere. Using a global climate model, we show that even a relatively thin atmosphere can drive terrestrial planets' rotation away from synchronicity. We derive a more realistic atmospheric tide model that predicts four asynchronous equilibrium spin states, two being stable, when the amplitude of the thermal tide exceeds a threshold that is met for habitable Earth-like planets with a 1-bar atmosphere around stars more massive than ~0.5 to 0.7 solar mass. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-28

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

  17. A tale of two feedbacks: Star formation in the host galaxies of radio AGNs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karouzos, Marios; Im, Myungshin; Jeon, Yiseul; Kim, Ji Hoon [CEOU-Astronomy Program, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Gwanak-gu, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Trichas, Markos [Airbus Defence and Space, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage SG1 2AS (United Kingdom); Goto, Tomo [Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Malkan, Matt [Division of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 3-714 UCLA, CA 90095-1547 (United States); Ruiz, Angel [Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, 411 007 Pune (India); Lee, Hyung Mok; Kim, Seong Jin [Astronomy Program, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Gwanak-gu, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Oi, Nagisa; Matsuhara, Hideo; Takagi, Toshinobu; Murata, K.; Wada, Takehiko; Wada, Kensuke [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, JAXA, Yoshino-dai 3-1-1, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-8510 (Japan); Shim, Hyunjin [Department of Earth Science Education, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701 (Korea, Republic of); Hanami, Hitoshi [Physics Section, Faculty of Humanities, Iwate University, Ueda 3 chome, 18-34 Morioka, Morioka, Iwate 020-8550 (Japan); Serjeant, Stephen; White, Glenn J., E-mail: mkarouzos@astro.snu.ac.kr [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes (United Kingdom); and others

    2014-04-01

    Several lines of argument support the existence of a link between activity at the nuclei of galaxies, in the form of an accreting supermassive black hole, and star formation activity in these galaxies. Radio jets have long been argued to be an ideal mechanism that allows active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to interact with their host galaxies and affect star formation. We use a sample of radio sources in the North Ecliptic Pole (NEP) field to study the nature of this putative link, by means of spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting. We employ the excellent spectral coverage of the AKARI infrared space telescope and the rich ancillary data available in the NEP to build SEDs extending from UV to far-IR wavelengths. We find a significant AGN component in our sample of relatively faint radio sources (star formation in the host galaxy, independent of the radio luminosity. In contrast, for narrow redshift and AGN luminosity ranges, we find that increasing radio luminosity leads to a decrease in the specific star formation rate. The most radio-loud AGNs are found to lie on the main sequence of star formation for their respective redshifts. For the first time, we potentially see such a two-sided feedback process in the same sample. We discuss the possible suppression of star formation, but not total quenching, in systems with strong radio jets, that supports the maintenance nature of feedback from radio AGN jets.

  18. Connections between Star Cluster Populations and Their Host Galaxy Nuclear Rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Chao; de Grijs, Richard; Ho, Luis C.

    2018-04-01

    Nuclear rings are excellent laboratories for probing diverse phenomena such as the formation and evolution of young massive star clusters and nuclear starbursts, as well as the secular evolution and dynamics of their host galaxies. We have compiled a sample of 17 galaxies with nuclear rings, which are well resolved by high-resolution Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescope imaging. For each nuclear ring, we identified the ring star cluster population, along with their physical properties (ages, masses, and extinction values). We also determined the integrated ring properties, including the average age, total stellar mass, and current star formation rate (SFR). We find that Sb-type galaxies tend to have the highest ring stellar mass fraction with respect to the host galaxy, and this parameter is correlated with the ring’s SFR surface density. The ring SFRs are correlated with their stellar masses, which is reminiscent of the main sequence of star-forming galaxies. There are striking correlations between star-forming properties (i.e., SFR and SFR surface density) and nonaxisymmetric bar parameters, appearing to confirm previous inferences that strongly barred galaxies tend to have lower ring SFRs, although the ring star formation histories turn out to be significantly more complicated. Nuclear rings with higher stellar masses tend to be associated with lower cluster mass fractions, but there is no such relation for the ages of the rings. The two youngest nuclear rings in our sample, NGC 1512 and NGC 4314, which have the most extreme physical properties, represent the young extremity of the nuclear ring age distribution.

  19. A Search for Host Stars of Free-Floating Planetary Mass Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tristan, Isaiah; Bowler, Brendan P.

    2017-01-01

    Over the past decade, the number of free-floating planetary-mass objects (FFPMOs) and imaged planets in widely-bound orbits (from hundreds to thousand of AU) have increased steadily, but the origin of these objects and the relationship between them is unclear. To test if known free-floating objects could actually be distant companions to stars, we searched for wide co-moving companions around a sample of 77 young brown dwarfs and FFPMOs using the PPMXL proper motion catalog. Contamination rates (the probability of field stars co-moving by chance) were then calculated using nearby but unrelated fields, and host star candidates were further vetted using their positions in color magnitude diagrams. Using this method, we recovered all previously known widely-bound host stars within our sample and identified several promising widely separated systems, with separations ranging from 10^4-10^5 AU. Follow up radial velocities are currently being obtained to validate the shared space motion of the most promising candidates; if confirmed, these will be the widest planetary systems known.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Exoplanets and Multiverses (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, V.

    2016-12-01

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

  3. Modeling The GRB Host Galaxy Mass Distribution: Are GRBs Unbiased Tracers of Star Formation?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kocevski, Daniel; /KIPAC, Menlo Park; West, Andrew A.; /UC, Berkeley, Astron. Dept. /MIT, MKI; Modjaz, Maryam; /UC, Berkeley, Astron. Dept.

    2009-08-03

    We model the mass distribution of long gamma-ray burst (GRB) host galaxies given recent results suggesting that GRBs occur in low metallicity environments. By utilizing measurements of the redshift evolution of the mass-metallicity (M-Z) relationship for galaxies, along with a sharp host metallicity cut-off suggested by Modjaz and collaborators, we estimate an upper limit on the stellar mass of a galaxy that can efficiently produce a GRB as a function of redshift. By employing consistent abundance indicators, we find that sub-solar metallicity cut-offs effectively limit GRBs to low stellar mass spirals and dwarf galaxies at low redshift. At higher redshifts, as the average metallicity of galaxies in the Universe falls, the mass range of galaxies capable of hosting a GRB broadens, with an upper bound approaching the mass of even the largest spiral galaxies. We compare these predicted limits to the growing number of published GRB host masses and find that extremely low metallicity cut-offs of 0.1 to 0.5 Z{sub {circle_dot}} are effectively ruled out by a large number of intermediate mass galaxies at low redshift. A mass function that includes a smooth decrease in the efficiency of producing GRBs in galaxies of metallicity above 12+log(O/H){sub KK04} = 8.7 can, however, accommodate a majority of the measured host galaxy masses. We find that at z {approx} 1, the peak in the observed GRB host mass distribution is inconsistent with the expected peak in the mass of galaxies harboring most of the star formation. This suggests that GRBs are metallicity biased tracers of star formation at low and intermediate redshifts, although our model predicts that this bias should disappear at higher redshifts due to the evolving metallicity content of the universe.

  4. MODELING THE GRB HOST GALAXY MASS DISTRIBUTION: ARE GRBs UNBIASED TRACERS OF STAR FORMATION?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kocevski, Daniel; West, Andrew A.; Modjaz, Maryam

    2009-01-01

    We model the mass distribution of long gamma-ray burst (GRB) host galaxies given recent results suggesting that GRBs occur in low-metallicity environments. By utilizing measurements of the redshift evolution of the mass-metallicity relationship for galaxies, along with a sharp host metallicity cutoff suggested by Modjaz and collaborators, we estimate an upper limit on the stellar mass of a galaxy that can efficiently produce a GRB as a function of redshift. By employing consistent abundance indicators, we find that subsolar metallicity cutoffs effectively limit GRBs to low-stellar mass spirals and dwarf galaxies at low redshift. At higher redshifts, as the average metallicity of galaxies in the Universe falls, the mass range of galaxies capable of hosting a GRB broadens, with an upper bound approaching the mass of even the largest spiral galaxies. We compare these predicted limits to the growing number of published GRB host masses and find that extremely low-metallicity cutoffs of 0.1 to 0.5 Z sun are effectively ruled out by a large number of intermediate mass galaxies at low redshift. A mass function that includes a smooth decrease in the efficiency of producing GRBs in galaxies of metallicity above 12+log(O/H) KK04 = 8.7 can, however, accommodate a majority of the measured host galaxy masses. We find that at z ∼ 1, the peak in the observed GRB host mass distribution is inconsistent with the expected peak in the mass of galaxies harboring most of the star formation. This suggests that GRBs are metallicity-biased tracers of star formation at low and intermediate redshifts, although our model predicts that this bias should disappear at higher redshifts due to the evolving metallicity content of the universe.

  5. VLT Detects First Superstorm on Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    Astronomers have measured a superstorm for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, the well-studied "hot Jupiter" HD209458b. The very high-precision observations of carbon monoxide gas show that it is streaming at enormous speed from the extremely hot day side to the cooler night side of the planet. The observations also allow another exciting "first" - measuring the orbital speed of the exoplanet itself, providing a direct determination of its mass. The results appear this week in the journal Nature. "HD209458b is definitely not a place for the faint-hearted. By studying the poisonous carbon monoxide gas with great accuracy we found evidence for a super wind, blowing at a speed of 5000 to 10 000 km per hour" says Ignas Snellen, who led the team of astronomers. HD209458b is an exoplanet of about 60% the mass of Jupiter orbiting a solar-like star located 150 light-years from Earth towards the constellation of Pegasus (the Winged Horse). Circling at a distance of only one twentieth the Sun-Earth distance, the planet is heated intensely by its parent star, and has a surface temperature of about 1000 degrees Celsius on the hot side. But as the planet always has the same side to its star, one side is very hot, while the other is much cooler. "On Earth, big temperature differences inevitably lead to fierce winds, and as our new measurements reveal, the situation is no different on HD209458b," says team member Simon Albrecht. HD209458b was the first exoplanet to be found transiting: every 3.5 days the planet moves in front of its host star, blocking a small portion of the starlight during a three-hour period. During such an event a tiny fraction of the starlight filters through the planet's atmosphere, leaving an imprint. A team of astronomers from the Leiden University, the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON), and MIT in the United States, have used ESO's Very Large Telescope and its powerful CRIRES spectrograph to detect and analyse these faint

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Brian; Laming, J. Martin

    2018-01-01

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

  7. LARGER PLANET RADII INFERRED FROM STELLAR ''FLICKER'' BRIGHTNESS VARIATIONS OF BRIGHT PLANET-HOST STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bastien, Fabienne A.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Pepper, Joshua

    2014-01-01

    Most extrasolar planets have been detected by their influence on their parent star, typically either gravitationally (the Doppler method) or by the small dip in brightness as the planet blocks a portion of the star (the transit method). Therefore, the accuracy with which we know the masses and radii of extrasolar planets depends directly on how well we know those of the stars, the latter usually determined from the measured stellar surface gravity, log g. Recent work has demonstrated that the short-timescale brightness variations ( f licker ) of stars can be used to measure log g to a high accuracy of ∼0.1-0.2 dex. Here, we use flicker measurements of 289 bright (Kepmag < 13) candidate planet-hosting stars with T eff = 4500-6650 K to re-assess the stellar parameters and determine the resulting impact on derived planet properties. This re-assessment reveals that for the brightest planet-host stars, Malmquist bias contaminates the stellar sample with evolved stars: nearly 50% of the bright planet-host stars are subgiants. As a result, the stellar radii, and hence the radii of the planets orbiting these stars, are on average 20%-30% larger than previous measurements had suggested

  8. Three small transiting planets around the M-dwarf host star LP 358-499

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, R.; Poppenhaeger, K.; Watson, C. A.

    2018-01-01

    We report on the detection of three transiting small planets around the low-mass star LP 358-499 (K2-133), using photometric data from the Kepler-K2 mission. Using multiband photometry, we determine the host star to be an early M dwarf with an age likely older than a gigayear. The three detected planets K2-133 b, c and d have orbital periods of ca. 3, 4.9 and 11 d and transit depths of ca. 700, 1000 and 2000 ppm, respectively. We also report a planetary candidate EPIC 247887989.01 with a period of 26.6 d and a depth of ca. 1000 ppm, which may be at the inner edge of the stellar habitable zone, depending on the specific host star properties. Using the transit parameters and the stellar properties, we estimate that the innermost planet may be rocky. The system is suited for follow-up observations to measure planetary masses and JWST transmission spectra of planetary atmospheres.

  9. RADII OF RAPIDLY ROTATING STARS, WITH APPLICATION TO TRANSITING-PLANET HOSTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Timothy M.

    2010-01-01

    The currently favored method for estimating radii and other parameters of transiting-planet host stars is to match theoretical models to observations of the stellar mean density ρ * , the effective temperature T eff , and the composition parameter [Z]. This explicitly model-dependent approach is based on readily available observations, and results in small formal errors. Its performance will be central to the reliability of results from ground-based transit surveys such as TrES, HAT, and SuperWASP, as well as to the space-borne missions MOST, CoRoT, and Kepler. Here, I use two calibration samples of stars (eclipsing binaries (EBs) and stars for which asteroseismic analyses are available) having well-determined masses and radii to estimate the accuracy and systematic errors inherent in the ρ * method. When matching to the Yonsei-Yale stellar evolution models, I find the most important systematic error results from selection bias favoring rapidly rotating (hence probably magnetically active) stars among the EB sample. If unaccounted for, this bias leads to a mass-dependent underestimate of stellar radii by as much as 4% for stars of 0.4 M sun , decreasing to zero for masses above about 1.4 M sun . Relative errors in estimated stellar masses are three times larger than those in radii. The asteroseismic sample suggests (albeit with significant uncertainty) that systematic errors are small for slowly rotating, inactive stars. Systematic errors arising from failings of the Yonsei-Yale models of inactive stars probably exist, but are difficult to assess because of the small number of well-characterized comparison stars having low mass and slow rotation. Poor information about [Z] is an important source of random error, and may be a minor source of systematic error as well. With suitable corrections for rotation, it is likely that systematic errors in the ρ * method can be comparable to or smaller than the random errors, yielding radii that are accurate to about 2% for

  10. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA’s Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Connecting HL Tau to the observed exoplanet sample

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  12. CONSTRAINTS ON OBSCURED STAR FORMATION IN HOST GALAXIES OF GAMMA-RAY BURSTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hatsukade, Bunyo; Ohta, Kouji; Hashimoto, Tetsuya; Nakanishi, Kouichiro; Tamura, Yoichi; Kohno, Kotaro

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of the 16 cm wave band continuum observations of four host galaxies of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) 990705, 021211, 041006, and 051022 using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Radio emission was not detected in any of the host galaxies. The 2σ upper limits on star formation rates derived from the radio observations of the host galaxies are 23, 45, 27, and 26 M ☉ yr –1 , respectively, which are less than about 10 times those derived from UV/optical observations, suggesting that they have no significant dust-obscured star formation. GRBs 021211 and 051022 are known as the so-called dark GRBs and our results imply that dark GRBs do not always occur in galaxies enshrouded by dust. Because large dust extinction was not observed in the afterglow of GRB 021211, our result suggests the possibility that the cause of the dark GRB is the intrinsic faintness of the optical afterglow. On the other hand, by considering the high column density observed in the afterglow of GRB 051022, the likely cause of the dark GRB is the dust extinction in the line of sight of the GRB.

  13. Spectroscopic Properties of Star-Forming Host Galaxies and Type Ia Supernova Hubble Residuals in a Nearly Unbiased Sample

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D' Andrea, Chris B. [Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States); et al.

    2011-12-20

    We examine the correlation between supernova host galaxy properties and their residuals on the Hubble diagram. We use supernovae discovered during the Sloan Digital Sky Survey II - Supernova Survey, and focus on objects at a redshift of z < 0.15, where the selection effects of the survey are known to yield a complete Type Ia supernova sample. To minimize the bias in our analysis with respect to measured host-galaxy properties, spectra were obtained for nearly all hosts, spanning a range in magnitude of -23 < M_r < -17. In contrast to previous works that use photometric estimates of host mass as a proxy for global metallicity, we analyze host-galaxy spectra to obtain gas-phase metallicities and star-formation rates from host galaxies with active star formation. From a final sample of ~ 40 emission-line galaxies, we find that light-curve corrected Type Ia supernovae are ~ 0.1 magnitudes brighter in high-metallicity hosts than in low-metallicity hosts. We also find a significant (> 3{\\sigma}) correlation between the Hubble residuals of Type Ia supernovae and the specific star-formation rate of the host galaxy. We comment on the importance of supernova/host-galaxy correlations as a source of systematic bias in future deep supernova surveys.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. A molecular gas-rich GRB host galaxy at the peak of cosmic star formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arabsalmani, M.; Le Floc'h, E.; Dannerbauer, H.; Feruglio, C.; Daddi, E.; Ciesla, L.; Charmandaris, V.; Japelj, J.; Vergani, S. D.; Duc, P.-A.; Basa, S.; Bournaud, F.; Elbaz, D.

    2018-05-01

    We report the detection of the CO(3-2) emission line from the host galaxy of gamma-ray burst (GRB) 080207 at z = 2.086. This is the first detection of molecular gas in emission from a GRB host galaxy beyond redshift 1. We find this galaxy to be rich in molecular gas with a mass of 1.1 × 10^{11} M_{{\\odot }} assuming αCO = 4.36 M_{{\\odot }} (K km s^{-1} pc^2)^{-1}. The molecular gas mass fraction of the galaxy is ˜0.5, typical of star-forming galaxies (SFGs) with similar stellar masses and redshifts. With an SFR_{FIR} of 260 M_{{\\odot }} yr^{-1}, we measure a molecular gas depletion time-scale of 0.43 Gyr, near the peak of the depletion time-scale distribution of SFGs at similar redshifts. Our findings are therefore in contradiction with the proposed molecular gas deficiency in GRB host galaxies. We argue that the reported molecular gas deficiency for GRB hosts could be the artefact of improper comparisons or neglecting the effect of the typical low metallicities of GRB hosts on the CO-to-molecular-gas conversion factor. We also compare the kinematics of the CO(3-2) emission line to that of the H α emission line from the host galaxy. We find the H α emission to have contributions from two separate components, a narrow and a broad one. The narrow component matches the CO emission well in velocity space. The broad component, with a full width at half-maximum of ˜1100 km s^{-1}, is separated by +390 km s^{-1} in velocity space from the narrow component. We speculate this broad component to be associated with a powerful outflow in the host galaxy or in an interacting system.

  16. Glowing Hot Transiting Exoplanet Discovered

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Searching for Strange Quark Matter Objects in Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-10-20

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

  19. Do Nuclear Star Clusters and Supermassive Black Holes Follow the Same Host-Galaxy Correlations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Erwin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies have suggested that there is a strong correlation between the masses of nuclear star clusters (NSCs and their host galaxies, a correlation which is said to be an extension of the well-known correlations between supermassive black holes (SMBHs and their host galaxies. But careful analysis of disk galaxies—including 2D bulge/disk/bar decompositions—shows that while SMBHs correlate with the stellar mass of the bulge component of galaxies, the masses of NSCs correlate much better with the total galaxy stellar mass. In addition, the mass ratio MNSC/M⋆, tot for NSCs in spirals (at least those with Hubble types Sc and later is typically an order of magnitude smaller than the mass ratio MBH/M⋆, bul of SMBHs. The absence of a universal “central massive object” correlation argues against common formation and growth mechanisms for both SMBHs and NSCs. We also discuss evidence for a break in the NSC-host galaxy correlation, galaxies with Hubble types earlier than Sbc appear to host systematically more massive NSCs than do types Sc and later.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karalidi, Theodora

    2013-01-01

    It is less than 20 years since astronomers discovered the first exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star. In this short period more than 770 confirmed exoplanets have been detected. With so many exoplanets the next step is their characterization. What is their atmosphere made of? Does it contain water

  1. The WASP-South search for transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Queloz D.

    2011-02-01

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

  2. A Theory of Exoplanet Transits with Light Scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-20

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

  3. Geoengineering on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockley, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    Solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering can be used to deliberately alter the Earth's radiation budget, by reflecting sunlight to space. SRM has been suggested as a response to Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), to partly or fully balance radiative forcing from AGW [1]. Approximately 22% of sun-like stars have Earth-like exoplanets[2]. Advanced civilisations may exist on these, and may use geoengineering for positive or negative radiative forcing. Additionally, terraforming projects [e.g. 3], may be used to expand alien habitable territory, or for resource management or military operations on non-home planets. Potential observations of alien geoengineering and terraforming may enable detection of technologically advanced alien civilisations, and may help identify widely-used and stable geoengineering technologies. This knowledge may assist the development of safe and stable geoengineering methods for Earth. The potential risks and benefits of possible alien detection of Earth-bound geoengineering schemes must be considered before deployment of terrestrial geoengineering schemes.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-20

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

  6. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Observational Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Detection of Stellar Pulsations in the Planet Host Star γ Cephei A by High Precision Radial Velocity Measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Endl, Michael; Castanheira, Barbara G.; Cochran, William D.; Bean, Jacob L.; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Hatzes, Artie P.

    2009-01-01

    We present a first analysis of our asteroseismology campaign on the planet host star γ Cep A. We used seven consecutive nights at the Harlan J. Smith 2.7 m telescope at McDonald Observatory to obtain 1200 highly precise radial velocity measurements. We find the star to be a multi-periodic pulsator with a frequency spacing of 15 μHz.

  8. The metallicities of stars with and without transiting planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Latham, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Host star metallicities have been used to infer observational constraints on planet formation throughout the history of the exoplanet field. The giant planet metallicity correlation has now been widely accepted, but questions remain as to whether the metallicity correlation extends to the small...... terrestrial-sized planets. Here, we report metallicities for a sample of 518 stars in the Kepler field that have no detected transiting planets and compare their metallicity distribution to a sample of stars that hosts small planets (). Importantly, both samples have been analyzed in a homogeneous manner...... using the same set of tools (Stellar Parameters Classification tool). We find the average metallicity of the sample of stars without detected transiting planets to be and the sample of stars hosting small planets to be . The average metallicities of the two samples are indistinguishable within...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. Massive stars formed in atomic hydrogen reservoirs: H i observations of gamma-ray burst host galaxies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michałowski, M. J.; Gentile, G.; Hjorth, J.

    2015-01-01

    to be the fuel of star formation. Moreover, optical spectroscopy of GRB afterglows implies that the molecular phase constitutes only a small fraction of the gas along the GRB line of sight. Here we report the first ever 21 cm line observations of GRB host galaxies, using the Australia Telescope Compact Array......, implying high levels of atomic hydrogen (HI), which suggests that the connection between atomic gas and star formation is stronger than previously thought. In this case, it is possible that star formation is directly fuelled by atomic gas (or that the H1-to-H2 conversion is very efficient, which rapidly...... exhaust molecular gas), as has been theoretically shown to be possible. This can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because cooling of gas (necessary for star formation) is faster than the H1-to-H2 conversion. Indeed, large atomic gas reservoirs, together with low molecular gas...

  11. STAR CLUSTER COMPLEXES AND THE HOST GALAXY IN THREE H II GALAXIES: Mrk 36, UM 408, AND UM 461

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lagos, P. [Centro de Astrofisica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Telles, E. [Observatorio Nacional, Rua Jose Cristino, 77, Rio de Janeiro 20921-400 (Brazil); Nigoche-Netro, A. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA), Glorieta de la Astronomia s/n, 18008 Granada (Spain); Carrasco, E. R., E-mail: plagos@astro.up.pt, E-mail: etelles@on.br, E-mail: nigoche@iaa.es, E-mail: rcarrasco@gemini.edu [Gemini Observatory/AURA, Southern Operations Center, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile)

    2011-11-15

    We present a stellar population study of three H II galaxies (Mrk 36, UM 408, and UM 461) based on the analysis of new ground-based high-resolution near-infrared J, H, and K{sub p} broadband and Br{gamma} narrowband images obtained with Gemini/NIRI. We identify and determine the relative ages and masses of the elementary star clusters and/or star cluster complexes of the starburst regions in each of these galaxies by comparing the colors with evolutionary synthesis models that include the contribution of stellar continuum, nebular continuum, and emission lines. We found that the current star cluster formation efficiency in our sample of low-luminosity H II galaxies is {approx}10%. Therefore, most of the recent star formation is not in massive clusters. Our findings seem to indicate that the star formation mode in our sample of galaxies is clumpy, and that these complexes are formed by a few massive star clusters with masses {approx}>10{sup 4} M{sub Sun }. The age distribution of these star cluster complexes shows that the current burst started recently and likely simultaneously over short timescales in their host galaxies, triggered by some internal mechanism. Finally, the fraction of the total cluster mass with respect to the low surface brightness (or host galaxy) mass, considering our complete range in ages, is less than 1%.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Black hole variability and the star formation-active galactic nucleus connection: Do all star-forming galaxies host an active galactic nucleus?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hickox, Ryan C.; Chen, Chien-Ting J.; Civano, Francesca M.; Hainline, Kevin N.; Mullaney, James R.; Alexander, David M.; Goulding, Andy D.

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the effect of active galactic nucleus (AGN) variability on the observed connection between star formation and black hole accretion in extragalactic surveys. Recent studies have reported relatively weak correlations between observed AGN luminosities and the properties of AGN hosts, which has been interpreted to imply that there is no direct connection between AGN activity and star formation. However, AGNs may be expected to vary significantly on a wide range of timescales (from hours to Myr) that are far shorter than the typical timescale for star formation (≳100 Myr). This variability can have important consequences for observed correlations. We present a simple model in which all star-forming galaxies host an AGN when averaged over ∼100 Myr timescales, with long-term average AGN accretion rates that are perfectly correlated with the star formation rate (SFR). We show that reasonable prescriptions for AGN variability reproduce the observed weak correlations between SFR and L AGN in typical AGN host galaxies, as well as the general trends in the observed AGN luminosity functions, merger fractions, and measurements of the average AGN luminosity as a function of SFR. These results imply that there may be a tight connection between AGN activity and SFR over galaxy evolution timescales, and that the apparent similarities in rest-frame colors, merger rates, and clustering of AGNs compared to 'inactive' galaxies may be due primarily to AGN variability. The results provide motivation for future deep, wide extragalactic surveys that can measure the distribution of AGN accretion rates as a function of SFR.

  19. The detectability of radio emission from exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Dynamical measurements of the interior structure of exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, Juliette C.; Batygin, Konstantin

    2013-01-01

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

  2. UV-luminous, star-forming hosts of z ˜ 2 reddened quasars in the Dark Energy Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wethers, C. F.; Banerji, M.; Hewett, P. C.; Lemon, C. A.; McMahon, R. G.; Reed, S. L.; Shen, Y.; Abdalla, F. B.; Benoit-Lévy, A.; Brooks, D.; Buckley-Geer, E.; Capozzi, D.; Carnero Rosell, A.; CarrascoKind, M.; Carretero, J.; Cunha, C. E.; D'Andrea, C. B.; da Costa, L. N.; DePoy, D. L.; Desai, S.; Doel, P.; Flaugher, B.; Fosalba, P.; Frieman, J.; García-Bellido, J.; Gerdes, D. W.; Gruen, D.; Gruendl, R. A.; Gschwend, J.; Gutierrez, G.; Honscheid, K.; James, D. J.; Jeltema, T.; Kuehn, K.; Kuhlmann, S.; Kuropatkin, N.; Lima, M.; Maia, M. A. G.; Marshall, J. L.; Martini, P.; Menanteau, F.; Miquel, R.; Nichol, R. C.; Nord, B.; Plazas, A. A.; Romer, A. K.; Sanchez, E.; Scarpine, V.; Schindler, R.; Schubnell, M.; Sevilla-Noarbe, I.; Smith, M.; Smith, R. C.; Soares-Santos, M.; Sobreira, F.; Suchyta, E.; Tarle, G.; Walker, A. R.

    2018-04-01

    We present the first rest-frame UV population study of 17 heavily reddened, high-luminosity [E(B - V)QSO ≳ 0.5; Lbol > 1046 erg s-1] broad-line quasars at 1.5 VISTA Hemisphere Survey and UKIDSS Large Area Survey data, from which the reddened quasars were initially identified. We demonstrate that the significant dust reddening towards the quasar in our sample allows host galaxy emission to be detected at the rest-frame UV wavelengths probed by the DES photometry. By exploiting this reddening effect, we disentangle the quasar emission from that of the host galaxy via spectral energy distribution fitting. We find evidence for a relatively unobscured, star-forming host galaxy in at least 10 quasars, with a further three quasars exhibiting emission consistent with either star formation or scattered light. From the rest-frame UV emission, we derive instantaneous, dust-corrected star formation rates (SFRs) in the range 25 < SFRUV < 365 M⊙ yr-1, with an average SFRUV = 130 ± 95 M⊙ yr-1. We find a broad correlation between SFRUV and the bolometric quasar luminosity. Overall, our results show evidence for coeval star formation and black hole accretion occurring in luminous, reddened quasars at the peak epoch of galaxy formation.

  3. SUPPRESSION OF STAR FORMATION IN THE HOSTS OF LOW-EXCITATION RADIO GALAXIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pace, Cameron; Salim, Samir, E-mail: cameronpace@suu.edu, E-mail: salims@indiana.edu [Indiana University, Department of Astronomy, Swain Hall West 319, Bloomington, IN 47405-7105 (United States)

    2016-02-10

    The feedback from radio-loud active galactic nuclei (R-AGNs) may help maintain low star-formation (SF) rates in their early-type hosts, but the observational evidence for this mechanism has been inconclusive. We study systematic differences of aggregate spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of various subsets of ∼4000 low-redshift R-AGNs from Best and Heckman with respect to (currently) inactive control samples selected to have matching redshift, stellar mass, population age, axis ratio, and environment. Aggregate SEDs, ranging from the ultraviolet (UV) through mid-infrared (mid-IR, 22 μm), were constructed using a Bayesian method that eliminates biases from non-detections in Galaxy Evolution Explorer and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. We study rare high-excitation sources separately from low-excitation ones, which we split by environment and host properties. We find that both the UV and mid-IR emission of non-cluster R-AGNs (80% of sample) are suppressed by ∼0.2 dex relative to that of the control group, especially for moderately massive galaxies (log M{sub *} ≲ 11). The difference disappears for high-mass R-AGNs and for R-AGNs in clusters, where other, non-AGN quenching/maintenance mechanisms may dominate, or where the suppression of SF due to AGNs may persist between active phases of the central engine, perhaps because of the presence of a hot gaseous halo storing AGN energy. High-excitation (high accretion rate) sources, which make up 2% of the R-AGN sample, do not show any evidence of SF suppression (their UV is the same as in controls), but they exhibit a strong mid-IR excess due to AGN dust heating.

  4. Atmospheric Retrievals from Exoplanet Observations and Simulations with BART

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph

    This project will determine the observing plans needed to retrieve exoplanet atmospheric composition and thermal profiles over a broad range of planets, stars, instruments, and observing modes. Characterizing exoplanets is hard. The dim planets orbit bright stars, giving orders of magnitude more relative noise than for solar-system planets. Advanced statistical techniques are needed to determine what the data can - and more importantly cannot - say. We therefore developed Bayesian Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (BART). BART explores the parameter space of atmospheric chemical abundances and thermal profiles using Differential-Evolution Markov-Chain Monte Carlo. It generates thousands of candidate spectra, integrates over observational bandpasses, and compares to data, generating a statistical model for an atmosphere's composition and thermal structure. At best, it gives abundances and thermal profiles with uncertainties. At worst, it shows what kinds of planets the data allow. It also gives parameter correlations. BART is open-source, designed for community use and extension (http://github.com/exosports/BART). Three arXived PhD theses (papers in publication) provide technical documentation, tests, and application to Spitzer and HST data. There are detailed user and programmer manuals and community support forums. Exoplanet analysis techniques must be tested against synthetic data, where the answer is known, and vetted by statisticians. Unfortunately, this has rarely been done, and never sufficiently. Several recent papers question the entire body of Spitzer exoplanet observations, because different analyses of the same data give different results. The latest method, pixel-level decorrelation, produces results that diverge from an emerging consensus. We do not know the retrieval problem's strengths and weaknesses relative to low SNR, red noise, low resolution, instrument systematics, or incomplete spectral line lists. In observing eclipses and transits, we assume

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Constraining Exoplanet Habitability with HabEx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  9. Limits on surface gravities of Kepler planet-candidate host stars from non-detection of solar-like oscillations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campante, T. L.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R.; Miglio, A.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y. P. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Lund, M. N.; Arentoft, T.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Karoff, C.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lundkvist, M. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Huber, D. [NASA Ames Research Center, MS 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Hekker, S. [Astronomical Institute, " Anton Pannekoek," University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Netherlands); García, R. A. [Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM-CNRS-Université Paris Diderot (France); IRFU/SAp, Centre de Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Corsaro, E. [Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium); Basu, S. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Bedding, T. R. [Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney, Sydney (Australia); Gilliland, R. L. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Kawaler, S. D., E-mail: campante@bison.ph.bham.ac.uk [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 (United States); and others

    2014-03-10

    We present a novel method for estimating lower-limit surface gravities (log g) of Kepler targets whose data do not allow the detection of solar-like oscillations. The method is tested using an ensemble of solar-type stars observed in the context of the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium. We then proceed to estimate lower-limit log g for a cohort of Kepler solar-type planet-candidate host stars with no detected oscillations. Limits on fundamental stellar properties, as provided by this work, are likely to be useful in the characterization of the corresponding candidate planetary systems. Furthermore, an important byproduct of the current work is the confirmation that amplitudes of solar-like oscillations are suppressed in stars with increased levels of surface magnetic activity.

  10. Black Hole Growth Is Mainly Linked to Host-galaxy Stellar Mass Rather Than Star Formation Rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, G.; Chen, C.-T. J.; Vito, F.; Brandt, W. N.; Alexander, D. M.; Luo, B.; Sun, M. Y.; Xue, Y. Q.; Bauer, F. E.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Lehmer, B. D.; Liu, T.; Schneider, D. P.; Shemmer, O.; Trump, J. R.; Vignali, C.; Wang, J.-X.

    2017-06-01

    We investigate the dependence of black hole accretion rate (BHAR) on host-galaxy star formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass (M *) in the CANDELS/GOODS-South field in the redshift range of 0.5≤slant zteam through spectral energy distribution fitting. The average BHAR is correlated positively with both SFR and M *, and the BHAR-SFR and BHAR-M * relations can both be described acceptably by linear models with a slope of unity. However, BHAR appears to be correlated more strongly with M * than SFR. This result indicates that M * is the primary host-galaxy property related to supermassive black hole (SMBH) growth, and the apparent BHAR-SFR relation is largely a secondary effect due to the star-forming main sequence. Among our sources, massive galaxies ({M}* ≳ {10}10{M}⊙ ) have significantly higher BHAR/SFR ratios than less massive galaxies, indicating that the former have higher SMBH fueling efficiency and/or higher SMBH occupation fraction than the latter. Our results can naturally explain the observed proportionality between {M}{BH} and M * for local giant ellipticals and suggest that their {M}{BH}/{M}* is higher than that of local star-forming galaxies. Among local star-forming galaxies, massive systems might have higher {M}{BH}/{M}* compared to dwarfs.

  11. False Positives in Exoplanet Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  12. AN INCREASE IN THE MASS OF PLANETARY SYSTEMS AROUND LOWER-MASS STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mulders, Gijs D.; Pascucci, Ilaria; Apai, Dániel, E-mail: mulders@lpl.arizona.edu [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2015-12-01

    Trends in the planet population with host star mass provide an avenue to constrain planet formation theories. We derive the planet radius distribution function for Kepler stars of different spectral types, sampling a range in host star masses. We find that M dwarf stars have 3.5 times more small planets (1.0–2.8 R{sub ⨁}) than main-sequence FGK stars, but two times fewer Neptune-sized and larger (>2.8 R{sub ⨁}) planets. We find no systematic trend in the planet size distribution between spectral types F, G, and K to explain the increasing occurrence rates. Taking into account the mass–radius relationship and heavy-element mass of observed exoplanets, and assuming those are independent of spectral type, we derive the inventory of the heavy-element mass locked up in exoplanets at short orbits. The overall higher planet occurrence rates around M stars are not consistent with the redistribution of the same mass into more, smaller planets. At the orbital periods and planet radii where Kepler observations are complete for all spectral types, the average heavy-element mass locked up in exoplanets increases roughly inversely with stellar mass from 4 M{sub ⨁} in F stars to 5 M{sub ⨁} in G and K stars to 7 M{sub ⨁} in M stars. This trend stands in stark contrast with observed protoplanetary disk masses that decrease toward lower mass stars, and provides a challenge for current planet formation models. Neither models of in situ formation nor migration of fully formed planets are consistent with these results. Instead, these results are indicative of large-scale inward migration of planetary building blocks—either through type-I migration or radial drift of dust grains—that is more efficient for lower mass stars, but does not result in significantly larger or smaller planets.

  13. AN INCREASE IN THE MASS OF PLANETARY SYSTEMS AROUND LOWER-MASS STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mulders, Gijs D.; Pascucci, Ilaria; Apai, Dániel

    2015-01-01

    Trends in the planet population with host star mass provide an avenue to constrain planet formation theories. We derive the planet radius distribution function for Kepler stars of different spectral types, sampling a range in host star masses. We find that M dwarf stars have 3.5 times more small planets (1.0–2.8 R ⨁ ) than main-sequence FGK stars, but two times fewer Neptune-sized and larger (>2.8 R ⨁ ) planets. We find no systematic trend in the planet size distribution between spectral types F, G, and K to explain the increasing occurrence rates. Taking into account the mass–radius relationship and heavy-element mass of observed exoplanets, and assuming those are independent of spectral type, we derive the inventory of the heavy-element mass locked up in exoplanets at short orbits. The overall higher planet occurrence rates around M stars are not consistent with the redistribution of the same mass into more, smaller planets. At the orbital periods and planet radii where Kepler observations are complete for all spectral types, the average heavy-element mass locked up in exoplanets increases roughly inversely with stellar mass from 4 M ⨁ in F stars to 5 M ⨁ in G and K stars to 7 M ⨁ in M stars. This trend stands in stark contrast with observed protoplanetary disk masses that decrease toward lower mass stars, and provides a challenge for current planet formation models. Neither models of in situ formation nor migration of fully formed planets are consistent with these results. Instead, these results are indicative of large-scale inward migration of planetary building blocks—either through type-I migration or radial drift of dust grains—that is more efficient for lower mass stars, but does not result in significantly larger or smaller planets

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    -up observations, however, were performed mainly by the 10-m Keck telescope in January 2010. The companion CoRoT-21b is a Jupiter-like planet of 2.26 ± 0.33 Jupiter masses and 1.30 ± 0.14 Jupiter radii in an circular orbit of semi-major axis 0.0417 ± 0.0011 AU and an orbital period of 2.72474 ± 0.00014 days....... The planetary bulk density is (1.36   ±   0.48) × 103 kg m-3, very similar to the bulk density of Jupiter, and follows an M1/3 − R relation like Jupiter. The F8IV star is a sub-giant star of 1.29 ± 0.09 solar masses and 1.95 ± 0.2 solar radii. The star and the planet exchange extremetidal forces that will lead...

  15. SEMI-EMPIRICAL MODELING OF THE PHOTOSPHERE, CHROMOPSHERE, TRANSITION REGION, AND CORONA OF THE M-DWARF HOST STAR GJ 832

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fontenla, J. M. [NorthWest Research Associates, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Linsky, Jeffrey L. [JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, Boulder, CO 80309-0440 (United States); Witbrod, Jesse [University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); France, Kevin [LASP, University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309-0600 (United States); Buccino, A.; Mauas, Pablo; Vieytes, Mariela [Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio (CONICET-UBA), C.C. 67, Sucursal 28, C1428EHA, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Walkowicz, Lucianne M., E-mail: johnf@digidyna.com, E-mail: jlinsky@jila.colorado.edu, E-mail: jesse.witbrod@colorado.edu, E-mail: kevin.france@lasp.colorado.edu, E-mail: abuccino@iafe.uba.ar, E-mail: pablo@iafe.uba.ar, E-mail: mariela@iafe.uba.ar, E-mail: LWalkowicz@adlerplanetarium.org [The Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL 60605 (United States)

    2016-10-20

    Stellar radiation from X-rays to the visible provides the energy that controls the photochemistry and mass loss from exoplanet atmospheres. The important extreme ultraviolet (EUV) region (10–91.2 nm) is inaccessible and should be computed from a reliable stellar model. It is essential to understand the formation regions and physical processes responsible for the various stellar emission features to predict how the spectral energy distribution varies with age and activity levels. We compute a state-of-the-art semi-empirical atmospheric model and the emergent high-resolution synthetic spectrum of the moderately active M2 V star GJ 832 as the first of a series of models for stars with different activity levels. We construct a one-dimensional simple model for the physical structure of the star’s chromosphere, chromosphere-corona transition region, and corona using non-LTE radiative transfer techniques and many molecular lines. The synthesized spectrum for this model fits the continuum and lines across the UV-to-optical spectrum. Particular emphasis is given to the emission lines at wavelengths that are shorter than 300 nm observed with the Hubble Space Telescope , which have important effects on the photochemistry of the exoplanet atmospheres. The FUV line ratios indicate that the transition region of GJ 832 is more biased to hotter material than that of the quiet Sun. The excellent agreement of our computed EUV luminosity with that obtained by two other techniques indicates that our model predicts reliable EUV emission from GJ 832. We find that the unobserved EUV flux of GJ 832, which heats the outer atmospheres of exoplanets and drives their mass loss, is comparable to the active Sun.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-10-20

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

  17. The effect of host star spectral energy distribution and ice-albedo feedback on the climate of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Aomawa L; Meadows, Victoria S; Bitz, Cecilia M; Pierrehumbert, Raymond T; Joshi, Manoj M; Robinson, Tyler D

    2013-08-01

    Planetary climate can be affected by the interaction of the host star spectral energy distribution with the wavelength-dependent reflectivity of ice and snow. In this study, we explored this effect with a one-dimensional (1-D), line-by-line, radiative transfer model to calculate broadband planetary albedos as input to a seasonally varying, 1-D energy balance climate model. A three-dimensional (3-D) general circulation model was also used to explore the atmosphere's response to changes in incoming stellar radiation, or instellation, and surface albedo. Using this hierarchy of models, we simulated planets covered by ocean, land, and water-ice of varying grain size, with incident radiation from stars of different spectral types. Terrestrial planets orbiting stars with higher near-UV radiation exhibited a stronger ice-albedo feedback. We found that ice extent was much greater on a planet orbiting an F-dwarf star than on a planet orbiting a G-dwarf star at an equivalent flux distance, and that ice-covered conditions occurred on an F-dwarf planet with only a 2% reduction in instellation relative to the present instellation on Earth, assuming fixed CO(2) (present atmospheric level on Earth). A similar planet orbiting the Sun at an equivalent flux distance required an 8% reduction in instellation, while a planet orbiting an M-dwarf star required an additional 19% reduction in instellation to become ice-covered, equivalent to 73% of the modern solar constant. The reduction in instellation must be larger for planets orbiting cooler stars due in large part to the stronger absorption of longer-wavelength radiation by icy surfaces on these planets in addition to stronger absorption by water vapor and CO(2) in their atmospheres, which provides increased downwelling longwave radiation. Lowering the IR and visible-band surface ice and snow albedos for an M-dwarf planet increased the planet's climate stability against changes in instellation and slowed the descent into global ice

  18. HD 89345: a bright oscillating star hosting a transiting warm Saturn-sized planet observed by K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Eylen, V.; Dai, F.; Mathur, S.; Gandolfi, D.; Albrecht, S.; Fridlund, M.; García, R. A.; Guenther, E.; Hjorth, M.; Justesen, A. B.; Livingston, J.; Lund, M. N.; Pérez Hernández, F.; Prieto-Arranz, J.; Regulo, C.; Bugnet, L.; Everett, M. E.; Hirano, T.; Nespral, D.; Nowak, G.; Palle, E.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Trifonov, T.; Winn, J. N.; Barragán, O.; Beck, P. G.; Chaplin, W. J.; Cochran, W. D.; Csizmadia, S.; Deeg, H.; Endl, M.; Heeren, P.; Grziwa, S.; Hatzes, A. P.; Hidalgo, D.; Korth, J.; Mathis, S.; Montañes Rodriguez, P.; Narita, N.; Patzold, M.; Persson, C. M.; Rodler, F.; Smith, A. M. S.

    2018-05-01

    We report the discovery and characterization of HD 89345b (K2-234b; EPIC 248777106b), a Saturn-sized planet orbiting a slightly evolved star. HD 89345 is a bright star (V = 9.3 mag) observed by the K2 mission with one-minute time sampling. It exhibits solar-like oscillations. We conducted asteroseismology to determine the parameters of the star, finding the mass and radius to be 1.12^{+0.04}_{-0.01} M_⊙ and 1.657^{+0.020}_{-0.004} R_⊙, respectively. The star appears to have recently left the main sequence, based on the inferred age, 9.4^{+0.4}_{-1.3} Gyr, and the non-detection of mixed modes. The star hosts a "warm Saturn" (P = 11.8 days, Rp = 6.86 ± 0.14 R⊕). Radial-velocity follow-up observations performed with the FIES, HARPS, and HARPS-N spectrographs show that the planet has a mass of 35.7 ± 3.3 M⊕. The data also show that the planet's orbit is eccentric (e ≈ 0.2). An investigation of the rotational splitting of the oscillation frequencies of the star yields no conclusive evidence on the stellar inclination angle. We further obtained Rossiter-McLaughlin observations, which result in a broad posterior of the stellar obliquity. The planet seems to conform to the same patterns that have been observed for other sub-Saturns regarding planet mass and multiplicity, orbital eccentricity, and stellar metallicity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  20. Interferometric diameters of five evolved intermediate-mass planet-hosting stars measured with PAVO at the CHARA Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, T. R.; Huber, D.; Mann, A. W.; Casagrande, L.; Grunblatt, S. K.; Justesen, A. B.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Bedding, T. R.; Ireland, M. J.; Schaefer, G. H.; Tuthill, P. G.

    2018-04-01

    Debate over the planet occurrence rates around intermediate-mass stars has hinged on the accurate determination of masses of evolved stars, and has been exacerbated by a paucity of reliable, directly-measured fundamental properties for these stars. We present long-baseline optical interferometry of five evolved intermediate-mass (˜ 1.5 M⊙) planet-hosting stars using the PAVO beam combiner at the CHARA Array, which we combine with bolometric flux measurements and parallaxes to determine their radii and effective temperatures. We measured the radii and effective temperatures of 6 Lyncis (5.12±0.16 R⊙, 4949±58 K), 24 Sextantis (5.49±0.18 R⊙, 4908±65 K), κ Coronae Borealis (4.77±0.07 R⊙, 4870±47 K), HR 6817 (4.45±0.08 R⊙, 5013±59 K), and HR 8641 (4.91±0.12 R⊙, 4950±68 K). We find disagreements of typically 15 % in angular diameter and ˜ 200 K in temperature compared to interferometric measurements in the literature, yet good agreement with spectroscopic and photometric temperatures, concluding that the previous interferometric measurements may have been affected by systematic errors exceeding their formal uncertainties. Modelling based on BaSTI isochrones using various sets of asteroseismic, spectroscopic, and interferometric constraints tends to favour slightly (˜ 15 %) lower masses than generally reported in the literature.

  1. OGLE-2017-BLG-0482Lb: A Microlensing Super-Earth Orbiting a Low-mass Host Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, C.; Hirao, Y.; Udalski, A.; Lee, C.-U.; Bozza, V.; Gould, A.; and; Abe, F.; Barry, R.; Bond, I. A.; Bennett, D. P.; Bhattacharya, A.; Donachie, M.; Evans, P.; Fukui, A.; Itow, Y.; Kawasaki, K.; Koshimoto, N.; Li, M. C. A.; Ling, C. H.; Matsubara, Y.; Miyazaki, S.; Munakata, H.; Muraki, Y.; Nagakane, M.; Ohnishi, K.; Ranc, C.; Rattenbury, N.; Saito, T.; Sharan, A.; Sullivan, D. J.; Sumi, T.; Suzuki, D.; Tristram, P. J.; Yamada, T.; Yonehara, A.; The MOA Collaboration; Mróz, P.; Poleski, R.; Kozłowski, S.; Soszyński, I.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Skowron, J.; Szymański, M. K.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pawlak, M.; Rybicki, K.; Iwanek, P.; The OGLE Collaboration; Albrow, M. D.; Chung, S.-J.; Hwang, K.-H.; Jung, Y. K.; Kim, D.; Kim, W.-T.; Kim, H.-W.; Ryu, Y.-H.; Shin, I.-G.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Yee, J. C.; Zhu, W.; Cha, S.-M.; Kim, S.-L.; Kim, D.-J.; Lee, D.-J.; Lee, Y.; Park, B.-G.; Pogge, R. W.; The KMTNet Collaboration

    2018-05-01

    We report the discovery of a planetary system in which a super-Earth orbits a late M-dwarf host. The planetary system was found from the analysis of the microlensing event OGLE-2017-BLG-0482, wherein the planet signal appears as a short-term anomaly to the smooth lensing light curve produced by the host. Despite its weak signal and short duration, the planetary signal was firmly detected from the dense and continuous coverage by three microlensing surveys. We find a planet/host mass ratio of q ∼ 1.4 × 10‑4. We measure the microlens parallax {π }{{E}} from the long-term deviation in the observed lensing light curve, but the angular Einstein radius {θ }{{E}} cannot be measured because the source trajectory did not cross the planet-induced caustic. Using the measured event timescale and the microlens parallax, we find that the masses of the planet and the host are {M}{{p}}={9.0}-4.5+9.0 {M}\\oplus and {M}host}={0.20}-0.10+0.20 {M}ȯ , respectively, and the projected separation between them is {a}\\perp ={1.8}-0.7+0.6 au. The estimated distance to the lens is {D}{{L}}={5.8}-2.1+1.8 kpc. The discovery of the planetary system demonstrates that microlensing provides an important method to detect low-mass planets orbiting low-mass stars.

  2. Self-assembly behavior of a linear-star supramolecular amphiphile based on host-guest complexation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Juan; Wang, Xing; Yang, Fei; Shen, Hong; You, Yezi; Wu, Decheng

    2014-11-04

    A star polymer, β-cyclodextrin-poly(l-lactide) (β-CD-PLLA), and a linear polymer, azobenzene-poly(ethylene glycol) (Azo-PEG), could self-assemble into a supramolecular amphiphilic copolymer (β-CD-PLLA@Azo-PEG) based on the host-guest interaction between β-CD and azobenzene moieties. This linear-star supramolecular amphiphilic copolymer further self-assembled into a variety of morphologies, including sphere-like micelle, carambola-like micelle, naan-like micelle, shuttle-like lamellae, tube-like fiber, and random curled-up lamellae, by tuning the length of hydrophilic or hydrophobic chains. The variation of morphology was closely related to the topological structure and block ratio of the supramolecular amphiphiles. These self-assembly structures could disassemble upon an ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation.

  3. Sating a Voracious Appetite: The Tidal Interaction of Close-in Planets with their Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsakos, Titos; Königl, Arieh

    2015-12-01

    Transit observations of the apparent angle between the stellar spin and the vector normal to the planetary orbital plane suggest that cool stars are preferably aligned systems even as hot stars exhibit a large range of obliquities. In addition, as was demonstrated recently by Mazeh et al., the distribution of planet periods as a function of mass exhibits a dearth of sub-Jupiter--mass planets at 1 Gyr) times and become circularized at radii of a few times the Roche limit.

  4. Tatooines Future: The Eccentric Response of Keplers Circumbinary Planets to Common-Envelope Evolution of their Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostov, Veselin B.; Moore, Keavin; Tamayo, Daniel; Jayawardhana, Ray; Rinehart, Stephen A.

    2016-01-01

    Inspired by the recent Kepler discoveries of circumbinary planets orbiting nine close binary stars, we explore the fate of the former as the latter evolve off the main sequence. We combine binary star evolution models with dynamical simulations to study the orbital evolution of these planets as their hosts undergo common-envelope stages, losing in the process a tremendous amount of mass on dynamical timescales. Five of the systems experience at least one Roche-lobe overflow and common-envelope stages (Kepler-1647 experiences three), and the binary stars either shrink to very short orbits or coalesce; two systems trigger a double-degenerate supernova explosion. Kepler's circumbinary planets predominantly remain gravitationally bound at the end of the common-envelope phase, migrate to larger orbits, and may gain significant eccentricity; their orbital expansion can be more than an order of magnitude and can occur over the course of a single planetary orbit. The orbits these planets can reach are qualitatively consistent with those of the currently known post-common-envelope, eclipse-time variations circumbinary candidates. Our results also show that circumbinary planets can experience both modes of orbital expansion (adiabatic and non-adiabatic) if their host binaries undergo more than one common-envelope stage; multiplanet circumbinary systems like Kepler-47 can experience both modes during the same common-envelope stage. Additionally, unlike Mercury orbiting the Sun, a circumbinary planet with the same semi-major axis can survive the common envelope evolution of a close binary star with a total mass of 1 Solar Mass.

  5. On the feasibility of studying the exospheres of Earth-like exoplanets by Lyman- α monitoring. Detectability constraints for nearby M stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Ana I. Gómez de; Beitia-Antero, Leire; Ustamujic, Sabina

    2018-04-01

    Observations of the Earth's exosphere have unveiled an extended envelope of hydrogen reaching further than 10 Earth radii composed of atoms orbiting around the Earth. This large envelope increases significantly the opacity of the Earth to Lyman α (Ly α) photons coming from the Sun, to the point of making feasible the detection of the Earth's transit signature from 1.35 pc if pointing with an 8 meter primary mirror space telescope through a clean line of sight ( N H flux variability. We show that, in spite of the interstellar, heliospheric and astrospheric absorption, the transit signature in M5 V type stars would be detectable with a dedicated Ly α flux monitor implemented in a 4-8 m class space telescope. Such monitoring programs would enable measuring the robustness of planetary atmospheres under heavy space weather conditions like those produced by M-type stars. A 2-m class telescope, such as the World Space Observatory, would suffice to detect an Earth-like planet orbiting around Proxima Centauri, if there was such a planet or nearby M5 type stars.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kraus, Adam L.; Ireland, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Future Directions

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Which of Kepler's Stars Flare?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    The habitability of distant exoplanets is dependent upon many factors one of which is the activity of their host stars. To learn about which stars are most likely to flare, a recent study examines tens of thousands of stellar flares observed by Kepler.Need for a Broader SampleArtists rendering of a flaring dwarf star. [NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger]Most of our understanding of what causes a star to flare is based on observations of the only star near enough to examine in detail the Sun. But in learning from a sample size of one, a challenge arises: we must determine which conclusions are unique to the Sun (or Sun-like stars), and which apply to other stellar types as well.Based on observations and modeling, astronomers think that stellar flares result from the reconnection of magnetic field lines in a stars outer atmosphere, the corona. The magnetic activity is thought to be driven by a dynamo caused by motions in the stars convective zone.HR diagram of the Kepler stars, with flaring main-sequence (yellow), giant (red) and A-star (green) stars in the authors sample indicated. [Van Doorsselaere et al. 2017]To test whether these ideas are true generally, we need to understand what types of stars exhibit flares, and what stellar properties correlate with flaring activity. A team of scientists led by Tom Van Doorsselaere (KU Leuven, Belgium) has now used an enormous sample of flares observed by Kepler to explore these statistics.Intriguing TrendsVan Doorsselaere and collaborators used a new automated flare detection and characterization algorithm to search through the raw light curves from Quarter 15 of the Kepler mission, building a sample of 16,850 flares on 6,662 stars. They then used these to study the dependence of the flare occurrence rate, duration, energy, and amplitude on the stellar spectral type and rotation period.This large statistical study led the authors to several interesting conclusions, including:Flare star incidence rate as a a

  9. TYCHO: Simulating Exoplanets Within Stellar Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  10. Searching for exoplanets using artificial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  11. HD 66051: the first eclipsing binary hosting an early-type magnetic star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochukhov, O.; Johnston, C.; Alecian, E.; Wade, G. A.

    2018-05-01

    Early-type magnetic stars are rarely found in close binary systems. No such objects were known in eclipsing binaries prior to this study. Here we investigated the eclipsing, spectroscopic double-lined binary HD 66051, which exhibits out-of-eclipse photometric variations suggestive of surface brightness inhomogeneities typical of early-type magnetic stars. Using a new set of high-resolution spectropolarimetric observations, we discovered a weak magnetic field on the primary and found intrinsic, element-dependent variability in its spectral lines. The magnetic field structure of the primary is dominated by a nearly axisymmetric dipolar component with a polar field strength Bd ≈ 600 G and an inclination with respect to the rotation axis of βd = 13°. A weaker quadrupolar component is also likely to be present. We combined the radial velocity measurements derived from our spectra with archival optical photometry to determine fundamental masses (3.16 and 1.75 M⊙) and radii (2.78 and 1.39 R⊙) with a 1-3% precision. We also obtained a refined estimate of the effective temperatures (13000 and 9000 K) and studied chemical abundances for both components with the help of disentangled spectra. We demonstrate that the primary component of HD 66051 is a typical late-B magnetic chemically peculiar star with a non-uniform surface chemical abundance distribution. It is not an HgMn-type star as suggested by recent studies. The secondary is a metallic-line star showing neither a strong, global magnetic field nor intrinsic spectral variability. Fundamental parameters provided by our work for this interesting system open unique possibilities for probing interior structure, studying atomic diffusion, and constraining binary star evolution.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. WFIRST Microlensing Exoplanet Characterization with HST Follow up

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  14. PROVIDING STRINGENT STAR FORMATION RATE LIMITS OF z ∼ 2 QSO HOST GALAXIES AT HIGH ANGULAR RESOLUTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vayner, Andrey; Wright, Shelley A. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H4 (Canada); Do, Tuan [Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H4 (Canada); Larkin, James E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Armus, Lee [Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Gallagher, S. C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 3K7 (Canada)

    2016-04-10

    We present integral field spectrograph (IFS) with laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS-AO) observations of z ∼ 2 quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) designed to resolve extended nebular line emission from the host galaxy. Our data was obtained with W. M. Keck and Gemini North Observatories, using OSIRIS and NIFS coupled with the LGS-AO systems, respectively. We have conducted a pilot survey of five QSOs, three observed with NIFS+AO and two observed with OSIRIS+AO at an average redshift of z = 2.2. We demonstrate that the combination of AO and IFSs provides the necessary spatial and spectral resolutions required to separate QSO emission from its host. We present our technique for generating a point-spread function (PSF) from the broad-line region of the QSO and performing PSF subtraction of the QSO emission to detect the host galaxy emission at a separation of ∼0.″2 (∼1.4 kpc). We detect Hα narrow-line emission for two sources, SDSS J1029+6510 (z{sub Hα} = 2.182) and SDSS J0925+0655 (z{sub Hα} = 2.197), that have evidence for both star formation and extended narrow-line emission. Assuming that the majority of narrow-line Hα emission is from star formation, we infer a star formation rate (SFR) for SDSS J1029+6510 of 78.4 M{sub ⊙} yr{sup −1} originating from a compact region that is kinematically offset by 290–350 km s{sup −1}. For SDSS J0925+0655 we infer a SFR of 29 M{sub ⊙} yr{sup −1} distributed over three clumps that are spatially offset by ∼7 kpc. The null detections on three of the QSOs are used to infer surface brightness limits and we find that at 1.4 kpc from the QSO the un-reddened star formation limit is ≲0.3 M{sub ⊙} yr{sup −1} kpc{sup −2}. If we assume typical extinction values for z = 2 type-1 QSOs, the dereddened SFR for our null detections would be ≲0.6 M{sub ⊙} yr{sup −1} kpc{sup −2}. These IFS observations indicate that while the central black hole is accreting mass at 10%–40% of the Eddington rate, if

  15. The nature of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  17. Orbital Dynamics and Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deitrick, Russell J.

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

  18. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Renyu

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Exoplanet Population Distribution from Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2015-08-01

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

  1. The CARMENES search for exoplanets around M dwarfs. High-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy of 324 survey stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiners, A.; Zechmeister, M.; Caballero, J. A.; Ribas, I.; Morales, J. C.; Jeffers, S. V.; Schöfer, P.; Tal-Or, L.; Quirrenbach, A.; Amado, P. J.; Kaminski, A.; Seifert, W.; Abril, M.; Aceituno, J.; Alonso-Floriano, F. J.; Ammler-von Eiff, M.; Antona, R.; Anglada-Escudé, G.; Anwand-Heerwart, H.; Arroyo-Torres, B.; Azzaro, M.; Baroch, D.; Barrado, D.; Bauer, F. F.; Becerril, S.; Béjar, V. J. S.; Benítez, D.; Berdinas˜, 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.; Cortés-Contreras, M.; Czesla, S.; Díez-Alonso, E.; Dreizler, S.; Feiz, C.; Fernández, M.; Ferro, I. M.; Fuhrmeister, B.; Galadí-Enríquez, D.; Garcia-Piquer, A.; García Vargas, M. L.; Gesa, L.; Galera, V. Gómez; González Hernández, J. I.; González-Peinado, R.; Grözinger, U.; Grohnert, S.; Guàrdia, J.; Guenther, E. W.; Guijarro, A.; Guindos, E. de; Gutiérrez-Soto, J.; Hagen, H.-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.; Juan, E. de; Kim, M.; Klein, R.; Klüter, J.; Klutsch, A.; Kürster, M.; Lafarga, M.; Lamert, A.; Lampón, M.; Lara, L. M.; Laun, W.; Lemke, U.; Lenzen, R.; Launhardt, R.; López del Fresno, M.; López-González, 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.; Montes, D.; 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.; Passegger, V. M.; Pavlov, A.; Pedraz, S.; Pérez-Calpena, A.; Medialdea, D. Pérez; 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.; Schweitzer, A.; Solano, E.; Stahl, O.; Strachan, J. B. P.; Stürmer, J.; Suárez, J. C.; Tabernero, H. M.; Tala, M.; Trifonov, T.; 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.

    2018-04-01

    The CARMENES radial velocity (RV) survey is observing 324 M dwarfs to search for any orbiting planets. In this paper, we present the survey sample by publishing one CARMENES spectrum for each M dwarf. These spectra cover the wavelength range 520-1710 nm at a resolution of at least R >80 000, and we measure its RV, Hα emission, and projected rotation velocity. We present an atlas of high-resolution M-dwarf spectra and compare the spectra to atmospheric models. To quantify the RV precision that can be achieved in low-mass stars over the CARMENES wavelength range, we analyze our empirical information on the RV precision from more than 6500 observations. We compare our high-resolution M-dwarf spectra to atmospheric models where we determine the spectroscopic RV information content, Q, and signal-to-noise ratio. We find that for all M-type dwarfs, the highest RV precision can be reached in the wavelength range 700-900 nm. Observations at longer wavelengths are equally precise only at the very latest spectral types (M8 and M9). We demonstrate that in this spectroscopic range, the large amount of absorption features compensates for the intrinsic faintness of an M7 star. To reach an RV precision of 1 m s-1 in very low mass M dwarfs at longer wavelengths likely requires the use of a 10 m class telescope. For spectral types M6 and earlier, the combination of a red visual and a near-infrared spectrograph is ideal to search for low-mass planets and to distinguish between planets and stellar variability. At a 4 m class telescope, an instrument like CARMENES has the potential to push the RV precision well below the typical jitter level of 3-4 m s-1.

  2. RETIRED A STARS AND THEIR COMPANIONS. VI. A PAIR OF INTERACTING EXOPLANET PAIRS AROUND THE SUBGIANTS 24 SEXTANIS AND HD 200964

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, John Asher; Payne, Matthew; Ford, Eric B.; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Clubb, Kelsey I.; Bowler, Brendan P.; Henry, Gregory W.; Fischer, Debra A.; Brewer, John M.; Schwab, Christian; Reffert, Sabine; Lowe, Thomas B.

    2011-01-01

    We report radial velocity (RV) measurements of the G-type subgiants 24 Sextanis (= HD 90043) and HD 200964. Both are massive, evolved stars that exhibit periodic variations due to the presence of a pair of Jovian planets. Photometric monitoring with the T12 0.80 m APT at Fairborn Observatory demonstrates both stars to be constant in brightness to ≤0.002 mag, thus strengthening the planetary interpretation of the RV variations. Based on our dynamical analysis of the RV time series, 24 Sex b, c have orbital periods of 452.8 days and 883.0 days, corresponding to semimajor axes 1.333 AU and 2.08 AU, and minimum masses 1.99 M Jup and 0.86 M Jup , assuming a stellar mass M * = 1.54 M sun . HD 200964 b, c have orbital periods of 613.8 days and 825.0 days, corresponding to semimajor axes 1.601 AU and 1.95 AU, and minimum masses 1.99 M Jup and 0.90 M Jup , assuming M * = 1.44 M sun . We also carry out dynamical simulations to properly account for gravitational interactions between the planets. Most, if not all, of the dynamically stable solutions include crossing orbits, suggesting that each system is locked in a mean-motion resonance that prevents close encounters and provides long-term stability. The planets in the 24 Sex system likely have a period ratio near 2:1, while the HD 200964 system is even more tightly packed with a period ratio close to 4:3. However, we caution that further RV observations and more detailed dynamical modeling will be required to provide definitive and unique orbital solutions for both cases, and to determine whether the two systems are truly resonant.

  3. Light from Exoplanets: Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Leo

    2010-01-01

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

  4. HD 66051, an eclipsing binary hosting a highly peculiar, HgMn-related star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemczura, Ewa; Hümmerich, Stefan; Castelli, Fiorella; Paunzen, Ernst; Bernhard, Klaus; Hambsch, Franz-Josef; Hełminiak, Krzysztof

    2017-07-19

    HD 66051 is an eclipsing system with an orbital period of about 4.75 d that exhibits out-of-eclipse variability with the same period. New multicolour photometric observations confirm the longevity of the secondary variations, which we interpret as a signature of surface inhomogeneities on one of the components. Using archival and newly acquired high-resolution spectra, we have performed a detailed abundance analysis. The primary component is a slowly rotating late B-type star (T eff  = 12500 ± 200 K; log g = 4.0, v sin i = 27 ± 2 km s -1 ) with a highly peculiar composition reminiscent of the singular HgMn-related star HD 65949, which seems to be its closest analogue. Some light elements as He, C, Mg, Al are depleted, while Si and P are enhanced. Except for Ni, all the iron-group elements, as well as most of the heavy elements, and in particular the REE elements, are overabundant. The secondary component was estimated to be a slowly rotating A-type star (T eff  ~ 8000 K; log g = 4.0, v sin i ~ 18 km s -1 ). The unique configuration of HD 66051 opens up intriguing possibilities for future research, which might eventually and significantly contribute to the understanding of such diverse phenomena as atmospheric structure, mass transfer, magnetic fields, photometric variability and the origin of chemical anomalies observed in HgMn stars and related objects.

  5. Identifying Young Kepler Planet Host Stars from Keck–HIRES Spectra of Lithium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Travis A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Boesgaard, Ann Merchant

    2018-03-01

    The lithium doublet at 6708 Å provides an age diagnostic for main sequence FGK dwarfs. We measured the abundance of lithium in 1305 stars with detected transiting planets from the Kepler mission using high-resolution spectroscopy. Our catalog of lithium measurements from this sample has a range of abundance from A(Li) = 3.11 ± 0.07 to an upper limit of ‑0.84 dex. For a magnitude-limited sample that comprises 960 of the 1305 stars, our Keck–HIRES spectra have a median signal-to-noise ratio of 45 per pixel at ∼6700 Å with spectral resolution \\tfrac{λ }{{{Δ }}λ } = R = 55,000. We identify 80 young stars that have A(Li) values greater than the Hyades at their respective effective temperatures; these stars are younger than ∼650 Myr, the approximate age of the Hyades. We then compare the distribution of A(Li) with planet size, multiplicity, orbital period, and insolation flux. We find larger planets preferentially in younger systems, with an A–D two-sided test p-value = 0.002, a > 3σ confidence that the older and younger planet samples do not come from the same parent distribution. This is consistent with planet inflation/photoevaporation at early ages. The other planet parameters (Kepler planet multiplicity, orbital period, and insolation flux) are uncorrelated with age. Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. Keck time has been granted by the University of Hawaii, the University of California, and Caltech.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planinsic, Gorazd; Marshall, Rick

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurokawa, H.; Nakamoto, T.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.

    2018-01-01

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

  12. MAGNETIC GAMES BETWEEN A PLANET AND ITS HOST STAR: THE KEY ROLE OF TOPOLOGY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strugarek, A.; Brun, A. S.; Réville, V.; Matt, S. P.

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic interactions between a star and a close-in planet are postulated to be a source of enhanced emissions and to play a role in the secular evolution of the orbital system. Close-in planets generally orbit in the sub-alfvénic region of the stellar wind, which leads to efficient transfers of energy and angular momentum between the star and the planet. We model the magnetic interactions occurring in close-in star–planet systems with three-dimensional, global, compressible magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulations of a planet orbiting in a self-consistent stellar wind. We focus on the cases of magnetized planets and explore three representative magnetic configurations. The Poynting flux originating from the magnetic interactions is an energy source for enhanced emissions in star–planet systems. Our results suggest a simple geometrical explanation for ubiquitous on/off enhanced emissions associated with close-in planets, and confirm that the Poynting fluxes can reach powers of the order of 10 19 W. Close-in planets are also shown to migrate due to magnetic torques for sufficiently strong stellar wind magnetic fields. The topology of the interaction significantly modifies the shape of the magnetic obstacle that leads to magnetic torques. As a consequence, the torques can vary by at least an order of magnitude as the magnetic topology of the interaction varies

  13. THE IMPACT OF HOT JUPITERS ON THE SPIN-DOWN OF THEIR HOST STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J.; Kashyap, V. L.; Sokolov, I. V.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2010-01-01

    We present a numerical magnetohydrodynamic study of the dependence of stellar mass and angular momentum loss rates on the orbital distance to close-in giant planets. We find that the mass loss rate drops by a factor of ∼1.5-2, while the angular momentum loss rate drops by a factor of ∼4 as the distance decreases past the Alfven surface. This reduction in angular momentum loss is due to the interaction between the stellar and planetary Alfven surfaces, which modifies the global structure of the stellar corona and stellar wind on the hemisphere facing the planet, as well as on the opposite hemisphere. The simulation also shows that the magnitude of change in angular momentum loss rate depends mostly on the strength of the planetary magnetic field and not on its polarity. The interaction, however, begins at greater separation if the overall field topology of the star and the planet are anti-aligned. Our results are consistent with evidence for excess angular momentum in stars harboring close-in giant planets and show that the reduction in wind-driven angular momentum loss can compete with, and perhaps dominate, spin-up due to tidal interaction.

  14. MAGNETIC GAMES BETWEEN A PLANET AND ITS HOST STAR: THE KEY ROLE OF TOPOLOGY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strugarek, A. [Département de physique, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128 Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada); Brun, A. S.; Réville, V. [Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/Irfu Université Paris-Diderot CNRS/INSU, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Matt, S. P., E-mail: strugarek@astro.umontreal.ca [Astrophysics group, School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom)

    2015-12-20

    Magnetic interactions between a star and a close-in planet are postulated to be a source of enhanced emissions and to play a role in the secular evolution of the orbital system. Close-in planets generally orbit in the sub-alfvénic region of the stellar wind, which leads to efficient transfers of energy and angular momentum between the star and the planet. We model the magnetic interactions occurring in close-in star–planet systems with three-dimensional, global, compressible magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulations of a planet orbiting in a self-consistent stellar wind. We focus on the cases of magnetized planets and explore three representative magnetic configurations. The Poynting flux originating from the magnetic interactions is an energy source for enhanced emissions in star–planet systems. Our results suggest a simple geometrical explanation for ubiquitous on/off enhanced emissions associated with close-in planets, and confirm that the Poynting fluxes can reach powers of the order of 10{sup 19} W. Close-in planets are also shown to migrate due to magnetic torques for sufficiently strong stellar wind magnetic fields. The topology of the interaction significantly modifies the shape of the magnetic obstacle that leads to magnetic torques. As a consequence, the torques can vary by at least an order of magnitude as the magnetic topology of the interaction varies.

  15. INTERACTION OF CLOSE-IN PLANETS WITH THE MAGNETOSPHERE OF THEIR HOST STARS. II. SUPER-EARTHS AS UNIPOLAR INDUCTORS AND THEIR ORBITAL EVOLUTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laine, Randy O.; Lin, Douglas N. C.

    2012-01-01

    Planets with several Earth masses and orbital periods of a few days have been discovered through radial velocity and transit surveys. Regardless of their formation mechanism, an important evolution issue is the efficiency of their retention in the proximity of their host stars. If these 'super-Earths' attained their present-day orbits during or shortly after the T Tauri phase of their host stars, a large fraction of these planets would have encountered an intense stellar magnetic field. These rocky planets have a higher conductivity than the atmosphere of their host stars and, therefore, the magnetic flux tube connecting them would slip though the envelope of the host stars faster than across the planets. The induced electromotive force across the planet's diameter leads to a potential drop which propagates along a flux tube away from the planet with an Alfvén speed. The foot of the flux tube would sweep across the stellar surface and the potential drop across the field lines drives a DC current analogous to that proposed for the electrodynamics of the Io-Jupiter system. The ohmic dissipation of this current produces potentially observable hot spots in the star envelope. It also heats the planet and leads to a torque which drives the planet's orbit to evolve toward both circularization and a state of synchronization with the spin of the star. The net effect is the damping of the planet's orbital eccentricity. Around slowly (or rapidly) spinning stars, this process also causes rocky planets with periods less than a few days to undergo orbital decay (or expansion/stagnation) within a few Myr. In principle, this effect can determine the retention efficiency of short-period hot Earths. We also estimate the ohmic dissipation interior to these planets and show that it can lead to severe structure evolution and potential loss of volatile material in them. However, these effects may be significantly weakened by the reconnection of the induced field.

  16. Jupiter Analogs Orbit Stars with an Average Metallicity Close to That of the Sun

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Bitsch, Bertram; Johansen, Anders

    2018-01-01

    Jupiter played an important role in determining the structure and configuration of the Solar System. Whereas hot-Jupiter type exoplanets preferentially form around metal-rich stars, the conditions required for the formation of planets with masses, orbits, and eccentricities comparable to Jupiter...... (Jupiter analogs) are unknown. Using spectroscopic metallicities, we show that stars hosting Jupiter analogs have an average metallicity close to solar, in contrast to their hot-Jupiter and eccentric cool-Jupiter counterparts, which orbit stars with super-solar metallicities. Furthermore......, the eccentricities of Jupiter analogs increase with host-star metallicity, suggesting that planet-planet scatterings producing highly eccentric cool Jupiters could be more common in metal-rich environments. To investigate a possible explanation for these metallicity trends, we compare the observations to numerical...

  17. Assessing Ozone Detectability on Weakly Oxygenated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  18. The exoplanet handbook

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Perryman, M. A. C

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcella Iuzzolino

    2017-03-01

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

  1. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hebrard, Elodie

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Results on the obliquity of exoplanet host stars—the angle between the stellar spin axis and the planetary orbital axis—provide important diagnostic information for theories describing planetary formation. Here we present the first application of asteroseismology to the problem of stellar obliquity determination in systems with transiting planets and Sun-like host stars. We consider two systems observed by the NASA Kepler mission which have multiple transiting small (super-Earth sized) planets: the previously reported Kepler-50 and a new system, Kepler-65, whose planets we validate in this paper. Both stars show rich spectra of solar-like oscillations. From the asteroseismic analysis we find that each host has its rotation axis nearly perpendicular to the line of sight with the sines of the angles constrained at the 1σ level to lie above 0.97 and 0.91, respectively. We use statistical arguments to show that coplanar orbits are favored in both systems, and that the orientations of the planetary orbits and the stellar rotation axis are correlated.

  4. GRB 980425 host: [C II], [O I], and CO lines reveal recent enhancement of star formation due to atomic gas inflow

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michałowski, M. J.; Castro Cerón, J. M.; Wardlow, J. L.

    2016-01-01

    Context. Accretion of gas from the intergalactic medium is required to fuel star formation in galaxies. We have recently suggested that this process can be studied using host galaxies of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Aims. Our aim is to test this possibility by studying in detail the properties of gas...

  5. Elemental gas-phase abundances of intermediate redshift type Ia supernova star-forming host galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Raya, M. E.; Galbany, L.; López-Sánchez, Á. R.; Mollá, M.; González-Gaitán, S.; Vílchez, J. M.; Carnero, A.

    2018-05-01

    The maximum luminosity of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) depends on the oxygen abundance of the regions of the host galaxies, where they explode. This metallicity dependence reduces the dispersion in the Hubble diagram (HD) when included with the traditional two-parameter calibration of SN Ia light-curve parameters and absolute magnitude. In this work, we use empirical calibrations to carefully estimate the oxygen abundance of galaxies hosting SNe Ia from the SDSS-II/SN (Sloan Digital Sky Survey-II Supernova) survey at intermediate redshift by measuring their emission-line intensities. We also derive electronic temperature with the direct method for a small fraction of objects for consistency. We find a trend of decreasing oxygen abundance with increasing redshift for the most massive galaxies. Moreover, we study the dependence of the HD residuals (HR) with galaxy oxygen abundance obtaining a correlation in line with those found in other works. In particular, the HR versus oxygen abundance shows a slope of -0.186 ± 0.123 mag dex-1 (1.52σ) in good agreement with theoretical expectations. This implies smaller distance modulii after corrections for SNe Ia in metal-rich galaxies. Based on our previous results on local SNe Ia, we propose this dependence to be due to the lower luminosity of the SNe Ia produced in more metal-rich environments.

  6. The Hottest Hot Jupiters May Host Atmospheric Dynamos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Arika; Fleming, Brian; France, Kevin

    2018-06-01

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

  8. A Universal Break in the Planet-to-star Mass-ratio Function of Kepler MKG Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascucci, Ilaria; Mulders, Gijs D.; Gould, Andrew; Fernandes, Rachel

    2018-04-01

    We follow the microlensing approach and quantify the occurrence of Kepler exoplanets as a function of planet-to-star mass ratio, q, rather than planet radius or mass. For planets with radii ∼1–6 R ⊕ and periods law with a break at ∼3 × 10‑5 independent of host type for hosts below 1 M ⊙. These findings indicate that the planet-to-star mass ratio is a more fundamental quantity in planet formation than planet mass. We then compare our results to those from microlensing for which the overwhelming majority satisfies the M host common planet inside the snowline is ∼3–10 times less massive than the one outside. With rocky planets interior to gaseous planets, the solar system broadly follows the combined mass-ratio function inferred from Kepler and microlensing. However, the exoplanet population has a less extreme radial distribution of planetary masses than the solar system. Establishing whether the mass-ratio function beyond the snowline is also host type independent will be crucial to build a comprehensive theory of planet formation.

  9. Archaeology and direct imaging of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, John B.

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

  10. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Model-independent Exoplanet Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, Erik; Piskunov, Nikolai

    2018-05-01

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

  12. The California- Kepler Survey. II. Precise Physical Properties of 2025 Kepler Planets and Their Host Stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, John Asher; Cargile, Phillip A.; Sinukoff, Evan [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Petigura, Erik A.; Howard, Andrew W. [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 91125 (United States); Fulton, Benjamin J.; Hirsch, Lea A. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Hebb, Leslie [Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456 (United States); Morton, Timothy D.; Winn, Joshua N. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, 4 Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540 (United States); Weiss, Lauren M. [Institut de Recherche sur les Exoplanètes, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC (Canada); Rogers, Leslie A., E-mail: petigura@caltech.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2017-09-01

    We present stellar and planetary properties for 1305 Kepler Objects of Interest hosting 2025 planet candidates observed as part of the California- Kepler Survey. We combine spectroscopic constraints, presented in Paper I, with stellar interior modeling to estimate stellar masses, radii, and ages. Stellar radii are typically constrained to 11%, compared to 40% when only photometric constraints are used. Stellar masses are constrained to 4%, and ages are constrained to 30%. We verify the integrity of the stellar parameters through comparisons with asteroseismic studies and Gaia parallaxes. We also recompute planetary radii for 2025 planet candidates. Because knowledge of planetary radii is often limited by uncertainties in stellar size, we improve the uncertainties in planet radii from typically 42% to 12%. We also leverage improved knowledge of stellar effective temperature to recompute incident stellar fluxes for the planets, now precise to 21%, compared to a factor of two when derived from photometry.

  13. THE MUSCLES TREASURY SURVEY. II. INTRINSIC LY α AND EXTREME ULTRAVIOLET SPECTRA OF K AND M DWARFS WITH EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Youngblood, Allison; France, Kevin; Loyd, R. O. Parke [Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, 600 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Linsky, Jeffrey L. [JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Redfield, Seth [Astronomy Department and Van Vleck Observatory, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459-0123 (United States); Schneider, P. Christian [European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA/ESTEC), Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk (Netherlands); Wood, Brian E. [Naval Research Laboratory, Space Science Division, Washington, DC 20375 (United States); Brown, Alexander [Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, University of Colorado, 389 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Froning, Cynthia [Dept. of Astronomy C1400, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Miguel, Yamila [Laboratoire Lagrange, Universite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, CNRS, Blvd de l’Observatoire, CS 34229, F-06304 Nice cedex 4 (France); Rugheimer, Sarah [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Irvine Building, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews KY16 9AL (United Kingdom); Walkowicz, Lucianne, E-mail: allison.youngblood@colorado.edu [The Adler Planetarium, 1300 S Lakeshore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (United States)

    2016-06-20

    The ultraviolet (UV) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of low-mass (K- and M-type) stars play a critical role in the heating and chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres, but are not observationally well-constrained. Direct observations of the intrinsic flux of the Ly α line (the dominant source of UV photons from low-mass stars) are challenging, as interstellar H i absorbs the entire line core for even the closest stars. To address the existing gap in empirical constraints on the UV flux of K and M dwarfs, the MUSCLES Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Survey has obtained UV observations of 11 nearby M and K dwarfs hosting exoplanets. This paper presents the Ly α and extreme-UV spectral reconstructions for the MUSCLES targets. Most targets are optically inactive, but all exhibit significant UV activity. We use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique to correct the observed Ly α profiles for interstellar absorption, and we employ empirical relations to compute the extreme-UV SED from the intrinsic Ly α flux in ∼100 Å bins from 100–1170 Å. The reconstructed Ly α profiles have 300 km s{sup −1} broad cores, while >1% of the total intrinsic Ly α flux is measured in extended wings between 300 and 1200 km s{sup −1}. The Ly α surface flux positively correlates with the Mg ii surface flux and negatively correlates with the stellar rotation period. Stars with larger Ly α surface flux also tend to have larger surface flux in ions formed at higher temperatures, but these correlations remain statistically insignificant in our sample of 11 stars. We also present H i column density measurements for 10 new sightlines through the local interstellar medium.

  14. Exoplanet Transits of Stellar Active Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-02-20

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

  16. PEPSI deep spectra. III. Chemical analysis of the ancient planet-host star Kepler-444

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, C. E.; Strassmeier, K. G.; Ilyin, I.; Schuler, S. C.; Spada, F.; Barnes, S. A.

    2018-04-01

    Context. With the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), we obtained a spectrum with PEPSI, its new optical high-resolution échelle spectrograph. The spectrum has very high resolution and a high signal-to-noise (S/N) and is of the K0V host Kepler-444, which is known to host five sub-Earth-sized rocky planets. The spectrum has a resolution of R ≈ 250 000, a continuous wavelength coverage from 4230 Å to 9120 Å, and an S/N between 150-550:1 (blue to red). Aim. We performed a detailed chemical analysis to determine the photospheric abundances of 18 chemical elements. These were used to place constraints on the bulk composition of the five rocky planets. Methods: Our spectral analysis employs the equivalent-width method for most of our spectral lines, but we used spectral synthesis to fit a small number of lines that required special care. In both cases, we derived our abundances using the MOOG spectral analysis package and Kurucz model atmospheres. Results: We find no correlation between elemental abundance and condensation temperature among the refractory elements (TC > 950 K). In addition, using our spectroscopic stellar parameters and isochrone fitting, we find an age of 10 ± 1.5 Gyr, which is consistent with the asteroseismic age of 11 ± 1 Gyr. Finally, from the photospheric abundances of Mg, Si, and Fe, we estimate that the typical Fe-core mass fraction for the rocky planets in the Kepler-444 system is approximately 24%. Conclusions: If our estimate of the Fe-core mass fraction is confirmed by more detailed modeling of the disk chemistry and simulations of planet formation and evolution in the Kepler-444 system, then this would suggest that rocky planets in more metal-poor and α-enhanced systems may tend to be less dense than their counterparts of comparable size in more metal-rich systems. Based on data acquired with PEPSI using the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and

  17. Atmospheres of partially differentiated super-Earth exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Laura; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  20. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Observational Prospects

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. INFRARED ECLIPSES OF THE STRONGLY IRRADIATED PLANET WASP-33b, AND OSCILLATIONS OF ITS HOST STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deming, Drake; Fraine, Jonathan D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Sada, Pedro V. [Department of Mathematics and Physics, Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey (Mexico); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1001 (United States); Knutson, Heather A. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Harrington, Joseph; Blecic, Jasmina; Nymeyer, Sarah [Planetary Sciences Group, Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816-2385 (United States); Smith, Alexis M. S. [Astrophysics Group, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG (United Kingdom); Jackson, Brian, E-mail: ddeming@astro.umd.edu [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015 (United States)

    2012-08-01

    We observe two secondary eclipses of the strongly irradiated transiting planet WASP-33b, in the K{sub s} band at 2.15 {mu}m, and one secondary eclipse each at 3.6 {mu}m and 4.5 {mu}m using Warm Spitzer. This planet orbits an A5V {delta}-Scuti star that is known to exhibit low-amplitude non-radial p-mode oscillations at about 0.1% semi-amplitude. We detect stellar oscillations in all of our infrared eclipse data, and also in one night of observations at J band (1.25 {mu}m) out of eclipse. The oscillation amplitude, in all infrared bands except K{sub s} , is about the same as in the optical. However, the stellar oscillations in K{sub s} band (2.15 {mu}m) have about twice the amplitude (0.2%) as seen in the optical, possibly because the Brackett-{gamma} line falls in this bandpass. As regards the exoplanetary eclipse, we use our best-fit values for the eclipse depth, as well as the 0.9 {mu}m eclipse observed by Smith et al., to explore possible states of the exoplanetary atmosphere, based on the method of Madhusudhan and Seager. On this basis we find two possible states for the atmospheric structure of WASP-33b. One possibility is a non-inverted temperature structure in spite of the strong irradiance, but this model requires an enhanced carbon abundance (C/O > 1). The alternative model has solar composition, but an inverted temperature structure. Spectroscopy of the planet at secondary eclipse, using a spectral resolution that can resolve the water vapor band structure, should be able to break the degeneracy between these very different possible states of the exoplanetary atmosphere. However, both of those model atmospheres absorb nearly all of the stellar irradiance with minimal longitudinal re-distribution of energy, strengthening the hypothesis of Cowan and Agol that the most strongly irradiated planets circulate energy poorly. Our measurement of the central phase of the eclipse yields ecos {omega} = 0.0003 {+-} 0.00013, which we regard as being consistent with a

  2. Predicted Exoplanet Yields for the HabEx Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Christopher; Mennesson, Bertrand; HabEx STDT

    2018-01-01

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

  3. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macintosh, Bruce

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation coronagraph constructed for the Gemini Observatory. GPI will see first light this fall. It will be the most advanced planet-imaging system in operation - an order of magnitude more sensitive than any current instrument, capable of detecting and spectroscopically characterizing young Jovian planets 107 times fainter than their parent star at separations of 0.2 arcseconds. GPI was built from the beginning as a facility-class survey instrument, and the observatory will employ it that way. Our team has been selected by Gemini Observatory to carry out an 890-hour program - the GPI Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) campaign from 2014-2017. We will observe 600 stars spanning spectral types A-M. We will use published young association catalogs and a proprietary list in preparation that adds several hundred new young (pc) and adolescent (pc) stars. The range of separations studied by GPI is completely inaccessible to Doppler and transit techniques (even with Kepler or TESS)— GPI offers a new window into planet formation. We will use GPI to produce the first-ever robust census of giant planet populations in the 5-50 AU range, allowing us to: 1) illuminate the formation pathways of Jovian planets; 2) reconstruct the early dynamical evolution of systems, including migration mechanisms and the interaction with disks and belts of debris; and 3) bridge the gap between Jupiter and the brown dwarfs with the first examples of cool low- gravity planetary atmospheres. Simulations predict this survey will discover approximately 50 exoplanets, increasing the number of exoplanet images by an order of magnitude, enough for statistical investigation. This Origins of Solar Systems proposal will support the execution of the GPI Exoplanet Survey campaign. We will develop tools needed to execute the survey efficiently. We will refine the existing GPI data pipeline to a final version that robustly removes residual speckle artifacts and provides

  4. Characterization of Low-mass K2 planet hosts using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Romy; Ballard, Sarah

    2017-01-01

    The raw number of discovered exoplanets now exceeds several thousand, but we must understand the stars if we aim to understand their planets in detail. Of particular interest are M dwarf stars, which are often favored for exoplanet study because (1) they host small planets in greatest abundance, (2) they make up about 70% of stars in our galaxy, and (3) the planets that orbit them that are comparatively easier to find and study than planets around larger stars. Our work aims to characterize the infrared spectra of 50 M dwarfs with new and unstudied transiting planets discovered by NASA’s K2 Mission. We employ empirical relations from the literature with magnesium, aluminum and sodium absorption lines in H and K band to determine the temperatures, radii and luminosities. In addition, we measure the deformation of the spectra in K band by water (another empirical metric for M dwarfs) which, in tandem with absorption features, is linked to [Fe/H] metallicity. We have found from a preliminary sample of 36 stars, that the temperatures range from 2,900 to 4,100 K, with radii between 0.2 R⊙ to 0.6R⊙ and log(L/L⊙) values from -3.4 to -0.5. The determination of all these properties improves our understanding of the planet’s properties, such as its size, mass, and surface temperature, and provides clues about the formation of the star and its planets.

  5. ALMA observations of the host galaxy of GRB 090423 at z = 8.23: deep limits on obscured star formation 630 million years after the big bang

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berger, E.; Zauderer, B. A.; Chary, R.-R.; Laskar, T.; Chornock, R.; Davies, J. E. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Tanvir, N. R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH (United Kingdom); Stanway, E. R.; Levan, A. J. [Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Levesque, E. M. [CASA, University of Colorado UCB 389, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    We present rest-frame far-infrared (FIR) and optical observations of the host galaxy of GRB 090423 at z = 8.23 from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the Spitzer Space Telescope, respectively. The host remains undetected to 3σ limits of F {sub ν}(222 GHz) ≲ 33 μJy and F {sub ν}(3.6 μm) ≲ 81 nJy. The FIR limit is about 20 times fainter than the luminosity of the local ULIRG Arp 220 and comparable to the local starburst M 82. Comparing this with model spectral energy distributions, we place a limit on the infrared (IR) luminosity of L {sub IR}(8-1000 μm) ≲ 3 × 10{sup 10} L {sub ☉}, corresponding to a limit on the obscured star formation rate of SFR{sub IR}≲5 M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1}. For comparison, the limit on the unobscured star formation rate from Hubble Space Telescope rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) observations is SFR{sub UV} ≲ 1 M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1}. We also place a limit on the host galaxy stellar mass of M {sub *} ≲ 5 × 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉} (for a stellar population age of 100 Myr and constant star formation rate). Finally, we compare our millimeter observations to those of field galaxies at z ≳ 4 (Lyman break galaxies, Lyα emitters, and submillimeter galaxies) and find that our limit on the FIR luminosity is the most constraining to date, although the field galaxies have much larger rest-frame UV/optical luminosities than the host of GRB 090423 by virtue of their selection techniques. We conclude that GRB host galaxies at z ≳ 4, especially those with measured interstellar medium metallicities from afterglow spectroscopy, are an attractive sample for future ALMA studies of high redshift obscured star formation.

  6. A simple model to describe intrinsic stellar noise for exoplanet detection around red giants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    North, Thomas S. H.; Chaplin, William J.; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2017-01-01

    In spite of the huge advances in exoplanet research provided by the NASA Kepler Mission, there remain only a small number of transit detections around evolved stars. Here, we present a reformulation of the noise properties of red-giant stars, where the intrinsic stellar granulation and the stella...

  7. The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mennesson, B.

    2017-12-01

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

  8. One or more bound planets per Milky Way star from microlensing observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassan, A; Kubas, D; Beaulieu, J-P; Dominik, M; Horne, K; Greenhill, J; Wambsganss, J; Menzies, J; Williams, A; Jørgensen, U G; Udalski, A; Bennett, D P; Albrow, M D; Batista, V; Brillant, S; Caldwell, J A R; Cole, A; Coutures, Ch; Cook, K H; Dieters, S; Prester, D Dominis; Donatowicz, J; Fouqué, P; Hill, K; Kains, N; Kane, S; Marquette, J-B; Martin, R; Pollard, K R; Sahu, K C; Vinter, C; Warren, D; Watson, B; Zub, M; Sumi, T; Szymański, M K; Kubiak, M; Poleski, R; Soszynski, I; Ulaczyk, K; Pietrzyński, G; Wyrzykowski, L

    2012-01-11

    Most known extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been discovered using the radial velocity or transit methods. Both are biased towards planets that are relatively close to their parent stars, and studies find that around 17-30% (refs 4, 5) of solar-like stars host a planet. Gravitational microlensing, on the other hand, probes planets that are further away from their stars. Recently, a population of planets that are unbound or very far from their stars was discovered by microlensing. These planets are at least as numerous as the stars in the Milky Way. Here we report a statistical analysis of microlensing data (gathered in 2002-07) that reveals the fraction of bound planets 0.5-10 AU (Sun-Earth distance) from their stars. We find that 17(+6)(-9)% of stars host Jupiter-mass planets (0.3-10 M(J), where M(J) = 318 M(⊕) and M(⊕) is Earth's mass). Cool Neptunes (10-30 M(⊕)) and super-Earths (5-10 M(⊕)) are even more common: their respective abundances per star are 52(+22)(-29)% and 62(+35)(-37)%. We conclude that stars are orbited by planets as a rule, rather than the exception.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. The potential feasibility of chlorinic photosynthesis on exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Johnson R

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  12. ALMA Observations of the Host Galaxy of GRB 090423 at z = 8.23: Deep Limits on Obscured Star Formation 630 Million Years after the Big Bang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, E.; Zauderer, B. A.; Chary, R.-R.; Laskar, T.; Chornock, R.; Tanvir, N. R.; Stanway, E. R.; Levan, A. J.; Levesque, E. M.; Davies, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    We present rest-frame far-infrared (FIR) and optical observations of the host galaxy of GRB 090423 at z = 8.23 from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the Spitzer Space Telescope, respectively. The host remains undetected to 3σ limits of F ν(222 GHz) Space Telescope rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) observations is SFRUV ~ 4 (Lyman break galaxies, Lyα emitters, and submillimeter galaxies) and find that our limit on the FIR luminosity is the most constraining to date, although the field galaxies have much larger rest-frame UV/optical luminosities than the host of GRB 090423 by virtue of their selection techniques. We conclude that GRB host galaxies at z >~ 4, especially those with measured interstellar medium metallicities from afterglow spectroscopy, are an attractive sample for future ALMA studies of high redshift obscured star formation.

  13. Exoplanet Yield Estimation for Decadal Study Concepts using EXOSIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  15. Probing Signatures of a Distant Planet around the Young T-Tauri Star CI Tau Hosting a Possible Hot Jupiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konishi, Mihoko; Hashimoto, Jun; Hori, Yasunori

    2018-06-01

    We search for signatures of a distant planet around the two million-year-old classical T-Tauri star CI Tau hosting a hot-Jupiter candidate ({M}{{p}}\\sin i∼ 8.1 {M}Jupiter}) in an eccentric orbit (e ∼ 0.3). To probe the existence of an outer perturber, we reanalyzed 1.3 mm dust continuum observations of the protoplanetary disk around CI Tau obtained by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). We found a gap structure at ∼0.″8 in CI Tau’s disk. Our visibility fitting assuming an axisymmetric surface brightness profile suggested that the gap is located at a deprojected radius of 104.5 ± 1.6 au and has a width of 36.9 ± 2.9 au. The brightness temperature around the gap was calculated to be ∼2.3 K lower than that of the ambient disk. Gap-opening mechanisms such as secular gravitational instability (GI) and dust trapping can explain the gap morphology in the CI Tau disk. The scenario that an unseen planet created the observed gap structure cannot be ruled out, although the coexistence of an eccentric hot Jupiter and a distant planet around the young CI Tau would be challenging for gravitational scattering scenarios. The mass of the planet was estimated to be between ∼0.25 M Jupiter and ∼0.8 M Jupiter from the gap width and depth ({0.41}-0.06+0.04) in the modeled surface brightness image, which is lower than the current detection limits of high-contrast direct imaging. The young classical T-Tauri CI Tau may be a unique system for exploring the existence of a potential distant planet as well as the origin of an eccentric hot Jupiter.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-03-10

    We present N-body simulations of resonant planets with inclined orbits that show chaotically evolving eccentricities and inclinations that can persist for at least 10 Gyr. A wide range of behavior is possible, from fast, low amplitude variations to systems in which eccentricities reach 0.9999 and inclinations 179.°9. While the orbital elements evolve chaotically, at least one resonant argument always librates. We show that the HD 73526, HD 45364, and HD 60532 systems may be in chaotically evolving resonances. Chaotic evolution is apparent in the 2:1, 3:1, and 3:2 resonances, and for planetary masses from lunar- to Jupiter-mass. In some cases, orbital disruption occurs after several gigayears, implying the mechanism is not rigorously stable, just long-lived relative to the main sequence lifetimes of solar-type stars. Planet-planet scattering appears to yield planets in inclined resonances that evolve chaotically in about 0.5% of cases. These results suggest that (1) approximate methods for identifying unstable orbital architectures may have limited applicability, (2) the observed close-in exoplanets may be produced during epochs of high eccentricit induced by inclined resonances, (3) those exoplanets' orbital planes may be misaligned with the host star's spin axis, (4) systems with resonances may be systematically younger than those without, (5) the distribution of period ratios of adjacent planets detected via transit may be skewed due to inclined resonances, and (6) potentially habitable planets may have dramatically different climatic evolution than Earth. The Gaia spacecraft is capable of discovering giant planets in these types of orbits.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    We present N-body simulations of resonant planets with inclined orbits that show chaotically evolving eccentricities and inclinations that can persist for at least 10 Gyr. A wide range of behavior is possible, from fast, low amplitude variations to systems in which eccentricities reach 0.9999 and inclinations 179.°9. While the orbital elements evolve chaotically, at least one resonant argument always librates. We show that the HD 73526, HD 45364, and HD 60532 systems may be in chaotically evolving resonances. Chaotic evolution is apparent in the 2:1, 3:1, and 3:2 resonances, and for planetary masses from lunar- to Jupiter-mass. In some cases, orbital disruption occurs after several gigayears, implying the mechanism is not rigorously stable, just long-lived relative to the main sequence lifetimes of solar-type stars. Planet-planet scattering appears to yield planets in inclined resonances that evolve chaotically in about 0.5% of cases. These results suggest that (1) approximate methods for identifying unstable orbital architectures may have limited applicability, (2) the observed close-in exoplanets may be produced during epochs of high eccentricit induced by inclined resonances, (3) those exoplanets' orbital planes may be misaligned with the host star's spin axis, (4) systems with resonances may be systematically younger than those without, (5) the distribution of period ratios of adjacent planets detected via transit may be skewed due to inclined resonances, and (6) potentially habitable planets may have dramatically different climatic evolution than Earth. The Gaia spacecraft is capable of discovering giant planets in these types of orbits

  18. How Does the Shape of the Stellar Spectrum Affect the Raman Scattering Features in the Albedo of Exoplanets?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oklopčić, Antonija [California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Hirata, Christopher M. [Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Ohio State University, 191 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Heng, Kevin, E-mail: oklopcic@astro.caltech.edu [Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012, Bern (Switzerland)

    2017-09-10

    The diagnostic potential of the spectral signatures of Raman scattering, imprinted in planetary albedo spectra at short optical wavelengths, has been demonstrated in research on planets in the solar system, and has recently been proposed as a probe of exoplanet atmospheres, complementary to albedo studies at longer wavelengths. Spectral features caused by Raman scattering offer insight into the properties of planetary atmospheres, such as the atmospheric depth, composition, and temperature, as well as the possibility of detecting and spectroscopically identifying spectrally inactive species, such as H{sub 2} and N{sub 2}, in the visible wavelength range. Raman albedo features, however, depend on both the properties of the atmosphere and the shape of the incident stellar spectrum. Identical planetary atmospheres can produce very different albedo spectra depending on the spectral properties of the host star. Here we present a set of geometric albedo spectra calculated for atmospheres with H{sub 2}/He, N{sub 2}, and CO{sub 2} composition, irradiated by different stellar types ranging from late A to late K stars. Prominent albedo features caused by Raman scattering appear at different wavelengths for different types of host stars. We investigate how absorption due to the alkali elements sodium and potassium may affect the intensity of Raman features, and we discuss the preferred strategies for detecting Raman features in future observations.

  19. Records of Migration in the Exoplanet Configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  20. Refractory Abundances of Terrestrial Planets and Their Stars: Testing [Si/Fe] Correlations with TESS and PLATO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfgang, Angie; Fortney, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    In standard models for planet formation, solid material in protoplanetary disks coagulate and collide to form rocky bodies. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that their chemical composition will follow the abundances of refractory elements, such as Si and Fe, in the host star, which has also accreted material from the disk. Backed by planet formation simulations which validate this assumption, planetary internal structure models have begun to use stellar abundances to break degeneracies in low-mass planet compositions inferred only from mass and radius. Inconveniently, our own Solar System contradicts this approach, as its terrestrial bodies exhibit a range of rock/iron ratios and the Sun's [Si/Fe] ratio is offset from the mean planetary [Si/Fe]. In this work, we explore what number and quality of observations we need to empirically measure the exoplanet-star [Si/Fe] correlation, given future transit missions, RV follow-up, and stellar characterization. Specifically, we generate synthetic datasets of terrestrial planet masses and radii and host star abundances assuming that the planets’ bulk [Si/Fe] ratio exactly tracks that of their host stars. We assign measurement uncertainties corresponding to expected precisions for TESS, PLATO, Gaia, and future RV instrumentation, and then invert the problem to infer the planet-star [Si/Fe] correlation given these observational constraints. Comparing the result to the generated truth, we find that 1% precision on the planet radii is needed to test whether [Si/Fe] ratios are correlated between exoplanet and host star. On the other hand, lower precisions can test for systematic offsets between planet and star [Si/Fe], which can constrain the importance of giant impacts for extrasolar terrestrial planet formation.

  1. Searching for Exoplanets using Artificial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  2. Analysis of the exoplanet containing system Kepler-13

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  3. The effect of ISM absorption on stellar activity measurements and its relevance for exoplanet studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossati, L.; Marcelja, S. E.; Staab, D.; Cubillos, P. E.; France, K.; Haswell, C. A.; Ingrassia, S.; Jenkins, J. S.; Koskinen, T.; Lanza, A. F.; Redfield, S.; Youngblood, A.; Pelzmann, G.

    2017-05-01

    Past ultraviolet and optical observations of stars hosting close-in Jupiter-mass planets have shown that some of these stars present an anomalously low chromospheric activity, significantly below the basal level. For the hot Jupiter planet host WASP-13, observations have shown that the apparent lack of activity is possibly caused by absorption from the intervening interstellar medium (ISM). Inspired by this result, we study the effect of ISM absorption on activity measurements (S and log R 'HK indices) for main-sequence late-type stars. To this end, we employ synthetic stellar photospheric spectra combined with varying amounts of chromospheric emission and ISM absorption. We present the effect of ISM absorption on activity measurements by varying several instrumental (spectral resolution), stellar (projected rotational velocity, effective temperature, and chromospheric emission flux), and ISM parameters (relative velocity between stellar and ISM Ca II lines, broadening b-parameter, and Ca II column density). We find that for relative velocities between the stellar and ISM lines smaller than 30-40 km s-1 and for ISM Ca II column densities log NCaII ⪆ 12, the ISM absorption has a significant influence on activity measurements. Direct measurements and three dimensional maps of the Galactic ISM absorption indicate that an ISM Ca II column density of log NCaII = 12 is typically reached by a distance of about 100 pc along most sight lines. In particular, for a Sun-like star lying at a distance greater than 100 pc, we expect a depression (bias) in the log R'HK value larger than 0.05-0.1 dex, about the same size as the typical measurement and calibration uncertainties on this parameter. This work shows that the bias introduced by ISM absorption must always be considered when measuring activity for stars lying beyond 100 pc. We also consider the effect of multiple ISM absorption components. We discuss the relevance of this result for exoplanet studies and revise the

  4. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade Garrett

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

  5. LIGHT SCATTERING FROM EXOPLANET OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. A Cloudy View of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Characterizing K2 Candidate Planetary Systems Orbiting Low-Mass Stars. I. Classifying Low-Mass Host Stars Observed During Campaigns 1-7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Charbomeau, David; Krutson, Heather A.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Sinukoff, Evan

    2017-01-01

    We present near-infrared spectra for 144 candidate planetary systems identified during Campaigns 1-7 of the NASA K2 Mission. The goal of the survey was to characterize planets orbiting low-mass stars, but our Infrared Telescope Facility/SpeX and Palomar/TripleSpec spectroscopic observations revealed that 49% of our targets were actually giant stars or hotter dwarfs reddened by interstellar extinction. For the 72 stars with spectra consistent with classification as cool dwarfs (spectral types K3-M4), we refined their stellar properties by applying empirical relations based on stars with interferometric radius measurements. Although our revised temperatures are generally consistent with those reported in the Ecliptic Plane Input Catalog (EPIC), our revised stellar radii are typically 0.13 solar radius (39%) larger than the EPIC values, which were based on model isochrones that have been shown to underestimate the radii of cool dwarfs. Our improved stellar characterizations will enable more efficient prioritization of K2 targets for follow-up studies.

  8. KEPLER-21b: A 1.6 R{sub Earth} PLANET TRANSITING THE BRIGHT OSCILLATING F SUBGIANT STAR HD 179070

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howell, Steve B. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Quinn, Samuel N. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Chaplin, William J.; Elsworth, Yvonne [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Metcalfe, Travis S. [High Altitude Observatory and Scientific Computing Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307 (United States); Monteiro, Mario J. P. F. G. [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Appourchaux, Thierry [Institut d' Astrophysique Spatiale, Universite Paris XI-CNRS (UMR8617), Batiment 121, 91405 Orsay Cedex (France); Basu, Sarbani [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8101 (United States); Creevey, Orlagh L. [Departamento de Astrofisica, Universidad de La Laguna, E-38206 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Gilliland, Ronald L. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Quirion, Pierre-Olivier [Canadian Space Agency, 6767 Boulevard de l' Aeroport, Saint-Hubert, QC, J3Y 8Y9 (Canada); Stello, Denis [Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA), School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Kjeldsen, Hans; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Joergen [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Garcia, Rafael A. [Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM-CNRS-Universite Paris Diderot-IRFU/SAp, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); and others

    2012-02-20

    We present Kepler observations of the bright (V = 8.3), oscillating star HD 179070. The observations show transit-like events which reveal that the star is orbited every 2.8 days by a small, 1.6 R{sub Earth} object. Seismic studies of HD 179070 using short cadence Kepler observations show that HD 179070 has a frequency-power spectrum consistent with solar-like oscillations that are acoustic p-modes. Asteroseismic analysis provides robust values for the mass and radius of HD 179070, 1.34 {+-} 0.06 M{sub Sun} and 1.86 {+-} 0.04 R{sub Sun }, respectively, as well as yielding an age of 2.84 {+-} 0.34 Gyr for this F5 subgiant. Together with ground-based follow-up observations, analysis of the Kepler light curves and image data, and blend scenario models, we conservatively show at the >99.7% confidence level (3{sigma}) that the transit event is caused by a 1.64 {+-} 0.04 R{sub Earth} exoplanet in a 2.785755 {+-} 0.000032 day orbit. The exoplanet is only 0.04 AU away from the star and our spectroscopic observations provide an upper limit to its mass of {approx}10 M{sub Earth} (2{sigma}). HD 179070 is the brightest exoplanet host star yet discovered by Kepler.

  9. SETI OBSERVATIONS OF EXOPLANETS WITH THE ALLEN TELESCOPE ARRAY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Investigating nearby exoplanets via interstellar radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffer, Louis K.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

    We report the detection of UCF-1.01, a strong exoplanet candidate with a radius 0.66 ± 0.04 times that of Earth (R ⊕ ). This sub-Earth-sized planet transits the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436 with a period of 1.365862 ± 8 × 10 –6 days. We also report evidence of a 0.65 ± 0.06 R ⊕ exoplanet candidate (labeled UCF-1.02) orbiting the same star with an undetermined period. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, we measure the dimming of light as the planets pass in front of their parent star to assess their sizes and orbital parameters. If confirmed today, UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02 would be designated GJ 436c and GJ 436d, respectively, and would be part of the first multiple-transiting-planet system outside of the Kepler field. Assuming Earth-like densities of 5.515 g cm –3 , we predict both candidates to have similar masses (∼0.28 Earth-masses, M ⊕ , 2.6 Mars-masses) and surface gravities of ∼0.65 g (where g is the gravity on Earth). UCF-1.01's equilibrium temperature (T eq , where emitted and absorbed radiation balance for an equivalent blackbody) is 860 K, making the planet unlikely to harbor life as on Earth. Its weak gravitational field and close proximity to its host star imply that UCF-1.01 is unlikely to have retained its original atmosphere; however, a transient atmosphere is possible if recent impacts or tidal heating were to supply volatiles to the surface. We also present additional observations of GJ 436b during secondary eclipse. The 3.6 μm light curve shows indications of stellar activity, making a reliable secondary eclipse measurement impossible. A second non-detection at 4.5 μm supports our previous work in which we find a methane-deficient and carbon monoxide-rich dayside atmosphere.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

    We report the detection of UCF-1.01, a strong exoplanet candidate with a radius 0.66 ± 0.04 times that of Earth (R ⊕). This sub-Earth-sized planet transits the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436 with a period of 1.365862 ± 8 × 10-6 days. We also report evidence of a 0.65 ± 0.06 R ⊕ exoplanet candidate (labeled UCF-1.02) orbiting the same star with an undetermined period. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, we measure the dimming of light as the planets pass in front of their parent star to assess their sizes and orbital parameters. If confirmed today, UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02 would be designated GJ 436c and GJ 436d, respectively, and would be part of the first multiple-transiting-planet system outside of the Kepler field. Assuming Earth-like densities of 5.515 g cm-3, we predict both candidates to have similar masses (~0.28 Earth-masses, M ⊕, 2.6 Mars-masses) and surface gravities of ~0.65 g (where g is the gravity on Earth). UCF-1.01's equilibrium temperature (T eq, where emitted and absorbed radiation balance for an equivalent blackbody) is 860 K, making the planet unlikely to harbor life as on Earth. Its weak gravitational field and close proximity to its host star imply that UCF-1.01 is unlikely to have retained its original atmosphere; however, a transient atmosphere is possible if recent impacts or tidal heating were to supply volatiles to the surface. We also present additional observations of GJ 436b during secondary eclipse. The 3.6 μm light curve shows indications of stellar activity, making a reliable secondary eclipse measurement impossible. A second non-detection at 4.5 μm supports our previous work in which we find a methane-deficient and carbon monoxide-rich dayside atmosphere.

  14. Kepler-91b: a planet at the end of its life. Planet and giant host star properties via light-curve variations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillo-Box, J.; Barrado, D.; Moya, A.; Montesinos, B.; Montalbán, J.; Bayo, A.; Barbieri, M.; Régulo, C.; Mancini, L.; Bouy, H.; Henning, T.

    2014-02-01

    Context. The evolution of planetary systems is intimately linked to the evolution of their host stars. Our understanding of the whole planetary evolution process is based on the wide planet diversity observed so far. Only a few tens of planets have been discovered orbiting stars ascending the red giant branch. Although several theories have been proposed, the question of how planets die remains open owing to the small number statistics, making it clear that the sample of planets around post-main sequence stars needs to be enlarged. Aims: In this work we study the giant star Kepler-91 (KOI-2133) in order to determine the nature of a transiting companion. This system was detected by the Kepler Space Telescope, which identified small dims in its light curve with a period of 6.246580 ± 0.000082 days. However, its planetary confirmation is needed due to the large pixel size of the Kepler camera, which can hide other stellar configurations able to mimic planet-like transit events. Methods: We analysed Kepler photometry to 1) re-calculate transit parameters; 2) study the light-curve modulations; and 3) to perform an asteroseismic analysis (accurate stellar parameter determination) by identifying solar-like oscillations on the periodogram. We also used a high-resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio spectrum obtained with the Calar Alto Fiber-fed Échelle spectrograph (CAFE) to measure stellar properties. Additionally, false-positive scenarios were rejected by obtaining high-resolution images with the AstraLux lucky imaging camera on the 2.2 m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory. Results: We confirm the planetary nature of the object transiting the star Kepler-91 by deriving a mass of Mp=0.88+0.17-0.33 MJup and a planetary radius of Rp=1.384+0.011-0.054 RJup. Asteroseismic analysis produces a stellar radius of R⋆ = 6.30 ± 0.16 R⊙ and a mass of M⋆ = 1.31 ± 0.10 M⊙. We find that its eccentric orbit (e=0.066+0.013-0.017) is just 1.32+0.07-0.22 R⋆ away from

  15. Stellar Obliquity and Magnetic Activity of Planet-hosting Stars and Eclipsing Binaries Based on Transit Chord Correlation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Fei; Winn, Joshua N.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Albrecht, Simon

    2018-04-01

    The light curve of an eclipsing system shows anomalies whenever the eclipsing body passes in front of active regions on the eclipsed star. In some cases, the pattern of anomalies can be used to determine the obliquity Ψ of the eclipsed star. Here we present a method for detecting and analyzing these patterns, based on a statistical test for correlations between the anomalies observed in a sequence of eclipses. Compared to previous methods, ours makes fewer assumptions and is easier to automate. We apply it to a sample of 64 stars with transiting planets and 24 eclipsing binaries for which precise space-based data are available, and for which there was either some indication of flux anomalies or a previously reported obliquity measurement. We were able to determine obliquities for 10 stars with hot Jupiters. In particular we found Ψ ≲ 10° for Kepler-45, which is only the second M dwarf with a measured obliquity. The other eight cases are G and K stars with low obliquities. Among the eclipsing binaries, we were able to determine obliquities in eight cases, all of which are consistent with zero. Our results also reveal some common patterns of stellar activity for magnetically active G and K stars, including persistently active longitudes.

  16. DETERMINING REFLECTANCE SPECTRA OF SURFACES AND CLOUDS ON EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  17. An Analytic Model Approach to the Frequency of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2016-10-01

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

  18. Exoplanet's Figure and Its Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mian, Zhang; Cheng-li, Huang

    2018-01-01

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

  19. An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V; Barclay, Thomas; Raymond, Sean N; Rowe, Jason F; Bolmont, Emeline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Howell, Steve B; Kane, Stephen R; Huber, Daniel; Crepp, Justin R; Lissauer, Jack J; Ciardi, David R; Coughlin, Jeffrey L; Everett, Mark E; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Ford, Eric B; Adams, Fred C; Still, Martin; Hunter, Roger C; Quarles, Billy; Selsis, Franck

    2014-04-18

    The quest for Earth-like planets is a major focus of current exoplanet research. Although planets that are Earth-sized and smaller have been detected, these planets reside in orbits that are too close to their host star to allow liquid water on their surfaces. We present the detection of Kepler-186f, a 1.11 ± 0.14 Earth-radius planet that is the outermost of five planets, all roughly Earth-sized, that transit a 0.47 ± 0.05 solar-radius star. The intensity and spectrum of the star's radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone, implying that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, then some of this water is likely to be in liquid form.

  20. The Diversity of Chemical Composition: The Impact of Stellar Abundances on the Evolution of Stars and Habitable Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truitt, Amanda R.; Young, Patrick A.

    2018-01-01

    I have investigated how stars of different mass and composition evolve, and how stellar evolution impacts the location of the habitable zone around a star. Current research into habitability of exoplanets focuses mostly on the concept of a “classical” HZ, the range of distances from a star over which liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. This is determined by the host star's luminosity and spectral characteristics; in order to gauge the habitability potential of a given system, both the evolutionary history and the detailed chemical characterization of the host star must be considered. With the ever-accelerating discovery of new exoplanets, it is imperative to develop a better understanding of what factors play a role in creating “habitable” conditions of a planet. I will discuss how stellar evolution is integral to how we define the HZ, and how this work will apply to the search for Earth-like planets in the future.I have developed a catalog of stellar evolution models for Sun-like stars with variable compositions; masses range from 0.1-1.2 Msol (spectral types M4-F4) at scaled metallicities (Z) of 0.1-1.5 Zsol, and O/Fe, C/Fe, and Mg/Fe values of 0.44-2.28, 0.58-1.72, and 0.54-1.84, respectively. I use a spread in abundance values based on observations of variability in nearby stars. It is important to understand how specific elements, not just total Z, impacts stellar lifetime. Time-dependent HZ boundaries are calculated for each track. I have also created a grid of M-dwarfs, and I am currently working to estimate stellar activity vs. age for each model.This catalog is meant to characterize potential host stars of interest. I have explored how to use existing observational data (i.e. Hypatia Catalog) for a more robust comparison to my grid of theoretical models, and I will discuss a new statistical analysis of the catalog to further refine our definition of “continuous” habitability. This work is an important step to assess whether a planet

  1. [1012.5676] The Exoplanet Orbit Database

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-06-20

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

  3. Gravitational wave sources from Pop III stars are preferentially located within the cores of their host Galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Loeb, Abraham; Salvadori, Stefania

    2017-10-01

    The detection of gravitational waves (GWs) generated by merging black holes has recently opened up a new observational window into the Universe. The mass of the black holes in the first and third Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detections (36-29 M⊙ and 32-19 M⊙) suggests low-metallicity stars as their most likely progenitors. Based on high-resolution N-body simulations, coupled with state-of-the-art metal enrichment models, we find that the remnants of Pop III stars are preferentially located within the cores of galaxies. The probability of a GW signal to be generated by Pop III stars reaches ∼90 per cent at ∼0.5 kpc from the galaxy centre, compared to a benchmark value of ∼5 per cent outside the core. The predicted merger rates inside bulges is ∼60 × βIII Gpc-3 yr-1 (βIII is the Pop III binarity fraction). To match the 90 per cent credible range of LIGO merger rates, we obtain: 0.03 proof for the existence of Pop III stars.

  4. Discovery, Characterization, and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent

    2015-01-01

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

  5. A Catalog of Stellar Unified Properties (CATSUP) for 951 FGK-Stars within 30 pc

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Somers, Garrett [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States); Mamajek, Eric E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, M/S 321-100, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Turnbull, Margaret C. [Global Science Institute, P.O. Box 252, Antigo, WI 54409 (United States); Osby, Ella; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Desch, Steven J. [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Smith, Graeme H. [University of California Observatories and Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz CA 95064 (United States); Klimasewski, Alexis, E-mail: natalie.hinkel@gmail.com [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0171 (United States)

    2017-10-10

    Almost every star in our Galaxy is likely to harbor a terrestrial planet, but accurate measurements of an exoplanet’s mass and radius demand accurate knowledge of the properties of its host star. The imminent TESS and CHEOPS missions are slated to discover thousands of new exoplanets. Along with WFIRST, which will directly image nearby planets, these surveys make urgent the need to better characterize stars in the nearby solar neighborhood (<30 pc). We have compiled the CATalog of Stellar Unified Properties (CATSUP) for 951 stars, including such data as: Gaia astrometry; multiplicity within stellar systems; stellar elemental abundance measurements; standardized spectral types; Ca ii H and K stellar activity indices; GALEX NUV and FUV photometry; and X-ray fluxes and luminosities from ROSAT , XMM, and Chandra . We use this data-rich catalog to find correlations, especially between stellar emission indices, colors, and galactic velocity. Additionally, we demonstrate that thick-disk stars in the sample are generally older, have lower activity, and have higher velocities normal to the galactic plane. We anticipate that CATSUP will be useful for discerning other trends among stars within the nearby solar neighborhood, for comparing thin-disk versus thick-disk stars, for comparing stars with and without planets, and for finding correlations between chemical and kinematic properties.

  6. A Catalog of Stellar Unified Properties (CATSUP) for 951 FGK-Stars within 30 pc

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Somers, Garrett; Mamajek, Eric E.; Turnbull, Margaret C.; Osby, Ella; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Desch, Steven J.; Smith, Graeme H.; Klimasewski, Alexis

    2017-01-01

    Almost every star in our Galaxy is likely to harbor a terrestrial planet, but accurate measurements of an exoplanet’s mass and radius demand accurate knowledge of the properties of its host star. The imminent TESS and CHEOPS missions are slated to discover thousands of new exoplanets. Along with WFIRST, which will directly image nearby planets, these surveys make urgent the need to better characterize stars in the nearby solar neighborhood (<30 pc). We have compiled the CATalog of Stellar Unified Properties (CATSUP) for 951 stars, including such data as: Gaia astrometry; multiplicity within stellar systems; stellar elemental abundance measurements; standardized spectral types; Ca ii H and K stellar activity indices; GALEX NUV and FUV photometry; and X-ray fluxes and luminosities from ROSAT , XMM, and Chandra . We use this data-rich catalog to find correlations, especially between stellar emission indices, colors, and galactic velocity. Additionally, we demonstrate that thick-disk stars in the sample are generally older, have lower activity, and have higher velocities normal to the galactic plane. We anticipate that CATSUP will be useful for discerning other trends among stars within the nearby solar neighborhood, for comparing thin-disk versus thick-disk stars, for comparing stars with and without planets, and for finding correlations between chemical and kinematic properties.

  7. The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. VII. Properties of the Host Galaxy and Constraints on the Merger Timescale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, P. K.; Berger, E.; Fong, W.; Nicholl, M.; Leja, J.; Conroy, C.; Alexander, K. D.; Margutti, R.; Williams, P. K. G.; Doctor, Z.; Chornock, R.; Villar, V. A.; Cowperthwaite, P. S.; Annis, J.; Brout, D.; Brown, D. A.; Chen, H.-Y.; Eftekhari, T.; Frieman, J. A.; Holz, D. E.; Metzger, B. D.; Rest, A.; Sako, M.; Soares-Santos, M.

    2017-10-01

    We present the properties of NGC 4993, the host galaxy of GW170817, the first gravitational-wave (GW) event from the merger of a binary neutron star (BNS) system and the first with an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart. We use both archival photometry and new optical/near-IR imaging and spectroscopy, together with stellar population synthesis models to infer the global properties of the host galaxy. We infer a star formation history peaked at ≳ 10 {Gyr} ago, with subsequent exponential decline leading to a low current star formation rate of 0.01 {M}⊙ yr-1, which we convert into a binary merger timescale probability distribution. We find a median merger timescale of {11.2}-1.4+0.7 Gyr, with a 90% confidence range of 6.8{--}13.6 {Gyr}. This in turn indicates an initial binary separation of ≈ 4.5 {R}⊙ , comparable to the inferred values for Galactic BNS systems. We also use new and archival Hubble Space Telescope images to measure a projected offset of the optical counterpart of 2.1 kpc (0.64r e ) from the center of NGC 4993 and to place a limit of {M}r≳ -7.2 mag on any pre-existing emission, which rules out the brighter half of the globular cluster luminosity function. Finally, the age and offset of the system indicates it experienced a modest natal kick with an upper limit of ˜200 km s-1. Future GW-EM observations of BNS mergers will enable measurement of their population delay time distribution, which will directly inform their viability as the dominant source of r-process enrichment in the universe.

  8. The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. VII. Properties of the Host Galaxy and Constraints on the Merger Timescale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blanchard, P. K.; Berger, E.; Fong, W.; Nicholl, M.; Leja, J.; Conroy, C.; Alexander, K. D.; Margutti, R.; Williams, P. K. G.; Doctor, Z.; Chornock, R.; Villar, V. A.; Cowperthwaite, P. S.; Annis, J.; Brout, D.; Brown, D. A.; Chen, H. -Y.; Eftekhari, T.; Frieman, J. A.; Holz, D. E.; Metzger, B. D.; Rest, A.; Sako, M.; Soares-Santos, M.

    2017-10-16

    We present the properties of NGC 4993, the host galaxy of GW170817, the first gravitational wave (GW) event from the merger of a binary neutron star (BNS) system and the first with an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart. We use both archival photometry and new optical/near-IR imaging and spectroscopy, together with stellar population synthesis models to infer the global properties of the host galaxy. We infer a star formation history peaked at $\\gtrsim 10$ Gyr ago, with subsequent exponential decline leading to a low current star formation rate of 0.01 M$_{\\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$, which we convert into a binary merger timescale probability distribution. We find a median merger timescale of $11.2^{+0.7}_{-1.4}$ Gyr, with a 90% confidence range of $6.8-13.6$ Gyr. This in turn indicates an initial binary separation of $\\approx 4.5$ R$_{\\odot}$, comparable to the inferred values for Galactic BNS systems. We also use new and archival $Hubble$ $Space$ $Telescope$ images to measure a projected offset of the optical counterpart of $2.1$ kpc (0.64$r_{e}$) from the center of NGC 4993 and to place a limit of $M_{r} \\gtrsim -7.2$ mag on any pre-existing emission, which rules out the brighter half of the globular cluster luminosity function. Finally, the age and offset of the system indicates it experienced a modest natal kick with an upper limit of $\\sim 200$ km s$^{-1}$. Future GW$-$EM observations of BNS mergers will enable measurement of their population delay time distribution, which will directly inform their viability as the dominant source of $r$-process enrichment in the Universe.

  9. Subaru High-z Exploration of Low-Luminosity Quasars (SHELLQs). III. Star formation properties of the host galaxies at z ≳ 6 studied with ALMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izumi, Takuma; Onoue, Masafusa; Shirakata, Hikari; Nagao, Tohru; Kohno, Kotaro; Matsuoka, Yoshiki; Imanishi, Masatoshi; Strauss, Michael A.; Kashikawa, Nobunari; Schulze, Andreas; Silverman, John D.; Fujimoto, Seiji; Harikane, Yuichi; Toba, Yoshiki; Umehata, Hideki; Nakanishi, Kouichiro; Greene, Jenny E.; Tamura, Yoichi; Taniguchi, Akio; Yamaguchi, Yuki; Goto, Tomotsugu; Hashimoto, Yasuhiro; Ikarashi, Soh; Iono, Daisuke; Iwasawa, Kazushi; Lee, Chien-Hsiu; Makiya, Ryu; Minezaki, Takeo; Tang, Ji-Jia

    2018-04-01

    We present our ALMA Cycle 4 measurements of the [C II] emission line and the underlying far-infrared (FIR) continuum emission from four optically low-luminosity (M1450 > -25) quasars at z ≳ 6 discovered by the Subaru Hyper Suprime Cam (HSC) survey. The [C II] line and FIR continuum luminosities lie in the ranges L_[C II] = (3.8-10.2)× 108 L_{⊙} and LFIR = (1.2-2.0) × 1011 L_{⊙}, which are at least one order of magnitude smaller than those of optically-luminous quasars at z ≳ 6. We estimate the star formation rates (SFRs) of our targets as ≃ 23-40 M_{⊙} yr-1. Their line and continuum-emitting regions are marginally resolved, and found to be comparable in size to those of optically-luminous quasars, indicating that their SFR or likely gas mass surface densities (key controlling parameter of mass accretion) are accordingly different. The L_[C II]/L_FIR ratios of the hosts, ≃ (2.2-8.7) × 10-3, are fully consistent with local star-forming galaxies. Using the [C II] dynamics, we derived their dynamical masses within a radius of 1.5-2.5 kpc as ≃ (1.4-8.2) × 1010 M_{⊙}. By interpreting these masses as stellar ones, we suggest that these faint quasar hosts are on or even below the star-forming main sequence at z ˜ 6, i.e., they appear to be transforming into quiescent galaxies. This is in contrast to the optically-luminous quasars at those redshifts, which show starburst-like properties. Finally, we find that the ratios of black hole mass to host galaxy dynamical mass of most of the low-luminosity quasars, including the HSC ones, are consistent with the local value. The mass ratios of the HSC quasars can be reproduced by a semi-analytical model that assumes merger-induced black hole host galaxy evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Stellar aspects of habitability--characterizing target stars for terrestrial planet-finding missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss the criteria for selecting potential target stars suitable for the search for Earth-like planets, with a special emphasis on the stellar aspects of habitability. Missions that search for terrestrial exoplanets will explore the presence and habitability of Earth-like exoplanets around several hundred nearby stars, mainly F, G, K, and M stars. The evaluation of the list of potential target systems is essential in order to develop mission concepts for a search for terrestrial exoplanets. Using the Darwin All Sky Star Catalogue (DASSC), we discuss the selection criteria, configuration-dependent subcatalogues, and the implication of stellar activity for habitability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillot, Tristan; Havel, M.

    2009-09-01

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

  13. Characterizing Rosetta Stone Exoplanets with JWST Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  14. The Drifting Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-01

    temperature is 6150 K, its mass is 1.25 times that of the Sun, and its age is 625 million years. Moreover, the star is found to be more metal-rich than the Sun by about 50%. ESO PR Photo 09b/08 ESO PR Photo 09b/08 Constellations "These results show the power of asteroseismology when using a very precise instrument such as HARPS," says Vauclair. "It also shows that Iota Horologii has the same metal abundance and age as the Hyades cluster and this cannot be a coincidence." The Hyades is an ensemble of stars that is seen with the unaided eye in the Northern constellation Taurus ("The Bull"). This open cluster, located 151 light-years away, contains stars that were formed together 625 million years ago. The star Iota Horologii must have thus formed together with the stars of the Hyades cluster but must have slowly drifted away, being presently more than 130 light-years away from its original birthplace. This is an important result to understand how stars move on the galactic highways of the Milky Way. This also means that the amount of metals present in the star is due to the original cloud from which it formed and not because it engulfed planetary material. "The chicken and egg question of whether the star got planets because it is metal-rich, or whether it is metal-rich because it made planets that were swallowed up is at least answered in one case," says Vauclair. More information The astronomers' study is being published as a Letter to the Editor in Astronomy and Astrophysics ("The exoplanet-host star iota Horologii: an evaporated member of the primordial Hyades cluster", by S. Vauclair et al.). The team is composed of Sylvie Vauclair, Marion Laymand, Gérard Vauclair, Alain Hui Bon Hoa, and Stéphane Charpinet (LATT, Toulouse, France), François Bouchy (IAP, Paris, France), and Michaël Bazot (University of Porto, Portugal).

  15. THE CURIOUS CASE OF ELEMENTAL ABUNDANCE DIFFERENCES IN THE DUAL HOT JUPITER HOSTS WASP-94A AND B

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teske, Johanna K. [Carnegie Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States); Khanal, Sandhya; Ramírez, Ivan, E-mail: jteske@carnegiescience.edu [McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, 2515 Speedway, Stop C1402, Austin, TX 78712-1205 (United States)

    2016-03-01

    Binary stars provide an ideal laboratory for investigating the potential effects of planet formation on stellar composition. Assuming that the stars formed in the same environment/from the same material, any compositional anomalies between binary components might indicate differences in how material was sequestered in planets, or accreted by the star in the process of planet formation. We present here a study of the elemental abundance differences between WASP-94A and B, a pair of stars that each host a hot Jupiter exoplanet. The two stars are very similar in spectral type (F8 and F9), and their ∼2700 au separation suggests that their protoplanetary disks were likely not influenced by stellar interactions, but WASP-94Ab’s orbit—misaligned with the host star spin axis and likely retrograde—points toward a dynamically active formation mechanism, perhaps different from that of WASP-94Bb, which is not misaligned and has a nearly circular orbit. Based on our high-quality spectra and strictly relative abundance analysis, we detect a depletion of volatiles (∼−0.02 dex, on average) and enhancement of refractories (∼0.01 dex) in WASP-94A relative to B (standard errors are ∼0.005 dex). This is different from every other published case of binary host star abundances, in which either no significant abundance differences are reported or there is some degree of enhancement in all elements, including volatiles. Several scenarios that may explain the abundance trend are discussed, but none can be definitively accepted or rejected. Additional high-contrast imaging observations to search for companions that may be dynamically affecting the system, as well as a larger sample of binary host star studies, are needed to better understand the curious abundance trends we observe in WASP-94A and B.

  16. Biosignatures of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, Nancy Y.

    2017-01-01

    Are we alone? Ancient astronomers across the continents knew the existence of five Solar System planets visible to the naked eye. They could tell that these celestial wanderers were unlike stars in that they only reflected light from the Sun. In the early 1600s, Galileo developed the first telescopes able to observe spots moving across the Sun and the passage of moons across the face of Jupiter. He verified the theory of Aristarchus (3rd c. BC), and refined by Nicolaus Copernicus (mid 16th c.) and Johannes Kepler (late 16th c.), that the Earth and the other planets, in fact, orbit the Sun and not the other way around. Around the same time, Dominican friar Giordano Bruno wondered about the possibility of life on other worlds orbiting other suns (and was burned at the stake for this and other heresies).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE SHOULDER OF GIANTS: JOVIAN PLANETS AROUND LATE K DWARF STARS AND THE TREND WITH STELLAR MASS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaidos, Eric [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai' i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Fischer, Debra A. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Mann, Andrew W.; Howard, Andrew W., E-mail: gaidos@hawaii.edu [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Analyses of exoplanet statistics suggest a trend of giant planet occurrence with host star mass, a clue to how planets like Jupiter form. One missing piece of the puzzle is the occurrence around late K dwarf stars (masses of 0.5-0.75 M{sub Sun} and effective temperatures of 3900-4800 K). We analyzed four years of Doppler radial velocity (RVs) data for 110 late K dwarfs, one of which hosts two previously reported giant planets. We estimate that 4.0% {+-} 2.3% of these stars have Saturn-mass or larger planets with orbital periods <245 days, depending on the planet mass distribution and RV variability of stars without giant planets. We also estimate that 0.7% {+-} 0.5% of similar stars observed by Kepler have giant planets. This Kepler rate is significantly (99% confidence) lower than that derived from our Doppler survey, but the difference vanishes if only the single Doppler system (HIP 57274) with completely resolved orbits is considered. The difference could also be explained by the exclusion of close binaries (without giant planets) from the Doppler but not Kepler surveys, the effect of long-period companions and stellar noise on the Doppler data, or an intrinsic difference between the two populations. Our estimates for late K dwarfs bridge those for solar-type stars and M dwarfs, and support a positive trend with stellar mass. Small sample size precludes statements about finer structure, e.g., a ''shoulder'' in the distribution of giant planets with stellar mass. Future surveys such as the Next Generation Transit Survey and the Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey will ameliorate this deficiency.

  1. AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE SHOULDER OF GIANTS: JOVIAN PLANETS AROUND LATE K DWARF STARS AND THE TREND WITH STELLAR MASS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric; Fischer, Debra A.; Mann, Andrew W.; Howard, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Analyses of exoplanet statistics suggest a trend of giant planet occurrence with host star mass, a clue to how planets like Jupiter form. One missing piece of the puzzle is the occurrence around late K dwarf stars (masses of 0.5-0.75 M ☉ and effective temperatures of 3900-4800 K). We analyzed four years of Doppler radial velocity (RVs) data for 110 late K dwarfs, one of which hosts two previously reported giant planets. We estimate that 4.0% ± 2.3% of these stars have Saturn-mass or larger planets with orbital periods <245 days, depending on the planet mass distribution and RV variability of stars without giant planets. We also estimate that 0.7% ± 0.5% of similar stars observed by Kepler have giant planets. This Kepler rate is significantly (99% confidence) lower than that derived from our Doppler survey, but the difference vanishes if only the single Doppler system (HIP 57274) with completely resolved orbits is considered. The difference could also be explained by the exclusion of close binaries (without giant planets) from the Doppler but not Kepler surveys, the effect of long-period companions and stellar noise on the Doppler data, or an intrinsic difference between the two populations. Our estimates for late K dwarfs bridge those for solar-type stars and M dwarfs, and support a positive trend with stellar mass. Small sample size precludes statements about finer structure, e.g., a ''shoulder'' in the distribution of giant planets with stellar mass. Future surveys such as the Next Generation Transit Survey and the Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey will ameliorate this deficiency.

  2. DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION AND SPIN–ORBIT RESONANCES OF POTENTIALLY HABITABLE EXOPLANETS: THE CASE OF GJ 581d

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makarov, Valeri V.; Berghea, Ciprian; Efroimsky, Michael

    2012-01-01

    GJ 581d is a potentially habitable super-Earth in the multiple system of exoplanets orbiting a nearby M dwarf. We investigate this planet's long-term dynamics with an emphasis on its probable final rotation states acquired via tidal interaction with the host. The published radial velocities for the star are re-analyzed with a benchmark planet detection algorithm to confirm that there is no evidence for the recently proposed two additional planets (f and g). Limiting the scope to the four originally detected planets, we assess the dynamical stability of the system and find bounded chaos in the orbital motion. For the planet d, the characteristic Lyapunov time is 38 yr. Long-term numerical integration reveals that the system of four planets is stable, with the eccentricity of the planet d changing quasi-periodically in a tight range around 0.27, and with its semimajor axis varying only a little. The spin-orbit interaction of GJ 581d with its host star is dominated by the tides exerted by the star on the planet. We model this interaction, assuming a terrestrial composition of the mantle. Besides the triaxiality-caused torque and the secular part of the tidal torque, which are conventionally included in the equation of motion, we also include the tidal torques' oscillating components. It turns out that, depending on the mantle temperature, the planet gets trapped into the 2:1 or an even higher spin-orbit resonance. It is very improbable that the planet could have reached the 1:1 resonance. This improves the possibility of the planet being suitable for sustained life.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  7. Theory of Disk Accretion onto Magnetic Stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lai Dong

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Disk accretion onto magnetic stars occurs in a variety of systems, including accreting neutron stars (with both high and low magnetic fields, white dwarfs, and protostars. We review some of the key physical processes in magnetosphere-disk interaction, highlighting the theoretical uncertainties. We also discuss some applications to the observations of accreting neutron star and protostellar systems, as well as possible connections to protoplanetary disks and exoplanets.

  8. Exoplanet Observing: From Art to Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, Dennis M.; Gleeson, Jack

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, D. M.; Gleeson, J.

    2017-12-01

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

  10. HOMES - Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. An introduction to planets ours and others : from Earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-01-01

    What is a planet? The answer seems obvious, but nonetheless the definition of a planet has continuously evolved over the centuries, and their number has changed following successive discoveries. The decision endorsed by the International Astronomical Union to remove Pluto from the list of planets in 2006 well illustrates the difficulty associated with their definition. The recent discovery of hundreds of exoplanets around nearby stars of our Galaxy opens a new and spectacular dimension to astrophysics. We presently know very little about the physical nature of exoplanets. In contrast, our knowledge of Solar System planets has made huge progress over the past decades, thanks, especially, to space planetary exploration. The purpose of this book is first to characterize what planets are, in their global properties and in their diversity. Then, this knowledge is used to try to imagine the physical nature of exoplanets, starting from the few parameters we know about them. Throughout this book, as we explore the su...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

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

  13. Analytic Reflected Lightcurves for Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haggard, Hal M.; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2018-04-01

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

  14. THE MASS DEPENDENCE BETWEEN PROTOPLANETARY DISKS AND THEIR STELLAR HOSTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrews, Sean M.; Rosenfeld, Katherine A.; Kraus, Adam L.; Wilner, David J.

    2013-01-01

    We present a substantial extension of the millimeter (mm) wave continuum photometry catalog for circumstellar dust disks in the Taurus star-forming region, based on a new ''snapshot'' λ = 1.3 mm survey with the Submillimeter Array. Combining these new data with measurements in the literature, we construct a mm-wave luminosity distribution, f(L mm ), for Class II disks that is statistically complete for stellar hosts with spectral types earlier than M8.5 and has a 3σ depth of roughly 3 mJy. The resulting census eliminates a longstanding selection bias against disks with late-type hosts, and thereby demonstrates that there is a strong correlation between L mm and the host spectral type. By translating the locations of individual stars in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram into masses and ages, and adopting a simple conversion between L mm and the disk mass, M d , we confirm that this correlation corresponds to a statistically robust relationship between the masses of dust disks and the stars that host them. A Bayesian regression technique is used to characterize these relationships in the presence of measurement errors, data censoring, and significant intrinsic scatter: the best-fit results indicate a typical 1.3 mm flux density of ∼25 mJy for 1 M ☉ hosts and a power-law scaling L mm ∝M * 1.5-2.0 . We suggest that a reasonable treatment of dust temperature in the conversion from L mm to M d favors an inherently linear M d ∝M * scaling, with a typical disk-to-star mass ratio of ∼0.2%-0.6%. The measured rms dispersion around this regression curve is ±0.7 dex, suggesting that the combined effects of diverse evolutionary states, dust opacities, and temperatures in these disks imprint a full width at half-maximum range of a factor of ∼40 on the inferred M d (or L mm ) at any given host mass. We argue that this relationship between M d and M * likely represents the origin of the inferred correlation between giant planet frequency and host star mass in the

  15. The Mass Dependence between Protoplanetary Disks and their Stellar Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Sean M.; Rosenfeld, Katherine A.; Kraus, Adam L.; Wilner, David J.

    2013-07-01

    We present a substantial extension of the millimeter (mm) wave continuum photometry catalog for circumstellar dust disks in the Taurus star-forming region, based on a new "snapshot" λ = 1.3 mm survey with the Submillimeter Array. Combining these new data with measurements in the literature, we construct a mm-wave luminosity distribution, f(L mm), for Class II disks that is statistically complete for stellar hosts with spectral types earlier than M8.5 and has a 3σ depth of roughly 3 mJy. The resulting census eliminates a longstanding selection bias against disks with late-type hosts, and thereby demonstrates that there is a strong correlation between L mm and the host spectral type. By translating the locations of individual stars in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram into masses and ages, and adopting a simple conversion between L mm and the disk mass, Md , we confirm that this correlation corresponds to a statistically robust relationship between the masses of dust disks and the stars that host them. A Bayesian regression technique is used to characterize these relationships in the presence of measurement errors, data censoring, and significant intrinsic scatter: the best-fit results indicate a typical 1.3 mm flux density of ~25 mJy for 1 M ⊙ hosts and a power-law scaling L_mm ∝ M_{\\ast}^{1.5-2.0}. We suggest that a reasonable treatment of dust temperature in the conversion from L mm to Md favors an inherently linear Md vpropM * scaling, with a typical disk-to-star mass ratio of ~0.2%-0.6%. The measured rms dispersion around this regression curve is ±0.7 dex, suggesting that the combined effects of diverse evolutionary states, dust opacities, and temperatures in these disks imprint a full width at half-maximum range of a factor of ~40 on the inferred Md (or L mm) at any given host mass. We argue that this relationship between Md and M * likely represents the origin of the inferred correlation between giant planet frequency and host star mass in the exoplanet

  16. STELLAR DIAMETERS AND TEMPERATURES. III. MAIN-SEQUENCE A, F, G, AND K STARS: ADDITIONAL HIGH-PRECISION MEASUREMENTS AND EMPIRICAL RELATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Jones, Jeremy; White, Russel; McAlister, Harold A.; Gies, Douglas; Von Braun, Kaspar; Van Belle, Gerard; Farrington, Chris; Schaefer, Gail; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A.; Sturmann, Laszlo; Sturmann, Judit; Turner, Nils H.; Goldfinger, P. J.; Vargas, Norm; Ridgway, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Based on CHARA Array measurements, we present the angular diameters of 23 nearby, main-sequence stars, ranging from spectral types A7 to K0, 5 of which are exoplanet host stars. We derive linear radii, effective temperatures, and absolute luminosities of the stars using Hipparcos parallaxes and measured bolometric fluxes. The new data are combined with previously published values to create an Angular Diameter Anthology of measured angular diameters to main-sequence stars (luminosity classes V and IV). This compilation consists of 125 stars with diameter uncertainties of less than 5%, ranging in spectral types from A to M. The large quantity of empirical data is used to derive color-temperature relations to an assortment of color indices in the Johnson (BVR J I J JHK), Cousins (R C I C ), Kron (R K I K ), Sloan (griz), and WISE (W 3 W 4 ) photometric systems. These relations have an average standard deviation of ∼3% and are valid for stars with spectral types A0-M4. To derive even more accurate relations for Sun-like stars, we also determined these temperature relations omitting early-type stars (T eff > 6750 K) that may have biased luminosity estimates because of rapid rotation; for this subset the dispersion is only ∼2.5%. We find effective temperatures in agreement within a couple of percent for the interferometrically characterized sample of main-sequence stars compared to those derived via the infrared flux method and spectroscopic analysis.

  17. Habitable Exoplanet Imager Optical Telescope Concept Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H Philip

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Starshades for Exoplanet Imaging and Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Habitable exoplanet imager optical telescope concept design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-09-01

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

  20. Design Considerations: Falcon M Dwarf Habitable Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. SPITZER AS A MICROLENS PARALLAX SATELLITE: MASS MEASUREMENT FOR THE OGLE-2014-BLG-0124L PLANET AND ITS HOST STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Udalski, A.; Skowron, J.; Kozłowski, S.; Poleski, R.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Pietrzyński, G.; Szymański, M. K.; Mróz, P.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Yee, J. C. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Gould, A.; Zhu, W.; Pogge, R. W. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Carey, S. [Spitzer Science Center, MS 220-6, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Han, C. [Department of Physics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 371-763 (Korea, Republic of); Calchi Novati, S. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, MS 100-22, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2015-02-01

    We combine Spitzer and ground-based observations to measure the microlens parallax vector π{sub E}, and thus the mass and distance of OGLE-2014-BLG-0124L, making it the first microlensing planetary system with a space-based parallax measurement. The planet and star have masses of m ∼ 0.5 M {sub jup} and M ∼ 0.7 M {sub ☉} and are separated by a ∼ 3.1 AU in projection. The main source of uncertainty in all of these numbers (approximately 30%, 30%, and 20%) is the relatively poor measurement of the Einstein radius θ{sub E}, rather than uncertainty in π{sub E}, which is measured with 2.5% precision. This compares to 22% based on OGLE data alone, implying that the Spitzer data provide not only a substantial improvement in the precision of the π{sub E} measurement, but also the first independent test of a ground-based π{sub E} measurement.

  2. Preparing for TESS: Precision Ground-based Light-curves of Newly Discovered Transiting Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiting; Stefansson, Gudmundur; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Monson, Andy; Hebb, Leslie; Wisniewski, John; Huehnerhoff, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), to be launched in early 2018, is expected to catalog a myriad of transiting exoplanet candidates ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, orbiting a diverse range of stellar types in the solar neighborhood. In particular, TESS will find small planets orbiting the closest and brightest stars, and will enable detailed atmospheric characterizations of planets with current and future telescopes. In the TESS era, ground-based follow-up resources will play a critical role in validating and confirming the planetary nature of the candidates TESS will discover. Along with confirming the planetary nature of exoplanet transits, high precision ground-based transit observations allow us to put further constraints on exoplanet orbital parameters and transit timing variations. In this talk, we present new observations of transiting exoplanets recently discovered by the K2 mission, using the optical diffuser on the 3.5m ARC Telescope at Apache Point Observatory. These include observations of the mini-Neptunes K2-28b and K2-104b orbiting early-to-mid M-dwarfs. In addition, other recent transit observations performed using the robotic 30cm telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile will be presented.

  3. A hot Jupiter orbiting a 2-million-year-old solar-mass T Tauri star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donati, J F; Moutou, C; Malo, L; Baruteau, C; Yu, L; Hébrard, E; Hussain, G; Alencar, S; Ménard, F; Bouvier, J; Petit, P; Takami, M; Doyon, R; Collier Cameron, A

    2016-06-30

    Hot Jupiters are giant Jupiter-like exoplanets that orbit their host stars 100 times more closely than Jupiter orbits the Sun. These planets presumably form in the outer part of the primordial disk from which both the central star and surrounding planets are born, then migrate inwards and yet avoid falling into their host star. It is, however, unclear whether this occurs early in the lives of hot Jupiters, when they are still embedded within protoplanetary disks, or later, once multiple planets are formed and interact. Although numerous hot Jupiters have been detected around mature Sun-like stars, their existence has not yet been firmly demonstrated for young stars, whose magnetic activity is so intense that it overshadows the radial velocity signal that close-in giant planets can induce. Here we report that the radial velocities of the young star V830 Tau exhibit a sine wave of period 4.93 days and semi-amplitude 75 metres per second, detected with a false-alarm probability of less than 0.03 per cent, after filtering out the magnetic activity plaguing the spectra. We find that this signal is unrelated to the 2.741-day rotation period of V830 Tau and we attribute it to the presence of a planet of mass 0.77 times that of Jupiter, orbiting at a distance of 0.057 astronomical units from the host star. Our result demonstrates that hot Jupiters can migrate inwards in less than two million years, probably as a result of planet–disk interactions.

  4. Stars get dizzy after lunch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Michael; Penev, Kaloyan

    2014-01-01

    Exoplanet searches have discovered a large number of h ot Jupiters — high-mass planets orbiting very close to their parent stars in nearly circular orbits. A number of these planets are sufficiently massive and close-in to be significantly affected by tidal dissipation in the parent star, to a degree parameterized by the tidal quality factor Q * . This process speeds up their star's rotation rate while reducing the planet's semimajor axis. In this paper, we investigate the tidal destruction of hot Jupiters. Because the orbital angular momenta of these planets are a significant fraction of their star's rotational angular momenta, they spin up their stars significantly while spiraling to their deaths. Using the Monte Carlo simulation, we predict that for Q * = 10 6 , 3.9 × 10 –6 of stars with the Kepler Target Catalog's mass distribution should have a rotation period shorter than 1/3 day (8 hr) due to accreting a planet. Exoplanet surveys such as SuperWASP, HATnet, HATsouth, and KELT have already produced light curves of millions of stars. These two facts suggest that it may be possible to search for tidally destroyed planets by looking for stars with extremely short rotational periods, then looking for remnant planet cores around those candidates, anomalies in the metal distribution, or other signatures of the recent accretion of the planet.

  5. Refraction in exoplanet atmospheres. Photometric signatures, implications for transmission spectroscopy, and search in Kepler data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alp, D.; Demory, B.-O.

    2018-01-01

    Context. Refraction deflects photons that pass through atmospheres, which affects transit light curves. Refraction thus provides an avenue to probe physical properties of exoplanet atmospheres and to constrain the presence of clouds and hazes. In addition, an effective surface can be imposed by refraction, thereby limiting the pressure levels probed by transmission spectroscopy. Aims: The main objective of the paper is to model the effects of refraction on photometric light curves for realistic planets and to explore the dependencies on atmospheric physical parameters. We also explore under which circumstances transmission spectra are significantly affected by refraction. Finally, we search for refraction signatures in photometric residuals in Kepler data. Methods: We use the model of Hui & Seager (2002, ApJ, 572, 540) to compute deflection angles and refraction transit light curves, allowing us to explore the parameter space of atmospheric properties. The observational search is performed by stacking large samples of transit light curves from Kepler. Results: We find that out-of-transit refraction shoulders are the most easily observable features, which can reach peak amplitudes of 10 parts per million (ppm) for planets around Sun-like stars. More typical amplitudes are a few ppm or less for Jovians and at the sub-ppm level for super-Earths. In-transit, ingress, and egress refraction features are challenging to detect because of the short timescales and degeneracies with other transit model parameters. Interestingly, the signal-to-noise ratio of any refraction residuals for planets orbiting Sun-like hosts are expected to be similar for planets orbiting red dwarfs and ultra-cool stars. We also find that the maximum depth probed by transmission spectroscopy is not limited by refraction for weakly lensing planets, but that the incidence of refraction can vary significantly for strongly lensing planets. We find no signs of refraction features in the stacked Kepler

  6. Information Content Analysis for Selection of Optimal JWST  Observing Modes for Transiting Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batalha, Natasha E. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802 (United States); Line, M. R., E-mail: neb149@psu.edu [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ 85282 (United States)

    2017-04-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope ( JWST ) is nearing its launch date of 2018, and is expected to revolutionize our knowledge of exoplanet atmospheres. In order to specifically identify which observing modes will be most useful for characterizing a diverse range of exoplanetary atmospheres, we use an information content (IC) based approach commonly used in the studies of solar system atmospheres. We develop a system based upon these IC methods to trace the instrumental and atmospheric model phase space in order to identify which observing modes are best suited for particular classes of planets, focusing on transmission spectra. Specifically, the atmospheric parameter space we cover is T  = 600–1800 K, C/O = 0.55–1, [M/H] = 1–100 × Solar for an R  = 1.39 R{sub J}, M  = 0.59 M{sub J} planet orbiting a WASP-62-like star. We also explore the influence of a simplified opaque gray cloud on the IC. We find that obtaining broader wavelength coverage over multiple modes is preferred over higher precision in a single mode given the same amount of observing time. Regardless of the planet temperature and composition, the best modes for constraining terminator temperatures, C/O ratios, and metallicity are NIRISS SOSS+NIRSpec G395. If the target’s host star is dim enough such that the NIRSpec prism is applicable, then it can be used instead of NIRISS SOSS+NIRSpec G395. Lastly, observations that use more than two modes should be carefully analyzed because sometimes the addition of a third mode results in no gain of information. In these cases, higher precision in the original two modes is favorable.

  7. Ground-based observations of exoplanet atmospheres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mooij, Ernst Johan Walter de

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Thermal Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apai, Daniel

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Long-Period Exoplanets from Photometric Transit Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborn, Hugh

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. BRITE-Constellation: Nanosatellites for precision photometry of bright stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, W. W.; Moffat, A. F. J.; Schwarzenberg-Czerny, A.; Koudelka, O. F.; Grant, C. C.; Zee, R. E.; Kuschnig, R.; Mochnacki, St.; Rucinski, S. M.; Matthews, J. M.; Orleański, P.; Pamyatnykh, A. A.; Pigulski, A.; Alves, J.; Guedel, M.; Handler, G.; Wade, G. A.; Scholtz, A. L.; Scholtz

    2014-02-01

    will be selected is shown in Fig. 1. This sample falls into two principal classes of stars: (1) Hot luminous H-burning stars (O to F stars). Analyses of OB star variability have the potential to help solve two outstanding problems: the sizes of convective (mixed) cores in massive stars and the influence of rapid rotation on their structure and evolution. (2) Cool luminous stars (AGB stars, cool giants and cool supergiants). Measurements of the time scales involved in surface granulation and differential rotation will constrain turbulent convection models. Mass loss from these stars (especially the massive supernova progenitors) is a major contributor to the evolution of the interstellar medium, so in a sense, this sample dominates cosmic ``ecology'' in terms of future generations of star formation. The massive stars are believed to share many characteristics of the lower mass range of the first generation of stars ever formed (although the original examples are of course long gone). BRITE observations will also be used to detect some Jupiter- and even Neptune-sized planets around bright host stars via transits, as expected on the basis of statistics from the Kepler exoplanet mission. Detecting planets around such very bright stars will greatly facilitate their subsequent characterization. BRITE will also use surface spots to investigate stellar rotation. The following Table summarizes launch and orbit parameters of BRITE-Constellation components. The full version of this paper describing in more detail BRITE-Constellation will be published separately in a journal. The symposium presentation is available at http://iaus301.astro.uni.wroc.pl/program.php

  12. Beyond Kepler: Direct Imaging of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belikov, Ruslan

    2018-01-01

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

  13. A statistical analysis of seeds and other high-contrast exoplanet surveys: massive planets or low-mass brown dwarfs?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brandt, Timothy D.; Spiegel, David S. [Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ (United States); McElwain, Michael W.; Grady, C. A. [Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States); Turner, Edwin L. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (United States); Mede, Kyle; Kuzuhara, Masayuki [University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan); Schlieder, Joshua E.; Brandner, W.; Feldt, M. [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg (Germany); Wisniewski, John P. [HL Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Abe, L. [Laboratoire Hippolyte Fizeau, Nice (France); Biller, B. [University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom); Carson, J. [College of Charleston, Charleston, SC (United States); Currie, T. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada); Egner, S.; Golota, T.; Guyon, O. [Subaru Telescope, Hilo, Hawai' i (United States); Goto, M. [Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Munich (Germany); Hashimoto, J. [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo (Japan); and others

    2014-10-20

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ∼60 M {sub J} brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD–35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ∼30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ∼5 M {sub J}, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)∝M {sup –0.65} {sup ±} {sup 0.60} a {sup –0.85} {sup ±} {sup 0.39} (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M {sub J} companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs.

  14. K2-231 b: A Sub-Neptune Exoplanet Transiting a Solar Twin in Ruprecht 147

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Jason Lee; Vanderburg, Andrew; Torres, Guillermo; Kraus, Adam L.; Huber, Daniel; Mann, Andrew W.; Rizzuto, Aaron C.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Henze, Christopher E.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Wright, Jason T.

    2018-04-01

    We identify a sub-Neptune exoplanet (R p = 2.5 ± 0.2 {R}\\oplus ) transiting a solar twin in the Ruprecht 147 star cluster (3 Gyr, 300 pc, [Fe/H] = +0.1 dex). The ∼81 day light curve for EPIC 219800881 (V = 12.71) from K2 Campaign 7 shows six transits with a period of 13.84 days, a depth of ∼0.06%, and a duration of ∼4 hr. Based on our analysis of high-resolution MIKE spectra, broadband optical and NIR photometry, the cluster parallax and interstellar reddening, and isochrone models from PARSEC, Dartmouth, and MIST, we estimate the following properties for the host star: M ⋆ = 1.01 ± 0.03 {M}ȯ , R ⋆ = 0.95 ± 0.03 {R}ȯ , and {T}{{eff}} = 5695 ± 50 K. This star appears to be single based on our modeling of the photometry, the low radial velocity (RV) variability measured over nearly 10 yr, and Keck/NIRC2 adaptive optics imaging and aperture-masking interferometry. Applying a probabilistic mass–radius relation, we estimate that the mass of this planet is M p = 7 + 5 – 3 {M}\\oplus , which would cause an RV semi-amplitude of K = 2 ± 1 {\\text{m s}}-1 that may be measurable with existing precise RV facilities. After statistically validating this planet with BLENDER, we now designate it K2-231b, making it the second substellar object to be discovered in Ruprecht 147 and the first planet; it joins the small but growing ranks of 22 other planets and three candidates found in open clusters.

  15. High-precision ground-based photometry of exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Mooij Ernst J.W.

    2013-04-01

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

  16. EXOPLANET ALBEDO SPECTRA AND COLORS AS A FUNCTION OF PLANET PHASE, SEPARATION, AND METALLICITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cahoy, Kerri L.; Marley, Mark S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2010-01-01

    First generation space-based optical coronagraphic telescopes will obtain images of cool gas- and ice-giant exoplanets around nearby stars. Exoplanets lying at planet-star separations larger than about 1 AU-where an exoplanet can be resolved from its parent star-have spectra that are dominated by reflected light to beyond 1 μm and punctuated by molecular absorption features. Here, we consider how exoplanet albedo spectra and colors vary as a function of planet-star separation, metallicity, mass, and observed phase for Jupiter and Neptune analogs from 0.35 to 1 μm. We model Jupiter analogs with 1x and 3x the solar abundance of heavy elements, and Neptune analogs with 10x and 30x the solar abundance of heavy elements. Our model planets orbit a solar analog parent star at separations of 0.8 AU, 2 AU, 5 AU, and 10 AU. We use a radiative-convective model to compute temperature-pressure profiles. The giant exoplanets are found to be cloud-free at 0.8 AU, possess H 2 O clouds at 2 AU, and have both NH 3 and H 2 O clouds at 5 AU and 10 AU. For each model planet we compute moderate resolution (R = λ/Δλ ∼ 800) albedo spectra as a function of phase. We also consider low-resolution spectra and colors that are more consistent with the capabilities of early direct imaging capabilities. As expected, the presence and vertical structure of clouds strongly influence the albedo spectra since cloud particles not only affect optical depth but also have highly directional scattering properties. Observations at different phases also probe different volumes of atmosphere as the source-observer geometry changes. Because the images of the planets themselves will be unresolved, their phase will not necessarily be immediately obvious, and multiple observations will be needed to discriminate between the effects of planet-star separation, metallicity, and phase on the observed albedo spectra. We consider the range of these combined effects on spectra and colors. For example, we find that

  17. Radial Velocity Survey of T Tauri Stars in Taurus-Auriga

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crockett, Christopher; Mahmud, N.; Huerta, M.; Prato, L.; Johns-Krull, C.; Hartigan, P.; Jaffe, D.

    2009-01-01

    Is the frequency of giant planet companions to young stars similar to that seen around old stars? Is the "brown dwarf desert" a product of how low-mass companion objects form, or of how they evolve? Some models indicate that both giant planets and brown dwarfs should be common at young ages within 3 AU of a primary star, but migration induced by massive disks drive brown dwarfs into the parent stars, leaving behind proportionally more giant planets. Our radial velocity survey of young stars will provide a census of the young giant planet and brown dwarf population in Taurus-Auriga. In this poster we present our progress in quantifying how spurious radial velocity signatures are caused by stellar activity and in developing models to help distinguish between companion induced and spot induced radial velocity variations. Early results stress the importance of complementary observations in both visible light and NIR. We present our technique to determine radial velocities by fitting telluric features and model stellar features to our observed spectra. Finally, we discuss ongoing observations at McDonald Observatory, KPNO, and the IRTF, and several new exoplanet host candidates.

  18. Analysis of the Gaia RVS Region in ESPaDOnS Spectra of Asteroseismic Calibration Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesa, Oana; Huber, Daniel; Gaidos, Eric

    2018-01-01

    While surface gravity can be measured from asteroseismology, asteroseismology cannot be applied to every star. Surface gravity is a critical stellar parameter because it can be used to calculate the radii of stars, which is important in the characterization of host stars of exoplanets. Here we present spectroscopic observations from ESPaDOnS on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope of 172 benchmark “gold standard” stars observed by the NASA Kepler Mission for which densities and surface gravities have been precisely measured using asteroseismology. The goal is to discover an empirical correlation between the equivalent width of the spectral lines in the infrared Ca II triplet region (from 8470 to 8710 angstroms) against surface gravity and other stellar parameters, such as effective temperature and metallicity. The Mg I line at 8736 angstroms has the best potential to be an indicator of surface gravity so far out of the spectral lines in this region with equivalent width increasing slightly as a function of surface gravity; however, degeneracies with effective temperature and metallicity need to be explored further. If a true indicator for surface gravity can be found, then it can to be applied to the R~11000 Gaia radial velocity spectra, which will be released for millions of stars over the coming years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  1. Observations and modeling of the transiting exoplanets XO-2b, HAT-P-18b, and WASP-80b

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjurkchieva Diana P.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We present photometric observations and transit solutions of the exoplanets XO-2b, HAT-P-18b and WASP 80b. Our solution of the XO-2b transit gave system parameters whose values are close to those of the previous studies. The solutions of the new transits of HAT-P-18b and WASP 80b differ from the previous ones by bigger stellar and planet radii. We obtained new values of the target initial epochs corresponding to slightly different periods. Our investigation reaffirmed that small telescopes can be used successfully for the study of exoplanets orbiting stars brighter than 13 mag.

  2. Characterizing Gaint Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Ground Based Support for Exoplanet Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  4. Dynamical Studies of N-Body Gravity and Tidal Dissipation in the TRAPPIST-1 Star System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayak, Michael; Kuettel, Donald H.; Stebler, Shane T.; Udrea, Bogdan

    2018-01-01

    To date, we have discovered a total of 2,729 planetary systems that contain more than 3,639 known exoplanets [1]. A majority of these are defined as compact systems, containing multiple exoplanets within 0.25 AU of the central star. It has been shown that tightly packed exoplanets avoid colliding due to long-term resonance-induced orbit stability [2]. However, due to extreme proximity, these planets experience intense gravitational forces from each other that are unprecedented within our own solar system, which makes the existence of exomoons doubtful. We present the results of an initial study evaluating dynamical stability of potential exomoons within such highly compact systems.This work is baselined around TRAPPIST-1, an ultra-cool dwarf star that hosts seven temperate terrestrial planets, three of which are in the habitable zone, orbiting within 0.06 AU [3]. N-body simulations place a grid of test particles varying semi-major axis, eccentricity, and inclination around the three habitable zone planets. We find that most exomoons with semi-major axes less than half the Hill sphere of their respective planet are stable over 10 kyrs, with several stable over 300 kyrs.However, in compact systems, tidal influences from other planets can compete with tidal effects from the primary planet, resulting in possible instabilities and massive amounts of tidal dissipation. We investigate these effects with a large grid search that incorporates exomoon radius, tidal quality factor and a range of planet rigidities. Results of simulations that combine n-body gravity effects with both planetary and satellite tides are presented and contrasted with n-body results. Finally, we examine long-term stability (> 1Myrs) of the stable subset of test particles from the n-body simulation with the addition of tidal dissipation, to determine if exomoons can survive around planets e, f, and g in the TRAPPIST-1 system.[1] Schneider (2017). The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia. http://exoplanet

  5. On advanced estimation techniques for exoplanet detection and characterization using ground-based coronagraphs

    Science.gov (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

    2012-07-01

    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.

  6. Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx): Architecture of the 4m Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuan, Gary M.; Warfield, Keith R.; Mennesson, Bertrand; Kiessling, Alina; Stahl, H. Philip; Martin, Stefan; Shaklan, Stuart B.; amini, rashied

    2018-01-01

    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.

  7. Identifying Exoplanets with Deep Learning: A Five-planet Resonant Chain around Kepler-80 and an Eighth Planet around Kepler-90

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shallue, Christopher J.; Vanderburg, Andrew

    2018-02-01

    NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets orbiting Sun-like stars, but these planets are on the very edge of the mission’s detection sensitivity. Accurately determining the occurrence rate of these planets will require automatically and accurately assessing the likelihood that individual candidates are indeed planets, even at low signal-to-noise ratios. We present a method for classifying potential planet signals using deep learning, a class of machine learning algorithms that have recently become state-of-the-art in a wide variety of tasks. We train a deep convolutional neural network to predict whether a given signal is a transiting exoplanet or a false positive caused by astrophysical or instrumental phenomena. Our model is highly effective at ranking individual candidates by the likelihood that they are indeed planets: 98.8% of the time it ranks plausible planet signals higher than false-positive signals in our test set. We apply our model to a new set of candidate signals that we identified in a search of known Kepler multi-planet systems. We statistically validate two new planets that are identified with high confidence by our model. One of these planets is part of a five-planet resonant chain around Kepler-80, with an orbital period closely matching the prediction by three-body Laplace relations. The other planet orbits Kepler-90, a star that was previously known to host seven transiting planets. Our discovery of an eighth planet brings Kepler-90 into a tie with our Sun as the star known to host the most planets.

  8. Automation of processing and photometric data analysis for transiting exoplanets observed with ESO NIR instrument HAWK-I

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blažek, M.; Kabáth, P.; Klocová, T.; Skarka, M.

    2018-04-01

    Nowadays, when amount of data still increases, it is necessary to automatise their processing. State-of-the-art instruments are capable to produce even tens of thousands of images during a single night. One of them is HAWK-I that is a part of Very Large Telescope of European Southern Observatory. This instrument works in near-infrared band. In my Master thesis, I dealt with developing a pipeline to process data obtained by the instrument. It is written in Python programming language using commands of IRAF astronomical software and it is developed directly for "Fast Photometry Mode" of HAWK-I. In this mode, a large number of data has been obtained during secondary eclipses of exoplanets by their host star. The pipeline was tested by a data set from sorting of the images to making a light curve. The data of WASP-18 system contained almost 40 000 images observed by using a filter centered at 2.09 μm wavelength and there is a plan to process other data sets. A goal of processing of WASP-18 and the other data sets is consecutive analysis of exoplanetary atmospheres of the observed systems.

  9. External occulter edge scattering control using metamaterials for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendek, Eduardo A.; Sirbu, Dan; Liu, Zhaowei; Martin, Stefan; Lu, Dylan

    2015-09-01

    Direct imaging of earth-like exoplanets in the Habitable Zone of sun-like stars requires image contrast of ~10^10 at angular separations of around a hundred milliarcseconds. One approach for achieving this performance is to fly a starshade at a long distance in front of the telescope, shading the telescope from the direct starlight, but allowing planets around the star to be seen. The starshade is positioned so that sunlight falls on the surface away from the telescope, so the sun does not directly illuminate it. However, sunlight scattered from the starshade edge can enter the telescope, raising the background light level and potentially preventing the starshade from delivering the required contrast. As a result, starshade edge design has been identified as one of the highest priority technology gaps for external occulter missions in the NASAs Exoplanet Exploration Program Technology Plan 2013. To reduce the sunlight edge scatter to an acceptable level, the edge Radius Of Curvature (ROC) should be 1μm or less (commercial razor blades have ROC of a few hundred nanometer). This poses a challenging manufacturing requirement and may make the occulter difficult to handle. In this paper we propose an alternative approach to controlling the edge scattering by applying a flexible metamaterial to the occulter edge. Metamaterials are artificially structured materials, which have been designed to display properties not found in natural materials. Metamaterials can be designed to direct the scatter at planned incident angles away from the space telescope, thereby directly decreasing the contaminating background light. Reduction of the background light translates into shorter integration time to characterize a target planet and therefore improves the efficiency of the observations. As an additional benefit, metamaterials also have potential to produce increased tolerance to edge defects.

  10. DISCERNING EXOPLANET MIGRATION MODELS USING SPIN-ORBIT MEASUREMENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morton, Timothy D.; Johnson, John Asher

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the current sample of exoplanet spin-orbit measurements to determine whether a dominant planet migration channel can be identified, and at what confidence. We use the predictions of Kozai migration plus tidal friction and planet-planet scattering as our misalignment models, and we allow for a fraction of intrinsically aligned systems, explainable by disk migration. Bayesian model comparison demonstrates that the current sample of 32 spin-orbit measurements strongly favors a two-mode migration scenario combining planet-planet scattering and disk migration over a single-mode Kozai migration scenario. Our analysis indicates that between 34% and 76% of close-in planets (95% confidence) migrated via planet-planet scattering. Separately analyzing the subsample of 12 stars with T eff >6250 K-which Winn et al. predict to be the only type of stars to maintain their primordial misalignments-we find that the data favor a single-mode scattering model over Kozai with 85% confidence. We also assess the number of additional hot star spin-orbit measurements that will likely be necessary to provide a more confident model selection, finding that an additional 20-30 measurement has a >50% chance of resulting in a 95% confident model selection, if the current model selection is correct. While we test only the predictions of particular Kozai and scattering migration models in this work, our methods may be used to test the predictions of any other spin-orbit misaligning mechanism.

  11. Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres : A Complete Line List for Phosphine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa-Silva, C.; Yurchenko, S. N.; Tennyson, J.

    2013-09-01

    The ability to characterise the atmospheres of cool stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets requires fundamental data for all species contributing significantly to their opacity. However, with notable exceptions such as water and ammonia, existing molecular line lists are not sufficiently accurate or complete to allow for a full spectroscopic analysis of these bodies. ExoMol (www.exomol.com [1]) is a project that aims to rectify this by generating comprehensive line lists for all molecules likely to be detected in the atmospheres of cool astrophysical objects in the foreseeable future. The spectral data is generated by employing ab initio quantum mechanical methods, performing empirical refinement based on experimental spectroscopic data and harnessing high performance computing. Here we present our work on phosphine, (PH3), an equilateral pyramidal molecule (the phosphorus analogue to ammonia). Phosphine is known to be important for the atmospheres of giant-planets, cool stars and many other astronomical bodies. Rotational transition features of phosphine have been found in the far- infrared spectra of Saturn and Jupiter [2, 3], where it is a marker for vertical convection zones. A computed room temperature line list of phosphine is presented here [4], illustrated in the accompanying figure 1. This line list is a precursor to a high temperature equivalent to be produced in the near future, necessary for the analysis of cool stars and brown dwarfs. All the transitions' energy levels and Einstein A-coefficients were computed using the program TROVE [5].

  12. De-Trending K2 Exoplanet Targets for High Spacecraft Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Nicholas; Luger, Rodrigo; Barnes, Rory

    2018-01-01

    After the failure of two reaction wheels, the Kepler space telescope lost its fine pointing ability and entered a new phase of observation, K2. Targets observed by K2 have high motion relative to the detector and K2 light curves have higher noise than Kepler observations. Despite the increased noise, systematics removal pipelines such as K2SFF and EVEREST have enabled continued high-precision transiting planet science with the telescope, resulting in the detection of hundreds of new exoplanets. However, as the spacecraft begins to run out of fuel, sputtering will drive large and random variations in pointing that can prevent detection of exoplanets during the remaining 5 campaigns. In general, higher motion will spread the stellar point spread function (PSF) across more pixels during a campaign, which increases the number of degrees of freedom in the noise component and significantly reduces the de-trending power of traditional systematics removal methods. We use a model of the Kepler CCD combined with pixel-level information of a large number of stars across the detector to improve the performance of the EVEREST pipeline at high motion. We also consider the problem of increased crowding for static apertures in the high-motion regime and develop pixel response function (PRF)-fitting techniques to mitigate contamination and maximize the de-trending power. We assess the performance of our code by simulating sputtering events and assessing exoplanet detection efficiency with transit injection/recovery tests. We find that targets with roll amplitudes of up to 8 pixels, approximately 15 times K2 roll, can be de-trended within 2 to 3 factors of current K2 photometric precision for stars up to 14th magnitude. Achieved recovery precision allows detection of small planets around 11th and 12th magnitude stars. These methods can be applied to the light curves of K2 targets for existing and future campaigns to ensure that precision exoplanet science can still be performed

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

    Science.gov (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.

    2018-02-01

    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 ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/609/L5

  14. DISCOVERY OF A LOW-MASS COMPANION TO A METAL-RICH F STAR WITH THE MARVELS PILOT PROJECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fleming, Scott W.; Ge Jian; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Lee, Brian; Cuong Nguyen, Duy; Morehead, Robert C.; Wan Xiaoke; Zhao Bo; Liu Jian; Guo Pengcheng; Kane, Stephen R.; Eastman, Jason D.; Siverd, Robert J.; Scott Gaudi, B.; Niedzielski, Andrzej; Sivarani, Thirupathi; Stassun, Keivan G.; Gary, Bruce; Wolszczan, Alex; Barnes, Rory

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of a low-mass companion orbiting the metal-rich, main sequence F star TYC 2949-00557-1 during the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS) pilot project. The host star has an effective temperature T eff = 6135 ± 40 K, logg = 4.4 ± 0.1, and [Fe/H] = 0.32 ± 0.01, indicating a mass of M = 1.25 ± 0.09 M sun and R = 1.15 ± 0.15 R sun . The companion has an orbital period of 5.69449 ± 0.00023 days and straddles the hydrogen burning limit with a minimum mass of 64 M J , and thus may be an example of the rare class of brown dwarfs orbiting at distances comparable to those of 'Hot Jupiters'. We present relative photometry that demonstrates that the host star is photometrically stable at the few millimagnitude level on time scales of hours to years, and rules out transits for a companion of radius ∼>0.8 R J at the 95% confidence level. Tidal analysis of the system suggests that the star and companion are likely in a double synchronous state where both rotational and orbital synchronization have been achieved. This is the first low-mass companion detected with a multi-object, dispersed, fixed-delay interferometer.

  15. HAT-P-11: Discovery of a Second Planet and a Clue to Understanding Exoplanet Obliquities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Samuel W.; Petigura, Erik A.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Knutson, Heather A.; Batygin, Konstantin; Bakos, Gáspár Á.; Hartman, Joel D.; Hirsch, Lea A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard; Kosiarek, Molly R.; Sinukoff, Evan; Weiss, Lauren M.

    2018-06-01

    HAT-P-11 is a mid-K dwarf that hosts one of the first Neptune-sized planets found outside the solar system. The orbit of HAT-P-11b is misaligned with the star’s spin—one of the few known cases of a misaligned planet orbiting a star less massive than the Sun. We find an additional planet in the system based on a decade of precision radial velocity (RV) measurements from Keck/High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer. HAT-P-11c is similar to Jupiter in its mass ({M}P\\sin i=1.6+/- 0.1 M J ) and orbital period (P={9.3}-0.5+1.0 year), but has a much more eccentric orbit (e = 0.60 ± 0.03). In our joint modeling of RV and stellar activity, we found an activity-induced RV signal of ∼7 {{m}} {{{s}}}-1, consistent with other active K dwarfs, but significantly smaller than the 31 {{m}} {{{s}}}-1 reflex motion due to HAT-P-11c. We investigated the dynamical coupling between HAT-P-11b and c as a possible explanation for HAT-P-11b’s misaligned orbit, finding that planet–planet Kozai interactions cannot tilt planet b’s orbit due to general relativistic precession; however, nodal precession operating on million year timescales is a viable mechanism to explain HAT-P-11b’s high obliquity. This leaves open the question of why HAT-P-11c may have such a tilted orbit. At a distance of 38 pc, the HAT-P-11 system offers rich opportunities for further exoplanet characterization through astrometry and direct imaging.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-08-20

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth; Desert, Jean-Michel; Crepp, Justin R.; Shporer, Avi; Mann, Andrew W.; Ciardi, David R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steven B.; Horch, Elliott P.; Everett, Mark E.

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Neutron stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Irvine, J.M.

    1978-01-01

    The subject is covered in chapters entitled: introduction (resume of stellar evolution, gross characteristics of neutron stars); pulsars (pulsar characteristics, pulsars as neutron stars); neutron star temperatures (neutron star cooling, superfluidity and superconductivity in neutron stars); the exterior of neutron stars (the magnetosphere, the neutron star 'atmosphere', pulses); neutron star structure; neutron star equations of state. (U.K.)

  19. Science Parametrics for Missions to Search for Earth-like Exoplanets by Direct Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    We use Nt , the number of exoplanets observed in time t, as a science metric to study direct-search missions like Terrestrial Planet Finder. In our model, N has 27 parameters, divided into three categories: 2 astronomical, 7 instrumental, and 18 science-operational. For various "27-vectors" of those parameters chosen to explore parameter space, we compute design reference missions to estimate Nt . Our treatment includes the recovery of completeness c after a search observation, for revisits, solar and antisolar avoidance, observational overhead, and follow-on spectroscopy. Our baseline 27-vector has aperture D = 16 m, inner working angle IWA = 0.039'', mission time t = 0-5 yr, occurrence probability for Earth-like exoplanets η = 0.2, and typical values for the remaining 23 parameters. For the baseline case, a typical five-year design reference mission has an input catalog of ~4700 stars with nonzero completeness, ~1300 unique stars observed in ~2600 observations, of which ~1300 are revisits, and it produces N 1 ~ 50 exoplanets after one year and N 5 ~ 130 after five years. We explore offsets from the baseline for 10 parameters. We find that N depends strongly on IWA and only weakly on D. It also depends only weakly on zodiacal light for Z end-to-end efficiency for h > 0.2, and scattered starlight for ζ revisits, solar and antisolar avoidance, and follow-on spectroscopy are all important factors in estimating N.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  2. ALMA view of RX J1131-1231: Sub-kpc CO (2-1) mapping of a molecular disk in a lensed star-forming quasar host galaxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paraficz, D.; Rybak, M.; McKean, J. P.; Vegetti, S.; Sluse, D.; Courbin, F.; Stacey, H. R.; Suyu, S. H.; Dessauges-Zavadsky, M.; Fassnacht, C. D.; Koopmans, L. V. E.

    2018-05-01

    We present ALMA 2-mm continuum and CO (2-1) spectral line imaging of the gravitationally lensed z = 0.654 star-forming/quasar composite RX J1131-1231 at 240-400 mas angular resolution. The continuum emission is found to be compact and coincident with the optical emission, whereas the molecular gas forms a complete Einstein ring, which shows strong differential magnification. The de-lensed source structure is determined on 400-parsec-scales resolution using a Bayesian pixelated visibility-fitting lens modelling technique. The reconstructed molecular gas velocity-field is consistent with a large rotating disk with a major-axis FWHM 9.4 kpc at an inclination angle of i = 54° and with a maximum rotational velocity of 280 km s-1. From dynamical model fitting we find an enclosed mass within 5 kpc of M(r conversion factor of α = 5.5 ± 2.0 M⊙ (K km s-1 pc2)-1. This suggests that the star-formation efficiency is dependent on the host galaxy morphology as opposed to the nature of the AGN. The far-infrared continuum spectral energy distribution shows evidence for heated dust, equivalent to an obscured star-formation rate of SFR = 69-25+41 × (7.3/μIR) M⊙ yr-1, which demonstrates the composite star-forming and AGN nature of this system.

  3. FINESSE & CASE: Two Proposed Transiting Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellem, Robert Thomas; FINESSE and CASE Science Team

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Three Temperate Neptunes Orbiting Nearby Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, Benjamin J.; Howard, Andrew W.; Weiss, Lauren M.; Sinukoff, Evan; Petigura, Erik A.; Isaacson, Howard; Hirsch, Lea; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Henry, Gregory W.; Grunblatt, Samuel K.; Huber, Daniel; von Braun, Kaspar; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Kane, Stephen R.; Wittrock, Justin; Horch, Elliott P.; Ciardi, David R.; Howell, Steve B.; Wright, Jason T.; Ford, Eric B.

    2016-10-01

    We present the discovery of three modestly irradiated, roughly Neptune-mass planets orbiting three nearby Solar-type stars. HD 42618 b has a minimum mass of 15.4 ± 2.4 {M}\\oplus , a semimajor axis of 0.55 au, an equilibrium temperature of 337 K, and is the first planet discovered to orbit the solar analogue host star, HD 42618. We also discover new planets orbiting the known exoplanet host stars HD 164922 and HD 143761 (ρ CrB). The new planet orbiting HD 164922 has a minimum mass of 12.9 ± 1.6 {M}\\oplus and orbits interior to the previously known Jovian mass planet orbiting at 2.1 au. HD 164922 c has a semimajor axis of 0.34 au and an equilibrium temperature of 418 K. HD 143761 c orbits with a semimajor axis of 0.44 au, has a minimum mass of 25 ± 2 {M}\\oplus , and is the warmest of the three new planets with an equilibrium temperature of 445 K. It orbits exterior to the previously known warm Jupiter in the system. A transit search using space-based CoRoT data and ground-based photometry from the Automated Photometric Telescopes (APTs) at Fairborn Observatory failed to detect any transits, but the precise, high-cadence APT photometry helped to disentangle planetary-reflex motion from stellar activity. These planets were discovered as part of an ongoing radial velocity survey of bright, nearby, chromospherically inactive stars using the Automated Planet Finder (APF) telescope at Lick Observatory. The high-cadence APF data combined with nearly two decades of radial velocity data from Keck Observatory and gives unprecedented sensitivity to both short-period low-mass, and long-period intermediate-mass planets. Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. Keck time was granted for this project by the University of Hawai‘I, the University of California, and NASA.

  5. Planetary populations in the mass-period diagram: A statistical treatment of exoplanet formation and the role of planet traps

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro [Currently EACOA Fellow at Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica (ASIAA), Taipei 10641, Taiwan. (China); Pudritz, Ralph E., E-mail: yasu@asiaa.sinica.edu.tw, E-mail: pudritz@physics.mcmaster.ca [Also at Origins Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1, Canada. (Canada)

    2013-11-20

    The rapid growth of observed exoplanets has revealed the existence of several distinct planetary populations in the mass-period diagram. Two of the most surprising are (1) the concentration of gas giants around 1 AU and (2) the accumulation of a large number of low-mass planets with tight orbits, also known as super-Earths and hot Neptunes. We have recently shown that protoplanetary disks have multiple planet traps that are characterized by orbital radii in the disks and halt rapid type I planetary migration. By coupling planet traps with the standard core accretion scenario, we showed that one can account for the positions of planets in the mass-period diagram. In this paper, we demonstrate quantitatively that most gas giants formed at planet traps tend to end up around 1 AU, with most of these being contributed by dead zones and ice lines. We also show that a large fraction of super-Earths and hot Neptunes are formed as 'failed' cores of gas giants—this population being constituted by comparable contributions from dead zone and heat transition traps. Our results are based on the evolution of forming planets in an ensemble of disks where we vary only the lifetimes of disks and their mass accretion rates onto the host star. We show that a statistical treatment of the evolution of a large population of planetary cores caught in planet traps accounts for the existence of three distinct exoplanetary populations—the hot Jupiters, the more massive planets around r = 1 AU, and the short-period super-Earths and hot Neptunes. There are very few populations that feed into the large orbital radii characteristic of the imaged Jovian planet, which agrees with recent surveys. Finally, we find that low-mass planets in tight orbits become the dominant planetary population for low-mass stars (M {sub *} ≤ 0.7 M {sub ☉}).

  6. New frontiers of high-resolution spectroscopy: Probing the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and reflected light from exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birkby, Jayne; Alonso, Roi; Brogi, Matteo; Charbonneau, David; Fortney, Jonathan; Hoyer, Sergio; Johnson, John Asher; de Kok, Remco; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Montet, Ben; Snellen, Ignas

    2015-12-01

    High-resolution spectroscopy (R>25,000) is a robust and powerful tool in the near-infrared characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. It has unambiguously revealed the presence of carbon monoxide and water in several hot Jupiters, measured the rotation rate of beta Pic b, and suggested the presence of fast day-to-night winds in one atmosphere. The method is applicable to transiting, non-transiting, and directly-imaged planets. It works by resolving broad molecular bands in the planetary spectrum into a dense, unique forest of individual lines and tracing them directly by their Doppler shift, while the star and tellurics remain essentially stationary. I will focus on two ongoing efforts to expand this technique. First, I will present new results on 51 Peg b revealing its infrared atmospheric compositional properties, then I will discuss an ongoing optical HARPS-N/TNG campaign (due mid October 2015) to obtain a detailed albedo spectrum of 51 Peg b at 387-691 nm in bins of 50nm. This spectrum would provide strong constraints on the previously claimed high albedo and potentially cloudy nature of this planet. Second, I will discuss preliminary results from Keck/NIRSPAO observations (due late September 2015) of LHS 6343 C, a 1000 K transiting brown dwarf with an M-dwarf host star. The high-resolution method converts this system into an eclipsing, double-lined spectroscopic binary, thus allowing dynamical mass and radius estimates of the components, free from astrophysical assumptions. Alongside probing the atmospheric composition of the brown dwarf, these data would provide the first model-independent study of the bulk properties of an old brown dwarf, with masses accurate to <5%, placing a crucial constraint on brown dwarf evolution models.

  7. Planetary populations in the mass-period diagram: A statistical treatment of exoplanet formation and the role of planet traps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Pudritz, Ralph E.

    2013-01-01

    The rapid growth of observed exoplanets has revealed the existence of several distinct planetary populations in the mass-period diagram. Two of the most surprising are (1) the concentration of gas giants around 1 AU and (2) the accumulation of a large number of low-mass planets with tight orbits, also known as super-Earths and hot Neptunes. We have recently shown that protoplanetary disks have multiple planet traps that are characterized by orbital radii in the disks and halt rapid type I planetary migration. By coupling planet traps with the standard core accretion scenario, we showed that one can account for the positions of planets in the mass-period diagram. In this paper, we demonstrate quantitatively that most gas giants formed at planet traps tend to end up around 1 AU, with most of these being contributed by dead zones and ice lines. We also show that a large fraction of super-Earths and hot Neptunes are formed as 'failed' cores of gas giants—this population being constituted by comparable contributions from dead zone and heat transition traps. Our results are based on the evolution of forming planets in an ensemble of disks where we vary only the lifetimes of disks and their mass accretion rates onto the host star. We show that a statistical treatment of the evolution of a large population of planetary cores caught in planet traps accounts for the existence of three distinct exoplanetary populations—the hot Jupiters, the more massive planets around r = 1 AU, and the short-period super-Earths and hot Neptunes. There are very few populations that feed into the large orbital radii characteristic of the imaged Jovian planet, which agrees with recent surveys. Finally, we find that low-mass planets in tight orbits become the dominant planetary population for low-mass stars (M * ≤ 0.7 M ☉ ).

  8. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuël; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M; Lederer, Susan M; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Ingalls, James G; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Raymond, Sean N; Selsis, Franck; Turbet, Martin; Barkaoui, Khalid; Burgasser, Adam; Burleigh, Matthew R; Carey, Sean J; Chaushev, Aleksander; Copperwheat, Chris M; Delrez, Laetitia; Fernandes, Catarina S; Holdsworth, Daniel L; Kotze, Enrico J; Van Grootel, Valérie; Almleaky, Yaseen; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2017-02-22

    One aim of modern astronomy is to detect temperate, Earth-like exoplanets that are well suited for atmospheric characterization. Recently, three Earth-sized planets were detected that transit (that is, pass in front of) a star with a mass just eight per cent that of the Sun, located 12 parsecs away. The transiting configuration of these planets, combined with the Jupiter-like size of their host star-named TRAPPIST-1-makes possible in-depth studies of their atmospheric properties with present-day and future astronomical facilities. Here we report the results of a photometric monitoring campaign of that star from the ground and space. Our observations reveal that at least seven planets with sizes and masses similar to those of Earth revolve around TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets form a near-resonant chain, such that their orbital periods (1.51, 2.42, 4.04, 6.06, 9.1 and 12.35 days) are near-ratios of small integers. This architecture suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and migrated inwards. Moreover, the seven planets have equilibrium temperatures low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surfaces.

  9. Physical and Chemical Toeholds for Exoplanet Bioastronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Using multi-disciplinary optimization and numerical simulation on the transiting exoplanet survey satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoeckel, Gerhard P.; Doyle, Keith B.

    2017-08-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an instrument consisting of four, wide fieldof- view CCD cameras dedicated to the discovery of exoplanets around the brightest stars, and understanding the diversity of planets and planetary systems in our galaxy. Each camera utilizes a seven-element lens assembly with low-power and low-noise CCD electronics. Advanced multivariable optimization and numerical simulation capabilities accommodating arbitrarily complex objective functions have been added to the internally developed Lincoln Laboratory Integrated Modeling and Analysis Software (LLIMAS) and used to assess system performance. Various optical phenomena are accounted for in these analyses including full dn/dT spatial distributions in lenses and charge diffusion in the CCD electronics. These capabilities are utilized to design CCD shims for thermal vacuum chamber testing and flight, and verify comparable performance in both environments across a range of wavelengths, field points and temperature distributions. Additionally, optimizations and simulations are used for model correlation and robustness optimizations.

  11. Exoplanet Characterization With Spitzer Eclipses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genta, Giancarlo

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

  13. Exoplanets: Past, Present, and Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chien-Hsiu Lee

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of extra-solar planet systems is highly driven by advances in observations in the past decade. Thanks to high precision spectrographs, we are able to reveal unseen companions to stars with the radial velocity method. High precision photometry from the space, especially with the Kepler mission, enables us to detect planets when they transit their stars and dim the stellar light by merely one percent or smaller. Ultra wide-field, high cadence, continuous monitoring of the Galactic bulge from different sites around the southern hemisphere provides us the opportunity to observe microlensing effects caused by planetary systems from the solar neighborhood, all the way to the Milky Way center. The exquisite AO imaging from ground-based large telescopes, coupled with high-contrast coronagraph, captured the photons directly emitted by planets around other stars. In this article, I present a concise review of the extra-solar planet discoveries, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the major planetary detection methods, providing an overview of our current understanding of planetary formation and evolution given the tremendous observations delivered by various methods, as well as on-going and planned observation endeavors to provide a clear picture of extra-solar planetary systems.

  14. Star-planet interactions and dynamical evolution of exoplanetary systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiani Cilia

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The dynamical evolution of planetary systems, after the evaporation of the accretion disk, is the result of the competition between tidal dissipation and the net angular momentum loss of the system. The description of the diversity of orbital configurations, and correlations between parameters of the observed system (e.g. in the case of hot jupiters, is still limited by our understanding of the transport of angular momentum within the stars, and its effective loss by magnetic braking. After discussing the challenges of modelling tidal evolution for exoplanets, I will review recent results showing the importance of tidal interactions to test models of planetary formation. This kind of studies rely on the determination of stellar radii, masses and ages. Major advances will thus be obtained with the results of the PLATO 2.0 mission, selected as the next M-class mission of ESA’s Cosmic Vision plan, that will allow the complete characterisation of host stars using asteroseismology.

  15. ON THE ORBIT OF EXOPLANET WASP-12b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campo, Christopher J.; Harrington, Joseph; Hardy, Ryan A.; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Nymeyer, Sarah; Lust, Nate B.; Blecic, Jasmina; Britt, Christopher B. T.; Bowman, William C.; Ragozzine, Darin; Anderson, David R.; Hellier, Coel; Maxted, Pierre F. L.; Collier-Cameron, Andrew; Wheatley, Peter J.; Loredo, Thomas J.; Deming, Drake; Hebb, Leslie; Pollaco, Don; West, Richard G.

    2011-01-01

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

  16. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Protoplanetary disks and exoplanets in scattered light

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolker, T.

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Prospects for Ground-Based Detection and Follow-up of TESS-Discovered Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varakian, Matthew; Deming, Drake

    2018-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will monitor over 200,000 main sequence dwarf stars for exoplanetary transits, with the goal of discovering small planets orbiting stars that are bright enough for follow-up observations. We here evaluate the prospects for ground-based transit detection and follow-up of the TESS-discovered planets. We focus particularly on the TESS planets that only transit once during each 27.4 day TESS observing window per region, and we calculate to what extent ground-based recovery of additional transits will be possible. Using simulated exoplanet systems from Sullivan et al. and assuming the use of a 60-cm telescope at a high quality observing site, we project the S/N ratios for transits of such planets. We use Phoenix stellar models for stars with surface temperatures from 2500K to 12000K, and we account for limb darkening, red atmospheric noise, and missed transits due to the day-night cycle and poor weather.

  19. Project Blue: Optical Coronagraphic Imaging Search for Terrestrial-class Exoplanets in Alpha Centauri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, Jon; Project Blue team

    2018-01-01

    Project Blue is a coronagraphic imaging space telescope mission designed to search for habitable worlds orbiting the nearest Sun-like stars in the Alpha Centauri system. With a 45-50 cm baseline primary mirror size, Project Blue will perform a reconnaissance of the habitable zones of Alpha Centauri A and B in blue light and one or two longer wavelength bands to determine the hue of any planets discovered. Light passing through the off-axis telescope feeds into a coronagraphic instrument that forms the heart of the mission. Various coronagraph designs are being considered, such as phase induced amplitude apodization (PIAA), vector vortex, etc. Differential orbital image processing techniques will be employed to analyze the data for faint planets embedded in the residual glare of the parent star. Project Blue will advance our knowledge about the presence or absence of terrestrial-class exoplanets in the habitable zones and measure the brightness of zodiacal dust around each star, which will aid future missions in planning their observational surveys of exoplanets. It also provides on-orbit demonstration of high-contrast coronagraphic imaging technologies and techniques that will be useful for planning and implementing future space missions by NASA and other space agencies. We present an overview of the science goals, mission concept and development schedule. As part of our cooperative agreement with NASA, the Project Blue team intends to make the data available in a publicly accessible archive.

  20. Terrestrial Zone Exoplanets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Brenda

    2018-01-01

    One of the most exciting results from ALMA has been the detection of significant substructure within protoplanetary disks that can be linked to planet formation processes. For the first time, we are able to observe the process of assembly of material into larger bodies within such disks. It is not possible, however, for ALMA to probe the growth of planets in protoplanetary disks at small radii, i.e., in the terrestrial zone, where we expect rocky terrestrial planets to form. In this regime, the optical depths prohibit observation at the high frequencies observed by ALMA. To probe the effects of planet building processes and detect telltale gaps and signatures of planetary mass bodies at such small separations from the parent star, we require a facility of superior resolution and sensitivity at lower frequencies. The ngVLA is just such a facility. We will present the fundamental science that will be enabled by the ngVLA in protoplanetary disk structure and the formation of planets. In addition, we will discuss the potential for an ngVLA facility to detect the molecules that are the building blocks of life, reaching limits well beyond those reachable with the current generation of telescopes, and also to determine whether such planets will be habitable based on studies of the impact of stars on their nearest planetary neighbours.

  1. Fundmental Parameters of Low-Mass Stars, Brown Dwarfs, and Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montet, Benjamin; Johnson, John A.; Bowler, Brendan; Shkolnik, Evgenya

    2016-01-01

    Despite advances in evolutionary models of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, these models remain poorly constrained by observations. In order to test these predictions directly, masses of individual stars must be measured and combined with broadband photometry and medium-resolution spectroscopy to probe stellar atmospheres. I will present results from an astrometric and spectroscopic survey of low-mass pre-main sequence binary stars to measure individual dynamical masses and compare to model predictions. This is the first systematic test of a large number of stellar systems of intermediate age between young star-forming regions and old field stars. Stars in our sample are members of the Tuc-Hor, AB Doradus, and beta Pictoris moving groups, the last of which includes GJ 3305 AB, the wide binary companion to the imaged exoplanet host 51 Eri. I will also present results of Spitzer observations of secondary eclipses of LHS 6343 C, a T dwarf transiting one member of an M+M binary in the Kepler field. By combining these data with Kepler photometry and radial velocity observations, we can measure the luminosity, mass, and radius of the brown dwarf. This is the first non-inflated brown dwarf for which all three of these parameters have been measured, providing the first benchmark to test model predictions of the masses and radii of field T dwarfs. I will discuss these results in the context of K2 and TESS, which will find additional benchmark transiting brown dwarfs over the course of their missions, including a description of the first planet catalog developed from K2 data and a program to search for transiting planets around mid-M dwarfs.

  2. Sounds of a Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-06-01

    Acoustic Oscillations in Solar-Twin "Alpha Cen A" Observed from La Silla by Swiss Team Summary Sound waves running through a star can help astronomers reveal its inner properties. This particular branch of modern astrophysics is known as "asteroseismology" . In the case of our Sun, the brightest star in the sky, such waves have been observed since some time, and have greatly improved our knowledge about what is going on inside. However, because they are much fainter, it has turned out to be very difficult to detect similar waves in other stars. Nevertheless, tiny oscillations in a solar-twin star have now been unambiguously detected by Swiss astronomers François Bouchy and Fabien Carrier from the Geneva Observatory, using the CORALIE spectrometer on the Swiss 1.2-m Leonard Euler telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory. This telescope is mostly used for discovering exoplanets (see ESO PR 07/01 ). The star Alpha Centauri A is the nearest star visible to the naked eye, at a distance of a little more than 4 light-years. The new measurements show that it pulsates with a 7-minute cycle, very similar to what is observed in the Sun . Asteroseismology for Sun-like stars is likely to become an important probe of stellar theory in the near future. The state-of-the-art HARPS spectrograph , to be mounted on the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, will be able to search for oscillations in stars that are 100 times fainter than those for which such demanding observations are possible with CORALIE. PR Photo 23a/01 : Oscillations in a solar-like star (schematic picture). PR Photo 23b/01 : Acoustic spectrum of Alpha Centauri A , as observed with CORALIE. Asteroseismology: listening to the stars ESO PR Photo 23a/01 ESO PR Photo 23a/01 [Preview - JPEG: 357 x 400 pix - 96k] [Normal - JPEG: 713 x 800 pix - 256k] [HiRes - JPEG: 2673 x 3000 pix - 2.1Mb Caption : PR Photo 23a/01 is a graphical representation of resonating acoustic waves in the interior of a solar-like star. Red and blue

  3. STELLAR DIAMETERS AND TEMPERATURES. III. MAIN-SEQUENCE A, F, G, AND K STARS: ADDITIONAL HIGH-PRECISION MEASUREMENTS AND EMPIRICAL RELATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Jones, Jeremy; White, Russel; McAlister, Harold A.; Gies, Douglas [Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 4106, Atlanta, GA 30302-4106 (United States); Von Braun, Kaspar [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, MC 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Van Belle, Gerard [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Farrington, Chris; Schaefer, Gail; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A.; Sturmann, Laszlo; Sturmann, Judit; Turner, Nils H.; Goldfinger, P. J.; Vargas, Norm [CHARA Array, Mount Wilson Observatory, Mount Wilson, CA 91023 (United States); Ridgway, Stephen [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85726-6732 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Based on CHARA Array measurements, we present the angular diameters of 23 nearby, main-sequence stars, ranging from spectral types A7 to K0, 5 of which are exoplanet host stars. We derive linear radii, effective temperatures, and absolute luminosities of the stars using Hipparcos parallaxes and measured bolometric fluxes. The new data are combined with previously published values to create an Angular Diameter Anthology of measured angular diameters to main-sequence stars (luminosity classes V and IV). This compilation consists of 125 stars with diameter uncertainties of less than 5%, ranging in spectral types from A to M. The large quantity of empirical data is used to derive color-temperature relations to an assortment of color indices in the Johnson (BVR{sub J} I{sub J} JHK), Cousins (R{sub C} I{sub C}), Kron (R{sub K} I{sub K}), Sloan (griz), and WISE (W{sub 3} W{sub 4}) photometric systems. These relations have an average standard deviation of {approx}3% and are valid for stars with spectral types A0-M4. To derive even more accurate relations for Sun-like stars, we also determined these temperature relations omitting early-type stars (T{sub eff} > 6750 K) that may have biased luminosity estimates because of rapid rotation; for this subset the dispersion is only {approx}2.5%. We find effective temperatures in agreement within a couple of percent for the interferometrically characterized sample of main-sequence stars compared to those derived via the infrared flux method and spectroscopic analysis.

  4. Results of the astrometry and direct imaging testbed for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendek, Eduardo A.; Belikov, Ruslan; Pluzhnik, Eugene; Guyon, Olivier; Milster, Thomas; Johnson, Lee; Finan, Emily; Knight, Justin; Rodack, Alexander

    2017-09-01

    Measuring masses of long-period planets around F, G, and K stars is necessary to characterize exoplanets and assess their habitability. Imaging stellar astrometry offers a unique opportunity to solve radial velocity system inclination ambiguity and determine exoplanet masses. The main limiting factor in sparse-field astrometry, besides photon noise, is the non-systematic dynamic distortions that arise from perturbations in the optical train. Even space optics suffer from dynamic distortions in the optical system at the sub-μas level. To overcome this limitation we propose a diffractive pupil that uses an array of dots on the primary mirror creating polychromatic diffraction spikes in the focal plane, which are used to calibrate the distortions in the optical system. By combining this technology with a high-performance coronagraph, measurements of planetary systems orbits and masses can be obtained faster and more accurately than by applying traditional techniques separately. In this paper, we present the results of the combined astrometry and and highcontrast imaging experiments performed at NASA Ames Research Center as part of a Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions program. We demonstrated 2.38x10-5 λ/D astrometric accuracy per axis and 1.72x10-7 raw contrast from 1.6 to 4.5 λ/D. In addition, using a simple average subtraction post-processing we demonstrated no contamination of the coronagraph field down to 4.79x10-9 raw contrast.

  5. THE INFLUENCE OF MAGNETIC FIELD GEOMETRY ON THE FORMATION OF CLOSE-IN EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simon, Jacob B., E-mail: jbsimon.astro@gmail.com [Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)

    2016-08-20

    Approximately half of Sun-like stars harbor exoplanets packed within a radius of ∼0.3 au, but the formation of these planets and why they form in only half of known systems are still not well understood. We employ a one-dimensional steady-state model to gain physical insight into the origin of these close-in exoplanets. We use Shakura and Sunyaev α values extracted from recent numerical simulations of protoplanetary disk accretion processes in which the magnitude of α , and thus the steady-state gas surface density, depend on the orientation of large-scale magnetic fields with respect to the disk’s rotation axis. Solving for the metallicity as a function of radius, we find that for fields anti-aligned with the rotation axis, the inner regions of our model disk often fall within a region of parameter space that is not suitable for planetesimal formation, whereas in the aligned case, the inner disk regions are likely to produce planetesimals through some combination of streaming instability and gravitational collapse, though the degree to which this is true depends on the assumed parameters of our model. More robustly, the aligned field case always produces higher concentrations of solids at small radii compared to the anti-aligned case. In the in situ formation model, this bimodal distribution of solid enhancement leads directly to the observed dichotomy in exoplanet orbital distances.

  6. HABITABLE ZONES AROUND MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS: NEW ESTIMATES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Ramirez, Ramses; Kasting, James F. [Department of Geosciences, Penn State University, 443 Deike Building, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Eymet, Vincent [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Bordeaux, Universite de Bordeaux 1, UMR 5804, F-33270 Floirac (France); Robinson, Tyler D.; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Meadows, Victoria [NASA Astrobiology Institute' s Virtual Planetary Laboratory (United States); Mahadevan, Suvrath; Terrien, Ryan C.; Deshpande, Rohit [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2013-03-10

    Identifying terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of other stars is one of the primary goals of ongoing radial velocity (RV) and transit exoplanet surveys and proposed future space missions. Most current estimates of the boundaries of the HZ are based on one-dimensional (1D), cloud-free, climate model calculations by Kasting et al. However, this model used band models that were based on older HITRAN and HITEMP line-by-line databases. The inner edge of the HZ in the Kasting et al. model was determined by loss of water, and the outer edge was determined by the maximum greenhouse provided by a CO{sub 2} atmosphere. A conservative estimate for the width of the HZ from this model in our solar system is 0.95-1.67 AU. Here an updated 1D radiative-convective, cloud-free climate model is used to obtain new estimates for HZ widths around F, G, K, and M stars. New H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} absorption coefficients, derived from the HITRAN 2008 and HITEMP 2010 line-by-line databases, are important improvements to the climate model. According to the new model, the water-loss (inner HZ) and maximum greenhouse (outer HZ) limits for our solar system are at 0.99 and 1.70 AU, respectively, suggesting that the present Earth lies near the inner edge. Additional calculations are performed for stars with effective temperatures between 2600 and 7200 K, and the results are presented in parametric form, making them easy to apply to actual stars. The new model indicates that, near the inner edge of the HZ, there is no clear distinction between runaway greenhouse and water-loss limits for stars with T{sub eff} {approx}< 5000 K, which has implications for ongoing planet searches around K and M stars. To assess the potential habitability of extrasolar terrestrial planets, we propose using stellar flux incident on a planet rather than equilibrium temperature. This removes the dependence on planetary (Bond) albedo, which varies depending on the host star's spectral type. We suggest

  7. Symbiotic stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyarchuk, A.A.

    1975-01-01

    There are some arguments that the symbiotic stars are binary, where one component is a red giant and the other component is a small hot star which is exciting a nebula. The symbiotic stars belong to the old disc population. Probably, symbiotic stars are just such an evolutionary stage for double stars as planetary nebulae for single stars. (Auth.)

  8. Time-resolved UVES observations of a stellar flare on the planet host HD 189733 during primary transit

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    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

  9. Hot moons and cool stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heller René

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The exquisite photometric precision of the Kepler space telescope now puts the detection of extrasolar moons at the horizon. Here, we firstly review observational and analytical techniques that have recently been proposed to find exomoons. Secondly, we discuss the prospects of characterizing potentially habitable extrasolar satellites. With moons being much more numerous than planets in the solar system and with most exoplanets found in the stellar habitable zone being gas giants, habitable moons could be as abundant as habitable planets. However, satellites orbiting planets in the habitable zones of cool stars will encounter strong tidal heating and likely appear as hot moons.

  10. ASTRO 850: Teaching Teachers about Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barringer, Daniel; Palma, Christopher

    2017-01-01

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

  11. WFIRST: Exoplanet Data Challenge. Atmospheric retrieval results

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Atmospheric Seasonality as an Exoplanet Biosignature

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  13. MASCARA-1 b. A hot Jupiter transiting a bright mV = 8.3 A-star in a misaligned orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talens, G. J. J.; Albrecht, S.; Spronck, J. F. P.; Lesage, A.-L.; Otten, G. P. P. L.; Stuik, R.; Van Eylen, V.; Van Winckel, H.; Pollacco, D.; McCormac, J.; Grundahl, F.; Fredslund Andersen, M.; Antoci, V.; Snellen, I. A. G.

    2017-10-01

    We report the discovery of MASCARA-1 b, which is the first exoplanet discovered with the Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA (MASCARA). This exoplanet is a hot Jupiter orbiting a bright mV = 8.3, rapidly rotating (vsini⋆ > 100 km s-1) A8 star with a period of 2.148780 ± 8 × 10-6 days. The planet has a mass and radius of 3.7 ± 0.9 MJup and 1.5 ± 0.3 RJup, respectively. As with most hot Jupiters transiting early-type stars, we find a misalignment between the planet orbital axis and the stellar spin axis, which may be a signature of the formation and migration histories of this family of planets. MASCARA-1 b has a mean density of 1.5 ± 0.9 g cm-3 and an equilibrium temperature of 2570+50-30K, that is one of the highest temperatures known for a hot Jupiter to date. The system is reminiscent of WASP-33, but the host star lacks apparent delta-scuti variations, making the planet an ideal target for atmospheric characterization. We expect this to be the first of a series of hot Jupiters transiting bright early-type stars that will be discovered by MASCARA. Tables of the photometry and the reduced spectra as FITS files are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/606/A73

  14. Improving Transit Predictions of Known Exoplanets with TERMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahadevan S.

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  16. Stellar Echo Imaging of Exoplanets, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — All stars exhibit intensity fluctuations over several time scales, from nanoseconds to days; these intensity fluctuations echo off planetary bodies in the star...

  17. Stellar Echo Imaging of Exoplanets, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — All stars exhibit intensity fluctuations over several time scales, from nanoseconds to days; these intensity fluctuations echo off planetary bodies in the star...

  18. Toward the detection of exoplanet transits with polarimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  19. Finding Exoplanets Using Point Spread Function Photometry on Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)