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Sample records for exoplanet search telescope

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    The last decade has witnessed a spectacular development of exoplanet detection techniques, which led to an exponential number of discoveries and a great diversity of known exoplanets. However, it must be noted that the quest for the holy grail of astrobiology, i.e. a nearby terrestrial exoplanet in habitable zone around a solar type star, is still ongoing and proves to be very hard. Radial velocities will have to overcome stellar noise if there are to discover habitable planets around stars more massive than M ones. For very close systems, transits are impeded by their low geometrical probability. Here we present an alternative concept: space astrometry. NEAT (Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope) is a concept of astrometric mission proposed to ESA which goal is to make a whole sky survey of close (less then 20 pc) planetary systems. The detection limit required for the instrument is the astrometric signal of an Earth analog (at 10 pc). Differential astrometry is a very interesting tool to detect nearby habitable exoplanets. Indeed, for F, G and K main sequence stars, the astrophysical noise is smaller than the astrometric signal, contrary to the case for radial velocities. The difficulty lies in the fact that the signal of an exo-Earth around a G type star at 10 pc is a tiny 0.3 micro arc sec, which is equivalent to a coin on the moon, seen from the Earth: the main challenge is related to instrumentation. In order to reach this specification, NEAT consists of two formation flying spacecraft at a 40m distance, one carries the mirror and the other one the focal plane. Thus NEAT has a configuration with only one optical surface: an off-axis parabola. Consequently, beamwalk errors are common to the whole field of view and have a small effect on differential astrometry. Moreover a metrology system projects young fringes on the focal plane, which can characterize the pixels whenever necessary during the mission. NEAT has two main scientific objectives: combined with

  2. M Dwarf Exoplanet Survey by the Falcon Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Randall E.

    2016-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Engaging Undergraduate Students in Transiting Exoplanet Research with Small Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Denise C.; Stoker, E.; Gaillard, C.; Ranquist, E.; Lara, P.; Wright, K.

    2013-10-01

    Brigham Young University has a relatively large undergraduate physics program with 300 to 360 physics majors. Each of these students is required to be engaged in a research group and to produce a senior thesis before graduating. For the astronomy professors, this means that each of us is mentoring at least 4-6 undergraduate students at any given time. For the past few years I have been searching for meaningful research projects that make use of our telescope resources and are exciting for both myself and my students. We first started following up Kepler Objects of Interest with our 0.9 meter telescope, but quickly realized that most of the transits we could observe were better analyzed with Kepler data and were false positive objects. So now we have joined a team that is searching for transiting planets, and my students are using our 16" telescope to do ground based follow-up on the hundreds of possible transiting planet candidates produced by this survey. In this presentation I will describe our current telescopes, the observational setup, and how we use our telescopes to search for transiting planets. I'll describe some of the software the students have written. I'll also explain how to use the NASA Exoplanet Archive to gather data on known transiting planets and Kepler Objects of Interests. These databases are useful for determining the observational limits of your small telescopes and teaching your students how to reduce and report data on transiting planets. Once that is in place, you are potentially ready to join existing transiting planet missions by doing ground-based follow-up. I will explain how easy it can be to implement this type of research at any high school, college, or university with a small telescope and CCD camera.

  7. 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}.

  8. Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, S.

    2010-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Exoplanet Searches by Future Deep Space Missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maccone C.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The search for exoplanets could benefit from gravitational lensing if we could get to 550 AU from the Sun and beyond. This is because the gravitational lens of the Sun would highly intensify there any weak electromagnetic wave reaching the solar system from distant planets in the Galaxy (see Maccone 2009. The gravitational lens of the Sun, however, has a drawback: the solar Corona. Electrons in the Corona make electromagnetic waves diverge and this pushes the focus out to distances higher than 550 AU. Jupiter is the second larger mass in the solar system after the Sun, but in this focal game not only the mass matters: rather, what really matters is the ratio between the radius of the body squared and the mass of the body. In this regard, Jupiter qualifies as the second best choice for a space mission, requiring the spacecraft to reach 6,077 AU. In this paper, we study the benefit of exoplanet searches by deep space missions.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. NEID: A next generation Doppler spectrometer for exoplanet discovery and followup at the WIYN telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, C. F.

    2017-12-01

    The field of exoplanet characterization via ground-based radial velocity measurements is entering a golden era as new purpose-built spectrometers come online over the coming few years. These instruments will provide unprecedented RV precision and push into new wavelength regimes. The NEID spectrometer is being constructed by a multi-institutional team under a NASA-NSF collaboration to provide the US exoplanet community with precision Doppler spectroscopic capabilities at the 3.5 m WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak. NEID will provide R 100,000 spectra covering the complete wavelength range from 0.38 - 0.92 microns, with RV precision of 30 cm/s. It will deploy to the WIYN in 2018, and be available for public use in spring 2019, where it will provide support for TESS and carryout a GTO search program to discover Earth-twins. I will provide a general overview of the instrument design and scientific capabilities, and an update on its development status.

  14. 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

  15. Scalable Gaussian Processes and the search for exoplanets

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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....

  19. The pinwheel pupil discovery: exoplanet science & improved processing with segmented telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breckinridge, James Bernard

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, we show that by using a “pinwheel” architecture for the segmented primary mirror and curved supports for the secondary mirror, we can achieve a near uniform diffraction background in ground and space large telescope systems needed for high SNR exoplanet science. Also, the point spread function will be nearly rotationally symmetric, enabling improved digital image reconstruction. Large (>4-m) aperture space telescopes are needed to characterize terrestrial exoplanets by direct imaging coronagraphy. Launch vehicle volume constrains these apertures are segmented and deployed in space to form a large mirror aperture that is masked by the gaps between the hexagonal segments and the shadows of the secondary support system. These gaps and shadows over the pupil result in an image plane point spread function that has bright spikes, which may mask or obscure exoplanets.These telescope artifact mask faint exoplanets, making it necessary for the spacecraft to make a roll about the boresight and integrate again to make sure no planets are missed. This increases integration time, and requires expensive space-craft resources to do bore-sight roll.Currently the LUVOIR and HabEx studies have several significant efforts to develop special purpose A/O technology and to place complex absorbing apodizers over their Hex pupils to shape the unwanted diffracted light. These strong apodizers absorb light, decreasing system transmittance and reducing SNR. Implementing curved pupil obscurations will eliminate the need for the highly absorbing apodizers and thus result in higher SNR.Quantitative analysis of diffraction patterns that use the pinwheel architecture are compared to straight hex-segment edges with a straight-line secondary shadow mask to show a gain of over a factor of 100 by reducing the background. For the first-time astronomers are able to control and minimize image plane diffraction background “noise”. This technology will enable 10-m segmented

  20. 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.

  1. A NEW CONCEPT FOR SPECTROPHOTOMETRY OF EXOPLANETS WITH SPACE-BORNE TELESCOPES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsuo, Taro; Itoh, Satoshi; Shibai, Hiroshi; Sumi, Takahiro [Department of Earth and Space Science, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, 1-1, Machikaneyamacho, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043 (Japan); Yamamuro, Tomoyasu [Optocraft, 3-16-8-101, Higashi Hashimoto, Midori-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0144 (Japan)

    2016-06-01

    We propose a new concept for the spectral characterization of transiting exoplanets with future space-based telescopes. This concept, called densified pupil spectroscopy, allows us to perform high, stable spectrophotometry against telescope pointing jitter and deformation of the primary mirror. This densified pupil spectrometer comprises the following three roles: division of a pupil into a number of sub-pupils, densification of each sub-pupil, and acquisition of the spectrum of each sub-pupil with a conventional spectrometer. Focusing on the fact that the divided and densified sub-pupil can be treated as a point source, we discovered that a simplified spectrometer allows us to acquire the spectra of the densified sub-pupils on the detector plane−an optical conjugate with the primary mirror−by putting the divided and densified sub-pupils on the entrance slit of the spectrometer. The acquired multiple spectra are not principally moved on the detector against low-order aberrations such as the telescope pointing jitter and any deformation of the primary mirror. The reliability of the observation result is also increased by statistically treating them. Our numerical calculations show that because this method suppresses the instrumental systematic errors down to 10 ppm under telescopes with modest pointing accuracy, next generation space telescopes with more than 2.5 m diameter potentially provide opportunities to characterize temperate super-Earths around nearby late-type stars through the transmission spectroscopy and secondary eclipse.

  2. 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.

  3. The WASP-South search for transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Queloz D.

    2011-02-01

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

  4. Towards a List of Molecules as Potential Biosignature Gases for the Search for Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara; Bains, William; Petkowski, Janusz

    2015-12-01

    Thousands of exoplanets are known to orbit nearby stars. Plans for the next generation of space-based and ground-based telescopes are fueling the anticipation that a precious few habitable planets can be identified in the coming decade. Even more highly anticipated is the chance to find signs of life on these habitable planets by way of biosignature gases. But which gases should we search for? We expand on the search of possible biosignature gases and go beyond those studied so far, which include O2, O3, N2O, and CH4, as well as secondary metabolites: methanethiol (CH3SH), dimethyl sulfide ((CH3)2S), methyl chloride (CH3Cl), and carbonyl sulfide (CSO).We present the results of a project to map the chemical space of life’s metabolic products. We have constructed a systematic survey of all possible stable volatile molecules (up to N=6 non-H atoms), and identified those made by life on Earth. Some (such as methyl chloride) are made by Earth life in sufficiently substantial quantities to be candidate biosignatures in an Earth-like exoplanet’s atmosphere; some, such as stibine (SbH3), are produced only in trace amounts. Some entire categories of molecules are not made by Earth life (such as the silanes); these and other absences from the list of biogenic volatiles point to functional patterns in biochemical space. Such patterns may be different for different biochemistry, and so we cannot rule out any small, stable molecule as a candidate biosignature gas. Our goal is for the community to use the list to study the chemicals that might be potential biosignature gases on exoplanets with atmospheres and surface environments different from Earth’s.

  5. Deep UV to NIR Space Telescopes and Exoplanet Coronagraphs: A Trade Study on Throughput, Polarization, Mirror Coating Options and Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham; Shaklan, Stuart; Give'on, Amir; Cady, Eric; Marchen, Luis

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Exoplanet program and the Cosmic Origins program are exploring technical options to combine the visible to NIR performance requirements of a space coronagraph with the general astrophysics requirements of a space telescope covering the deep UV spectrum. Are there compatible options in terms of mirror coatings and telescope architecture to satisfy both goals? In this paper, we address some of the main concerns, particularly relating to polarization in the visible and throughput in the UV. Telescope architectures employing different coating options compatible with current technology are considered in this trade study.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Searching for dark matter with neutrino telescopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hooper, Dan; Silk, Joseph

    2004-01-01

    One of the most interesting mysteries of astrophysics is the puzzle of dark matter. Although numerous techniques have been explored and developed to detect this elusive substance, its nature remains unknown. One such method uses large high-energy neutrino telescopes to look for the annihilation products of dark matter annihilations. In this paper, we briefly review this technique. We describe the calculations used to find the rate of capture of WIMPs in the Sun or Earth and the spectrum of neutrinos produced in the resulting dark matter annihilations. We will discuss these calculations within the context of supersymmetry and models with universal extra dimensions, the lightest supersymmetric particle and lightest Kaluza-Klein particle providing the WIMP candidate in these cases, respectively. We will also discuss the status of some of the experiments relevant to these searches: AMANDA, IceCube and ANTARES

  9. PALM-3000: EXOPLANET ADAPTIVE OPTICS FOR THE 5 m HALE TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dekany, Richard; Bouchez, Antonin; Baranec, Christoph; Hale, David; Zolkower, Jeffry; Henning, John; Croner, Ernest; McKenna, Dan; Hildebrandt, Sergi; Milburn, Jennifer [Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, MC 11-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Roberts, Jennifer; Burruss, Rick; Truong, Tuan; Guiwits, Stephen; Angione, John; Trinh, Thang; Shelton, J. Christopher; Palmer, Dean; Troy, Mitchell; Tesch, Jonathan, E-mail: rgd@astro.caltech.edu [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2013-10-20

    We describe and report first results from PALM-3000, the second-generation astronomical adaptive optics (AO) facility for the 5.1 m Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory. PALM-3000 has been engineered for high-contrast imaging and emission spectroscopy of brown dwarfs and large planetary mass bodies at near-infrared wavelengths around bright stars, but also supports general natural guide star use to V ≈ 17. Using its unique 66 × 66 actuator deformable mirror, PALM-3000 has thus far demonstrated residual wavefront errors of 141 nm rms under ∼1'' seeing conditions. PALM-3000 can provide phase conjugation correction over a 6.''4 × 6.''4 working region at λ = 2.2 μm, or full electric field (amplitude and phase) correction over approximately one-half of this field. With optimized back-end instrumentation, PALM-3000 is designed to enable 10{sup –7} contrast at 1'' angular separation, including post-observation speckle suppression processing. While continued optimization of the AO system is ongoing, we have already successfully commissioned five back-end instruments and begun a major exoplanet characterization survey, Project 1640.

  10. Time to consider search strategies for complex life on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Bains, William

    2018-05-01

    Upcoming telescopes might be able to detect signatures of complex life on other worlds, but we need to involve physical, chemical and life scientists at the planning stage in order to interpret the findings when the time comes.

  11. The Mass of the Candidate Exoplanet Companion to HD 33636 from Hubble Space Telescope Astrometry and High-Precision Radial Velocities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Jacob L.; McArthur, Barbara E.; Benedict, G. Fritz; Harrison, Thomas E.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Nelan, Edmund; Smith, Verne V.

    2007-08-01

    We have determined a dynamical mass for the companion to HD 33636 that indicates it is a low-mass star instead of an exoplanet. Our result is based on an analysis of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) astrometry and ground-based radial velocity data. We have obtained high-cadence radial velocity measurements spanning 1.3 yr of HD 33636 with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory. We combined these data with previously published velocities to create a data set that spans 9 yr. We used this data set to search for, and place mass limits on, the existence of additional companions in the HD 33636 system. Our high-precision astrometric observations of the system with the HST Fine Guidance Sensor 1r span 1.2 yr. We simultaneously modeled the radial velocity and astrometry data to determine the parallax, proper motion, and perturbation orbit parameters of HD 33636. Our derived parallax, πabs=35.6+/-0.2 mas, agrees within the uncertainties with the Hipparcos value. We find a perturbation period P=2117.3+/-0.8 days, semimajor axis aA=14.2+/-0.2 mas, and system inclination i=4.1deg+/-0.1deg. Assuming the mass of the primary star to be MA=1.02+/-0.03 Msolar, we obtain a companion mass MB=142+/-11 MJup=0.14+/-0.01 Msolar. The much larger true mass of the companion relative to its minimum mass estimated from the spectroscopic orbit parameters (Msini=9.3 MJup) is due to the nearly face-on orbit orientation. This result demonstrates the value of follow-up astrometric observations to determine the true masses of exoplanet candidates detected with the radial velocity method. Based on data obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). The HST observations were obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. The HET is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford

  12. 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.

  13. Microlensing observations rapid search for exoplanets: MORSE code for GPUs

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Alistair; Albrow, Michael D.

    2016-02-01

    The rapid analysis of ongoing gravitational microlensing events has been integral to the successful detection and characterization of cool planets orbiting low-mass stars in the Galaxy. In this paper, we present an implementation of search and fit techniques on graphical processing unit (GPU) hardware. The method allows for the rapid identification of candidate planetary microlensing events and their subsequent follow-up for detailed characterization.

  14. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Crouzet , Nicolas; Guillot , Tristan; Agabi , Karim; Rivet , Jean-Pierre; Bondoux , Erick; Challita , Zalpha; Fanteï-Caujolle , Yan; Fressin , François; Mékarnia , Djamel; Schmider , François-Xavier; Valbousquet , Franck; Blazit , Alain; Bonhomme , Serge; Abe , Lyu; Daban , Jean-Baptiste

    2009-01-01

    ASTEP South is the first phase of the ASTEP project (Antarctic Search for Transiting ExoPlanets). The instrument is a fixed 10 cm refractor with a 4kx4k CCD camera in a thermalized box, pointing continuously a 3.88 degree x 3.88 degree field of view centered on the celestial South pole. ASTEP South became fully functional in June 2008 and obtained 1592 hours of data during the 2008 Antarctic winter. The data are of good quality but the analysis has to account for changes in the point spread f...

  16. Project DWARF - using eclipsing binaries for searching for exoplanets and brown dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudak, V.; Parimucha, Š.

    2016-12-01

    Project DWARF is a long-term observation campaign for about 60 selected eclipsing binaries aimed for detection of exoplanets or other objects (brown dwarfs) in low-mass detached binaries of different types (low-mass eclipsing binaries with M and K components, short-period binaries with sdB or sdO component, post-common-envelope systems containing a white dwarf). Existence of other bodies in systems are determined by analysing of O-C diagrams, constructed from observed minima times of binaries. Objects are selected with intention to determine minima with high precision. About 40 observatories are involved into the network at present time, mostly situated in Europe. The observations are made by small or middle class telescopes with apertures of 20-200 cm. In this contribution we give information about current status of the project, we present main goals and results of 4 years observations.

  17. Potential of LOFT telescope for the search of dark matter

    CERN Document Server

    Neronov, A; Iakubovskyi, D.; Ruchayskiy, O.

    2014-01-01

    Large Observatory For X-ray Timing (LOFT) is a next generation X-ray telescope selected by European Space Agency as one of the space mission concepts within the ``Cosmic Vision'' programme. The Large Area Detector on board of LOFT will be a collimator-type telescope with an unprecedentedly large collecting area of about 10 square meters in the energy band between 2 and 100 keV. We demonstrate that LOFT will be a powerful dark matter detector, suitable for the search of the X-ray line emission expected from decays of light dark matter particles in galactic halos. We show that LOFT will have sensitivity for dark matter line search more than an order of magnitude higher than that of all existing X-ray telescopes. In this way, LOFT will be able to provide a new insight into the fundamental problem of the nature of dark matter.

  18. SCIENCE PARAMETRICS FOR MISSIONS TO SEARCH FOR EARTH-LIKE EXOPLANETS BY DIRECT IMAGING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    We use N t , 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 N t . 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 < 50 zodis, end-to-end efficiency for h > 0.2, and scattered starlight for ζ < 10 –10 . We find that observational overheads, completeness recovery and revisits, solar and antisolar avoidance, and follow-on spectroscopy are all important factors in estimating N

  19. Search for magnetic monopoles with the neutrino telescope ANTARES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Picot-Clemente, N.

    2010-01-01

    The ANTARES neutrino telescope is located at a 2500 meters depth, and is composed of an array of 900 photomultipliers installed for the detection of Cherenkov light emitted by neutrino-induced muons, after having interacted with matter, and in order to reconstruct their directions. However, besides of being capable of detecting high energy neutrinos, neutrino telescopes could measure the incoming flux of magnetic monopoles in the detector. In this work, were first presented the different methods used in order to calibrate the photomultipliers, which are the heart of a neutrino telescope. The possibility of detecting magnetic monopoles with ANTARES was then discussed, and a first analysis optimised for the search for high velocity magnetic monopoles showed the great sensitivity offered by the telescope. Finally, a track reconstruction algorithm was modified, and a new analysis this time sensitive over a wider range of velocities was performed. After the application of the last analysis on the data taken in 2008 with the ANTARES telescope, new upper limits on the upward going magnetic monopole flux, of masses lower than 10 14 GeV were obtained, and are the best experimental constraints on their flux for the velocity region β ∼ [0.65, 0.995]. (author)

  20. Telescopes in Near Space: Balloon Exoplanet Nulling Interferometer (BigBENI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Clampin, Mark; Petrone, Peter; Mallik, Udayan; Mauk, Robin

    2012-01-01

    A significant and often overlooked path to advancing both science and technology for direct imaging and spectroscopic characterization of exosolar planets is to fly "near space" missions, i.e. balloon borne exosolar missions. A near space balloon mission with two or more telescopes, coherently combined, is capable of achieving a subset of the mission science goals of a single large space telescope at a small fraction of the cost. Additionally such an approach advances technologies toward flight readiness for space flight. Herein we discuss the feasibility of flying two 1.2 meter telescopes, with a baseline separation of 3.6 meters, operating in visible light, on a composite boom structure coupled to a modified visible nulling coronagraph operating to achieve an inner working angle of 60 milli-arcseconds. We discuss the potential science return, atmospheric residuals at 135,000 feet, pointing control and visible nulling and evaluate the state-or-art of these technologies with regards to balloon missions.

  1. The mechanical design of CHARIS: an exoplanet IFS for the Subaru Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvin, Michael B.; Carr, Michael A.; Groff, Tyler D.; Kasdin, N. Jeremy; Fagan, Radford; Hayashi, Masahiko; Takato, Naruhisa

    2014-07-01

    Princeton University is designing and building an integral field spectrograph (IFS), the Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph (CHARIS), for integration with the Subaru Corona Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) system and the AO188 adaptive optics system on the Subaru Telescope. CHARIS and SCExAO will measure spectra of hot, young Jovian planets in a coronagraphic image across J, H, and K bands down to an 80 milliarcsecond inner working angle. Here we present the current status of the mechanical design of the CHARIS instrument.

  2. 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

  3. Searches for Dark Matter with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2016-01-01

    The nature of dark matter is a longstanding enigma of physics; it may consist of particles beyond the Standard Model that are still elusive to experiments. Among indirect search techniques, which look for stable products from the annihilation or decay of dark matter particles, or from axions coupling to high-energy photons, observations of the gamma-ray sky have come to prominence over the last few years, because of the excellent sensitivity and full-sky coverage of the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope mission. The LAT energy range from 20 MeV to above 300 GeV is particularly well suited for searching for products of the interactions of dark matter particles. In this talk I will describe targets studied for evidence of dark matter with the LAT, and review the status of searches performed with up to six years of LAT data. I will also discuss the factors that determine the sensitivities of these searches, including the magnitudes of the signals and the relevant backgrounds, c...

  4. Results on dark matter searches with the ANTARES neutrino telescope

    CERN Multimedia

    Zornoza, Juande

    2016-01-01

    Neutrino telescopes have a wide scientific scope. One of their main goals is the detection of dark matter, for which they have specific advantages. The understanding of the nature of dark matter requires a multi-front approach since we still do not know many of their properties. Neutrino telescopes offer the possibility of look at several kinds of sources, not all of them available to other indirect searches. In this work we provide an overview of the results obtained by the ANTARES neutrino telescope, which has been taking data for almost ten years. It is installed in the Mediterranean Sea at a depth of 2475 m, off the coast of Toulon (France). The results presented in this work include searches for neutrino excess from several astrophysical sources. One of the most interesting ones is the Sun. Dark matter particles by the solar system would scatter with nuclei of the Sun, lose energy and accumulate in its centre. Among the final products of their annihilations, only neutrinos could escape. Therefore, a dete...

  5. THEORY OF DISPERSED FIXED-DELAY INTERFEROMETRY FOR RADIAL VELOCITY EXOPLANET SEARCHES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ge Jian; Mahadevan, Suvrath

    2010-01-01

    The dispersed fixed-delay interferometer (DFDI) represents a new instrument concept for high-precision radial velocity (RV) surveys for extrasolar planets. A combination of a Michelson interferometer and a medium-resolution spectrograph, it has the potential for performing multi-object surveys, where most previous RV techniques have been limited to observing only one target at a time. Because of the large sample of extrasolar planets needed to better understand planetary formation, evolution, and prevalence, this new technique represents a logical next step in instrumentation for RV extrasolar planet searches, and has been proven with the single-object Exoplanet Tracker (ET) at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and the multi-object W. M. Keck/MARVELS Exoplanet Tracker at Apache Point Observatory. The development of the ET instruments has necessitated fleshing out a detailed understanding of the physical principles of the DFDI technique. Here we summarize the fundamental theoretical material needed to understand the technique and provide an overview of the physics underlying the instrument's working. We also derive some useful analytical formulae that can be used to estimate the level of various sources of error generic to the technique, such as photon shot noise when using a fiducial reference spectrum, contamination by secondary spectra (e.g., crowded sources, spectroscopic binaries, or moonlight contamination), residual interferometer comb, and reference cross-talk error. Following this, we show that the use of a traditional gas absorption fiducial reference with a DFDI can incur significant systematic errors that must be taken into account at the precision levels required to detect extrasolar planets.

  6. Dark Matter Searches with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meurer, Christine

    2008-01-01

    The Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, successfully launched on June 11th, 2008, is the next generation satellite experiment for high-energy gamma-ray astronomy. The main instrument, the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), with a wide field of view (>2 sr), a large effective area (>8000 cm 2 at 1 GeV), sub-arcminute source localization, a large energy range (20 MeV-300 GeV) and a good energy resolution (close to 8% at 1 GeV), has excellent potential to either discover or to constrain a Dark Matter signal. The Fermi LAT team pursues complementary searches for signatures of particle Dark Matter in different search regions such as the galactic center, galactic satellites and subhalos, the milky way halo, extragalactic regions as well as the search for spectral lines. In these proceedings we examine the potential of the LAT to detect gamma-rays coming from Weakly Interacting Massive Particle annihilations in these regions with special focus on the galactic center region.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. WIMP dark matter and supersymmetry searches with neutrino telescopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fornengo, N.

    2011-01-01

    The particle physics interpretation of the missing-mass, or dark-matter, a problem of cosmological and astrophysical nature, is going to be placed under strong scrutiny in the next years. From the particle physics side, accelerator physics will deeply test theoretical ideas about new physics beyond the Standard Model, where a particle physics candidate to dark matter is often naturally obtained. From the astrophysical side, many probes are already providing a great deal of independent information on signals which can be produced by the galactic or extra-galactic dark matter. The current and new-generation experimental efforts are therefore going to place under deep scrutiny the theoretical explanations of the relevant signals. The ultimate hope is in fact to be able to disentangle a dark matter signal from the various sources of backgrounds. Neutrino telescopes are one of the prominent tools for looking at dark matter and search for a signal, the neutrino flux from Earth and Sun. In this neutrino dark matter searches share properties with both direct dark matter searches and cosmic-ray indirect dark matter searches, and therefore complement these different detection techniques.

  11. Searching for habitable exoplanets by using combined microlensing and radial velocity facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joergensen, Uffe Graae

    2008-01-01

    The habitable planetary regime, where life as we know it from the Earth in principle can exist, has long been among the technically most difficult to search for the existence of exoplanets. It spans the inner and outer orbital range, where liquid water in principle can exist on a planetary surface (the habitable zone), and the planetary mass range from the lowest mass where an atmosphere is bound over biological timescales to the upper mass limit where a nebula gas-collapse transforms a solid planet into a gas planet. With a prober equipment, microlensing is sensitive to this regime for most stellar types, including solar-type stars, while the radial velocity technique complements the detection regime by being sensitive to such planets around the lowest mass stars. By combining microlensing with radial velocity measurements, it is possible to cover the complete habitable region from the ground. I outline here the theory that in principle will make it possible to perform an efficient survey throughout the habitable regime of the most common types of stars in our galaxy over the next few years, and describe how it can be done in practise for a relatively low cost

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballard, Sarah; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Charbonneau, David; Holman, Matthew J.; Fabrycky, Daniel; Deming, Drake; Barry, Richard K.; Kuchner, Marc J.; Livengood, Timothy A.; Hewagama, Tilak; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Hampton, Don L.; Lisse, Carey M.; Seager, Sara; Veverka, Joseph F.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. The Light Source Problem: The Effect of Heterogeneous Stellar Photospheres on Searches for Transiting Exoplanet Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rackham, B. V.; Apai, D.; Giampapa, M. S.

    2017-11-01

    TESS will soon enable the study of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. However, spots and faculae in stellar photospheres can complicate these measurements by mimicking or masking atmospheric features. We detail our work to constrain this effect.

  15. Axion searches at CERN with the CAST Telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Eleftheriadis, Christos; Arik, E.; Autiero, D.; Avignone, F.; Barth, K.; Bingol, E.; Brauninger, H.; Brodzinski, R.; Carmona, J.; Chesi, E.; Cebrian, S.; Cetin, S.; Cipolla, G.; Collar, J.; Creswick, R.; Dafni, T.; Davenport, M.; De Oliveira, R.; Dedoussis, S.; Delbart, A.; Di Lella, L.; Fanourakis, G.; Farach, H.; Fischer, H.; Formenti, F.; Geralis, T.; Giomataris, I.; Gninenko, S.; Goloubev, N.; Hartmann, R.; Hasinoff, M.; Hoffmann, D.; Irastorza, I.G.; Jacoby, J.; Kang, D.; Konigsmann, Kay; Kotthaus, R.; Krcmar, M; Kuster, M.; Lakic, B.; Liolios, A.; Ljubicic, A.; Lutz, G.; Luzon, G.; Miley, H.; Morales, A.; Morales, J.; Mutterer, M.; Nikolaidis, A.; Ortiz, A.; Papaevangelou, T.; Placci, A.; Raffelt, G.; Riege, H.; Sarsa, M.; Savvidis, I.; Schopper, R.; Semertzidis, I.; Spano, C.; Vasileiou, V.; Villar, J.; Vullierme, B.; Walckiers, L.; Zachariadou, K.; Zioutas, K.

    2003-01-01

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) searches for axions coming from photon to axion conversion in the sun's core, as stated by the Primakoff effect. Axions arise in particle physics as a consequence of the breaking of Peccei-Quinn symmetry which has been introduced as a solution to the strong CP problem. As cosmological axions they are candidates for at least some part of cold Dark Matter.They are also expected to be produced copiously in stellar interiors with energies as high as the thermal photons undergoing photon to axion conversion. In our sun the axion energy spectrum peaks at about 4.4 keV, extending up to 10 keV. CAST collected preliminary data in 2002 and data taking with its full capability will start in the beginning of 2003.

  16. 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.

  17. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keenan F.

    2011-02-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Toward a List of Molecules as Potential Biosignature Gases for the Search for Life on Exoplanets and Applications to Terrestrial Biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, S; Bains, W; Petkowski, J J

    2016-06-01

    Thousands of exoplanets are known to orbit nearby stars. Plans for the next generation of space-based and ground-based telescopes are fueling the anticipation that a precious few habitable planets can be identified in the coming decade. Even more highly anticipated is the chance to find signs of life on these habitable planets by way of biosignature gases. But which gases should we search for? Although a few biosignature gases are prominent in Earth's atmospheric spectrum (O2, CH4, N2O), others have been considered as being produced at or able to accumulate to higher levels on exo-Earths (e.g., dimethyl sulfide and CH3Cl). Life on Earth produces thousands of different gases (although most in very small quantities). Some might be produced and/or accumulate in an exo-Earth atmosphere to high levels, depending on the exo-Earth ecology and surface and atmospheric chemistry. To maximize our chances of recognizing biosignature gases, we promote the concept that all stable and potentially volatile molecules should initially be considered as viable biosignature gases. We present a new approach to the subject of biosignature gases by systematically constructing lists of volatile molecules in different categories. An exhaustive list up to six non-H atoms is presented, totaling about 14,000 molecules. About 2500 of these are CNOPSH compounds. An approach for extending the list to larger molecules is described. We further show that about one-fourth of CNOPSH molecules (again, up to N = 6 non-H atoms) are known to be produced by life on Earth. The list can be used to study classes of chemicals that might be potential biosignature gases, considering their accumulation and possible false positives on exoplanets with atmospheres and surface environments different from Earth's. The list can also be used for terrestrial biochemistry applications, some examples of which are provided. We provide an online community usage database to serve as a registry for volatile molecules

  1. Pulsar searching and timing with the Parkes telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, C. W. Y.

    2014-11-01

    Pulsars are highly magnetised, rapidly rotating neutron stars that radiate a beam of coherent radio emission from their magnetic poles. An introduction to the pulsar phenomenology is presented in Chapter 1 of this thesis. The extreme conditions found in and around such compact objects make pulsars fantastic natural laboratories, as their strong gravitational fields provide exclusive insights to a rich variety of fundamental physics and astronomy. The discovery of pulsars is therefore a gateway to new science. An overview of the standard pulsar searching technique is described in Chapter 2, as well as a discussion on notable pulsar searching efforts undertaken thus far with various telescopes. The High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) Pulsar Survey conducted with the 64-m Parkes radio telescope in Australia forms the bulk of this PhD. In particular, the author has led the search effort of the HTRU low-latitude Galactic plane project part which is introduced in Chapter 3. We discuss the computational challenges arising from the processing of the petabyte-sized survey data. Two new radio interference mitigation techniques are introduced, as well as a partially-coherent segmented acceleration search algorithm which aims to increase our chances of discovering highly-relativistic short-orbit binary systems, covering a parameter space including the potential pulsar-black hole binaries. We show that under a linear acceleration approximation, a ratio of ~0.1 of data length over orbital period results in the highest effectiveness for this search algorithm. Chapter 4 presents the initial results from the HTRU low-latitude Galactic plane survey. From the 37 per cent of data processed thus far, we have re-detected 348 previously known pulsars and discovered a further 47 pulsars. Two of which are fast-spinning pulsars with periods less than 30 ms. PSR J1101-6424 is a millisecond pulsar (MSP) with a heavy white dwarf companion while its short spin period of 5 ms indicates

  2. 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...

  3. A Search for Lost Planets in the Kepler Multi-Planet Systems and the Discovery of the Long-Period, Neptune-Sized Exoplanet Kepler-150 f

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Fischer, Debra A.

    2017-01-01

    The vast majority of the 4700 confirmed planets and planet candidates discovered by the Kepler space telescope were first found by the Kepler pipeline. In the pipeline, after a transit signal is found, all data points associated with those transits are removed, creating a Swiss cheese-like light curve full of holes, which is then used for subsequent transit searches. These holes could render an additional planet undetectable (or lost). We examine a sample of 114 stars with 3+ confirmed planets to see the effect that this Swiss cheesing may have. A simulation determined that the probability that a transiting planet is lost due to the transit masking is low, but non-neglible, reaching a plateau at approximately 3.3% lost in the period range of P = 400 - 500 days. We then model the transits in all quarters of each star and subtract out the transit signals, restoring the in-transit data points, and use the Kepler pipeline to search the transit-subtracted (i.e., transit-cleaned) light curves. However, the pipeline did not discover any credible new transit signals. This demonstrates the validity and robustness of the Kepler pipelines choice to use transit masking over transit subtraction. However, a follow-up visual search through all the transit-subtracted data, which allows for easier visual identification of new transits, revealed the existence of a new, Neptune-sized exoplanet. Kepler-150 f (P = 637.2 days, RP = 3.86 R earth) is confirmed using a combination of false positive probability analysis, transit duration analysis, and the planet multiplicity argument.

  4. A SEARCH FOR LOST PLANETS IN THE KEPLER MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS AND THE DISCOVERY OF A LONG PERIOD, NEPTUNE-SIZED EXOPLANET KEPLER-150 F.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Joseph R; Jenkins, Jon M; Fischer, Debra A

    2017-04-01

    The vast majority of the 4700 confirmed planets and planet candidates discovered by the Kepler space telescope were first found by the Kepler pipeline. In the pipeline, after a transit signal is found, all data points associated with those transits are removed, creating a "Swiss cheese"-like light curve full of holes, which is then used for subsequent transit searches. These holes could render an additional planet undetectable (or "lost"). We examine a sample of 114 stars with 3+ confirmed planets to see the effect that this "Swiss cheesing" may have. A simulation determined that the probability that a transiting planet is lost due to the transit masking is low, but non-neglible, reaching a plateau at ~3.3% lost in the period range of P = 400 - 500 days. We then model the transits in all quarters of each star and subtract out the transit signals, restoring the in-transit data points, and use the Kepler pipeline to search the transit-subtracted (i.e., transit-cleaned) light curves. However, the pipeline did not discover any credible new transit signals. This demonstrates the validity and robustness of the Kepler pipeline's choice to use transit masking over transit subtraction. However, a follow-up visual search through all the transit-subtracted data, which allows for easier visual identification of new transits, revealed the existence of a new, Neptune-sized exoplanet. Kepler-150 f ( P = 637.2 days, R P = 3.86 R ⊕ ) is confirmed using a combination of false positive probability analysis, transit duration analysis, and the planet multiplicity argument.

  5. Refraction in exoplanet atmospheres: Photometric signatures, implications for transmission spectroscopy, and search in Kepler data

    OpenAIRE

    Alp, Dennis; Demory, Brice-Olivier

    2017-01-01

    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. The main objective of the paper is to model the effects of refraction on photometric light curves for realistic planets and ...

  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. MINERVA: Using Small, Fully Robotic Telescopes to Search for Habitable-Zone Exoplanets

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The 2010 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics declared that a program to identify nearby, terrestrial planets with the possibility for liquid water and...

  8. 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

  9. Search for a neutrino emission from the Fermi Bubbles with the ANTARES telescope

    CERN Multimedia

    BIAGI, S

    2012-01-01

    The first search for neutrinos from the Fermi Bubbles is presented using data collected by the ANTARES telescope. No evidence of a neutrino signal from the Fermi Bubbles region was found, hence upper limits were calculated for different energy cutoffs.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.

    2011-02-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. THE FREQUENCY OF LOW-MASS EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. First all-flavor neutrino pointlike source search with the ANTARES neutrino telescope

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albert, A.; André, M.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Belhorma, B.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bourret, S.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Brânzas, H.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Cherkaoui El Moursli, R.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coelho, J.A.B.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Díaz, A.F.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Domi, A.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; El Khayati, N.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Ettahiri, A.; Fassi, F.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L.A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Giordano, V.; Glotin, H.; Grégoire, T.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A.J.; Hello, Y.; Hernández-Rey, J.J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C.W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Lotze, M.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martinez-Mora, J.A.; Mele, R.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Navas, S.; Nezri, E.; Organokov, M.; Pavalas, G.E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Quinn, L.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Saldaña, M.; Salvadori, I.; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schüssler, F.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, T.; Taiuti, M.; Tayalati, Y.; Trovato, A.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Van Elewyck, V.; Versari, F.; Vivolo, D.; Vizzoca, A.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zúñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    A search for cosmic neutrino sources using the data collected with the ANTARES neutrino telescope between early 2007 and the end of 2015 is performed. For the first time, all neutrino interactions --charged and neutral current interactions of all flavours-- are considered in a search for point-like

  18. The Earth Through Time: Implications for Searching for Habitability and Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilcher, Carl B.

    2016-01-01

    The Earth has been both a habitable and inhabited planet for around 4 billion years, yet distant observers studying Earth at different epochs in our history would have detected substantially different and probably varying conditions. Understanding Earth's history thus has much to tell us about how to interpret observations of potentially habitable exoplanets. In this talk I will review the history of life on Earth, from the earliest microbial biosphere living under a relatively methane-rich atmosphere to the modern world of animals, plants, and atmospheric oxygen, with a focus on how observable conditions on Earth changed as the planet and its biosphere evolved. I'll discuss the implications of this history for assessing the habitability of-or presence of life on-planets around other stars.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Searches for Anisotropy of Cosmic Rays with the Telescope Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cady, Robert; Telescope Array Collaboration

    2016-03-01

    With over seven years of data from the TA surface detector array, we will present the results of various searches for anisotropies in the arrival direction of cosmic rays, including an update of the hotspot above 57 EeV.

  2. 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 ⊕.

  3. Pulsar searches of Fermi unassociated sources with the Effelsberg telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barr, E. D.; Guillemot, L.; Champion, D. J.; Kramer, M.; Eatough, R. P.

    2012-01-01

    Using the 100-m Effelsberg radio telescope operating at 1.36 GHz, we have performed a targeted radio pulsar survey of 289 unassociated γ-ray sources discovered by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard the Fermi satellite and published in the 1FGL catalogue (Abdo et al. 2010a). In addition, this survey resulted in the discovery of millisecond pulsar J1745+1017, which resides in a short-period binary system with a low-mass companion, M c,min ~0.0137M⊙, indicative of ‘black widow’ type systems. A 2-yr timing campaign has produced a refined radio ephemeris, accurate enough to allow for phase-folding of the LAT photons, resulting in the detection of a dual-peaked γ-ray light curve, proving that PSR J1745+1017 is the source responsible for the γ-ray emission seen in 1FGL J1745.5+1018 (2FGL J1745.6+1015; Nolan et al. 2012). We find the γ-ray spectrum of PSR J1745+1017 to be well modelled by an exponentially cut-off power law with cut-off energy 3.2 GeV and photon index 1.6. The observed sources are known to contain a further 10 newly discovered pulsars which were undetected in this survey. Our radio observations of these sources are discussed and in all cases limiting flux densities are calculated. Lastly, the reasons behind the seemingly low yield of discoveries are also discussed.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Search for dark matter annihilation in the earth using the ANTARES neutrino telescope

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albert, A.; André, M.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Marti, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bourret, S.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coelho, J.A.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsasser, D.; Enzenhofer, A.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L.A.; Galata, S.; Gay, P.; Geisselsoder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Grégoire, T.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A.J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Hofestadt, J.; Hugon, C.; Hossl, J.; Illuminati, G.; James, C.W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kiessling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefevre, D.; Leonora, E.; Lotze, M.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martinez-Mora, J.A.; Mathieu, A.; Mele, R.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Pavalas, G.E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Quinn, L.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Sanchez-Losa, A.; Saldana, M.; Salvadori, I.; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schussler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Taiuti, M.; Tayalati, Y.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallee, C.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Vizzoca, A.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zuniga, J.

    2017-01-01

    A search for a neutrino signal from WIMP pair annihilations in the centre of the Earth has been performed with the data collected with the ANTARES neutrino telescope from 2007 to 2012. The event selection criteria have been developed and tuned to maximise the sensitivity of the experiment to such a

  7. INFRARED TRANSMISSION SPECTROSCOPY OF THE EXOPLANETS HD 209458b AND XO-1b USING THE WIDE FIELD CAMERA-3 ON THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-09-10

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

  8. Modeling an Optical and Infrared Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Survey with Exoplanet Direct Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vides, Christina; Macintosh, Bruce; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Nielsen, Eric; Povich, Matthew Samuel

    2018-01-01

    Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a direct high contrast imaging instrument coupled to the Gemini South Telescope. Its purpose is to image extrasolar planets around young (~Intelligence), we modeled GPI’s capabilities to detect an extraterrestrial continuous wave (CW) laser broadcasted within the H-band have been modeled. By using sensitivity evaluated for actual GPI observations of young target stars, we produced models of the CW laser power as a function of distance from the star that could be detected if GPI were to observe nearby (~ 3-5 pc) planet-hosting G-type stars. We took a variety of transmitters into consideration in producing these modeled values. GPI is known to be sensitive to both pulsed and CW coherent electromagnetic radiation. The results were compared to similar studies and it was found that these values are competitive to other optical and infrared observations.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Exoplanets: The Hunt Continues!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

    -velocity measurements of HD 80606, a star with a planet in a very elongated orbit . A major international effort The discovery of eleven new exoplanets has resulted from three high-precision radial-velocity surveys now searching for such objects: * The CORALIE planet-search programme on La Silla [4], conducted by astronomers of the Geneva Observatory [1] * The ELODIE high-precision radial-velocity survey of solar-type stars at the Haute-Provence Observatory (OHP/France) conducted by a Swiss-French team, including the Geneva, Grenoble and Haute-Provence Observatories [1] * The G-dwarf project , an ELODIE-HIRES/Keck planet-search programme set up by a team of astronomers from the Geneva Observatory, the Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge, Mass., USA) and the Tel Aviv University (Israel) [1] The new results are the outcome of high-precision radial-velocity measurements . This fundamental 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 [3]. Four of the new planets were detected from La Silla and three ELODIE candidates were secured with CORALIE measurements. With the eleven new discoveries, the CORALIE/ELODIE programmes have contributed to the detection of about half (32) of the known (63) planetary candidates with minimum masses below 10 Jupiter masses, or 36 out of 67 known objects with minimum masses below 17 Jupiter masses [2]. Several unusual systems Among the present detections, there are two new planetary systems (HD 82943 and HD 74156), each with two planets. They bring to six the number of known multi-planet systems, four of which owe their detection to CORALIE/ELODIE measurements. This demonstrates the outstanding role that comparatively small telescopes can

  14. A Physical Model-based Correction for Charge Traps in the Hubble Space Telescope ’s Wide Field Camera 3 Near-IR Detector and Its Applications to Transiting Exoplanets and Brown Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Yifan; Apai, Dániel; Schneider, Glenn [Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Lew, Ben W. P., E-mail: yzhou@as.arizona.edu [Department of Planetary Science/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona, 1640 E. University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85718 (United States)

    2017-06-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) near-IR channel is extensively used in time-resolved observations, especially for transiting exoplanet spectroscopy as well as brown dwarf and directly imaged exoplanet rotational phase mapping. The ramp effect is the dominant source of systematics in the WFC3 for time-resolved observations, which limits its photometric precision. Current mitigation strategies are based on empirical fits and require additional orbits to help the telescope reach a thermal equilibrium . We show that the ramp-effect profiles can be explained and corrected with high fidelity using charge trapping theories. We also present a model for this process that can be used to predict and to correct charge trap systematics. Our model is based on a very small number of parameters that are intrinsic to the detector. We find that these parameters are very stable between the different data sets, and we provide best-fit values. Our model is tested with more than 120 orbits (∼40 visits) of WFC3 observations and is proved to be able to provide near photon noise limited corrections for observations made with both staring and scanning modes of transiting exoplanets as well as for starting-mode observations of brown dwarfs. After our model correction, the light curve of the first orbit in each visit has the same photometric precision as subsequent orbits, so data from the first orbit no longer need to be discarded. Near-IR arrays with the same physical characteristics (e.g., JWST/NIRCam ) may also benefit from the extension of this model if similar systematic profiles are observed.

  15. ESPRESSO: The next European exoplanet hunter

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The acronym ESPRESSO stems for Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations; this instrument will be the next VLT high resolution spectrograph. The spectrograph will be installed at the Combined-Coudé Laboratory of the VLT and linked to the four 8.2 m Unit Telescopes (UT) through four optical Coudé trains. ESPRESSO will combine efficiency and extreme spectroscopic precision. ESPRESSO is foreseen to achieve a gain of two magnitudes with respect to its predecessor HARPS, and to improve the instrumental radial-velocity precision to reach the 10 cm s-1 level. It can be operated either with a single UT or with up to four UTs, enabling an additional gain in the latter mode. The incoherent combination of four telescopes and the extreme precision requirements called for many innovative design solutions while ensuring the technical heritage of the successful HARPS experience. ESPRESSO will allow to explore new frontiers in most domains of astrophysics that require precision and sensitivity. The main scientific drivers are the search and characterization of rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of quiet, nearby G to M-dwarfs and the analysis of the variability of fundamental physical constants. The project passed the final design review in May 2013 and entered the manufacturing phase. ESPRESSO will be installed at the Paranal Observatory in 2016 and its operation is planned to start by the end of the same year.

  16. Searching for the Transit of the Earth-mass Exoplanet Proxima Centauri b in Antarctica: Preliminary Result

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hui-Gen; Jiang, Peng; Huang, Xingxing; Yu, Zhou-Yi; Yang, Ming; Jia, Minghao; Awiphan, Supachai; Pan, Xiang; Liu, Bo; Zhang, Hongfei; Wang, Jian; Li, Zhengyang; Du, Fujia; Li, Xiaoyan; Lu, Haiping; Zhang, Zhiyong; Tian, Qi-Guo; Li, Bin; Ji, Tuo; Zhang, Shaohua; Shi, Xiheng; Wang, Ji; Zhou, Ji-Lin; Zhou, Hongyan

    2018-01-01

    Proxima Centauri is known as the closest star to the Sun. Recently, radial velocity (RV) observations revealed the existence of an Earth-mass planet around it. With an orbital period of ∼11 days, Proxima Centauri b is probably in the habitable zone of its host star. We undertook a photometric monitoring campaign to search for its transit, using the Bright Star Survey Telescope at the Zhongshan Station in Antarctica. A transit-like signal appearing on 2016 September 8 has been tentatively identified. Its midtime, T C = 2,457,640.1990 ± 0.0017 HJD, is consistent with the predicted ephemeris based on the RV orbit in a 1σ confidence interval. Time-correlated noise is pronounced in the light curve of Proxima Centauri, affecting the detection of transits. We develop a technique, in a Gaussian process framework, to gauge the statistical significance of a potential transit detection. The tentative transit signal reported here has a confidence level of 2.5σ. Further detection of its periodic signals is necessary to confirm the planetary transit of Proxima Centauri b. We plan to monitor Proxima Centauri in the next polar night at Dome A in Antarctica, taking advantage of continuous darkness. Kipping et al. reported two tentative transit-like signals of Proxima Centauri b observed by the Microvariability and Oscillation of Stars space telescope in 2014 and 2015. The midtransit time of our detection is 138 minutes later than that predicted by their transit ephemeris. If all of the signals are real transits, the misalignment of the epochs plausibly suggests transit timing variations of Proxima Centauri b induced by an outer planet in this system.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Time-dependent search for neutrino emission from X-ray binaries with the ANTARES telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albert, A. [GRPHE—Université de Haute Alsace—Institut universitaire de technologie de Colmar, 34 rue du Grillenbreit, BP 50568, Colmar, 68008 France (France); André, M. [Technical University of Catalonia, Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, Rambla Exposició, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, 08800 Spain (Spain); Anton, G. [Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, Erwin-Rommel-Str. 1, Erlangen, 91058 Germany (Germany); Ardid, M. [Institut d' Investigació per a la Gestió Integrada de les Zones Costaneres (IGIC), Universitat Politècnica de València, C/ Paranimf 1, Gandia, 46730 Spain (Spain); Aubert, J.-J. [Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS/IN2P3, CPPM UMR 7346, Marseille, 13288 France (France); Avgitas, T.; Baret, B. [APC, Université Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, 75205 France (France); Barrios-Martí, J., E-mail: antares.spokesperson@in2p3.fr [IFIC—Instituto de Física Corpuscular (CSIC—Universitat de València), c/ Catedrático José Beltrán, 2, Paterna, Valencia, E-46980 Spain (Spain); and others

    2017-04-01

    ANTARES is currently the largest neutrino telescope operating in the Northern Hemisphere, aiming at the detection of high-energy neutrinos from astrophysical sources. Neutrino telescopes constantly monitor at least one complete hemisphere of the sky, and are thus well-suited to detect neutrinos produced in transient astrophysical sources. A time-dependent search has been applied to a list of 33 X-ray binaries undergoing high flaring activities in satellite data (RXTE/ASM, MAXI and Swift/BAT) and during hardness transition states in the 2008–2012 period. The background originating from interactions of charged cosmic rays in the Earth's atmosphere is drastically reduced by requiring a directional and temporal coincidence with astrophysical phenomena. The results of this search are presented together with comparisons between the neutrino flux upper limits and the neutrino flux predictions from astrophysical models. The neutrino flux upper limits resulting from this search limit the jet parameter space for some astrophysical models.

  20. Search for neutrinos from transient sources with the ANTARES telescope and optical follow-up observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ageron, Michel; Al Samarai, Imen; Akerlof, Carl; Basa, Stéphane; Bertin, Vincent; Boer, Michel; Brunner, Juergen; Busto, Jose; Dornic, Damien; Klotz, Alain; Schussler, Fabian; Vallage, Bertrand; Vecchi, Manuela; Zheng, Weikang

    2012-01-01

    The ANTARES telescope is well suited to detect neutrinos produced in astrophysical transient sources as it can observe a full hemisphere of the sky at all the times with a duty cycle close to unity and an angular resolution better than 0.5°. Potential sources include gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), core collapse supernovae (SNe), and flaring active galactic nuclei (AGNs). To enhance the sensitivity of ANTARES to such sources, a new detection method based on coincident observations of neutrinos and optical signals has been developed. A fast online muon track reconstruction is used to trigger a network of small automatic optical telescopes. Such alerts are generated one or two times per month for special events such as two or more neutrinos coincident in time and direction or single neutrinos of very high energy. Since February 2009, ANTARES has sent 37 alert triggers to the TAROT and ROTSE telescope networks, 27 of them have been followed. First results on the optical images analysis to search for GRBs are presented.

  1. Search for neutrinos from transient sources with the ANTARES telescope and optical follow-up observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ageron, Michel; Al Samarai, Imen; Akerlof, Carl; Basa, Stéphane; Bertin, Vincent; Boer, Michel; Brunner, Juergen; Busto, Jose; Dornic, Damien; Klotz, Alain; Schussler, Fabian; Vallage, Bertrand; Vecchi, Manuela; Zheng, Weikang

    2012-11-01

    The ANTARES telescope is well suited to detect neutrinos produced in astrophysical transient sources as it can observe a full hemisphere of the sky at all the times with a duty cycle close to unity and an angular resolution better than 0.5°. Potential sources include gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), core collapse supernovae (SNe), and flaring active galactic nuclei (AGNs). To enhance the sensitivity of ANTARES to such sources, a new detection method based on coincident observations of neutrinos and optical signals has been developed. A fast online muon track reconstruction is used to trigger a network of small automatic optical telescopes. Such alerts are generated one or two times per month for special events such as two or more neutrinos coincident in time and direction or single neutrinos of very high energy. Since February 2009, ANTARES has sent 37 alert triggers to the TAROT and ROTSE telescope networks, 27 of them have been followed. First results on the optical images analysis to search for GRBs are presented.

  2. Search for neutrinos from transient sources with the ANTARES telescope and optical follow-up observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ageron, Michel [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3 - Universite de Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); Al Samarai, Imen, E-mail: samarai@cppm.in2p3.fr [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3 - Universite de Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); Akerlof, Carl [Randall Laboratory of Physics, University of Michigan, 450 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1040 (United States); Basa, Stephane [LAM, BP8, Traverse du siphon, 13376 Marseille Cedex 12 (France); Bertin, Vincent [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3 - Universite de Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); Boer, Michel [OHP, 04870 Saint Michel de l' Observatoire (France); Brunner, Juergen; Busto, Jose; Dornic, Damien [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3 - Universite de Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); Klotz, Alain [OHP, 04870 Saint Michel de l' Observatoire (France); IRAP, 9 avenue du colonel Roche, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4 (France); Schussler, Fabian; Vallage, Bertrand [CEA-IRFU, centre de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Vecchi, Manuela [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3 - Universite de Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); Zheng, Weikang [Randall Laboratory of Physics, University of Michigan, 450 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1040 (United States)

    2012-11-11

    The ANTARES telescope is well suited to detect neutrinos produced in astrophysical transient sources as it can observe a full hemisphere of the sky at all the times with a duty cycle close to unity and an angular resolution better than 0.5 Degree-Sign . Potential sources include gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), core collapse supernovae (SNe), and flaring active galactic nuclei (AGNs). To enhance the sensitivity of ANTARES to such sources, a new detection method based on coincident observations of neutrinos and optical signals has been developed. A fast online muon track reconstruction is used to trigger a network of small automatic optical telescopes. Such alerts are generated one or two times per month for special events such as two or more neutrinos coincident in time and direction or single neutrinos of very high energy. Since February 2009, ANTARES has sent 37 alert triggers to the TAROT and ROTSE telescope networks, 27 of them have been followed. First results on the optical images analysis to search for GRBs are presented.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. An application of space technology to the terrestrial search for axions The X-ray mirror telescope at CAST

    CERN Document Server

    Lutz, Gerhard; Englhauser, J; Hartmann, R; Kang, D; Kotthaus, R; Kuster, M; Serber, W; Strüder, L

    2004-01-01

    An X-ray mirror telescope consisting of a Wolter I type mirror assembly as used in X-ray astronomy and a new type X-ray CCD has been added to the CERN Axion Solar Telescope experiment. It will strongly improve the sensitivity in the search for axions, a so far elusive particle. The axion is predicted in order to explain the observed CP conservation in strong interaction which is not expected within the generally accepted "standard model". Construction and performance of the X-ray telescope are described. An improvement by two orders of magnitude in the signal over background S/B event ratio is estimated.

  6. New solar axion search using the CERN Axion Solar Telescope with 4He filling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arik, M.; Aune, S.; Barth, K.; Belov, A.; Bräuninger, H.; Bremer, J.; Burwitz, V.; Cantatore, G.; Carmona, J. M.; Cetin, S. A.; Collar, J. I.; Da Riva, E.; Dafni, T.; Davenport, M.; Dermenev, A.; Eleftheriadis, C.; Elias, N.; Fanourakis, G.; Ferrer-Ribas, E.; Galán, J.; García, J. A.; Gardikiotis, A.; Garza, J. G.; Gazis, E. N.; Geralis, T.; Georgiopoulou, E.; Giomataris, I.; Gninenko, S.; Gómez Marzoa, M.; Hasinoff, M. D.; Hoffmann, D. H. H.; Iguaz, F. J.; Irastorza, I. G.; Jacoby, J.; Jakovčić, K.; Karuza, M.; Kavuk, M.; Krčmar, M.; Kuster, M.; Lakić, B.; Laurent, J. M.; Liolios, A.; Ljubičić, A.; Luzón, G.; Neff, S.; Niinikoski, T.; Nordt, A.; Ortega, I.; Papaevangelou, T.; Pivovaroff, M. J.; Raffelt, G.; Rodríguez, A.; Rosu, M.; Ruz, J.; Savvidis, I.; Shilon, I.; Solanki, S. K.; Stewart, L.; Tomás, A.; Vafeiadis, T.; Villar, J.; Vogel, J. K.; Yildiz, S. C.; Zioutas, K.; CAST Collaboration

    2015-07-01

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) searches for a →γ conversion in the 9 T magnetic field of a refurbished LHC test magnet that can be directed toward the Sun. Two parallel magnet bores can be filled with helium of adjustable pressure to match the x-ray refractive mass mγ to the axion search mass ma. After the vacuum phase (2003-2004), which is optimal for ma≲0.02 eV , we used 4He in 2005-2007 to cover the mass range of 0.02-0.39 eV and 3He in 2009-2011 to scan from 0.39 to 1.17 eV. After improving the detectors and shielding, we returned to 4He in 2012 to investigate a narrow ma range around 0.2 eV ("candidate setting" of our earlier search) and 0.39-0.42 eV, the upper axion mass range reachable with 4He, to "cross the axion line" for the KSVZ model. We have improved the limit on the axion-photon coupling to ga γ<1.47 ×10-10 GeV-1 (95% C.L.), depending on the pressure settings. Since 2013, we have returned to the vacuum and aim for a significant increase in sensitivity.

  7. Search for solar axions with the X-ray telescope of the CAST experiment (phase II)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nordt, Annika

    2009-01-01

    The CAST (CERN Solar Axion Telescope) experiment is searching for solar axions by their conversion into photons inside a transverse magnetic field. So far, no solar axionsignal has been detected, but a new upper limit could be given (CAST Phase I). Since 2005, CAST entered in its second phase where it operates with a buffer gas ( 4 He) in the conversion region to extend the sensitivity of the experiment to higher axionmasses. For the first time it is possible to enter the theoretically favored axion massrange and to give an upper limit for this solar axion mass-range (>0.02 eV). This thesis is about the analysis of the X-ray telescope data Phase II with 4 He inside the magnet. The result for the coupling constant of axions to photons is: g αγγ -10 GeV -1 (95%C.L.) for m a =0.02-0.4 eV. (2) This result is better than any result that has been given before in this mass range for solar axions. (orig.)

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseman, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Discovery of KPS-1b, a Transiting Hot-Jupiter, with an Amateur Telescope Setup (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benni, P.; Burdanov, A.; Krushinsky, V.; Sokov, E.

    2018-06-01

    (Abstract only) Using readily available amateur equipment, a wide-field telescope (Celestron RASA, 279 mm f/2.2) coupled with a SBIG ST-8300M camera was set up at a private residence in a fairly light polluted suburban town thirty miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts. This telescope participated in the Kourovka Planet Search (KPS) prototype survey, along with a MASTER-II Ural wide field telescope near Yekaterinburg, Russia. One goal was to determine if higher resolution imaging ( 2 arcsec/pixel) with much lower sky coverage can practically detect exoplanet transits compared to the successful very wide-field exoplanet surveys (KELT, XO, WASP, HATnet, TrES, Qatar, etc.) which used an array of small aperture telescopes coupled to CCDs.

  11. A new search for primordial black hole evaporations using the Whipple gamma-ray telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linton, E. T.; Atkins, R. W.; Badran, H. M.; Blaylock, G.; Boyle, P. J.; Buckley, J. H.; Byrum, K. L.; Carter-Lewis, D. A.; Celik, O.; Chow, Y. C. K.; Cogan, P.; Daniel, M. K.; Dowdall, C.; Falcone, A. D.; Fegan, D. J.; Fegan, S. J.; Finley, J. P.; Fortin, P.; Guiterrez, K. J.; Hall, J.; Hanna, D.; Holder, J.; Horan, D.; Hughes, S. B.; Humensky, T. B.; Jung, I.; Kenny, G. E.; Kertzman, M.; Kieda, D. B.; Kildea, J.; Knapp, J.; Krawczynski, H.; Lang, M. J.; LeBohec, S.; Maier, G.; Moriarty, P.; Ong, R. A.; Perkins, J. S.; Pizlo, F.; Pohl, M.; Quinn, J.; Ragan, K.; Rebillot, P. F.; Reynolds, P. T.; Sembroski, G. H.; Steele, D.; Swordy, S. P.; Valcarcel, L.; Wakely, S. P.; Weekes, T. C.; White, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    Stephen Hawking's prediction that black holes should radiate like black bodies has several important consequences, including the possibility of the detection of small (~1015 g) black holes created in the very early universe. The detection of such primordial black holes (PBHs) would be an important discovery, not only confirming Hawking's theory, but also providing valuable insights into the history of the early universe. A search through 5.5 years of archival data from the Whipple Atmospheric Cerenkov Telescope is made for TeV gamma-ray bursts on 1, 3, and 5 s timescales. On the basis of a null result from this direct search for PBH evaporations, an upper limit of 1.08 × 106 pc-3 yr-1 (99% CL) is set on the PBH evaporation rate in the local region of the galaxy, assuming the Standard Model of particle physics. This is more than a factor of two better than the previous limit at this energy range and includes longer timescales than have previously been explored. Comparison of this result with previous limits on the fraction of the critical density comprised by PBHs, Ωpbh, depends strongly on assumptions made about PBH clustering; in models predicting strong PBH clustering, the limit in this work could be as many as ten orders of magnitude more stringently than those set by diffuse MeV gamma-ray observations.

  12. Search for Primordial Black Holes with the Whipple Atmospheric Cerenkov Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linton, Eric

    2005-04-01

    Stephen Hawking's prediction that black holes should radiate like black bodies has several important consequences, including the possibility for the detection of small (˜10^15 g) black holes created in the very early universe. The detection of such primordial black holes (PBHs) would not only validate Hawking's theory, but would provide useful insights into the history of the early universe. A search through 5.5 years of archival data from the Whipple Atmospheric Cerenkov Telescope was made for TeV gamma-ray bursts on 1 s, 3 s, and 5 s timescales. Based on a null result, an upper-limit on the evaporation rate of PBHs of 2.69 x10^6 pc-3 yr^- 1 (99% CL) was made, assuming the Standard Model of particle physics. When combined with the results of an earlier search through Whipple data, this limit was lowered to 1.33 x10^6 pc-3 yr-1, which is nearly a factor of 2 better than the previous limit at this energy range.

  13. Indirect dark matter searches in the dwarf satellite galaxy Ursa Major II with the MAGIC telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahnen, M. L.; Ansoldi, S.; Antonelli, L. A.; Arcaro, C.; Baack, D.; Babić, A.; Banerjee, B.; Bangale, P.; Barres de Almeida, U.; Barrio, J. A.; Becerra González, J.; Bednarek, W.; Bernardini, E.; Berse, R. Ch.; Berti, A.; Bhattacharyya, W.; Biland, A.; Blanch, O.; Bonnoli, G.; Carosi, R.; Carosi, A.; Ceribella, G.; Chatterjee, A.; Colak, S. M.; Colin, P.; Colombo, E.; Contreras, J. L.; Cortina, J.; Covino, S.; Cumani, P.; Da Vela, P.; Dazzi, F.; De Angelis, A.; De Lotto, B.; Delfino, M.; Delgado, J.; Di Pierro, F.; Domínguez, A.; Dominis Prester, D.; Dorner, D.; Doro, M.; Einecke, S.; Elsaesser, D.; Fallah Ramazani, V.; Fernández-Barral, A.; Fidalgo, D.; Fonseca, M. V.; Font, L.; Fruck, C.; Galindo, D.; García López, R. J.; Garczarczyk, M.; Gaug, M.; Giammaria, P.; Godinović, N.; Gora, D.; Guberman, D.; Hadasch, D.; Hahn, A.; Hassan, T.; Hayashida, M.; Herrera, J.; Hose, J.; Hrupec, D.; Ishio, K.; Konno, Y.; Kubo, H.; Kushida, J.; Kuveždić, D.; Lelas, D.; Lindfors, E.; Lombardi, S.; Longo, F.; López, M.; Maggio, C.; Majumdar, P.; Makariev, M.; Maneva, G.; Manganaro, M.; Mannheim, K.; Maraschi, L.; Mariotti, M.; Martínez, M.; Masuda, S.; Mazin, D.; Mielke, K.; Minev, M.; Miranda, J. M.; Mirzoyan, R.; Moralejo, A.; Moreno, V.; Moretti, E.; Nagayoshi, T.; Neustroev, V.; Niedzwiecki, A.; Nievas Rosillo, M.; Nigro, C.; Nilsson, K.; Ninci, D.; Nishijima, K.; Noda, K.; Nogués, L.; Paiano, S.; Palacio, J.; Paneque, D.; Paoletti, R.; Paredes, J. M.; Pedaletti, G.; Peresano, M.; Persic, M.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Prandini, E.; Puljak, I.; Garcia, J. R.; Reichardt, I.; Rhode, W.; Ribó, M.; Rico, J.; Righi, C.; Rugliancich, A.; Saito, T.; Satalecka, K.; Schweizer, T.; Sitarek, J.; Šnidarić, I.; Sobczynska, D.; Stamerra, A.; Strzys, M.; Surić, T.; Takahashi, M.; Takalo, L.; Tavecchio, F.; Temnikov, P.; Terzić, T.; Teshima, M.; Torres-Albà, N.; Treves, A.; Tsujimoto, S.; Vanzo, G.; Vazquez Acosta, M.; Vovk, I.; Ward, J. E.; Will, M.; Zarić, D.

    2018-03-01

    The dwarf spheroidal galaxy Ursa Major II (UMaII) is believed to be one of the most dark-matter dominated systems among the Milky Way satellites and represents a suitable target for indirect dark matter (DM) searches. The MAGIC telescopes carried out a deep observation campaign on UMaII between 2014 and 2016, collecting almost one hundred hours of good-quality data. This campaign enlarges the pool of DM targets observed at very high energy (E gtrsim 50 GeV) in search for signatures of DM annihilation in the wide mass range between ~100 GeV and ~100 TeV. To this end, the data are analyzed with the full likelihood analysis, a method based on the exploitation of the spectral information of the recorded events for an optimal sensitivity to the explored DM models. We obtain constraints on the annihilation cross-section for different channels that are among the most robust and stringent achieved so far at the TeV mass scale from observations of dwarf satellite galaxies.

  14. SEARCH FOR GAMMA-RAY EMISSION FROM MAGNETARS WITH THE FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdo, A. A.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Allafort, A.; Blandford, R. D.; Bloom, E. D.; Borgland, A. W.; Bouvier, A.; Baldini, L.; Bellazzini, R.; Bregeon, J.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Baring, M. G.; Bastieri, D.; Bonamente, E.; Brigida, M.; Bruel, P.; Burnett, T. H.; Caliandro, G. A.

    2010-01-01

    We report on the search for 0.1-10 GeV emission from magnetars in 17 months of Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) observations. No significant evidence for gamma-ray emission from any of the currently known magnetars is found. The most stringent upper limits to date on their persistent emission in the Fermi energy range are estimated between ∼10 -12 and10 -10 erg s -1 cm -2 , depending on the source. We also searched for gamma-ray pulsations and possible outbursts, also with no significant detection. The upper limits derived support the presence of a cutoff at an energy below a few MeV in the persistent emission of magnetars. They also show the likely need for a revision of current models of outer-gap emission from strongly magnetized pulsars, which, in some realizations, predict detectable GeV emission from magnetars at flux levels exceeding the upper limits identified here using the Fermi-LAT observations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lattanzi M.G.

    2013-04-01

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

  16. A time dependent search for neutrino emission from micro-quasars with the ANTARES telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galata, S.

    2012-01-01

    The ANTARES collaboration has successfully built, deployed and is currently operating an underwater Cherenkov detector dedicated to high energy neutrino astronomy. The primary aim of the experiment is to detect cosmic sources of neutrinos in order to reveal the production sites of cosmic rays. Among the sources likely to be significant sources of neutrinos are those accelerating relativistic jets, like gamma ray bursts, active galactic nuclei and micro-quasars. Micro-quasars are binary systems formed by a compact object accreting mass from a companion star. The mass transfer causes the emission of X-rays, whereas the onset of magnetic forces in the accreting plasma can cause the acceleration of relativistic jets, which are observed by radio telescopes via their non-thermal synchrotron emission. In some systems, a correlation between X-ray and radio light curves indicates an interplay between accretion and ejection respectively. Some micro-quasars are also high energy and very high energy gamma ray emitters. In this thesis, a time dependent search for neutrino emission from micro-quasars was performed with a multi-messenger approach (photon/neutrino). The data from the X-ray monitors RXTE/ASM and SWIFT/BAT, and the gamma-ray telescope FERMI/LAT were used to select transient events in which the source was supposed to accelerate relativistic jets. The restriction of the analysis to the ejection periods allows a drastic reduction of atmospheric muon and neutrino background, and thus to increase the chances of a discovery. The search was performed with the ANTARES data taken between 2007 and 2010. Statistical analysis was carried out using an un-binned likelihood method based on a likelihood ratio test. The cuts for the event selection were optimized in order to maximize the chance of a discovery. As no neutrino signal was observed in correlation with these micro-quasars, upper limits on the neutrino fluxes of the micro-quasars under study were calculated and compared

  17. HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE SNAPSHOT SEARCH FOR PLANETARY NEBULAE IN GLOBULAR CLUSTERS OF THE LOCAL GROUP

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bond, Howard E., E-mail: heb11@psu.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2015-04-15

    Single stars in ancient globular clusters (GCs) are believed incapable of producing planetary nebulae (PNs), because their post-asymptotic-giant-branch evolutionary timescales are slower than the dissipation timescales for PNs. Nevertheless, four PNs are known in Galactic GCs. Their existence likely requires more exotic evolutionary channels, including stellar mergers and common-envelope binary interactions. I carried out a snapshot imaging search with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for PNs in bright Local Group GCs outside the Milky Way. I used a filter covering the 5007 Å nebular emission line of [O iii], and another one in the nearby continuum, to image 66 GCs. Inclusion of archival HST frames brought the total number of extragalactic GCs imaged at 5007 Å to 75, whose total luminosity slightly exceeds that of the entire Galactic GC system. I found no convincing PNs in these clusters, aside from one PN in a young M31 cluster misclassified as a GC, and two PNs at such large angular separations from an M31 GC that membership is doubtful. In a ground-based spectroscopic survey of 274 old GCs in M31, Jacoby et al. found three candidate PNs. My HST images of one of them suggest that the [O iii] emission actually arises from ambient interstellar medium rather than a PN; for the other two candidates, there are broadband archival UV HST images that show bright, blue point sources that are probably the PNs. In a literature search, I also identified five further PN candidates lying near old GCs in M31, for which follow-up observations are necessary to confirm their membership. The rates of incidence of PNs are similar, and small but nonzero, throughout the GCs of the Local Group.

  18. Moduli Dark Matter and the Search for Its Decay Line using Suzaku X-Ray Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusenko, Alexander; Loewenstein, Michael; Yanagida, Tsutomu T.

    2013-01-01

    Light scalar fields called moduli arise from a variety of different models involving supersymmetry and/or string theory; thus their existence is a generic prediction of leading theories for physics beyond the standard model. They also present a formidable, long-standing problem for cosmology. We argue that an anthropic solution to the moduli problem exists in the case of small moduli masses and that it automatically leads to dark matter in the form of moduli. The recent discovery of the 125 GeV Higgs boson implies a lower bound on the moduli mass of about a keV. This form of dark matter is consistent with the observed properties of structure formation, and it is amenable to detection with the help of x-ray telescopes. We present the results of a search for such dark matter particles using spectra extracted from the first deep x-ray observations of the Draco and Ursa Minor dwarf spheroidal galaxies, which are darkmatter- dominated systems with extreme mass-to-light ratios and low intrinsic backgrounds. No emission line is positively detected, and we set new constraints on the relevant new physics.

  19. Search for Solar Axions with the CCD Detector and X-ray Telescope at CAST Experiment

    CERN Document Server

    Rosu, Madalin Mihai; Zioutas, Konstantin

    2015-06-09

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) is an experiment that uses the world’s highest sensitivity Helioscope to date for solar Axions searches. Axions are weakly interacting pseudoscalar particles proposed to solve the so-called Strong Charge-Parity Problem of the Standard Model. The principle of detection is the inverse Primakoff Effect, which is a mechanism for converting the Axions into easily detectable X-ray photons in a strong transverse magnetic field. The solar Axions are produced due to the Primakoff effect in the hot and dense core of from the coupling of a real and a virtual photon. The solar models predict a peak Axion luminosity at an energy of 3 keV originating mostly from the inner 20% of the solar radius. Thus an intensity peak at an energy of 3 keV is also expected in the case of the X-ray radiation resulting from Axion conversion. CAST uses a high precision movement system for tracking the Sun twice a day with a LHC dipole twin aperture prototype magnet, 9.26 meters long and with a field of...

  20. 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.

  1. An application of space technology to the terrestrial search for axions: the X-ray mirror telescope at CAST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lutz, Gerhard E-mail: gerhard.lutz@cern.ch; Braeuninger, H.; Englhauser, J.; Hartmann, R.; Kang, D.; Kotthaus, R.; Kuster, M.; Serber, W.; Strueder, L

    2004-02-01

    An X-ray mirror telescope consisting of a Wolter I type mirror assembly as used in X-ray astronomy and a new type X-ray CCD has been added to the CERN Axion Solar Telescope experiment. It will strongly improve the sensitivity in the search for axions, a so far elusive particle. The axion is predicted in order to explain the observed CP conservation in strong interaction which is not expected within the generally accepted 'standard model'. Construction and performance of the X-ray telescope are described. An improvement by two orders of magnitude in the signal over background S/B event ratio is estimated.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-03-10

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Time-dependent search for neutrino emission from X-ray binaries with the ANTARES telescope

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albert, A.; André, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L.A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A.J.; Hello, Y.; Hernández-Rey, J.J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C.W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J.A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Pavalas, G.E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, T.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zúñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    ANTARES is currently the largest neutrino telescope operating in the NorthernHemisphere, aiming at the detection of high-energy neutrinos from astrophysical sources.Neutrino telescopes constantly monitor at least one complete hemisphere of the sky, and arethus well-suited to detect neutrinos

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    We present observations of three distinct transits of HD 17156b obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensors on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We analyzed both the transit photometry and previously published radial velocities to find the planet-star radius ratio Rp /R sstarf = 0.07454 ± 0.00035, in......We present observations of three distinct transits of HD 17156b obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensors on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We analyzed both the transit photometry and previously published radial velocities to find the planet-star radius ratio Rp /R sstarf = 0.07454 ± 0......-composition gas giant of the same mass and equilibrium temperature. For the three transits, we determine the times of mid-transit to a precision of 6.2 s, 7.6 s, and 6.9 s, and the transit times for HD 17156 do not show any significant departures from a constant period. The joint analysis of transit photometry...

  9. The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life: Radio Frequency Interference in the Green Bank Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dana, Ryan

    2018-01-01

    In the search for extra terrestrial intelligence, the vast majority of our “signals of interest,” are simply satellite radio frequency interference. The goal to my research, therefore, was to accurately predict the exact locations of satellites in our sky to analyze specific satellites causing the interference as well as potentially predict when satellites will cross in the way of our beams so that we can further optimize our scripts and get more usable data.I have built an algorithm that plots the exact location in altitude and azimuth of any grouping of satellites that you want in the sky from any position on earth in latitude, longitude, and elevation. From there, you can input a specific right ascension and declination of the location you are trying to track in the sky with a telescope. Using these inputs, we can calculate the angular and positional distance of certain satellites to our beam to further analyze satellite radio frequency interference.The process begins by importing a list of Two Line Element information that the algorithm reads in. Two Line Elements are how Satellites are organized and are updated frequently. They give a variety of information ranging from the Satellite ID to its Mean Motion or anomaly. From there, the code breaks up the information given by these elements to predict their location. The algorithm can also plot in 3D coordinates around an earthlike sphere to conceptualize the route that each Satellite has taken.The code has been used in a variety of ways but most notably to identify satellites interfering with the beam for Arecibo’s Ross 128 Candidate signal. From here, the code will be the backbone to calculating drift rates, Doppler shifts and intensity of certain satellites and why our team consistently receives estranged satellite signals of interest. Furthermore, in the case of a serious candidate signal in the near future, it will be important to analyze satellites interfering in the beam.

  10. Dark matter searches with Cherenkov telescopes: nearby dwarf galaxies or local galaxy clusters?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sánchez-Conde, Miguel A. [SLAC National Laboratory and Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (United States); Cannoni, Mirco; Gómez, Mario E. [Dpto. Física Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, 21071 Huelva (Spain); Zandanel, Fabio; Prada, Francisco, E-mail: masc@stanford.edu, E-mail: mirco.cannoni@dfa.uhu.es, E-mail: fabio@iaa.es, E-mail: mario.gomez@dfa.uhu.es, E-mail: fprada@iaa.es [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), E-18008, Granada (Spain)

    2011-12-01

    In this paper, we compare dwarf galaxies and galaxy clusters in order to elucidate which object class is the best target for gamma-ray DM searches with imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs). We have built a mixed dwarfs+clusters sample containing some of the most promising nearby dwarf galaxies (Draco, Ursa Minor, Wilman 1 and Segue 1) and local galaxy clusters (Perseus, Coma, Ophiuchus, Virgo, Fornax, NGC 5813 and NGC 5846), and then compute their DM annihilation flux profiles by making use of the latest modeling of their DM density profiles. We also include in our calculations the effect of DM substructure. Willman 1 appears as the best candidate in the sample. However, its mass modeling is still rather uncertain, so probably other candidates with less uncertainties and quite similar fluxes, namely Ursa Minor and Segue 1, might be better options. As for galaxy clusters, Virgo represents the one with the highest flux. However, its large spatial extension can be a serious handicap for IACT observations and posterior data analysis. Yet, other local galaxy cluster candidates with more moderate emission regions, such as Perseus, may represent good alternatives. After comparing dwarfs and clusters, we found that the former exhibit annihilation flux profiles that, at the center, are roughly one order of magnitude higher than those of clusters, although galaxy clusters can yield similar, or even higher, integrated fluxes for the whole object once substructure is taken into account. Even when any of these objects are strictly point-like according to the properties of their annihilation signals, we conclude that dwarf galaxies are best suited for observational strategies based on the search of point-like sources, while galaxy clusters represent best targets for analyses that can deal with rather extended emissions. Finally, we study the detection prospects for present and future IACTs in the framework of the constrained minimal supersymmetric standard model. We

  11. Dark Matter Searches with Cherenkov Telescopes: Nearby Dwarf Galaxies or Local Galaxy Clusters?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchez-Conde, Miguel A.; /KIPAC, Menlo Park /SLAC /IAC, La Laguna /Laguna U., Tenerife; Cannoni, Mirco; /Huelva U.; Zandanel, Fabio; /IAA, Granada; Gomez, Mario E.; /Huelva U.; Prada, Francisco; /IAA, Granada

    2012-06-06

    In this paper, we compare dwarf galaxies and galaxy clusters in order to elucidate which object class is the best target for gamma-ray DM searches with imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs). We have built a mixed dwarfs+clusters sample containing some of the most promising nearby dwarf galaxies (Draco, Ursa Minor, Wilman 1 and Segue 1) and local galaxy clusters (Perseus, Coma, Ophiuchus, Virgo, Fornax, NGC 5813 and NGC 5846), and then compute their DM annihilation flux profiles by making use of the latest modeling of their DM density profiles. We also include in our calculations the effect of DM substructure. Willman 1 appears as the best candidate in the sample. However, its mass modeling is still rather uncertain, so probably other candidates with less uncertainties and quite similar fluxes, namely Ursa Minor and Segue 1, might be better options. As for galaxy clusters, Virgo represents the one with the highest flux. However, its large spatial extension can be a serious handicap for IACT observations and posterior data analysis. Yet, other local galaxy cluster candidates with more moderate emission regions, such as Perseus, may represent good alternatives. After comparing dwarfs and clusters, we found that the former exhibit annihilation flux profiles that, at the center, are roughly one order of magnitude higher than those of clusters, although galaxy clusters can yield similar, or even higher, integrated fluxes for the whole object once substructure is taken into account. Even when any of these objects are strictly point-like according to the properties of their annihilation signals, we conclude that dwarf galaxies are best suited for observational strategies based on the search of point-like sources, while galaxy clusters represent best targets for analyses that can deal with rather extended emissions. Finally, we study the detection prospects for present and future IACTs in the framework of the constrained minimal supersymmetric standard model. We

  12. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macintosh, Bruce

    accurate and calibrated recovery of exoplanet spectra. We will produce a complete archive of all reduced GPI data products (supplementing the existing Gemini archive of raw data) for use by our collaboration, and release that archive to the public on an 18-month cycle. Most importantly, we will execute the GPI observations, initially through classical telescope visits, transitioning to remote and queue modes as our techniques are refined. As the first direct-imaging planet search with statistical depth comparable to Doppler planet detection and the first to probe into the snow line, the GPI Exoplanet Survey will provide strong constraints on paradigms for planet formation, completing the picture of the giant planet distribution throughout other solar systems, and also illuminating its evolution with stellar age and mass. We will deliver a catalog of detected exoplanets— the principal legacy of this campaign—released for follow-up by the astronomical community within 18 months of observation, as well as searchable archive of fully reduced images and detection limits for all stars surveyed. For each detected planet, we will produce estimated effective temperatures, luminosities, and semi-major axes: for a subset, high-SNR fiducial spectra, orbital eccentricities, and dynamical characterization through polarimetric imaging of attendant debris disks. GPI will complete final acceptance testing this month (May 2013) and is now ready to ship to Chile for first light in September 2013. The GPI survey will provide the best-yet view of the nature of wide-orbit planetary companions, informing our knowledge of solar system formation to guide future NASA planet hunting missions, while simultaneously offering a real- world program using the techniques - from integral field spectroscopy to advanced coronagraphy - that will someday be used to directly image Earthlike planets from space.

  13. Exploring the Diversity of Exoplanet Atmospheres Using Ground-Based Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Jacob

    This is a proposal to fund an observational study of the atmospheres of exoplanets in order to improve our understanding of the nature and origins of these mysterious worlds. The observations will be performed using our new approach for ground-based transit spectroscopy measurements that yields space-telescope quality data. We will also carry out supporting theoretical calculations with new abundance retrieval codes to interpret the measurements. Our project includes a survey of giant exoplanets, and intensive study of especially compelling exoplanets. For the survey, optical and near-infrared transmission spectra, and near-infrared emission spectra will be measured for giant exoplanets with a wide range of estimated temperatures, heavy element abundance, and mass. This comprehensive characterization of a large sample of these planets is now crucial to investigate such issues for their atmospheres as the carbon-to-oxygen ratios and overall metallicities, cause of thermal inversions, and prevalence and nature of high-altitude hazes. The intensive study of compelling individual planets will focus on low-mass (M spectroscopy, and leveraging its particular sensitivity to the atmospheric scale height. Observations for the project will be carried out with Magellan, Keck, Gemini, and VLT. The team has institutional access to Magellan and Keck, and a demonstrated record of obtaining time on Gemini and VLT for these observations through public channels. This proposal is highly relevant for current and future NASA projects. We are seeking to understand the diversity of exoplanets revealed by planet searches like Kepler and the Eta-Earth survey. Our observations will complement, extend, and provide context for similar observations with HST and Spitzer. We will investigate the fundamental nature of the closest kin to Earth-size exoplanets, and this is an important foundation that must be laid down before studying habitable planets with JWST and a future TPF-like mission.

  14. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    exoplanets, the planet has a temperate climate. The temperature of its gaseous surface is expected to be between 160 degrees and minus twenty degrees Celsius, with minimal variations between day and night. The exact value depends on the possible presence of a layer of highly reflective clouds. The CoRoT satellite, operated by the French space agency CNES [3], identified the planet after 145 days of observations during the summer of 2008. Observations with the very successful ESO exoplanet hunter - the HARPS instrument attached to the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile - allowed the astronomers to measure its mass, confirming that Corot-9b is indeed an exoplanet, with a mass about 80% the mass of Jupiter. This finding is being published in this week's edition of the journal Nature. Notes [1] A planetary transit occurs when a celestial body passes in front of its host star and blocks some of the star's light. This type of eclipse causes changes in the apparent brightness of the star and enables the planet's diameter to be measured. Combined with radial velocity measurements made by the HARPS spectrograph, it is also possible to deduce the mass and, hence, the density of the planet. It is this combination that allows astronomers to study this object in great detail. The fact that it is transiting - but nevertheless not so close to its star to be a "hot Jupiter" - is what makes this object uniquely well suited for further studies. [2] Temperate gas giants are, so far, the largest known group of exoplanets discovered. [3] The CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and Transits) space telescope was constructed by CNES, with contributions from Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Brazil and the European Space Agency (ESA). It was specifically designed to detect transiting exoplanets and carry out seismological studies of stars. Its results are supplemented by observations with several ground-based telescopes, among them the IAC-80 (Teide Observatory), the Canada France Hawaii Telescope

  15. 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

  16. Observational results of a multi-telescope campaign in search of interstellar urea [(NH2)2CO

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Remijan, Anthony J.; Snyder, Lewis E.; Kuo, Hsin-Lun; Looney, Leslie W.; Friedel, Douglas N.; McGuire, Brett A.; Golubiatnikov, G. Yu; Lovas, Frank J.; Ilyushin, V. V.; Alekseev, E. A.; Dyubko, S. F.; McCall, Benjamin J.; Hollis, Jan M.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we present the results of an observational search for gas phase urea [(NH 2 ) 2 CO] observed toward the Sgr B2(N-LMH) region. We show data covering urea transitions from ∼100 GHz to 250 GHz from five different observational facilities: the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland-Association (BIMA) Array, the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA), the NRAO 12 m telescope, the IRAM 30 m telescope, and the Swedish-ESO Submillimeter Telescope (SEST). The results show that the features ascribed to urea can be reproduced across the entire observed bandwidth and all facilities by best-fit column density, temperature, and source size parameters which vary by less than a factor of two between observations merely by adjusting for telescope-specific parameters. Interferometric observations show that the emission arising from these transitions is cospatial and compact, consistent with the derived source sizes and emission from a single species. Despite this evidence, the spectral complexity of both (NH 2 ) 2 CO and of Sgr B2(N) makes the definitive identification of this molecule challenging. We present observational spectra, laboratory data, and models, and discuss our results in the context of a possible molecular detection of urea.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Snellen Ignas

    2013-04-01

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

  18. Identification of cosmic accelerators: search for GeV pulsar nebulae with the Large Area Fermi telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rousseau, R.

    2013-01-01

    The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was launched on 2008 June 11, carrying the Large Area Telescope (LAT), sensitive to gamma-rays from 20 MeV to more than 300 GeV. Its constantly improving sensitivity and performance offer a new opportunity to understand the sources of the gamma-ray sky including Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe). PWNe are powered by the constant injection of a relativistic wind of electrons and positrons from their central pulsars. These charged particles are accelerated at the shock front forming the PWN and emit photons which can be observed along the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including the high energy gamma-ray domain via inverse Compton scattering. This thesis presents the detailed analysis of two sources of gamma-ray emission potentially associated to PWNe: MSH 11-62 and HESS J1857+026. The combination of the spatial and spectral analyses provide new elements to confirm these associations. In a second step, we describe a search for counterparts to sources detected by Cerenkov telescopes. This search led to the detection of six new LAT sources potentially associated with PWNe. These studies bring new insights and constraints on the physical properties of the sources as well as on emitting processes by constraining the models and allowing population studies. (author)

  19. AsteroidFinder - the space-borne telescope to search for NEO Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartl, M.; Mosebach, H.; Schubert, J.; Michaelis, H.; Mottola, S.; Kührt, E.; Schindler, K.

    2017-11-01

    This paper presents the mission profile as well as the optical configuration of the space-borne AsteroidFinder telescope. Its main objective is to retrieve asteroids with orbits interior to the earth's orbit. The instrument requires high sensitivity to detect asteroids with a limiting magnitude of equal or larger than 18.5mag (V-Band) and astrometric accuracy of 1arcsec (1σ). This requires a telescope aperture greater than 400cm2, high image stability, detector with high quantum efficiency (peak > 90%) and very low noise, which is only limited by zodiacal background. The telescope will observe the sky between 30° and 60° in solar elongation. The telescope optics is based on a Cook type TMA. An effective 2°×2° field of view (FOV) is achieved by a fast F/3.4 telescope with near diffraction-limited performance. The absence of centre obscuration or spiders in combination with an accessible intermediate field plane and exit pupil allow for efficient stray light mitigation. Design drivers for the telescope are the required point spread function (PSF) values, an extremely efficient stray light suppression (due to the magnitude requirement mentioned above), the detector performance, and the overall optical and mechanical stability for all orientations of the satellite. To accommodate the passive thermal stabilization scheme and the necessary structural stability, the materials selection for the telescope main structure and the mirrors are of vital importance. A focal plane with four EMCCD detectors is envisaged. The EMCCD technology features shorter integration times, which is in favor regarding the pointing performance of the satellite. The launch of the mission is foreseen for the year 2013 with a subsequent mission lifetime of at least 1 year.

  20. 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.

  1. Habitable Exoplanet Imager Optical-Mechanical Design and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskins, Jonathan; Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Searching for dwarf spheroidal galaxies and other galactic dark matter substructures with the Fermi large area telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drlica-Wagner, Alex [Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Dept. of Physics

    2013-08-01

    Over the past century, it has become clear that about a quarter of the known universe is composed of an invisible, massive component termed ''dark matter''. Some of the most popular theories of physics beyond the Standard Model suggest that dark matter may be a new fundamental particle that could self-annihilate to produce γ rays. Nearby over-densities in the dark matter halo of our Milky Way present some of the most promising targets for detecting the annihilation of dark matter. We used the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on-board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to search for γ rays produced by dark matter annihilation in Galactic dark matter substructures. We searched for γ-ray emission coincident with Milky Way dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies, which trace the most massive Galactic dark matter substructures. We also sought to identify nearby dark matter substructures that lack all astrophysical tracers and would be detectable only through γ-ray emission from dark matter annihilation. We found no conclusive evidence for γ-ray emission from dark matter annihilation, and we set stringent and robust constraints on the dark matter annihilation cross section. While γ-ray searches for dark matter substructure are currently the most sensitive and robust probes of dark matter annihilation, they are just beginning to intersect the theoretically preferred region of dark matter parameter space. Thus, we consider future prospects for increasing the sensitivity of γ-ray searches through improvements to the LAT instrument performance and through upcoming wide- field optical surveys.

  3. A SEARCH FOR RAPIDLY SPINNING PULSARS AND FAST TRANSIENTS IN UNIDENTIFIED RADIO SOURCES WITH THE NRAO 43 METER TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, Deborah; Crawford, Fronefield; Gilpin, Claire [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Franklin and Marshall College, P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604 (United States); Langston, Glen [National Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box 2, Green Bank, WV 24944 (United States)

    2013-04-15

    We have searched 75 unidentified radio sources selected from the NRAO VLA Sky Survey catalog for the presence of rapidly spinning pulsars and short, dispersed radio bursts. The sources are radio bright, have no identifications or optical source coincidences, are more than 5% linearly polarized, and are spatially unresolved in the catalog. If these sources are fast-spinning pulsars (e.g., sub-millisecond pulsars), previous large-scale pulsar surveys may have missed detection due to instrumental and computational limitations, eclipsing effects, or diffractive scintillation. The discovery of a sub-millisecond pulsar would significantly constrain the neutron star equation of state and would have implications for models predicting a rapid slowdown of highly recycled X-ray pulsars to millisecond periods from, e.g., accretion disk decoupling. These same sources were previously searched unsuccessfully for pulsations at 610 MHz with the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. This new search was conducted at a different epoch with a new 800 MHz backend on the NRAO 43 m Telescope at a center frequency of 1200 MHz. Our search was sensitive to sub-millisecond pulsars in highly accelerated binary systems and to short transient pulses. No periodic or transient signals were detected from any of the target sources. We conclude that diffractive scintillation, dispersive smearing, and binary acceleration are unlikely to have prevented detection of the large majority of the sources if they are pulsars, though we cannot rule out eclipsing, nulling or intermittent emission, or radio interference as possible factors for some non-detections. Other (speculative) possibilities for what these sources might include radio-emitting magnetic cataclysmic variables or older pulsars with aligned magnetic and spin axes.

  4. 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

  5. Search for neutrino emission from gamma-ray flaring blazars with the ANTARES telescope

    OpenAIRE

    Adrián-Martínez, S.; Al Samarai, Imen; Albert, A.; André, Michel; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Anvar, S.; Ardid, M.; Astraatmadja, T.; Aubert, J.-J.; Baret, B.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bigongiari, C.

    2011-01-01

    The ANTARES telescope is well-suited to detect neutrinos produced in astrophysical transient sources as it can observe a full hemisphere of the sky at all times with a high duty cycle. Radio-loud active galactic nuclei with jets pointing almost directly towards the observer, the so-called blazars, are particularly attractive potential neutrino point sources. The all-sky monitor LAT on board the Fermi satellite probes the variability of any given gamma-ray bright blazar in the sky on time scal...

  6. 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.

  7. Search for gamma-ray spectral lines with the Fermi Large Area Telescope and dark matter implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Albert, A.; Allafort, A.; Baldini, L.; Barbiellini, G.; Bastieri, D.; Bechtol, K.; Bellazzini, R.; Bissaldi, E.; Bloom, E. D.; Bonamente, E.; Bottacini, E.; Brandt, T. J.; Bregeon, J.; Brigida, M.; Bruel, P.; Buehler, R.; Buson, S.; Caliandro, G. A.; Cameron, R. A.; Caraveo, P. A.; Casandjian, J. M.; Cecchi, C.; Charles, E.; Chaves, R. C. G.; Chekhtman, A.; Chiang, J.; Ciprini, S.; Claus, R.; Cohen-Tanugi, J.; Conrad, J.; Cutini, S.; D’Ammando, F.; de Angelis, A.; de Palma, F.; Dermer, C. D.; Digel, S. W.; Di Venere, L.; Drell, P. S.; Drlica-Wagner, A.; Essig, R.; Favuzzi, C.; Fegan, S. J.; Ferrara, E. C.; Focke, W. B.; Franckowiak, A.; Fukazawa, Y.; Funk, S.; Fusco, P.; Gargano, F.; Gasparrini, D.; Germani, S.; Giglietto, N.; Giordano, F.; Giroletti, M.; Glanzman, T.; Godfrey, G.; Gomez-Vargas, G. A.; Grenier, I. A.; Guiriec, S.; Gustafsson, M.; Hadasch, D.; Hayashida, M.; Hill, A. B.; Horan, D.; Hou, X.; Hughes, R. E.; Inoue, Y.; Izaguirre, E.; Jogler, T.; Kamae, T.; Knödlseder, J.; Kuss, M.; Lande, J.; Larsson, S.; Latronico, L.; Longo, F.; Loparco, F.; Lovellette, M. N.; Lubrano, P.; Malyshev, D.; Mayer, M.; Mazziotta, M. N.; McEnery, J. E.; Michelson, P. F.; Mitthumsiri, W.; Mizuno, T.; Moiseev, A. A.; Monzani, M. E.; Morselli, A.; Moskalenko, I. V.; Murgia, S.; Nakamori, T.; Nemmen, R.; Nuss, E.; Ohsugi, T.; Okumura, A.; Omodei, N.; Orienti, M.; Orlando, E.; Ormes, J. F.; Paneque, D.; Perkins, J. S.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Piron, F.; Pivato, G.; Rainò, S.; Rando, R.; Razzano, M.; Razzaque, S.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Romani, R. W.; Sánchez-Conde, M.; Schulz, A.; Sgrò, C.; Siegal-Gaskins, J.; Siskind, E. J.; Snyder, A.; Spandre, G.; Spinelli, P.; Suson, D. J.; Tajima, H.; Takahashi, H.; Thayer, J. G.; Thayer, J. B.; Tibaldo, L.; Tinivella, M.; Tosti, G.; Troja, E.; Uchiyama, Y.; Usher, T. L.; Vandenbroucke, J.; Vasileiou, V.; Vianello, G.; Vitale, V.; Winer, B. L.; Wood, K. S.; Wood, M.; Yang, Z.; Zaharijas, G.; Zimmer, S.

    2013-10-22

    Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) are a theoretical class of particles that are excellent dark matter candidates. WIMP annihilation or decay may produce essentially monochromatic γ rays detectable by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) against the astrophysical γ -ray emission of the Galaxy. We have searched for spectral lines in the energy range 5–300 GeV using 3.7 years of data, reprocessed with updated instrument calibrations and an improved energy dispersion model compared to the previous Fermi-LAT Collaboration line searches. We searched in five regions selected to optimize sensitivity to different theoretically motivated dark matter density distributions. We did not find any globally significant lines in our a priori search regions and present 95% confidence limits for annihilation cross sections of self-conjugate WIMPs and decay lifetimes. Our most significant fit occurred at 133 GeV in our smallest search region and had a local significance of 3.3 standard deviations, which translates to a global significance of 1.5 standard deviations. We discuss potential systematic effects in this search, and examine the feature at 133 GeV in detail. We find that the use both of reprocessed data and of additional information in the energy dispersion model contributes to the reduction in significance of the linelike feature near 130 GeV relative to significances reported in other works. We also find that the feature is narrower than the LAT energy resolution at the level of 2 to 3 standard deviations, which somewhat disfavors the interpretation of the 133 GeV feature as a real WIMP signal.

  8. Progress in UCO's search for silver-based telescope mirror coatings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Andrew C.; Miller, Joseph S.; Bolte, Michael; DuPraw, Brian; Radovan, Matthew; Cowley, David

    2012-09-01

    We report on the on-going effort at University of California Observatories Astronomical Coatings Lab to develop robust protected-silver coatings suitable for telescope mirrors. We have identified a very promising recipe based on YF3 that produces excellent reflectivity at wavelengths of 340 nm and greater, has ~1.5% emissivity in the thermal IR, and does not contain problematic materials for the Mid-IR, such as SiO2 and Al2O3. The recipe holds up extremely well to aggressive environmental testing (80C and 80% RH; high-H2S atmosphere), and currently is being evaluated under real observatory conditions. This coating may satisfy the need for telescope mirror coatings that are long-lasting (~5 years or more) and have good reflectivity into the UV. We also evaluate and compare some other silver-based coatings developed elsewhere that should be useful in the same role. In addition, we describe recent upgrades to our coating facilities allowing us to deposit ion-assisted e-beam coatings on optics up to ~1m. This novel arrangement places the e-gun and ion source on a pivoting "swing-arm", allowing the position to move radially without changing the e-gun/ion source/ substrate geometry. Large substrates can be coated with good uniformity using single-axis rotation only. This technique is scalable to arbitrarily large substrate sizes.

  9. Design and Performance of the GAMMA-400 Gamma-Ray Telescope for Dark Matter Searches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galper, A. M.; Adriani, O.; Aptekar, R. L.; Arkhangelskaja, I. V.; Arkhangelskiy, A. I.; Boezio, M.; Bonvicini, V.; Boyarchuk, K. A.; Fradkin, M. I.; Gusakov, Yu V.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The GAMMA-400 gamma-ray telescope is designed to measure the fluxes of gamma-rays and cosmic-ray electrons (+) positrons, which can be produced by annihilation or decay of the dark matter particles, as well as to survey the celestial sphere in order to study point and extended sources of gamma-rays, measure energy spectra of Galactic and extragalactic diffuse gamma-ray emission, gamma-ray bursts, and gamma-ray emission from the Sun. GAMMA-400 covers the energy range from 100 MeV to 3000 GeV. Its angular resolution is approximately 0.01deg (E(sub gamma) greater than 100 GeV), the energy resolution approximately 1% (E(sub gamma) greater than 10 GeV), and the proton rejection factor approximately 10(exp 6). GAMMA-400 will be installed on the Russian space platform Navigator. The beginning of observations is planned for 2018.

  10. A search for neutrino emission from the Fermi bubbles with the ANTARES telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adrian-Martinez, S.; Ardid, M.; Larosa, G.; Martinez-Mora, J.A.; Albert, A.; Drouhin, D.; Racca, C.; Al Samarai, I.; Aubert, J.J.; Bertin, V.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Carr, J.; Charif, Z.; Core, L.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Curtil, C.; Dornic, D.; Ernenwein, J.P.; Escoffier, S.; Lambard, E.; Riviere, C.; Vallee, C.; Vecchi, M.; Yatkin, K.; Andre, M.; Anton, G.; Classen, F.; Eberl, T.; Enzenhoefer, A.; Fehn, K.; Folger, F.; Fritsch, U.; Geisselsoeder, S.; Geyer, K.; Gleixner, A.; Graf, K.; Herold, B.; Hoessl, J.; James, C.W.; Kalekin, O.; Kappes, A.; Katz, U.; Lahmann, R.; Neff, M.; Richter, R.; Roensch, K.; Schmid, J.; Schnabel, J.; Seitz, T.; Shanidze, R.; Sieger, C.; Spies, A.; Wagner, S.; Anvar, S.; Louis, F.; Schuessler, F.; Stolarczyk, T.; Vallage, B.; Vernin, P.; Astraatmadja, T.; Bogazzi, C.; Heijboer, A.J.; Jong, M. de; Michael, T.; Palioselitis, D.; Schulte, S.; Steijger, J.J.M.; Visser, E.; Baret, B.; Bouhou, B.; Creusot, A.; Galata, S.; Kouchner, A.; Elewyck, V. van; Barrios-Marti, J.; Bigongiari, C.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Emanuele, U.; Gomez-Gonzalez, J.P.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Lambard, G.; Mangano, S.; Sanchez-Losa, A.; Yepes, H.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zuniga, J.; Basa, S.; Marcelin, M.; Nezri, E.; Biagi, S.; Fusco, L.A.; Giacomelli, G.; Margiotta, A.; Spurio, M.; Capone, A.; De Bonis, G.; Fermani, P.; Perrina, C.; Simeone, F.; Caramete, L.; Pavalas, G.E.; Popa, V.; Carloganu, C.; Dumas, A.; Gay, P.; Guillard, G.; Cecchini, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Charvis, P.; Deschamps, A.; Hello, Y.; Circella, M.; Coniglione, R.; Lattuada, D.; Riccobene, G.; Sapienza, P.; Trovato, A.; Dekeyser, I.; Lefevre, D.; Martini, S.; Robert, A.; Tamburini, C.; Donzaud, C.; Dorosti, Q.; Loehner, H.; Flaminio, V.; Giordano, V.; Haren, H. van; Hugon, C.; Sanguineti, M.; Kadler, M.; Kooijman, P.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Mueller, C.; Wilms, J.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Leonora, E.; Lo Presti, D.; Loucatos, S.; Montaruli, T.; Morganti, M.; Pradier, T.; Rostovtsev, A.; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Taiuti, M.; Tayalati, Y.; Wolf, E. de

    2014-01-01

    Analysis of the Fermi-LAT data has revealed two extended structures above and below the Galactic Centre emitting gamma rays with a hard spectrum, the so-called Fermi bubbles. Hadronic models attempting to explain the origin of the Fermi bubbles predict the emission of high-energy neutrinos and gamma rays with similar fluxes. The ANTARES detector, a neutrino telescope located in the Mediterranean Sea, has a good visibility to the Fermi bubble regions. Using data collected from 2008 to 2011 no statistically significant excess of events is observed and therefore upper limits on the neutrino flux in TeV range from the Fermi bubbles are derived for various assumed energy cutoffs of the source. (orig.)

  11. A search for neutrino emission from the Fermi bubbles with the ANTARES telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adrian-Martinez, S.; Ardid, M.; Larosa, G.; Martinez-Mora, J.A. [Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Institut d' Investigacio per a la Gestio Integrada de les Zones Costaneres (IGIC), Gandia (Spain); Albert, A.; Drouhin, D.; Racca, C. [GRPHE, Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Colmar, 34 rue du Grillenbreit, BP 50568, Colmar (France); Al Samarai, I.; Aubert, J.J.; Bertin, V.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Carr, J.; Charif, Z.; Core, L.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Curtil, C.; Dornic, D.; Ernenwein, J.P.; Escoffier, S.; Lambard, E.; Riviere, C.; Vallee, C.; Vecchi, M.; Yatkin, K. [CPPM, Aix-Marseille Universite, CNRS/IN2P3, Marseille (France); Andre, M. [Technical University of Catalonia, Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, Vilanova i la Geltru, Barcelona (Spain); Anton, G.; Classen, F.; Eberl, T.; Enzenhoefer, A.; Fehn, K.; Folger, F.; Fritsch, U.; Geisselsoeder, S.; Geyer, K.; Gleixner, A.; Graf, K.; Herold, B.; Hoessl, J.; James, C.W.; Kalekin, O.; Kappes, A.; Katz, U.; Lahmann, R.; Neff, M.; Richter, R.; Roensch, K.; Schmid, J.; Schnabel, J.; Seitz, T.; Shanidze, R.; Sieger, C.; Spies, A.; Wagner, S. [Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg, Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, Erlangen (Germany); Anvar, S.; Louis, F.; Schuessler, F.; Stolarczyk, T.; Vallage, B.; Vernin, P. [Institut de recherche sur les lois fondamentales de l' Univers, Service d' Electronique des Detecteurs et d' Informatique, CEA Saclay, Direction des Sciences de la Matiere, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Astraatmadja, T.; Bogazzi, C.; Heijboer, A.J.; Jong, M. de; Michael, T.; Palioselitis, D.; Schulte, S.; Steijger, J.J.M.; Visser, E. [Nikhef, Science Park, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Baret, B.; Bouhou, B.; Creusot, A.; Galata, S.; Kouchner, A.; Elewyck, V. van [APC, Universite Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Paris (France); Barrios-Marti, J.; Bigongiari, C.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Emanuele, U.; Gomez-Gonzalez, J.P.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Lambard, G.; Mangano, S.; Sanchez-Losa, A.; Yepes, H.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zuniga, J. [Universitat de Valencia, IFIC, Instituto de Fisica Corpuscular, Edificios Investigacion de Paterna, CSIC, Valencia (Spain); Basa, S.; Marcelin, M.; Nezri, E. [Pole de l' Etoile Site de Chateau-Gombert, LAM, Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille Cedex 13 (France); Biagi, S.; Fusco, L.A.; Giacomelli, G.; Margiotta, A.; Spurio, M. [INFN, Sezione di Bologna, Bologna (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Bologna (Italy); Capone, A.; De Bonis, G.; Fermani, P.; Perrina, C.; Simeone, F. [INFN, Sezione di Roma, Rome (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita La Sapienza, Rome (Italy); Caramete, L.; Pavalas, G.E.; Popa, V. [Institute for Space Sciences, Bucharest, Magurele (Romania); Carloganu, C.; Dumas, A.; Gay, P.; Guillard, G. [Clermont Universite, Universite Blaise Pascal, CNRS/IN2P3, Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire, BP 10448, Clermont-Ferrand (France); Cecchini, S.; Chiarusi, T. [INFN, Sezione di Bologna, Bologna (Italy); Charvis, P.; Deschamps, A.; Hello, Y. [Geoazur, Universite Nice Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS/INSU, IRD, Observatoire de la Cote d' Azur, Sophia Antipolis (France); Circella, M. [INFN, Sezione di Bari, Bari (Italy); Coniglione, R.; Lattuada, D.; Riccobene, G.; Sapienza, P.; Trovato, A. [INFN, Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS), Catania (Italy); Dekeyser, I.; Lefevre, D.; Martini, S.; Robert, A.; Tamburini, C. [Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO), Aix-Marseille University, Marseille Cedex 9 (France); Universit du Sud Toulon-Var, CNRS-INSU/IRD UM 110, La Garde Cedex (France); Donzaud, C. [APC, Universite Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Paris (France); Universite Paris-Sud, Orsay Cedex (France); Dorosti, Q.; Loehner, H. [University of Groningen, Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut (KVI), Groningen (Netherlands); Flaminio, V. [INFN, Sezione di Pisa, Pisa (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Pisa (Italy); Giordano, V. [INFN, Sezione di Catania, Catania (Italy); Haren, H. van [Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), ' t Horntje (Texel) (Netherlands); Hugon, C.; Sanguineti, M. [INFN, Sezione di Genova, Genoa (Italy); Kadler, M. [Universitaet Wuerzburg, Institut fuer Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Wuerzburg (Germany); Kooijman, P. [Nikhef, Science Park, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Betawetenschappen, Utrecht (Netherlands); Universiteit van Amsterdam, Instituut voor Hoge-Energie Fysica, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Kreykenbohm, I.; Mueller, C.; Wilms, J. [Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte and ECAP, Bamberg (Germany); Kulikovskiy, V. [INFN, Sezione di Genova, Genoa (Italy); Moscow State University, Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow (Russian Federation); Leonora, E.; Lo Presti, D. [INFN, Sezione di Catania, Catania (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica ed Astronomia dell' Universita, Catania (Italy); Loucatos, S. [Institut de recherche sur les lois fondamentales de l' Univers, Service d' Electronique des Detecteurs et d' Informatique, CEA Saclay, Direction des Sciences de la Matiere, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); APC, Universite Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Paris (France); Montaruli, T. [Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO), Aix-Marseille University, Marseille Cedex 9 (France); Universite de Geneve, Departement de Physique Nucleaire et Corpusculaire, Geneva (Switzerland); Morganti, M. [INFN, Sezione di Pisa, Pisa (Italy); Pradier, T. [Universite de Strasbourg et CNRS/IN2P3, IPHC-Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, 23 rue du Loess, BP 28, Strasbourg Cedex 2 (France); Rostovtsev, A. [ITEP, Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Moscow (Russian Federation); Samtleben, D.F.E. [Nikhef, Science Park, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Universiteit Leiden, Leids Instituut voor Onderzoek in Natuurkunde, Leiden (Netherlands); Taiuti, M. [Technical University of Catalonia, Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, Vilanova i la Geltru, Barcelona (Spain); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Genoa (IT); Tayalati, Y. [University Mohammed I, Laboratory of Physics of Matter and Radiations, B.P.717, Oujda (MA); Wolf, E. de [Nikhef, Science Park, Amsterdam (NL); Universiteit van Amsterdam, Instituut voor Hoge-Energie Fysica, Amsterdam (NL); Collaboration: The ANTARES Collaboration

    2014-02-15

    Analysis of the Fermi-LAT data has revealed two extended structures above and below the Galactic Centre emitting gamma rays with a hard spectrum, the so-called Fermi bubbles. Hadronic models attempting to explain the origin of the Fermi bubbles predict the emission of high-energy neutrinos and gamma rays with similar fluxes. The ANTARES detector, a neutrino telescope located in the Mediterranean Sea, has a good visibility to the Fermi bubble regions. Using data collected from 2008 to 2011 no statistically significant excess of events is observed and therefore upper limits on the neutrino flux in TeV range from the Fermi bubbles are derived for various assumed energy cutoffs of the source. (orig.)

  12. Search for sub-eV mass solar axions by the CERN Axion Solar Telescope with 3He buffer gas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arik, M; Aune, S; Barth, K; Belov, A; Borghi, S; Bräuninger, H; Cantatore, G; Carmona, J M; Cetin, S A; Collar, J I; Dafni, T; Davenport, M; Eleftheriadis, C; Elias, N; Ezer, C; Fanourakis, G; Ferrer-Ribas, E; Friedrich, P; Galán, J; García, J A; Gardikiotis, A; Gazis, E N; Geralis, T; Giomataris, I; Gninenko, S; Gómez, H; Gruber, E; Guthörl, T; Hartmann, R; Haug, F; Hasinoff, M D; Hoffmann, D H H; Iguaz, F J; Irastorza, I G; Jacoby, J; Jakovčić, K; Karuza, M; Königsmann, K; Kotthaus, R; Krčmar, M; Kuster, M; Lakić, B; Laurent, J M; Liolios, A; Ljubičić, A; Lozza, V; Lutz, G; Luzón, G; Morales, J; Niinikoski, T; Nordt, A; Papaevangelou, T; Pivovaroff, M J; Raffelt, G; Rashba, T; Riege, H; Rodríguez, A; Rosu, M; Ruz, J; Savvidis, I; Silva, P S; Solanki, S K; Stewart, L; Tomás, A; Tsagri, M; van Bibber, K; Vafeiadis, T; Villar, J A; Vogel, J K; Yildiz, S C; Zioutas, K

    2011-12-23

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) has extended its search for solar axions by using (3)He as a buffer gas. At T=1.8 K this allows for larger pressure settings and hence sensitivity to higher axion masses than our previous measurements with (4)He. With about 1 h of data taking at each of 252 different pressure settings we have scanned the axion mass range 0.39 eV≲m(a)≲0.64 eV. From the absence of excess x rays when the magnet was pointing to the Sun we set a typical upper limit on the axion-photon coupling of g(aγ)≲2.3×10(-10) GeV(-1) at 95% C.L., the exact value depending on the pressure setting. Kim-Shifman-Vainshtein-Zakharov axions are excluded at the upper end of our mass range, the first time ever for any solar axion search. In the future we will extend our search to m(a)≲1.15 eV, comfortably overlapping with cosmological hot dark matter bounds.

  13. Search for Cosmic-Ray Electron and Positron Anisotropies with Seven Years of Fermi Large Area Telescope Data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdollahi, S.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Albert, A.; Atwood, W. B.

    2017-01-01

    We present the Large Area Telescope on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope that has collected the largest ever sample of high-energy cosmic-ray electron and positron events since the beginning of its operation. Potential anisotropies in the arrival directions of cosmic-ray electrons or positrons could be a signature of the presence of nearby sources. We use almost seven years of data with energies above 42 GeV processed with the Pass 8 reconstruction. The present data sample can probe dipole anisotropies down to a level of 10"-"3. We take into account systematic effects that could mimic true anisotropies at this level. We present a detailed study of the event selection optimization of the cosmic-ray electrons and positrons to be used for anisotropy searches. Since no significant anisotropies have been detected on any angular scale, we present upper limits on the dipole anisotropy. Lastly, the present constraints are among the strongest to date probing the presence of nearby young and middle-aged sources.

  14. Stacked search for time shifted high energy neutrinos from gamma ray bursts with the Antares neutrino telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adrian-Martinez, S.; Ardid, M.; Felis, I.; Martinez-Mora, J.A.; Saldana, M.; Albert, A.; Drouhin, D.; Racca, C.; Andre, M.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Eberl, T.; Enzenhoefer, A.; Fehn, K.; Folger, F.; Geisselsoeder, S.; Geyer, K.; Gleixner, A.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; Hoessl, J.; Hofestaedt, J.; James, C.W.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kiessling, D.; Lahmann, R.; Richter, R.; Roensch, K.; Schmid, J.; Schnabel, J.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Tselengidou, M.; Wagner, S.; Aubert, J.J.; Bertin, V.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Carr, J.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Dornic, D.; Mathieu, A.; Vallee, C.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Marti, J.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Sanchez-Losa, A.; Toennis, C.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zuniga, J.; Basa, S.; Marcelin, M.; Nezri, E.; Biagi, S.; Coniglione, R.; Distefano, C.; Piattelli, P.; Riccobene, G.; Sapienza, P.; Trovato, A.; Bormuth, R.; Jong, M. de; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Heijboer, A.J.; Michael, T.; Steijger, J.J.M.; Visser, E.; Bruijn, R.; Capone, A.; De Bonis, G.; Fermani, P.; Perrina, C.; Caramete, L.; Pavalas, G.E.; Popa, V.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Creusot, A.; Galata, S.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Van Elewyck, V.; Dekeyser, I.; Lefevre, D.; Tamburini, C.; Deschamps, A.; Hello, Y.; Donzaud, C.; Dumas, A.; Gay, P.; Elsaesser, D.; Kadler, M.; Kreter, M.; Mueller, C.; Fusco, L.A.; Margiotta, A.; Pellegrino, C.; Spurio, M.; Giordano, V.; Haren, H. van; Hugon, C.; Taiuti, M.; Kooijman, P.; Kouchner, A.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Wilms, J.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marinelli, A.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Pradier, T.; Sanguineti, M.; Schuessler, F.; Stolarczyk, T.; Vallage, B.; Vivolo, D.

    2017-01-01

    A search for high-energy neutrino emission correlated with gamma-ray bursts outside the electromagnetic prompt-emission time window is presented. Using a stacking approach of the time delays between reported gamma-ray burst alerts and spatially coincident muon-neutrino signatures, data from the Antares neutrino telescope recorded between 2007 and 2012 are analysed. One year of public data from the IceCube detector between 2008 and 2009 have been also investigated. The respective timing profiles are scanned for statistically significant accumulations within 40 days of the Gamma Ray Burst, as expected from Lorentz Invariance Violation effects and some astrophysical models. No significant excess over the expected accidental coincidence rate could be found in either of the two data sets. The average strength of the neutrino signal is found to be fainter than one detectable neutrino signal per hundred gamma-ray bursts in the Antares data at 90% confidence level. (orig.)

  15. Search for Spectral Irregularities due to Photon-Axionlike-Particle Oscillations with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajello, M.; Albert, A.; Anderson, B.; Baldini, L.; Barbiellini, G.; Bastieri, D.; Bellazzini, R.; Bissaldi, E.; Blandford, R.D.; Mirabal, N.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report on the search for spectral irregularities induced by oscillations between photons and axion-like particles (ALPs) in the gamma-ray spectrum of NGC 1275, the central galaxy of the Perseus cluster. Using 6 years of Fermi Large Area Telescope data, we find no evidence for ALPs and exclude couplings above 5 times 10 (sup -12) per gigaelectronvolt for ALP masses less than or approximately equal to 0.5 apparent magnitude (m (sub a)) less than or approximately equal to 5 nanoelectronvolts at 95 percent confidence. The limits are competitive withthe sensitivity of planned laboratory experiments, and, together with other bounds, strongly constrain thepossibility that ALPs can reduce the gamma-ray opacity of the Universe.

  16. Stacked search for time shifted high energy neutrinos from gamma ray bursts with the Antares neutrino telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adrian-Martinez, S.; Ardid, M.; Felis, I.; Martinez-Mora, J.A.; Saldana, M. [Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Institut d' Investigacio per a la Gestio Integrada de les Zones Costaneres (IGIC), Gandia (Spain); Albert, A.; Drouhin, D.; Racca, C. [GRPHE-Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Colmar, 34 rue du Grillenbreit, BP 50568, Colmar (France); Andre, M. [Technical University of Catalonia, Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, Vilanova i la Geltru, Barcelona (Spain); Anghinolfi, M. [INFN-Sezione di Genova, Genoa (Italy); Anton, G.; Eberl, T.; Enzenhoefer, A.; Fehn, K.; Folger, F.; Geisselsoeder, S.; Geyer, K.; Gleixner, A.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; Hoessl, J.; Hofestaedt, J.; James, C.W.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kiessling, D.; Lahmann, R.; Richter, R.; Roensch, K.; Schmid, J.; Schnabel, J.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Tselengidou, M.; Wagner, S. [Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg, Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, Erlangen (Germany); Aubert, J.J.; Bertin, V.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Carr, J.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Dornic, D.; Mathieu, A.; Vallee, C. [CPPM, Aix-Marseille Universite, CNRS/IN2P3, Marseille (France); Baret, B.; Barrios-Marti, J.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Sanchez-Losa, A.; Toennis, C.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zuniga, J. [CSIC-Universitat de Valencia, IFIC-Instituto de Fisica Corpuscular, Edificios Investigacion de Paterna, Paterna, Valencia (Spain); Basa, S.; Marcelin, M.; Nezri, E. [Pole de l' Etoile Site de Chateau-Gombert, LAM-Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille Cedex 13 (France); Biagi, S.; Coniglione, R.; Distefano, C.; Piattelli, P.; Riccobene, G.; Sapienza, P.; Trovato, A. [INFN-Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS), Catania (Italy); Bormuth, R.; Jong, M. de; Samtleben, D.F.E. [Nikhef, Science Park, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Universiteit Leiden, Leids Instituut voor Onderzoek in Natuurkunde, Leiden (Netherlands); Bouwhuis, M.C.; Heijboer, A.J.; Michael, T.; Steijger, J.J.M.; Visser, E. [Nikhef, Science Park, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Bruijn, R. [Nikhef, Science Park, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Universiteit van Amsterdam, Instituut voor Hoge-Energie Fysica, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Capone, A.; De Bonis, G.; Fermani, P.; Perrina, C. [INFN-Sezione di Roma, Rome (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita La Sapienza, Rome (Italy); Caramete, L.; Pavalas, G.E.; Popa, V. [Institute for Space Sciences, Bucharest, Magurele (Romania); Chiarusi, T. [INFN-Sezione di Bologna, Bologna (Italy); Circella, M. [INFN-Sezione di Bari, Bari (Italy); Creusot, A.; Galata, S.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Van Elewyck, V. [APC, Universite Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Paris (France); Dekeyser, I.; Lefevre, D.; Tamburini, C. [Aix-Marseille University, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO), Marseille Cedex 9 (France); Universite du Sud Toulon-Var, CNRS-INSU/IRD UM 110, La Garde Cedex (France); Deschamps, A.; Hello, Y. [Geoazur, Universite Nice Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS/INSU, IRD, Observatoire de la Cote d' Azur, Sophia Antipolis (France); Donzaud, C. [APC, Universite Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Paris (France); Universite Paris-Sud, Orsay Cedex (France); Dumas, A.; Gay, P. [Clermont Universite, Universite Blaise Pascal, CNRS/IN2P3, Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire, BP 10448, Clermont-Ferrand (France); Elsaesser, D.; Kadler, M.; Kreter, M.; Mueller, C. [Universitaet Wuerzburg, Institut fuer Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Wuerzburg (Germany); Fusco, L.A.; Margiotta, A.; Pellegrino, C.; Spurio, M. [INFN-Sezione di Bologna, Bologna (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Bologna (Italy); Giordano, V. [INFN-Sezione di Catania, Catania (Italy); Haren, H. van [Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), ' t Horntje, Texel (Netherlands); Hugon, C.; Taiuti, M. [INFN-Sezione di Genova, Genoa (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Genoa (Italy); Kooijman, P. [Nikhef, Science Park, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Betawetenschappen, Utrecht (Netherlands); Universiteit van Amsterdam, Instituut voor Hoge-Energie Fysica, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Kouchner, A. [APC, Universite Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Paris (France); Institut Universitaire de France, Paris (France); Kreykenbohm, I.; Wilms, J. [Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte and ECAP, Bamberg (Germany); Kulikovskiy, V. [INFN-Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS), Catania (Italy); Moscow State University, Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow (Russian Federation); Leonora, E. [INFN-Sezione di Catania, Catania (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica ed Astronomia dell' Universita, Catania (Italy); Loucatos, S. [APC, Universite Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/IRFU, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Paris (France); CEA Saclay, Direction des Sciences de la Matiere, Institut de recherche sur les lois fondamentales de l' Univers, Service de Physique des Particules, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Marinelli, A. [INFN-Sezione di Pisa, Pisa (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Pisa (Italy); Migliozzi, P. [INFN-Sezione di Napoli, Naples (IT); Moussa, A. [University Mohammed I, Laboratory of Physics of Matter and Radiations, Oujda (MA); Pradier, T. [Universite de Strasbourg et CNRS/IN2P3, IPHC-Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, 23 rue du Loess, BP 28, Strasbourg Cedex 2 (FR); Sanguineti, M. [Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Genoa (IT); Schuessler, F.; Stolarczyk, T.; Vallage, B. [CEA Saclay, Direction des Sciences de la Matiere, Institut de recherche sur les lois fondamentales de l' Univers, Service de Physique des Particules, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (FR); Vivolo, D. [INFN-Sezione di Napoli, Naples (IT); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita Federico II di Napoli, Naples (IT)

    2017-01-15

    A search for high-energy neutrino emission correlated with gamma-ray bursts outside the electromagnetic prompt-emission time window is presented. Using a stacking approach of the time delays between reported gamma-ray burst alerts and spatially coincident muon-neutrino signatures, data from the Antares neutrino telescope recorded between 2007 and 2012 are analysed. One year of public data from the IceCube detector between 2008 and 2009 have been also investigated. The respective timing profiles are scanned for statistically significant accumulations within 40 days of the Gamma Ray Burst, as expected from Lorentz Invariance Violation effects and some astrophysical models. No significant excess over the expected accidental coincidence rate could be found in either of the two data sets. The average strength of the neutrino signal is found to be fainter than one detectable neutrino signal per hundred gamma-ray bursts in the Antares data at 90% confidence level. (orig.)

  17. 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.

  18. DISCOVERY OF NINE GAMMA-RAY PULSARS IN FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE DATA USING A NEW BLIND SEARCH METHOD

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pletsch, H. J.; Allen, B.; Aulbert, C.; Fehrmann, H. [Albert-Einstein-Institut, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik, D-30167 Hannover (Germany); Guillemot, L.; Kramer, M.; Barr, E. D.; Champion, D. J.; Eatough, R. P.; Freire, P. C. C. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie, Auf dem Huegel 69, D-53121 Bonn (Germany); Ray, P. S. [Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375-5352 (United States); Belfiore, A.; Dormody, M. [Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, Department of Physics and Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Camilo, F. [Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Caraveo, P. A. [INAF-Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, I-20133 Milano (Italy); Celik, Oe.; Ferrara, E. C. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Hessels, J. W. T. [Astronomical Institute ' Anton Pannekoek' , University of Amsterdam, Postbus 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam (Netherlands); Keith, M. [CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Australia Telescope National Facility, Epping NSW 1710 (Australia); Kerr, M., E-mail: holger.pletsch@aei.mpg.de, E-mail: guillemo@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de [W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); and others

    2012-01-10

    We report the discovery of nine previously unknown gamma-ray pulsars in a blind search of data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The pulsars were found with a novel hierarchical search method originally developed for detecting continuous gravitational waves from rapidly rotating neutron stars. Designed to find isolated pulsars spinning at up to kHz frequencies, the new method is computationally efficient and incorporates several advances, including a metric-based gridding of the search parameter space (frequency, frequency derivative, and sky location) and the use of photon probability weights. The nine pulsars have spin frequencies between 3 and 12 Hz, and characteristic ages ranging from 17 kyr to 3 Myr. Two of them, PSRs J1803-2149 and J2111+ 4606, are young and energetic Galactic-plane pulsars (spin-down power above 6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 35} erg s{sup -1} and ages below 100 kyr). The seven remaining pulsars, PSRs J0106+4855, J0622+3749, J1620-4927, J1746-3239, J2028+3332, J2030+4415, and J2139+4716, are older and less energetic; two of them are located at higher Galactic latitudes (|b| > 10 Degree-Sign ). PSR J0106+4855 has the largest characteristic age (3 Myr) and the smallest surface magnetic field (2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 11} G) of all LAT blind-search pulsars. PSR J2139+4716 has the lowest spin-down power (3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 33} erg s{sup -1}) among all non-recycled gamma-ray pulsars ever found. Despite extensive multi-frequency observations, only PSR J0106+4855 has detectable pulsations in the radio band. The other eight pulsars belong to the increasing population of radio-quiet gamma-ray pulsars.

  19. The search for optical emission on and before the GRB trigger with the WIDGET telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tamagawa, T.; Usui, F.

    2005-01-01

    WIDGET is a robotic telescope for monitoring the HETE-2 field-of-view to detect Gamma-Ray Burst optical flashes or possible optical precursors. The system has 62 o wide field-of-view which covers about 80% of HETE-2 one with a 2k x 2k Apogee U10 CCD camera and a Canon EF 24 mm f/1.4 wide-angle lens without a band pass filter. WIDGET has been in operation since June 2004 at Akeno observing site where is about 200 Km apart from Tokyo. Typical limiting magnitude with S/N = 3 at the site is V = 10 mag for 5 seconds exposure and V = 11 mag for 30 seconds exposure. We had already six coincident observations with the HETE-2 position alerts. It was, however, cloudy for all cases due to rainy season in Japan. The expected number of coincident observations under clear sky is about 5 events per year. We will extend the system in early 2005 for Swift era to monitor optical transients in wider field-of-view, multi-color or polarization modes

  20. The search for optical emission on and before the GRB trigger with the WIDGET telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tamagawa, T. [RIKEN, Saitama (Japan); Usui, F. [Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Kanakawa (Japan). Institute of Space and Astronautical Science Sagamihara; Urata, Y. [RIKEN, Saitama (Japan); Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo (Japan)] (and others)

    2005-07-15

    WIDGET is a robotic telescope for monitoring the HETE-2 field-of-view to detect Gamma-Ray Burst optical flashes or possible optical precursors. The system has 62{sup o} wide field-of-view which covers about 80% of HETE-2 one with a 2k x 2k Apogee U10 CCD camera and a Canon EF 24 mm f/1.4 wide-angle lens without a band pass filter. WIDGET has been in operation since June 2004 at Akeno observing site where is about 200 Km apart from Tokyo. Typical limiting magnitude with S/N = 3 at the site is V = 10{sup mag} for 5 seconds exposure and V = 11{sup mag} for 30 seconds exposure. We had already six coincident observations with the HETE-2 position alerts. It was, however, cloudy for all cases due to rainy season in Japan. The expected number of coincident observations under clear sky is about 5 events per year. We will extend the system in early 2005 for Swift era to monitor optical transients in wider field-of-view, multi-color or polarization modes.

  1. SEARCH FOR ANISOTROPY OF ULTRAHIGH ENERGY COSMIC RAYS WITH THE TELESCOPE ARRAY EXPERIMENT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abu-Zayyad, T.; Allen, M.; Anderson, R.; Barcikowski, E.; Belz, J. W.; Bergman, D. R.; Blake, S. A.; Cady, R.; Hanlon, W. [High Energy Astrophysics Institute and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Aida, R. [Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi, Kofu, Yamanashi (Japan); Azuma, R.; Fukuda, T. [Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro, Tokyo (Japan); Cheon, B. G.; Cho, E. J. [Department of Physics and The Research Institute of Natural Science, Hanyang University, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Chiba, J. [Department of Physics, Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Chiba (Japan); Chikawa, M. [Department of Physics, Kinki University, Higashi Osaka, Osaka (Japan); Cho, W. R. [Department of Physics, Yonsei University, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Fujii, H. [Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies, KEK, Tsukuba, Ibaraki (Japan); Fujii, T. [Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, Osaka, Osaka (Japan); Fukushima, M. [Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba (Japan); and others

    2012-09-20

    We study the anisotropy of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Ray (UHECR) events collected by the Telescope Array (TA) detector in the first 40 months of operation. Following earlier studies, we examine event sets with energy thresholds of 10 EeV, 40 EeV, and 57 EeV. We find that the distributions of the events in right ascension and declination are compatible with an isotropic distribution in all three sets. We then compare with previously reported clustering of the UHECR events at small angular scales. No significant clustering is found in the TA data. We then check the events with E > 57 EeV for correlations with nearby active galactic nuclei. No significant correlation is found. Finally, we examine all three sets for correlations with the large-scale structure (LSS) of the universe. We find that the two higher-energy sets are compatible with both an isotropic distribution and the hypothesis that UHECR sources follow the matter distribution of the universe (the LSS hypothesis), while the event set with E > 10 EeV is compatible with isotropy and is not compatible with the LSS hypothesis at 95% CL unless large deflection angles are also assumed. We show that accounting for UHECR deflections in a realistic model of the Galactic magnetic field can make this set compatible with the LSS hypothesis.

  2. Searching for Axions from Celestial Objects with the X-Ray Telescope at CAST

    CERN Document Server

    Guthörl, T

    2009-01-01

    The CAST (CERN Solar Axion Telescope) experiment is designed to detect axions from the sun by making use of the inverse Primakoff effekt i.e. reconversion of axions into X-ray photons under the influence of a strong magnetic field. In order to track the sun the magnet used is mounted to a moveable device. This movability can also be used to track celestial objects of interest such as the galactic centre or Scorpio X-1, which is the brightest X-ray source besides the sun. The data gained with the CCD detector during trackings of these objects are analysed in this work. Since no signal above background can be observed an upper limit on the free parameter flux times axion-photon coupling constant^2 is determined. This upper limit in turn can be used to calculate a maximum energy loss due to axion emission for both the galactic centre and Sco X-1. The results presented in this work imply that e.g. the galactic centre can emit axions with up to 10^42 W without being detected by CAST.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. All-sky search for high-energy neutrinos from gravitational wave event GW170104 with the Antares neutrino telescope

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albert, A.; André, M.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Belhorma, B.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bourret, S.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Brânzas, H.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Cherkaoui El Moursli, R.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coelho, J.A.B.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Díaz, A.F.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Domi, A.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; El Khayati, N.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Ettahiri, A.; Fassi, F.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L.A.; Gay, P.; Giordano, V.; Glotin, H.; Grégoire, T.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A.J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C.W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Lotze, M.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J.A.; Mele, R.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Navas, S.; Nezri, E.; Organokov, M.; Pavalas, G.E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Quinn, L.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Saldaña, M.; Salvadori, I.; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schüssler, F.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Taiuti, M.; Tayalati, Y.; Trovato, A.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Van Elewyck, V.; Versari, F.; Vivolo, D.; Vizzoca, A.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zúñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    Advanced LIGO detected a significant gravitational wave signal (GW170104) originating from the coalescence of two black holes during the second observation run on January 4th, 2017. An all-sky high-energy neutrino follow-up search has been made using data from the Antares neutrino telescope,

  6. Results from the search for dark matter in the Milky Way with 9 years of data of the ANTARES neutrino telescope

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albert, A.; André, M.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bourret, S.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coelho, J.A.B.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L.A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Grégoire, T.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A.J.; Hello, Y.; Hernández-Rey, J.J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C.W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Lotze, M.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J.A.; Mathieu, A.; Mele, R.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Pavalas, G.E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Quinn, L.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Saldaña, M.; Salvadori, I.; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, T.; Taiuti, M.; Tayalati, Y.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Vizzoca, A.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zúñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    Using data recorded with the ANTARES telescope from 2007 to 2015, a new search for dark matter annihilation in the Milky Way has been performed. Three halo models and five annihilation channels, WIMP + WIMP -> b (b) over bar, W+W-, tau(+)tau(-), mu(+)mu(-) and v (v) over bar, with WIMP masses

  7. The New Horizons and Hubble Space Telescope search for rings, dust, and debris in the Pluto-Charon system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauer, Tod R.; Throop, Henry B.; Showalter, Mark R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Stern, S. Alan; Spencer, John R.; Buie, Marc W.; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Porter, Simon B.; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Young, Leslie A.; Olkin, Cathy B.; Ennico, Kimberly; New Horizons Science Team

    2018-02-01

    We conducted an extensive search for dust or debris rings in the Pluto-Charon system before, during, and after the New Horizons encounter in July 2015. Methodologies included attempting to detect features by back-scattered light during the approach to Pluto (phase angle α ∼ 15°), in situ detection of impacting particles, a search for stellar occultations near the time of closest approach, and by forward-scattered light imaging during departure (α ∼ 165°). An extensive search using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) prior to the encounter also contributed to the final ring limits. No rings, debris, or dust features were observed, but our new detection limits provide a substantially improved picture of the environment throughout the Pluto-Charon system. Searches for rings in back-scattered light covered the range 35,000-250,000 km from the system barycenter, a zone that starts interior to the orbit of Styx, the innermost minor satellite, and extends out to four times the orbital radius of Hydra, the outermost known satellite. We obtained our firmest limits using data from the New Horizons LORRI camera in the inner half of this region. Our limits on the normal I/F of an unseen ring depends on the radial scale of the rings: 2 ×10-8 (3σ) for 1500 km wide rings, 1 ×10-8 for 6000 km rings, and 7 ×10-9 for 12,000 km rings. Beyond ∼ 100, 000 km from Pluto, HST observations limit normal I/F to ∼ 8 ×10-8 . Searches for dust features from forward-scattered light extended from the surface of Pluto to the Pluto-Charon Hill sphere (rHill = 6.4 ×106 km). No evidence for rings or dust clouds was detected to normal I/F limits of ∼ 8.9 ×10-7 on ∼ 104 km scales. Four stellar occulation observations also probed the space interior to Hydra, but again no dust or debris was detected. The Student Dust Counter detected one particle impact 3.6 × 106 km from Pluto, but this is consistent with the interplanetary space environment established during the cruise of New

  8. A SEARCH FOR MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS USING THE HOBBY-EBERLY TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Endl, Michael; Cochran, William D.; Levison, Harold F.; Henry, Gregory W.

    2009-01-01

    Extrasolar multiple-planet systems provide valuable opportunities for testing theories of planet formation and evolution. The architectures of the known multiple-planet systems demonstrate a fascinating level of diversity, which motivates the search for additional examples of such systems in order to better constrain their formation and dynamical histories. Here we describe a comprehensive investigation of 22 planetary systems in an effort to answer three questions: (1) are there additional planets? (2) where could additional planets reside in stable orbits? and (3) what limits can these observations place on such objects? We find no evidence for additional bodies in any of these systems; indeed, these new data do not support three previously announced planets (HD 20367 b: Udry et al.; HD 74156 d: Bean et al.; and 47 UMa c: Fischer et al.). The dynamical simulations show that nearly all of the 22 systems have large regions in which additional planets could exist in stable orbits. The detection-limit computations indicate that this study is sensitive to close-in Neptune-mass planets for most of the systems targeted. We conclude with a discussion on the implications of these nondetections.

  9. DiskDetective.org: Finding Homes for Exoplanets Through Citizen Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchner, Marc J.

    2016-01-01

    The Disk Detective project is scouring the data archive from the WISE all-sky survey to find new debris disks and protoplanetary disks-the dusty dens where exoplanets form and dwell. Volunteers on this citizen science website have already performed 1.6 million classifications, searching a catalog 8x the size of any published WISE survey. We follow up candidates using ground based telescopes in California, Arizona, Chile, Hawaii, and Argentina. We ultimately expect to increase the pool of known debris disks by approx. 400 and triple the solid angle in clusters of young stars examined with WISE, providing a unique new catalog of isolated disk stars, key planet-search targets, and candidate advanced extraterrestrial civilizations. Come to this talk to hear the news about our latest dusty discoveries and the trials and the ecstasy of launching a new citizen science project. Please bring your laptop or smartphone if you like!

  10. 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...

  11. The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life: A Wideband Data Recorder System for the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacMahon, David H. E.; Price, Danny C.; Lebofsky, Matthew; Siemion, Andrew P. V.; Croft, Steve; DeBoer, David; Enriquez, J. Emilio; Gajjar, Vishal; Hellbourg, Gregory; Isaacson, Howard; Werthimer, Dan; Abdurashidova, Zuhra; Bloss, Marty; Brandt, Joe; Creager, Ramon; Ford, John; Lynch, Ryan S.; Maddalena, Ronald J.; McCullough, Randy; Ray, Jason; Whitehead, Mark; Woody, Dave

    2018-04-01

    The Breakthrough Listen Initiative is undertaking a comprehensive search for radio and optical signatures from extraterrestrial civilizations. An integral component of the project is the design and implementation of wide-bandwidth data recorder and signal processing systems. The capabilities of these systems, particularly at radio frequencies, directly determine survey speed; further, given a fixed observing time and spectral coverage, they determine sensitivity as well. Here, we detail the Breakthrough Listen wide-bandwidth data recording system deployed at the 100 m aperture Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. The system digitizes up to 6 GHz of bandwidth at 8 bits for both polarizations, storing the resultant 24 GB s‑1 of data to disk. This system is among the highest data rate baseband recording systems in use in radio astronomy. A future system expansion will double recording capacity, to achieve a total Nyquist bandwidth of 12 GHz in two polarizations. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, along with salient configuration and disk-write optimizations used to achieve high-throughput data capture on commodity compute servers and consumer-class hard disk drives.

  12. All-sky search for high-energy neutrinos from gravitational wave event GW170104 with the Antares neutrino telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albert, A.; Drouhin, D.; Racca, C.; Andre, M.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Eberl, T.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; Hoessl, J.; Hofestaedt, J.; James, C.W.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kiessling, D.; Lahmann, R.; Sieger, C.; Ardid, M.; Felis, I.; Martinez-Mora, J.A.; Saldana, M.; Aubert, J.J.; Bertin, V.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Carr, J.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Dornic, D.; Enzenhoefer, A.; Quinn, L.; Salvadori, I.; Turpin, D.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Bourret, S.; Coelho, J.A.B.; Creusot, A.; Gregoire, T.; Gracia Ruiz, R.; Lachaud, C.; Barrios-Marti, J.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Illuminati, G.; Lotze, M.; Toennis, C.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zuniga, J.; Basa, S.; Marcelin, M.; Nezri, E.; Belhorma, B.; Biagi, S.; Coniglione, R.; Distefano, C.; Piattelli, P.; Riccobene, G.; Sapienza, P.; Trovato, A.; Bormuth, R.; Jong, M. de; Samtleben, D.F.E.; Bouwhuis, M.C.; Heijboer, A.J.; Jongen, M.; Michael, T.; Branzas, H.; Caramete, L.; Pavalas, G.E.; Popa, V.; Bruijn, R.; Melis, K.; Capone, A.; Di Palma, I.; Perrina, C.; Vizzoca, A.; Celli, S.; Cherkaoui El Moursli, R.; El Khayati, N.; Ettahiri, A.; Fassi, F.; Tayalati, Y.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Sanchez-Losa, A.; Coleiro, A.; Diaz, A.F.; Deschamps, A.; Hello, Y.; De Bonis, G.; Domi, A.; Hugon, C.; Sanguineti, M.; Taiuti, M.; Donzaud, C.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Moussa, A.; Elsaesser, D.; Kadler, M.; Kreter, M.; Fusco, L.A.; Margiotta, A.; Pellegrino, C.; Spurio, M.; Versari, F.; Gay, P.; Giordano, V.; Glotin, H.; Haren, H. van; Kouchner, A.; Van Elewyck, V.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Wilms, J.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lefevre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Vallage, B.; Marinelli, A.; Mele, R.; Vivolo, D.; Migliozzi, P.; Navas, S.; Organokov, M.; Pradier, T.; Schuessler, F.; Stolarczyk, T.

    2017-01-01

    Advanced LIGO detected a significant gravitational wave signal (GW170104) originating from the coalescence of two black holes during the second observation run on January 4th, 2017. An all-sky high-energy neutrino follow-up search has been made using data from the Antares neutrino telescope, including both upgoing and downgoing events in two separate analyses. No neutrino candidates were found within ±500 s around the GW event time nor any time clustering of events over an extended time window of ±3 months. The non-detection is used to constrain isotropic-equivalent high-energy neutrino emission from GW170104 to less than ∝ 1.2 x 10 55 erg for a E -2 spectrum. This constraint is valid in the energy range corresponding to the 5-95% quantiles of the neutrino flux [3.2 TeV; 3.6 PeV], if the GW emitter was below the Antares horizon at the alert time. (orig.)

  13. All-sky search for high-energy neutrinos from gravitational wave event GW170104 with the Antares neutrino telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albert, A.; Drouhin, D.; Racca, C. [Universite de Haute Alsace - Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Colmar, GRPHE, Colmar (France); Andre, M. [Technical University of Catalonia, Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, Vilanova i la Geltru, Barcelona (Spain); Anghinolfi, M. [INFN-Sezione di Genova, Genoa (Italy); Anton, G.; Eberl, T.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; Hoessl, J.; Hofestaedt, J.; James, C.W.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kiessling, D.; Lahmann, R.; Sieger, C. [Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg, Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, Erlangen (Germany); Ardid, M.; Felis, I.; Martinez-Mora, J.A.; Saldana, M. [Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Institut d' Investigacio per a la Gestio Integrada de les Zones Costaneres (IGIC), Gandia (Spain); Aubert, J.J.; Bertin, V.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Carr, J.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Dornic, D.; Enzenhoefer, A.; Quinn, L.; Salvadori, I.; Turpin, D. [Aix Marseille Univ., CNRS/IN2P3, CPPM, Marseille (France); Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Bourret, S.; Coelho, J.A.B.; Creusot, A.; Gregoire, T.; Gracia Ruiz, R.; Lachaud, C. [Univ Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/Irfu, Obs de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, APC, Paris (France); Barrios-Marti, J.; Hernandez-Rey, J.J.; Illuminati, G.; Lotze, M.; Toennis, C.; Zornoza, J.D.; Zuniga, J. [IFIC-Instituto de Fisica Corpuscular (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia), Paterna, Valencia (Spain); Basa, S.; Marcelin, M.; Nezri, E. [Pole de l' Etoile Site de Chateau-Gombert, LAM-Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille (France); Belhorma, B. [National Center for Energy Sciences and Nuclear Techniques, Rabat (Morocco); Biagi, S.; Coniglione, R.; Distefano, C.; Piattelli, P.; Riccobene, G.; Sapienza, P.; Trovato, A. [INFN-Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS), Catania (Italy); Bormuth, R.; Jong, M. de; Samtleben, D.F.E. [Nikhef, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Universiteit Leiden, Huygens-Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium, Leiden (Netherlands); Bouwhuis, M.C.; Heijboer, A.J.; Jongen, M.; Michael, T. [Nikhef, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Branzas, H.; Caramete, L.; Pavalas, G.E.; Popa, V. [Institute for Space Science, Bucharest (Romania); Bruijn, R.; Melis, K. [Nikhef, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Universiteit van Amsterdam, Instituut voor Hoge-Energie Fysica, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Capone, A.; Di Palma, I.; Perrina, C.; Vizzoca, A. [INFN-Sezione di Roma, Rome (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita La Sapienza, Rome (Italy); Celli, S. [INFN-Sezione di Roma, Rome (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita La Sapienza, Rome (Italy); Gran Sasso Science Institute, L' Aquila (Italy); Cherkaoui El Moursli, R.; El Khayati, N.; Ettahiri, A.; Fassi, F.; Tayalati, Y. [University Mohammed V, Faculty of Sciences, Rabat (Morocco); Chiarusi, T. [INFN-Sezione di Bologna, Bologna (Italy); Circella, M.; Sanchez-Losa, A. [INFN-Sezione di Bari, Bari (Italy); Coleiro, A. [Univ Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/Irfu, Obs de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, APC, Paris (France); IFIC-Instituto de Fisica Corpuscular (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia), Paterna, Valencia (Spain); Diaz, A.F. [University of Granada, Department of Computer Architecture and Technology/CITIC, Granada (Spain); Deschamps, A.; Hello, Y. [Geoazur, UCA, CNRS, IRD, Observatoire de la Cote d' Azur, Sophia Antipolis (France); De Bonis, G. [Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita La Sapienza, Rome (Italy); Domi, A.; Hugon, C.; Sanguineti, M.; Taiuti, M. [INFN-Sezione di Genova, Genoa (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Genoa (Italy); Donzaud, C. [Univ Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/Irfu, Obs de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, APC, Paris (France); Universite Paris-Sud, Orsay (France); El Bojaddaini, I.; Moussa, A. [University Mohammed I, Laboratory of Physics of Matter and Radiations, Oujda (Morocco); Elsaesser, D.; Kadler, M.; Kreter, M. [Institut fuer Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Universitaet Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg (Germany); Fusco, L.A.; Margiotta, A.; Pellegrino, C.; Spurio, M.; Versari, F. [INFN-Sezione di Bologna, Bologna (Italy); Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia dell' Universita, Bologna (Italy); Gay, P. [Univ Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/Irfu, Obs de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, APC, Paris (France); Clermont Universite, Universite Blaise Pascal, Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire, CNRS/IN2P3, Clermont-Ferrand (France); Giordano, V. [INFN-Sezione di Catania, Catania (Italy); Glotin, H. [LSIS, Aix Marseille Universite CNRS ENSAM LSIS UMR 7296, Marseille (France); Universite de Toulon CNRS LSIS UMR 7296, La Garde (FR); Institut Universitaire de France, Paris (FR); Haren, H. van [Utrecht University, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), ' t Horntje (Texel) (NL); Kouchner, A.; Van Elewyck, V. [Univ Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/Irfu, Obs de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, APC, Paris (FR); Institut Universitaire de France, Paris (FR); Kreykenbohm, I.; Wilms, J. [Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg, Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte and ECAP, Bamberg (DE); Kulikovskiy, V. [Aix Marseille Univ., CNRS/IN2P3, CPPM, Marseille (FR); Moscow State University, Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow (RU); Lefevre, D. [Aix-Marseille University, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO), Marseille (FR); Universite du Sud Toulon-Var, CNRS-INSU/IRD UM 110, La Garde (FR); Leonora, E. [INFN-Sezione di Catania, Catania (IT); Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia dell' Universita, Catania (IT); Loucatos, S.; Vallage, B. [Univ Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/Irfu, Obs de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cite, APC, Paris (FR); Direction des Sciences de la Matiere-Institut de Recherche sur les Lois Fondamentales de l' Univers-Service de Physique des Particules, CEA Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette (FR); Marinelli, A. [INFN-Sezione di Pisa, Pisa (IT); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita, Pisa (IT); Mele, R.; Vivolo, D. [INFN-Sezione di Napoli, Naples (IT); Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita Federico II di Napoli, Naples (IT); Migliozzi, P. [INFN-Sezione di Napoli, Naples (IT); Navas, S. [University of Granada, Dept. de Fisica Teorica y del Cosmos y C.A.F.P.E., Granada (ES); Organokov, M.; Pradier, T. [Universite de Strasbourg, CNRS, Strasbourg (FR); Schuessler, F.; Stolarczyk, T. [Direction des Sciences de la Matiere-Institut de Recherche sur les Lois Fondamentales de l' Univers-Service de Physique des Particules, CEA Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette (FR); Collaboration: The ANTARES Collaboration

    2017-12-15

    Advanced LIGO detected a significant gravitational wave signal (GW170104) originating from the coalescence of two black holes during the second observation run on January 4th, 2017. An all-sky high-energy neutrino follow-up search has been made using data from the Antares neutrino telescope, including both upgoing and downgoing events in two separate analyses. No neutrino candidates were found within ±500 s around the GW event time nor any time clustering of events over an extended time window of ±3 months. The non-detection is used to constrain isotropic-equivalent high-energy neutrino emission from GW170104 to less than ∝ 1.2 x 10{sup 55} erg for a E{sup -2} spectrum. This constraint is valid in the energy range corresponding to the 5-95% quantiles of the neutrino flux [3.2 TeV; 3.6 PeV], if the GW emitter was below the Antares horizon at the alert time. (orig.)

  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. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Norio Narita; Takafumi Enomoto; Shigeyuki Masaoka; Nobuhiko Kusakabe

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Linear-constraint wavefront control for exoplanet coronagraphic imaging systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, He; Eldorado Riggs, A. J.; Kasdin, N. Jeremy; Vanderbei, Robert J.; Groff, Tyler Dean

    2017-01-01

    A coronagraph is a leading technology for achieving high-contrast imaging of exoplanets in a space telescope. It uses a system of several masks to modify the diffraction and achieve extremely high contrast in the image plane around target stars. However, coronagraphic imaging systems are very sensitive to optical aberrations, so wavefront correction using deformable mirrors (DMs) is necessary to avoid contrast degradation in the image plane. Electric field conjugation (EFC) and Stroke minimization (SM) are two primary high-contrast wavefront controllers explored in the past decade. EFC minimizes the average contrast in the search areas while regularizing the strength of the control inputs. Stroke minimization calculates the minimum DM commands under the constraint that a target average contrast is achieved. Recently in the High Contrast Imaging Lab at Princeton University (HCIL), a new linear-constraint wavefront controller based on stroke minimization was developed and demonstrated using numerical simulation. Instead of only constraining the average contrast over the entire search area, the new controller constrains the electric field of each single pixel using linear programming, which could led to significant increases in speed of the wavefront correction and also create more uniform dark holes. As a follow-up of this work, another linear-constraint controller modified from EFC is demonstrated theoretically and numerically and the lab verification of the linear-constraint controllers is reported. Based on the simulation and lab results, the pros and cons of linear-constraint controllers are carefully compared with EFC and stroke minimization.

  17. The Search for Hot Jupiters using Red Buttes Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorber, Rebecca L.; Kar, Aman; Hancock, Daniel A.; Leuquire, Jacob D.; Suhaimi, Afiq; Kasper, David; Jang-Condell, Hannah

    2018-01-01

    The goal of this research is to use the University of Wyoming’s Red Buttes Observatory (RBO) to perform manual, remote, or automated observations of transiting exoplanet candidates. The data contributes to discovery of star systems that include never before identified exoplanets. RBO houses a 0.6-meter telescope and is located approximately 10 miles south of the University of Wyoming’s campus. Our targets are catalogued by the KELT (Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope) Survey, a photometric search for transiting exoplanets around bright main sequence stars. The KELT Follow-up Network (KELT-FUN), a collaboration of small-aperture telescope users located all over the world, confirms new exoplanet candidates. As part of KELT-FUN, students use the RBO to monitor candidates identified by the KELT team. RBO typically detects transits around stars that are 8-12 in V magnitude, with transit durations of ~1-4 hours and full depth relative changes in brightness above 2 mmags. Using AstroImageJ, we process the data and we look for any indication of a transit occurrence in the processed lightcurve which might confirm the presence of the potential exoplanet. Our team has contributed over 50 light curves to KELT-FUN to date. We are able to compare our data with simultaneous observations by other members of KELT-FUN to maximize the utility of our observations. This project gives undergraduates an authentic scientific research experience, learning how to operate an observatory, process data, and participate in a scientific collaboration.

  18. 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

  19. Searching for gamma-ray counterparts to gravitational waves from merging binary neutron stars with the Cherenkov Telescope Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricelli, B.; Stamerra, A.; Razzano, M.; Pian, E.; Cella, G.

    2018-05-01

    The merger of binary neutron star (BNS) systems are predicted to be progenitors of short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs); the definitive probe of this association came with the recent detection of gravitational waves (GWs) from a BNS merger by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (GW170817), in coincidence with the short GRB 170817A observed by Fermi-GBM and INTEGRAL. Short GRBs are also expected to emit very-high energy (VHE, > 10S0 GeV) photons and VHE electromagnetic (EM) upper limits have been set with observations performed by ground-based gamma-ray detectors and during the intense EM follow-up campaign associated with GW170817/GRB 170817A. In the next years, the searches for VHE EM counterparts will become more effective thanks to the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA): this instrument will be fundamental for the EM follow-up of transient GW events at VHE, owing to its unprecedented sensitivity, rapid response (few tens of seconds) and capability to monitor large sky areas via survey-mode operation. We present a comprehensive study on the prospects for joint GW and VHE EM observations of merging BNSs with Advanced LIGO, Advanced Virgo and CTA, based on detailed simulations of the multi-messenger emission and detection. We propose a new observational strategy optimized on the prior assumptions about the EM emission. The method can be further generalized to include other electromagnetic emission models. According to this study CTA will cover most of the region of the GW skymap for the intermediate and most energetic on-axis GRBs associated to the GW event. We estimate the expected joint GW and VHE EM detection rates and we found this rate goes from 0.08 up to 0.5 events per year for the most energetic EM sources.

  20. Search for Gamma-Ray Emission from Local Primordial Black Holes with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackermann, M.; Atwood, W. B.; Baldini, L.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Bastieri, D.; Bellazzini, R.; Berenji, B.; Bissaldi, E.; Blandford, R. D.; Bloom, E. D.; Bonino, R.; Bottacini, E.; Bregeon, J.; Bruel, P.; Buehler, R.; Cameron, R. A.; Caputo, R.; Caraveo, P. A.; Cavazzuti, E.; Charles, E.; Chekhtman, A.; Cheung, C. C.; Chiaro, G.; Ciprini, S.; Cohen-Tanugi, J.; Conrad, J.; Costantin, D.; D’Ammando, F.; de Palma, F.; Digel, S. W.; Di Lalla, N.; Di Mauro, M.; Di Venere, L.; Favuzzi, C.; Fegan, S. J.; Focke, W. B.; Franckowiak, A.; Fukazawa, Y.; Funk, S.; Fusco, P.; Gargano, F.; Gasparrini, D.; Giglietto, N.; Giordano, F.; Giroletti, M.; Green, D.; Grenier, I. A.; Guillemot, L.; Guiriec, S.; Horan, D.; Jóhannesson, G.; Johnson, C.; Kensei, S.; Kocevski, D.; Kuss, M.; Larsson, S.; Latronico, L.; Li, J.; Longo, F.; Loparco, F.; Lovellette, M. N.; Lubrano, P.; Magill, J. D.; Maldera, S.; Malyshev, D.; Manfreda, A.; Mazziotta, M. N.; McEnery, J. E.; Meyer, M.; Michelson, P. F.; Mitthumsiri, W.; Mizuno, T.; Monzani, M. E.; Moretti, E.; Morselli, A.; Moskalenko, I. V.; Negro, M.; Nuss, E.; Ojha, R.; Omodei, N.; Orienti, M.; Orlando, E.; Ormes, J. F.; Palatiello, M.; Paliya, V. S.; Paneque, D.; Persic, M.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Piron, F.; Principe, G.; Rainò, S.; Rando, R.; Razzano, M.; Razzaque, S.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Ritz, S.; Sánchez-Conde, M.; Sgrò, C.; Siskind, E. J.; Spada, F.; Spandre, G.; Spinelli, P.; Suson, D. J.; Tajima, H.; Thayer, J. G.; Thayer, J. B.; Torres, D. F.; Tosti, G.; Troja, E.; Valverde, J.; Vianello, G.; Wood, K.; Wood, M.; Zaharijas, G.

    2018-04-01

    Black holes with masses below approximately 1015 g are expected to emit gamma-rays with energies above a few tens of MeV, which can be detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). Although black holes with these masses cannot be formed as a result of stellar evolution, they may have formed in the early universe and are therefore called primordial black holes (PBHs). Previous searches for PBHs have focused on either short-timescale bursts or the contribution of PBHs to the isotropic gamma-ray emission. We show that, in cases of individual PBHs, the Fermi-LAT is most sensitive to PBHs with temperatures above approximately 16 GeV and masses 6 × 1011 g, which it can detect out to a distance of about 0.03 pc. These PBHs have a remaining lifetime of months to years at the start of the Fermi mission. They would appear as potentially moving point sources with gamma-ray emission that become spectrally harder and brighter with time until the PBH completely evaporates. In this paper, we develop a new algorithm to detect the proper motion of gamma-ray point sources, and apply it to 318 unassociated point sources at a high galactic latitude in the third Fermi-LAT source catalog. None of the unassociated point sources with spectra consistent with PBH evaporation show significant proper motion. Using the nondetection of PBH candidates, we derive a 99% confidence limit on the PBH evaporation rate in the vicinity of Earth, {\\dot{ρ }}PBH}< 7.2× {10}3 {pc}}-3 {yr}}-1. This limit is similar to the limits obtained with ground-based gamma-ray observatories.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Search for neutrinos from transient sources with the ANTARES telescope and optical follow-up observations (TAToO)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dornic, Damien; Brunner, Jurgen; Basa, Stephane; Al Samarai, Imen; Bertin, Vincent; Boer, Michel; Busto, Jose; Escoffier, Stephanie; Klotz, Alain; Mazure, Alain; Vallage, Bertrand

    2011-01-01

    The ANTARES telescope has the opportunity to detect transient neutrino sources, such as gamma-ray bursts, core-collapse supernovae, flares of active galactic nuclei. In order to enhance the sensitivity to these sources, we have developed a new detection method based on the follow-up by optical telescopes of 'golden' neutrino events, such as neutrino doublets coincident in time and space or single neutrinos of very high energy. The ANTARES collaboration has therefore implemented a very fast on-line reconstruction with a good angular resolution. These characteristics allow us to trigger an optical telescope network. Since February 2009, ANTARES is sending alert triggers once or twice per month to the two 25 cm robotic telescope of TAROT. This optical follow-up of such special events would not only give access to the nature of the sources, but also would improve the sensitivity to transient neutrino sources.

  4. Search for neutrinos from transient sources with the ANTARES telescope and optical follow-up observations (TAToO)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dornic, Damien, E-mail: dornic@cppm.in2p3.f [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3-Universite de la Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); IFIC, Edificios Investigacion de Paterna, CSIC-Universitat de Valenciaa, Apdo. de correos 22085, 46071 Valencia (Spain); Brunner, Jurgen [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3-Universite de la Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); Basa, Stephane [LAM, BP8, Traverse du siphon, 13376 Marseille Cedex 12 (France); Al Samarai, Imen; Bertin, Vincent [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3-Universite de la Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); Boer, Michel [OHP, 04870 Saint Michel de l' Observatoire (France); Busto, Jose; Escoffier, Stephanie [CPPM, CNRS/IN2P3-Universite de la Mediterranee, 163 avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09 (France); Klotz, Alain [OHP, 04870 Saint Michel de l' Observatoire (France); CESR, Observatiore Midi-Pyrenees, CNRS Universite de Toulouse, BP4346, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 04 (France); Mazure, Alain [LAM, BP8, Traverse du siphon, 13376 Marseille Cedex 12 (France); Vallage, Bertrand [CEA-IRFU, Centre de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France)

    2011-01-21

    The ANTARES telescope has the opportunity to detect transient neutrino sources, such as gamma-ray bursts, core-collapse supernovae, flares of active galactic nuclei. In order to enhance the sensitivity to these sources, we have developed a new detection method based on the follow-up by optical telescopes of 'golden' neutrino events, such as neutrino doublets coincident in time and space or single neutrinos of very high energy. The ANTARES collaboration has therefore implemented a very fast on-line reconstruction with a good angular resolution. These characteristics allow us to trigger an optical telescope network. Since February 2009, ANTARES is sending alert triggers once or twice per month to the two 25 cm robotic telescope of TAROT. This optical follow-up of such special events would not only give access to the nature of the sources, but also would improve the sensitivity to transient neutrino sources.

  5. 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...

  6. DETECTING INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION IN THE ATMOSPHERES OF EARTH-LIKE EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, Henry W. [Harvard College, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Abad, Gonzalo Gonzalez; Loeb, Abraham, E-mail: henrylin@college.harvard.edu, E-mail: ggonzalezabad@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: aloeb@cfa.harvard.edu [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Detecting biosignatures, such as molecular oxygen in combination with a reducing gas, in the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets has been a major focus in the search for alien life. We point out that in addition to these generic indicators, anthropogenic pollution could be used as a novel biosignature for intelligent life. To this end, we identify pollutants in the Earth's atmosphere that have significant absorption features in the spectral range covered by the James Webb Space Telescope. We focus on tetrafluoromethane (CF{sub 4}) and trichlorofluoromethane (CCl{sub 3}F), which are the easiest to detect chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) produced by anthropogenic activity. We estimate that ∼1.2 days (∼1.7 days) of total integration time will be sufficient to detect or constrain the concentration of CCl{sub 3}F (CF{sub 4}) to ∼10 times the current terrestrial level.

  7. Search for solar axions by the CERN axion solar telescope with 3He buffer gas: closing the hot dark matter gap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arik, M; Aune, S; Barth, K; Belov, A; Borghi, S; Bräuninger, H; Cantatore, G; Carmona, J M; Cetin, S A; Collar, J I; Da Riva, E; Dafni, T; Davenport, M; Eleftheriadis, C; Elias, N; Fanourakis, G; Ferrer-Ribas, E; Friedrich, P; Galán, J; García, J A; Gardikiotis, A; Garza, J G; Gazis, E N; Geralis, T; Georgiopoulou, E; Giomataris, I; Gninenko, S; Gómez, H; Gómez Marzoa, M; Gruber, E; Guthörl, T; Hartmann, R; Hauf, S; Haug, F; Hasinoff, M D; Hoffmann, D H H; Iguaz, F J; Irastorza, I G; Jacoby, J; Jakovčić, K; Karuza, M; Königsmann, K; Kotthaus, R; Krčmar, M; Kuster, M; Lakić, B; Lang, P M; Laurent, J M; Liolios, A; Ljubičić, A; Luzón, G; Neff, S; Niinikoski, T; Nordt, A; Papaevangelou, T; Pivovaroff, M J; Raffelt, G; Riege, H; Rodríguez, A; Rosu, M; Ruz, J; Savvidis, I; Shilon, I; Silva, P S; Solanki, S K; Stewart, L; Tomás, A; Tsagri, M; van Bibber, K; Vafeiadis, T; Villar, J; Vogel, J K; Yildiz, S C; Zioutas, K

    2014-03-07

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope has finished its search for solar axions with (3)He buffer gas, covering the search range 0.64 eV ≲ ma ≲ 1.17 eV. This closes the gap to the cosmological hot dark matter limit and actually overlaps with it. From the absence of excess x rays when the magnet was pointing to the Sun we set a typical upper limit on the axion-photon coupling of gaγ ≲ 3.3 × 10(-10)  GeV(-1) at 95% C.L., with the exact value depending on the pressure setting. Future direct solar axion searches will focus on increasing the sensitivity to smaller values of gaγ, for example by the currently discussed next generation helioscope International AXion Observatory.

  8. First combined search for neutrino point-sources in the southern sky with the ANTARES and IceCube neutrino telescopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barrios-Martí J.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A search for cosmic neutrino point-like sources using the ANTARES and IceCube neutrino telescopes over the Southern Hemisphere is presented. The ANTARES data were collected between January 2007 and December 2012, whereas the IceCube data ranges from April 2008 to May 2011. An unbinned maximum likelihood method is used to search for a localized excess of muon events in the southern sky assuming an E−2 neutrino source spectrum. A search over a pre-selected list of candidate sources has also been carried out for different source assumptions: spectral indices of 2.0 and 2.5, and energy cutoffs of 1 PeV, 300 TeV and 100 TeV. No significant excess over the background has been found, and upper limits for the candidate sources are presented compared to the individual experiments.

  9. Search for Solar Axions by the CERN Axion Solar Telescope with 3 He Buffer Gas: Closing the Hot Dark Matter Gap

    CERN Document Server

    Arik, M.; Barth, K.; Belov, A.; Borghi, S.; Bräuninger, H.; Cantatore, G.; Carmona, J.M.; Cetin, S.A.; Collar, J.I.; Da Riva, E.; Dafni, T.; Davenport, M.; Eleftheriadis, C.; Elias, N.; Fanourakis, G.; Ferrer-Ribas, E.; Friedrich, P.; Galán, J.; García, J.A.; Gardikiotis, A.; Garza, J.G.; Gazis, E.N.; Geralis, T.; Georgiopoulou, E.; Giomataris, I.; Gninenko, S.; Gómez, H.; Gómez Marzoa, M.; Gruber, E.; Guthörl, T.; Hartmann, R.; Hauf, S.; Haug, F.; Hasinoff, M.D.; Hoffmann, D.H.H.; Iguaz, F.J.; Irastorza, I.G.; Jacoby, J.; Jakovčić, K.; Karuza, M.; Königsmann, K.; Kotthaus, R.; Krčmar, M.; Kuster, M.; Lakić, B.; Lang, P.M.; Laurent, J.M.; Liolios, A.; Ljubičić, A.; Lozza, V.; Luzón, G.; Neff, S.; Niinikoski, T.; Nordt, A.; Papaevangelou, T.; Pivovaroff, M.J.; Raffelt, G.; Riege, H.; Rodríguez, A.; Rosu, M.; Ruz, J.; Savvidis, I.; Shilon, I.; Silva, P.S.; Solanki, S.K.; Stewart, L.; Tomás, A.; Tsagri, M.; van Bibber, K.; Vafeiadis, T.; Villar, J.; Vogel, J.K.; Yildiz, S.C.; Zioutas, K.

    2014-01-01

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) has finished its search for solar axions with 3^He buffer gas, covering the search range 0.64 eV < m_a <1.17 eV. This closes the gap to the cosmological hot dark matter limit and actually overlaps with it. From the absence of excess X-rays when the magnet was pointing to the Sun we set a typical upper limit on the axion-photon coupling of g_ag < 3.3 x 10^{-10} GeV^{-1} at 95% CL, with the exact value depending on the pressure setting. Future direct solar axion searches will focus on increasing the sensitivity to smaller values of g_a, for example by the currently discussed next generation helioscope IAXO.

  10. Search for Solar Axions by the CERN Axion Solar Telescope with He3 Buffer Gas: Closing the Hot Dark Matter Gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arik, M.; Aune, S.; Barth, K.; Belov, A.; Borghi, S.; Bräuninger, H.; Cantatore, G.; Carmona, J. M.; Cetin, S. A.; Collar, J. I.; Da Riva, E.; Dafni, T.; Davenport, M.; Eleftheriadis, C.; Elias, N.; Fanourakis, G.; Ferrer-Ribas, E.; Friedrich, P.; Galán, J.; García, J. A.; Gardikiotis, A.; Garza, J. G.; Gazis, E. N.; Geralis, T.; Georgiopoulou, E.; Giomataris, I.; Gninenko, S.; Gómez, H.; Gómez Marzoa, M.; Gruber, E.; Guthörl, T.; Hartmann, R.; Hauf, S.; Haug, F.; Hasinoff, M. D.; Hoffmann, D. H. H.; Iguaz, F. J.; Irastorza, I. G.; Jacoby, J.; Jakovčić, K.; Karuza, M.; Königsmann, K.; Kotthaus, R.; Krčmar, M.; Kuster, M.; Lakić, B.; Lang, P. M.; Laurent, J. M.; Liolios, A.; Ljubičić, A.; Luzón, G.; Neff, S.; Niinikoski, T.; Nordt, A.; Papaevangelou, T.; Pivovaroff, M. J.; Raffelt, G.; Riege, H.; Rodríguez, A.; Rosu, M.; Ruz, J.; Savvidis, I.; Shilon, I.; Silva, P. S.; Solanki, S. K.; Stewart, L.; Tomás, A.; Tsagri, M.; van Bibber, K.; Vafeiadis, T.; Villar, J.; Vogel, J. K.; Yildiz, S. C.; Zioutas, K.; CAST Collaboration

    2014-03-01

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope has finished its search for solar axions with He3 buffer gas, covering the search range 0.64 eV≲ma≲1.17 eV. This closes the gap to the cosmological hot dark matter limit and actually overlaps with it. From the absence of excess x rays when the magnet was pointing to the Sun we set a typical upper limit on the axion-photon coupling of gaγ≲3.3×10-10 GeV-1 at 95% C.L., with the exact value depending on the pressure setting. Future direct solar axion searches will focus on increasing the sensitivity to smaller values of gaγ, for example by the currently discussed next generation helioscope International AXion Observatory.

  11. The CARMENES Search for Exoplanets around M Dwarfs: A Low-mass Planet in the Temperate Zone of the Nearby K2-18

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkis, Paula; Henning, Thomas; Kürster, Martin; Trifonov, Trifon; Zechmeister, Mathias; Tal-Or, Lev; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Hatzes, Artie P.; Lafarga, Marina; Dreizler, Stefan; Ribas, Ignasi; Caballero, José A.; Reiners, Ansgar; Mallonn, Matthias; Morales, Juan C.; Kaminski, Adrian; Aceituno, Jesús; Amado, Pedro J.; Béjar, Victor J. S.; Hagen, Hans-Jürgen; Jeffers, Sandra; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Launhardt, Ralf; Marvin, Christopher; Montes, David

    2018-06-01

    K2-18 is a nearby M2.5 dwarf, located at 34 pc and hosting a transiting planet that was first discovered by the K2 mission and later confirmed with Spitzer Space Telescope observations. With a radius of ∼2 R ⊕ and an orbital period of ∼33 days, the planet lies in the temperate zone of its host star and receives stellar irradiation similar to that of Earth. Here we perform radial velocity follow-up observations with the visual channel of CARMENES with the goal of determining the mass and density of the planet. We measure a planetary semi-amplitude of K b ∼ 3.5 {{m}} {{{s}}}-1 and a mass of M b ∼ 9 M ⊕, yielding a bulk density around {ρ }b∼ 4 {{g}} {cm}}-3. This indicates a low-mass planet with a composition consistent with a solid core and a volatile-rich envelope. A signal at 9 days was recently reported using radial velocity measurements taken with the HARPS spectrograph. This was interpreted as being due to a second planet. We see a weaker, time- and wavelength-dependent signal in the CARMENES data set and thus favor stellar activity for its origin. K2-18 b joins the growing group of low-mass planets detected in the temperate zone of M dwarfs. The brightness of the host star in the near-infrared makes the system a good target for detailed atmospheric studies with the James Webb Space Telescope.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Misra, Amit K.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Exoplanet Classification and Yield Estimates for Direct Imaging Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Searching for Biosignatures in Exoplanetary Impact Ejecta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldi, Gianni; Brandeker, Alexis; Thébault, Philippe; Singer, Kelsi; Ahmed, Engy; de Vries, Bernard L; Neubeck, Anna; Olofsson, Göran

    2017-08-01

    With the number of confirmed rocky exoplanets increasing steadily, their characterization and the search for exoplanetary biospheres are becoming increasingly urgent issues in astrobiology. To date, most efforts have concentrated on the study of exoplanetary atmospheres. Instead, we aim to investigate the possibility of characterizing an exoplanet (in terms of habitability, geology, presence of life, etc.) by studying material ejected from the surface during an impact event. For a number of impact scenarios, we estimate the escaping mass and assess its subsequent collisional evolution in a circumstellar orbit, assuming a Sun-like host star. We calculate the fractional luminosity of the dust as a function of time after the impact event and study its detectability with current and future instrumentation. We consider the possibility to constrain the dust composition, giving information on the geology or the presence of a biosphere. As examples, we investigate whether calcite, silica, or ejected microorganisms could be detected. For a 20 km diameter impactor, we find that the dust mass escaping the exoplanet is roughly comparable to the zodiacal dust, depending on the exoplanet's size. The collisional evolution is best modeled by considering two independent dust populations, a spalled population consisting of nonmelted ejecta evolving on timescales of millions of years, and dust recondensed from melt or vapor evolving on much shorter timescales. While the presence of dust can potentially be inferred with current telescopes, studying its composition requires advanced instrumentation not yet available. The direct detection of biological matter turns out to be extremely challenging. Despite considerable difficulties (small dust masses, noise such as exozodiacal dust, etc.), studying dusty material ejected from an exoplanetary surface might become an interesting complement to atmospheric studies in the future. Key Words: Biosignatures-Exoplanets

  19. 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.

  20. A search for radio pulsars and fast transients in M31 using the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rubio-Herrera, E.; Stappers, B.W.; Hessels, J.W.T.; Braun, R.

    2013-01-01

    We present the results of the most sensitive and comprehensive survey yet undertaken for radio pulsars and fast transients in the Andromeda galaxy (M31) and its satellites, using the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) at a central frequency of 328 MHz. We used the WSRT in a special

  1. 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...

  2. Look to the Stars - The APUS Observatory: An Innovative Robotic Telescope for Online Astronomical Education and Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albin, Edward

    2018-01-01

    We report on the American Public University System’s new robotic telescope, located in Charles Town, WV -- an innovative observatory deployed in an online institution of higher education. The instrument is operated by the Department of Space Studies and is situated atop the university’s new Information Technology building. At the heart of the observatory is a Planewave CDK24 telescope, equipped with a SBIG STX-16803 CCD camera. The telescope is a key technological component in the Department's new undergraduate / graduate astronomy concentration. Since the university is a dedicated online educational institution, the acquisition of a fully remote controlled telescope ties closely into the program's philosophy of quality online instruction. Our robotic observatory is intimately integrated into our astronomy curriculum, with the telescope being utilized for original astronomical education and research purposes. For instance, not only is imagery used in the classroom and for laboratory instruction, graduate students in our MS degree program have an opportunity to collect original telescopic data for research / thesis projects. Examples of ongoing investigations with the telescope include observations of exoplanet transits and variable star photometry. When not in use for specific observing projects, the telescope is scripted to conduct autonomous supernova searches by patrolling dozens of galaxies throughout the night. Our goal is to have the instrument scheduled for continuous observing of the heavens throughout the year on all clear evenings.

  3. Results from the search for dark matter in the Milky Way with 9 years of data of the ANTARES neutrino telescope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Albert

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Using data recorded with the ANTARES telescope from 2007 to 2015, a new search for dark matter annihilation in the Milky Way has been performed. Three halo models and five annihilation channels, WIMP+WIMP→bb¯,W+W−,τ+τ−,μ+μ− and νν¯, with WIMP masses ranging from 50 GeVc2 to 100 TeVc2, were considered. No excess over the expected background was found, and limits on the thermally averaged annihilation cross-section were set.

  4. 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.

  5. The MEarth Project: Status Update and the Commissioning of a Brand New Telescope Array in the Southern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    The MEarth Project is an ongoing all-sky survey for Earth-like planets transiting the closest, smallest M dwarfs. MEarth aims to find good targets for atmospheric characterization with JWST and the next generation of enormous ground-based telescopes. MEarth's yearly data releases, containing precise light curves of nearby mid-to-late M dwarfs, provide a unique window into the photometric variability of the stars that will forever be among the most interesting targets in the search for potentially habitable exoplanets. We present a status update on the MEarth Project, including a detailed map of the progress we’ve made so far with 8 telescopes in the Northern hemisphere and promising early results from our new installation of 8 more telescopes in the Southern hemisphere.

  6. Emergent Exoplanet Flux: Review of the Spitzer Results

    OpenAIRE

    Deming, Drake

    2008-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. The Moving Group Targets of the SEEDS High-contrast Imaging Survey of Exoplanets and Disks: Results and Observations from the First Three Years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brandt, T.D.; et al., [Unknown; Thalmann, C.

    2014-01-01

    We present results from the first three years of observations of moving group (MG) targets in the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) high-contrast imaging survey of exoplanets and disks using the Subaru telescope. We achieve typical contrasts of ~105 at 1'' and ~106

  9. 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

  10. Comparison of wavefront control algorithms and first results on the high-contrast imager for complex aperture telescopes (hicat) testbed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leboulleux, L.; N'Diaye, M.; Mazoyer, J.; Pueyo, L.; Perrin, M.; Egron, S.; Choquet, E.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Fusco, T.; Soummer, R.

    2017-09-01

    The next generation of space telescopes for direct imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanets includes telescopes with a monolithic mirror, such as the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) [1] and Large Ultra-Violet Optical Infrared (LUVOIR) telescopes with segmented primary mirror, like ATLAST [2, 3] or HDST [4].

  11. 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…

  12. In Search of Stellar Music: Finding Pulsators for the TESS Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richey-Yowell, Tyler; Pepper, Joshua; KELT Collaboration

    2017-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will search for small transiting exoplanets orbiting bright stars. One of the additional mission objectives is to observe oscillating variable stars to precisely measure these stars’ masses, radii, and internal structures. Since TESS can observe only a limited number of stars with high enough cadence to detect these oscillations, it is necessary to identify candidates that will yield the most valuable results. Using data from the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT), we searched for bright stars showing oscillations to be included as TESS targets. We found 2,108 variable stars with B-V < 0.5 and P < 5 days. Further analysis will be carried out to establish final candidates. This project was funded by the National Science Foundation grant PHY-1359195 to the Lehigh University REU program.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Search for interplanetary shock signals using the Tupi telescope at the ascending phase of the solar cycle 24

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Augusto, C.R.A.; Kopenkin, V.; Navia, C.E.; Tsui, K.H.; Shigueoka, H.; Fauth, A.C.; Kemp, E.; Manganote, E.J.T.; Oliveira, M.A. Leigui de; Miranda, P.; Ticona, R.; Velarde, A.

    2012-01-01

    Full text: This paper presents the results of an on-going survey on the association between the muon flux variation at ground level registered by the Tupi telescopes (Niteroi-Brazil, 22.9 deg S; 43.2 deg W, 3 m above sea level) in the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region and interplanetary shocks detected by space-borne detectors (SOHO, ACE, GOES). The SAA provides favorable conditions for observation of shock driven geomagnetic storms, including those of very small scale. Geomagnetic storms are usually originated by the transient events such as solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and corotating interaction regions (CIRs). In most cases scientific research showed variation in the cosmic particle flux at ground level in correlation with large scale CMEs solar flares characterized by high absolute values of geomagnetic activity Kp index. In our analysis we found that the muon flux associated with the interplanetary shock signals changes also in response to low solar activity and to fast rise in Kp index. We report experimental data obtained by the Tupi telescopes in the period from June 2010 to December 2011. This time period corresponds to the rising phase of the solar cycle 24. These observations are compared with publicly available observations from the CELIAS/MTOF Proton Monitor on SOHO satellite in order to study the origin of the shocks. Among 28 interplanetary shocks reported in present analysis, there are 12 possibly associated with the CMEs and solar flares, 2 events - with the CIR related shocks (forward or reverse shocks), and the origin of the remaining 13 events has not been determined by the satellite detectors. By comparing the observed time (delayed or anticipated) of the shock related signal on Earth (the Tupi telescopes) with the trigger time of the shock registered by satellites located at the Lagrange point L1 (SOHO, ACE), we find that it is possible to estimate the type of the shock (forward or reverse). This method can be useful in

  18. Search for interplanetary shock signals using the Tupi telescope at the ascending phase of the solar cycle 24

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Augusto, C.R.A.; Kopenkin, V.; Navia, C.E.; Tsui, K.H.; Shigueoka, H. [Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niteroi, RJ (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica; Fauth, A.C.; Kemp, E.; Manganote, E.J.T. [Universidade Estadual de Campinas (IFGW/UNICAMP), SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica Gleb Wataghin; Oliveira, M.A. Leigui de [Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC), Santo Andre, SP (Brazil). Centro de Ciencias Naturais e Humanas; Miranda, P.; Ticona, R.; Velarde, A. [Universidad Mayor de San Andres (UMSA), La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of). Inst. de Investigaciones Fisicas

    2012-07-01

    Full text: This paper presents the results of an on-going survey on the association between the muon flux variation at ground level registered by the Tupi telescopes (Niteroi-Brazil, 22.9 deg S; 43.2 deg W, 3 m above sea level) in the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region and interplanetary shocks detected by space-borne detectors (SOHO, ACE, GOES). The SAA provides favorable conditions for observation of shock driven geomagnetic storms, including those of very small scale. Geomagnetic storms are usually originated by the transient events such as solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and corotating interaction regions (CIRs). In most cases scientific research showed variation in the cosmic particle flux at ground level in correlation with large scale CMEs solar flares characterized by high absolute values of geomagnetic activity Kp index. In our analysis we found that the muon flux associated with the interplanetary shock signals changes also in response to low solar activity and to fast rise in Kp index. We report experimental data obtained by the Tupi telescopes in the period from June 2010 to December 2011. This time period corresponds to the rising phase of the solar cycle 24. These observations are compared with publicly available observations from the CELIAS/MTOF Proton Monitor on SOHO satellite in order to study the origin of the shocks. Among 28 interplanetary shocks reported in present analysis, there are 12 possibly associated with the CMEs and solar flares, 2 events - with the CIR related shocks (forward or reverse shocks), and the origin of the remaining 13 events has not been determined by the satellite detectors. By comparing the observed time (delayed or anticipated) of the shock related signal on Earth (the Tupi telescopes) with the trigger time of the shock registered by satellites located at the Lagrange point L1 (SOHO, ACE), we find that it is possible to estimate the type of the shock (forward or reverse). This method can be useful in

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Search for OH 18 cm Radio Emission from 1I/2017 U1 with the Green Bank Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Ryan S.; Pisano, D. J.; Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Chodas, Paul W.; Naidu, Shantanu P.

    2018-05-01

    This paper reports the first OH 18 cm line observation of the first detected interstellar object 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) using the Green Bank Telescope. We have observed the OH lines at 1665.402, 1667.359, and 1720.53 MHz frequencies with a spectral resolution of 357 Hz (approximately 0.06 km s‑1). At the time of the observation, ‘Oumuamua was at topocentric distance and velocity of 1.07 au and 63.4 km s‑1, respectively, or at heliocentric distance and velocity of 1.8 au and 39 km s‑1, respectively. Based on a detailed data reduction and an analogy-based inversion, our final results confirm the asteroidal origin of ‘Oumuamua with an upper bound OH production of Q[OH] < 0.17 × 1028 s‑1.

  3. Searching for Dark Matter Annihilation from Milky Way Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies with Six Years of Fermi Large Area Telescope Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackermann, M; Albert, A; Anderson, B; Atwood, W B; Baldini, L; Barbiellini, G; Bastieri, D; Bechtol, K; Bellazzini, R; Bissaldi, E; Blandford, R D; Bloom, E D; Bonino, R; Bottacini, E; Brandt, T J; Bregeon, J; Bruel, P; Buehler, R; Caliandro, G A; Cameron, R A; Caputo, R; Caragiulo, M; Caraveo, P A; Cecchi, C; Charles, E; Chekhtman, A; Chiang, J; Chiaro, G; Ciprini, S; Claus, R; Cohen-Tanugi, J; Conrad, J; Cuoco, A; Cutini, S; D'Ammando, F; de Angelis, A; de Palma, F; Desiante, R; Digel, S W; Di Venere, L; Drell, P S; Drlica-Wagner, A; Essig, R; Favuzzi, C; Fegan, S J; Ferrara, E C; Focke, W B; Franckowiak, A; Fukazawa, Y; Funk, S; Fusco, P; Gargano, F; Gasparrini, D; Giglietto, N; Giordano, F; Giroletti, M; Glanzman, T; Godfrey, G; Gomez-Vargas, G A; Grenier, I A; Guiriec, S; Gustafsson, M; Hays, E; Hewitt, J W; Horan, D; Jogler, T; Jóhannesson, G; Kuss, M; Larsson, S; Latronico, L; Li, J; Li, L; Llena Garde, M; Longo, F; Loparco, F; Lubrano, P; Malyshev, D; Mayer, M; Mazziotta, M N; McEnery, J E; Meyer, M; Michelson, P F; Mizuno, T; Moiseev, A A; Monzani, M E; Morselli, A; Murgia, S; Nuss, E; Ohsugi, T; Orienti, M; Orlando, E; Ormes, J F; Paneque, D; Perkins, J S; Pesce-Rollins, M; Piron, F; Pivato, G; Porter, T A; Rainò, S; Rando, R; Razzano, M; Reimer, A; Reimer, O; Ritz, S; Sánchez-Conde, M; Schulz, A; Sehgal, N; Sgrò, C; Siskind, E J; Spada, F; Spandre, G; Spinelli, P; Strigari, L; Tajima, H; Takahashi, H; Thayer, J B; Tibaldo, L; Torres, D F; Troja, E; Vianello, G; Werner, M; Winer, B L; Wood, K S; Wood, M; Zaharijas, G; Zimmer, S

    2015-12-04

    The dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies (dSphs) of the Milky Way are some of the most dark matter (DM) dominated objects known. We report on γ-ray observations of Milky Way dSphs based on six years of Fermi Large Area Telescope data processed with the new Pass8 event-level analysis. None of the dSphs are significantly detected in γ rays, and we present upper limits on the DM annihilation cross section from a combined analysis of 15 dSphs. These constraints are among the strongest and most robust to date and lie below the canonical thermal relic cross section for DM of mass ≲100  GeV annihilating via quark and τ-lepton channels.

  4. Preparing for TESS: Precision Ground-based Light-curves of Newly Discovered Transiting Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiting; Stefansson, Gudmundur; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Monson, Andy; Hebb, Leslie; Wisniewski, John; Huehnerhoff, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), to be launched in early 2018, is expected to catalog a myriad of transiting exoplanet candidates ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, orbiting a diverse range of stellar types in the solar neighborhood. In particular, TESS will find small planets orbiting the closest and brightest stars, and will enable detailed atmospheric characterizations of planets with current and future telescopes. In the TESS era, ground-based follow-up resources will play a critical role in validating and confirming the planetary nature of the candidates TESS will discover. Along with confirming the planetary nature of exoplanet transits, high precision ground-based transit observations allow us to put further constraints on exoplanet orbital parameters and transit timing variations. In this talk, we present new observations of transiting exoplanets recently discovered by the K2 mission, using the optical diffuser on the 3.5m ARC Telescope at Apache Point Observatory. These include observations of the mini-Neptunes K2-28b and K2-104b orbiting early-to-mid M-dwarfs. In addition, other recent transit observations performed using the robotic 30cm telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile will be presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-10

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

  6. 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.

  7. Search for Extended Sources in the Galactic Plane Using Six Years of Fermi -Large Area Telescope Pass 8 Data above 10 GeV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ackermann, M.; Buehler, R. [Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron DESY, D-15738 Zeuthen (Germany); Ajello, M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Kinard Lab of Physics, Clemson, SC 29634-0978 (United States); Baldini, L. [Università di Pisa and Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pisa I-56127 Pisa (Italy); Ballet, J. [Laboratoire AIM, CEA-IRFU/CNRS/Université Paris Diderot, Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, F-91191 Gif sur Yvette (France); Barbiellini, G. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Trieste, I-34127 Trieste (Italy); Bastieri, D. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Padova, I-35131 Padova (Italy); Bellazzini, R. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pisa, I-56127 Pisa (Italy); Bissaldi, E.; Caragiulo, M. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Bari, I-70126 Bari (Italy); Bloom, E. D.; Bottacini, E.; Cameron, R. A. [W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Bonino, R. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, I-10125 Torino (Italy); Brandt, T. J.; Castro, D. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Bregeon, J. [Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, Université Montpellier, CNRS/IN2P3, F-34095 Montpellier (France); Bruel, P. [Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet, École polytechnique, CNRS/IN2P3, F-91128 Palaiseau (France); Caraveo, P. A. [INAF-Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica Milano, via E. Bassini 15, I-20133 Milano (Italy); Cavazzuti, E., E-mail: jcohen@astro.umd.edu, E-mail: elizabeth.a.hays@nasa.gov [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) Science Data Center, I-00133 Roma (Italy); and others

    2017-07-10

    The spatial extension of a γ -ray source is an essential ingredient to determine its spectral properties, as well as its potential multiwavelength counterpart. The capability to spatially resolve γ -ray sources is greatly improved by the newly delivered Fermi -Large Area Telescope (LAT) Pass 8 event-level analysis, which provides a greater acceptance and an improved point-spread function, two crucial factors for the detection of extended sources. Here, we present a complete search for extended sources located within 7° from the Galactic plane, using 6 yr of Fermi -LAT data above 10 GeV. We find 46 extended sources and provide their morphological and spectral characteristics. This constitutes the first catalog of hard Fermi -LAT extended sources, named the Fermi Galactic Extended Source Catalog, which allows a thorough study of the properties of the Galactic plane in the sub-TeV domain.

  8. Search for Extended Sources in the Galactic Plane Using Six Years of Fermi -Large Area Telescope Pass 8 Data above 10 GeV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ackermann, M.; Buehler, R.; Ajello, M.; Baldini, L.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Bastieri, D.; Bellazzini, R.; Bissaldi, E.; Caragiulo, M.; Bloom, E. D.; Bottacini, E.; Cameron, R. A.; Bonino, R.; Brandt, T. J.; Castro, D.; Bregeon, J.; Bruel, P.; Caraveo, P. A.; Cavazzuti, E.

    2017-01-01

    The spatial extension of a γ -ray source is an essential ingredient to determine its spectral properties, as well as its potential multiwavelength counterpart. The capability to spatially resolve γ -ray sources is greatly improved by the newly delivered Fermi -Large Area Telescope (LAT) Pass 8 event-level analysis, which provides a greater acceptance and an improved point-spread function, two crucial factors for the detection of extended sources. Here, we present a complete search for extended sources located within 7° from the Galactic plane, using 6 yr of Fermi -LAT data above 10 GeV. We find 46 extended sources and provide their morphological and spectral characteristics. This constitutes the first catalog of hard Fermi -LAT extended sources, named the Fermi Galactic Extended Source Catalog, which allows a thorough study of the properties of the Galactic plane in the sub-TeV domain.

  9. Astrobiology with Robotic Telescopes at CAB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Cuesta

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The key objectives of RTRCAB are the identification of new exoplanets and especially the characterization of the known exoplanets by observing photometric and systematic monitoring of their transits. These telescopes, equipped with advanced technology, optimized control programs, and optical and technical characteristics adequate for this purpose, are ideal to make the observations that are required to carry out these programs. The achievement of these goals is ensured by the existence of three separated geographical stations. In this sense, there are several planned missions that have the same objectives among their scientific goals, like Kepler, CoRoT, GAIA, and PLATO.

  10. Searches for dark matter self-annihilation signals from dwarf spheroidal galaxies and the Fornax galaxy cluster with imaging air Cherenkov telescopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Opitz, Bjoern Helmut Bastian

    2014-06-01

    Many astronomical observations indicate that dark matter pervades the universe and dominates the formation and dynamics of cosmic structures. Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) with masses in the GeV to TeV range form a popular class of dark matter candidates. WIMP self-annihilation may lead to the production of γ-rays in the very high energy regime above 100 GeV, which is observable with imaging air Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs). For this thesis, observations of dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSph) and the Fornax galaxy cluster with the Cherenkov telescope systems H.E.S.S., MAGIC and VERITAS were used to search for γ-ray signals of dark matter annihilations. The work consists of two parts: First, a likelihood-based statistical technique was introduced to combine published results of dSph observations with the different IACTs. The technique also accounts for uncertainties on the ''J factors'', which quantify the dark matter content of the dwarf galaxies. Secondly, H.E.S.S. observations of the Fornax cluster were analyzed. In this case, a collection of dark matter halo models was used for the J factor computation. In addition, possible signal enhancements from halo substructures were considered. None of the searches yielded a significant γ-ray signal. Therefore, the results were used to place upper limits on the thermally averaged dark matter self-annihilation cross-section left angle σν right angle. Different models for the final state of the annihilation process were considered. The cross-section limits range from left angle σν right angle UL ∝10 -19 cm 3 s -1 to left angle σν right angle UL ∝10 -25 cm 3 s -1 for dark matter particles masses between 100 GeV and 100 TeV. Some of the diverse model uncertainties causing this wide range of left angle σν right angle UL values were analyzed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Laboratory Studies of Planetary Hazes: composition of cool exoplanet atmospheric aerosols with very high resolution mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Sarah E.; Horst, Sarah; He, Chao; Flandinet, Laurene; Moses, Julianne I.; Orthous-Daunay, Francois-Regis; Vuitton, Veronique; Wolters, Cedric; Lewis, Nikole

    2017-10-01

    We present first results of the composition of laboratory-produced exoplanet haze analogues. With the Planetary HAZE Research (PHAZER) Laboratory, we simulated nine exoplanet atmospheres of varying initial gas phase compositions representing increasing metallicities (100x, 1000x, and 10000x solar) and exposed them to three different temperature regimes (600, 400, and 300 K) with two different “instellation” sources (a plasma source and a UV lamp). The PHAZER exoplanet experiments simulate a temperature and atmospheric composition phase space relevant to the expected planetary yield of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission as well as recently discovered potentially habitable zone exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1, LHS-1140, and Proxima Centauri systems. Upon exposure to the energy sources, all of these experiments produced aerosol particles, which were collected in a dry nitrogen glove box and then analyzed with an LTQ Orbitrap XL™ Hybrid Ion Trap-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer utilizing m/z ranging from 50 to 1000. The collected aerosol samples were found to contain complex organics. Constraining the composition of these aerosols allows us to better understand the photochemical and dynamical processes ongoing in exoplanet atmospheres. Moreover, these data can inform our telescope observations of exoplanets, which is of critical importance as we enter a new era of exoplanet atmosphere observation science with the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. The molecular makeup of these haze particles provides key information for understanding exoplanet atmospheric spectra, and constraining the structure and behavior of clouds, hazes, and other aerosols is at the forefront of exoplanet atmosphere science.

  16. THE SEARCH FOR Hi EMISSION AT z ≈ 0.4 IN GRAVITATIONALLY LENSED GALAXIES WITH THE GREEN BANK TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hunt, L. R.; Pisano, D. J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 6315, Morgantown, WV 26506 (United States); Edel, S., E-mail: lhunt3@mix.wvu.edu, E-mail: djpisano@mail.wvu.edu, E-mail: stasedel@gmail.com [Infinite Optics, 1712 Newport Cir # F, Santa Ana, CA 92705 (United States)

    2016-08-01

    Neutral hydrogen (Hi) provides a very important fuel for star formation, but is difficult to detect at high redshift due to weak emission, limited sensitivity of modern instruments, and terrestrial radio frequency interference (RFI) at low frequencies. We report the first attempt to use gravitational lensing to detect Hi line emission from three gravitationally lensed galaxies behind the cluster Abell 773, two at redshifts of 0.398 and one at z = 0.487, using the Green Bank Telescope. We find that a 3 σ upper limit for a galaxy with a rotation velocity of 200 km s{sup −1} is M{sub Hi} = 6.58 × 10{sup 9} and 1.5 × 10{sup 10} M {sub ⊙} at z = 0.398 and z = 0.487. The estimated Hi masses of the sources at z = 0.398 and z = 0.487 are factors of 3.7 and ∼30 times lower than our detection limits at the respective redshifts. To facilitate these observations we have used sigma-clipping to remove both narrow- and wideband RFI but retain the signal from the source. We are able to reduce the noise of the spectrum by ∼25% using our routine instead of discarding observations with too much RFI. The routine is most effective when ∼10% of the integrations or fewer contain RFI. These techniques can be used to study Hi in highly magnified distant galaxies that are otherwise too faint to detect.

  17. Light + Light = Darkness : searching for exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mieremet, A.; Braat, J.; Hartmann, L.

    2002-01-01

    Arjan Mieremet, a doctorate student in the Optics section at Applied Physics, wants to extinguish stellar light in order to see the planets around it. The idea originated over twenty years ago, but so far nobody has managed to construct the necessary optical equipment. Mieremet tried, and soon ran

  18. 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

  19. Modular Orbital Demonstration of an Evolvable Space Telescope (MODEST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldauf, Brian; Conti, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    The "Search for Life" via imaging of exoplanets is a mission that requires extremely stable telescopes with apertures in the 10 m to 20 m range. The High Definition Space Telescope (HDST) envisioned for this mission would have an aperture >10 m, which is a larger payload than what can be delivered to space using a single launch vehicle. Building and assembling the mirror segments enabling large telescopes will likely require multiple launches and assembly in space. Space-based telescopes with large apertures will require major changes to system architectures.The Optical Telescope Assembly (OTA) for HDST is a primary mission cost driver. Enabling and affordable solutions for this next generation of large aperture space-based telescope are needed.This paper reports on the concept for the Modular Orbital Demonstration of an Evolvable Space Telescope (MODEST), which demonstrates on-orbit robotic and/or astronaut assembly of a precision optical telescope in space. It will also facilitate demonstration of active correction of phase and mirror shape. MODEST is proposed to be delivered to the ISS using standard Express Logistics Carriers (ELCs) and can mounted to one of a variety of ISS pallets. Post-assembly value includes space, ground, and environmental studies, and a testbed for new instruments. This demonstration program for next generation mirror technology provides significant risk reduction and demonstrates the technology in a six-mirror phased telescope. Other key features of the demonstration include the use of an active primary optical surface with wavefront feedback control that allows on-orbit optimization and demonstration of precise surface control to meet optical system wavefront and stability requirements.MODEST will also be used to evaluate advances in lightweight mirror and metering structure materials such as SiC or Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer that have excellent mechanical and thermal properties, e.g. high stiffness, high modulus, high thermal

  20. A Framework to Combine Low- and High-resolution Spectroscopy for the Atmospheres of Transiting Exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    Current observations of the atmospheres of close-in exoplanets are predominantly obtained with two techniques: low-resolution spectroscopy with space telescopes and high-resolution spectroscopy from the ground. Although the observables delivered by the two methods are in principle highly

  1. Search for very high-energy gamma-ray emission from the microquasar Cygnus X-1 with the MAGIC telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahnen, M. L.; Ansoldi, S.; Antonelli, L. A.; Arcaro, C.; Babić, A.; Banerjee, B.; Bangale, P.; Barres de Almeida, U.; Barrio, J. A.; Becerra González, J.; Bednarek, W.; Bernardini, E.; Berti, A.; Bhattacharyya, W.; Biasuzzi, B.; Biland, A.; Blanch, O.; Bonnefoy, S.; Bonnoli, G.; Carosi, R.; Carosi, A.; Chatterjee, A.; Colin, P.; Colombo, E.; Contreras, J. L.; Cortina, J.; Covino, S.; Cumani, P.; da Vela, P.; Dazzi, F.; de Angelis, A.; de Lotto, B.; de Oña Wilhelmi, E.; di Pierro, F.; Doert, M.; Domínguez, A.; Dominis Prester, D.; Dorner, D.; Doro, M.; Einecke, S.; Eisenacher Glawion, D.; Elsaesser, D.; Engelkemeier, M.; Fallah Ramazani, V.; Fernández-Barral, A.; Fidalgo, D.; Fonseca, M. V.; Font, L.; Fruck, C.; Galindo, D.; García López, R. J.; Garczarczyk, M.; Gaug, M.; Giammaria, P.; Godinović, N.; Gora, D.; Guberman, D.; Hadasch, D.; Hahn, A.; Hassan, T.; Hayashida, M.; Herrera, J.; Hose, J.; Hrupec, D.; Ishio, K.; Konno, Y.; Kubo, H.; Kushida, J.; Kuveždić, D.; Lelas, D.; Lindfors, E.; Lombardi, S.; Longo, F.; López, M.; Maggio, C.; Majumdar, P.; Makariev, M.; Maneva, G.; Manganaro, M.; Mannheim, K.; Maraschi, L.; Mariotti, M.; Martínez, M.; Mazin, D.; Menzel, U.; Minev, M.; Mirzoyan, R.; Moralejo, A.; Moreno, V.; Moretti, E.; Neustroev, V.; Niedzwiecki, A.; Nievas Rosillo, M.; Nilsson, K.; Ninci, D.; Nishijima, K.; Noda, K.; Nogués, L.; Paiano, S.; Palacio, J.; Paneque, D.; Paoletti, R.; Paredes, J. M.; Paredes-Fortuny, X.; Pedaletti, G.; Peresano, M.; Perri, L.; Persic, M.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Prandini, E.; Puljak, I.; Garcia, J. R.; Reichardt, I.; Rhode, W.; Ribó, M.; Rico, J.; Righi, C.; Saito, T.; Satalecka, K.; Schroeder, S.; Schweizer, T.; Sitarek, J.; Šnidarić, I.; Sobczynska, D.; Stamerra, A.; Strzys, M.; Surić, T.; Takalo, L.; Tavecchio, F.; Temnikov, P.; Terzić, T.; Tescaro, D.; Teshima, M.; Torres, D. F.; Torres-Albà, N.; Treves, A.; Vanzo, G.; Vazquez Acosta, M.; Vovk, I.; Ward, J. E.; Will, M.; Zarić, D.; MAGIC Collaboration; Bosch-Ramon, V.; Pooley, G. G.; Trushkin, S. A.; Zanin, R.

    2017-12-01

    The microquasar Cygnus X-1 displays the two typical soft and hard X-ray states of a black hole transient. During the latter, Cygnus X-1 shows a one-sided relativistic radio-jet. Recent detection of the system in the high energy (HE; E ≳ 60 MeV) gamma-ray range with Fermi-LAT associates this emission with the outflow. Former MAGIC observations revealed a hint of flaring activity in the very high-energy (VHE; E ≳ 100 GeV) regime during this X-ray state. We analyse ∼97 h of Cygnus X-1 data taken with the MAGIC telescopes between July 2007 and October 2014. To shed light on the correlation between hard X-ray and VHE gamma rays as previously suggested, we study each main X-ray state separately. We perform an orbital phase-folded analysis to look for variability in the VHE band. Additionally, to place this variability behaviour in a multiwavelength context, we compare our results with Fermi-LAT, AGILE, Swift-BAT, MAXI, RXTE-ASM, AMI and RATAN-600 data. We do not detect Cygnus X-1 in the VHE regime. We establish upper limits for each X-ray state, assuming a power-law distribution with photon index Γ = 3.2. For steady emission in the hard and soft X-ray states, we set integral upper limits at 95 per cent confidence level for energies above 200 GeV at 2.6 × 10-12 photons cm-2 s-1 and 1.0 × 10-11 photons cm-2 s-1, respectively. We rule out steady VHE gamma-ray emission above this energy range, at the level of the MAGIC sensitivity, originating in the interaction between the relativistic jet and the surrounding medium, while the emission above this flux level produced inside the binary still remains a valid possibility.

  2. Stringent constraints on the dark matter annihilation cross section from subhalo searches with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berlin, Asher; Hooper, Dan

    2014-01-01

    The dark matter halo of the Milky Way is predicted to contain a very large number of smaller subhalos. As a result of the dark matter annihilations taking place within such objects, the most nearby and massive subhalos could appear as point-like or spatially extended gamma-ray sources, without observable counterparts at other wavelengths. In this paper, we use the results of the Aquarius simulation to predict the distribution of nearby subhalos, and compare this to the characteristics of the unidentified gamma-ray sources observed by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. Focusing on the brightest high latitude sources, we use this comparison to derive limits on the dark matter annihilation cross section. For dark matter particles lighter than ~200 GeV, the resulting limits are the strongest obtained to date, being modestly more stringent than those derived from observations of dwarf galaxies or the Galactic Center. We also derive independent limits based on the lack of unidentified gamma-ray sources with discernible spatial extension, but these limits are a factor of ~2-10 weaker than those based on point-like subhalos. Lastly, we note that four of the ten brightest high-latitude sources exhibit a similar spectral shape, consistent with 30-60 GeV dark matter particles annihilating to b quarks with an annihilation cross section on the order of sigma v ~ (5-10) x 10^-27 cm^3/s, or 8-10 GeV dark matter particles annihilating to taus with sigma v ~ (2.0-2.5) x 10^-27 cm^3/s.

  3. A SEARCH FOR LYMAN BREAK GALAXIES IN THE CHANDRA DEEP FIELD SOUTH USING SWIFT ULTRAVIOLET/OPTICAL TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basu-Zych, Antara R.; Hornschemeier, Ann E.; Hoversten, Erik A.; Gronwall, Caryl; Lehmer, Bret

    2011-01-01

    While the Swift satellite is primarily designed to study gamma-ray bursts, its ultraviolet and optical imaging and spectroscopy capabilities are also being used for a variety of scientific programs. In this study, we use the UV/Optical Telescope (UVOT) instrument on board Swift to discover 0.5 2 at >60 ks exposure time, achieving a limiting magnitude of u * /M sun ) = 9.4 ± 0.6, which is slightly lower than z ∼ 3 LBGs ((logM * /Ms un ) = 10.2 ± 0.4) and slightly higher compared with the z ∼ 1 CDF-S galaxies ((logM * /M sun ) = 8.7 ± 0.7). Similarly, our sample of z ∼ 1 LBGs has SFRs (derived using both ultraviolet and infrared data, where available) of (logSFR/(M sun yr -1 )) = 0.7 ± 0.6, nearly an order of magnitude lower than z ∼ 3 LBGs ((logSFR/M sun yr -1 ) = 1.5 ± 0.4), but slightly higher than the comparison z ∼ 1 sample of CDF-S galaxies ((logSFR/M sun yr -1 ) = 0.2 ± 0.7). We find that our z ∼ 1 UV-dropouts have (A FUV ) = 2.0 ± 1.0, which is higher than z ∼ 3 LBGs ((A FUV ) = 1.0 ± 0.5), but similar to the distribution of dust attenuations in the other CDF-S galaxies ((A FUV ) ∼ 2.8 ± 1.5). Using the GOODS-South multiwavelength catalog of galaxies, we simulate a larger and fainter sample of LBGs to compare their properties with those of the UVOT-selected LBG sample. We conclude that UVOT can be useful for finding and studying the bright end of 0.5 < z < 2.0 LBGs.

  4. Search for correlations between the arrival directions of IceCube neutrino events and ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays detected by the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Collaboration, The IceCube; Aartsen, M. G.; Abraham, K.; Ackermann, M.; Adams, J.; Aguilar, J. A.; Ahlers, M.; Ahrens, M.; Altmann, D.; Anderson, T.; Ansseau, I.; Archinger, M.; Arguelles, C.; Arlen, T. C.; Auffenberg, J.; Bai, X.; Barwick, S. W.; Baum, V.; Bay, R.; Beatty, J. J.; Tjus, J. Becker; Becker, K. -H.; Beiser, E.; Berghaus, P.; Berley, D.; Bernardini, E.; Bernhard, A.; Besson, D. Z.; Binder, G.; Bindig, D.; Bissok, M.; Blaufuss, E.; Blumenthal, J.; Boersma, D. J.; Bohm, C.; Börner, M.; Bos, F.; Bose, D.; Böser, S.; Botner, O.; Braun, J.; Brayeur, L.; Bretz, H. -P.; Buzinsky, N.; Casey, J.; Casier, M.; Cheung, E.; Chirkin, D.; Christov, A.; Clark, K.; Classen, L.; Coenders, S.; Cowen, D. F.; Silva, A. H. Cruz; Daughhetee, J.; Davis, J. C.; Day, M.; André, J. P. A. M. de; Clercq, C. De; Rosendo, E. del Pino; Dembinski, H.; Ridder, S. De; Desiati, P.; Vries, K. D. de; Wasseige, G. de; With, M. de; DeYoung, T.; Díaz-Vélez, J. C.; Lorenzo, V. di; Dumm, J. P.; Dunkman, M.; Eberhardt, B.; Ehrhardt, T.; Eichmann, B.; Euler, S.; Evenson, P. A.; Fahey, S.; Fazely, A. R.; Feintzeig, J.; Felde, J.; Filimonov, K.; Finley, C.; Fischer-Wasels, T.; Flis, S.; Fösig, C. -C.; Fuchs, T.; Gaisser, T. K.; Gaior, R.; Gallagher, J.; Gerhardt, L.; Ghorbani, K.; Gier, D.; Gladstone, L.; Glagla, M.; Glüsenkamp, T.; Goldschmidt, A.; Golup, G.; Gonzalez, J. G.; Góra, D.; Grant, D.; Griffith, Z.; Groß, A.; Ha, C.; Haack, C.; Ismail, A. Haj; Hallgren, A.; Halzen, F.; Hansen, E.; Hansmann, B.; Hanson, K.; Hebecker, D.; Heereman, D.; Helbing, K.; Hellauer, R.; Hickford, S.; Hignight, J.; Hill, G. C.; Hoffman, K. D.; Hoffmann, R.; Holzapfel, K.; Homeier, A.; Hoshina, K.; Huang, F.; Huber, M.; Huelsnitz, W.; Hulth, P. O.; Hultqvist, K.; In, S.; Ishihara, A.; Jacobi, E.; Japaridze, G. S.; Jeong, M.; Jero, K.; Jurkovic, M.; Kappes, A.; Karg, T.; Karle, A.; Kauer, M.; Keivani, A.; Kelley, J. L.; Kemp, J.; Kheirandish, A.; Kiryluk, J.; Kläs, J.; Klein, S. R.; Kohnen, G.; Koirala, R.; Kolanoski, H.; Konietz, R.; Köpke, L.; Kopper, C.; Kopper, S.; Koskinen, D. J.; Kowalski, M.; Krings, K.; Kroll, G.; Kroll, M.; Krückl, G.; Kunnen, J.; Kurahashi, N.; Kuwabara, T.; Labare, M.; Lanfranchi, J. L.; Larson, M. J.; Lesiak-Bzdak, M.; Leuermann, M.; Leuner, J.; Lu, L.; Lünemann, J.; Madsen, J.; Maggi, G.; Mahn, K. B. M.; Mandelartz, M.; Maruyama, R.; Mase, K.; Matis, H. S.; Maunu, R.; McNally, F.; Meagher, K.; Medici, M.; Meli, A.; Menne, T.; Merino, G.; Meures, T.; Miarecki, S.; Middell, E.; Mohrmann, L.; Montaruli, T.; Morse, R.; Nahnhauer, R.; Naumann, U.; Neer, G.; Niederhausen, H.; Nowicki, S. C.; Nygren, D. R.; Pollmann, A. Obertacke; Olivas, A.; Omairat, A.; O'Murchadha, A.; Palczewski, T.; Pandya, H.; Pankova, D. V.; Paul, L.; Pepper, J. A.; Heros, C. Pérez de los; Pfendner, C.; Pieloth, D.; Pinat, E.; Posselt, J.; Price, P. B.; Przybylski, G. T.; Quinnan, M.; Raab, C.; Rädel, L.; Rameez, M.; Rawlins, K.; Reimann, R.; Relich, M.; Resconi, E.; Rhode, W.; Richman, M.; Richter, S.; Riedel, B.; Robertson, S.; Rongen, M.; Rott, C.; Ruhe, T.; Ryckbosch, D.; Sabbatini, L.; Sander, H. -G.; Sandrock, A.; Sandroos, J.; Sarkar, S.; Schatto, K.; Schimp, M.; Schmidt, T.; Schoenen, S.; Schöneberg, S.; Schönwald, A.; Schulte, L.; Schumacher, L.; Seckel, D.; Seunarine, S.; Soldin, D.; Song, M.; Spiczak, G. M.; Spiering, C.; Stahlberg, M.; Stamatikos, M.; Stanev, T.; Stasik, A.; Steuer, A.; Stezelberger, T.; Stokstad, R. G.; Stößl, A.; Ström, R.; Strotjohann, N. L.; Sullivan, G. W.; Sutherland, M.; Taavola, H.; Taboada, I.; Tatar, J.; Ter-Antonyan, S.; Terliuk, A.; Tešić, G.; Tilav, S.; Toale, P. A.; Tobin, M. N.; Toscano, S.; Tosi, D.; Tselengidou, M.; Turcati, A.; Unger, E.; Usner, M.; Vallecorsa, S.; Vandenbroucke, J.; Eijndhoven, N. van; Vanheule, S.; Santen, J. van; Veenkamp, J.; Vehring, M.; Voge, M.; Vraeghe, M.; Walck, C.; Wallace, A.; Wallraff, M.; Wandkowsky, N.; Weaver, Ch; Wendt, C.; Westerhoff, S.; Whelan, B. J.; Wiebe, K.; Wiebusch, C. H.; Wille, L.; Williams, D. R.; Wissing, H.; Wolf, M.; Wood, T. R.; Woschnagg, K.; Xu, D. L.; Xu, X. W.; Xu, Y.; Yanez, J. P.; Yodh, G.; Yoshida, S.; Collaboration, M. Zoll The Pierre Auger; Aab, A.; Abreu, P.; Aglietta, M.; Ahn, E. J.; Samarai, I. Al; Albuquerque, I. F. M.; Allekotte, I.; Allison, P.; Almela, A.; Castillo, J. Alvarez; Alvarez-Muñiz, J.; Batista, R. Alves; Ambrosio, M.; Aminaei, A.; Anchordoqui, L.; Andrada, B.; Andringa, S.; Aramo, C.; Arqueros, F.; Arsene, N.; Asorey, H.; Assis, P.; Aublin, J.; Avila, G.; Awal, N.; Badescu, A. M.; Baus, C.; Beatty, J. J.; Becker, K. H.; Bellido, J. A.; Berat, C.; Bertaina, M. E.; Bertou, X.; Biermann, P. L.; Billoir, P.; Blaess, S. G.; Blanco, A.; Blanco, M.; Blazek, J.; Bleve, C.; Blümer, H.; Boháčová, M.; Boncioli, D.; Bonifazi, C.; Borodai, N.; Botti, A. M.; Brack, J.; Brancus, I.; Bretz, T.; Bridgeman, A.; Briechle, F. L.; Buchholz, P.; Bueno, A.; Buitink, S.; Buscemi, M.; Caballero-Mora, K. S.; Caccianiga, B.; Caccianiga, L.; Candusso, M.; Caramete, L.; Caruso, R.; Castellina, A.; Cataldi, G.; Cazon, L.; Cester, R.; Chavez, A. G.; Chiavassa, A.; Chinellato, J. A.; Diaz, J. C. Chirinos; Chudoba, J.; Clay, R. W.; Colalillo, R.; Coleman, A.; Collica, L.; Coluccia, M. R.; Conceição, R.; Contreras, F.; Cooper, M. J.; Cordier, A.; Coutu, S.; Covault, C. E.; Dallier, R.; D'Amico, S.; Daniel, B.; Dasso, S.; Daumiller, K.; Dawson, B. R.; Almeida, R. M. de; Jong, S. J. de; Mauro, G. De; Neto, J. R. T. de Mello; Mitri, I. De; Oliveira, J. de; Souza, V. de; Debatin, J.; Peral, L. del; Deligny, O.; Dhital, N.; Giulio, C. Di; Matteo, A. Di; Castro, M. L. Díaz; Diogo, F.; Dobrigkeit, C.; Docters, W.; D'Olivo, J. C.; Dorofeev, A.; Anjos, R. C. dos; Dova, M. T.; Dundovic, A.; Ebr, J.; Engel, R.; Erdmann, M.; Erfani, M.; Escobar, C. O.; Espadanal, J.; Etchegoyen, A.; Falcke, H.; Fang, K.; Farrar, G.; Fauth, A. C.; Fazzini, N.; Ferguson, A. P.; Fick, B.; Figueira, J. M.; Filevich, A.; Filipčič, A.; Fratu, O.; Freire, M. M.; Fujii, T.; Fuster, A.; Gallo, F.; García, B.; Garcia-Gamez, D.; Garcia-Pinto, D.; Gate, F.; Gemmeke, H.; Gherghel-Lascu, A.; Ghia, P. L.; Giaccari, U.; Giammarchi, M.; Giller, M.; Głas, D.; Glaser, C.; Glass, H.; Golup, G.; Berisso, M. Gómez; Vitale, P. F. Gómez; González, N.; Gookin, B.; Gordon, J.; Gorgi, A.; Gorham, P.; Gouffon, P.; Griffith, N.; Grillo, A. F.; Grubb, T. D.; Guarino, F.; Guedes, G. P.; Hampel, M. R.; Hansen, P.; Harari, D.; Harrison, T. A.; Harton, J. L.; Hasankiadeh, Q.; Haungs, A.; Hebbeker, T.; Heck, D.; Heimann, P.; Herve, A. E.; Hill, G. C.; Hojvat, C.; Hollon, N.; Holt, E.; Homola, P.; Hörandel, J. R.; Horvath, P.; Hrabovský, M.; Huege, T.; Insolia, A.; Isar, P. G.; Jandt, I.; Jansen, S.; Jarne, C.; Johnsen, J. A.; Josebachuili, M.; Kääpä, A.; Kambeitz, O.; Kampert, K. H.; Kasper, P.; Katkov, I.; Keilhauer, B.; Kemp, E.; Kieckhafer, R. M.; Klages, H. O.; Kleifges, M.; Kleinfeller, J.; Krause, R.; Krohm, N.; Kuempel, D.; Mezek, G. Kukec; Kunka, N.; Awad, A. Kuotb; LaHurd, D.; Latronico, L.; Lauer, R.; Lauscher, M.; Lautridou, P.; Lebrun, D.; Lebrun, P.; Oliveira, M. A. Leigui de; Letessier-Selvon, A.; Lhenry-Yvon, I.; Link, K.; Lopes, L.; López, R.; Casado, A. López; Lucero, A.; Malacari, M.; Mallamaci, M.; Mandat, D.; Mantsch, P.; Mariazzi, A. G.; Marin, V.; Mariş, I. C.; Marsella, G.; Martello, D.; Martinez, H.; Bravo, O. Martínez; Meza, J. J. Masías; Mathes, H. J.; Mathys, S.; Matthews, J.; Matthews, J. A. J.; Matthiae, G.; Maurizio, D.; Mayotte, E.; Mazur, P. O.; Medina, C.; Medina-Tanco, G.; Mello, V. B. B.; Melo, D.; Menshikov, A.; Messina, S.; Micheletti, M. I.; Middendorf, L.; Minaya, I. A.; Miramonti, L.; Mitrica, B.; Molina-Bueno, L.; Mollerach, S.; Montanet, F.; Morello, C.; Mostafá, M.; Moura, C. A.; Müller, G.; Muller, M. A.; Müller, S.; Naranjo, I.; Navas, S.; Necesal, P.; Nellen, L.; Nelles, A.; Neuser, J.; Nguyen, P. H.; Niculescu-Oglinzanu, M.; Niechciol, M.; Niemietz, L.; Niggemann, T.; Nitz, D.; Nosek, D.; Novotny, V.; Nožka, H.; Núñez, L. A.; Ochilo, L.; Oikonomou, F.; Olinto, A.; Pacheco, N.; Selmi-Dei, D. Pakk; Palatka, M.; Pallotta, J.; Papenbreer, P.; Parente, G.; Parra, A.; Paul, T.; Pech, M.; Pękala, J.; Pelayo, R.; Peña-Rodriguez, J.; Pepe, I. M.; Perrone, L.; Petermann, E.; Peters, C.; Petrera, S.; Phuntsok, J.; Piegaia, R.; Pierog, T.; Pieroni, P.; Pimenta, M.; Pirronello, V.; Platino, M.; Plum, M.; Porowski, C.; Prado, R. R.; Privitera, P.; Prouza, M.; Quel, E. J.; Querchfeld, S.; Quinn, S.; Rautenberg, J.; Ravel, O.; Ravignani, D.; Reinert, D.; Revenu, B.; Ridky, J.; Risse, M.; Ristori, P.; Rizi, V.; Carvalho, W. Rodrigues de; Rojo, J. Rodriguez; Rodríguez-Frías, M. D.; Rogozin, D.; Rosado, J.; Roth, M.; Roulet, E.; Rovero, A. C.; Saffi, S. J.; Saftoiu, A.; Salazar, H.; Saleh, A.; Greus, F. Salesa; Salina, G.; Gomez, J. D. Sanabria; Sánchez, F.; Sanchez-Lucas, P.; Santos, E. M.; Santos, E.; Sarazin, F.; Sarkar, B.; Sarmento, R.; Sarmiento-Cano, C.; Sato, R.; Scarso, C.; Schauer, M.; Scherini, V.; Schieler, H.; Schmidt, D.; Scholten, O.; Schoorlemmer, H.; Schovánek, P.; Schröder, F. G.; Schulz, A.; Schulz, J.; Schumacher, J.; Segreto, A.; Settimo, M.; Shadkam, A.; Shellard, R. C.; Sigl, G.; Sima, O.; Śmiałkowski, A.; Šmída, R.; Snow, G. R.; Sommers, P.; Sonntag, S.; Sorokin, J.; Squartini, R.; Stanca, D.; Stanič, S.; Stapleton, J.; Stasielak, J.; Stephan, M.; Strafella, F.; Stutz, A.; Suarez, F.; Durán, M. Suarez; Suomijärvi, T.; Supanitsky, A. D.; Sutherland, M. S.; Swain, J.; Szadkowski, Z.; Taborda, O. A.; Tapia, A.; Tepe, A.; Theodoro, V. M.; Timmermans, C.; Peixoto, C. J. Todero; Toma, G.; Tomankova, L.; Tomé, B.; Tonachini, A.; Elipe, G. Torralba; Machado, D. Torres; Travnicek, P.; Trini, M.; Ulrich, R.; Unger, M.; Urban, M.; Galicia, J. F. Valdés; Valiño, I.; Valore, L.; Aar, G. van; Bodegom, P. van; Berg, A. M. van den; Vliet, A. van; Varela, E.; Cárdenas, B. Vargas; Varner, G.; Vasquez, R.; Vázquez, J. R.; Vázquez, R. A.; Veberič, D.; Verzi, V.; Vicha, J.; Videla, M.; Villaseñor, L.; Vorobiov, S.; Wahlberg, H.; Wainberg, O.; Walz, D.; Watson, A. A.; Weber, M.; Weidenhaupt, K.; Weindl, A.; Wiencke, L.; Wilczyński, H.; Winchen, T.; Wittkowski, D.; Wundheiler, B.; Wykes, S.; Yang, L.; Yapici, T.; Yushkov, A.; Zas, E.; Zavrtanik, D.; Zavrtanik, M.; Zepeda, A.; Zimmermann, B.; Ziolkowski, M.; Zong, Z.; Collaboration, F. Zuccarello The Telescope Array; Abbasi, R. U.; Abe, M.; Abu-Zayyad, T.; Allen, M.; Azuma, R.; Barcikowski, E.; Belz, J. W.; Bergman, D. R.; Blake, S. A.; Cady, R.; Chae, M. J.; Cheon, B. G.; Chiba, J.; Chikawa, M.; Cho, W. R.; Fujii, T.; Fukushima, M.; Goto, T.; Hanlon, W.; Hayashi, Y.; Hayashida, N.; Hibino, K.; Honda, K.; Ikeda, D.; Inoue, N.; Ishii, T.; Ishimori, R.; Ito, H.; Ivanov, D.; Jui, C. C. H.; Kadota, K.; Kakimoto, F.; Kalashev, O.; Kasahara, K.; Kawai, H.; Kawakami, S.; Kawana, S.; Kawata, K.; Kido, E.; Kim, H. B.; Kim, J. H.; Kim, J. H.; Kitamura, S.; Kitamura, Y.; Kuzmin, V.; Kwon, Y. J.; Lan, J.; Lim, S. I.; Lundquist, J. P.; Machida, K.; Martens, K.; Matsuda, T.; Matsuyama, T.; Matthews, J. N.; Minamino, M.; Mukai, Y.; Myers, I.; Nagasawa, K.; Nagataki, S.; Nakamura, T.; Nonaka, T.; Nozato, A.; Ogio, S.; Ogura, J.; Ohnishi, M.; Ohoka, H.; Oki, K.; Okuda, T.; Ono, M.; Oshima, A.; Ozawa, S.; Park, I. H.; Pshirkov, M. S.; Rodriguez, D. C.; Rubtsov, G.; Ryu, D.; Sagawa, H.; Sakurai, N.; Scott, L. M.; Shah, P. D.; Shibata, F.; Shibata, T.; Shimodaira, H.; Shin, B. K.; Shin, H. S.; Smith, J. D.; Sokolsky, P.; Springer, R. W.; Stokes, B. T.; Stratton, S. R.; Stroman, T. A.; Suzawa, T.; Takamura, M.; Takeda, M.; Takeishi, R.; Taketa, A.; Takita, M.; Tameda, Y.; Tanaka, H.; Tanaka, K.; Tanaka, M.; Thomas, S. B.; Thomson, G. B.; Tinyakov, P.; Tkachev, I.; Tokuno, H.; Tomida, T.; Troitsky, S.; Tsunesada, Y.; Tsutsumi, K.; Uchihori, Y.; Udo, S.; Urban, F.; Vasiloff, G.; Wong, T.; Yamane, R.; Yamaoka, H.; Yamazaki, K.; Yang, J.; Yashiro, K.; Yoneda, Y.; Yoshida, S.; Yoshii, H.; Zollinger, R.; Zundel, Z.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the results of different searches for correlations between very high-energy neutrino candidates detected by IceCube and the highest-energy cosmic rays measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array. We first consider samples of cascade neutrino events and of

  5. Apodized Pupil Lyot Coronagraphs designs for future segmented space telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    St. Laurent, Kathryn; Fogarty, Kevin; Zimmerman, Neil; N’Diaye, Mamadou; Stark, Chris; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Pueyo, Laurent; Vanderbei, Robert; Soummer, Remi

    2018-01-01

    A coronagraphic starlight suppression system situated on a future flagship space observatory offers a promising avenue to image Earth-like exoplanets and search for biomarkers in their atmospheric spectra. One NASA mission concept that could serve as the platform to realize this scientific breakthrough is the Large UV/Optical/IR Surveyor (LUVOIR). Such a mission would also address a broad range of topics in astrophysics with a multi-wavelength suite of instruments.In support of the community’s assessment of the scientific capability of a LUVOIR mission, the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) has launched a multi-team technical study: Segmented Coronagraph Design and Analysis (SCDA). The goal of this study is to develop viable coronagraph instrument concepts for a LUVOIR-type mission. Results of the SCDA effort will directly inform the mission concept evaluation being carried out by the LUVOIR Science and Technology Definition Team. The apodized pupil Lyot coronagraph (APLC) is one of several coronagraph design families that the SCDA study is assessing. The APLC is a Lyot-style coronagraph that suppresses starlight through a series of amplitude operations on the on-axis field. Given a suite of seven plausible segmented telescope apertures, we have developed an object-oriented software toolkit to automate the exploration of thousands of APLC design parameter combinations. In the course of exploring this parameter space we have established relationships between APLC throughput and telescope aperture geometry, Lyot stop, inner working angle, bandwidth, and contrast level. In parallel with the parameter space exploration, we have investigated several strategies to improve the robustness of APLC designs to fabrication and alignment errors and integrated a Design Reference Mission framework to evaluate designs with scientific yield metrics.

  6. SEARCH FOR VERY HIGH ENERGY GAMMA-RAY EMISSION FROM PULSAR-PULSAR WIND NEBULA SYSTEMS WITH THE MAGIC TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderhub, H.; Biland, A.; Antonelli, L. A.; Antoranz, P.; Balestra, S.; Barrio, J. A.; Bose, D.; Backes, M.; Becker, J. K.; Baixeras, C.; Bastieri, D.; Bock, R. K.; Gonzalez, J. Becerra; Bednarek, W.; Berger, K.; Bernardini, E.; Bonnoli, G.; Bordas, P.; Bosch-Ramon, V.; Tridon, D. Borla

    2010-01-01

    The MAGIC collaboration has searched for high-energy gamma-ray emission of some of the most promising pulsar candidates above an energy threshold of 50 GeV, an energy not reachable up to now by other ground-based instruments. Neither pulsed nor steady gamma-ray emission has been observed at energies of 100 GeV from the classical radio pulsars PSR J0205+6449 and PSR J2229+6114 (and their nebulae 3C58 and Boomerang, respectively) and the millisecond pulsar PSR J0218+4232. Here, we present the flux upper limits for these sources and discuss their implications in the context of current model predictions.

  7. 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.

  8. Life Beyond the Solar System: Observation and Modeling of Exoplanet Environments

    OpenAIRE

    Del Genio, Anthony; Airapetian, Vladimir; Apai, Daniel; Batalha, Natalie; Brain, Dave; Danchi, William; Gelino, Dawn; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Henning, Wade; Rushby, Andrew

    2018-01-01

    The search for life on planets outside our solar system has largely been the province of the astrophysics community until recently. A major development since the NASA Astrobiology Strategy 2015 document (AS15) has been the integration of other NASA science disciplines (planetary science, heliophysics, Earth science) with ongoing exoplanet research in astrophysics. The NASA Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) provides a forum for scientists to collaborate across disciplines to accelerat...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, V. S.; Lustig-Yaeger, J.; Lincowski, A.; Arney, G. N.; Robinson, T. D.; Schwieterman, E. W.; Deming, L. D.; Tovar, G.

    2017-11-01

    We will provide an overview of the measurements, techniques, and upcoming missions required to characterize terrestrial planet environments and evolution, and search for signs of habitability and life.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. The New Worlds Observer: Direct Detection and Study of Exoplanets from the Habitable Zone Outward

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cash, Webster C.; New Worlds Study Team

    2009-01-01

    Direct detection and spectroscopic study of the planets around the nearby stars is generally recognized as a prime goal of astronomy. The New Worlds Observer mission concept is being studied as an Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept Study for this purpose. NWO features two spacecraft: a general purpose 4m telescope that operates from the UV to the Near IR, and a starshade, a flower-shaped occulter about 50m in diameter flying in alignment about 70,000km away. Our study shows this is the most effective way to map nearby planetary systems. Images will show dust and debris down to a fraction of our zodiacal light level. Planets fainter than the Earth can be seen from the Habitable Zone outward, at distances up to 20pc. High throughput and low noise enable immediate follow-up spectroscopy of discovered planets. NWO can discover many more Earth-like planets than all competing approaches including astrometric, interferometric, and internal coronagraphic. Within hours of discovery, a high quality spectrum can determine the true nature of the exoplanet and open the search for biomarkers and life. Over half of the time will be spent with the starshade in transit to the next target. During those times the telescope will be available to for general astrophysics purposes. Operating from the ultraviolet to the near infrared, this will be a true HST follow-on. The study shows all needed technologies already exist. The cost scales primarily with telescope size. The mission is definitely within the financial and technical reach of NASA for the coming decade.

  15. [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

  16. A Search for Technosignatures from 14 Planetary Systems in the Kepler Field with the Green Bank Telescope at 1.15–1.73 GHz

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margot, Jean-Luc; Greenberg, Adam H.; Pinchuk, Pavlo; Shinde, Akshay; Alladi, Yashaswi; Prasad MN, Srinivas; Bowman, M. Oliver; Fisher, Callum; Gyalay, Szilard; McKibbin, Willow; Miles, Brittany; Nguyen, Donald; Power, Conor; Ramani, Namrata; Raviprasad, Rashmi; Santana, Jesse; Lynch, Ryan S.

    2018-05-01

    Analysis of Kepler mission data suggests that the Milky Way includes billions of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of their host stars. Current technology enables the detection of technosignatures emitted from a large fraction of the Galaxy. We describe a search for technosignatures that is sensitive to Arecibo-class transmitters located within ∼420 ly of Earth and transmitters that are 1000 times more effective than Arecibo within ∼13000 ly of Earth. Our observations focused on 14 planetary systems in the Kepler field and used the L-band receiver (1.15–1.73 GHz) of the 100 m diameter Green Bank Telescope. Each source was observed for a total integration time of 5 minutes. We obtained power spectra at a frequency resolution of 3 Hz and examined narrowband signals with Doppler drift rates between ±9 Hz s‑1. We flagged any detection with a signal-to-noise ratio in excess of 10 as a candidate signal and identified approximately 850,000 candidates. Most (99%) of these candidate signals were automatically classified as human-generated radio-frequency interference (RFI). A large fraction (>99%) of the remaining candidate signals were also flagged as anthropogenic RFI because they have frequencies that overlap those used by global navigation satellite systems, satellite downlinks, or other interferers detected in heavily polluted regions of the spectrum. All 19 remaining candidate signals were scrutinized and none were attributable to an extraterrestrial source.

  17. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinyard, Bruce; Tinetti, Giovanna; Tennyson, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Origins Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooray, Asantha; Origins Space Telescope Study Team

    2018-01-01

    The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is the mission concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor, a study in development by NASA in preparation for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Origins is planned to be a large aperture, actively-cooled telescope covering a wide span of the mid- to far-infrared spectrum. Its spectrographs will enable 3D surveys of the sky that will discover and characterize the most distant galaxies, Milky-Way, exoplanets, and the outer reaches of our Solar system. Origins will enable flagship-quality general observing programs led by the astronomical community in the 2030s. The Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) would like to hear your science needs and ideas for this mission. The team can be contacted at firsurveyor_info@lists.ipac.caltech.edu. This presentation will provide a summary of the OST STDT, our completed first mission concept and an introduction to the second concept that will be studied at the study center in 2018. This presentation will also summarize key science drivers and the key study milestones between 2018 and 2020.

  20. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-04

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

  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. 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

  4. The search for our cosmic ancestry

    CERN Document Server

    Wickramasinghe, Chandra

    2015-01-01

    The idea that life is a cosmic, rather than a purely terrestrial phenomenon, has progressed from scientific heresy to mainstream science within the short timespan of a few decades. The theory of cometary panspermia developed by Fred Hoyle and the present author in the 1970's has been vindicated by a spate of new discoveries in astronomy and biology, and also with startling new evidence of microbial fossils in meteorites and micrometeorites. The recent Kepler Telescope searches for exoplanets have indicated the presence of over 100 billion habitable planets separated by only a few light years, thus making panspermia and the transfer of microbial life between such planets an inevitable fact. The book presents a comprehensive and up-to-date account of the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe theory of cometary panspermia in a manner accessible to a wide general readership.

  5. Addressing Thermal Model Run Time Concerns of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope using Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peabody, Hume; Guerrero, Sergio; Hawk, John; Rodriguez, Juan; McDonald, Carson; Jackson, Cliff

    2016-01-01

    The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope using Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA) utilizes an existing 2.4 m diameter Hubble sized telescope donated from elsewhere in the federal government for near-infrared sky surveys and Exoplanet searches to answer crucial questions about the universe and dark energy. The WFIRST design continues to increase in maturity, detail, and complexity with each design cycle leading to a Mission Concept Review and entrance to the Mission Formulation Phase. Each cycle has required a Structural-Thermal-Optical-Performance (STOP) analysis to ensure the design can meet the stringent pointing and stability requirements. As such, the models have also grown in size and complexity leading to increased model run time. This paper addresses efforts to reduce the run time while still maintaining sufficient accuracy for STOP analyses. A technique was developed to identify slews between observing orientations that were sufficiently different to warrant recalculation of the environmental fluxes to reduce the total number of radiation calculation points. The inclusion of a cryocooler fluid loop in the model also forced smaller time-steps than desired, which greatly increases the overall run time. The analysis of this fluid model required mitigation to drive the run time down by solving portions of the model at different time scales. Lastly, investigations were made into the impact of the removal of small radiation couplings on run time and accuracy. Use of these techniques allowed the models to produce meaningful results within reasonable run times to meet project schedule deadlines.

  6. Modeling the Cloudy Atmospheres of Cool Stars, Brown Dwarfs and Hot Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juncher, Diana

    M-dwarfs are very attractive targets when searching for new exoplanets. Unfortunately, they are also very difficult to model since their temperatures are low enough for dust clouds to form in their atmospheres. Because the properties of an exoplanet cannot be determined without knowing the proper......M-dwarfs are very attractive targets when searching for new exoplanets. Unfortunately, they are also very difficult to model since their temperatures are low enough for dust clouds to form in their atmospheres. Because the properties of an exoplanet cannot be determined without knowing......-consistent cloudy atmosphere models that can be used to properly determine the stellar parameters of cool stars. With this enhanced model atmosphere code I have created a grid of cool, dusty atmosphere models ranging in effective temperatures from Teff = 2000 − 3000 K. I have studied the formation and structure...... of their clouds and found that their synthetic spectra fit the observed spectra of mid to late type M-dwarfs and early type L-dwarfs well. With additional development into even cooler regimes, they could be used to characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets and aid us in our search for the kind of chemical...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. NExSS/NAI Joint ExoPAG SAG 16 Report on Remote Biosignatures for Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Future exoplanet observations will soon focus on the search for life beyond the Solar System. Exoplanet biosignatures to be sought are those with global, potentially detectable, impacts on a planet. Biosignatures occur in an environmental context in which geological, atmospheric, and stellar processes and interactions may work to enhance, suppress or mimic these biosignatures. Thus biosignature scienceis inherently interdisciplinary. Its advance is necessary to inform the design of the next flagship missions that will obtain spectra of habitable extrasolar planets. The NExSS NAI Joint Exoplanet Biosignatures Workshop Without Walls brought together the astrobiology, exoplanet, and mission concept communities to review, discuss, debate, and advance the science of remote detection of planetary biosignatures. The multi-meeting workshop began in June 2016, and was a process that engaged a broad range of experts across the interdisciplinary reaches of NASA's Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) program, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), NASAs Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP), and international partners, such as the European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA) and Japans Earth Life Science Institute (ELSI). These groups spanned expertise in astronomy, planetary science, Earth sciences, heliophysics, biology, instrument mission development, and engineering.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Recovering the colour-dependent albedo of exoplanets with high-resolution spectroscopy: from ESPRESSO to the ELT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, J. H. C.; Figueira, P.; Santos, N. C.; Melo, C.; Garcia Muñoz, A.; Faria, J.; Pepe, F.; Lovis, C.

    2018-05-01

    The characterization of planetary atmospheres is a daunting task, pushing current observing facilities to their limits. The next generation of high-resolution spectrographs mounted on large telescopes - such as ESPRESSO@VLT and HIRES@ELT - will allow us to probe and characterize exoplanetary atmospheres in greater detail than possible to this point. We present a method that permits the recovery of the colour-dependent reflectivity of exoplanets from high-resolution spectroscopic observations. Determining the wavelength-dependent albedo will provide insight into the chemical properties and weather of the exoplanet atmospheres. For this work, we simulated ESPRESSO@VLT and HIRES@ELT high-resolution observations of known planetary systems with several albedo configurations. We demonstrate how the cross correlation technique applied to theses simulated observations can be used to successfully recover the geometric albedo of exoplanets over a range of wavelengths. In all cases, we were able to recover the wavelength dependent albedo of the simulated exoplanets and distinguish between several atmospheric models representing different atmospheric configurations. In brief, we demonstrate that the cross correlation technique allows for the recovery of exoplanetary albedo functions from optical observations with the next generation of high-resolution spectrographs that will be mounted on large telescopes with reasonable exposure times. Its recovery will permit the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres in terms of composition and dynamics and consolidates the cross correlation technique as a powerful tool for exoplanet characterization.

  13. A 1.1-1.9 GHz SETI SURVEY OF THE KEPLER FIELD. I. A SEARCH FOR NARROW-BAND EMISSION FROM SELECT TARGETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siemion, Andrew P. V.; Korpela, Eric; Werthimer, Dan; Cobb, Jeff; Lebofsky, Matt; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [University of California, Berkeley, 110 Sproul Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Demorest, Paul; Maddalena, Ron J.; Langston, Glen [National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Rd Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States); Howard, Andrew W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 640 North A' ohoku Place, 209 Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Tarter, Jill [SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Ave 100 Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States)

    2013-04-10

    We present a targeted search for narrow-band (<5 Hz) drifting sinusoidal radio emission from 86 stars in the Kepler field hosting confirmed or candidate exoplanets. Radio emission less than 5 Hz in spectral extent is currently known to only arise from artificial sources. The stars searched were chosen based on the properties of their putative exoplanets, including stars hosting candidates with 380 K > T{sub eq} > 230 K, stars with five or more detected candidates or stars with a super-Earth (R{sub p} < 3 R{sub Circled-Plus }) in a >50 day orbit. Baseband voltage data across the entire band between 1.1 and 1.9 GHz were recorded at the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope between 2011 February and April and subsequently searched offline. No signals of extraterrestrial origin were found. We estimate that fewer than {approx}1% of transiting exoplanet systems host technological civilizations that are radio loud in narrow-band emission between 1 and 2 GHz at an equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) of {approx}1.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 21} erg s{sup -1}, approximately eight times the peak EIRP of the Arecibo Planetary Radar, and we limit the number of 1-2 GHz narrow-band-radio-loud Kardashev type II civilizations in the Milky Way to be <10{sup -6} M{sub Sun }{sup -1}. Here we describe our observations, data reduction procedures and results.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    Aims. Looking for the primary rainbow in starlight that is reflected by exoplanets appears to be a promising method to search for liquid water clouds in exoplanetary atmospheres. Ice water clouds, that consist of water crystals instead of water droplets, could potentially mask the rainbow feature in

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. CHARACTERIZING TRANSITING EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES WITH JWST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-20

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

  1. 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

  2. Visible nulling coronagraphy testbed development for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  3. Science Programs for a 2-m Class Telescope at Dome C, Antarctica: PILOT, the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, M. G.; Lawrence, J. S.; Ashley, M. C. B.; Bailey, J. A.; Blake, C.; Bedding, T. R.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Bond, I. A.; Glazebrook, K.; Hidas, M. G.; Lewis, G.; Longmore, S. N.; Maddison, S. T.; Mattila, S.; Minier, V.; Ryder, S. D.; Sharp, R.; Smith, C. H.; Storey, J. W. V.; Tinney, C. G.; Tuthill, P.; Walsh, A. J.; Walsh, W.; Whiting, M.; Wong, T.; Woods, D.; Yock, P. C. M.

    2005-08-01

    The cold, dry, and stable air above the summits of the Antarctic plateau provides the best ground-based observing conditions from optical to sub-millimetre wavelengths to be found on the Earth. Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope (PILOT) is a proposed 2m telescope, to be built at Dome C in Antarctica, able to exploit these conditions for conducting astronomy at optical and infrared wavelengths. While PILOT is intended as a pathfinder towards the construction of future grand-design facilities, it will also be able to undertake a range of fundamental science investigations in its own right. This paper provides the performance specifications for PILOT, including its instrumentation. It then describes the kinds of projects that it could best conduct. These range from planetary science to the search for other solar systems, from star formation within the Galaxy to the star formation history of the Universe, and from gravitational lensing caused by exo-planets to that produced by the cosmic web of dark matter. PILOT would be particularly powerful for wide-field imaging at infrared wavelengths, achieving near diffraction-limited performance with simple tip-tilt wavefront correction. PILOT would also be capable of near diffraction-limited performance in the optical wavebands, as well be able to open new wavebands for regular ground-based observation, in the mid-IR from 17 to 40μm and in the sub-millimetre at 200μm.

  4. Search for muon-neutrino emission from GeV and TeV gamma-ray flaring blazars using five years of data of the ANTARES telescope

    OpenAIRE

    Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; André, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J. -J.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bogazzi, C.; Bormuth, R.; Bou-Cabo, M.; Bouwhuis, M. C.

    2015-01-01

    The ANTARES telescope is well-suited for detecting astrophysical transient neutrino sources as it can observe a full hemisphere of the sky at all times with a high duty cycle. The background due to atmospheric particles can be drastically reduced, and the point-source sensitivity improved, by selecting a narrow time window around possible neutrino production periods. Blazars, being radio-loud active galactic nuclei with their jets pointing almost directly towards the observer, ...

  5. 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

  6. Latest Results from the Multi-Object Keck Exoplanet Tracker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ge, J.; Wan, X.; Zhao, B.; Hariharan, A.; Mahadevan, S.; DeWitt, C.; Guo, P.; Cohen, R.; Fleming, S. W.; Crepp, J.; Warner, C.; Kane, S.; Leger, F.; Pan, K.

    2006-12-01

    The W. M. Keck Exoplanet Tracker is a precision Doppler radial velocity instrument based on dispersed fixed-delay interferometry (DFDI) which takes advantage of the new technique to allow multi-object RV surveying. Installed at the 2.5m Sloan telescope at Apache Point Observatory, the combination of Michelson interferometer and medium resolution spectrograph allows design for simultaneous Doppler measurements of up to 60 targets, while maintaining high instrument throughput. Using a single-object prototype of the instrument at the Kitt Peak National Observatory 2.1m telescope, we previously discovered a 0.49MJup planet, HD 102195b (ET-1), orbiting with a 4.11d period, and other interesting targets are being followed up. From recent trial observations, the Keck Exoplanet Tracker now yields 59 usable simultaneous fringing stellar spectra, of a quality sufficient to attempt to detect short period hot-Jupiter type planets. Recent engineering improvements reduced errors by a factor of 2, and typical photon limits for stellar data are now at the 30m/s level for magnitude V 10.5 (depending on spectral type and v sin i), with a best value of 6.9m/s at V=7.6. Preliminary RMS precisions from solar data (daytime sky) are around 10m/s over a few days, with some spectra reaching close to their photon limit of 6-7m/s on the short term ( 1 hour). A number of targets showing interesting RV variability are currently being followed up independently. Additional engineering work is planned which should make for further significant gains in Doppler precision. Here we present the latest results and updates from the most recent engineering and observing runs with the Keck ET.

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  10. Recent Variability Observations of Solar System Giant Planets: Fresh Context for Understanding Exoplanet and Brown Dwarf Weather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark Scott

    2016-01-01

    Over the past several years a number of high cadence photometric observations of solar system giant planets have been acquired by various platforms. Such observations are of interest as they provide points of comparison to the already expansive set of brown dwarf variability observations and the small, but growing, set of exoplanet variability observations. By measuring how rapidly the integrated light from solar system giant planets can evolve, variability observations of substellar objects that are unlikely to ever be resolved can be placed in a fuller context. Examples of brown dwarf variability observations include extensive work from the ground (e.g., Radigen et al. 2014), Spitzer (e.g., Metchev et al. 2015), Kepler (Gizis et al. 2015), and HST (Yang et al. 2015).Variability has been measured on the planetary mass companion to the brown dwarf 2MASS 1207b (Zhou et al. 2016) and further searches are planned in thermal emission for the known directly imaged planets with ground based telescopes (Apai et al. 2016) and in reflected light with future space based telescopes. Recent solar system variability observations include Kepler monitoring of Neptune (Simon et al. 2016) and Uranus, Spitzer observations of Neptune (Stauffer et al. 2016), and Cassini observations of Jupiter (West et al. in prep). The Cassini observations are of particular interest as they measured the variability of Jupiter at a phase angle of approximately 60 deg, comparable to the viewing geometry expected for space based direct imaging of cool extrasolar Jupiters in reflected light. These solar system analog observations capture many of the characteristics seen in brown dwarf variability, including large amplitudes and rapid light curve evolution on timescales as short as a few rotation periods. Simon et al. (2016) attribute such variations at Neptune to a combination of large scale, stable cloud structures along with smaller, more rapidly varying, cloud patches. The observed brown dwarf and

  11. Verify Occulter Deployment Tolerances as Part of NASA's Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Shaklan, S.; Lisman, D.; Thomson, M.; Webb, D.; Cady, E.; Marks, G. W.; Lo, A.

    2013-01-01

    In support of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program and the Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions (TDEM), we recently completed a 2 year study of the manufacturability and metrology of starshade petals. An external occult 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. This poster presents the results of our successful first TDEM that demonstrated an occulter petal could be built and measured to an accuracy consistent with close to 10^-10 contrast. We also present the progress in our second TDEM to demonstrate the next critical technology milestone: precision deployment of the central truss and petals to the necessary accuracy. We have completed manufacture of four sub-scale petals and a central hub to fit with an existing deployable truss. We show the plans for repeated stow and deploy tests of the assembly and the metrology to confirm that each deploy repeatably meets the absolute positioning requirements of the petals (better than 1.0 mm).

  12. Verifying occulter deployment tolerances as part of NASA's technology development for exoplanet missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Lisman, D.; Shaklan, S.; Thomson, M.; Webb, D.; Cady, E.; Marks, G. W.; Lo, A.

    2013-09-01

    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 support of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program and the Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions (TDEM), we recently completed a 2 year study of the manufacturability and metrology of starshade petals. In this paper we review the results of that successful first TDEM which demonstrated an occulter petal could be built and measured to an accuracy consistent with close to 10-10 contrast. We then present the results of our second TDEM to demonstrate the next critical technology milestone: precision deployment of the central truss and petals to the necessary accuracy. We show the deployment of an existing deployable truss outfitted with four sub-scale petals and a custom designed central hub.

  13. Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope [WFIRST]: telescope design and simulated performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goullioud, R.; Content, D. A.; Kuan, G. M.; Moore, J. D.; Chang, Z.; Sunada, E. T.; Villalvazo, J.; Hawk, J. P.; Armani, N. V.; Johnson, E. L.; Powell, C. A.

    2012-09-01

    The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission concept was ranked first in new space astrophysics missions by the Astro2010 Decadal Survey, incorporating the Joint Dark Energy Mission payload concept and multiple science white papers. This mission is based on a space telescope at L2 studying exoplanets [via gravitational microlensing], probing dark energy, and surveying the near infrared sky. Since the release of the Astro2010 Decadal Survey, the team has been working with the WFIRST Science Definition Team to refine mission and payload concepts. We present the current interim reference mission point design of the payload, based on the use of a 1.3m unobscured aperture three mirror anastigmat form, with focal imaging and slit-less spectroscopy science channels. We also present the first results of Structural/Thermal/Optical performance modeling of the telescope point design.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Search for muon-neutrino emission from GeV and TeV gamma-ray flaring blazars using five years of data of the ANTARES telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collaboration: ANTARES Collaboration

    2015-12-01

    The ANTARES telescope is well-suited for detecting astrophysical transient neutrino sources as it can observe a full hemisphere of the sky at all times with a high duty cycle. The background due to atmospheric particles can be drastically reduced, and the point-source sensitivity improved, by selecting a narrow time window around possible neutrino production periods. Blazars, being radio-loud active galactic nuclei with their jets pointing almost directly towards the observer, are particularly attractive potential neutrino point sources, since they are among the most likely sources of the very high-energy cosmic rays. Neutrinos and gamma rays may be produced in hadronic interactions with the surrounding medium. Moreover, blazars generally show high time variability in their light curves at different wavelengths and on various time scales. This paper presents a time-dependent analysis applied to a selection of flaring gamma-ray blazars observed by the FERMI/LAT experiment and by TeV Cherenkov telescopes using five years of ANTARES data taken from 2008 to 2012. The results are compatible with fluctuations of the background. Upper limits on the neutrino fluence have been produced and compared to the measured gamma-ray spectral energy distribution.

  17. Neutrino Telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coelin Baldo, Milla

    2009-01-01

    The present volume contains the proceedings of the 13. International Workshop on 'Neutrino Telescope', 17. of the series 'Un altro modo di guardare il cielo', held in Venice at the 'Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti' from March 10 to March 13, 2009. This series started in Venice 21 years ago, in 1988, motivated by the growing interest in the exciting field of the neutrino physics and astrophysics, with the aim to bring together experimentalists and theorists and encourage discussion on the most recent results and to chart the direction of future researchers.

  18. Origins Space Telescope: Study Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayyeri, Hooshang; Cooray, Asantha; Origins Space Telescope Study Team

    2018-01-01

    The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is the mission concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor, a study in development by NASA in preparation for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Origins is planned to be a large aperture, actively-cooled telescope covering a wide span of the mid- to far-infrared spectrum. Its spectrographs will enable 3D surveys of the sky that will discover and characterize the most distant galaxies, Milky-Way, exoplanets, and the outer reaches of our Solar system. Origins will enable flagship-quality general observing programs led by the astronomical community in the 2030s. The Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) would like to hear your science needs and ideas for this mission. The team can be contacted at firsurveyor_info@lists.ipac.caltech.edu. This presentation will provide a summary of the OST STDT, the OST Study Team based at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, study partners, and the advisory panel to the study. This presentation will also summarize recent activities, including the process used to reach a decision on the mission architecture, the identification of key science drivers, and the key study milestones between 2017 and 2020.

  19. Stirring up a storm: convective climate variability on tidally locked exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koll, D. D. B.; Cronin, T.

    2017-12-01

    Earth-sized exoplanets are extremely common in the galaxy and many of them are likely tidally locked, such that they have permanent day- and nightsides. Astronomers have started to probe the atmospheres of such planets, which raises the question: can tidally locked planets support habitable climates and life?Several studies have explored this question using global circulation models (GCMs). Not only did these studies find that tidally locked Earth analogs can indeed sustain habitable climates, their large day-night contrast should also create a distinct cloud structure that could help astronomers identify such planets. These studies, however, relied on GCMs which do not explicitly resolve convection, raising the question of how robust their results are.Here we consider the dynamics of clouds and convection on a tidally locked planet using the System for Atmospheric Modeling (SAM) cloud-resolving model. We simulate a 3d `channel', representing an equatorial strip that covers both day- and nightside of a tidally locked planet. We use interactive radiation and an interactive slab ocean surface and investigate the response to changes in the stellar constant. We find mean climates that are broadly comparable to those produced by a GCM. However, when the slab ocean is shallow, we also find internal variability that is far bigger than in a GCM. Convection in a tidally locked domain can self-organize in a dramatic fashion, with large outbursts of convection followed by periods of relative calm. We show that one of the timescales for this behavior is set by the time it takes for a dry gravity wave to travel between day- and nightside. The quasi-periodic self-organization of clouds can vary the planetary albedo by up to 50%. Changes this large are potentially detectable with future space telescopes, which raises the prospect of using convectively driven variability to identify high priority targets in the search for life around other stars.

  20. 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.

  1. Exo-planet Direct Imaging with On-Axis and/or Segmented Apertures in Space: Adaptive Compensation of Aperture Discontinuities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soummer, Remi

    Capitalizing on a recent breakthrough in wavefront control theory for obscured apertures made by our group, we propose to demonstrate a method to achieve high contrast exoplanet imaging with on-axis obscured apertures. Our new algorithm, which we named Adaptive Compensation of Aperture Discontinuities (ACAD), provides the ability to compensate for aperture discontinuities (segment gaps and/or secondary mirror supports) by controlling deformable mirrors in a nonlinear wavefront control regime not utilized before but conceptually similar to the beam reshaping used in PIAA coronagraphy. We propose here an in-air demonstration at 1E- 7 contrast, enabled by adding a second deformable mirror to our current test-bed. This expansion of the scope of our current efforts in exoplanet imaging technologies will enabling us to demonstrate an integrated solution for wavefront control and starlight suppression on complex aperture geometries. It is directly applicable at scales from moderate-cost exoplanet probe missions to the 2.4 m AFTA telescopes to future flagship UVOIR observatories with apertures potentially 16-20 m. Searching for nearby habitable worlds with direct imaging is one of the top scientific priorities established by the Astro2010 Decadal Survey. Achieving this ambitious goal will require 1e-10 contrast on a telescope large enough to provide angular resolution and sensitivity to planets around a significant sample of nearby stars. Such a mission must of course also be realized at an achievable cost. Lightweight segmented mirror technology allows larger diameter optics to fit in any given launch vehicle as compared to monolithic mirrors, and lowers total life-cycle costs from construction through integration & test, making it a compelling option for future large space telescopes. At smaller scales, on-axis designs with secondary obscurations and supports are less challenging to fabricate and thus more affordable than the off-axis unobscured primary mirror designs

  2. Imaging extrasolar planets with the European Extremely Large Telescope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolissaint L.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT is the most ambitious of the ELTs being planned. With a diameter of 42 m and being fully adaptive from the start, the E-ELT will be more than one hundred times more sensitive than the present-day largest optical telescopes. Discovering and characterising planets around other stars will be one of the most important aspects of the E-ELT science programme. We model an extreme adaptive optics instrument on the E-ELT. The resulting contrast curves translate to the detectability of exoplanets.

  3. Revealing Fact or Fiction in Spitzer Exoplanet Phase Curve Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Jacob; Parmentier, Vivien; Mansfield, Megan; Cowan, Nicolas; Kempton, Eliza; Desert, Jean-Michel; Swain, Mark; Dang, Lisa; Bell, Taylor; Keating, Dylan; Zellem, Robert; Fortney, Jonathan; Line, Michael; Kreidberg, Laura; Stevenson, Kevin

    2018-05-01

    The constraints on energy transport in exoplanet atmospheres from phase curve observations is sure to be one of Spitzer's enduring legacies. However, with phase curves for 17 planets now observed we find that the previously observed trends are not coming into sharper focus. Instead, these trends in hot spot offset and day-night flux contrast vs. the fundamental planetary parameters expected to control the energy transport (e.g., irradiation and rotational period) are becoming more uncertain due to the recent discovery of outliers. At the same time, there is a growing understanding that a number of factors like magnetic fields, aerosols, and molecular chemistry could be confounding the search for these correlations. We propose a final phase curve program to advance our understanding of energy transport in transiting exoplanet atmospheres and to cement Spitzer's legacy on this topic. This program tackles the outstanding questions in this area with a comprehensive, two-pronged approach: (1) a survey of an additional 10 high signal-to-noise planets that span a broad parameter space and (2) a search for magnetic field-induced variability in the planet HAT-P-7b. The expanded survey will bring additional statistical power to the search for trends and will enable us to determine if the recently-detected outliers are indeed oddities or are instead actually representative of the intrinsic sample diversity. The variability search will test the hypothesis that the atmospheric dynamics of the partially ionized atmospheres of close-in planets are influenced by magnetic fields, which could explain the observed scatter around the existing trends. All observations will be performed at 4.5 microns, which is the consensus best channel for these measurements. The dataset from this program will provide vital context for JWST observations and will not be superseded until ARIEL flies more than a decade from now.

  4. Axion Searches, Old and New

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2005-01-01

    Outline of the lecture: Constraints from laboratory searches and astrophysics, axion cosmology, the cavity detector of dark matter axions, solar axion searches, laser experiments, a telescope search, macroscopic forces mediated by axions.

  5. Microlens Array/Pinhole Mask to Suppress Starlight for Direct Exoplanet Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Neil

    Direct imaging of habitable exoplanets is a key priority of NASA’s Astrophysics roadmap, “Enduring Quests, Daring Visions.” A coronagraphic starlight suppression system situated on a large space telescope offers a viable path to achieving this goal. This type of instrument is central to both the LUVOIR and HabEx mission concepts currently under study for the 2020 Decadal Survey. To directly image an Earth-like exoplanet, an instrument must be sensitive to objects ten billion times dimmer than their parent star. Advanced coronagraphs are designed to modify the shape of the star’s image so that it does not overwhelm the planet's light. Coronagraphs are complex to design and fabricate, tend to sacrifice a significant portion of the exoplanet light entering the telescope, and are highly sensitive to errors in the telescope. The proposed work reduces the demands on the coronagraph and its sensitivity to errors in the telescope, by changing how we implement optics in the spectrograph following the coronagraph. Through optical analysis and modeling, we have found that a microlens array with a specially arranged pattern of pinholes can suppress residual starlight in the scientific image after the coronagraph by more than two orders of magnitude. This added layer of starlight rejection could be used to relax the extreme observatory stability requirements for exo-Earth imaging applications, for example shifting the wavefront stability requirement from a few picometers to a few nanometers. Ultimately this translates to the instrument detecting and spectrally characterizing more exoplanets than a conventional coronagraph system. This microlens/pinhole concept is also compatible with starshadebased starlight suppression systems. The proposed microlens/pinhole device is entirely passive and augments the performance of existing coronagraph designs, while potentially reducing their cost and risk for mission implementation. Our APRA proposal would support a testbed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, E.

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

  7. 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

  8. Search for solar axions with the X-ray telescope of the CAST experiment (phase II); Suche nach solaren Axionen mit dem Roentgenteleskop des CAST-Experiments (Phase II)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nordt, Annika

    2009-10-14

    The CAST (CERN Solar Axion Telescope) experiment is searching for solar axions by their conversion into photons inside a transverse magnetic field. So far, no solar axionsignal has been detected, but a new upper limit could be given (CAST Phase I). Since 2005, CAST entered in its second phase where it operates with a buffer gas ({sup 4}He) in the conversion region to extend the sensitivity of the experiment to higher axionmasses. For the first time it is possible to enter the theoretically favored axion massrange and to give an upper limit for this solar axion mass-range (>0.02 eV). This thesis is about the analysis of the X-ray telescope data Phase II with {sup 4}He inside the magnet. The result for the coupling constant of axions to photons is: g{sub {alpha}}{sub {gamma}}{sub {gamma}}<1.6-6.0 x 10{sup -10} GeV{sup -1} (95%C.L.) for m{sub a}=0.02-0.4 eV. (2) This result is better than any result that has been given before in this mass range for solar axions. (orig.)

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Phase-Induced Amplitude Apodization Coronagraph (PIAAC): A High Performance Coronagraph for Exoplanet Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guyon, O.; Pluzhnik, E.; Martinache, F.; Ridgway, S.; Galicher, R.

    2004-12-01

    Using 2 aspheric mirrors, it is possible to achromatically apodize a telescope beam without losing light (Phase-Induced Amplitude Apodization, PIAA). We propose a coronagraph concept using this technique: the telescope pupil is first apodized to yield a high contrast focal plane image, on which an occulting mask is placed. The exit pupil is then de-apodized to regain a large field of view. We show that the PIAAC combines all the qualities needed for efficient exoplanet imaging: full throughput, small inner working angle (1.2 l/d), high angular resolution (l/d), low sensitivity to tip-tilt, and large field of view (more than 200 l/d in diameter). We conclude that PIAAC is well adapted for exoplanet imaging with a 4m to 6m space telescope (TPF mission). This work was carried out under JPL contract numbers 1254445 and 1257767 for Development of Technologies for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission, with the support and hospitality of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  14. Demonstrating Starshade Performance as Part of NASA's Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasdin, N. Jeremy; Spergel, D. N.; Vanderbei, R. J.; Lisman, D.; Shaklan, S.; Thomson, M. W.; Walkemeyer, P. E.; Bach, V. M.; Oakes, E.; Cady, E. J.; Martin, S. R.; Marchen, L. F.; Macintosh, B.; Rudd, R.; Mikula, J. A.; Lynch, D. H.

    2012-01-01

    In this poster we describe the results of our project to design, manufacture, and measure a prototype starshade petal as part of the Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions program. An external occult 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 for the observatory, greatly relaxing the requirements on the telescope and instrument. In this first two-year phase we focused on the key requirement of manufacturing a precision petal with the precise tolerances needed to meet the overall error budget. These tolerances are established by modeling the effect that various mechanical and thermal errors have on scatter in the telescope image plane and by suballocating the allowable contrast degradation between these error sources. We show the results of this analysis and a representative error budget. We also present the final manufactured occulter petal and the metrology on its shape that demonstrates it meets requirements. We show that a space occulter built of petals with the same measured shape would achieve better than 1e-9 contrast. We also show our progress in building and testing sample edges with the sharp radius of curvature needed for limiting solar glint. Finally, we describe our plans for the second TDEM phase.

  15. Search for high-energy muon neutrinos from the "naked-eye" GRB 080319B with the IceCube neutrino telescope

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abbasi, R.; Abdou, Y.; Abu-Zayyad, T.

    2009-01-01

    We report on a search with the IceCube detector for high-energy muon neutrinos from GRB 080319B, one of the brightest gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) ever observed. The fireball model predicts that a mean of 0.1 events should be detected by IceCube for a bulk Lorentz boost of the jet of 300. In both the ......V and 2.2 PeV, which contains 90% of the expected events....

  16. A Deep Search with the Hubble Space Telescope for Late-Time Supernova Signatures in the Hosts of XRF 011030 and XRF 020427

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levan, Andrew; Patel, Sandeep; Kouveliotou, Chryssa; Fruchter, Andrew; Rhoads, James; Rol, Evert; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Gorosabel, Javier; Hiorth, Jens; Wijers, Ralph

    2005-01-01

    X-ray flashes (XRFs) are, like gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), thought to signal the collapse of massive stars in distant galaxies. Many models posit that the isotropic equivalent energies of XRFs are lower than those for GRBs, such that they are visible fiom a reduced range of distances when compared with GRBs. Here we present the results of two-epoch Hubble Space Telescope imaging of two XRFs. These images, taken approximately 45 and 200 days postburst, reveal no evidence of an associated supernova in either case. Supernovae such as SN 1998bw would have been visible out to z approximately 1.5 in each case, while fainter supernovae such as SN 2002ap would have been visible to z approximately 1. If the XRFs lie at such large distances, their energies would not fit the observed correlation between the GRB peak energy and isotropic energy release (E(sub p) proportional to E(sub iso)(sup 1/2), in which soft bursts are less energetic. We conclude that, should these XRFs reside at low redshifts (z less than 0.6), either their line of sight is heavily extinguished, they are associated with extremely faint supernovae, or, unlike GRBs, these XRFs do not have temporally coincident supernovae.

  17. VLT FORS2 comparative transmission spectral survey of clear and cloudy exoplanet atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sing, David; Gibson, Neale; Evans, Thomas; Barstow, Joanna Katy; Kataria, Tiffany; Wilson, Paul A.

    2016-10-01

    Transmission spectroscopy is a key to unlocking the secrets of close-in exoplanet atmospheres. Observations have started to unveil a vast diversity of irradiated giant planet atmospheres with clouds and hazes playing a definitive role across the entire mass and temperature regime. We have initiated a ground-based, multi-object transmission spectroscopy of a hand full of hot Jupiters, covering the wavelength range 360-850nm using the recently upgraded FOcal Reducer and Spectrograph (FORS2) mounted on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). These targets were selected for comparative follow-up as their transmission spectra showed evidence for alkali metal absorption, based on the results of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations. This talk will discuss the first results from the programme, demonstrating excellent agreement between the transmission spectra measured from VLT and HST and further reinforce the findings of clear, cloudy and hazy atmospheres. More details will be discussed on the narrow alkali features obtained with FORS2 at higher resolution, revealing its high potential in securing optical transmission spectra. These FORS2 observations are the first ground-based detections of clear, cloudy and hazy hot-Jupiter atmosphere with a simultaneous detections of Na, K, and H2 Rayleigh scattering. Our program demonstrates the large potential of the instrument for optical transmission spectroscopy, capable of obtaining HST-quality light curves from the ground. Compared to HST, the larger aperture of VLT will allow for fainter targets to be observed and higher spectral resolution, which can greatly aid comparative exoplanet studies. This is important for further exploring the diversity of exoplanet atmospheres and is particularly complementary to the near- and mid-IR regime, to be covered by the upcoming James-Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and is readily applicable to less massive planets down to super-Earths.

  18. 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.

  19. A TEMPERATURE AND ABUNDANCE RETRIEVAL METHOD FOR EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madhusudhan, N.; Seager, S.

    2009-01-01

    We present a new method to retrieve molecular abundances and temperature profiles from exoplanet atmosphere photometry and spectroscopy. We run millions of one-dimensional (1D) atmosphere models in order to cover the large range of allowed parameter space. In order to run such a large number of models, we have developed a parametric pressure-temperature (P-T) profile coupled with line-by-line radiative transfer, hydrostatic equilibrium, and energy balance, along with prescriptions for non-equilibrium molecular composition and energy redistribution. The major difference from traditional 1D radiative transfer models is the parametric P-T profile, which essentially means adopting energy balance only at the top of the atmosphere and not in each layer. We see the parametric P-T model as a parallel approach to the traditional exoplanet atmosphere models that rely on several free parameters to encompass unknown absorbers and energy redistribution. The parametric P-T profile captures the basic physical features of temperature structures in planetary atmospheres (including temperature inversions), and fits a wide range of published P-T profiles, including those of solar system planets. We apply our temperature and abundance retrieval method to the atmospheres of two transiting exoplanets, HD 189733b and HD 209458b, which have the best Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescope data available. For HD 189733b, we find efficient day-night redistribution of energy in the atmosphere, and molecular abundance constraints confirming the presence of H 2 O, CO, CH 4 , and CO 2 . For HD 209458b, we confirm and constrain the dayside thermal inversion in an average 1D temperature profile. We also report independent detections of H 2 O, CO, CH 4 , and CO 2 on the dayside of HD 209458b, based on six-channel Spitzer photometry. We report constraints for HD 189733b due to individual data sets separately; a few key observations are variable in different data sets at similar wavelengths. Moreover, a

  20. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Eylen Vincent

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. NO TIMING VARIATIONS OBSERVED IN THIRD TRANSIT OF SNOW-LINE EXOPLANET KEPLER-421b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dalba, Paul A.; Muirhead, Philip S.

    2016-01-01

    We observed Kepler-421 during the anticipated third transit of the snow-line exoplanet Kepler-421b in order to constrain the existence and extent of transit timing variations (TTVs). Previously, the Kepler spacecraft only observed two transits of Kepler-421b, leaving the planet’s transit ephemeris unconstrained. Our visible light, time-series observations from the 4.3 m Discovery Channel Telescope were designed to capture pre-transit baseline and the partial transit of Kepler-421b, barring significant TTVs. We use the light curves to assess the probabilities of various transit models using both the posterior odds ratio and the Bayesian Information Criterion, and find that a transit model with no TTVs is favored to 3.6 σ confidence. These observations suggest that Kepler-421b is either alone in its system or is only experiencing minor dynamic interactions with an unseen companion. With the Kepler-421b ephemeris constrained, we calculate future transit times and discuss the opportunity to characterize the atmosphere of this cold, long-period exoplanet via transmission spectroscopy. Our investigation emphasizes the difficulties associated with observing long-period exoplanet transits and the consequences that arise from failing to refine transit ephemerides.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. End-to-End Assessment of a Large Aperture Segmented Ultraviolet Optical Infrared (UVOIR) Telescope Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinberg, Lee; Bolcar, Matt; Liu, Alice; Guyon, Olivier; Stark,Chris; Arenberg, Jon

    2016-01-01

    Key challenges of a future large aperture, segmented Ultraviolet Optical Infrared (UVOIR) Telescope capable of performing a spectroscopic survey of hundreds of Exoplanets will be sufficient stability to achieve 10-10 contrast measurements and sufficient throughput and sensitivity for high yield Exo-Earth spectroscopic detection. Our team has collectively assessed an optimized end to end architecture including a high throughput coronagraph capable of working with a segmented telescope, a cost-effective and heritage based stable segmented telescope, a control architecture that minimizes the amount of new technologies, and an Exo-Earth yield assessment to evaluate potential performance.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Testing Starshade Manufacturing and Deployment Through NASA's Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions Program

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 poster we report on the results of our two Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions (TDEM) studies. In the first we examined the manufacturability and metrology of starshade petals, successfully constructing a full size petal from flight like materials and showing through precise edge shape measurements that an occulter made with petals consistent with the measured accuracy would achieve close to 10^-10 contrast. Our second TDEM tested the deployment precision of a roughly half-scale starshade. We demonstrated the deployment of an existing deployable truss outfitted with four sub-scale petals and a custom designed central hub. We showed that the system can be deployed multiple times with a repeatable positioning accuracy of the petals better than the requirement of 1.0 mm. The combined results of these two TDEM projects has significantly advanced the readiness level of occulter technology and moved the community closer to a realizable mission.

  12. Starshade mechanical design for the Habitable Exoplanet imaging mission concept (HabEx)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arya, Manan; Webb, David; McGown, James; Lisman, P. Douglas; Shaklan, Stuart; Bradford, S. Case; Steeves, John; Hilgemann, Evan; Trease, Brian; Thomson, Mark; Warwick, Steve; Freebury, Gregg; Gull, Jamie

    2017-09-01

    An external occulter for starlight suppression - a starshade - flying in formation with the Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission Concept (HabEx) space telescope could enable the direct imaging and spectrographic characterization of Earthlike exoplanets in the habitable zone. This starshade is flown between the telescope and the star, and suppresses stellar light sufficiently to allow the imaging of the faint reflected light of the planet. This paper presents a mechanical architecture for this occulter, which must stow in a 5 m-diameter launch fairing and then deploy to about a 80 m-diameter structure. The optical performance of the starshade requires that the edge profile is accurate and stable. The stowage and deployment of the starshade to meet these requirements present unique challenges that are addressed in this proposed architecture. The mechanical architecture consists of a number of petals attached to a deployable perimeter truss, which is connected to central hub using tensioned spokes. The petals are furled around the stowed perimeter truss for launch. Herein is described a mechanical design solution that supports an 80 m-class starshade for flight as part of HabEx.

  13. Searches for Large-Scale Anisotropy in the Arrival Directions of Cosmic Rays Detected above Energy of $10^{19}$ eV at the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aab, Alexander; et al,

    2014-10-07

    Spherical harmonic moments are well-suited for capturing anisotropy at any scale in the flux of cosmic rays. An unambiguous measurement of the full set of spherical harmonic coefficients requires full-sky coverage. This can be achieved by combining data from observatories located in both the northern and southern hemispheres. To this end, a joint analysis using data recorded at the Telescope Array and the Pierre Auger Observatory above 1019 eV is presented in this work. The resulting multipolar expansion of the flux of cosmic rays allows us to perform a series of anisotropy searches, and in particular to report on the angular power spectrum of cosmic rays above 1019 eV. No significant deviation from isotropic expectations is found throughout the analyses performed. Upper limits on the amplitudes of the dipole and quadrupole moments are derived as a function of the direction in the sky, varying between 7% and 13% for the dipole and between 7% and 10% for a symmetric quadrupole.

  14. Challenges to Constraining Exoplanet Masses via Transmission Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batalha, Natasha E. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802 (United States); Kempton, Eliza M.-R. [Department of Physics, Grinnell College, 1116 8th Avenue, Grinnell, IA 50112 (United States); Mbarek, Rostom, E-mail: neb149@psu.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2017-02-10

    MassSpec , a method for determining the mass of a transiting exoplanet from its transmission spectrum alone, was proposed by de Wit and Seager. The premise of this method relies on the planet’s surface gravity being extracted from the transmission spectrum via its effect on the atmospheric scale height, which in turn determines the strength of absorption features. Here, we further explore the applicability of MassSpec to low-mass exoplanets—specifically those in the super-Earth size range for which radial velocity determinations of the planetary mass can be extremely challenging and resource intensive. Determining the masses of these planets is of the utmost importance because their nature is otherwise highly unconstrained. Without knowledge of the mass, these planets could be rocky, icy, or gas-dominated. To investigate the effects of planetary mass on transmission spectra, we present simulated observations of super-Earths with atmospheres made up of mixtures of H{sub 2}O and H{sub 2}, both with and without clouds. We model their transmission spectra and run simulations of each planet as it would be observed with James Webb Space Telescope using the NIRISS, NIRSpec, and MIRI instruments. We find that significant degeneracies exist between transmission spectra of planets with different masses and compositions, making it impossible to unambiguously determine the planet’s mass in many cases.

  15. Challenges to Constraining Exoplanet Masses via Transmission Spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Kempton, Eliza M.-R.; Mbarek, Rostom

    2017-01-01

    MassSpec , a method for determining the mass of a transiting exoplanet from its transmission spectrum alone, was proposed by de Wit and Seager. The premise of this method relies on the planet’s surface gravity being extracted from the transmission spectrum via its effect on the atmospheric scale height, which in turn determines the strength of absorption features. Here, we further explore the applicability of MassSpec to low-mass exoplanets—specifically those in the super-Earth size range for which radial velocity determinations of the planetary mass can be extremely challenging and resource intensive. Determining the masses of these planets is of the utmost importance because their nature is otherwise highly unconstrained. Without knowledge of the mass, these planets could be rocky, icy, or gas-dominated. To investigate the effects of planetary mass on transmission spectra, we present simulated observations of super-Earths with atmospheres made up of mixtures of H 2 O and H 2 , both with and without clouds. We model their transmission spectra and run simulations of each planet as it would be observed with James Webb Space Telescope using the NIRISS, NIRSpec, and MIRI instruments. We find that significant degeneracies exist between transmission spectra of planets with different masses and compositions, making it impossible to unambiguously determine the planet’s mass in many cases.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Breakthrough Listen Initiative and the Future of the Search for Intelligent Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez, J. Emilio; Siemion, Andrew; Croft, Steve; Hellbourg, Greg; Lebofsky, Matt; MacMahon, David; Price, Danny; DeBoer, David; Werthimer, Dan

    2017-05-01

    Unprecedented recent results in the fields of exoplanets and astrobiology have dramatically increased the interest in the potential existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy. Additionally, the capabilities of modern Searches for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have increased tremendously. Much of this improvement is due to the ongoing development of wide bandwidth radio instruments and the Moore's Law increase in computing power over the previous decades. Together, these instrumentation improvements allow for narrow band signal searches of billions of frequency channels at once.The Breakthrough Listen Initiative (BL) was launched on July 20, 2015 at the Royal Society in London, UK with the goal to conduct the most comprehensive and sensitive search for advanced life in humanity's history. Here we detail important milestones achieved during the first year and a half of the program. We describe the key BL SETI surveys and briefly describe current facilities, including the Green Bank Telescope, the Automated Planet Finder and the Parkes Observatory. We also mention the ongoing and potential collaborations focused on complementary sciences, these include pulse searches of pulsars and FRBs, as well as astrophysically powered radio emission from stars targeted by our program.We conclude with a brief view towards future SETI searches with upcoming next-generation radio facilities such as SKA and ngVLA.

  7. Virtual Telescope Alignment System

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Next-generation space telescopes require two spacecraft to fly in a coordinated fashion in space forming a virtual telescope. Achieving and maintaining this precise...

  8. 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

  9. Developing a user-friendly photometric software for exoplanets to increase participation in Citizen Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokori, A.; Tsiaras, A.

    2017-09-01

    online software. Also the project "planet hunters" asked people to discover planets in other solar systems using data from large telescopes. HOPS, being in the same direction, could be an effective way of participating in research whether as an amateur astronomer or as a person of the general public that wants to engage with exoplanetary research and data analysis. The software is free of charge under the scope of astronomical research and education. We plan to create an online platform, inspired by HOPS, in the near future. In this platform, everyone will have access by creating an account as a user. Amateur astronomers, who have obtained their own exoplanet observations, will be able to upload and analyse their data. For people who are not familiar with photometric analysis - amateurs or general public users - data, as well as educational video and audio material will be provided.

  10. Habitability constraints on water-rich exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. ATST telescope mount: telescope of machine tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffers, Paul; Stolz, Günter; Bonomi, Giovanni; Dreyer, Oliver; Kärcher, Hans

    2012-09-01

    The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) will be the largest solar telescope in the world, and will be able to provide the sharpest views ever taken of the solar surface. The telescope has a 4m aperture primary mirror, however due to the off axis nature of the optical layout, the telescope mount has proportions similar to an 8 meter class telescope. The technology normally used in this class of telescope is well understood in the telescope community and has been successfully implemented in numerous projects. The world of large machine tools has developed in a separate realm with similar levels of performance requirement but different boundary conditions. In addition the competitive nature of private industry has encouraged development and usage of more cost effective solutions both in initial capital cost and thru-life operating cost. Telescope mounts move relatively slowly with requirements for high stability under external environmental influences such as wind buffeting. Large machine tools operate under high speed requirements coupled with high application of force through the machine but with little or no external environmental influences. The benefits of these parallel development paths and the ATST system requirements are being combined in the ATST Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA). The process of balancing the system requirements with new technologies is based on the experience of the ATST project team, Ingersoll Machine Tools who are the main contractor for the TMA and MT Mechatronics who are their design subcontractors. This paper highlights a number of these proven technologies from the commercially driven machine tool world that are being introduced to the TMA design. Also the challenges of integrating and ensuring that the differences in application requirements are accounted for in the design are discussed.

  12. Deep K-band Observations of TMC-1 with the Green Bank Telescope: Detection of HC7O, Nondetection of HC11N, and a Search for New Organic Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordiner, M. A.; Charnley, S. B.; Kisiel, Z.; McGuire, B. A.; Kuan, Y.-J.

    2017-12-01

    The 100 m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope K-band (KFPA) receiver was used to perform a high-sensitivity search for rotational emission lines from complex organic molecules in the cold interstellar medium toward TMC-1 (cyanopolyyne peak), focussing on the identification of new carbon-chain-bearing species as well as molecules of possible prebiotic relevance. We report a detection of the carbon-chain oxide species HC7O and derive a column density of (7.8+/- 0.9)× {10}11 cm-2. This species is theorized to form as a result of associative electron detachment reactions between oxygen atoms and C7H-, and/or reaction of C6H2 + with CO (followed by dissociative electron recombination). Upper limits are given for the related HC6O, C6O, and C7O molecules. In addition, we obtained the first detections of emission from individual 13C isotopologues of HC7N, and derive abundance ratios HC7N/HCCC13CCCCN = 110 ± 16 and HC7N/HCCCC13CCCN = 96 ± 11, indicative of significant 13C depletion in this species relative to the local interstellar elemental 12C/13C ratio of 60-70. The observed spectral region covered two transitions of HC11N, but emission from this species was not detected, and the corresponding column density upper limit is 7.4× {10}10 {{cm}}-2 (at 95% confidence). This is significantly lower than the value of 2.8× {10}11 {{cm}}-2 previously claimed by Bell et al. and confirms the recent nondetection of HC11N in TMC-1 by Loomis et al. Upper limits were also obtained for the column densities of malononitrile and the nitrogen heterocycles quinoline, isoquinoline, and pyrimidine.

  13. A Catalog of Cool Dwarf Targets for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muirhead, Philip S.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Mann, Andrew W.; Rojas-Ayala, Bárbara; Lépine, Sébastien; Paegert, Martin; De Lee, Nathan; Oelkers, Ryan

    2018-04-01

    We present a catalog of cool dwarf targets (V-J> 2.7, T eff ≲ 4000 K) and their stellar properties for the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), for the purpose of determining which cool dwarfs should be observed using two minute observations. TESS has the opportunity to search tens of thousands of nearby, cool, late K- and M-type dwarfs for transiting exoplanets, an order of magnitude more than current or previous transiting exoplanet surveys, such as Kepler, K2, and ground-based programs. This necessitates a new approach to choosing cool dwarf targets. Cool dwarfs are chosen by collating parallax and proper motion catalogs from the literature and subjecting them to a variety of selection criteria. We calculate stellar parameters and TESS magnitudes using the best possible relations from the literature while maintaining uniformity of methods for the sake of reproducibility. We estimate the expected planet yield from TESS observations using statistical results from the Kepler mission, and use these results to choose the best targets for two minute observations, optimizing for small planets for which masses can conceivably be measured using follow-up Doppler spectroscopy by current and future Doppler spectrometers. The catalog is available in machine readable format and is incorporated into the TESS Input Catalog and TESS Candidate Target List until a more complete and accurate cool dwarf catalog identified by ESA’s Gaia mission can be incorporated.

  14. AMTD: update of engineering specifications derived from science requirements for future UVOIR space telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip; Postman, Marc; Mosier, Gary; Smith, W. Scott; Blaurock, Carl; Ha, Kong; Stark, Christopher C.

    2014-08-01

    The Advance Mirror Technology Development (AMTD) project is in Phase 2 of a multiyear effort, initiated in FY12, to mature by at least a half TRL step six critical technologies required to enable 4 meter or larger UVOIR space telescope primary mirror assemblies for both general astrophysics and ultra-high contrast observations of exoplanets. AMTD uses a science-driven systems engineering approach. We mature technologies required to enable the highest priority science AND provide a high-performance low-cost low-risk system. To give the science community options, we are pursuing multiple technology paths. A key task is deriving engineering specifications for advanced normal-incidence monolithic and segmented mirror systems needed to enable both general astrophysics and ultra-high contrast observations of exoplanets missions as a function of potential launch vehicles and their mass and volume constraints. A key finding of this effort is that the science requires an 8 meter or larger aperture telescope.

  15. 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...

  16. Liverpool Telescope and Liverpool Telescope 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copperwheat, C. M.; Steele, I. A.; Barnsley, R. M.; Bates, S. D.; Clay, N. R.; Jermak, H.; Marchant, J. M.; Mottram, C. J.; Piascik, A.; Smith, R. J.

    2016-12-01

    The Liverpool Telescope is a fully robotic optical/near-infrared telescope with a 2-metre clear aperture, located at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the Canary Island of La Palma. The telescope is owned and operated by Liverpool John Moores University, with financial support from the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council. The telescope began routine science operations in 2004 and is a common-user facility with time available through a variety of committees via an open, peer reviewed process. Seven simultaneously mounted instruments support a broad science programme, with a focus on transient follow-up and other time domain topics well suited to the characteristics of robotic observing. Development has also begun on a successor facility, with the working title `Liverpool Telescope 2', to capitalise on the new era of time domain astronomy which will be brought about by the next generation of survey facilities such as LSST. The fully robotic Liverpool Telescope 2 will have a 4-metre aperture and an improved response time. In this paper we provide an overview of the current status of both facilities.

  17. A two-tiered approach to assessing the habitability of exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Méndez, Abel; Fairén, Alberto G; von Paris, Philip; Turse, Carol; Boyer, Grayson; Davila, Alfonso F; António, Marina Resendes de Sousa; Catling, David; Irwin, Louis N

    2011-12-01

    In the next few years, the number of catalogued exoplanets will be counted in the thousands. This will vastly expand the number of potentially habitable worlds and lead to a systematic assessment of their astrobiological potential. Here, we suggest a two-tiered classification scheme of exoplanet habitability. The first tier consists of an Earth Similarity Index (ESI), which allows worlds to be screened with regard to their similarity to Earth, the only known inhabited planet at this time. The ESI is based on data available or potentially available for most exoplanets such as mass, radius, and temperature. For the second tier of the classification scheme we propose a Planetary Habitability Index (PHI) based on the presence of a stable substrate, available energy, appropriate chemistry, and the potential for holding a liquid solvent. The PHI has been designed to minimize the biased search for life as we know it and to take into account life that might exist under more exotic conditions. As such, the PHI requires more detailed knowledge than is available for any exoplanet at this time. However, future missions such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder will collect this information and advance the PHI. Both indices are formulated in a way that enables their values to be updated as technology and our knowledge about habitable planets, moons, and life advances. Applying the proposed metrics to bodies within our Solar System for comparison reveals two planets in the Gliese 581 system, GJ 581 c and d, with an ESI comparable to that of Mars and a PHI between that of Europa and Enceladus.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venot Olivia

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Ultraviolet (UV absorption cross sections are an essential ingredient of photochemical atmosphere models. Exoplanet searches have unveiled a large population of short-period objects with hot atmospheres, very different from what we find in our solar system. Transiting exoplanets whose atmospheres can now be studied by transit spectroscopy receive extremely strong UV fluxes and have typical temperatures ranging from 400 to 2500 K. At these temperatures, UV photolysis cross section data are severely lacking. Our goal is to provide high-temperature absorption cross sections and their temperature dependency for important atmospheric compounds. This study is dedicated to CO2, which is observed and photodissociated in exoplanet atmospheres. We performed these measurements for the 115 - 200 nm range at 300, 410, 480, and 550 K. In the 195 - 230 nm range, we worked at seven temperatures between 465 and 800 K. We found that the absorption cross section of CO2 is very sensitive to temperature, especially above 160 nm. Within the studied range of temperature, the CO2 cross section can vary by more than two orders of magnitude. This, in particular, makes the absorption of CO2 significant up to wavelengths as high as 230 nm, while it is negligible above 200 nm at 300 K. To investigate the influence of these new data on the photochemistry of exoplanets, we implemented the measured cross section into a 1D photochemical model. The model predicts that accounting for this temperature dependency of CO2 cross section can affect the computed abundances of NH3, CO2, and CO by one order of magnitude in the atmospheres of hot Jupiter and hot Neptune.

  19. 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.

  20. The Exoplanet Characterization ToolKit (ExoCTK)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Prospects for γ-ray imaging telescopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carter, J.N.; Dean, A.J.; Ramsden, D.

    1981-01-01

    Apart from the requirement for a new, high angular-resolution gamma-ray telescope for the more precise location of known COS-B gamma-ray sources, there is also a need for another instrument that can be used in a search for the gamma-ray emission from specific X-ray-emitting objects. If there is to be any hope of relating gamma ray emission to specific candidate X-ray objects, then an angular resolution of typically a few minutes of arc is required to resolve adjacent sources in crowded regions of the sky such as the galactic centre. Efforts to improve the angular resolution of track-chamber telescopes are compared. For energies close to 1 MeV telescopes have either used collimators to restrict the field of view or have made use of the kinematics of the Compton scattering process to determine the direction of the incident photon. The use of coded aperture techniques in high angular resolution X-ray astronomy telescopes is reviewed. A practical telescope for astronomy at high energies described by Carter is mentioned. At low energies an imaging telescope could be constructed by making use of position-sensitive detectors initially developed for use in medical physics. Such a telescope is outlined in general terms and its benefits and uses given. (U.K.)

  3. 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.

  4. A library of ATMO forward model transmission spectra for hot Jupiter exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, Jayesh M.; Mayne, Nathan; Sing, David K.; Drummond, Benjamin; Tremblin, Pascal; Amundsen, David S.; Evans, Thomas; Carter, Aarynn L.; Spake, Jessica; Baraffe, Isabelle; Nikolov, Nikolay; Manners, James; Chabrier, Gilles; Hebrard, Eric

    2018-03-01

    We present a grid of forward model transmission spectra, adopting an isothermal temperature-pressure profile, alongside corresponding equilibrium chemical abundances for 117 observationally significant hot exoplanets (equilibrium temperatures of 547-2710 K). This model grid has been developed using a 1D radiative-convective-chemical equilibrium model termed ATMO, with up-to-date high-temperature opacities. We present an interpretation of observations of 10 exoplanets, including best-fitting parameters and χ2 maps. In agreement with previous works, we find a continuum from clear to hazy/cloudy atmospheres for this sample of hot Jupiters. The data for all the 10 planets are consistent with subsolar to solar C/O ratio, 0.005 to 10 times solar metallicity and water rather than methane-dominated infrared spectra. We then explore the range of simulated atmospheric spectra for different exoplanets, based on characteristics such as temperature, metallicity, C/O ratio, haziness and cloudiness. We find a transition value for the metallicity between 10 and 50 times solar, which leads to substantial changes in the transmission spectra. We also find a transition value of C/O ratio, from water to carbon species dominated infrared spectra, as found by previous works, revealing a temperature dependence of this transition point ranging from ˜0.56 to ˜1-1.3 for equilibrium temperatures from ˜900 to ˜2600 K. We highlight the potential of the spectral features of HCN and C2H2 to constrain the metallicities and C/O ratios of planets, using James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observations. Finally, our entire grid (˜460 000 simulations) is publicly available and can be used directly with the JWST simulator PandExo for planning observations.

  5. A Library of ATMO Forward Model Transmission Spectra for Hot Jupiter Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, Jayesh M.; Mayne, Nathan; Sing, David K.; Drummond, Benjamin; Tremblin, Pascal; Amundsen, David S.; Evans, Thomas; Carter, Aarynn L.; Spake, Jessica; Baraffe, Isabelle; hide

    2017-01-01

    We present a grid of forward model transmission spectra, adopting an isothermal temperature-pressure profile, alongside corresponding equilibrium chemical abundances for 117 observationally significant hot exoplanets (equilibrium temperatures of 547-2710 K). This model grid has been developed using a 1D radiative-convective-chemical equilibrium model termed ATMO, with up-to-date high-temperature opacities. We present an interpretation of observations of 10 exoplanets, including best-fitting parameters and X(exp 2) maps. In agreement with previous works, we find a continuum from clear to hazy/cloudy atmospheres for this sample of hot Jupiters. The data for all the 10 planets are consistent with subsolar to solar C/O ratio, 0.005 to 10 times solar metallicity and water rather than methane-dominated infrared spectra. We then explore the range of simulated atmospheric spectra for different exoplanets, based on characteristics such as temperature, metallicity, C/O ratio, haziness and cloudiness. We find a transition value for the metallicity between 10 and 50 times solar, which leads to substantial changes in the transmission spectra. We also find a transition value of C/O ratio, from water to carbon species dominated infrared spectra, as found by previous works, revealing a temperature dependence of this transition point ranging from approximately 0.56 to approximately 1-1.3 for equilibrium temperatures from approximately 900 to approximately 2600 K. We highlight the potential of the spectral features of HCN and C2H2 to constrain the metallicities and C/O ratios of planets, using James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observations. Finally, our entire grid (approximately 460 000 simulations) is publicly available and can be used directly with the JWST simulator PandExo for planning observations.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Advanced UVOIR Mirror Technology Development (AMTD) for Very Large Space Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip; Smith, W. Scott; Mosier, Gary; Abplanalp, Laura; Arnold, William

    2014-01-01

    ASTRO2010 Decadal stated that an advanced large-aperture ultraviolet, optical, near-infrared (UVOIR) telescope is required to enable the next generation of compelling astrophysics and exoplanet science; and, that present technology is not mature enough to affordably build and launch any potential UVOIR mission concept. AMTD builds on the state of art (SOA) defined by over 30 years of monolithic & segmented ground & space-telescope mirror technology to mature six key technologies. AMTD is deliberately pursuing multiple design paths to provide the science community with op-tions to enable either large aperture monolithic or segmented mirrors with clear engineering metrics traceable to science requirements.

  10. TRAPPIST: a robotic telescope dedicated to the study of planetary systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manfroid J.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We present here a new robotic telescope called TRAPPIST1 (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope. Equipped with a high-quality CCD camera mounted on a 0.6 meter light weight optical tube, TRAPPIST has been installed in April 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory (Chile, and is now beginning its scientific program. The science goal of TRAPPIST is the study of planetary systems through two approaches: the detection and study of exoplanets, and the study of comets. We describe here the objectives of the project, the hardware, and we present some of the first results obtained during the commissioning phase.

  11. High-contrast visible nulling coronagraph for segmented and arbitrary telescope apertures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Brian A.; Lyon, Richard G.; Bolcar, Matthew R.; Clampin, Mark; Petrone, Peter

    2014-08-01

    Exoplanet coronagraphy will be driven by the telescope architectures available and thus the system designer must have available one or more suitable coronagraphic instrument choices that spans the set of telescope apertures, including filled (off-axis), obscured (e.g. with secondary mirror spiders and struts), segmented apertures, such as JWST, and interferometric apertures. In this work we present one such choice of coronagraph, known as the visible nulling coronagraph (VNC), that spans all four types of aperture and also employs differential sensing and control.

  12. The great Melbourne telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Gillespie, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Erected at Melbourne Observatory in 1869, the telescope was the second largest in the world, designed to explore the nature of the nebulae in the southern skies. Richard Gillespie, head of the History and Technology department at the Melbourne museum has written an entertaining account of the telescope's extraordinary history and tells the story through an amazing cast of characters whose lives intersected with the telescope.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Young and the Restless: Revealing the Turbulent, Cloudy Nature of Young Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faherty, Jacqueline; Cruz, Kelle; Rice, Emily; Gagne, Jonathan; Marley, Mark; Gizis, John

    2018-05-01

    Emerging as an important insight into cool-temperature atmospheric physics is evidence for a correlation between enhanced clouds and youth. With this Spitzer Cycle 14 large GO program, we propose to obtain qualifying evidence for this hypothesis using an age calibrated sample of brown dwarf-exoplanet analogs recently discovered and characterized by team members. Using Spitzer's unparalleled ability to conduct uninterrupted, high-cadence observations over numerous hours, we will examine the periodic brightness variations at 3.5 microns, where clouds are thought to be most disruptive to emergent flux. Compared to older sources, theory predicts that younger or lower-surface gravity objects will have cooler brightness temperatures at 3.5 microns and larger peak to peak amplitude variations due to higher altitude, more turbulent clouds. Therefore we propose to obtain light curves for 26 sources that span L3-L8 spectral types (Teff 2500-1700 K), 20-130 Myr ages, and predicted 8-30 MJup masses. Comparing to the variability trends and statistics of field (3-5 Gyr) Spitzer Space Telescope General Observer Proposal equivalents currently being monitored by Spitzer, we will have unequivocal evidence for (or against) the turbulent atmospheric nature of younger sources. Coupling this Spitzer dataset with the multitude of spectral information we have on each source, the light curves obtained through this proposal will form the definitive library of data for investigating atmosphere dynamics (rotation rates, winds, storms, changing cloud structures) in young giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs.

  17. A ground-based near-infrared emission spectrum of the exoplanet HD 189733b.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-04

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

  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. Black holes at neutrino telescopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kowalski, M.; Ringwald, A.; Tu, H.

    2002-01-01

    In scenarios with extra dimensions and TeV-scale quantum gravity, black holes are expected to be produced in the collision of light particles at center-of-mass energies above the fundamental Planck scale with small impact parameters. Black hole production and evaporation may thus be studied in detail at the large hadron collider (LHC). But even before the LHC starts operating, neutrino telescopes such as AMANDA/IceCube, ANTARES, Baikal, and RICE have an opportunity to search for black hole signatures. Black hole production in the scattering of ultrahigh energy cosmic neutrinos on nucleons in the ice or water may initiate cascades and through-going muons with distinct characteristics above the Standard Model rate. In this Letter, we investigate the sensitivity of neutrino telescopes to black hole production and compare it to the one expected at the Pierre Auger Observatory, an air shower array currently under construction, and at the LHC. We find that, already with the currently available data, AMANDA and RICE should be able to place sensible constraints in black hole production parameter space, which are competitive with the present ones from the air shower facilities Fly's Eye and AGASA. In the optimistic case that a ultrahigh energy cosmic neutrino flux significantly higher than the one expected from cosmic ray interactions with the cosmic microwave background radiation is realized in nature, one even has discovery potential for black holes at neutrino telescopes beyond the reach of LHC. (orig.)

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Wide Field Infra-Red Survey Telescope (WFIRST) 2.4-Meter Mission Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Content, D.; Aaron, K.; Alplanalp, L.; Anderson, K.; Capps, R.; Chang, Z.; Dooley, J.; Egerman, R.; Goullioud, R.; Klein, D.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The most recent study of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission is based on reuse of an existing 2.4m telescope. This study was commissioned by NASA to examine the potential science return and cost effectiveness of WFIRST by using this significantly larger aperture telescope. We review the science program envisioned by the WFIRST 2012-2013 Science Definition Team (SDT), an overview of the mission concept, and the telescope design and status. Comparisons against the previous 1.3m and reduced cost 1.1m WFIRST design concepts are discussed. A significant departure from past point designs is the option for serviceability and the geostationary orbit location which enables servicing and replacement instrument insertion later during mission life. Other papers at this conference provide more in depth discussion of the wide field instrument and the optional exoplanet imaging coronagraph instrument.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Stern

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available As we continue searching for exoplanets, we wonder if life and technological species capable of communicating with us exists on any of them. As geoscientists, we can also wonder how important is the presence or absence of plate tectonics for the evolution of technological species. This essay considers this question, focusing on tectonically active rocky (silicate planets, like Earth, Venus, and Mars. The development of technological species on Earth provides key insights for understanding evolution on exoplanets, including the likely role that plate tectonics may play. An Earth-sized silicate planet is likely to experience several tectonic styles over its lifetime, as it cools and its lithosphere thickens, strengthens, and becomes denser. These include magma ocean, various styles of stagnant lid, and perhaps plate tectonics. Abundant liquid water favors both life and plate tectonics. Ocean is required for early evolution of diverse single-celled organisms, then colonies of cells which specialized further to form guts, appendages, and sensory organisms up to the complexity of fish (central nervous system, appendages, eyes. Large expanses of dry land also begin in the ocean, today produced above subduction zones in juvenile arcs and by their coalescence to form continents, although it is not clear that plate tectonics was required to create continental crust on Earth. Dry land of continents is required for further evolution of technological species, where modification of appendages for grasping and manipulating, and improvement of eyes and central nervous system could be perfected. These bioassets allowed intelligent creatures to examine the night sky and wonder, the beginning of abstract thinking, including religion and science. Technology arises from the exigencies of daily living such as tool-making, agriculture, clothing, and weapons, but the pace of innovation accelerates once it is allied with science. Finally, the importance of plate

  4. An Observational Diagnostic for Distinguishing between Clouds and Haze in Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kempton, Eliza M.-R. [Department of Physics, Grinnell College, 1116 8th Avenue, Grinnell, IA 50112 (United States); Bean, Jacob L. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Parmentier, Vivien, E-mail: kemptone@grinnell.edu [Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2017-08-20

    The nature of aerosols in hot exoplanet atmospheres is one of the primary vexing questions facing the exoplanet field. The complex chemistry, multiple formation pathways, and lack of easily identifiable spectral features associated with aerosols make it especially challenging to constrain their key properties. We propose a transmission spectroscopy technique to identify the primary aerosol formation mechanism for the most highly irradiated hot Jupiters (HIHJs). The technique is based on the expectation that the two key types of aerosols—photochemically generated hazes and equilibrium condensate clouds—are expected to form and persist in different regions of a highly irradiated planet’s atmosphere. Haze can only be produced on the permanent daysides of tidally locked hot Jupiters, and will be carried downwind by atmospheric dynamics to the evening terminator (seen as the trailing limb during transit). Clouds can only form in cooler regions on the nightside and morning terminator of HIHJs (seen as the leading limb during transit). Because opposite limbs are expected to be impacted by different types of aerosols, ingress and egress spectra, which primarily probe opposing sides of the planet, will reveal the dominant aerosol formation mechanism. We show that the benchmark HIHJ, WASP-121b, has a transmission spectrum consistent with partial aerosol coverage and that ingress–egress spectroscopy would constrain the location and formation mechanism of those aerosols. In general, using this diagnostic we find that observations with the James Webb Space Telescope and potentially with the Hubble Space Telescope should be able to distinguish between clouds and haze for currently known HIHJs.

  5. An Observational Diagnostic for Distinguishing between Clouds and Haze in Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kempton, Eliza M.-R.; Bean, Jacob L.; Parmentier, Vivien

    2017-01-01

    The nature of aerosols in hot exoplanet atmospheres is one of the primary vexing questions facing the exoplanet field. The complex chemistry, multiple formation pathways, and lack of easily identifiable spectral features associated with aerosols make it especially challenging to constrain their key properties. We propose a transmission spectroscopy technique to identify the primary aerosol formation mechanism for the most highly irradiated hot Jupiters (HIHJs). The technique is based on the expectation that the two key types of aerosols—photochemically generated hazes and equilibrium condensate clouds—are expected to form and persist in different regions of a highly irradiated planet’s atmosphere. Haze can only be produced on the permanent daysides of tidally locked hot Jupiters, and will be carried downwind by atmospheric dynamics to the evening terminator (seen as the trailing limb during transit). Clouds can only form in cooler regions on the nightside and morning terminator of HIHJs (seen as the leading limb during transit). Because opposite limbs are expected to be impacted by different types of aerosols, ingress and egress spectra, which primarily probe opposing sides of the planet, will reveal the dominant aerosol formation mechanism. We show that the benchmark HIHJ, WASP-121b, has a transmission spectrum consistent with partial aerosol coverage and that ingress–egress spectroscopy would constrain the location and formation mechanism of those aerosols. In general, using this diagnostic we find that observations with the James Webb Space Telescope and potentially with the Hubble Space Telescope should be able to distinguish between clouds and haze for currently known HIHJs.

  6. 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

  7. Observing the Sun with Coronado telescopes telescopes

    CERN Document Server

    Pugh, Philip

    2007-01-01

    The Sun provides amateur astronomers with one of the few opportunities for daytime astronomy. In order to see the major features of our nearest star, special telescopes that have a very narrow visible bandwidth are essential. The bandwidth has to be as narrow as 1 A- 10-10 m (1 Angstrom) and centred on the absorption line of neutral hydrogen. This makes many major features of the Suna (TM)s chromosphere visible to the observer. Such narrow-band "Fabry-Perot etalon filters" are high technology, and until the introduction of the Coronado range of solar telescopes, were too expensive for amateur use. The entry-level Coronado telescope, the PST (Personal Solar Telescope) costs under 500. Solar prominences (vast columns of plasma, best seen at the edge of the solar disk), filaments, flares, sunspots, plage and active regions are all visible and can be imaged to produce spectacular solar photographs. Philip Pugh has assembled a team of contributors who show just how much solar work can be done with Coronado telesco...

  8. 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.

  9. Ghost telescope and ghost Fourier telescope with thermal light

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gong Wenlin; Han Shensheng

    2011-01-01

    As important observation tools, telescopes are very useful in remote observations. We report a proof-of-principle experimental demonstration of ghost telescope scheme and show that, by measuring the intensity correlation of two light fields and only changing the position of the detector in the reference path, ghost telescope and ghost Fourier telescope can be obtained even if a single-pixel detector is fixed in Fresnel region of the object. Differences between conventional telescope and ghost telescope are also discussed.

  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. 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.

  12. EQUATORIAL SUPERROTATION ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Showman, Adam P.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Status of the GroundBIRD Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, J.; Génova-Santos, R.; Hattori, M.; Hazumi, M.; Ishitsuka, H.; Kanno, F.; Karatsu, K.; Kiuchi, K.; Koyano, R.; Kutsuma, H.; Lee, K.; Mima, S.; Minowa, M.; Nagai, M.; Nagasaki, T.; Naruse, M.; Oguri, S.; Okada, T.; Otani, C.; Rebolo, R.; Rubiño-Martín, J.; Sekimoto, Y.; Suzuki, J.; Taino, T.; Tajima, O.; Tomita, N.; Uchida, T.; Won, E.; Yoshida, M.

    2018-01-01

    Our understanding of physics at very early Universe, as early as 10-35 s after the Big Bang, relies on the scenario known as the inflationary cosmology. Inflation predicts a particular polarization pattern in the cosmic microwave background, known as the B-mode yet the strength of such polarization pattern is extremely weak. To search for the B-mode of the polarization in the cosmic microwave background, we are constructing an off-axis rotating telescope to mitigate systematic effects as well as to maximize the sky coverage of the observation. We will discuss the present status of the GroundBIRD telescope.

  17. Status of the GroundBIRD Telescope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choi J.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of physics at very early Universe, as early as 10−35 s after the Big Bang, relies on the scenario known as the inflationary cosmology. Inflation predicts a particular polarization pattern in the cosmic microwave background, known as the B-mode yet the strength of such polarization pattern is extremely weak. To search for the B-mode of the polarization in the cosmic microwave background, we are constructing an off-axis rotating telescope to mitigate systematic effects as well as to maximize the sky coverage of the observation. We will discuss the present status of the GroundBIRD telescope.

  18. A search for transit timing variations and orbital decay in WASP-46b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrucci, R.; Jofré, E.; Ferrero, L. V.; Cúneo, V.; Saker, L.; Lovos, F.; Gómez, M.; Mauas, P.

    2018-02-01

    We present 12 new transit observations of the exoplanet WASP-46b obtained with the 1.54-m telescope at Estación Astrofísica de Bosque Alegre (EABA, Argentina) and the 0.40-m Horacio Ghielmetti and 2.15-m Jorge Sahade telescopes at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (CASLEO, Argentina). We analyse them together with 37 light curves from the literature to re-determine the physical parameters and search for additional planets via transit timing variations (TTVs). We consider the 31 transits with uncertainties in their mid-transit times (e_T0) activity could be affecting the measured mid-transit times. This value of dispersion allows us to rule out the presence of additional bodies with masses larger than 2.3, 4.6, 7 and 9.3 M_{\\oplus} at the first-order mean-motion resonances 2:1, 3:2, 4:3 and 5:4 with the transiting planet, respectively. Despite the 6 yr baseline and a typical light-curve precision of 2 × 10-3, we find that we cannot significantly demonstrate a slow decrease of the orbital period of WASP-46b. We place a lower limit of Q⋆ > 7 × 103 on the tidal quality factor and determine that an additional 6 yr baseline is required to rule out Q⋆ < 105.

  19. The large binocular telescope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, John M

    2010-06-01

    The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) Observatory is a collaboration among institutions in Arizona, Germany, Italy, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Virginia. The telescope on Mount Graham in Southeastern Arizona uses two 8.4 m diameter primary mirrors mounted side by side. A unique feature of the LBT is that the light from the two Gregorian telescope sides can be combined to produce phased-array imaging of an extended field. This cophased imaging along with adaptive optics gives the telescope the diffraction-limited resolution of a 22.65 m aperture and a collecting area equivalent to an 11.8 m circular aperture. This paper describes the design, construction, and commissioning of this unique telescope. We report some sample astronomical results with the prime focus cameras. We comment on some of the technical challenges and solutions. The telescope uses two F/15 adaptive secondaries to correct atmospheric turbulence. The first of these adaptive mirrors has completed final system testing in Firenze, Italy, and is planned to be at the telescope by Spring 2010.

  20. Spectroscopy of Exoplanet Atmospheres with the FINESSE Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. An afocal telescope configuration for the ESA Ariel mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Deppo, V.; Middleton, K.; Focardi, M.; Morgante, G.; Pace, E.; Claudi, R.; Micela, G.

    2017-09-01

    ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) is one of the three candidates for the next ESA medium-class science mission (M4) expected to be launched in 2026. This mission will be devoted to observing spectroscopically in the infrared (IR) a large population of known transiting planets in the neighborhood of the Solar System, opening a new discovery space in the field of extrasolar planets and enabling the understanding of the physics and chemistry of these far away worlds. ARIEL is based on a 1-m class telescope ahead of two spectrometer channels covering the band 1.95 to 7.8 microns. In addition there are four photometric channels: two wide band, also used as fine guidance sensors, and two narrow band. During its 3.5 years of operations from L2 orbit, ARIEL will continuously observe exoplanets transiting their host star. The ARIEL optical design is conceived as a fore-module common afocal telescope that will feed the spectrometer and photometric channels. The telescope optical design is composed of an off-axis portion of a two-mirror classic Cassegrain coupled to a tertiary off-axis paraboloidal mirror. The telescope and optical bench operating temperatures, as well as those of some subsystems, will be monitored and fine tuned/stabilised mainly by means of a thermal control subsystem (TCU-Telescope Control Unit) working in closed-loop feedback and hosted by the main Payload electronics unit, the Instrument Control Unit (ICU). Another important function of the TCU will be to monitor the telescope and optical bench thermistors when the Payload decontamination heaters will be switched on (when operating the instrument in Decontamination Mode) during the Commissioning Phase and cyclically, if required. Then the thermistors data will be sent by the ICU to the On Board Computer by means of a proper formatted telemetry. The latter (OBC) will be in charge of switching on and off the decontamination heaters on the basis of the thermistors readout

  3. An afocal telescope configuration for the ESA ARIEL mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Deppo, Vania; Focardi, Mauro; Middleton, Kevin; Morgante, Gianluca; Pascale, Enzo; Grella, Samuele; Pace, Emanuele; Claudi, Riccardo; Amiaux, Jérôme; Colomé Ferrer, Josep; Hunt, Thomas; Rataj, Miroslaw; Sierra-Roig, Carles; Ficai Veltroni, Iacopo; Eccleston, Paul; Micela, Giuseppina; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large Survey (ARIEL) is a candidate as an M4 ESA mission to launch in 2026. During its 3.5 years of scientific operations, ARIEL will observe spectroscopically in the infrared (IR) a large population of known transiting planets in the neighbourhood of the solar system. ARIEL aims to give a breakthrough in the observation of exoplanet atmospheres and understanding of the physics and chemistry of these far-away worlds. ARIEL is based on a 1 m class telescope feeding a collimated beam into two separate instrument modules: a spectrometer module covering the waveband between 1.95 and 7.8 μm and a combined fine guidance system/visible photometer/NIR spectrometer. The telescope configuration is a classic Cassegrain layout used with an eccentric pupil and coupled to a tertiary off-axis paraboloidal mirror. To constrain the thermo-mechanically induced optical aberrations, the primary mirror (M1) temperature will be monitored and finely tuned using an active thermal control system based on thermistors and heaters. They will be switched on and off to maintain the M1 temperature within ± 1 K by the telescope control unit (TCU). The TCU is a payload electronics subsystem also responsible for the thermal control of the spectrometer module detectors as well as the secondary mirror mechanism and IR calibration source management. The TCU, being a slave subsystem of the instrument control unit, will collect the housekeeping data from the monitored subsystems and will forward them to the master unit. The latter will run the application software, devoted to the main spectrometer management and to the scientific data on-board processing.

  4. Goddard Robotic Telescope (GRT)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Since it is not possible to predict when a Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) occurs, the follow-up ground telescopes must be distributed as uniform as possible all over the...

  5. 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.

  6. Neutrino telescopes sensitivity to dark matter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albuquerque, I.F.M.; Lamoureux, J.; Smoot, G.F.

    2002-01-01

    The nature of the dark matter of the Universe is yet unknown and most likely is connected with new physics. The search for its composition is underway through direct and indirect detection. Fundamental physical aspects such as energy threshold, geometry and location are taken into account to investigate proposed neutrino telescopes of km3 volume sensitivities to dark matter. These sensitivities are just sufficient to test a few weakly interacting massive particle scenarios. Telescopes of km3 volume, such as IceCube, can definitely discover or exclude superheavy (M>1010 GeV) strong interacting massive particles (simpzillas). Smaller neutrino telescopes such as ANTARES, AMANDA-II and NESTOR can probe a large region of simpzilla parameter space

  7. Automatic Photoelectric Telescope Service

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Genet, R.M.; Boyd, L.J.; Kissell, K.E.; Crawford, D.L.; Hall, D.S.; BDM Corp., McLean, VA; Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, AZ; Dyer Observatory, Nashville, TN)

    1987-01-01

    Automatic observatories have the potential of gathering sizable amounts of high-quality astronomical data at low cost. The Automatic Photoelectric Telescope Service (APT Service) has realized this potential and is routinely making photometric observations of a large number of variable stars. However, without observers to provide on-site monitoring, it was necessary to incorporate special quality checks into the operation of the APT Service at its multiple automatic telescope installation on Mount Hopkins. 18 references

  8. 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

  9. A search for transit timing variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kramm U.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Photometric follow-ups of transiting exoplanets (TEPs may lead to discoveries of additional, less massive bodies in extrasolar systems. This is possible by detecting and then analysing variations in transit timing of transiting exoplanets. In 2009 we launched an international observing campaign, the aim of which is to detect and characterise signals of transit timing variation (TTV in selected TEPs. The programme is realised by collecting data from 0.6-2.2-m telescopes spread worldwide at different longitudes. We present our observing strategy and summarise first results for WASP-3b with evidence for a 15 Earth-mass perturber in an outer 2:1 orbital resonance.

  10. ANTARES: An Undersea Neutrino telescope

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    The ANTARES (Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and ${Abyss}$ environmental RESearch) deep-sea neutrino telescope is designed to search for neutrinos of astrophysical origin. Neutrinos are unique probes of the high energy universe; being neutral they are not deflected by magnetic fields and interacting weakly they can readily escape from the densest regions of the universe. Potential sources of neutrino are galactic (e.g supernova remnants, micro-quasars) and extra-galactic (e.g active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursters). Annihilation of dark matter particles in the Sun or Galactic Centre is another well motivated potential source of extra terrestrial neutrinos. The ANTARES detector is located 40 km off the coast of Toulon (France) at a depth of 2475m in the Mediterranean Sea. Being located in the Northern hemisphere it studies the Southern sky and in particular has the Galactic Centre in its field of view. Since 2006, the detector has operated continuously in a partial configuration. The detector was compl...

  11. Prototype Imaging Spectrograph for Coronagraphic Exoplanet Studies (PISCES) for WFIRST-AFTA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Qian; Mcelwain, Michael; Greeley, Bradford; Grammer, Bryan; Marx, Catherine; Memarsadeghi, Nargess; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Hilton, George; Sayson, Jorge Llop; Perrin, Marshall; hide

    2015-01-01

    Prototype Imaging Spectrograph for Coronagraphic Exoplanet Studies (PISCES) is a lenslet array based integral field spectrometer (IFS) designed for high contrast imaging of extrasolar planets. PISCES will be used to advance the technology readiness of the high contrast IFS baselined on the Wide-Field InfraRed Survey Telescope/Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA) coronagraph instrument. PISCES will be integrated into the high contrast imaging testbed (HCIT) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and will work with both the Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC) and the Shaped Pupil Coronagraph (SPC) configurations. We discuss why the lenslet array based IFS was selected for PISCES. We present the PISCES optical design, including the similarities and differences of lenslet based IFSs to normal spectrometers, the trade-off between a refractive design and reflective design, as well as the specific function of our pinhole mask on the back surface of the lenslet array to reduce the diffraction from the edge of the lenslets. The optical analysis, alignment plan, and mechanical design of the instrument will be discussed.

  12. Prototype Imaging Spectrograph for Coronagraphic Exoplanet Studies (PISCES) for WFIRST/AFTA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Qian; Mcelwain, Michael; Greeley, Bradford; Grammer, Bryan; Marx, Catherine; Memarsadeghi, Nargess; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Hilton, George; Sayson, Jorge Llop; Perrin, Marshall; hide

    2015-01-01

    Prototype Imaging Spectrograph for Coronagraphic Exoplanet Studies (PISCES) is a lenslet array based integral field spectrometer (IFS) designed for high contrast imaging of extrasolar planets. PISCES will be used to advance the technology readiness of the high contrast IFS baselined on the Wide-Field InfraRed Survey Telescope/Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST/AFTA) coronagraph instrument. PISCES will be integrated into the high contrast imaging testbed (HCIT) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and will work with both the Hybrid Lyot Coronagraph (HLC) and the Shaped Pupil Coronagraph (SPC) cofigurations. We discuss why the lenslet array based IFS is selected for PISCES. We present the PISCES optical design, including the similarities and differences of lenslet based IFSs to normal spectrometers, the trade-off between a refractive design and reflective design, as well as the specific function of our pinhole mask on the back surface of the lenslet array to further suppress star light introduced speckles. The optical analysis, alignment plan, and mechanical design of the instrument will be discussed.

  13. Origins Space Telescope: Cosmology and Reionization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Joaquin Daniel; Origins Space Telescope

    2018-01-01

    The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is the mission concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor, a study in development by NASA in preparation for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Origins is planned to be a large aperture, actively-cooled telescope covering a wide span of the mid- to far-infrared spectrum. Its imagers and spectrographs will enable a variety of surveys of the sky that will discover and characterize the most distant galaxies, Milky-Way, exoplanets, and the outer reaches of our Solar system. Origins will enable flagship-quality general observing programs led by the astronomical community in the 2030s. The Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) would like to hear your science needs and ideas for this mission. The team can be contacted at firsurveyor_info@lists.ipac.caltech.edu.A core science goal of the OST mission is to study the the cosmological history of star, galaxy, and structure formation into the epoch of reionization (EoR). OST will probe the birth of galaxies through warm molecular hydrogen emission during the cosmic dark ages. Utilizing the unique power of the infrared fine-structure emission lines, OST will trace the rise of metals from the first galaxies until today. It will quantify the dust enrichment history of the Universe, uncover its composition and physical conditions, reveal the first cosmic sources of dust, and probe the properties of the earliest star formation. OST will provide a detailed astrophysical probe into the condition of the intergalactic medium at z > 6 and the galaxies which dominate the epoch of reionization.

  14. 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

  15. Can Radio Telescopes Find Axions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-08-01

    axions. Now scientists Katharine Kelley and Peter Quinn at ICRAR, University of Western Australia, have explored how we might use next-generation radio telescopes to search for photons that were created by axions interacting with the magnetic fields of our galaxy.Hope for Next-Gen TelescopesPotential axion coupling strengths vs. mass (click for a closer look). The axion mass is thought to lie between a eV and a meV; two theoretical models are shown with dashed lines. The plot shows the sensitivity of the upcoming SKA and its precursors, ASKAP and MEERKAT. [KelleyQuinn 2017]By using a simple galactic halo model and reasonable assumptions for the central galactic magnetic field even taking into account the time dependence of the field Kelley and Quinn estimate the radio-frequency power density that we would observe at Earth from axions being converted to photons within the Milky Ways magnetic field.The authors then compare this signature to the detection capabilities of upcoming radio telescope arrays. They show that the upcoming Square Kilometer Array and its precursors should have the capability to detect signs of axions across large parts of parameter space.Kelley and Quinn conclude that theres good cause for optimism about future radio telescopes ability to detect axions. And if we did succeed in making a detection, it would be a triumph for both particle physics and astrophysics, finally providing an explanation for the universes dark matter.CitationKatharine Kelley and P. J. Quinn 2017 ApJL 845 L4. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa808d

  16. A 4-m evolvable space telescope configured for NASA's HabEx Mission: the initial stage of LUVOIR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillie, Charles F.; MacEwen, Howard A.; Polidan, Ronald S.; Breckinridge, James B.

    2017-09-01

    Previous papers have described our concept for a large telescope that would be assembled in space in several stages (in different configurations) over a period of fifteen to 20 years. Spreading the telescope development, launch and operations cost over 20 years would minimize the impact on NASA's annual budget and drastically shorten the time between program start and "first light" for this space observatory. The first Stage of this Evolvable Space Telescope (EST) would consist of an instrument module located at the prime focus of three 4-meter hexagonal mirrors arranged in a semi-circle to form one-half of a 12-m segmented mirror. After several years three additional 4-m mirrors would be added to create a 12-m filled aperture. Later, twelve more 4-m mirrors will be added to this Stage 2 telescope to create a 20-m filled aperture space telescope. At each stage the telescope would have an unparalleled capability for UVOIR observations, and the results of these observations will guide the evolution of the telescope and its instruments. In this paper we describe our design concept for an initial configuration of our Evolvable Space Telescope that can meet the requirements of the 4-m version of the HabEx spacecraft currently under consideration by NASA's Habitable Exoplanet Science and Technology Definition Team. This "Stage Zero" configuration will have only one 4-m mirror segment with the same 30-m focal length and a prime focus coronagraph with normal incidence optics to minimize polarization effects. After assembly and checkout in cis-lunar space, the telescope would transfer to a Sun-Earth L2 halo orbit and obtain high sensitivity, high resolution, high contrast UVOIR observations that address the scientific objectives of the Habitable-Exoplanet Imaging Missions.

  17. TIDALLY HEATED TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANETS: VISCOELASTIC RESPONSE MODELS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    Tidal friction in exoplanet systems, driven by orbits that allow for durable nonzero eccentricities at short heliocentric periods, can generate internal heating far in excess of the conditions observed in our own solar system. Secular perturbations or a notional 2:1 resonance between a hot Earth and hot Jupiter can be used as a baseline to consider the thermal evolution of convecting bodies subject to strong viscoelastic tidal heating. We compare results first from simple models using a fixed Quality factor and Love number, and then for three different viscoelastic rheologies: the Maxwell body, the Standard Anelastic Solid (SAS), and the Burgers body. The SAS and Burgers models are shown to alter the potential for extreme tidal heating by introducing the possibility of new equilibria and multiple response peaks. We find that tidal heating tends to exceed radionuclide heating at periods below 10-30 days, and exceed insolation only below 1-2 days. Extreme cases produce enough tidal heat to initiate global-scale partial melting, and an analysis of tidal limiting mechanisms such as advective cooling for earthlike planets is discussed. To explore long-term behaviors, we map equilibria points between convective heat loss and tidal heat input as functions of eccentricity. For the periods and magnitudes discussed, we show that tidal heating, if significant, is generally detrimental to the width of habitable zones.

  18. Robotic and Survey Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woźniak, Przemysław

    Robotic telescopes are revolutionizing the way astronomers collect their dataand conduct sky surveys. This chapter begins with a discussion of principles thatguide the process of designing, constructing, and operating telescopes andobservatories that offer a varying degree of automation, from instruments remotelycontrolled by observers to fully autonomous systems requiring no humansupervision during their normal operations. Emphasis is placed on designtrade-offs involved in building end-to-end systems intended for a wide range ofscience applications. The second part of the chapter contains descriptions ofseveral projects and instruments, both existing and currently under development.It is an attempt to provide a representative selection of actual systems thatillustrates state of the art in technology, as well as important ideas and milestonesin the development of the field. The list of presented instruments spans the fullrange in size starting from small all-sky monitors, through midrange robotic andsurvey telescopes, and finishing with large robotic instruments and surveys.Explosive growth of telescope networking is enabling entirely new modesof interaction between the survey and follow-up observing. Increasingimportance of standardized communication protocols and software is stressed.These developments are driven by the fusion of robotic telescope hardware,massive storage and databases, real-time knowledge extraction, and datacross-correlation on a global scale. The chapter concludes with examplesof major science results enabled by these new technologies and futureprospects.

  19. The South Pole Telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruhl, J.E.; Ade, P.A.R.; Carlstrom, J.E.; Cho, H.M.; Crawford,T.; Dobbs, M.; Greer, C.H.; Halverson, N.W.; Holzapfel, W.L.; Lanting,T.M.; Lee, A.T.; Leitch, E.M.; Leong, J.; Lu, W.; Lueker, M.; Mehl, J.; Meyer, S.S.; Mohr, J.J.; Padin, S.; Plagge, T.; Pryke, C.; Runyan, M.C.; Schwan, D.; Sharp, M.K.; Spieler, H.; Staniszewski, Z.; Stark, A.A.

    2004-11-04

    A new 10 meter diameter telescope is being constructed for deployment at the NSF South Pole research station. The telescope is designed for conducting large-area millimeter and sub-millimeter wave surveys of faint, low contrast emission, as required to map primary and secondary anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background. To achieve the required sensitivity and resolution, the telescope design employs an off-axis primary with a 10 m diameter clear aperture. The full aperture and the associated optics will have a combined surface accuracy of better than 20 microns rms to allow precision operation in the submillimeter atmospheric windows. The telescope will be surrounded with a large reflecting ground screen to reduce sensitivity to thermal emission from the ground and local interference. The optics of the telescope will support a square degree field of view at 2mm wavelength and will feed a new 1000-element micro-lithographed planar bolometric array with superconducting transition-edge sensors and frequency-multiplexed readouts. The first key project will be to conduct a survey over 4000 degrees for galaxy clusters using the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect. This survey should find many thousands of clusters with a mass selection criteria that is remarkably uniform with redshift. Armed with redshifts obtained from optical and infrared follow-up observations, it is expected that the survey will enable significant constraints to be placed on the equation of state of the dark energy.

  20. End-to-End Assessment of a Large Aperture Segmented Ultraviolet Optical Infrared (UVOIR) Telescope Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinberg, Lee; Rioux, Norman; Bolcar, Matthew; Liu, Alice; Guyon, Oliver; Stark, Chris; Arenberg, Jon

    2016-01-01

    Key challenges of a future large aperture, segmented Ultraviolet Optical Infrared (UVOIR) Telescope capable of performing a spectroscopic survey of hundreds of Exoplanets will be sufficient stability to achieve 10^-10 contrast measurements and sufficient throughput and sensitivity for high yield Exo-Earth spectroscopic detection. Our team has collectively assessed an optimized end to end architecture including a high throughput coronagraph capable of working with a segmented telescope, a cost-effective and heritage based stable segmented telescope, a control architecture that minimizes the amount of new technologies, and an Exo-Earth yield assessment to evaluate potential performance. These efforts are combined through integrated modeling, coronagraph evaluations, and Exo-Earth yield calculations to assess the potential performance of the selected architecture. In addition, we discusses the scalability of this architecture to larger apertures and the technological tall poles to enabling it.

  1. Optical Detection of Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap, Sara

    2009-01-01

    We describe what is known about the atmospheric properties (Teff, lob g, [FelH]) and fundamental properties (mass, age, and metal content) of nearby stars and how they influence the habitable zones and habitable eras of these stars. We then take an observer's point of view to assess the ability of optical telescopes to detect photosynthetic or methanogenic life on planets orbiting these stars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  3. Telescopes and Techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Kitchin, C R

    2013-01-01

    Telescopes and Techniques has proved itself in its first two editions, having become probably one of the most widely used astronomy texts, both for amateur astronomers and astronomy and astrophysics undergraduates. Both earlier editions of the book were widely used for introductory practical astronomy courses in many universities. In this Third Edition the author guides the reader through the mathematics, physics and practical techniques needed to use today's telescopes (from the smaller models to the larger instruments installed in many colleges) and how to find objects in the sky. Most of the physics and engineering involved is described fully and requires little prior knowledge or experience. Both visual and electronic imaging techniques are covered, together with an introduction to how data (measurements) should be processed and analyzed. A simple introduction to radio telescopes is also included. Brief coverage of the more advanced topics of photometry and spectroscopy are included, but mainly to enable ...

  4. Amateur Telescope Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonkin, Stephen

    Many amateur astronomers make their own instruments, either because of financial considerations or because they are just interested. Amateur Telescope Making offers a variety of designs for telescopes, mounts and drives which are suitable for the home-constructor. The designs range from simple to advanced, but all are within the range of a moderately well-equipped home workshop. The book not only tells the reader what he can construct, but also what it is sensible to construct given what time is available commercially. Thus each chapter begins with reasons for undertaking the project, then looks at theoretical consideration before finishing with practical instructions and advice. An indication is given as to the skills required for the various projects. Appendices list reputable sources of (mail order) materials and components. The telescopes and mounts range from "shoestring" (very cheap) instruments to specialist devices that are unavailable commercially.

  5. 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

  6. A SEARCH FOR SHORT-PERIOD ROCKY PLANETS AROUND WDs WITH THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH (COS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandhaus, Phoebe H.; Debes, John H.; Ely, Justin; Hines, Dean C.; Bourque, Matthew [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2016-05-20

    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in an attempt to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all spectral types, white dwarfs (WDs) are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of WDs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle stellar surveys have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of WDs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright WDs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating WD GD 133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii. We also point out that non-transiting small planets in thermal equilibrium are detectable around hotter WDs through infrared excesses, and identify two candidates.

  7. A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.

    2018-01-01

    A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth "Not too hot, not too cold" begins the prescription for a world that's just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world thanks in large part to NASA's Kepler Mission which launched in 2009 with the objective of finding Goldilocks planets orbiting other stars like our Sun. Indeed, the space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system. The mission ignited the search for life beyond earth via remote detection of atmospheric biosignatures on exoplanets. Most recently, our collective imagination was awakened by the discovery of Goldilocks worlds orbiting some of the nearest neighbors to the Sun, turning abstractions into destinations. Dr. Batalha will give an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key discoveries. She'll give a preview of what's to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those that are concepts taking shape on the drawing board.

  8. HARPS3 for a roboticized Isaac Newton Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Samantha J.; Queloz, Didier; Baraffe, Isabelle; Brake, Martyn; Dolgopolov, Andrey; Fisher, Martin; Fleury, Michel; Geelhoed, Joost; Hall, Richard; González Hernández, Jonay I.; ter Horst, Rik; Kragt, Jan; Navarro, Ramón; Naylor, Tim; Pepe, Francesco; Piskunov, Nikolai; Rebolo, Rafael; Sander, Louis; Ségransan, Damien; Seneta, Eugene; Sing, David; Snellen, Ignas; Snik, Frans; Spronck, Julien; Stempels, Eric; Sun, Xiaowei; Santana Tschudi, Samuel; Young, John

    2016-08-01

    We present a description of a new instrument development, HARPS3, planned to be installed on an upgraded and roboticized Isaac Newton Telescope by end-2018. HARPS3 will be a high resolution (R≃115,000) echelle spectrograph with a wavelength range from 380-690 nm. It is being built as part of the Terra Hunting Experiment - a future 10- year radial velocity measurement programme to discover Earth-like exoplanets. The instrument design is based on the successful HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6m ESO telescope and HARPS-N on the TNG telescope. The main changes to the design in HARPS3 will be: a customised fibre adapter at the Cassegrain focus providing a stabilised beam feed and on-sky fibre diameter ≍1:4 arcsec, the implementation of a new continuous ow cryostat to keep the CCD temperature very stable, detailed characterisation of the HARPS3 CCD to map the effective pixel positions and thus provide an improved accuracy wavelength solution, an optimised integrated polarimeter and the instrument integrated into a robotic operation. The robotic operation will optimise our programme which requires our target stars to be measured on a nightly basis. We present an overview of the entire project, including a description of our anticipated robotic operation.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Misra, Amit; Meadows, Victoria; Crisp, Dave

    2014-01-01

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

  11. NON-DETECTION OF L-BAND LINE EMISSION FROM THE EXOPLANET HD189733b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mandell, Avi M.; Deming, L. Drake; Mumma, Michael J.; Villanueva, Geronimo L.; Blake, Geoffrey A.; Knutson, Heather A.; Salyk, Colette

    2011-01-01

    We attempt to confirm bright non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) emission from the exoplanet HD 189733b at 3.25 μm, as recently reported by Swain et al. based on observations at low spectral resolving power (λ/δλ ∼ 30). Non-LTE emission lines from gas in an exoplanet atmosphere will not be significantly broadened by collisions, so the measured emission intensity per resolution element must be substantially brighter when observed at high spectral resolving power. We observed the planet before, during, and after a secondary eclipse event at a resolving power λ/δλ = 27, 000 using the NIRSPEC spectrometer on the Keck II telescope. Our spectra cover a spectral window near the peak found by Swain et al., and we compare emission cases that could account for the magnitude and wavelength dependence of the Swain et al. result with our final spectral residuals. To model the expected line emission, we use a general non-equilibrium formulation to synthesize emission features from all plausible molecules that emit in this spectral region. In every case, we detect no line emission to a high degree of confidence. After considering possible explanations for the Swain et al. results and the disparity with our own data, we conclude that an astrophysical source for the putative non-LTE emission is unlikely. We note that the wavelength dependence of the signal seen by Swain et al. closely matches the 2ν 2 band of water vapor at 300 K, and we suggest that an imperfect correction for telluric water is the source of the feature claimed by Swain et al.

  12. REPEATABILITY AND ACCURACY OF EXOPLANET ECLIPSE DEPTHS MEASURED WITH POST-CRYOGENIC SPITZER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ingalls, James G.; Krick, J. E.; Carey, S. J.; Stauffer, John R.; Lowrance, Patrick J.; Grillmair, Carl J.; Capak, Peter; Glaccum, William; Laine, Seppo; Surace, Jason; Storrie-Lombardi, Lisa [Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Boulevard, Mail Code 314-6, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Buzasi, Derek [Department of Chemistry and Physics, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL 33965 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States); Diamond-Lowe, Hannah; Stevenson, Kevin B. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 S Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Evans, Thomas M. [School of Physics, University of Exeter, EX4 4QL Exeter (United Kingdom); Morello, G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, WC1 E6BT (United Kingdom); Wong, Ian, E-mail: ingalls@ipac.caltech.edu [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2016-08-01

    We examine the repeatability, reliability, and accuracy of differential exoplanet eclipse depth measurements made using the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope during the post-cryogenic mission. We have re-analyzed an existing 4.5 μ m data set, consisting of 10 observations of the XO-3b system during secondary eclipse, using seven different techniques for removing correlated noise. We find that, on average, for a given technique, the eclipse depth estimate is repeatable from epoch to epoch to within 156 parts per million (ppm). Most techniques derive eclipse depths that do not vary by more than a factor 3 of the photon noise limit. All methods but one accurately assess their own errors: for these methods, the individual measurement uncertainties are comparable to the scatter in eclipse depths over the 10 epoch sample. To assess the accuracy of the techniques as well as to clarify the difference between instrumental and other sources of measurement error, we have also analyzed a simulated data set of 10 visits to XO-3b, for which the eclipse depth is known. We find that three of the methods (BLISS mapping, Pixel Level Decorrelation, and Independent Component Analysis) obtain results that are within three times the photon limit of the true eclipse depth. When averaged over the 10 epoch ensemble,  5 out of 7 techniques come within 60 ppm of the true value. Spitzer exoplanet data, if obtained following current best practices and reduced using methods such as those described here, can measure repeatable and accurate single eclipse depths, with close to photon-limited results.

  13. 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.

  14. NEW COMPLETENESS METHODS FOR ESTIMATING EXOPLANET DISCOVERIES BY DIRECT DETECTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Robert A.; Soummer, Remi

    2010-01-01

    We report on new methods for evaluating realistic observing programs that search stars for planets by direct imaging, where observations are selected from an optimized star list and stars can be observed multiple times. We show how these methods bring critical insight into the design of the mission and its instruments. These methods provide an estimate of the outcome of the observing program: the probability distribution of discoveries (detection and/or characterization) and an estimate of the occurrence rate of planets (η). We show that these parameters can be accurately estimated from a single mission simulation, without the need for a complete Monte Carlo mission simulation, and we prove the accuracy of this new approach. Our methods provide tools to define a mission for a particular science goal; for example, a mission can be defined by the expected number of discoveries and its confidence level. We detail how an optimized star list can be built and how successive observations can be selected. Our approach also provides other critical mission attributes, such as the number of stars expected to be searched and the probability of zero discoveries. Because these attributes depend strongly on the mission scale (telescope diameter, observing capabilities and constraints, mission lifetime, etc.), our methods are directly applicable to the design of such future missions and provide guidance to the mission and instrument design based on scientific performance. We illustrate our new methods with practical calculations and exploratory design reference missions for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) operating with a distant starshade to reduce scattered and diffracted starlight on the focal plane. We estimate that five habitable Earth-mass planets would be discovered and characterized with spectroscopy, with a probability of zero discoveries of 0.004, assuming a small fraction of JWST observing time (7%), η = 0.3, and 70 observing visits, limited by starshade fuel.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-11-10

    Super-Earth exoplanets are being discovered with increasing frequency and some will be able to retain stable H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres. We study biosignature gases on exoplanets with thin H{sub 2} atmospheres and habitable surface temperatures, using a model atmosphere with photochemistry and a biomass estimate framework for evaluating the plausibility of a range of biosignature gas candidates. We find that photochemically produced H atoms are the most abundant reactive species in H{sub 2} atmospheres. In atmospheres with high CO{sub 2} levels, atomic O is the major destructive species for some molecules. In Sun-Earth-like UV radiation environments, H (and in some cases O) will rapidly destroy nearly all biosignature gases of interest. The lower UV fluxes from UV-quiet M stars would produce a lower concentration of H (or O) for the same scenario, enabling some biosignature gases to accumulate. The favorability of low-UV radiation environments to accumulate detectable biosignature gases in an H{sub 2} atmosphere is closely analogous to the case of oxidized atmospheres, where photochemically produced OH is the major destructive species. Most potential biosignature gases, such as dimethylsulfide and CH{sub 3}Cl, are therefore more favorable in low-UV, as compared with solar-like UV, environments. A few promising biosignature gas candidates, including NH{sub 3} and N{sub 2}O, are favorable even in solar-like UV environments, as these gases are destroyed directly by photolysis and not by H (or O). A more subtle finding is that most gases produced by life that are fully hydrogenated forms of an element, such as CH{sub 4} and H{sub 2}S, are not effective signs of life in an H{sub 2}-rich atmosphere because the dominant atmospheric chemistry will generate such gases abiologically, through photochemistry or geochemistry. Suitable biosignature gases in H{sub 2}-rich atmospheres for super-Earth exoplanets transiting M stars could potentially be detected in transmission

  16. Science Enabled by the Ares V: A Large Monolithic Telescope Placed at the Second Sun-Earth Lagrange Point

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Randall C.; Stahl, H. Philip

    2007-01-01

    The payload mass and volume capabilities of the planned Ares V launch vehicle provide the science community with unprecedented opportunities to place large science payloads into low earth orbit and beyond. One example, the outcome of a recent study conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, is a large, monolithic telescope with a primary mirror diameter of 6.2 meters placed into a halo orbit about the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, or L2, approximately 1.5 million kin beyond Earth's orbit. Operating in the visible and ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, such a large telescope would allow astronomers to detect bio-signatures and characterize the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets, provide high resolution imaging three or more times better than the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, and observe the ultraviolet light from warm baryonic matter.

  17. 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

  18. WFIRST: Managing Telescope Wavefront Stability to Meet Coronagraph Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noecker, Martin; Poberezhskiy, Ilya; Kern, Brian; Krist, John; WFIRST System Engineering Team

    2018-01-01

    The WFIRST coronagraph instrument (CGI) needs a stable telescope and active wavefront control to perform coronagraph science with an expected sensitivity of 8x10-9 in the exoplanet-star flux ratio (SNR=10) at 200 milliarcseconds angular separation. With its subnanometer requirements on the stability of its input wavefront error (WFE), the CGI employs a combination of pointing and wavefront control loops and thermo-mechanical stability to meet budget allocations for beam-walk and low-order WFE, which enable stable starlight speckles on the science detector that can be removed by image subtraction. We describe the control strategy and the budget framework for estimating and budgeting the elements of wavefront stability, and the modeling strategy to evaluate it.

  19. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. 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%.

  1. Tidal Heating in Multilayered Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry

    2014-01-01

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

  2. THERMODYNAMIC LIMITS ON MAGNETODYNAMOS IN ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The Liverpool Telescope: rapid follow-up observation of targets of opportunity with a 2 m robotic telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomboc, Andreja; Bode, Michael F.; Carter, David; Mundell, Carol G.; Newsam, Andrew; Smith, Robert J.; Steele, Iain A.

    2004-01-01

    The Liverpool Telescope, situated at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, Canaries, is the first 2-m, fully instrumented robotic telescope. It recently began observations. Among Liverpool Telescope's primary scientific goals is to monitor variable objects on all timescales from seconds to years. An additional benefit of its robotic operation is rapid reaction to unpredictable phenomena and their systematic follow up, simultaneous or coordinated with other facilities. The Target of Opportunity Programme of the Liverpool Telescope includes the prompt search for and observation of GRB and XRF counterparts. A special over-ride mode implemented for GRB/XRF follow-up enables observations commencing less than a minute after the alert, including optical and near infrared imaging and spectroscopy. In particular, the moderate aperture and rapid automated response make the Liverpool Telescope excellently suited to help solving the mystery of optically dark GRBs and for the investigation of currently unstudied short bursts and XRFs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.

    2011-02-01

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

  6. Open-source Software for Exoplanet Atmospheric Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Blecic, Jasmina; Harrington, Joseph

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreland, Kimberly D.

    2018-01-01

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

  8. Exploring Galileo's Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straulino, Samuele; Terzuoli, Alessandra

    2010-01-01

    In the first months of 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, the authors developed an educational project for middle-level students connected with the first astronomical discoveries that Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) made 400 years ago. The project included the construction of a basic telescope and the observation of the Moon. The project, if…

  9. Taiwan Automated Telescope Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dean-Yi Chou

    2010-01-01

    can be operated either interactively or fully automatically. In the interactive mode, it can be controlled through the Internet. In the fully automatic mode, the telescope operates with preset parameters without any human care, including taking dark frames and flat frames. The network can also be used for studies that require continuous observations for selected objects.

  10. The Falcon Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, F.; Tippets, R.; Dearborn, M.; Gresham, K.; Freckleton, R.; Douglas, M.

    2014-09-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is a global network of small aperture telescopes developed by the Center for Space Situational Awareness Research in the Department of Physics at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Consisting of commercially available equipment, the FTN is a collaborative effort between USAFA and other educational institutions ranging from two- and four-year colleges to major research universities. USAFA provides the equipment (e.g. telescope, mount, camera, filter wheel, dome, weather station, computers and storage devices) while the educational partners provide the building and infrastructure to support an observatory. The user base includes USAFA along with K-12 and higher education faculty and students. Since the FTN has a general use purpose, objects of interest include satellites, astronomical research, and STEM support images. The raw imagery, all in the public domain, will be accessible to FTN partners and will be archived at USAFA in the Cadet Space Operations Center. FTN users will be able to submit observational requests via a web interface. The requests will then be prioritized based on the type of user, the object of interest, and a user-defined priority. A network wide schedule will be developed every 24 hours and each FTN site will autonomously execute its portion of the schedule. After an observational request is completed, the FTN user will receive notification of collection and a link to the data. The Falcon Telescope Network is an ambitious endeavor, but demonstrates the cooperation that can be achieved by multiple educational institutions.

  11. The first telescope of the HEGRA air Cherenkov imaging telescope array

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mirzoyan, R.; Kankanian, R.; Krennrich, F.; Mueller, N.; Sander, H.; Sawallisch, P.; Aharonian, F.; Akhperjanian, A.; Beglarian, A.; Fernandez, J.; Fonseca, V.; Grewe, W.; Heusler, A.; Konopelko, A.K.; Lorenz, E.; Merck, M.; Plyasheshnikov, A.V.; Renker, D.; Samorski, M.; Sauerland, K.; Smarsch, E.; Stamm, W.; Ulrich, M.; Wiedner, C.A.; Wirth, H.

    1994-01-01

    In search of VHE γ ray emission from cosmic point sources a system of imaging Cherenkov telescopes is constructed at present on the Canarian island of La Palma; the first telescope has been operational since 1992. The Cherenkov light from air shower particles is collected by a 5 m 2 reflector. The camera at the focus contains 37 photomultipliers which sample the images of the Cherenkov flashes. The subsequent image analysis allows the discrimination of γ ray induced events from the much more abundant charged cosmic ray induced showers. The telescope has an effective energy threshold for γ showers of about 1.5 TeV. During the first year of operation a signal from the Crab nebula was detected. ((orig.))

  12. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Gravitational waves search from known PSR with LIGO (Abbott+, 2017)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, B. P.; Abbott, R.; Abbott, T. D.; Abernathy, M. R.; Acernese, F.; Ackley, K.; Adams, C.; Adams, T.; Addesso, P.; Adhikari, R. X.; Adya, V. B.; Affeldt, C.; Agathos, M.; Agatsuma, K.; Aggarwal, N.; Aguiar, O. D.; Aiello, L.; Ain, A.; Ajith, P.; Allen, B.; Allocca, A.; Altin, P. A.; Ananyeva, A.; Anderson, S. B.; Anderson, W. G.; Appert, S.; Arai, K.; Araya, M. C.; Areeda, J. S.; Arnaud, N.; Arun, K. G.; Ascenzi, S.; Ashton, G.; Ast, M.; Aston, S. M.; Astone, P.; Aufmuth, P.; Aulbert, C.; Avila-Alvarez, A.; Babak, S.; Bacon, P.; Bader, M. K. M.; Baker, P. T.; Baldaccini, F.; Ballardin, G.; Ballmer, S. W.; Barayoga, J. C.; Barclay, S. E.; Barish, B. C.; Barker, D.; Barone, F.; Barr, B.; Barsotti, L.; Barsuglia, M.; Barta, D.; Bartlett, J.; Bartos, I.; Bassiri, R.; Basti, A.; Batch, J. C.; Baune, C.; Bavigadda, V.; Bazzan, M.; Beer, C.; Bejger, M.; Belahcene, I.; Belgin, M.; Bell, A. S.; Berger, B. K.; Bergmann, G.; Berry, C. P. L.; Bersanetti, D.; Bertolini, A.; Betzwieser, J.; Bhagwat, S.; Bhandare, R.; Bilenko, I. A.; Billingsley, G.; Billman, C. R.; Birch, J.; Birney, R.; Birnho Ltz, O.; Biscans, S.; Bisht, A.; Bitossi, M.; Biwer, C.; Bizouard, M. A.; Blackburn, J. K.; Blackman, J.; Blair, C. D.; Blair, D. G.; Blair, R. M.; Bloemen, S.; Bock, O.; Boer, M.; Bogaert, G.; Bohe, A.; Bondu, F.; Bonnand, R.; Boom, B. A.; Bork, R.; Boschi, V.; Bose, S.; Bouffanais, Y.; Bozzi, A.; Bradaschia, C.; Brady, P. R.; Braginsky, V. B.; Branchesi, M.; Brau, J. E.; Briant, T.; Brillet, A.; Brinkmann, M.; Brisson, V.; Brockill, P.; Broida, J. E.; Brooks, A. F.; Brown, D. A.; Brown, D. D.; Brown, N. M.; Brunett, S.; Buchanan, C. C.; Buikema, A.; Bulik, T.; Bulten, H. J.; Buonanno, A.; Buskulic, D.; Buy, C.; Byer, R. L.; Cabero, M.; Cadonati, L.; Cagnoli, G.; Cahillane, C.; Calderon Bustillo, J.; Callister, T. A.; Calloni, E.; Camp, J. B.; Canepa, M.; Cannon, K. C.; Cao, H.; Cao, J.; Capano, C. D.; Capocasa, E.; Carbognani, F.; Caride, S.; Casanueva Diaz, J.; Casentini, C.; Caudill, S.; Cavaglia, M.; Cavalier, F.; Cavalieri, R.; Cella, G.; Cepeda, C. B.; Baiardi, L. C.; Cerretani, G.; Cesarini, E.; Chamberlin, S. J.; Chan, M.; Chao, S.; Charlton, P.; Chassande-Mottin, E.; Cheeseboro, B. D.; Chen, H. Y.; Chen, Y.; Cheng, H.-P.; Chincarini, A.; Chiummo, A.; Chmiel, T.; Cho, H. S.; Cho, M.; Chow, J. H.; Christensen, N.; Chu, Q.; Chua, A. J. K.; Chua, S.; Chung, S.; Ciani, G.; Clara, F.; Clark, J. A.; Cleva, F.; Cocchieri, C.; Coccia, E.; Cohadon, P.-F.; Colla, A.; Collette, C. G.; Cominsky, L.; Constancio, M.; Conti, L.; Cooper, S. J.; Corbitt, T. R.; Cornish, N.; Corsi, A.; Cortese, S.; Costa, C. A.; Coughlin, M. W.; Coughlin, S. B.; Coulon, J.-P.; Countryman, S. T.; Couvares, P.; Covas, P. B.; Cowan, E. E.; Coward, D. M.; Cowart, M. J.; Coyne, D. C.; Coyne, R.; Creighton, J. D. E.; Creighton, T. D.; Cripe, J.; Crowder, S. G.; Cullen, T. J.; Cumming, A.; Cunningham, L.; Cuoco, E.; Del Canton, T.; Danilishin, S. L.; D'Antonio, S.; Danzmann, K.; Dasgupta, A.; da Silva Costa, C. F.; Dattilo, V.; Dave, I.; Davier, M.; Davies, G. S.; Davis, D.; Daw, E. J.; Day, B.; Day, R.; de, S.; Debra, D.; Debreczeni, G.; Degallaix, J.; de Laurentis, M.; Deleglise, S.; Del Pozzo, W.; Denker, T.; Dent, T.; Dergachev, V.; De Rosa, R.; Derosa, R. T.; Desalvo, R.; Devenson, J.; Devine R. C, .; Dhurandhar, S.; Diaz, M. C.; di Fiore, L.; di Giovanni M.; di Girolamo, T.; di Lieto, A.; di Pace, S.; di Palma, I.; di Virgilio A.; Doctor, Z.; Dolique, V.; Donovan, F.; Dooley, K. L.; Doravari, S.; Dorrington, I.; Douglas, R.; Dovale Alvarez, M.; Downes, T. P.; Drago, M.; Drever, R. W. P.; Driggers, J. C.; Du, Z.; Ducrot, M.; Dwyer, S. E.; Edo, T. B.; Edwards, M. C.; Effler, A.; Eggenstein, H.-B.; Ehrens, P.; Eichholz, J.; Eikenberry, S. S.; Eisenstein, R. A.