WorldWideScience

Sample records for extrasolar transiting planets

  1. Photometric Defocus Observations of Transiting Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias C. Hinse

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We have carried out photometric follow-up observations of bright transiting extrasolar planets using the CbNUOJ 0.6 m telescope. We have tested the possibility of obtaining high photometric precision by applying the telescope defocus technique, allowing the use of several hundred seconds in exposure time for a single measurement. We demonstrate that this technique is capable of obtaining a root-mean-square scatter of sub-millimagnitude order over several hours for a V ~10 host star, typical for transiting planets detected from ground-based survey facilities. We compared our results with transit observations from a telescope operated in in-focus mode. High photometric precision was obtained due to the collection of a larger amount of photons, resulting in a higher signal compared to other random and systematic noise sources. Accurate telescope tracking is likely to further contribute to lowering systematic noise by exposing the same pixels on the CCD. Furthermore, a longer exposure time helps reduce the effect of scintillation noise which otherwise has a significant effect for small-aperture telescopes operated in in-focus mode. Finally we present the results of modelling four light-curves in which a root-mean-square scatter of 0.70 to 2.3 milli-magnitudes was achieved.

  2. High-Cadence Transit Timing Variation Monitoring of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naef D.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We report ground-based high-cadence transit timing observations of the extrasolar planet WASP-2b. We achieve a typical timing error of 15-30 sec. The data show no significant deviations from the predicted ephemeris.

  3. EXTRASOLAR BINARY PLANETS. II. DETECTABILITY BY TRANSIT OBSERVATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, K. M.; Ida, S.; Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the detectability of gravitationally bound pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call “binary planets”) in extrasolar planetary systems that are formed through orbital instability followed by planet–planet dynamical tides during their close encounters, based on the results of N-body simulations by Ochiai et al. (Paper I). Paper I showed that the formation probability of a binary is as much as ∼10% for three giant planet systems that undergo orbital instability, and after post-capture long-term tidal evolution, the typical binary separation is three to five times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. The binary planets are stable during the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars, if the stellarcentric semimajor axis of the binary is larger than 0.3 AU. We show that detecting modulations of transit light curves is the most promising observational method to detect binary planets. Since the likely binary separations are comparable to the stellar diameter, the shape of the transit light curve is different from transit to transit, depending on the phase of the binary’s orbit. The transit durations and depth for binary planet transits are generally longer and deeper than those for the single planet case. We point out that binary planets could exist among the known inflated gas-giant planets or objects classified as false positive detections at orbital radii ≳0.3 AU, propose a binary planet explanation for the CoRoT candidate SRc01 E2 1066, and show that binary planets are likely to be present in, and could be detected using, Kepler-quality data

  4. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

    The field of extrasolar planets is still, in comparison with other astrophysical topics, in its infancy. There have been about 300 or so extrasolar planets detected and their detection has been accomplished by various different techniques. Here we present a simple laboratory experiment to show how planets are detected using the transit technique.…

  5. Extrasolar Planet Transits Observed at Kitt Peak National Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sada, Pedro V.; Jennings, Donald E.; Deming, Drake; Jennings, Donald E.; Jackson, Brian; Hamilton, Catrina M.; Fraine, Jonathan; Peterson, Steven W.; Haase, Flynn; Bays, Kevin; hide

    2012-01-01

    We obtained J-, H-, and JH-band photometry of known extrasolar planet transiting systems at the 2.1 m Kitt Peak National Observatory Telescope using the FLAMINGOS infrared camera between 2008 October and 2011 October. From the derived light curves we have extracted the midtransit times, transit depths and transit durations for these events. The precise midtransit times obtained help improve the orbital periods and also constrain transit-time variations of the systems. For most cases the published system parameters successfully accounted for our observed light curves, but in some instances we derive improved planetary radii and orbital periods. We complemented our 2.1 m infrared observations using CCD z0-band and B-band photometry (plus two H(alpha) filter observations) obtained with the Kitt Peak Visitor Center Telescope, and with four H-band transits observed in 2007 October with the NSO's 1.6 m McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. The principal highlights of our results are (1) Our ensemble of J-band planetary radii agree with optical radii, with the best-fit relation being RpRJ0:0017 0:979RpRvis. (2) We observe starspot crossings during the transit of WASP-11HAT-P-10. (3) We detect starspot crossings by HAT-P-11b (Kepler-3b), thus confirming that the magnetic evolution of the stellar active regions can be monitored even after the Kepler mission has ended. (4) We confirm a grazing transit for HAT-P-27WASP-40. In total, we present 57 individual transits of 32 known exoplanet systems.

  6. Transits of extrasolar moons around luminous giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, R.

    2016-04-01

    Beyond Earth-like planets, moons can be habitable, too. No exomoons have been securely detected, but they could be extremely abundant. Young Jovian planets can be as hot as late M stars, with effective temperatures of up to 2000 K. Transits of their moons might be detectable in their infrared photometric light curves if the planets are sufficiently separated (≳10 AU) from the stars to be directly imaged. The moons will be heated by radiation from their young planets and potentially by tidal friction. Although stellar illumination will be weak beyond 5 AU, these alternative energy sources could liquify surface water on exomoons for hundreds of Myr. A Mars-mass H2O-rich moon around β Pic b would have a transit depth of 1.5 × 10-3, in reach of near-future technology.

  7. A Spitzer Infrared Radius for the Transiting Extrasolar Planet HD 209458 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Harrington, Joseph; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake

    2007-01-01

    We have measured the infrared transit of the extrasolar planet HD 209458 b using the Spitzer Space Telescope. We observed two primary eclipse events (one partial and one complete transit) using the 24 micrometer array of the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). We analyzed a total of 2392 individual images (10-second integrations) of the planetary system, recorded before, during, and after transit. We perform optimal photometry on the images and use the local zodiacal light as a short-term flux reference. At this long wavelength, the transit curve has a simple box-like shape, allowing robust solutions for the stellar and planetary radii independent of stellar limb darkening, which is negligible at 24 micrometers. We derive a stellar radius of R(sub *) = 1.06 plus or minus 0.07 solar radius, a planetary radius of R(sub p) = 1.26 plus or minus 0.08 R(sub J), and a stellar mass of 1.17 solar mass. Within the errors, our results agree with the measurements at visible wavelengths. The 24 micrometer radius of the planet therefore does not differ significantly compared to the visible result. We point out the potential for deriving extrasolar transiting planet radii to high accuracy using transit photometry at slightly shorter IR wavelengths where greater photometric precision is possible.

  8. Homogeneous Studies of Transiting Extrasolar Planets: Current Status and Future Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, John

    2011-09-01

    We now know of over 500 planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. The jewels in the crown are the transiting planets, for these are the only ones whose masses and radii are measurable. They are fundamental for our understanding of the formation, evolution, structure and atmospheric properties of extrasolar planets. However, their characterization is not straightforward, requiring extremely high-precision photometry and spectroscopy as well as input from theoretical stellar models. I summarize the motivation and current status of a project to measure the physical properties of all known transiting planetary systems using homogeneous techniques (Southworth 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 in preparation). Careful attention is paid to the treatment of limb darkening, contaminating light, correlated noise, numerical integration, orbital eccentricity and orientation, systematic errors from theoretical stellar models, and empirical constraints. Complete error budgets are calculated for each system and can be used to determine which type of observation would be most useful for improving the parameter measurements. Known correlations between the orbital periods, masses, surface gravities, and equilibrium temperatures of transiting planets can be explored more safely due to the homogeneity of the properties. I give a sneak preview of Homogeneous Studies Paper 4, which includes the properties of thirty transiting planetary systems observed by the CoRoT, Kepler and Deep Impact space missions. Future opportunities are discussed, plus remaining problems with our understanding of transiting planets. I acknowledge funding from the UK STFC in the form of an Advanced Fellowship.

  9. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plávalová, Eva

    2012-04-01

    When a star is described as a spectral class G2V, we know that the star is similar to our Sun. We know its approximate mass, temperature, age, and size. When working with an extrasolar planet database, it is very useful to have a taxonomy scale (classification) such as, for example, the Harvard classification for stars. The taxonomy has to be easily interpreted and present the most relevant information about extrasolar planets. I propose an extrasolar planet taxonomy scale with four parameters. The first parameter concerns the mass of an extrasolar planet in the form of units of the mass of other known planets, where M represents the mass of Mercury, E that of Earth, N Neptune, and J Jupiter. The second parameter is the planet's distance from its parent star (semimajor axis) described in a logarithm with base 10. The third parameter is the mean Dyson temperature of the extrasolar planet, for which I established four main temperature classes: F represents the Freezing class, W the Water class, G the Gaseous class, and R the Roasters class. I devised one additional class, however: P, the Pulsar class, which concerns extrasolar planets orbiting pulsar stars. The fourth parameter is eccentricity. If the attributes of the surface of the extrasolar planet are known, we are able to establish this additional parameter where t represents a terrestrial planet, g a gaseous planet, and i an ice planet. According to this taxonomy scale, for example, Earth is 1E0W0t, Neptune is 1N1.5F0i, and extrasolar planet 55 Cnc e is 9E-1.8R1.

  10. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    Topics include: the landscape of extrasolar planets, why focus on transiting planets, some history and Spitzer results, problems in atmospheric structure or hot Jupiters and hot super Earths, what observations are needed to make progress, and what SOFIA can currently do and comments on optimized instruments.

  11. Transit detections of extrasolar planets around main-sequence stars. I. Sky maps for hot Jupiters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, R.; Mislis, D.; Antoniadis, J.

    2009-12-01

    Context: The findings of more than 350 extrasolar planets, most of them nontransiting Hot Jupiters, have revealed correlations between the metallicity of the main-sequence (MS) host stars and planetary incidence. This connection can be used to calculate the planet formation probability around other stars, not yet known to have planetary companions. Numerous wide-field surveys have recently been initiated, aiming at the transit detection of extrasolar planets in front of their host stars. Depending on instrumental properties and the planetary distribution probability, the promising transit locations on the celestial plane will differ among these surveys. Aims: We want to locate the promising spots for transit surveys on the celestial plane and strive for absolute values of the expected number of transits in general. Our study will also clarify the impact of instrumental properties such as pixel size, field of view (FOV), and magnitude range on the detection probability. Methods: We used data of the Tycho catalog for ≈1 million objects to locate all the stars with 0^m~≲~m_V~≲~11.5m on the celestial plane. We took several empirical relations between the parameters listed in the Tycho catalog, such as distance to Earth, m_V, and (B-V), and those parameters needed to account for the probability of a star to host an observable, transiting exoplanet. The empirical relations between stellar metallicity and planet occurrence combined with geometrical considerations were used to yield transit probabilities for the MS stars in the Tycho catalog. Magnitude variations in the FOV were simulated to test whether this fluctuations would be detected by BEST, XO, SuperWASP and HATNet. Results: We present a sky map of the expected number of Hot Jupiter transit events on the basis of the Tycho catalog. Conditioned by the accumulation of stars towards the galactic plane, the zone of the highest number of transits follows the same trace, interrupted by spots of very low and high

  12. Spectral Resolution-linked Bias in Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake; Sheppard, Kyle

    2017-05-01

    We re-visit the principles of transmission spectroscopy for transiting extrasolar planets, focusing on the overlap between the planetary spectrum and the illuminating stellar spectrum. Virtually all current models of exoplanetary transmission spectra utilize an approximation that is inaccurate when the spectrum of the illuminating star has a complex line structure, such as molecular bands in M-dwarf spectra. In those cases, it is desirable to model the observations using a coupled stellar-planetary radiative transfer model calculated at high spectral resolving power, followed by convolution to the observed resolution. Not consistently accounting for overlap of stellar M-dwarf and planetary lines at high spectral resolution can bias the modeled amplitude of the exoplanetary transmission spectrum, producing modeled absorption that is too strong. We illustrate this bias using the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1b, as observed using Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3. The bias in this case is about 250 ppm, 12% of the modeled transit absorption. Transit spectroscopy using JWST will have access to longer wavelengths where the water bands are intrinsically stronger, and the observed signal-to-noise ratios will be higher than currently possible. We therefore expect that this resolution-linked bias will be especially important for future JWST observations of TESS-discovered super-Earths and mini-Neptunes transiting M-dwarfs.

  13. Spectral Resolution-linked Bias in Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deming, Drake; Sheppard, Kyle [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)

    2017-05-20

    We re-visit the principles of transmission spectroscopy for transiting extrasolar planets, focusing on the overlap between the planetary spectrum and the illuminating stellar spectrum. Virtually all current models of exoplanetary transmission spectra utilize an approximation that is inaccurate when the spectrum of the illuminating star has a complex line structure, such as molecular bands in M-dwarf spectra. In those cases, it is desirable to model the observations using a coupled stellar–planetary radiative transfer model calculated at high spectral resolving power, followed by convolution to the observed resolution. Not consistently accounting for overlap of stellar M-dwarf and planetary lines at high spectral resolution can bias the modeled amplitude of the exoplanetary transmission spectrum, producing modeled absorption that is too strong. We illustrate this bias using the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1b, as observed using Hubble Space Telescope /WFC3. The bias in this case is about 250 ppm, 12% of the modeled transit absorption. Transit spectroscopy using JWST will have access to longer wavelengths where the water bands are intrinsically stronger, and the observed signal-to-noise ratios will be higher than currently possible. We therefore expect that this resolution-linked bias will be especially important for future JWST observations of TESS-discovered super-Earths and mini-Neptunes transiting M-dwarfs.

  14. Spectral Resolution-linked Bias in Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deming, Drake; Sheppard, Kyle

    2017-01-01

    We re-visit the principles of transmission spectroscopy for transiting extrasolar planets, focusing on the overlap between the planetary spectrum and the illuminating stellar spectrum. Virtually all current models of exoplanetary transmission spectra utilize an approximation that is inaccurate when the spectrum of the illuminating star has a complex line structure, such as molecular bands in M-dwarf spectra. In those cases, it is desirable to model the observations using a coupled stellar–planetary radiative transfer model calculated at high spectral resolving power, followed by convolution to the observed resolution. Not consistently accounting for overlap of stellar M-dwarf and planetary lines at high spectral resolution can bias the modeled amplitude of the exoplanetary transmission spectrum, producing modeled absorption that is too strong. We illustrate this bias using the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1b, as observed using Hubble Space Telescope /WFC3. The bias in this case is about 250 ppm, 12% of the modeled transit absorption. Transit spectroscopy using JWST will have access to longer wavelengths where the water bands are intrinsically stronger, and the observed signal-to-noise ratios will be higher than currently possible. We therefore expect that this resolution-linked bias will be especially important for future JWST observations of TESS-discovered super-Earths and mini-Neptunes transiting M-dwarfs.

  15. Electrodynamics on extrasolar giant planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koskinen, T. T.; Yelle, R. V. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Lavvas, P. [Groupe de Spectroscopie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique UMR CNRS 7331, Université Reims Champagne-Ardenne, F-51687 Reims (France); Cho, J. Y-K., E-mail: tommi@lpl.arizona.edu [Astronomy Unit, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom)

    2014-11-20

    Strong ionization on close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) suggests that their atmospheres may be affected by ion drag and resistive heating arising from wind-driven electrodynamics. Recent models of ion drag on these planets, however, are based on thermal ionization only and do not include the upper atmosphere above the 1 mbar level. These models are also based on simplified equations of resistive magnetohydrodynamics that are not always valid in extrasolar planet atmospheres. We show that photoionization dominates over thermal ionization over much of the dayside atmosphere above the 100 mbar level, creating an upper ionosphere dominated by ionization of H and He and a lower ionosphere dominated by ionization of metals such as Na, K, and Mg. The resulting dayside electron densities on close-in exoplanets are higher than those encountered in any planetary ionosphere of the solar system, and the conductivities are comparable to the chromosphere of the Sun. Based on these results and assumed magnetic fields, we constrain the conductivity regimes on close-in EGPs and use a generalized Ohm's law to study the basic effects of electrodynamics in their atmospheres. We find that ion drag is important above the 10 mbar level where it can also significantly alter the energy balance through resistive heating. Due to frequent collisions of the electrons and ions with the neutral atmosphere, however, ion drag is largely negligible in the lower atmosphere below the 10 mbar level for a reasonable range of planetary magnetic moments. We find that the atmospheric conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude in the night side of tidally locked planets, leading to a potentially interesting large-scale dichotomy in electrodynamics between the day and night sides. A combined approach that relies on UV observations of the upper atmosphere, phase curve and Doppler measurements of global dynamics, and visual transit observations to probe the alkali metals can potentially

  16. Extrasolar planets searches today and tomorrow

    CERN Multimedia

    2000-01-01

    So far the searches for extrasolar planets have found 40 planetary companions orbiting around nearby stars. In December 1999 a transit has been observed for one of them, providing the first independent confirmation of the reality of close-in planets as well as a measurement of its density. The techniques used to detect planets are limited and the detection threshold is biased but a first picture of the planet diversity and distribution emerges. Results of the search for extra-solar planets and their impacts on planetary formation will be reviewed. Future instruments are foreseen to detect Earth-like planets and possible signatures of organic activity. An overview of these future projects will be presented and more particularly the Darwin-IRSI mission studied by ESA for Horizon 2015.

  17. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Nuno C; Benz, Willy; Mayor, Michel

    2005-10-14

    Since 1995, more than 150 extrasolar planets have been discovered, most of them in orbits quite different from those of the giant planets in our own solar system. The number of discovered extrasolar planets demonstrates that planetary systems are common but also that they may possess a large variety of properties. As the number of detections grows, statistical studies of the properties of exoplanets and their host stars can be conducted to unravel some of the key physical and chemical processes leading to the formation of planetary systems.

  18. Extrasolar planets formation, detection and dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Dvorak, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

    This latest, up-to-date resource for research on extrasolar planets covers formation, dynamics, atmospheres and detection. After a look at the formation of giant planets, the book goes on to discuss the formation and dynamics of planets in resonances, planets in double stars, atmospheres and habitable zones, detection via spectra and transits, and the history and prospects of ESPs as well as satellite projects.Edited by a renowned expert in solar system dynamics with chapters written by the leading experts in the method described -- from the US and Europe -- this is an ideal textbook for g

  19. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

    Observational surveys for extrasolar planets probe the diverse outcomes of planet formation and evolution. These surveys measure the frequency of planets with different masses, sizes, orbital characteristics, and host star properties. Small planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune substantially outnumber Jupiter-sized planets. The survey measurements support the core accretion model, in which planets form by the accumulation of solids and then gas in protoplanetary disks. The diversity of exoplanetary characteristics demonstrates that most of the gross features of the solar system are one outcome in a continuum of possibilities. The most common class of planetary system detectable today consists of one or more planets approximately one to three times Earth's size orbiting within a fraction of the Earth-Sun distance.

  20. The Radiometric Bode's law and Extrasolar Planets

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lazio, T. J; Farrell, W. M; Dietrick, Jill; Greenlees, Elizabeth; Hogan, Emily; Jones, Christopher; Hennig, L. A

    2004-01-01

    We predict the radio flux densities of the extrasolar planets in the current census, making use of an empirical relation the radiometric Bode's law determined from the five "magnetic" planets in the solar system...

  1. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koskinen, Tommi T; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J; Yelle, Roger V

    2014-04-28

    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres.

  2. Characterization of extra-solar planets and their atmospheres (Spectroscopy of transits and atmospheric escape)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bourrier, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Hot Jupiters are exo-planets so close to their star that their atmosphere can lose gas because of hydrodynamic escape. Transiting gaseous giants are an excellent way to understand this mechanism, but it is necessary to study other types of planets to determine its impact on the exo-planetary population. This thesis aims at using transit spectroscopy to observe the atmosphere of several exo-planets, to study their properties and to contribute to the characterization of hydrodynamic escape. UV lines observed with the Hubble telescope are analyzed with the numerical model of upper atmospheres we developed. Using the Ly-α line we identify energetic and dynamical interactions between the atmospheres of the hot Jupiters HD209458b and HD189733b and their stars. We study the dependence of the escape on the environment of a planet and on its physical properties, through the observation of a super-Earth and a warm Jupiter in the 55 Cnc system. Using observations of HD209458b, we show that magnesium lines are a window on the region of formation of hydrodynamic escape. We study the potential of transit spectroscopy in the near-UV to detect new cases of atmospheric escape. This mechanism is fostered by the proximity of a planet to its star, which makes it even more important to understand the formation and migration processes that can be traced in the alignment of a planetary system. Using measures from the spectrographs HARPS-N and SOPHIE we study the alignments of 55 Cnc e and the Kepler candidate KOI 12.01, whose planetary nature we also seek to validate. (author)

  3. Photometric Detection of Extra-Solar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatzes, Artie P.; Cochran, William D.

    2004-01-01

    This NASA Origins Program grant supported the TEMPEST Texas McDonald Photometric Extrasolar Search for Transits) program at McDonald Observatory, which searches for transits of extrasolar planets across the disks of their parent stars. The basic approach is to use a wide-field ground-based telescope (in our case the McDonald Observatory 0.76m telescope and it s Prime Focus Corrector) to search for transits of short period (1-15 day orbits) of close-in hot-Jupiter planets in orbit around a large sample of field stars. The next task is to search these data streams for possible transit events. We collected our first set of test data for this program using the 0.76 m PFC in the summer of 1998. From those data, we developed the optimal observing procedures, including tailoring the stellar density, exposure times, and filters to best-suit the instrument and project. In the summer of 1999, we obtained the first partial season of data on a dedicated field in the constellation Cygnus. These data were used to develop and refine the reduction and analysis procedures to produce high-precision photometry and search for transits in the resulting light curves. The TeMPEST project subsequently obtained three full seasons of data on six different fields using the McDonald Observatory 0.76m PFC.

  4. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake; Seager, Sara; Richardson, L Jeremy; Harrington, Joseph

    2005-04-07

    A class of extrasolar giant planets--the so-called 'hot Jupiters' (ref. 1)--orbit within 0.05 au of their primary stars (1 au is the Sun-Earth distance). These planets should be hot and so emit detectable infrared radiation. The planet HD 209458b (refs 3, 4) is an ideal candidate for the detection and characterization of this infrared light because it is eclipsed by the star. This planet has an anomalously large radius (1.35 times that of Jupiter), which may be the result of ongoing tidal dissipation, but this explanation requires a non-zero orbital eccentricity (approximately 0.03; refs 6, 7), maintained by interaction with a hypothetical second planet. Here we report detection of infrared (24 microm) radiation from HD 209458b, by observing the decrement in flux during secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the star. The planet's 24-microm flux is 55 +/- 10 microJy (1sigma), with a brightness temperature of 1,130 +/- 150 K, confirming the predicted heating by stellar irradiation. The secondary eclipse occurs at the midpoint between transits of the planet in front of the star (to within +/- 7 min, 1sigma), which means that a dynamically significant orbital eccentricity is unlikely.

  5. Statistical Analysis of Hubble/WFC3 Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Guangwei; Deming, Drake; Knutson, Heather; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Mandell, Avi; Fraine, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    Transmission spectroscopy provides a window to study exoplanetary atmospheres, but that window is fogged by clouds and hazes. Clouds and haze introduce a degeneracy between the strength of gaseous absorption features and planetary physical parameters such as abundances. One way to break that degeneracy is via statistical studies. We collect all published HST/WFC3 transit spectra for 1.1-1.65 micron water vapor absorption, and perform a statistical study on potential correlations between the water absorption feature and planetary parameters. We fit the observed spectra with a template calculated for each planet using the Exo-Transmit code. We express the magnitude of the water absorption in scale heights, thereby removing the known dependence on temperature, surface gravity, and mean molecular weight. We find that the absorption in scale heights has a positive baseline correlation with planetary equilibrium temperature; our hypothesis is that decreasing cloud condensation with increasing temperature is responsible for this baseline slope. However, the observed sample is also intrinsically degenerate in the sense that equilibrium temperature correlates with planetary mass. We compile the distribution of absorption in scale heights, and we find that this distribution is closer to log-normal than Gaussian. However, we also find that the distribution of equilibrium temperatures for the observed planets is similarly log-normal. This indicates that the absorption values are affected by observational bias, whereby observers have not yet targeted a sufficient sample of the hottest planets.

  6. Statistical Analysis of Hubble /WFC3 Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Guangwei; Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Knutson, Heather [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom); Mandell, Avi [Planetary Systems Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Fraine, Jonathan, E-mail: gfu@astro.umd.edu [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2017-10-01

    Transmission spectroscopy provides a window to study exoplanetary atmospheres, but that window is fogged by clouds and hazes. Clouds and haze introduce a degeneracy between the strength of gaseous absorption features and planetary physical parameters such as abundances. One way to break that degeneracy is via statistical studies. We collect all published HST /WFC3 transit spectra for 1.1–1.65 μ m water vapor absorption and perform a statistical study on potential correlations between the water absorption feature and planetary parameters. We fit the observed spectra with a template calculated for each planet using the Exo-transmit code. We express the magnitude of the water absorption in scale heights, thereby removing the known dependence on temperature, surface gravity, and mean molecular weight. We find that the absorption in scale heights has a positive baseline correlation with planetary equilibrium temperature; our hypothesis is that decreasing cloud condensation with increasing temperature is responsible for this baseline slope. However, the observed sample is also intrinsically degenerate in the sense that equilibrium temperature correlates with planetary mass. We compile the distribution of absorption in scale heights, and we find that this distribution is closer to log-normal than Gaussian. However, we also find that the distribution of equilibrium temperatures for the observed planets is similarly log-normal. This indicates that the absorption values are affected by observational bias, whereby observers have not yet targeted a sufficient sample of the hottest planets.

  7. Statistical Analysis of Hubble /WFC3 Transit Spectroscopy of Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fu, Guangwei; Deming, Drake; Knutson, Heather; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Mandell, Avi; Fraine, Jonathan

    2017-01-01

    Transmission spectroscopy provides a window to study exoplanetary atmospheres, but that window is fogged by clouds and hazes. Clouds and haze introduce a degeneracy between the strength of gaseous absorption features and planetary physical parameters such as abundances. One way to break that degeneracy is via statistical studies. We collect all published HST /WFC3 transit spectra for 1.1–1.65 μ m water vapor absorption and perform a statistical study on potential correlations between the water absorption feature and planetary parameters. We fit the observed spectra with a template calculated for each planet using the Exo-transmit code. We express the magnitude of the water absorption in scale heights, thereby removing the known dependence on temperature, surface gravity, and mean molecular weight. We find that the absorption in scale heights has a positive baseline correlation with planetary equilibrium temperature; our hypothesis is that decreasing cloud condensation with increasing temperature is responsible for this baseline slope. However, the observed sample is also intrinsically degenerate in the sense that equilibrium temperature correlates with planetary mass. We compile the distribution of absorption in scale heights, and we find that this distribution is closer to log-normal than Gaussian. However, we also find that the distribution of equilibrium temperatures for the observed planets is similarly log-normal. This indicates that the absorption values are affected by observational bias, whereby observers have not yet targeted a sufficient sample of the hottest planets.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCullough, P. R.; Crouzet, N.; Deming, D.; Madhusudhan, N.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-08-10

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

  10. SPITZER IRAC SECONDARY ECLIPSE PHOTOMETRY OF THE TRANSITING EXTRASOLAR PLANET HAT-P-1b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Todorov, Kamen; Deming, Drake; Harrington, Jospeph; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Bowman, William C.; Nymeyer, Sarah; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Bakos, Gaspar A.

    2010-01-01

    We report Spitzer/IRAC photometry of the transiting giant exoplanet HAT-P-1b during its secondary eclipse. This planet lies near the postulated boundary between the pM and pL-class of hot Jupiters, and is important as a test of models for temperature inversions in hot Jupiter atmospheres. We derive eclipse depths for HAT-P-1b, in units of the stellar flux, that are: 0.080% ± 0.008% [3.6 μm], 0.135% ± 0.022% [4.5 μm], 0.203% ± 0.031% [5.8 μm], and 0.238% ± 0.040% [8.0 μm]. These values are best fit using an atmosphere with a modest temperature inversion, intermediate between the archetype inverted atmosphere (HD 209458b) and a model without an inversion. The observations also suggest that this planet is radiating a large fraction of the available stellar irradiance on its dayside, with little available for redistribution by circulation. This planet has sometimes been speculated to be inflated by tidal dissipation, based on its large radius in discovery observations, and on a non-zero orbital eccentricity allowed by the radial velocity data. The timing of the secondary eclipse is very sensitive to orbital eccentricity, and we find that the central phase of the eclipse is 0.4999 ± 0.0005. The difference between the expected and observed phase indicates that the orbit is close to circular, with a 3σ limit of |e cos ω| < 0.002.

  11. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latham, D W

    2001-12-01

    Astronomers are now discovering giant planets orbiting other stars like the sun by the dozens. But none of these appears to be a small rocky planet like the earth, and thus these planets are unlikely to be capable of supporting life as we know it. The recent discovery of a system of three planets is especially significant because it supports the speculation that planetary systems, as opposed to single orbiting planets, may be common. Our ability to detect extrasolar planets will continue to improve, and space missions now in development should be able to detect earth-like planets.

  12. Atmospheric dynamics of tidally synchronized extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, James Y-K

    2008-12-13

    Tidally synchronized planets present a new opportunity for enriching our understanding of atmospheric dynamics on planets. Subject to an unusual forcing arrangement (steady irradiation on the same side of the planet throughout its orbit), the dynamics on these planets may be unlike that on any of the Solar System planets. Characterizing the flow pattern and temperature distribution on the extrasolar planets is necessary for reliable interpretation of data currently being collected, as well as for guiding future observations. In this paper, several fundamental concepts from atmospheric dynamics, likely to be central for characterization, are discussed. Theoretical issues that need to be addressed in the near future are also highlighted.

  13. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake

    2005-01-01

    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  14. [Extrasolar terrestrial planets and possibility of extraterrestrial life].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ida, Shigeru

    2003-12-01

    Recent development of research on extrasolar planets are reviewed. About 120 extrasolar Jupiter-mass planets have been discovered through the observation of Doppler shift in the light of their host stars that is caused by acceleration due to planet orbital motions. Although the extrasolar planets so far observed may be limited to gas giant planets and their orbits differ from those of giant planets in our Solar system (Jupiter and Saturn), the theoretically predicted probability of existence of extrasolar terrestrial planets that can have liquid water ocean on their surface is comparable to that of detectable gas giant planets. Based on the number of extrasolar gas giants detected so far, about 100 life-sustainable planets may exist within a range of 200 light years. Indirect observation of extrasolar terrestrial planets would be done with space telescopes within several years and direct one may be done within 20 years. The latter can detect biomarkers on these planets as well.

  15. Polarization Spectra of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, D.M.

    2004-01-01

    We present simulated spectra of the flux and degree of polarization of starlight that is reflected by extrasolar giant planets (EGPs). In particular the polarization depends strongly on the structure of the planetary atmosphere, and appears to be a valuable tool for the characterization of EGPs.

  16. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet

    OpenAIRE

    Deming, Drake; Seager, Sara; Richardson, L. Jeremy; Harrington, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    A class of extrasolar giant planets - the so-called `hot Jupiters' - orbit within 0.05 AU of their primary stars. These planets should be hot and so emit detectable infrared radiation. The planet HD 209458b is an ideal candidate for the detection and characterization of this infrared light because it is eclipsed by the star. This planet has an anomalously large radius (1.35 times that of Jupiter), which may be the result of ongoing tidal dissipation, but this explanation requires a non-zero o...

  17. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transiting extrasolar planet WASP-33b (Kovacs+, 2013)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, G.; Kovacs, T.; Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. A.; Bieryla, A.; Latham, D.; Noyes, R. W.; Regaly, Zs.; Esquerdo, G. A.

    2013-03-01

    Light curves (LCs) used in the time series analysis of WASP-33 are presented. All LCs are on magnitude scale. The material constitutes of: (1) the TFA-filtered/reconstructed (see Kovacs, Bakos & Noyes, 2005MNRAS.356..557K) HATNet LC in approximate Ic (Cousins) color; (2) LCs given in Table 1: except for the FLWO data (lc02) all LCs are corrected for linear trends, shifted to zero magnitude at the out-of-transit level. Time is in Heliocentric Julian Date, colors are given in Table 1. (3) Grand-averaged LC, as shown in Fig. 10 of the paper. (4 data files).

  18. The Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Rice

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We have now confirmed the existence of > 1800 planets orbiting stars other thanthe Sun; known as extrasolar planets or exoplanets. The different methods for detectingsuch planets are sensitive to different regions of parameter space, and so, we are discoveringa wide diversity of exoplanets and exoplanetary systems. Characterizing such planets isdifficult, but we are starting to be able to determine something of their internal compositionand are beginning to be able to probe their atmospheres, the first step towards the detectionof bio-signatures and, hence, determining if a planet could be habitable or not. Here, Iwill review how we detect exoplanets, how we characterize exoplanetary systems and theexoplanets themselves, where we stand with respect to potentially habitable planets and howwe are progressing towards being able to actually determine if a planet could host life or not.

  19. Status of the Calan-Hertfordshire Extrasolar Planet Search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordán Andres

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In these proceedings we give a status update of the Calan-Hertfordshire Extrasolar Planet Search, an international collaboration led from Chile that aims to discover more planets around super metal-rich and Sun-like stars, and then follow these up with precision photometry to hunt for new bright transit planets. We highlight some results from this program, including exoplanet and brown dwarf discoveries, and a possible correlation between metallicity and planetary minimum mass at the lowest planetary masses detectable. Finally we discuss the short-term and long-term future pathways this program can take.

  20. Reflected Light Curves of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D.; Matthews, J.; Kuschnig, R.; Seager, S.

    The planned launches of ultra-precise photometric satellites such as MOST, COROT and MONS should provide the first opportunity to study the reflected light curves from extrasolar planets. To predict the capabilities of these missions, we have constructed a series of models of such light curves, improving upon the Monte Carlo simulations by Seager et al. (2000). These models include more realistic features such limb darkening of the star and broad band photometry. For specific models, the resulting planet light curves exhibit unique behavior with the variation of radius, inclination and presence or absence of clouds.

  1. IONIZATION OF EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koskinen, Tommi T.; Cho, James Y-K.; Achilleos, Nicholas; Aylward, Alan D.

    2010-01-01

    Many extrasolar planets orbit close in and are subject to intense ionizing radiation from their host stars. Therefore, we expect them to have strong, and extended, ionospheres. Ionospheres are important because they modulate escape in the upper atmosphere and can modify circulation, as well as leave their signatures, in the lower atmosphere. In this paper, we evaluate the vertical location Z I and extent D I of the EUV ionization peak layer. We find that Z I ∼1-10 nbar-for a wide range of orbital distances (a = 0.047-1 AU) from the host star-and D I /H p ∼>15, where H p is the pressure scale height. At Z I , the plasma frequency is ∼80-450 MHz, depending on a. We also study global ion transport, and its dependence on a, using a three-dimensional thermosphere-ionosphere model. On tidally synchronized planets with weak intrinsic magnetic fields, our model shows only a small, but discernible, difference in electron density from the dayside to the nightside (∼9 x 10 13 m -3 to ∼2 x 10 12 m -3 , respectively) at Z I . On asynchronous planets, the distribution is essentially uniform. These results have consequences for hydrodynamic modeling of the atmospheres of close-in extrasolar giant planets.

  2. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macintosh, B

    2005-01-01

    One of the most exciting scientific discoveries in the last decade of the twentieth century was the first detection of planets orbiting a star other than our own. By now more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered indirectly, by observing the gravitational effects of the planet on the radial velocity of its parent star. This technique has fundamental limitations: it is most sensitive to planets close to their star, and it determines only a planet's orbital period and a lower limit on the planet's mass. As a result, all the planetary systems found so far are very different from our own--they have giant Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their star, where the terrestrial planets are found in our solar system. Such systems have overturned the conventional paradigm of planet formation, but have no room in them for habitable Earth-like planets. A powerful complement to radial velocity detections of extrasolar planets will be direct imaging--seeing photons from the planet itself. Such a detection would allow photometric measurements to determine the temperature and radius of a planet. Also, direct detection is most sensitive to planets in wide orbits, and hence more capable of seeing solar systems resembling our own, since a giant planet in a wide orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet closer to the star. Direct detection, however, is extremely challenging. Jupiter is roughly a billion times fainter than our sun. Two techniques allowed us to overcome this formidable contrast and attempt to see giant planets directly. The first is adaptive optics (AO) which allows giant earth-based telescopes, such as the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope, to partially overcome the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. The second is looking for young planets: by searching in the infrared for companions to young stars, we can see thermal emission from planets that are still warm with the heat of their formation. Together with a UCLA team that leads the

  3. Extrasolar Planets Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Cassen, Patrick; Quirrenbach, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Research on extrasolar planets is one of the most exciting fields of activity in astrophysics. In a decade only, a huge step forward has been made from the early speculations on the existence of planets orbiting "other stars" to the first discoveries and to the characterization of extrasolar planets. This breakthrough is the result of a growing interest of a large community of researchers as well as the development of a wide range of new observational techniques and facilities. Based on their lectures given at the 31st Saas-Fee Advanced Course, Andreas Quirrenbach, Tristan Guillot and Pat Cassen have written up up-to-date comprehensive lecture notes on the "Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets", "Physics of Substellar Objects Interiors, Atmospheres, Evolution" and "Protostellar Disks and Planet Formation". This book will serve graduate students, lecturers and scientists entering the field of extrasolar planets as detailed and comprehensive introduction.

  4. Extrasolar planets and their host stars

    CERN Document Server

    von Braun, Kaspar

    2017-01-01

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

  5. From Extrasolar Planets to Exo-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Debra

    2018-06-01

    The ancient Greeks debated whether the Earth was unique, or innumerable worlds existed around other Suns. Twenty five years ago, technology and human ingenuity enabled the discovery of the first extrasolar planet candidates. The architectures of these first systems, with gas giant planets in star-skirting orbits, were unexpected and again raised an echo of that ancient question: is the Earth typical or unique? We are interested in this seemingly anthropocentric question because with all of our searching and discoveries, Earth is the only place where life has been found. It is the question of whether life exists elsewhere that energizes the search for exoplanets. The trajectory of this field has been stunning. After a steady stream of detections with the radial velocity method, a burst of discovery was made possible with the NASA Kepler mission. While thousands of smaller planets have now been found, true Earth analogs have eluded robust detection. However, we are sharpening the knives of our technology and without a doubt we now stand at the threshold of detecting hundreds of Earth analogs. Using Gaia, TESS, WFIRST, JWST and new ground-based spectrographs, we will learn the names and addresses of the worlds that orbit nearby stars and we will be ready to probe their atmospheres. We will finally resolve the ancient question of whether life is unique or common.

  6. ANISOTROPIC WINDS FROM CLOSE-IN EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stone, James M.; Proga, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    We present two-dimensional hydrodynamic models of thermally driven winds from highly irradiated, close-in extrasolar planets. We adopt a very simple treatment of the radiative heating processes at the base of the wind, and instead focus on the differences between the properties of outflows in multidimensions in comparison to spherically symmetric models computed with the same methods. For hot (T ∼> 2 x 10 4 K) or highly ionized gas, we find that strong (supersonic) polar flows are formed above the planet surface which produce weak shocks and outflow on the night side. In comparison to a spherically symmetric wind with the same parameters, the sonic surface on the day side is much closer to the planet surface in multidimensions, and the total mass-loss rate is reduced by almost a factor of 4. We also compute the steady-state structure of interacting planetary and stellar winds. Both winds end in a termination shock, with a parabolic contact discontinuity which is draped over the planet separating the two shocked winds. The planetary wind termination shock and the sonic surface in the wind are well separated, so that the mass-loss rate from the planet is essentially unaffected. However, the confinement of the planetary wind to the small volume bounded by the contact discontinuity greatly enhances the column density close to the planet, which might be important for the interpretation of observations of absorption lines formed by gas surrounding transiting planets.

  7. Predicting the Atmospheric Composition of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, A. G.; Moses, J. I.; Friedson, A. J.; Fegley, B., Jr.; Marley, M. S.; Lodders, K.

    2004-01-01

    To date, approximately 120 planet-sized objects have been discovered around other stars, mostly through the radial-velocity technique. This technique can provide information about a planet s minimum mass and its orbital period and distance; however, few other planetary data can be obtained at this point in time unless we are fortunate enough to find an extrasolar giant planet that transits its parent star (i.e., the orbit is edge-on as seen from Earth). In that situation, many physical properties of the planet and its parent star can be determined, including some compositional information. Our prospects of directly obtaining spectra from extrasolar planets may improve in the near future, through missions like NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder. Most of the extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) discovered so far have masses equal to or greater than Jupiter's mass, and roughly 16% have orbital radii less than 0.1 AU - extremely close to the parent star by our own Solar-System standards (note that Mercury is located at a mean distance of 0.39 AU and Jupiter at 5.2 AU from the Sun). Although all EGPs are expected to have hydrogen-dominated atmospheres similar to Jupiter, the orbital distance can strongly affect the planet's temperature, physical, chemical, and spectral properties, and the abundance of minor, detectable atmospheric constituents. Thermochemical equilibrium models can provide good zero-order predictions for the atmospheric composition of EGPs. However, both the composition and spectral properties will depend in large part on disequilibrium processes like photochemistry, chemical kinetics, atmospheric transport, and haze formation. We have developed a photochemical kinetics, radiative transfer, and 1-D vertical transport model to study the atmospheric composition of EGPs. The chemical reaction list contains H-, C-, O-, and N-bearing species and is designed to be valid for atmospheric temperatures ranging from 100-3000 K and pressures up to 50 bar. Here we examine

  8. Possibilities for the detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knacke, Roger F

    2003-01-01

    We consider possibilities for the remote detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets. The Darwin/Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) telescope concepts for observations of terrestrial planets focus on indirect searches for life through the detection of atmospheric gases related to life processes. Direct detection of extraterrestrial life may also be possible through well-designed searches for microbial life forms. Satellites in Earth orbit routinely monitor colonies of terrestrial algae in oceans and lakes by analysis of reflected ocean light in the visible region of the spectrum. These remote sensing techniques suggest strategies for extrasolar searches for signatures of chlorophylls and related photosynthetic compounds associated with life. However, identification of such life-related compounds on extrasolar planets would require observations through strong, interfering absorptions and scattering radiances from the remote atmospheres and landmasses. Techniques for removal of interfering radiances have been extensively developed for remote sensing from Earth orbit. Comparable techniques would have to be developed for extrasolar planet observations also, but doing so would be challenging for a remote planet. Darwin/TPF coronagraph concepts operating in the visible seem to be best suited for searches for extrasolar microbial life forms with instruments that can be projected for the 2010-2020 decades, although resolution and signal-to-noise ratio constraints severely limit detection possibilities on terrestrial-type planets. The generation of telescopes with large apertures and extremely high spatial resolutions that will follow Darwin/TPF could offer striking possibilities for the direct detection of extrasolar microbial life.

  9. Detection and characterization of extrasolar planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferlet R.

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The main methods to detect planets orbiting stars other than our Sun are briefly described, together with their present results. Some characteristics of the known systems are emphasized. Particularly interesting are the transiting exoplanets which allow to reveal their atmospheres and ultimately identify biosignatures.

  10. THE COMPOSITIONAL DIVERSITY OF EXTRASOLAR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS. II. MIGRATION SIMULATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O'Brien, David P.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2012-01-01

    Prior work has found that a variety of terrestrial planetary compositions are expected to occur within known extrasolar planetary systems. However, such studies ignored the effects of giant planet migration, which is thought to be very common in extrasolar systems. Here we present calculations of the compositions of terrestrial planets that formed in dynamical simulations incorporating varying degrees of giant planet migration. We used chemical equilibrium models of the solid material present in the disks of five known planetary host stars: the Sun, GJ 777, HD4203, HD19994, and HD213240. Giant planet migration has a strong effect on the compositions of simulated terrestrial planets as the migration results in large-scale mixing between terrestrial planet building blocks that condensed at a range of temperatures. This mixing acts to (1) increase the typical abundance of Mg-rich silicates in the terrestrial planets' feeding zones and thus increase the frequency of planets with Earth-like compositions compared with simulations with static giant planet orbits, and (2) drastically increase the efficiency of the delivery of hydrous phases (water and serpentine) to terrestrial planets and thus produce waterworlds and/or wet Earths. Our results demonstrate that although a wide variety of terrestrial planet compositions can still be produced, planets with Earth-like compositions should be common within extrasolar planetary systems.

  11. The Calan-Hertfordshire extrasolar planet search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinfield D.J.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The detailed study of the exoplanetary systems HD189733 and HD209458 has given rise to a wealth of exciting information on the physics of exoplanetary atmospheres. To further our understanding of the make-up and processes within these atmospheres we require a larger sample of bright transiting planets. We have began a project to detect more bright transiting planets in the southern hemisphere by utilising precision radial-velocity measurements. We have observed a constrained sample of bright, inactive and metal-rich stars using the HARPS instrument and here we present the current status of this project, along with our first discoveries which include a brown dwarf/extreme-Jovian exoplanet found in the brown dwarf desert region around the star HD191760 and improved orbits for three other exoplanetary systems HD48265, HD143361 and HD154672. Finally, we briefly discuss the future of this project and the current prospects we have for discovering more bright transiting planets.

  12. ENHANCED INTERFEROMETRIC IDENTIFICATION OF SPECTRA IN HABITABLE EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwartz, Eyal; Lipson, Stephen G.; Ribak, Erez N.

    2012-01-01

    An Earth-like extrasolar planet emits light that is many orders of magnitude fainter than that of the parent star. We propose a method of identifying bio-signature spectral lines in light of known extrasolar planets based on Fourier spectroscopy in the infrared, using an off-center part of a Fourier interferogram only. This results in superior sensitivity to narrower molecular-type spectral bands, which are expected in the planet spectrum but are absent in the parent star. We support this idea by numerical simulations that include photon and thermal noise, and show it to be feasible at a luminosity ratio of 10 –6 for a Sun-like parent star in the infrared. We also carried out a laboratory experiment to illustrate the method. The results suggest that this method should be applicable to real planet searches.

  13. Direct Imaging Search for Extrasolar Planets in the Pleiades

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yamamoto, K.; et al., [Unknown; Thalmann, C.

    2013-01-01

    We carried out an imaging survey for extrasolar planets around stars in the Pleiades (125 Myr, 135 pc) in the H and KS bands using HiCIAO combined with adaptive optics, AO188, on the Subaru telescope. We found 13 companion candidates fainter than 14.5 mag in the H band around 9 stars. Five of these

  14. Orbital parameters of extrasolar planets derived from polarimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fluri, D. M.; Berdyugina, S. V.

    2010-03-01

    Context. Polarimetry of extrasolar planets becomes a new tool for their investigation, which requires the development of diagnostic techniques and parameter case studies. Aims: Our goal is to develop a theoretical model which can be applied to interpret polarimetric observations of extrasolar planets. Here we present a theoretical parameter study that shows the influence of the various involved parameters on the polarization curves. Furthermore, we investigate the robustness of the fitting procedure. We focus on the diagnostics of orbital parameters and the estimation of the scattering radius of the planet. Methods: We employ the physics of Rayleigh scattering to obtain polarization curves of an unresolved extrasolar planet. Calculations are made for two cases: (i) assuming an angular distribution for the intensity of the scattered light as from a Lambert sphere and for polarization as from a Rayleigh-type scatterer; and (ii) assuming that both the intensity and polarization of the scattered light are distributed according to the Rayleigh law. We show that the difference between these two cases is negligible for the shapes of the polarization curves. In addition, we take the size of the host star into account, which is relevant for hot Jupiters orbiting giant stars. Results: We discuss the influence of the inclination of the planetary orbit, the position angle of the ascending node, and the eccentricity on the linearly polarized light curves both in Stokes Q/I and U/I. We also analyze errors that arise from the assumption of a point-like star in numerical modeling of polarization as compared to consistent calculations accounting for the finite size of the host star. We find that errors due to the point-like star approximation are reduced with the size of the orbit, but still amount to about 5% for known hot Jupiters. Recovering orbital parameters from simulated data is shown to be very robust even for very noisy data because the polarization curves react

  15. Extrasolar planets as a probe of modified gravity

    OpenAIRE

    Vargas dos Santos, Marcelo; Mota, David F.

    2017-01-01

    We propose a new method to test modified gravity theories, taking advantage of the available data on extrasolar planets. We computed the deviations from the Kepler third law and use that to constrain gravity theories beyond General Relativity. We investigate gravity models which incorporate three screening mechanisms: the Chameleon, the Symmetron and the Vainshtein. We find that data from exoplanets orbits are very sensitive to the screening mechanisms putting strong constraints in the parame...

  16. Magnetic Fields of Extrasolar Planets: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, T. Joseph

    2018-06-01

    Ground-based observations showed that Jupiter's radio emission is linked to its planetary-scale magnetic field, and subsequent spacecraft observations have shown that most planets, and some moons, have or had a global magnetic field. Generated by internal dynamos, magnetic fields are one of the few remote sensing means of constraining the properties of planetary interiors. For the Earth, its magnetic field has been speculated to be partially responsible for its habitability, and knowledge of an extrasolar planet's magnetic field may be necessary to assess its habitability. The radio emission from Jupiter and other solar system planets is produced by an electron cyclotron maser, and detections of extrasolar planetary electron cyclotron masers will enable measurements of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields. Based on experience from the solar system, such observations will almost certainly require space-based observations, but they will also be guided by on-going and near-future ground-based observations.This work has benefited from the discussion and participants of the W. M. Keck Institute of Space Studies "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability" and content within a white paper submitted to the National Academy of Science Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  17. THERMAL TIDES IN FLUID EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arras, Phil; Socrates, Aristotle

    2010-01-01

    Asynchronous rotation and orbital eccentricity lead to time-dependent irradiation of the close-in gas giant exoplanets-the hot Jupiters. This time-dependent surface heating gives rise to fluid motions which propagate throughout the planet. We investigate the ability of this 'thermal tide' to produce a quadrupole moment which can couple to the stellar gravitational tidal force. While previous investigations discussed planets with solid surfaces, here we focus on entirely fluid planets in order to understand gas giants with small cores. The Coriolis force, thermal diffusion, and self-gravity of the perturbations are ignored for simplicity. First, we examine the response to thermal forcing through analytic solutions of the fluid equations which treat the forcing frequency as a small parameter. In the 'equilibrium tide' limit of zero frequency, fluid motion is present but does not induce a quadrupole moment. In the next approximation, finite frequency corrections to the equilibrium tide do lead to a nonzero quadrupole moment, the sign of which torques the planet away from synchronous spin. We then numerically solve the boundary value problem for the thermally forced, linear response of a planet with neutrally stratified interior and a stably stratified envelope. The numerical results find quadrupole moments in agreement with the analytic non-resonant result at a sufficiently long forcing period. Surprisingly, in the range of forcing periods of 1-30 days, the induced quadrupole moments can be far larger than the analytic result due to response of internal gravity waves which propagate in the radiative envelope. We discuss the relevance of our results for the spin, eccentricity, and thermal evolution of hot Jupiters.

  18. Detecting tree-like multicellular life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, Christopher E; Wolf, Adam

    2010-11-01

    Over the next two decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to find Earth-like planets and determine whether life exists on these planets. Previous studies have assessed the likelihood of detecting life through signs of biogenic gases in the atmosphere or a red edge. Biogenic gases and the red edge could be signs of either single-celled or multicellular life. In this study, we propose a technique with which to determine whether tree-like multicellular life exists on extrasolar planets. For multicellular photosynthetic organisms on Earth, competition for light and the need to transport water and nutrients has led to a tree-like body plan characterized by hierarchical branching networks. This design results in a distinct bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) that causes differing reflectance at different sun/view geometries. BRDF arises from the changing visibility of the shadows cast by objects, and the presence of tree-like structures is clearly distinguishable from flat ground with the same reflectance spectrum. We examined whether the BRDF could detect the existence of tree-like structures on an extrasolar planet by using changes in planetary albedo as a planet orbits its star. We used a semi-empirical BRDF model to simulate vegetation reflectance at different planetary phase angles and both simulated and real cloud cover to calculate disk and rotation-averaged planetary albedo for a vegetated and non-vegetated planet with abundant liquid water. We found that even if the entire planetary albedo were rendered to a single pixel, the rate of increase of albedo as a planet approaches full illumination would be comparatively greater on a vegetated planet than on a non-vegetated planet. Depending on how accurately planetary cloud cover can be resolved and the capabilities of the coronagraph to resolve exoplanets, this technique could theoretically detect tree-like multicellular life on exoplanets in 50 stellar systems.

  19. Views from EPOXI. Colors in Our Solar System as an Analog for Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, Carolyn A.; McFadden, L. A.; Robinson, T.; Livengood, T. A.; Hewagama, T.; Barry, R. K.; Deming, L. D.; Meadows, V.; Lisse, C. M.

    2010-01-01

    With extrasolar planet detection becoming more common place, the frontiers of extrasolar planet science have moved beyond detection to the observations required to determine planetary properties. Once the existing observational challenges have been overcome, the first visible-light studies of extrasolar Earth-sized planets will likely employ filter photometry or low-resolution. spectroscopy to observe disk-integrated radiation from the unresolved planet. While spectroscopy of these targets is highly desirable, and provides the most robust form of characterization. S/N considerations presently limit spectroscopic measurements of extrasolar worlds. Broadband filter photometry will thus serve as a first line of characterization. In this paper we use Extrasolar Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) filter photometry of the Earth. Moon and Mars model spectra. and previous photometric and spectroscopic observations of a range the solar system planets. Titan, and Moon to explore the limitations of using color as a baseline for understanding extrasolar planets

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-28

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

  1. Rapid heating of the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Gregory; Deming, Drake; Langton, Jonathan; Kasen, Daniel; Vogt, Steve; Butler, Paul; Rivera, Eugenio; Meschiari, Stefano

    2009-01-29

    Near-infrared observations of more than a dozen 'hot-Jupiter' extrasolar planets have now been reported. These planets display a wide diversity of properties, yet all are believed to have had their spin periods tidally spin-synchronized with their orbital periods, resulting in permanent star-facing hemispheres and surface flow patterns that are most likely in equilibrium. Planets in significantly eccentric orbits can enable direct measurements of global heating that are largely independent of the details of the hydrodynamic flow. Here we report 8-microm photometric observations of the planet HD 80606b during a 30-hour interval bracketing the periastron passage of its extremely eccentric 111.4-day orbit. As the planet received its strongest irradiation (828 times larger than the flux received at apastron) its maximum 8-microm brightness temperature increased from approximately 800 K to approximately 1,500 K over a six-hour period. We also detected a secondary eclipse for the planet, which implies an orbital inclination of i approximately 90 degrees , fixes the planetary mass at four times the mass of Jupiter, and constrains the planet's tidal luminosity. Our measurement of the global heating rate indicates that the radiative time constant at the planet's 8-microm photosphere is approximately 4.5 h, in comparison with 3-5 days in Earth's stratosphere.

  2. Extrasolar binary planets. I. Formation by tidal capture during planet-planet scattering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S.

    2014-01-01

    We have investigated (1) the formation of gravitationally bounded pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call 'binary planets') from capturing each other through planet-planet dynamical tide during their close encounters and (2) the subsequent long-term orbital evolution due to planet-planet and planet-star quasi-static tides. For the initial evolution in phase 1, we carried out N-body simulations of the systems consisting of three Jupiter-mass planets taking into account the dynamical tide. The formation rate of the binary planets is as much as 10% of the systems that undergo orbital crossing, and this fraction is almost independent of the initial stellarcentric semimajor axes of the planets, while ejection and merging rates sensitively depend on the semimajor axes. As a result of circularization by the planet-planet dynamical tide, typical binary separations are a few times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. After the orbital circularization, the evolution of the binary system is governed by long-term quasi-static tide. We analytically calculated the quasi-static tidal evolution in phase 2. The binary planets first enter the spin-orbit synchronous state by the planet-planet tide. The planet-star tide removes angular momentum of the binary motion, eventually resulting in a collision between the planets. However, we found that the binary planets survive the tidal decay for the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars (∼10 Gyr), if the binary planets are beyond ∼0.3 AU from the central stars. These results suggest that the binary planets can be detected by transit observations at ≳ 0.3 AU.

  3. Meteorologies of brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Curtis Steven

    2006-06-01

    This dissertation explores the consequences of atmospheric dynamics for observations of substellar mass objects (SMOs). Discussed first is the growth of cloud particles of various compositions in brown dwarfs of different surface gravities and effective temperatures. The structure of these objects is calculated with a one-dimensional radiative transfer model. To determine particle sizes, the timescales for microphysical growth processes, including nucleation, coagulation, and coalescence, are compared to the timescale for gravitational sedimentation. The model also allows for sustained uplifting of condensable vapor in convective regions. The results show that particle sizes vary greatly over the range of objects studied. In most cases, clouds on brown dwarfs do not dominate the opacity. Rather, they smooth the emergent spectrum and partially redistribute the radiative energy. The focus then shifts to extrasolar giant planets (EGPs). Results are presented from a three-dimensional model of atmospheric dynamics on the transiting Jupiter-like planet HD 209458b. As a close-in orbiter (known as a "roaster"), HD 209458b is super-heated on its dayside. Due to tidal locking of the interior, the dayside hemisphere faces the star in perpetuity, which leads to very different dynamics than is seen on Jupiter. The flow is characterized by an eastward supersonic jet ( u ~ 4 kms - 1 ) extending from the equator to the mid-latitudes. Temperature contrasts are ~500 K at the photosphere. At 220 mbar, winds blow the hottest regions downstream from the substellar point by ~60°, with direct implications for the infrared light curve. These simulations are extended to the study of carbon chemistry in HD 209458b's atmosphere by coupling the CO/CH 4 reaction kinetics to the dynamics. Disequilibrium results from slow reaction rates at low temperatures and pressures. Effective vertical quenching near the ~3 bar level leads to uniformly high concentrations of CO at the photosphere, even in

  4. The Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of extraterrestrial intelligence is the best example of multidisciplinary science. Here philosophy and religion, astronomy, radiophysics, spectrography, space flights and astronautics, geology and planetology, astroecology, chemistry and biology, history and archaeology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, diplomacy, UFOs and peculiar phenomena are involved. Among these many-sided studies, astronomers have probably displayed the most progress by discovering thousands of extrasolar planets. At present, a number of search programs are being accomplished, including those with space telescopes, and planets in so-called "habitable zone" are considered as most important ones, for which various orbital and physical parameters are being calculated. As the discovery of extraterrestrial life is the final goal, a special attention is given to Earth-like planets, for the discovery of which most sensitive technical means are necessary.

  5. A Model of the Temporal Variability of Optical Light from Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Ford, Eric B.; Seager, Sara; Turner, Edwin L.

    2002-01-01

    The light scattered by an extrasolar Earth-like planet's surface and atmosphere will vary in intensity and color as the planet rotates; the resulting light curve will contain information about the planet's properties. Since most of the light comes from a small fraction of the planet's surface, the temporal flux variability can be quite significant, $\\sim$ 10-100%. In addition, for cloudless Earth-like extrasolar planet models, qualitative changes to the surface (such as ocean fraction, ice co...

  6. CALIBRATION OF EQUILIBRIUM TIDE THEORY FOR EXTRASOLAR PLANET SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, Brad M. S.

    2010-01-01

    We provide an 'effective theory' of tidal dissipation in extrasolar planet systems by empirically calibrating a model for the equilibrium tide. The model is valid to high order in eccentricity and parameterized by two constants of bulk dissipation-one for dissipation in the planet and one for dissipation in the host star. We are able to consistently describe the distribution of extrasolar planetary systems in terms of period, eccentricity, and mass (with a lower limit of a Saturn mass) with this simple model. Our model is consistent with the survival of short-period exoplanet systems, but not with the circularization period of equal mass stellar binaries, suggesting that the latter systems experience a higher level of dissipation than exoplanet host stars. Our model is also not consistent with the explanation of inflated planetary radii as resulting from tidal dissipation. The paucity of short-period planets around evolved A stars is explained as the result of enhanced tidal inspiral resulting from the increase in stellar radius with evolution.

  7. Occultation Spectrophotometry of Extrasolar Planets with SOFIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Huber, Klaus F.; Mandell, Avi M.; McElwain, Michael W.; Czesla, Stefan; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2012-01-01

    The NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5- meter infrared telescope on board a Boeing 747-SP, will conduct 0.3 - 1,600 micrometer photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations from altitudes as high as 45,000 ft., where the average atmospheric transmission is greater than 80 percent. SOFIA's first light cameras and spectrometers, as well as future generations of instruments, will make important contributions to the characterization of the physical properties of exoplanets. Our analysis shows that optical and near-infrared photometric and spectrophotometric follow-up observations during planetary transits and eclipses will be feasible with SOFIA's instrumentation, in particular the HIPOFLITECAM optical/NIR instruments. The airborne-based platform has unique advantages in comparison to ground- and space-based observatories in this field of research which we will outline here. Furthermore we will present two exemplary science cases, that will be conducted in SOFIA's cycle 1.

  8. An extrasolar planetary system with three Neptune-mass planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Pepe, Francesco; Alibert, Yann; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Correia, Alexandre C M; Laskar, Jacques; Mordasini, Christoph; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno C; Udry, Stéphane; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Sivan, Jean-Pierre

    2006-05-18

    Over the past two years, the search for low-mass extrasolar planets has led to the detection of seven so-called 'hot Neptunes' or 'super-Earths' around Sun-like stars. These planets have masses 5-20 times larger than the Earth and are mainly found on close-in orbits with periods of 2-15 days. Here we report a system of three Neptune-mass planets with periods of 8.67, 31.6 and 197 days, orbiting the nearby star HD 69830. This star was already known to show an infrared excess possibly caused by an asteroid belt within 1 au (the Sun-Earth distance). Simulations show that the system is in a dynamically stable configuration. Theoretical calculations favour a mainly rocky composition for both inner planets, while the outer planet probably has a significant gaseous envelope surrounding its rocky/icy core; the outer planet orbits within the habitable zone of this star.

  9. Planetary Systems Detection, Formation and Habitability of Extrasolar Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Ollivier, Marc; Casoli, Fabienne; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Selsis, Franck

    2009-01-01

    Over the past ten years, the discovery of extrasolar planets has opened a new field of astronomy, and this area of research is rapidly growing, from both the observational and theoretical point of view. The presence of many giant exoplanets in the close vicinity of their star shows that these newly discovered planetary systems are very different from the solar system. New theoretical models are being developed in order to understand their formation scenarios, and new observational methods are being implemented to increase the sensitivity of exoplanet detections. In the present book, the authors address the question of planetary systems from all aspects. Starting from the facts (the detection of more than 300 extraterrestrial planets), they first describe the various methods used for these discoveries and propose a synthetic analysis of their global properties. They then consider the observations of young stars and circumstellar disks and address the case of the solar system as a specific example, different fr...

  10. Using polarimetry to detect and characterize Jupiter-like extrasolar planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, D.M.; Hovenier, J.W.; Waters, L.B.F.M.

    2004-01-01

    Using numerical simulations of flux and polarization spectra of visible to near-infrared starlight reflected by Jupiter-like extrasolar planets, we show that polarimetry can be used both for the detection and for the characterization of extrasolar planets. Polarimetry is valuable for detection

  11. Testing the Mirror World Hypothesis for the Close-In Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foot, R.

    2004-01-01

    Because planets are not expected to be able to form close to stars due to the high temperatures, it has been suggested that the observed close orbiting (∼ 0.05 AU) large mass planets (∼ M J ) might be mirror worlds - planets composed predominately of mirror matter. The accretion of ordinary matter onto the mirror planet (from e.g. the solar wind from the host star) will make the mirror planet opaque to ordinary radiation with an effective radius R p . It was argued in a previous paper, that this radius was potentially large enough to explain the measured size of the first transiting close-in extrasolar planet, HD209458b. Furthermore, made the rough prediction: R p ∝ √ (T s /M p ), where T s is the surface temperature of the ordinary matter in the mirror planet and M p is the mass of the planet (the latter dependence on M p being the more robust prediction). We compare this prediction with the recently discovered transiting planets, OGLE-TR-56b and OGLE-TR- 113b. (author)

  12. THE SURVIVAL OF WATER WITHIN EXTRASOLAR MINOR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jura, M.; Xu, S.

    2010-01-01

    We compute that extrasolar minor planets can retain much of their internal H 2 O during their host star's red giant evolution. The eventual accretion of a water-rich body or bodies onto a helium white dwarf might supply an observable amount of atmospheric hydrogen, as seems likely for GD 362. More generally, if hydrogen pollution in helium white dwarfs typically results from accretion of large parent bodies rather than interstellar gas as previously supposed, then H 2 O probably constitutes at least 10% of the aggregate mass of extrasolar minor planets. One observational test of this possibility is to examine the atmospheres of externally polluted white dwarfs for oxygen in excess of that likely contributed by oxides such as SiO 2 . The relatively high oxygen abundance previously reported in GD 378 can be explained plausibly but not uniquely by accretion of an H 2 O-rich parent body or bodies. Future ultraviolet observations of white dwarf pollutions can serve to investigate the hypothesis that environments with liquid water that are suitable habitats for extremophiles are widespread in the Milky Way.

  13. DETECTING OCEANS ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS USING THE GLINT EFFECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David

    2010-01-01

    Glint, the specular reflection of sunlight off Earth's oceans, may reveal the presence of oceans on an extrasolar planet. As an Earth-like planet nears crescent phases, the size of the ocean glint spot increases relative to the fraction of the illuminated disk, while the reflectivity of this spot increases. Both effects change the planet's visible reflectivity as a function of phase. However, strong forward scattering of radiation by clouds can also produce increases in a planet's reflectivity as it approaches crescent phases, and surface glint can be obscured by Rayleigh scattering and atmospheric absorption. Here, we explore the detectability of glint in the presence of an atmosphere and realistic phase-dependent scattering from oceans and clouds. We use the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model to simulate Earth's broadband visible brightness and reflectivity over an orbit. Our validated simulations successfully reproduce phase-dependent Earthshine observations. We find that the glinting Earth can be as much as 100% brighter at crescent phases than simulations that do not include glint, and that the effect is dependent on both orbital inclination and wavelength, where the latter dependence is caused by Rayleigh scattering limiting sensitivity to the surface. We show that this phenomenon may be observable using the James Webb Space Telescope paired with an external occulter.

  14. Direct Imaging Search for Extrasolar Planets in the Pleiades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Kodai; Matsuo, Taro; Shibai, Hiroshi; Itoh, Yoichi; Konishi, Mihokko; Sudo, Jun; Tanii, Ryoko; Fukagawa, Misato; Sumi, Takahiro; Kudo, Tomoyuki; hide

    2013-01-01

    We carried out an imaging survey for extrasolar planets around stars in the Pleiades (125 Myr, 135 pc) in the H and K(sub S) bands using HiCIAO combined with adaptive optics, AO188, on the Subaru telescope. We found 13 companion candidates fainter than 14.5 mag in the H band around 9 stars. Five of these 13 were confirmed to be background stars by measurement of their proper motion. One was not found in the second epoch observation, and thus was not a background or companion object. One had multi-epoch images, but the precision of its proper motion was not sufficient to conclude whether it was a background object. Four other candidates are waiting for second-epoch observations to determine their proper motion. Finally, the remaining two were confirmed to be 60 M(sub J) brown dwarf companions orbiting around HD 23514 (G0) and HII 1348 (K5), respectively, as had been reported in previous studies. In our observations, the average detection limit for a point source was 20.3 mag in the H band beyond 1.'' 5 from the central star. On the basis of this detection limit, we calculated the detection efficiency to be 90% for a planet with 6 to 12 Jovian masses and a semi-major axis of 50–1000 AU. For this reason we extrapolated the distribution of the planet mass and the semi-major axis derived from radial velocity observations, and adopted the planet evolution model Baraffe et al. (2003, A&A, 402, 701). Since there was no detection of a planet, we estimated the frequency of such planets to be less than 17.9% (2 sigma) around one star of the Pleiades cluster.

  15. Extrasolar planets as a probe of modified gravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Vargas dos Santos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We propose a new method to test modified gravity theories, taking advantage of the available data on extrasolar planets. We computed the deviations from the Kepler third law and use that to constrain gravity theories beyond General Relativity. We investigate gravity models which incorporate three screening mechanisms: the Chameleon, the Symmetron and the Vainshtein. We find that data from exoplanets orbits are very sensitive to the screening mechanisms putting strong constraints in the parameter space for the Chameleon models and the Symmetron, complementary and competitive to other methods, like interferometers and solar system. With the constraints on Vainshtein we are able to work beyond the hypothesis that the crossover scale is of the same order of magnitude than the Hubble radius rc∼H0−1, which makes the screening work automatically, testing how strong this hypothesis is and the viability of other scales.

  16. Extrasolar planets as a probe of modified gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas dos Santos, Marcelo; Mota, David F.

    2017-06-01

    We propose a new method to test modified gravity theories, taking advantage of the available data on extrasolar planets. We computed the deviations from the Kepler third law and use that to constrain gravity theories beyond General Relativity. We investigate gravity models which incorporate three screening mechanisms: the Chameleon, the Symmetron and the Vainshtein. We find that data from exoplanets orbits are very sensitive to the screening mechanisms putting strong constraints in the parameter space for the Chameleon models and the Symmetron, complementary and competitive to other methods, like interferometers and solar system. With the constraints on Vainshtein we are able to work beyond the hypothesis that the crossover scale is of the same order of magnitude than the Hubble radius rc ∼ H0-1, which makes the screening work automatically, testing how strong this hypothesis is and the viability of other scales.

  17. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS. II. PREDICTIONS FOR OUTER EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2010-01-01

    We develop an idealized dynamical model to predict the typical properties of outer extrasolar planetary systems, at radii comparable to the Jupiter-to-Neptune region of the solar system. The model is based upon the hypothesis that dynamical evolution in outer planetary systems is controlled by a combination of planet-planet scattering and planetary interactions with an exterior disk of small bodies ('planetesimals'). Our results are based on 5000 long duration N-body simulations that follow the evolution of three planets from a few to 10 AU, together with a planetesimal disk containing 50 M + from 10 to 20 AU. For large planet masses (M ∼> M Sat ), the model recovers the observed eccentricity distribution of extrasolar planets. For lower-mass planets, the range of outcomes in models with disks is far greater than that which is seen in isolated planet-planet scattering. Common outcomes include strong scattering among massive planets, sudden jumps in eccentricity due to resonance crossings driven by divergent migration, and re-circularization of scattered low-mass planets in the outer disk. We present the distributions of the eccentricity and inclination that result, and discuss how they vary with planet mass and initial system architecture. In agreement with other studies, we find that the currently observed eccentricity distribution (derived primarily from planets at a ∼ -1 and periods in excess of 10 years will provide constraints on this regime. Finally, we present an analysis of the predicted separation of planets in two-planet systems, and of the population of planets in mean-motion resonances (MMRs). We show that, if there are systems with ∼ Jupiter-mass planets that avoid close encounters, the planetesimal disk acts as a damping mechanism and populates MMRs at a very high rate (50%-80%). In many cases, resonant chains (in particular the 4:2:1 Laplace resonance) are set up among all three planets. We expect such resonant chains to be common among massive

  18. Extrasolar Giant Planet in Earth-like Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-07-01

    Discovery from a Long-term Project at La Silla A new extrasolar planet has been found at the ESO La Silla Observatory as a companion to iota Horologii (iota Hor) . This 5.4-mag solar-type star is located at a distance of 56 light-years and is just visible to the unaided eye in the southern constellation Horologium (The Pendulum Clock). The discovery is the result of a long-term survey of forty solar-type stars that was begun in November 1992. It is based on highly accurate measurements of stellar radial velocities, i.e. the speed with which a star moves along the line of sight. The presence of a planet in orbit around a star is inferred from observed, regular changes of this velocity, as the host star and its planet revolve around a common center of gravity. Since in all cases the star is much heavier than the planet, the resulting velocity variations of the star are always quite small. The team that found the new planet, now designated iota Hor b , consists of Martin Kürster , Michael Endl and Sebastian Els (ESO-Chile), Artie P. Hatzes and William D. Cochran (University of Texas, Austin, USA), and Stefan Döbereiner and Konrad Dennerl (Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany). Iodine cell provides very accurate velocity measurements iota Hor b represents the first discovery of an extrasolar planet with an ESO instrument [1]. The finding is based on data obtained with ESO's highest-resolution spectrograph, the Coudé Echelle Spectrometer (CES) at the 1.4-m Coudé Auxiliary Telescope (CAT). While this telescope has recently been decommissioned, the CES instrument is now coupled via an optical fiber link to the larger ESO 3.6-m telescope, thus permitting the continuation of this survey. The high precision radial velocity measurements that are necessary for a study of this type were achieved by means of a special calibration technique. It incorporates an iodine gas absorption cell and sophisticated data modelling. The cell is used like

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-29

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

  20. WFIRST: Retrieval Studies of Directly Imaged Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark; Lupu, Roxana; Lewis, Nikole K.; WFIRST Coronagraph SITs

    2018-01-01

    The typical direct imaging and spectroscopy target for the WFIRST Coronagraph will be a mature Jupiter-mass giant planet at a few AU from an FGK star. The spectra of such planets is expected to be shaped primarily by scattering from H2O clouds and absorption by gaseous NH3 and CH4. We have computed forward model spectra of such typical planets and applied noise models to understand the quality of photometry and spectra we can expect. Using such simulated datasets we have conducted Markov Chain Monte Carlo and MultiNest retrievals to derive atmospheric abundance of CH4, cloud scattering properties, gravity, and other parameters for various planets and observing modes. Our focus has primarily been to understand which combinations of photometry and spectroscopy at what SNR allow retrievals of atmospheric methane mixing ratios to within a factor of ten of the true value. This is a challenging task for directly imaged planets as the planet mass and radius--and thus surface gravity--are not as well constrained as in the case of transiting planets. We find that for plausible planets and datasets of the quality expected to be obtained by WFIRST it should be possible to place such constraints, at least for some planets. We present some examples of our retrieval results and explain how they have been utilized to help set design requirements on the coronagraph camera and integrated field spectrometer.

  1. Spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets from ground-, space- and airborne-based observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel

    2010-11-01

    This thesis deals with techniques and results of observations of exoplanets from several platforms. In this work I present and then attempt solutions to particular issues and problems connected to ground- and space-based approaches to spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets. Furthermore, I present the future prospects of the airborne observatory, SOFIA, in this field of astronomy. The first part of this thesis covers results of an exploratory study to use near-infrared integral-field-spectroscopy to observe transiting extrasolar planets. I demonstrate how adaptive-optics assisted integral field spectroscopy compares with other spectroscopic techniques currently applied, foremost being slit spectroscopy. An advanced reduction method using elements of a spectral-differential decorrelation and optimized observation strategies is discussed. This concept was tested with K-Band time series observations of secondary eclipses of HD 209458b and HD 189733b obtained with the SINFONI at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), at spectral resolution of R~3000. In ground-based near infrared (NIR) observations, there is considerable likelihood of confusion between telluric absorption features and spectral features in the targeted object. I describe a detailed method that can cope with such confusion by a forward modelling approach employing Earth transmission models. In space-based transit spectroscopy with Hubble's NICMOS instrument, the main source of systematic noise is the perturbation in the instrument's configuration due to the near Earth orbital motion of the spacecraft. I present an extension to a pre-existing data analysis sequence that has allowed me to extract a NIR transmission spectrum of the hot-Neptune class planet GJ 436b from a data set that was highly corrupted by the above mentioned effects. Satisfyingly, I was able to obtain statistical consistency in spectra (acquired over a broad wavelength grid) over two distinct observing visits by HST. Earlier

  2. Characterization of extra-solar planets with direct-imaging techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tinetti, G.; Cash, W.; Glassman, T.; Keller, C.U.; Oakley, P.; Snik, F.; Stam, D.; Turnbull, M.

    2009-01-01

    In order to characterize the physical properties of an extra-solar planet one needs to detect planetary radiation, either visible (VIS) to near-infrared (NIR) reflected starlight or infrared (IR) thermal radiation. Both the reflected and thermal flux depend on the size of the planet, the distance

  3. Detecting Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets with the Kepler Photometer via Scattered Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Doyle, L. R.; Kepler Discovery Mission Team

    2003-05-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission will be launched in 2007 primarily to search for transiting Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of solar-like stars. In addition, it will be poised to detect the reflected light component from close-in extrasolar giant planets (CEGPs) similar to 51 Peg b. Here we use the DIARAD/SOHO time series along with models for the reflected light signatures of CEGPs to evaluate Kepler's ability to detect such planets. We examine the detectability as a function of stellar brightness, stellar rotation period, planetary orbital inclination angle, and planetary orbital period, and then estimate the total number of CEGPs that Kepler will detect over its four year mission. The analysis shows that intrinsic stellar variability of solar-like stars is a major obstacle to detecting the reflected light from CEGPs. Monte Carlo trials are used to estimate the detection threshold required to limit the total number of expected false alarms to no more than one for a survey of 100,000 stellar light curves. Kepler will likely detect 100-760 51 Peg b-like planets by reflected light with orbital periods up to 7 days. LRD was supported by the Carl Sagan Chair at the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, a division of the SETI Institute. JMJ received support from the Kepler Mission Photometer and Science Office at NASA Ames Research Center.

  4. Views from EPOXI: Colors in Our Solar System as an Analog for Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, Carolyn A.; McFadden, L. A.; Robinson, T.; Meadows, V. S.; Livengood, T. A.; Hewagama, T.; Barry, R. K.; Deming, L. D.; Lisse, C. M.; Wellnitz, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    The first visible-light studies of Earth-sized extrasolar planets will employ photometry or low-resolution spectroscopy. This work uses EPOCh medium-hand filter photometry between 150 and 950 nm obtained with the Deep Impact (DI) High Resolution Instrument (HRI) of Earth, the Moon, and Mars in addition to previous full-disk observations of the other six solar system planets and Titan to analyze the limitations of using photometric colors to characterize extrasolar planets. We determined that the HRI 350, 550, and 850 nm filters are optimal for distinguishing Earth from the other planets and separating planets to first order based on their atmospheric and surface properties. Detailed conclusions that can be drawn about exoplanet atmospheres simply from a color-color plot are limited due to potentially competing physical processes in the atmosphere. The presence of a Rayleigh scattering atmosphere can be detected by an increase in the 350-550 nm brightness ratio, but the absence of Rayleigh scattering cannot be confirmed due to the existence of atmospheric and surface absorbing species in the UV. Methane and ammonia are the only species responsible for strong absorption in the 850 nm filter in our solar system. The combination of physical processes present on extrasolar planets may differ from those we see locally. Nevertheless, a generation of telescopes capable of collecting such photometric observations can serve a critical role in first-order characterization and constraining the population of Earth-like extrasolar planets.

  5. Habitability in the Solar System and on Extrasolar Planets and Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2015-01-01

    The criteria for a habitable world initially was based on Earth and centered around liquid water on the surface, warmed by a Sun-like star. The moons of the outer Solar System, principally Europa and Enceladus, have demonstrated that liquid water can exist below the surface warmed by tidal forces from a giant planet. Titan demonstrates that surface liquids other than water - liquid methane/ethane - may be common on other worlds. Considering the numerous extrasolar planets so far discovered and the prospect of discovering extrasolar moons it is timely to reconsider the possibilities for habitability in the Solar System and on extrasolar planets and moons and enumerate the attributes and search methods for detecting habitable worlds and evidence of life.

  6. Glimpses of far away places: Intensive atmosphere characterization of extrasolar planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    Exoplanet atmosphere characterization has the potential to reveal the origins, nature, and even habitability of distant worlds. This thesis represents a step towards realizing that potential for a diverse group of four extrasolar planets. Here, I present the results of intensive observational campaigns with the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes to study the atmospheres of the super-Earth GJ 1214b and the hot Jupiters WASP-43b, WASP-12b, and WASP-103b. I measured an unprecedentedly precise near-infrared transmission spectrum for GJ 1214b that definitively reveals the presence of clouds in the planet's atmosphere. For WASP-43b and WASP-12b, I also measured very precise spectra that exhibit water features at high confidence (>7 sigma). The retrieved water abundance for WASP-43b extends the well-known Solar System trend of decreasing atmospheric metallicity with increasing planet mass. The detection of water for WASP-12b marks the first spectroscopic identification of a molecule in the planet's atmosphere and implies that it has solar composition, ruling out carbon-to-oxygen ratios greater than unity. For WASP-103b, I present preliminary results from the new technique of phase-resolved spectroscopy to determine the planet's temperature structure, dynamics, and energy budget. In addition to these observations, I also describe the BATMAN code, an open-source Python package for fast and flexible modeling of transit light curves. Taken together, these results provide a foundation for comparative planetology beyond the Solar System and the investigation of Earth-like, potentially habitable planets with future observing facilities.

  7. The Blue Dot Workshop: Spectroscopic Search for Life on Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    This workshop explored the key questions and challenges associated with detecting life on an extrasolar planet. The final product will be a NASA Conference Publication which includes the abstracts from 21 talks, summaries of key findings, and recommendations for future research. The workshop included sessions on three related topics: the biogeochemistry of biogenic gases in the atmosphere, the chemistry and spectroscopy of planetary atmospheres, and the remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and surfaces. With the observation that planetary formation is probably a common phenomenon, together with the advent of the technical capability to locate and describe extrasolar planets, this research area indeed has an exciting future.

  8. Characterization of extra-solar planets with direct-imaging techniques

    OpenAIRE

    Tinetti, G.; Cash, W.; Glassman, T.; Keller, C.U.; Oakley, P.; Snik, F.; Stam, D.; Turnbull, M.

    2009-01-01

    In order to characterize the physical properties of an extra-solar planet one needs to detect planetary radiation, either visible (VIS) to near-infrared (NIR) reflected starlight or infrared (IR) thermal radiation. Both the reflected and thermal flux depend on the size of the planet, the distance between the planet and the star, the distance between the observer and the planet, and the planet’s phase angle (i.e. the angle between the star and the observer as seen from the planet). Moreover, t...

  9. Survival of extrasolar giant planet moons in planet-planet scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    CIAN HONG, YU; Lunine, Jonathan; Nicholson, Phillip; Raymond, Sean

    2015-12-01

    Planet-planet scattering is the best candidate mechanism for explaining the eccentricity distribution of exoplanets. Here we study the survival and dynamics of exomoons under strong perturbations during giant planet scattering. During close encounters, planets and moons exchange orbital angular momentum and energy. The most common outcomes are the destruction of moons by ejection from the system, collision with the planets and the star, and scattering of moons onto perturbed but still planet-bound orbits. A small percentage of interesting moons can remain bound to ejected (free-floating) planets or be captured by a different planet. Moons' survival rate is correlated with planet observables such as mass, semi-major axis, eccentricity and inclination, as well as the close encounter distance and the number of close encounters. In addition, moons' survival rate and dynamical outcomes are predetermined by the moons' initial semi-major axes. The survival rate drops quickly as moons' distances increase, but simulations predict a good chance of survival for the Galilean moons. Moons with different dynamical outcomes occupy different regions of orbital parameter space, which may enable the study of moons' past evolution. Potential effects of planet obliquity evolution caused by close encounters on the satellites’ stability and dynamics will be reported, as well as detailed and systematic studies of individual close encounter events.

  10. Extrasolar Planets Observed with JWST and the ELTs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake

    2010-01-01

    The advent of cryogenic space-borne infrared observatories such as the Spitzer Space Telescope has lead to a revolution in the study of planets and planetary systems orbiting sun-like stars. Already Spitzer has characterized the emergent infrared spectra of close-in giant exoplanets using transit and eclipse techniques. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to extend these studies to superEarth exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars in the near solar neighborhood. The forthcoming ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will playa key role in these studies, being especially valuable for spectroscopy at higher spectral resolving powers where large photon fluxes are needed. The culmination of this work within the next two decades will be the detection and spectral characterization of the major molecular constituents in the atmosphere of a habitable superEarth orbiting a nearby lower main sequence star.

  11. Integrating polarized light over a planetary disk applied to starlight reflected by extrasolar planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, D.M.; de Rooij, W.A.; Cornet, G.; Hovenier, J.W.

    2006-01-01

    We present an efficient numerical method for integrating planetary radiation over a planetary disk, which is especially interesting for simulating signals of extrasolar planets. Our integration method is applicable to calculating the full flux vector of the disk-integrated planetary radiation, i.e.

  12. The SOPHIE search for northern extrasolar planets. X. Detection and characterization of giant planets by the dozen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébrard, G.; Arnold, L.; Forveille, T.; Correia, A. C. M.; Laskar, J.; Bonfils, X.; Boisse, I.; Díaz, R. F.; Hagelberg, J.; Sahlmann, J.; Santos, N. C.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Borgniet, S.; Bouchy, F.; Bourrier, V.; Courcol, B.; Delfosse, X.; Deleuil, M.; Demangeon, O.; Ehrenreich, D.; Gregorio, J.; Jovanovic, N.; Labrevoir, O.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lovis, C.; Lozi, J.; Moutou, C.; Montagnier, G.; Pepe, F.; Rey, J.; Santerne, A.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Vanhuysse, M.; Vigan, A.; Wilson, P. A.

    2016-04-01

    We present new radial velocity measurements of eight stars that were secured with the spectrograph SOPHIE at the 193 cm telescope of the Haute-Provence Observatory. The measurements allow detecting and characterizing new giant extrasolar planets. The host stars are dwarfs of spectral types between F5 and K0 and magnitudes of between 6.7 and 9.6; the planets have minimum masses Mp sin I of between 0.4 to 3.8 MJup and orbitalperiods of several days to several months. The data allow only single planets to be discovered around the first six stars (HD 143105, HIP 109600, HD 35759, HIP 109384, HD 220842, and HD 12484), but one of them shows the signature of an additional substellar companion in the system. The seventh star, HIP 65407, allows the discovery of two giant planets that orbit just outside the 12:5 resonance in weak mutual interaction. The last star, HD 141399, was already known to host a four-planet system; our additional data and analyses allow new constraints to be set on it. We present Keplerian orbits of all systems, together with dynamical analyses of the two multi-planet systems. HD 143105 is one of the brightest stars known to host a hot Jupiter, which could allow numerous follow-up studies to be conducted even though this is not a transiting system. The giant planets HIP 109600b, HIP 109384b, and HD 141399c are located in the habitable zone of their host star. Based on observations collected with the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France, by the SOPHIE Consortium (programs 07A.PNP.CONS to 15A.PNP.CONS).Full version of the SOPHIE measurements (Table 1) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/588/A145

  13. Darwin--a mission to detect and search for life on extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C S; Léger, A; Fridlund, M; Herbst, T M; Kaltenegger, L; Absil, O; Beichman, C; Benz, W; Blanc, M; Brack, A; Chelli, A; Colangeli, L; Cottin, H; Coudé du Foresto, F; Danchi, W C; Defrère, D; den Herder, J-W; Eiroa, C; Greaves, J; Henning, T; Johnston, K J; Jones, H; Labadie, L; Lammer, H; Launhardt, R; Lawson, P; Lay, O P; LeDuigou, J-M; Liseau, R; Malbet, F; Martin, S R; Mawet, D; Mourard, D; Moutou, C; Mugnier, L M; Ollivier, M; Paresce, F; Quirrenbach, A; Rabbia, Y D; Raven, J A; Rottgering, H J A; Rouan, D; Santos, N C; Selsis, F; Serabyn, E; Shibai, H; Tamura, M; Thiébaut, E; Westall, F; White, G J

    2009-01-01

    The discovery of extrasolar planets is one of the greatest achievements of modern astronomy. The detection of planets that vary widely in mass demonstrates that extrasolar planets of low mass exist. In this paper, we describe a mission, called Darwin, whose primary goal is the search for, and characterization of, terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for life. Accomplishing the mission objectives will require collaborative science across disciplines, including astrophysics, planetary sciences, chemistry, and microbiology. Darwin is designed to detect rocky planets similar to Earth and perform spectroscopic analysis at mid-infrared wavelengths (6-20 mum), where an advantageous contrast ratio between star and planet occurs. The baseline mission is projected to last 5 years and consists of approximately 200 individual target stars. Among these, 25-50 planetary systems can be studied spectroscopically, which will include the search for gases such as CO(2), H(2)O, CH(4), and O(3). Many of the key technologies required for the construction of Darwin have already been demonstrated, and the remainder are estimated to be mature in the near future. Darwin is a mission that will ignite intense interest in both the research community and the wider public.

  14. Extrasolar Planets: Towards Comparative Planetology beyond the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A. H.

    2012-09-01

    Today Scenario planet logy is a very important concept because now days the scientific research finding new and new planets and our work's range becoming too long. In the previous study shows about 10-12 years the research of planet logy now has changed . Few years ago we was talking about Sun planet, Earth planet , Moon ,Mars Jupiter & Venus etc. included but now the time has totally changed the recent studies showed that mono lakes California find the arsenic food use by micro organism that show that our study is very tiny as compare to planet long areas .We have very well known that arsenic is the toxic agent's and the toxic agent's present in the lakes and micro organism developing and life going on it's a unbelievable point for us but nature always play a magical games. In few years ago Aliens was the story no one believe the Aliens origin but now the aliens showed catch by our space craft and shuttle and every one believe that Aliens origin but at the moment's I would like to mention one point's that we have too more work required because our planet logy has a vast field. Most of the time our scientific mission shows that this planet found liquid oxygen ,this planet found hydrogen .I would like to clear that point's that all planet logy depend in to the chemical and these chemical gave the indication of the life but we are not abele to developed the adaptation according to the micro organism . Planet logy compare before study shows that Sun it's a combination of the various gases combination surrounded in a round form and now the central Sun Planets ,moons ,comets and asteroids In other word we can say that Or Sun has a wide range of the physical and Chemical properties in the after the development we can say that all chemical and physical property engaged with a certain environment and form a various contains like asteroids, moon, Comets etc. Few studies shows that other planet life affected to the out living planet .We can assure with the example the life

  15. On the feasibility of detecting extrasolar planets by reflected starlight using the Hubble Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.; Burrows, Christopher J.

    1990-01-01

    The best metrology data extant are presently used to estimate the center and wing point-spread function of the HST, in order to ascertain the implications of an observational criterion according to which a faint source's discovery can occur only when the signal recorded near its image's location is sufficiently larger than would be expected in its absence. After defining the maximum star-planet flux ratio, a figure of merit Q, defined as the contrast ratio between a 'best case' planet and the scattered starlight background, is introduced and shown in the HST's case to be unfavorable for extrasolar planet detection.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Evidence for water in the rocky debris of a disrupted extrasolar minor planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farihi, J; Gänsicke, B T; Koester, D

    2013-10-11

    The existence of water in extrasolar planetary systems is of great interest because it constrains the potential for habitable planets and life. We have identified a circumstellar disk that resulted from the destruction of a water-rich and rocky extrasolar minor planet. The parent body formed and evolved around a star somewhat more massive than the Sun, and the debris now closely orbits the white dwarf remnant of the star. The stellar atmosphere is polluted with metals accreted from the disk, including oxygen in excess of that expected for oxide minerals, indicating that the parent body was originally composed of 26% water by mass. This finding demonstrates that water-bearing planetesimals exist around A- and F-type stars that end their lives as white dwarfs.

  18. The Potential for Volcanism and Tectonics on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki

    2018-01-01

    JWST and other next-generation space telescopes (e.g., LUVOIR, HabEx, & OST) will usher in a new era of exoplanet characterization that may lead to the identification of habitable, Earth-like worlds. Like the planets and moons in our solar system, the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial exoplanets may be shaped by volcanism and tectonics (Fu et al., 2010; van Summeren et al., 2011; Henning and Hurford, 2014). The magnitude and rate of occurrence of these dynamic processes can either facilitate or preclude the existence of habitable environments. Likewise, it has been suggested that detections of cryovolcanism on icy exoplanets, in the form of geyser-like plumes, could indicate the presence of subsurface oceans (Quick et al., 2017).The presence of volcanic and tectonic activity on solid exoplanets will be intimately linked to planet size and heat output in the form of radiogenic and/or tidal heating. In order to place bounds on the potential for such activity, we estimated the heat output of a variety of exoplanets observed by Kepler. We considered planets whose masses and radii range from 0.067 ME (super-Ganymede) to 8 ME (super-Earth), and 0.5 to 1.8 RE, respectively. These heat output estimates were then compared to those of planets, moons, and dwarf planets in our solar system for which we have direct evidence for the presence/absence of volcanic and tectonic activity. After exoplanet heating rates were estimated, depths to putative molten layers in their interiors were also calculated. For planets such as TRAPPIST-1h, whose densities, orbital parameters, and effective temperatures are consistent with the presence of significant amounts of H2O (Luger et al., 2017), these calculations reveal the depths to internal oceans which may serve as habitable niches beneath surface ice layers.

  19. Cloudless Atmospheres for L/T Dwarfs and Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblin, P.; Amundsen, D. S.; Chabrier, G.; Baraffe, I.; Drummond, B.; Hinkley, S.; Mourier, P.; Venot, O.

    2016-01-01

    The admitted, conventional scenario to explain the complex spectral evolution of brown dwarfs (BDs) since their first detection 20 years ago has always been the key role played by micron-size condensates, called "dust" or "clouds," in their atmosphere. This scenario, however, faces major problems, in particular the J-band brightening and the resurgence of FeH absorption at the L to T transition, and a physical first-principle understanding of this transition is lacking. In this Letter, we propose a new, completely different explanation for BD and extrasolar giant planet (EGP) spectral evolution, without the need to invoke clouds. We show that, due to the slowness of the CO/ CH4 and N2/NH3 chemical reactions, brown dwarf (L and T, respectively) and EGP atmospheres are subject to a thermo-chemical instability similar in nature to the fingering or chemical convective instability present in Earth oceans and at the Earth core/mantle boundary. The induced small-scale turbulent energy transport reduces the temperature gradient in the atmosphere, explaining the observed increase in near-infrared J-H and J-K colors of L dwarfs and hot EGPs, while a warming up of the deep atmosphere along the L to T transition, as the CO/CH4 instability vanishes, naturally solves the two aforementioned puzzles, and provides a physical explanation of the L to T transition. This new picture leads to a drastic revision of our understanding of BD and EGP atmospheres and their evolution.

  20. The DARWIN mission: Search for extra-solar planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenegger, L.; Fridlund, M.

    The direct detection of a planet close to its parent star is challenging because the signal detected from the parent star is between 109 and 106 times brighter than the signal of a planet in the visual and IR respectively. Future space based missions like DARWIN and TPF concentrate on the region between 6μ m to 18μ m, a region that contains the CO2, H2O, O3 spectral features of the atmosphere. The presence or absence of these spectral features would indicate similarities or differences with the atmosphere of telluric planets. The Infra Red Space Interferometer DARWIN is an integral part of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2020 plan, intended for a launch towards the middle of next decade. It is constructed around the new technique of `nulling interferometry', which exploits the wave nature of light to extinguish light from an on-axis bright object (the central star in this case), while at the same time light from a nearby source (the planet) is enhanced. An overview and update of the science of the DARWIN mission is given.

  1. Habitability of extrasolar planets and tidal spin evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Barnes, Rory; Leconte, Jérémy

    2011-12-01

    Stellar radiation has conservatively been used as the key constraint to planetary habitability. We review here the effects of tides, exerted by the host star on the planet, on the evolution of the planetary spin. Tides initially drive the rotation period and the orientation of the rotation axis into an equilibrium state but do not necessarily lead to synchronous rotation. As tides also circularize the orbit, eventually the rotation period does equal the orbital period and one hemisphere will be permanently irradiated by the star. Furthermore, the rotational axis will become perpendicular to the orbit, i.e. the planetary surface will not experience seasonal variations of the insolation. We illustrate here how tides alter the spins of planets in the traditional habitable zone. As an example, we show that, neglecting perturbations due to other companions, the Super-Earth Gl581d performs two rotations per orbit and that any primordial obliquity has been eroded.

  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. The Formation of Life-sustaining Planets in Extrasolar Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, J. E.

    2003-01-01

    The spatial exploration is providing us a large quantity of information about the composition of the planets and satellites crusts. However, most of the experiences that are proposed in the guides of activities in Planetary Geology are based exclusively on the images utilization: photographs, maps, models or artistic reconstructions [1,2]. That things help us to recognize shapes and to deduce geological processes, but they says us little about the materials that they are implicated. In order to avoid this dicotomy between shapes and materials, we have designed an experience in the one which, employing of rocks and landscapes of our geological environment more next, the pupils be able to do an exercise of compared planetology analyzing shapes, processes and material of several planetary bodies of the Solar System.

  4. Fast spin of the young extrasolar planet β Pictoris b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas A G; Brandl, Bernhard R; de Kok, Remco J; Brogi, Matteo; Birkby, Jayne; Schwarz, Henriette

    2014-05-01

    The spin of a planet arises from the accretion of angular momentum during its formation, but the details of this process are still unclear. In the Solar System, the equatorial rotation velocities and, consequently, spin angular momenta of most of the planets increase with planetary mass; the exceptions to this trend are Mercury and Venus, which, since formation, have significantly spun down because of tidal interactions. Here we report near-infrared spectroscopic observations, at a resolving power of 100,000, of the young extrasolar gas giant planet β Pictoris b (refs 7, 8). The absorption signal from carbon monoxide in the planet's thermal spectrum is found to be blueshifted with respect to that from the parent star by approximately 15 kilometres per second, consistent with a circular orbit. The combined line profile exhibits a rotational broadening of about 25 kilometres per second, meaning that β Pictoris b spins significantly faster than any planet in the Solar System, in line with the extrapolation of the known trend in spin velocity with planet mass.

  5. MIGRATION OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS: EFFECTS FROM X-WIND ACCRETION DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, Fred C.; Cai, Mike J.; Lizano, Susana

    2009-01-01

    Magnetic fields are dragged in from the interstellar medium during the gravitational collapse that forms star/disk systems. Consideration of mean field magnetohydrodynamics in these disks shows that magnetic effects produce sub-Keplerian rotation curves and truncate the inner disk. This Letter explores the ramifications of these predicted disk properties for the migration of extrasolar planets. Sub-Keplerian flow in gaseous disks drives a new migration mechanism for embedded planets and modifies the gap-opening processes for larger planets. This sub-Keplerian migration mechanism dominates over Type I migration for sufficiently small planets (m P ∼ + ) and/or close orbits (r ∼< 1 AU). Although the inclusion of sub-Keplerian torques shortens the total migration time by only a moderate amount, the mass accreted by migrating planetary cores is significantly reduced. Truncation of the inner disk edge (for typical system parameters) naturally explains final planetary orbits with periods P ∼ 4 days. Planets with shorter periods, P ∼ 2 days, can be explained by migration during FU-Orionis outbursts, when the mass accretion rate is high and the disk edge moves inward. Finally, the midplane density is greatly increased at the inner truncation point of the disk (the X-point); this enhancement, in conjunction with continuing flow of gas and solids through the region, supports the in situ formation of giant planets.

  6. THE PROJECT: an Observatory / Transport Spaceship for Discovering and Populating Habitable Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilston, S.

    1998-12-01

    Recent extrasolar planet discoveries and related progress in astrophysics have refined our knowledge of the implications of the Drake equation. The Space Interferometry Mission and the planned Terrestrial Planet Finder will deepen this understanding, and begin pointing the way to places we need to explore at closer range. If the correct resolution of the Fermi paradox regarding intelligent extraterrestrials (``where are they?") is found to lie in the actual scarcity of such beings, it may turn out that we are more advanced than most other life-forms in our galaxy. In this case, a main purpose in finding planets may be to find places for us to go: astronomy will once again play a major role in human navigation and migration. We describe a strawman design concept for an astronomical observatory ship designed for launch beyond our solar system within several hundred years. This ship design would employ plausible physics, biology, technology, sociology, and economics to carry one million passengers in a one-G environment shielded from space radiation. A cruising speed under 0.01 c, slower than in many science-fiction concepts, minimizes power requirements and the danger from collisional impacts. The ship would contain all subsystems needed to sustain multi-generational life on a voyage of thousands of years, as well as the observatories to identify for human settlement a habitable extrasolar planet. Even the modestly advanced technology described here could spread intelligent life throughout our galaxy within 40 million years, a very small fraction of the galaxy's age. Motivation for such an ambitious project is three-fold: expanding our knowledge of the universe, enlisting the efforts and enthusiasms of humankind toward a very grand goal which will stimulate progress in all aspects of our cultures and technologies, and participating in the process of spreading life so its survivability and fruition are enhanced.

  7. Investigating Extra-solar Planetary System Qatar-1 through Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Parijat; Mannaday, Vineet Kumar; Jiang, Ing-Guey; Sahu, Devendra Kumar; Chand, Swadesh

    2018-04-01

    We report the results of the transit timing variation (TTV) analysis of the extra-solar planet Qatar-1b using thirty eight light curves. Our analysis combines thirty five previously available transit light curves with three new transits observed by us between June 2016 and September 2016 using the 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (Hanle, India). From these transit data, the physical and orbital parameters of the Qatar-1 system are determined. In addition to this, the ephemeris for the orbital period and mid-transit time are refined to investigate the possible TTV. We find that the null-TTV model provides the better fit to the (O-C) data. This indicates that there is no evidence for TTVs to confirm the presence of additional planets in the Qatar-1 system. The use of the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) operated by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES, Nainital, India) could improve the photometric precision to examine the signature of TTVs in this system with a greater accuracy than in the present work.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  9. Constraining the volatile fraction of planets from transit observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibert, Y.

    2016-06-01

    Context. The determination of the abundance of volatiles in extrasolar planets is very important as it can provide constraints on transport in protoplanetary disks and on the formation location of planets. However, constraining the internal structure of low-mass planets from transit measurements is known to be a degenerate problem. Aims: Using planetary structure and evolution models, we show how observations of transiting planets can be used to constrain their internal composition, in particular the amount of volatiles in the planetary interior, and consequently the amount of gas (defined in this paper to be only H and He) that the planet harbors. We first explore planets that are located close enough to their star to have lost their gas envelope. We then concentrate on planets at larger distances and show that the observation of transiting planets at different evolutionary ages can provide statistical information on their internal composition, in particular on their volatile fraction. Methods: We computed the evolution of low-mass planets (super-Earths to Neptune-like) for different fractions of volatiles and gas. We used a four-layer model (core, silicate mantle, icy mantle, and gas envelope) and computed the internal structure of planets for different luminosities. With this internal structure model, we computed the internal and gravitational energy of planets, which was then used to derive the time evolution of the planet. Since the total energy of a planet depends on its heat capacity and density distribution and therefore on its composition, planets with different ice fractions have different evolution tracks. Results: We show for low-mass gas-poor planets that are located close to their central star that assuming evaporation has efficiently removed the entire gas envelope, it is possible to constrain the volatile fraction of close-in transiting planets. We illustrate this method on the example of 55 Cnc e and show that under the assumption of the absence of

  10. On the tidal interaction of massive extrasolar planets on highly eccentric orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, P. B.; Papaloizou, J. C. B.

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we develop a theory of disturbances induced by the stellar tidal field in a fully convective slowly rotating planet orbiting on a highly eccentric orbit around a central star. In this case it is appropriate to treat the tidal influence as a succession of impulsive tidal interactions occurring at periastron passage. For a fully convective planet mainly the l= 2 fundamental mode of oscillation is excited. We show that there are two contributions to the mode energy and angular momentum gain due to impulsive tidal interaction: (i) `the quasi-static' contribution, which requires dissipative processes operating in the planet, and (ii) the dynamical contribution associated with excitation of modes of oscillation. These contributions are obtained self-consistently from a single set of the governing equations. We calculate a critical `equilibrium' value of angular velocity of the planet Ωcrit determined by the condition that action of the dynamic tides does not alter the angular velocity at this rotation rate. We show that this can be much larger than the corresponding rate associated with quasi-static tides and that at this angular velocity, the rate of energy exchange is minimized. We also investigate the conditions for the stochastic increase in oscillation energy that may occur if many periastron passages are considered and dissipation is not important. We provide a simple criterion for this instability to occur. Finally, we make some simple estimates of the time-scale of evolution of the orbital semimajor axis and circularization of the initially eccentric orbit due to tides, using a realistic model of the planet and its cooling history, for orbits with periods after circularization typical of those observed for extrasolar planets Pobs>~ 3 d. Quasi-static tides are found to be ineffective for semimajor axes >~0.1 au. On the other hand, dynamic tides could have produced a very large decrease of the semimajor axis of a planet with mass of the order of the

  11. Thermal-orbital coupled tidal heating and habitability of Martian-sized extrasolar planets around M stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K. [Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan)

    2014-07-01

    M-type stars are good targets in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. Due to their low effective temperatures, the habitable zone of M stars is very close to the stars themselves. For planets that are close to their stars, tidal heating plays an important role in thermal and orbital evolutions, especially when the planet's orbit has a relatively large eccentricity. Although tidal heating interacts with the thermal state and the orbit of the planet, such coupled calculations for extrasolar planets around M stars have not been conducted. We perform coupled calculations using simple structural and orbital models and analyze the thermal state and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Considering this planet to be Martian-sized, the tide heats up and partially melts the mantle, maintaining an equilibrium state if the mass of the star is less than 0.2 times the mass of the Sun and the initial eccentricity of the orbit is more than 0.2. The reduction of heat dissipation due to the melted mantle allows the planet to stay in the habitable zone for more than 10 Gyr even though the orbital distance is small. The surface heat flux at the equilibrium state is between that of Mars and Io. The thermal state of the planet mainly depends on the initial value of the eccentricity and the mass of the star.

  12. Thermal-orbital coupled tidal heating and habitability of Martian-sized extrasolar planets around M stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K.

    2014-01-01

    M-type stars are good targets in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. Due to their low effective temperatures, the habitable zone of M stars is very close to the stars themselves. For planets that are close to their stars, tidal heating plays an important role in thermal and orbital evolutions, especially when the planet's orbit has a relatively large eccentricity. Although tidal heating interacts with the thermal state and the orbit of the planet, such coupled calculations for extrasolar planets around M stars have not been conducted. We perform coupled calculations using simple structural and orbital models and analyze the thermal state and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Considering this planet to be Martian-sized, the tide heats up and partially melts the mantle, maintaining an equilibrium state if the mass of the star is less than 0.2 times the mass of the Sun and the initial eccentricity of the orbit is more than 0.2. The reduction of heat dissipation due to the melted mantle allows the planet to stay in the habitable zone for more than 10 Gyr even though the orbital distance is small. The surface heat flux at the equilibrium state is between that of Mars and Io. The thermal state of the planet mainly depends on the initial value of the eccentricity and the mass of the star.

  13. PASTIS: Bayesian extrasolar planet validation - I. General framework, models, and performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, R. F.; Almenara, J. M.; Santerne, A.; Moutou, C.; Lethuillier, A.; Deleuil, M.

    2014-06-01

    A large fraction of the smallest transiting planet candidates discovered by the Kepler and CoRoT space missions cannot be confirmed by a dynamical measurement of the mass using currently available observing facilities. To establish their planetary nature, the concept of planet validation has been advanced. This technique compares the probability of the planetary hypothesis against that of all reasonably conceivable alternative false positive (FP) hypotheses. The candidate is considered as validated if the posterior probability of the planetary hypothesis is sufficiently larger than the sum of the probabilities of all FP scenarios. In this paper, we present PASTIS, the Planet Analysis and Small Transit Investigation Software, a tool designed to perform a rigorous model comparison of the hypotheses involved in the problem of planet validation, and to fully exploit the information available in the candidate light curves. PASTIS self-consistently models the transit light curves and follow-up observations. Its object-oriented structure offers a large flexibility for defining the scenarios to be compared. The performance is explored using artificial transit light curves of planets and FPs with a realistic error distribution obtained from a Kepler light curve. We find that data support the correct hypothesis strongly only when the signal is high enough (transit signal-to-noise ratio above 50 for the planet case) and remain inconclusive otherwise. PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) shall provide transits with high enough signal-to-noise ratio, but to establish the true nature of the vast majority of Kepler and CoRoT transit candidates additional data or strong reliance on hypotheses priors is needed.

  14. Earth as an extrasolar planet: Earth model validation using EPOXI earth observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler D; Meadows, Victoria S; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard K; Hearty, Thomas; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-06-01

    The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole-disk Earth model simulations used to better understand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of ∼100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined by using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to Earth's lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves and residuals of ∼10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We have extended our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of ∼7% and brightness temperature errors of less than 1 K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated forward model can be

  15. Extrasolar planets : - From gaseous giant planets to rocky planets. - Steps towards the detection of life biomarkers.

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2017-01-01

    Today, great efforts are made to detect Earth-mass rocky planets in the so-called habitable zone of their host stars. What are the difficulties, the instrumental projects  and the already detected interesting systems ?

  16. Types of Information Expected from a Photometric Search for Extra-Solar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Bell, James, III; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The current theory postulates that planets are a consequence of the formation of stars from viscous accretion disks. Condensation from the hotter, inner portion of the accretion disk favors the formation of small rocky planets in the inner portion and the formation of gas giants in the cuter, cooler part. Consequently, terrestrial-type planets in inner orbits must be commonplace (Wetheril 1991). From the geometry of the situation (Borucki and Summers 1984), it can be shown that 1% of those planetary systems that resemble our solar system should show transits for Earth-sized (or larger) planets. Thus a photometric satellite that uses a wide field of view telescope and a large CCD array to simultaneously monitor 5000 target stars should detect 50 planetary systems. To verify that regularly recurring transits are occurring rather than statistical fluctuations of the stellar flux, demands observations that extend over several orbital periods so that the constancy of the orbital period, signal amplitude, and duration can be measured. Therefore, to examine the region from Mercury's orbit to that of the Earth requires a duration of three years whereas a search out to the orbit of mars requires about six years. The results of the observations should provide estimates of the distributions of planetary size and orbital radius, and the frequency of planetary systems that have Earth-sized planets in inner orbits. Because approximately one half of the star systems observed will be binary systems, the frequency of planetary systems orbit ' ing either one or both of the stars can also be determined. Furthermore, the complexity of the photometric signature of a planet transiting a pair of stars provides enough information to estimate the eccentricities of the planetary orbits. In summary, the statistical evidence from a photometric search of solar-like stars should be able to either confirm or deny the applicability of the current theory of planet formation and provide new

  17. BIGRE: A LOW CROSS-TALK INTEGRAL FIELD UNIT TAILORED FOR EXTRASOLAR PLANETS IMAGING SPECTROSCOPY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antichi, Jacopo; Mouillet, David; Puget, Pascal; Beuzit, Jean-Luc; Dohlen, Kjetil; Gratton, Raffaele G.; Mesa, Dino; Claudi, Riccardo U.; Giro, Enrico; Boccaletti, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    Integral field spectroscopy represents a powerful technique for the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets through high-contrast imaging since it allows us to obtain simultaneously a large number of monochromatic images. These can be used to calibrate and then to reduce the impact of speckles, once their chromatic dependence is taken into account. The main concern in designing integral field spectrographs for high-contrast imaging is the impact of the diffraction effects and the noncommon path aberrations together with an efficient use of the detector pixels. We focus our attention on integral field spectrographs based on lenslet arrays, discussing the main features of these designs: the conditions of appropriate spatial and spectral sampling of the resulting spectrograph's slit functions and their related cross-talk terms when the system works at the diffraction limit. We present a new scheme for the integral field unit based on a dual-lenslet device (BIGRE), that solves some of the problems related to the classical Traitement Integral des Galaxies par l'Etude de leurs Rays (TIGER) design when used for such applications. We show that BIGRE provides much lower cross-talk signals than TIGER, allowing a more efficient use of the detector pixels and a considerable saving of the overall cost of a lenslet-based integral field spectrograph.

  18. EUV-driven ionospheres and electron transport on extrasolar giant planets orbiting active stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadney, J. M.; Galand, M.; Koskinen, T. T.; Miller, S.; Sanz-Forcada, J.; Unruh, Y. C.; Yelle, R. V.

    2016-03-01

    The composition and structure of the upper atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) are affected by the high-energy spectrum of their host stars from soft X-rays to the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). This emission depends on the activity level of the star, which is primarily determined by its age. In this study, we focus upon EGPs orbiting K- and M-dwarf stars of different ages - ɛ Eridani, AD Leonis, AU Microscopii - and the Sun. X-ray and EUV (XUV) spectra for these stars are constructed using a coronal model. These spectra are used to drive both a thermospheric model and an ionospheric model, providing densities of neutral and ion species. Ionisation - as a result of stellar radiation deposition - is included through photo-ionisation and electron-impact processes. The former is calculated by solving the Lambert-Beer law, while the latter is calculated from a supra-thermal electron transport model. We find that EGP ionospheres at all orbital distances considered (0.1-1 AU) and around all stars selected are dominated by the long-lived H+ ion. In addition, planets with upper atmospheres where H2 is not substantially dissociated (at large orbital distances) have a layer in which H3+ is the major ion at the base of the ionosphere. For fast-rotating planets, densities of short-lived H3+ undergo significant diurnal variations, with the maximum value being driven by the stellar X-ray flux. In contrast, densities of longer-lived H+ show very little day/night variability and the magnitude is driven by the level of stellar EUV flux. The H3+ peak in EGPs with upper atmospheres where H2 is dissociated (orbiting close to their star) under strong stellar illumination is pushed to altitudes below the homopause, where this ion is likely to be destroyed through reactions with heavy species (e.g. hydrocarbons, water). The inclusion of secondary ionisation processes produces significantly enhanced ion and electron densities at altitudes below the main EUV ionisation peak, as

  19. Sonora: A New Generation Model Atmosphere Grid for Brown Dwarfs and Young Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.; Saumon, Didier; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Morley, Caroline; Lupu, Roxana Elena; Freedman, Richard; Visscher, Channon

    2017-01-01

    Brown dwarf and giant planet atmospheric structure and composition has been studied both by forward models and, increasingly so, by retrieval methods. While indisputably informative, retrieval methods are of greatest value when judged in the context of grid model predictions. Meanwhile retrieval models can test the assumptions inherent in the forward modeling procedure. In order to provide a new, systematic survey of brown dwarf atmospheric structure, emergent spectra, and evolution, we have constructed a new grid of brown dwarf model atmospheres. We ultimately aim for our grid to span substantial ranges of atmospheric metallilcity, C/O ratios, cloud properties, atmospheric mixing, and other parameters. Spectra predicted by our modeling grid can be compared to both observations and retrieval results to aid in the interpretation and planning of future telescopic observations. We thus present Sonora, a new generation of substellar atmosphere models, appropriate for application to studies of L, T, and Y-type brown dwarfs and young extrasolar giant planets. The models describe the expected temperature-pressure profile and emergent spectra of an atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium for ranges of effective temperatures and gravities encompassing 200 less than or equal to T(sub eff) less than or equal to 2400 K and 2.5 less than or equal to log g less than or equal to 5.5. In our poster we briefly describe our modeling methodology, enumerate various updates since our group's previous models, and present our initial tranche of models for cloudless, solar metallicity, and solar carbon-to-oxygen ratio, chemical equilibrium atmospheres. These models will be available online and will be updated as opacities and cloud modeling methods continue to improve.

  20. AN ANCIENT EXTRASOLAR SYSTEM WITH FIVE SUB-EARTH-SIZE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Barclay, T.; Huber, D.; Burke, C. J.; Quintana, E. V. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Swift, J. J. [Department of Astronomy and Department of Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Adibekyan, V. Zh. [Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Cochran, W. [Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712-1205 (United States); Isaacson, H. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Silva Aguirre, V.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Bedding, T. R. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Ragozzine, D. [Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States); Riddle, R. [Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Baranec, C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Basu, S., E-mail: campante@bison.ph.bham.ac.uk [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); and others

    2015-02-01

    The chemical composition of stars hosting small exoplanets (with radii less than four Earth radii) appears to be more diverse than that of gas-giant hosts, which tend to be metal-rich. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the universe's history when metals were more scarce. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of Kepler-444, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk and the host to a compact system of five transiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. We validate this system as a true five-planet system orbiting the target star and provide a detailed characterization of its planetary and orbital parameters based on an analysis of the transit photometry. Kepler-444 is the densest star with detected solar-like oscillations. We use asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that Kepler-444 formed when the universe was less than 20% of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe's 13.8 billion year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. The age of Kepler-444 not only suggests that thick-disk stars were among the hosts to the first Galactic planets, but may also help to pinpoint the beginning of the era of planet formation.

  1. AN ANCIENT EXTRASOLAR SYSTEM WITH FIVE SUB-EARTH-SIZE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R.; Barclay, T.; Huber, D.; Burke, C. J.; Quintana, E. V.; Swift, J. J.; Adibekyan, V. Zh.; Cochran, W.; Isaacson, H.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Bedding, T. R.; Ragozzine, D.; Riddle, R.; Baranec, C.; Basu, S.

    2015-01-01

    The chemical composition of stars hosting small exoplanets (with radii less than four Earth radii) appears to be more diverse than that of gas-giant hosts, which tend to be metal-rich. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the universe's history when metals were more scarce. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of Kepler-444, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk and the host to a compact system of five transiting planets with sizes between those of Mercury and Venus. We validate this system as a true five-planet system orbiting the target star and provide a detailed characterization of its planetary and orbital parameters based on an analysis of the transit photometry. Kepler-444 is the densest star with detected solar-like oscillations. We use asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that Kepler-444 formed when the universe was less than 20% of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the universe's 13.8 billion year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy. The age of Kepler-444 not only suggests that thick-disk stars were among the hosts to the first Galactic planets, but may also help to pinpoint the beginning of the era of planet formation

  2. KEPLER-7b: A TRANSITING PLANET WITH UNUSUALLY LOW DENSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Latham, David W.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Furesz, Gabor; Geary, John C.; Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Brown, Timothy M.; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie M.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Cochran, William D.; Dunham, Edward W.; Gautier, Thomas N.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Howell, Steve B.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Monet, David G.

    2010-01-01

    We report on the discovery and confirmation of Kepler-7b, a transiting planet with unusually low density. The mass is less than half that of Jupiter, M P = 0.43 M J , but the radius is 50% larger, R P = 1.48 R J . The resulting density, ρ P = 0.17 g cm -3 , is the second lowest reported so far for an extrasolar planet. The orbital period is fairly long, P = 4.886 days, and the host star is not much hotter than the Sun, T eff = 6000 K. However, it is more massive and considerably larger than the Sun, M * = 1.35 M sun and R * = 1.84 R sun , and must be near the end of its life on the main sequence.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Context. Observations of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance to our understanding of planets because their mass, radius, and mass density can be determined. These measurements indicate that planets of similar mass can have very different radii. For low-density planets, it is gener...

  4. A Program to Detect and Characterize Extra-Solar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor); Noyes, Robert W.

    2003-01-01

    We initiated a significant hardware upgrade to the AFOE, to increase its efficiency for precise radial velocity studies to the level where we can continue to contribute usefully to extrasolar planet research on relatively bright stars. The AFOE, at a 1.5-m telescope, will of course not have the sensitivity of radial velocity instruments at larger telescopes, such as the HIRES on Keck or the Hectochelle on the MMT telescope (about to come on line). However, it has been possible to increase its efficiency for precise radial velocity studies by a factor of 4 to 5, which-combined with the large amount of telescope time available at the 1.5-m telescope-will permit us to do intensive follow-up observations of stars brighter than about 8 magnitude. The AFOE was originally designed primarily for asteroseismology using a ThAr reference. This provided useful wavelength stability over tens of minutes as required for asteroseismology, but we were unable to get a long-term (month-to-month) velocity precision better than about 15 m/s with that setup. Hence, we implemented an iodine cell as a wavelength reference for extrasolar planet studies. However, the optical design of the original AFOE did not completely span the wavelength range covered by the iodine absorption spectrum, and furthermore the optics suffered significant light loss through optical obscuration in the camera secondary. To remedy this, we replaced the AFOE grating with a new one that covered the entire iodine spectral range at somewhat lower spectral resolution, and replaced the camera with a transmitting lens. (The use of a lens was made possible by restricting the spectral range covered by the upgraded AFOE to only the iodine region.) These upgrades were successfully completed, and the instrument was tested for three nights in fall of 2002. The expected improvement in sensitivity by a factor of 4 to 5 was observed: that is, the same velocity precision as previously attained (of order 5 to 7 m/s) was now

  5. A search for extra-solar planetary transits in the field of open cluster NGC 6819

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Rachel Amanda

    The technique of searching for extra-solar planetary transits is investigated. This technique, which relies on detecting the brief, shallow eclipses caused by planets passing across the line of sight to the primary star, requires high-precision time-series photometry of large numbers of stars in order to detect these statistically rare events. Observations of 18000 stars in the field including the intermediate-age open cluster NGC 6819 are presented. This target field constrasts with the stellar environment surveyed by the radial velocity technique, which concentrates on the Solar neighbourhood. I present the data-reduction techniques used to obtain high-precision photometry in a semi-automated fashion for tens of thousands of stars at a time, together with an algorithm designed to search the resulting lightcurves for the transit signatures of hot Jupiter type planets. I describe simulations designed to test the detection efficiency of this algorithm and, for comparison, predict the number of transits expected from this data, assuming that hot Jupiter planets similar to HD 209458 are as common in the field of NGC 6819 as they are in the Solar neighbourhood. While no planetary transits have yet been identified, the detection of several very low amplitude eclipses by stellar companions demonstrates the effectiveness of the method. This study also indicates that stellar activity and particularly blending are significant causes of false detections. A useful additional consequence of studying this time-series photometry is the census it provides of some of the variable stars in the field. I report on the discovery of a variety of newly-discovered variables, including Algol-type detached eclipsing binaries which are likely to consist of M-dwarf stars. Further study of these stars is strongly recommended in order to help constrain models of stellar structure at the very low mass end. I conclude with a summary of this work in the context of other efforts being made in this

  6. Discovering transits of HD 209458-b type planets with Hipparcos and FAME photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Timothy Paul

    The motivation and prospects for success of a search for transits of short-period extrasolar planets of late-type main sequence stars in the Hipparcos satellite photometry archive is outlined. Recent extrasolar planet discoveries by the radial velocity (RV) method reveal that 1 in 20 spectral type F, G and K dwarfs possess short-period planets. Careful consideration of the transit detection probability as a function of stellar spectral type and planet orbit size results in the expectation that 6 to 24 transiting planets may be found among the 118,204 Hipparcos catalog stars. A search algorithm based on the known properties of the single known transiting extrasolar planet HD 209458-b was applied to carefully- selected samples of stars. The results of these searches and simulations of the detection efficiency for idealized transits are presented. Statistical and catalog-based methods for discriminating transits from intrinsic stellar variability and eclipses due to stellar companions are developed and described. Candidate lists that are the results of these searches are presented. Each candidate is placed in a color magnitude diagram based on Hipparcos derived distances and absolute magnitudes in order to clearly identify evolved stars. The effect of Lutz-Kelker bias on this main sequence membership determination is discussed in an Appendix. A Hipparcos-photometry-based intrinsic stellar variability determination is performed and compared to ground-based measurements. It is shown that intrinsic stellar variability of late-type main sequence stars is not a major concern for extrasolar jovian planet transit searches. The prospects for transit detection by the higher precision measurements of several hundred thousand main sequence stars to be made by the upcoming Full Sky Astrometric Explorer (FAME) satellite are similarly explored. A novel method for directly determining the mass of a transiting planet's parent star from timing measurements is introduced briefly in an

  7. 'Signs of disequilibrium chemistry in extrasolar hot-Jupiter type planets?'

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  8. Predicting Precession Rates from Secular Dynamics for Extra-solar Multi-planet Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Laerhoven, Christa

    2015-12-01

    Considering the secular dynamics of multi-planet systems provides substantial insight into the interactions between planets in those systems. Secular interactions are those that don't involve knowing where a planet is along its orbit, and they dominate when planets are not involved in mean motion resonances. These interactions exchange angular momentum among the planets, evolving their eccentricities and inclinations. To second order in the planets' eccentricities and inclinations, the eccentricity and inclination perturbations are decoupled. Given the right variable choice, the relevant differential equations are linear and thus the eccentricity and inclination behaviors can be described as a sum of eigenmodes. Since the underlying structure of the secular eigenmodes can be calculated using only the planets' masses and semi-major axes, one can elucidate the eccentricity and inclination behavior of planets in exoplanet systems even without knowing the planets' current eccentricities and inclinations. I have calculated both the eccentricity and inclination secular eigenmodes for the population of known multi-planet systems whose planets have well determined masses and periods and have used this to predict what range of pericenter precession (and nodal regression) rates the planets may have. One might have assumed that in any given system the planets with shorter periods would have faster precession rates, but I show that this is not necessarily the case. Planets that are 'loners' have narrow ranges of possible precession rates, while planets that are 'groupies' can have a wider range of possible precession rates. Several planets are expected to undergo significant precession on few-year timescales and many planets (though not the majority of planets) will undergo significant precession on decade timescales.

  9. Clouds in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. V. The impact of CO2 ice clouds on the outer boundary of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    Kitzmann, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Clouds have a strong impact on the climate of planetary atmospheres. The potential scattering greenhouse effect of CO2 ice clouds in the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets is of particular interest because it might influence the position and thus the extension of the outer boundary of the classic habitable zone around main sequence stars. Here, the impact of CO2 ice clouds on the surface temperatures of terrestrial planets with CO2 dominated atmospheres, orbiting different types of...

  10. GIANT PLANET MIGRATION, DISK EVOLUTION, AND THE ORIGIN OF TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, Richard D.; Armitage, Philip J.

    2009-01-01

    We present models of giant planet migration in evolving protoplanetary disks. Our disks evolve subject to viscous transport of angular momentum and photoevaporation, while planets undergo Type II migration. We use a Monte Carlo approach, running large numbers of models with a range in initial conditions. We find that relatively simple models can reproduce both the observed radial distribution of extrasolar giant planets, and the lifetimes and accretion histories of protoplanetary disks. The use of state-of-the-art photoevaporation models results in a degree of coupling between planet formation and disk clearing, which has not been found previously. Some accretion across planetary orbits is necessary if planets are to survive at radii ∼<1.5 AU, and if planets of Jupiter mass or greater are to survive in our models they must be able to form at late times, when the disk surface density in the formation region is low. Our model forms two different types of 'transitional' disks, embedded planets and clearing disks, which show markedly different properties. We find that the observable properties of these systems are broadly consistent with current observations, and highlight useful observational diagnostics. We predict that young transition disks are more likely to contain embedded giant planets, while older transition disks are more likely to be undergoing disk clearing.

  11. THE EFFECT OF MASS LOSS ON THE TIDAL EVOLUTION OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, J. H.

    2010-01-01

    By combining mass loss and tidal evolution of close-in planets, we present a qualitative study on their tidal migrations. We incorporate mass loss in tidal evolution for planets with different masses and find that mass loss could interfere with tidal evolution. In an upper limit case (β = 3), a significant portion of mass may be evaporated in a long evolution timescale. Evidence of greater modification of the planets with an initial separation of about 0.1 AU than those with a = 0.15 AU can be found in this model. With the assumption of a large initial eccentricity, the planets with initial mass ≤1 M J and initial distance of about 0.1 AU could not survive. With the supposition of β = 1.1, we find that the loss process has an effect on the planets with low mass at a ∼ 0.05 AU. In both cases, the effect of evaporation on massive planets can be neglected. Also, heating efficiency and initial eccentricity have significant influence on tidal evolution. We find that even low heating efficiency and initial eccentricity have a significant effect on tidal evolution. Our analysis shows that evaporation on planets with different initial masses can accelerate (decelerate) the tidal evolution due to the increase (decrease) in tide of the planet (star). Consequently, the effect of evaporation cannot be neglected in evolutionary calculations of close-in planets. The physical parameters of HD 209458b can be fitted by our model.

  12. Design and Verification of External Occulters for Direct Imaging of Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cady, Eric

    2011-01-01

    An occulter is an optical element which is placed in front of the telescope to block most of the light from a star before it reaches the optics inside, without blocking the planet.In our case, we use two spacecraft ying in formation: First has its edge shaped to cancel the starlight Second is the telescope which images the star and planet

  13. Three Small Planets Transiting a Hyades Star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Livingston, John H.; Dai, Fei; Hirano, Teruyuki

    2018-01-01

    We present the discovery of three small planets transiting K2-136 (LP 358 348, EPIC 247589423), a late K dwarf in the Hyades. The planets have orbital periods of 7.9757 ± 0.0011, {17.30681}-0.00036+0.00034, and {25.5715}-0.0040+0.0038 {days}, and radii of 1.05 ± 0.16, 3.14 ± 0.36, and {1.55}-0.21...

  14. TWO SMALL PLANETS TRANSITING HD 3167

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Mayo, Andrew W.; Berlind, Perry; Duev, Dmitry A.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Riddle, Reed; Baranec, Christoph; Law, Nicholas M.; Nieberding, Megan N.; Salama, Maïssa

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of two super-Earth-sized planets transiting the bright (V = 8.94, K = 7.07) nearby late G-dwarf HD 3167, using data collected by the K2 mission. The inner planet, HD 3167 b, has a radius of 1.6 R ⊕ and an ultra-short orbital period of only 0.96 days. The outer planet, HD 3167 c, has a radius of 2.9 R ⊕ and orbits its host star every 29.85 days. At a distance of just 45.8 ± 2.2 pc, HD 3167 is one of the closest and brightest stars hosting multiple transiting planets, making HD 3167 b and c well suited for follow-up observations. The star is chromospherically inactive with low rotational line-broadening, ideal for radial velocity observations to measure the planets’ masses. The outer planet is large enough that it likely has a thick gaseous envelope that could be studied via transmission spectroscopy. Planets transiting bright, nearby stars like HD 3167 are valuable objects to study leading up to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope .

  15. TWO SMALL PLANETS TRANSITING HD 3167

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Mayo, Andrew W.; Berlind, Perry [Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Duev, Dmitry A.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Riddle, Reed [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Baranec, Christoph [University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Law, Nicholas M. [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (United States); Nieberding, Megan N. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Salama, Maïssa, E-mail: avanderburg@cfa.harvard.edu [University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2016-09-20

    We report the discovery of two super-Earth-sized planets transiting the bright (V = 8.94, K = 7.07) nearby late G-dwarf HD 3167, using data collected by the K2 mission. The inner planet, HD 3167 b, has a radius of 1.6 R {sub ⊕} and an ultra-short orbital period of only 0.96 days. The outer planet, HD 3167 c, has a radius of 2.9 R {sub ⊕} and orbits its host star every 29.85 days. At a distance of just 45.8 ± 2.2 pc, HD 3167 is one of the closest and brightest stars hosting multiple transiting planets, making HD 3167 b and c well suited for follow-up observations. The star is chromospherically inactive with low rotational line-broadening, ideal for radial velocity observations to measure the planets’ masses. The outer planet is large enough that it likely has a thick gaseous envelope that could be studied via transmission spectroscopy. Planets transiting bright, nearby stars like HD 3167 are valuable objects to study leading up to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope .

  16. High Contrast Imaging of Extrasolar Planets with a Vector Vortex Coronagraph

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The discovery of rocky planets orbiting their parent stars in the habitable zone, the area where the temperature is such that water is able to exist in liquid form,...

  17. Parent Stars of Extrasolar Planets - XIV. Strong Evidence of Li Abundance Deficit

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    We report the results of our analysis of new high resolution spectra of 30 late-F to early-G dwarf field stars for the purpose of deriving their Li abundances. They were selected from the subsample of stars in the Valenti and Fischer compilation that are lacking detected planets. These new data serve to expand our comparison sample used to test whether stars with Doppler-detected giant planets display Li abundance anomalies. Our results continue to show that Li is deficient among stars with p...

  18. High-resolution spectroscopic search for the thermal emission of the extrasolar planet HD 217107 b

    OpenAIRE

    Cubillos, Patricio E.; Rojo, Patricio; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2011-01-01

    We analyzed the combined near-infrared spectrum of a star-planet system with thermal emission atmospheric models, based on the composition and physical parameters of the system. The main objective of this work is to obtain the inclination of the orbit, the mass of the exoplanet, and the planet-to-star flux ratio. We present the results of our routines on the planetary system HD 217107, which was observed with the high-resolution spectrograph Phoenix at 2.14 microns. We revisited and tuned a c...

  19. Adaptive Annealed Importance Sampling for Multimodal Posterior Exploration and Model Selection with Application to Extrasolar Planet Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bin

    2014-07-01

    We describe an algorithm that can adaptively provide mixture summaries of multimodal posterior distributions. The parameter space of the involved posteriors ranges in size from a few dimensions to dozens of dimensions. This work was motivated by an astrophysical problem called extrasolar planet (exoplanet) detection, wherein the computation of stochastic integrals that are required for Bayesian model comparison is challenging. The difficulty comes from the highly nonlinear models that lead to multimodal posterior distributions. We resort to importance sampling (IS) to estimate the integrals, and thus translate the problem to be how to find a parametric approximation of the posterior. To capture the multimodal structure in the posterior, we initialize a mixture proposal distribution and then tailor its parameters elaborately to make it resemble the posterior to the greatest extent possible. We use the effective sample size (ESS) calculated based on the IS draws to measure the degree of approximation. The bigger the ESS is, the better the proposal resembles the posterior. A difficulty within this tailoring operation lies in the adjustment of the number of mixing components in the mixture proposal. Brute force methods just preset it as a large constant, which leads to an increase in the required computational resources. We provide an iterative delete/merge/add process, which works in tandem with an expectation-maximization step to tailor such a number online. The efficiency of our proposed method is tested via both simulation studies and real exoplanet data analysis.

  20. Clouds and Chemistry in the Atmosphere of Extrasolar Planet HR8799b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barman, T S; Macintosh, B A; Konopacky, Q M; Marois, C

    2011-03-21

    Using the integral field spectrograph OSIRIS, on the Keck II telescope, broad near-infrared H and K-band spectra of the young exoplanet HR8799b have been obtained. In addition, six new narrow-band photometric measurements have been taken across the H and K bands. These data are combined with previously published photometry for an analysis of the planet's atmospheric properties. Thick photospheric dust cloud opacity is invoked to explain the planet's red near-IR colors and relatively smooth near-IR spectrum. Strong water absorption is detected, indicating a Hydrogen-rich atmosphere. Only weak CH{sub 4} absorption is detected at K band, indicating efficient vertical mixing and a disequilibrium CO/CH{sub 4} ratio at photospheric depths. The H-band spectrum has a distinct triangular shape consistent with low surface gravity. New giant planet atmosphere models are compared to these data with best fitting bulk parameters, T{sub eff} = 1100K {+-} 100 and log(g) = 3.5 {+-} 0.5 (for solar composition). Given the observed luminosity (log L{sub obs}/L{sub {circle_dot}} {approx} -5.1), these values correspond to a radius of 0.75 R{sub Jup{sub 0.12}{sup +0.17}} and mass {approx} 0.72 M{sub Jup{sub -0.6}{sup +2.6}} - strikingly inconsistent with interior/evolution models. Enhanced metallicity (up to {approx} 10 x that of the Sun) along with thick clouds and non-equilibrium chemistry are likely required to reproduce the complete ensemble of spectroscopic and photometric data and the low effective temperatures (< 1000K) required by the evolution models.

  1. Removing Activity-Related Radial Velocity Noise to Improve Extrasolar Planet Searches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saar, Steven; Lindstrom, David M. (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    We have made significant progress towards the proposal goals of understanding the causes and effects of magnetic activity-induced radial velocity (v_r) jitter and developing methods for correcting it. In the process, we have also made some significant discoveries in the fields of planet-induced stellar activity, planet detection methods, M dwarf convection, starspot properties, and magnetic dynamo cycles. We have obtained super high resolution (R approximately 200,000), high S / N (greater than 300) echelle study of joint line bisector and radial velocity variations using the McDonald 2-D coude. A long observing run in October 2002 in particular was quite successful (8 clear nights). We now have close to three years of data, which begins to sample a good fraction of the magnetic cycle timescales for some of our targets (e.g., kappa Ceti; P_cyc = 5.6 yrs). This will be very helpful in unraveling the complex relationships between plage and radial velocity (v-r) changes which we have uncovered. Preliminary analysis (Saar et al. 2003) of the data in hand, reveals correlations between median line bisector displacement and v_r. The correlation appears to be specific the the particular star being considered, probably since it is a function of both spectral type and rotation rate. Further analysis and interpretation will be in the context of evolving plage models and is in progress.

  2. Ionization in atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets VI: Properties of large-scale discharge events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailey, R. L.; Helling, Ch.; Hodosán, G.; Bilger, C.; Stark, C. R., E-mail: ch@leap2010.eu [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)

    2014-03-20

    Mineral clouds in substellar atmospheres play a special role as a catalyst for a variety of charge processes. If clouds are charged, the surrounding environment becomes electrically activated, and ensembles of charged grains are electrically discharging (e.g., by lightning), which significantly influences the local chemistry creating conditions similar to those thought responsible for life in early planetary atmospheres. We note that such lightning discharges contribute also to the ionization state of the atmosphere. We apply scaling laws for electrical discharge processes from laboratory measurements and numerical experiments to DRIFT-PHOENIX model atmosphere results to model the discharge's propagation downward (as lightning) and upward (as sprites) through the atmospheric clouds. We evaluate the spatial extent and energetics of lightning discharges. The atmospheric volume affected (e.g., by increase of temperature or electron number) is larger in a brown dwarf atmosphere (10{sup 8}-10{sup 10} m{sup 3}) than in a giant gas planet (10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} m{sup 3}). Our results suggest that the total dissipated energy in one event is <10{sup 12} J for all models of initial solar metallicity. First attempts to show the influence of lightning on the local gas phase indicate an increase of small carbohydrate molecules like CH and CH{sub 2} at the expense of CO and CH{sub 4}. Dust-forming molecules are destroyed and the cloud particle properties are frozen in unless enough time is available for complete evaporation. We summarize instruments potentially suitable to observe lightning on extrasolar objects.

  3. IONIZATION IN ATMOSPHERES OF BROWN DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. V. ALFVÉN IONIZATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stark, C. R.; Helling, Ch.; Rimmer, P. B.; Diver, D. A.

    2013-01-01

    Observations of continuous radio and sporadic X-ray emission from low-mass objects suggest they harbor localized plasmas in their atmospheric environments. For low-mass objects, the degree of thermal ionization is insufficient to qualify the ionized component as a plasma, posing the question: what ionization processes can efficiently produce the required plasma that is the source of the radiation? We propose Alfvén ionization as a mechanism for producing localized pockets of ionized gas in the atmosphere, having sufficient degrees of ionization (≥10 –7 ) that they constitute plasmas. We outline the criteria required for Alfvén ionization and demonstrate its applicability in the atmospheres of low-mass objects such as giant gas planets, brown dwarfs, and M dwarfs with both solar and sub-solar metallicities. We find that Alfvén ionization is most efficient at mid to low atmospheric pressures where a seed plasma is easier to magnetize and the pressure gradients needed to drive the required neutral flows are the smallest. For the model atmospheres considered, our results show that degrees of ionization of 10 –6 -1 can be obtained as a result of Alfvén ionization. Observable consequences include continuum bremsstrahlung emission, superimposed with spectral lines from the plasma ion species (e.g., He, Mg, H 2 , or CO lines). Forbidden lines are also expected from the metastable population. The presence of an atmospheric plasma opens the door to a multitude of plasma and chemical processes not yet considered in current atmospheric models. The occurrence of Alfvén ionization may also be applicable to other astrophysical environments such as protoplanetary disks

  4. A cloaking device for transiting planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipping, David M.; Teachey, Alex

    2016-06-01

    The transit method is presently the most successful planet discovery and characterization tool at our disposal. Other advanced civilizations would surely be aware of this technique and appreciate that their home planet's existence and habitability is essentially broadcast to all stars lying along their ecliptic plane. We suggest that advanced civilizations could cloak their presence, or deliberately broadcast it, through controlled laser emission. Such emission could distort the apparent shape of their transit light curves with relatively little energy, due to the collimated beam and relatively infrequent nature of transits. We estimate that humanity could cloak the Earth from Kepler-like broad-band surveys using an optical monochromatic laser array emitting a peak power of ˜30 MW for ˜10 hours per year. A chromatic cloak, effective at all wavelengths, is more challenging requiring a large array of tunable lasers with a total power of ˜250 MW. Alternatively, a civilization could cloak only the atmospheric signatures associated with biological activity on their world, such as oxygen, which is achievable with a peak laser power of just ˜160 kW per transit. Finally, we suggest that the time of transit for optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is analogous to the water-hole in radio SETI, providing a clear window in which observers may expect to communicate. Accordingly, we propose that a civilization may deliberately broadcast their technological capabilities by distorting their transit to an artificial shape, which serves as both a SETI beacon and a medium for data transmission. Such signatures could be readily searched in the archival data of transit surveys.

  5. Light-curve analysis of KOI 2700b: the second extrasolar planet with a comet-like tail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garai, Z.

    2018-03-01

    Context. The Kepler object KOI 2700b (KIC 8639908b) was discovered recently as the second exoplanet with a comet-like tail. It exhibits a distinctly asymmetric transit profile, likely indicative of the emission of dusty effluents and reminiscent of KIC 12557548b, the first exoplanet with a comet-like tail. Aim. The scientific goal of this work is to verify the disintegrating-planet scenario of KOI 2700b by modeling its light curve and to put constraints on various tail and planet properties, as was done in the case of KIC 12557548b. Methods: We obtained the phase-folded and binned transit light curve of KOI 2700b, which we subsequently iteratively modeled using the radiative-transfer code SHELLSPEC. We modeled the comet-like tail as part of a ring around the parent star and we also included the solid body of the planet in the model. During the modeling we applied selected species and dust particle sizes. Results: We confirmed the disintegrating-planet scenario of KOI 2700b. Furthermore, via modeling, we derived some interesting features of KOI 2700b and its comet-like tail. It turns out that the orbital plane of the planet and its tail are not edge-on, but the orbital inclination angle is from the interval [85.1, 88.6] deg. In comparison with KIC 12557548b, KOI 2700b exhibits a relatively low dust density decreasing in its tail. We also derived the dust density at the beginning of the ring and the highest optical depth through the tail in front of the star, based on a tail-model with a cross-section of 0.05 × 0.05 R⊙ at the beginning and 0.09 × 0.09 R⊙ at its end. Our results show that the dimension of the planet is Rp/Rs ≤ 0.014 (Rp ≤ 0.871 R⊕, or ≤5551 km). We also estimated the mass-loss rate from KOI 2700b, and we obtained Ṁ values from the interval [5.05 × 107, 4.41 × 1015] g s-1. On the other hand, we could not draw any satisfactory conclusions about the typical grain size in the dust tail.

  6. Beyond the Wobbles: Teaching Students About Detecting Planets with the Transit and Gravitational Microlensing Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Edward E.; Wallace, Colin Scott; Chambers, Timothy G.; Brissenden, Gina; Traub, Wesley A.; Greene, W. M.; Biferno, Anya A.; Rodriguez, Joshua

    2015-01-01

    Members of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory in collaboration with JPL scientists, visualization experts, and education and public outreach professionals with the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) have recently completed classroom field-testing of a new suite of educational materials to help learners better understand how extrasolar planets are detected using the transit and gravitational microlensing techniques. This collaboration has created a set of evidence-based Think-Pair-Share questions, Lecture-Tutorials, animations, presentation slides, and instrucotrs guide that can be used together or separately to actively engage learners in reasoning about the data and scientific representations associated with these exciting new extrasolar planet detection methods. In this talk we present several of the conceptually challenging collaborative learning tasks that students encounter with this new suite of educational materials and some of the assessment questions we are using to assess the efficacy of their use in general education, college-level astronomy courses.

  7. WTS1 b: The first planet detected in the WFCAM Transit Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cruz P.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We report the discovery of WTS1 b, the first extrasolar planet found by the WFCAM Transit Survey. For one of the most promising transiting candidates, high-resolution spectra taken at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET allowed us to estimate the spectroscopic parameters of the host star, a late-F main sequence dwarf (V = 16.13, and to measure its radial velocity variations. The combined analysis of the light curves and spectroscopic data resulted in an orbital period of the companion of 3.35 days, a planetary mass of 4.01 ± 0.35 MJ, and a planetary radius of 1.49 +0.16-0.18 RJ. WTS1 b has one of the largest radius anomalies among the known hot Jupiters in the mass range 3–5 MJ.

  8. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2009-01-01

    We study the final architecture of planetary systems that evolve under the combined effects of planet-planet and planetesimal scattering. Using N-body simulations we investigate the dynamics of marginally unstable systems of gas and ice giants both in isolation and when the planets form interior to a planetesimal belt. The unstable isolated systems evolve under planet-planet scattering to yield an eccentricity distribution that matches that observed for extrasolar planets. When planetesimals are included the outcome depends upon the total mass of the planets. For M tot ∼> 1 M J the final eccentricity distribution remains broad, whereas for M tot ∼ J a combination of divergent orbital evolution and recircularization of scattered planets results in a preponderance of nearly circular final orbits. We also study the fate of marginally stable multiple planet systems in the presence of planetesimal disks, and find that for high planet masses the majority of such systems evolve into resonance. A significant fraction leads to resonant chains that are planetary analogs of Jupiter's Galilean satellites. We predict that a transition from eccentric to near-circular orbits will be observed once extrasolar planet surveys detect sub-Jovian mass planets at orbital radii of a ≅ 5-10 AU.

  9. High-dispersion spectroscopy of extrasolar planets: from CO in hot Jupiters to O2 in exo-Earths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas

    2014-04-28

    Ground-based high-dispersion spectroscopy could reveal molecular oxygen as a biomarker gas in the atmospheres of twin-Earths transiting red dwarf stars within the next 25 years. The required contrasts are only a factor of 3 lower than that already achieved for carbon monoxide in hot Jupiter atmospheres today but will need much larger telescopes because the target stars will be orders of magnitude fainter. If extraterrestrial life is very common and can therefore be found on planets around the most nearby red dwarf stars, it may be detectable via transmission spectroscopy with the next-generation extremely large telescopes. However, it is likely that significantly more collecting area is required for this. This can be achieved through the development of low-cost flux collector technology, which combines a large collecting area with a low but sufficient image quality for high-dispersion spectroscopy of bright stars.

  10. 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.

  11. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, M.

    2007-06-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Discovery mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques, and observe the inner spatial structure and colors of debris disks. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument.

  12. DISCOVERY OF A TRANSITING PLANET NEAR THE SNOW-LINE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kipping, D. M.; Torres, G.; Buchhave, L. A.

    2014-01-01

    In most theories of planet formation, the snow-line represents a boundary between the emergence of the interior rocky planets and the exterior ice giants. The wide separation of the snow-line makes the discovery of transiting worlds challenging, yet transits would allow for detailed subsequent...

  13. IMPROVED SPECTROSCOPIC PARAMETERS FOR TRANSITING PLANET HOSTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torres, Guillermo; Holman, Matthew J.; Carter, Joshua A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Fischer, Debra A. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Sozzetti, Alessandro [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, I-10025 Pino Torinese (Italy); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Winn, Joshua N., E-mail: gtorres@cfa.harvard.edu [Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2012-10-01

    We report homogeneous spectroscopic determinations of the effective temperature, metallicity, and projected rotational velocity for the host stars of 56 transiting planets. Our analysis is based primarily on the stellar parameter classification (SPC) technique. We investigate systematic errors by examining subsets of the data with two other methods that have often been used in previous studies (Spectroscopy Made Easy (SME) and MOOG). The SPC and SME results, both based on comparisons between synthetic spectra and actual spectra, show strong correlations between T{sub eff}, [Fe/H], and log g when solving for all three quantities simultaneously. In contrast the MOOG results, based on a more traditional curve-of-growth approach, show no such correlations. To combat the correlations and improve the accuracy of the temperatures and metallicities, we repeat the SPC analysis with a constraint on log g based on the mean stellar density that can be derived from the analysis of the transit light curves. Previous studies that have not taken advantage of this constraint have been subject to systematic errors in the stellar masses and radii of up to 20% and 10%, respectively, which can be larger than other observational uncertainties, and which also cause systematic errors in the planetary mass and radius.

  14. Dynamical Constraints on Non-Transiting Planets at Trappist-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Truong, Vinh; Ford, Eric; Robertson, Paul; Terrien, Ryan

    2018-04-01

    The outermost of the seven known planets of Trappist-1 orbits six times closer to its host star than Mercury orbits the sun. The architecture of this system beyond 0.07 AU remains unknown. While the presence of additional planets will ultimately be determined by observations, in the meantime, some constraints can be derived from dynamical models.We will firstly look at the expected signature of additional planets at Trappist-1 on the transit times of the known planets to determine at what distances putatuve planets can be ruled out.Secondly, the remarkably compact configuration of Trappist-1 ensures that the known planets are secularly coupled, keeping their mutual inclinations very small and making their cotransiting geometry likely if Trappist-1h transits. We determine the range of masses and orbital inclinations of a putatuve outer planet that would make the observed configuration unlikely, and compare these to these constraints to those expected from radial velocity observations.

  15. The metallicities of stars with and without transiting planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Latham, David W.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Masses, Radii, and Orbits of Small Kepler Planets: The Transition from Gaseous to Rocky Planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marcy, G.W.; et al., [Unknown; Hekker, S.

    2014-01-01

    We report on the masses, sizes, and orbits of the planets orbiting 22 Kepler stars. There are 49 planet candidates around these stars, including 42 detected through transits and 7 revealed by precise Doppler measurements of the host stars. Based on an analysis of the Kepler brightness measurements,

  17. Gifts from Exoplanetary Transits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narita, Norio

    2009-08-01

    The discovery of transiting extrasolar planets has enabled us to do a number of interesting studies. Transit photometry reveals the radius and the orbital inclination of transiting planets, which allows us to learn the true mass and density of the respective planets by the combined information from radial velocity (RV) measurements. In addition, follow-up observations of transiting planets, looking at such things as secondary eclipses, transit timing variations, transmission spectroscopy, and the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, provide us information about their dayside temperatures, unseen bodies in systems, planetary atmospheres, and the obliquity of planetary orbits. Such observational information, which will provide us a greater understanding of extrasolar planets, is available only for transiting planets. Here, I briefly summarize what we can learn from transiting planets and introduce previous studies.

  18. Limits On Undetected Planets in the Six Transiting Planets Kepler-11 System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler-11 has five inner planets ranging from approx. 2 - 1 times as massive Earth in a tightly-packed configuration, with orbital periods between 10 and 47 days. A sixth planet, Kepler-11 g, with a period of118 days, is also observed. The spacing between planets Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g is wide enough to allow room for a planet to orbit stably between them. We compare six and seven planet fits to measured transit timing variations (TTVs) of the six known planets. We find that in most cases an additional planet between Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g degrades rather than enhances the fit to the TTV data, and where the fit is improved, the improvement provides no significant evidence of a planet between Kepler-11 f and Kepler-11 g. This implies that any planet in this region must be low in mass. We also provide constraints on undiscovered planets orbiting exterior to Kepler-11 g. representations will be described.

  19. Transits of planets with small intervals in circumbinary systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Hui-Gen; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Hui; Zhou, Ji-Lin

    2014-01-01

    Transit times around single stars can be described well by a linear ephemeris. However, transit times in circumbinary systems are influenced both by the gravitational perturbations and the orbital phase variations of the central binary star. Adopting a coplanar analog of Kepler-16 as an example, we find that circumbinary planets can transit the same star more than once during a single planetary orbit, a phenomenon we call 'tight transits.' In certain geometric architecture, the projected orbital velocity of the planet and the secondary star can approach zero and change sign, resulting in very long transits and/or 2-3 transits during a single binary orbit. Whether tight transits are possible for a particular system depends primarily on the binary mass ratio and the orbital architecture of both the binary and the planet. We derive a time-dependent criterion to judge when tight transits are possible for any circumbinary system. These results are verified with full dynamical integrations that also reveal other tight transit characteristics, i.e., the transit durations and the intervals between tight transits. For the seven currently known circumbinary systems, we estimate these critical parameters both analytically and numerically. Due to the mutual inclination between the planet and the binary, tight transits can only occur across the less massive star B in Kepler-16, -34, -35, and -47 (for both planets). The long-term average frequency of tight transits (compared to typical transits) for Kepler-16, -34, and -35 are estimated to be several percent. Using full numerical integrations, the next tight transit for each system is predicted and the soonest example appears to be Kepler-47b and -47c, which are likely to have tight transits before 2025. These unique and valuable events often deserve special observational scrutiny.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  1. Transiting Planets from Kepler, K2 & TESS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2018-01-01

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009, has been a resounding success. More than 4000 planet candidates have been identified using data from Kepler primary mission, which ended in 2013, and greater than 2000 of these candidates have been verified as bona fide exoplanets. After the loss of two reaction wheels ended the primary mission, the Kepler spacecraft was repurposed in 2014 to observe many fields on the sky for short periods. This new mission, dubbed K2, has led to the discovery of greater than 600 planet candidates, approximately 200 of which have been verified to date; most of these exoplanets are closer to us than the majority of exoplanets discovered by the primary Kepler mission. TESS, launching in 2018, will survey most of the sky for exoplanets, with emphasis on those orbiting nearby and/or bright host stars, making these planets especially well-suited for follow-up observations with other observatories to characterize atmospheric compositions and other properties. More than one-third of the planet candidates found by NASA's are associated with target stars that have more than one planet candidate, and such 'multis' account for the majority of candidates that have been verified as true planets. The large number of multis tells us that flat multiplanet systems like our Solar System are common. Virtually all of the candidate planetary systems are stable, as tested by numerical integrations that assume a physically motivated mass-radius relationship. Statistical studies performed on these candidate systems reveal a great deal about the architecture of planetary systems, including the typical spacing of orbits and flatness. The characteristics of several of the most interesting confirmed Kepler & K2 multi-planet systems will also be discussed.

  2. Transiting circumbinary planets Kepler-34 b and Kepler-35 b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Welsh, William F.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Carter, Joshua A.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Prša, Andrej; Quinn, Samuel N.; Ragozzine, Darin; Short, Donald R.; Torres, Guillermo; Winn, Joshua N.; Doyle, Laurance R.; Barclay, Thomas; Batalha, Natalie; Bloemen, Steven; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A.; Caldwell, Caroline; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Gautier III, Thomas N.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Haas, Michael R.; Hall, Jennifer R.; Holman, Matthew J.; Howard, Andrew W.; Howell, Steve B.; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M.; Klaus, Todd C.; Latham, David W.; Li, Jie; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Mazeh, Tsevi; Quintana, Elisa V.; Robertson, Paul; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H.; Windmiller, Gur; Koch, David G.; Borucki, William J.

    2012-01-11

    Most Sun-like stars in the Galaxy reside in gravitationally-bound pairs of stars called 'binary stars'. While long anticipated, the existence of a 'circumbinary planet' orbiting such a pair of normal stars was not definitively established until the discovery of Kepler-16. Incontrovertible evidence was provided by the miniature eclipses ('transits') of the stars by the planet. However, questions remain about the prevalence of circumbinary planets and their range of orbital and physical properties. Here we present two additional transiting circumbinary planets, Kepler-34 and Kepler-35. Each is a low-density gas giant planet on an orbit closely aligned with that of its parent stars. Kepler-34 orbits two Sun-like stars every 289 days, while Kepler-35 orbits a pair of smaller stars (89% and 81% of the Sun's mass) every 131 days. Due to the orbital motion of the stars, the planets experience large multi-periodic variations in incident stellar radiation. The observed rate of circumbinary planets implies > ~1% of close binary stars have giant planets in nearly coplanar orbits, yielding a Galactic population of at least several million.

  3. Transiting circumbinary planets Kepler-34 b and Kepler-35 b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, William F; Orosz, Jerome A; Carter, Joshua A; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Lissauer, Jack J; Prša, Andrej; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Short, Donald R; Torres, Guillermo; Winn, Joshua N; Doyle, Laurance R; Barclay, Thomas; Batalha, Natalie; Bloemen, Steven; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A; Caldwell, Caroline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Christiansen, Jessie L; Ciardi, David R; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Fortney, Jonathan J; Gautier, Thomas N; Gilliland, Ronald L; Haas, Michael R; Hall, Jennifer R; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew W; Howell, Steve B; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M; Klaus, Todd C; Latham, David W; Li, Jie; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Mazeh, Tsevi; Quintana, Elisa V; Robertson, Paul; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H; Windmiller, Gur; Koch, David G; Borucki, William J

    2012-01-11

    Most Sun-like stars in the Galaxy reside in gravitationally bound pairs of stars (binaries). Although long anticipated, the existence of a 'circumbinary planet' orbiting such a pair of normal stars was not definitively established until the discovery of the planet transiting (that is, passing in front of) Kepler-16. Questions remained, however, about the prevalence of circumbinary planets and their range of orbital and physical properties. Here we report two additional transiting circumbinary planets: Kepler-34 (AB)b and Kepler-35 (AB)b, referred to here as Kepler-34 b and Kepler-35 b, respectively. Each is a low-density gas-giant planet on an orbit closely aligned with that of its parent stars. Kepler-34 b orbits two Sun-like stars every 289 days, whereas Kepler-35 b orbits a pair of smaller stars (89% and 81% of the Sun's mass) every 131 days. The planets experience large multi-periodic variations in incident stellar radiation arising from the orbital motion of the stars. The observed rate of circumbinary planets in our sample implies that more than ∼1% of close binary stars have giant planets in nearly coplanar orbits, yielding a Galactic population of at least several million.

  4. A resonant chain of four transiting, sub-Neptune planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Sean M; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Migaszewski, Cezary; Ford, Eric B; Petigura, Erik; Isaacson, Howard

    2016-05-26

    Surveys have revealed many multi-planet systems containing super-Earths and Neptunes in orbits of a few days to a few months. There is debate whether in situ assembly or inward migration is the dominant mechanism of the formation of such planetary systems. Simulations suggest that migration creates tightly packed systems with planets whose orbital periods may be expressed as ratios of small integers (resonances), often in a many-planet series (chain). In the hundreds of multi-planet systems of sub-Neptunes, more planet pairs are observed near resonances than would generally be expected, but no individual system has hitherto been identified that must have been formed by migration. Proximity to resonance enables the detection of planets perturbing each other. Here we report transit timing variations of the four planets in the Kepler-223 system, model these variations as resonant-angle librations, and compute the long-term stability of the resonant chain. The architecture of Kepler-223 is too finely tuned to have been formed by scattering, and our numerical simulations demonstrate that its properties are natural outcomes of the migration hypothesis. Similar systems could be destabilized by any of several mechanisms, contributing to the observed orbital-period distribution, where many planets are not in resonances. Planetesimal interactions in particular are thought to be responsible for establishing the current orbits of the four giant planets in the Solar System by disrupting a theoretical initial resonant chain similar to that observed in Kepler-223.

  5. THE DISCOVERY OF THE MOST METAL-RICH WHITE DWARF: COMPOSITION OF A TIDALLY DISRUPTED EXTRASOLAR DWARF PLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dufour, P.; Fontaine, G.; Bergeron, P.; Lachapelle, F.-R.; Kilic, M.; Kleinman, S. J.; Leggett, S. K.

    2010-01-01

    Cool white dwarf stars are usually found to have an outer atmosphere that is practically pure in hydrogen or helium. However, a small fraction have traces of heavy elements that must originate from the accretion of extrinsic material, most probably circumstellar matter. Upon examining thousands of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectra, we discovered that the helium-atmosphere white dwarf SDSS J073842.56+183509.6 shows the most severe metal pollution ever seen in the outermost layers of such stars. We present here a quantitative analysis of this exciting star by combining high signal-to-noise ratio follow-up spectroscopic and photometric observations with model atmospheres and evolutionary models. We determine the global structural properties of our target star, as well as the abundances of the most significant pollutants in its atmosphere, i.e., H, O, Na, Mg, Si, Ca, and Fe. The relative abundances of these elements imply that the source of the accreted material has a composition similar to that of Bulk Earth. We also report the signature of a circumstellar disk revealed through a large infrared excess in JHK photometry. Combined with our inferred estimate of the mass of the accreted material, this strongly suggests that we are witnessing the remains of a tidally disrupted extrasolar body that was as large as Ceres.

  6. THE LICK-CARNEGIE EXOPLANET SURVEY: A URANUS-MASS FOURTH PLANET FOR GJ 876 IN AN EXTRASOLAR LAPLACE CONFIGURATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

    Continued radial velocity (RV) monitoring of the nearby M4V red dwarf star GJ 876 with Keck/High Resolution Echelle Spectrograph has revealed the presence of a Uranus-mass fourth planetary companion in the system. The new planet has a mean period of P e = 126.6 days (over the 12.6-year baseline of the RV observations), and a minimum mass of m e sin i e = 12.9 ± 1.7 M + . The detection of the new planet has been enabled by significant improvements to our RV data set for GJ 876. The data have been augmented by 36 new high-precision measurements taken over the past five years. In addition, the precision of all of the Doppler measurements have been significantly improved by the incorporation of a high signal-to-noise template spectrum for GJ 876 into the analysis pipeline. Implementation of the new template spectrum improves the internal rms errors for the velocity measurements taken during 1998-2005 from 4.1 m s -1 to 2.5 m s -1 . Self-consistent, N-body fits to the RV data set show that the four-planet system has an invariable plane with an inclination relative to the plane of the sky of i = 59. 0 5. The fit is not significantly improved by the introduction of a mutual inclination between the planets 'b' and 'c', but the new data do confirm a non-zero eccentricity, e d = 0.207 ± 0.055 for the innermost planet, 'd'. In our best-fit coplanar model, the mass of the new component is m e = 14.6 ± 1.7 M + . Our best-fitting model places the new planet in a three-body resonance with the previously known giant planets (which have mean periods of P c = 30.4 and P b = 61.1 days). The critical argument, ψ Laplace = λ c - 3λ b + 2λ e , for the Laplace resonance librates with an amplitude of Δψ Laplace = 40 0 ± 13 0 about ψ Laplace = 0 0 . Numerical integration indicates that the four-planet system is stable for at least a billion years (at least for the coplanar cases). This resonant configuration of three giant planets orbiting an M dwarf primary differs from the

  7. IMPACT OF η{sub Earth} ON THE CAPABILITIES OF AFFORDABLE SPACE MISSIONS TO DETECT BIOSIGNATURES ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Léger, Alain [IAS, Univ. Paris-Sud, Orsay (France); Defrère, Denis [Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Malbet, Fabien [UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), UMR 5274, BP 53, F-38041 Grenoble cedex 9 (France); Labadie, Lucas [I. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, D-50937 Cologne (Germany); Absil, Olivier, E-mail: Alain.Leger@ias.u-psud.fr [Département d’Astrophysique, Géophysique and Océanographie, Université de Liège, 17 Allée du Six Août, B-4000 Liège (Belgium)

    2015-08-01

    We present an analytic model to estimate the capabilities of space missions dedicated to the search for biosignatures in the atmosphere of rocky planets located in the habitable zone of nearby stars. Relations between performance and mission parameters, such as mirror diameter, distance to targets, and radius of planets, are obtained. Two types of instruments are considered: coronagraphs observing in the visible, and nulling interferometers in the thermal infrared. Missions considered are: single-pupil coronagraphs with a 2.4 m primary mirror, and formation-flying interferometers with 4 × 0.75 m collecting mirrors. The numbers of accessible planets are calculated as a function of η{sub Earth}. When Kepler gives its final estimation for η{sub Earth}, the model will permit a precise assessment of the potential of each instrument. Based on current estimations, η{sub Earth} = 10% around FGK stars and 50% around M stars, the coronagraph could study in spectroscopy only ∼1.5 relevant planets, and the interferometer ∼14.0. These numbers are obtained under the major hypothesis that the exozodiacal light around the target stars is low enough for each instrument. In both cases, a prior detection of planets is assumed and a target list established. For the long-term future, building both types of spectroscopic instruments, and using them on the same targets, will be the optimal solution because they provide complementary information. But as a first affordable space mission, the interferometer looks the more promising in terms of biosignature harvest.

  8. 3.6 AND 4.5 μm PHASE CURVES AND EVIDENCE FOR NON-EQUILIBRIUM CHEMISTRY IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET HD 189733b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knutson, Heather A.; Lewis, Nikole; Showman, Adam P.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Laughlin, Gregory; Burrows, Adam; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Agol, Eric; Aigrain, Suzanne; Charbonneau, David; Désert, Jean-Michel; Deming, Drake; Henry, Gregory W.; Langton, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    We present new, full-orbit observations of the infrared phase variations of the canonical hot Jupiter HD 189733b obtained in the 3.6 and 4.5 μm bands using the Spitzer Space Telescope. When combined with previous phase curve observations at 8.0 and 24 μm, these data allow us to characterize the exoplanet's emission spectrum as a function of planetary longitude and to search for local variations in its vertical thermal profile and atmospheric composition. We utilize an improved method for removing the effects of intrapixel sensitivity variations and robustly extracting phase curve signals from these data, and we calculate our best-fit parameters and uncertainties using a wavelet-based Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis that accounts for the presence of time-correlated noise in our data. We measure a phase curve amplitude of 0.1242% ± 0.0061% in the 3.6 μm band and 0.0982% ± 0.0089% in the 4.5 μm band, corresponding to brightness temperature contrasts of 503 ± 21 K and 264 ± 24 K, respectively. We find that the times of minimum and maximum flux occur several hours earlier than predicted for an atmosphere in radiative equilibrium, consistent with the eastward advection of gas by an equatorial super-rotating jet. The locations of the flux minima in our new data differ from our previous observations at 8 μm, and we present new evidence indicating that the flux minimum observed in the 8 μm is likely caused by an overshooting effect in the 8 μm array. We obtain improved estimates for HD 189733b's dayside planet-star flux ratio of 0.1466% ± 0.0040% in the 3.6 μm band and 0.1787% ± 0.0038% in the 4.5 μm band, corresponding to brightness temperatures of 1328 ± 11 K and 1192 ± 9 K, respectively; these are the most accurate secondary eclipse depths obtained to date for an extrasolar planet. We compare our new dayside and nightside spectra for HD 189733b to the predictions of one-dimensional radiative transfer models from Burrows et al. and conclude that fits to

  9. 3.6 AND 4.5 {mu}m PHASE CURVES AND EVIDENCE FOR NON-EQUILIBRIUM CHEMISTRY IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET HD 189733b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knutson, Heather A. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Lewis, Nikole; Showman, Adam P. [Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J.; Laughlin, Gregory [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Cowan, Nicolas B. [CIERA, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Agol, Eric [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Aigrain, Suzanne [Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Henry, Gregory W. [Center of Excellence in Information Systems, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Box 9501, Nashville, TN 37209 (United States); Langton, Jonathan, E-mail: hknutson@caltech.edu [Department of Physics, Principia College, 1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028 (United States)

    2012-07-20

    We present new, full-orbit observations of the infrared phase variations of the canonical hot Jupiter HD 189733b obtained in the 3.6 and 4.5 {mu}m bands using the Spitzer Space Telescope. When combined with previous phase curve observations at 8.0 and 24 {mu}m, these data allow us to characterize the exoplanet's emission spectrum as a function of planetary longitude and to search for local variations in its vertical thermal profile and atmospheric composition. We utilize an improved method for removing the effects of intrapixel sensitivity variations and robustly extracting phase curve signals from these data, and we calculate our best-fit parameters and uncertainties using a wavelet-based Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis that accounts for the presence of time-correlated noise in our data. We measure a phase curve amplitude of 0.1242% {+-} 0.0061% in the 3.6 {mu}m band and 0.0982% {+-} 0.0089% in the 4.5 {mu}m band, corresponding to brightness temperature contrasts of 503 {+-} 21 K and 264 {+-} 24 K, respectively. We find that the times of minimum and maximum flux occur several hours earlier than predicted for an atmosphere in radiative equilibrium, consistent with the eastward advection of gas by an equatorial super-rotating jet. The locations of the flux minima in our new data differ from our previous observations at 8 {mu}m, and we present new evidence indicating that the flux minimum observed in the 8 {mu}m is likely caused by an overshooting effect in the 8 {mu}m array. We obtain improved estimates for HD 189733b's dayside planet-star flux ratio of 0.1466% {+-} 0.0040% in the 3.6 {mu}m band and 0.1787% {+-} 0.0038% in the 4.5 {mu}m band, corresponding to brightness temperatures of 1328 {+-} 11 K and 1192 {+-} 9 K, respectively; these are the most accurate secondary eclipse depths obtained to date for an extrasolar planet. We compare our new dayside and nightside spectra for HD 189733b to the predictions of one-dimensional radiative transfer models

  10. CHEMICAL ABUNDANCES IN THE EXTERNALLY POLLUTED WHITE DWARF GD 40: EVIDENCE OF A ROCKY EXTRASOLAR MINOR PLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klein, B.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.; Melis, C.; Koester, D.

    2010-01-01

    We present Keck/High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer data with model atmosphere analysis of the helium-dominated polluted white dwarf GD 40, in which we measure atmospheric abundances relative to helium of nine elements: H, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, and Fe. Apart from hydrogen, whose association with the other contaminants is uncertain, this material most likely accreted from GD 40's circumstellar dust disk whose existence is demonstrated by excess infrared emission. The data are best explained by accretion of rocky planetary material, in which heavy elements are largely contained within oxides, derived from a tidally disrupted minor planet at least the mass of Juno, and probably as massive as Vesta. The relatively low hydrogen abundance sets an upper limit of 10% water by mass in the inferred parent body, and the relatively high abundances of refractory elements, Ca and Ti, may indicate high-temperature processing. While the overall constitution of the parent body is similar to the bulk Earth being over 85% by mass composed of oxygen, magnesium, silicon, and iron, we find n(Si)/n(Mg) = 0.30 ± 0.11, significantly smaller than the ratio near unity for the bulk Earth, chondrites, the Sun, and nearby stars. This result suggests that differentiation occurred within the parent body.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.; Teanby, Nick A.

    2013-01-01

    Transitional and pre-transitional disks can be explained by a number of mechanisms. This work aims to find a single observationally detectable marker that would imply a planetary origin for the gap and, therefore, indirectly indicate the presence of a young planet. N-body simulations were conducted to investigate the effect of an embedded planet of one Jupiter mass on the production of instantaneous collisional dust derived from a background planetesimal disk. Our new model allows us to predict the dust distribution and resulting observable markers with greater accuracy than previous works. Dynamical influences from a planet on a circular orbit are shown to enhance dust production in the disk interior and exterior to the planet orbit, while removing planetesimals from the orbit itself, creating a clearly defined gap. In the case of an eccentric planet, the gap opened by the planet is not as clear as the circular case, but there is a detectable asymmetry in the dust disk

  12. Optimizing the search for transiting planets in long time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofir, Aviv

    2014-01-01

    Context. Transit surveys, both ground- and space-based, have already accumulated a large number of light curves that span several years. Aims: The search for transiting planets in these long time series is computationally intensive. We wish to optimize the search for both detection and computational efficiencies. Methods: We assume that the searched systems can be described well by Keplerian orbits. We then propagate the effects of different system parameters to the detection parameters. Results: We show that the frequency information content of the light curve is primarily determined by the duty cycle of the transit signal, and thus the optimal frequency sampling is found to be cubic and not linear. Further optimization is achieved by considering duty-cycle dependent binning of the phased light curve. By using the (standard) BLS, one is either fairly insensitive to long-period planets or less sensitive to short-period planets and computationally slower by a significant factor of ~330 (for a 3 yr long dataset). We also show how the physical system parameters, such as the host star's size and mass, directly affect transit detection. This understanding can then be used to optimize the search for every star individually. Conclusions: By considering Keplerian dynamics explicitly rather than implicitly one can optimally search the BLS parameter space. The presented Optimal BLS enhances the detectability of both very short and very long period planets, while allowing such searches to be done with much reduced resources and time. The Matlab/Octave source code for Optimal BLS is made available. The MATLAB code is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/561/A138

  13. TRANSIT MODEL OF PLANETS WITH MOON AND RING SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tusnski, Luis Ricardo M.; Valio, Adriana

    2011-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, those most adequate for life to begin and evolve have been sought. Due to observational bias, however, most of the discovered planets so far are gas giants, precluding their habitability. However, if these hot Jupiters are located in the habitable zones of their host stars, and if rocky moons orbit them, then these moons may be habitable. In this work, we present a model for planetary transit simulation considering the presence of moons and planetary rings around a planet. The moon's orbit is considered to be circular and coplanar with the planetary orbit. The other physical and orbital parameters of the star, planet, moon, and rings can be adjusted in each simulation. It is possible to simulate as many successive transits as desired. Since the presence of spots on the surface of the star may produce a signal similar to that of the presence of a moon, our model also allows for the inclusion of starspots. The result of the simulation is a light curve with a planetary transit. White noise may also be added to the light curves to produce curves similar to those obtained by the CoRoT and Kepler space telescopes. The goal is to determine the criteria for detectability of moons and/or ring systems using photometry. The results show that it is possible to detect moons with radii as little as 1.3 R ⊕ with CoRoT and 0.3 R ⊕ with Kepler.

  14. TRANSITING PLANETS WITH LSST. II. PERIOD DETECTION OF PLANETS ORBITING 1 M{sub ⊙} HOSTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacklin, Savannah [Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085 (United States); Lund, Michael B.; Stassun, Keivan G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States); Pepper, Joshua [Department of Physics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015 (United States)

    2015-07-15

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will photometrically monitor ∼10{sup 9} stars for 10 years. The resulting light curves can be used to detect transiting exoplanets. In particular, as demonstrated by Lund et al., LSST will probe stellar populations currently undersampled in most exoplanet transit surveys, including out to extragalactic distances. In this paper we test the efficiency of the box-fitting least-squares (BLS) algorithm for accurately recovering the periods of transiting exoplanets using simulated LSST data. We model planets with a range of radii orbiting a solar-mass star at a distance of 7 kpc, with orbital periods ranging from 0.5 to 20 days. We find that standard-cadence LSST observations will be able to reliably recover the periods of Hot Jupiters with periods shorter than ∼3 days; however, it will remain a challenge to confidently distinguish these transiting planets from false positives. At the same time, we find that the LSST deep-drilling cadence is extremely powerful: the BLS algorithm successfully recovers at least 30% of sub-Saturn-size exoplanets with orbital periods as long as 20 days, and a simple BLS power criterion robustly distinguishes ∼98% of these from photometric (i.e., statistical) false positives.

  15. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC): visible nulling cornagraph testbed results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Clampin, Mark; Melnick, Gary; Tolls, Volker; Woodruff, Robert; Vasudevan, Gopal

    2008-07-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a NASA Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept under study for the upcoming Exoplanet Probe. EPIC's mission would be to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets, and potential super-Earths, in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys and potentially some transits, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres of gas giants around A and F stars, observed the inner spatial structure and colors of inner Spitzer selected debris disks. EPIC would be launched into a heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 3-year mission lifetime (5 year goal) and will revisit planets at least three times. The starlight suppression approach consists of a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) that enables high order starlight suppression in broadband light. To demonstrate the VNC approach and advance it's technology readiness the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and Lockheed-Martin have developed a laboratory VNC and have demonstrated white light nulling. We will discuss our ongoing VNC work and show the latest results from the VNC testbed.

  16. HAT-P-49b: a 1.7 M {sub J} planet transiting a bright 1.5 M {sub ☉} F-star

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bieryla, A.; Latham, D. W.; Buchhave, L. A.; Béky, B.; Falco, E.; Torres, G.; Noyes, R. W.; Berlind, P.; Calkins, M. C.; Esquerdo, G. A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. Á.; Bhatti, W.; Csubry, Z.; Penev, K.; De Val-Borro, M. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Kovács, G. [Konkoly Observatory, Budapest 1121 (Hungary); Boisse, I. [Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Lázár, J.; Papp, I., E-mail: abieryla@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: gbakos@astro.princeton.edu [Hungarian Astronomical Association (HAA), Budapest 1461 (Hungary); and others

    2014-04-01

    We report the discovery of the transiting extrasolar planet HAT-P-49b. The planet transits the bright (V = 10.3) slightly evolved F-star HD 340099 with a mass of 1.54 M {sub ☉} and a radius of 1.83 R {sub ☉}. HAT-P-49b is orbiting one of the 25 brightest stars to host a transiting planet which makes this a favorable candidate for detailed follow-up. This system is an especially strong target for Rossiter-McLaughlin follow-up due to the host star's fast rotation, 16 km s{sup –1}. The planetary companion has a period of 2.6915 days, mass of 1.73 M {sub J}, and radius of 1.41 R {sub J}. The planetary characteristics are consistent with that of a classical hot Jupiter but we note that this is the fourth most massive star to host a transiting planet with both M{sub p} and R{sub p} well determined.

  17. A Demonstration Setup to Simulate Detection of Planets outside the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choopan, W.; Ketpichainarong, W.; Laosinchai, P.; Panijpan, B.

    2011-01-01

    We constructed a simple demonstration setup to simulate an extrasolar planet and its star revolving around the system's centre of mass. Periodic dimming of light from the star by the transiting planet and the star's orbital revolution simulate the two major ways of deducing the presence of an exoplanet near a distant star. Apart from being a…

  18. Follow-Up Photometry of Kelt Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Denise C.; Joner, Michael D.; Hintz, Eric G.; Martin, Trevor; Spencer, Alex; Kelt Follow-Up Network (FUN) Team

    2017-10-01

    We have three telescopes at BYU that we use to follow-up possible transiting planet canidates for the KELT team. These telescopes were used to collect data on Kelt-16b and Kelt-9b, which is the hottest known exoplanet. More recently we used the newest of these telescopes, a robotic 8-inch telescope on the roof of our building, to confirm the most recent Kelt planet that will be published soon. This research has been ideal for the teaching and training of undergraduate students in the art of photometric observing and data reduction. In this presentation I will highlight how we are using our membership in the Kelt team to further the educational objective of our undergraduate astronomy program, while contributing meaningful science to the ever growing field of exoplanet discovery. I will also highlight a few of the more interesting Kelt planets and the minimum telescope requirements for detecting these planets. I will then discuss the sensitivities required to follow-up future TESS candidates, which may be of interest to others interested in joining the TESS follow-up teams.

  19. Discovery of a transiting planet near the snow-line

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kipping, D. M.; Torres, G.; Buchhave, L. A.; Kenyon, S. J.; Henze, C.; Bryson, S. T.; Isaacson, H.; Kolbl, R.; Marcy, G. W.; Stassun, K.; Bastien, F.

    2014-01-01

    In most theories of planet formation, the snow-line represents a boundary between the emergence of the interior rocky planets and the exterior ice giants. The wide separation of the snow-line makes the discovery of transiting worlds challenging, yet transits would allow for detailed subsequent characterization. We present the discovery of Kepler-421b, a Uranus-sized exoplanet transiting a G9/K0 dwarf once every 704.2 days in a near-circular orbit. Using public Kepler photometry, we demonstrate that the two observed transits can be uniquely attributed to the 704.2 day period. Detailed light curve analysis with BLENDER validates the planetary nature of Kepler-421b to >4σ confidence. Kepler-421b receives the same insolation as a body at ∼2 AU in the solar system, as well as a Uranian albedo, which would have an effective temperature of ∼180 K. Using a time-dependent model for the protoplanetary disk, we estimate that Kepler-421b's present semi-major axis was beyond the snow-line after ∼3 Myr, indicating that Kepler-421b may have formed at its observed location.

  20. Discovery of a transiting planet near the snow-line

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kipping, D. M.; Torres, G.; Buchhave, L. A.; Kenyon, S. J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Henze, C.; Bryson, S. T. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Isaacson, H.; Kolbl, R.; Marcy, G. W. [University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Stassun, K. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, 1807 Station B, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States); Bastien, F., E-mail: dkipping@cfa.harvard.edu [Physics Department, Fisk University, 1000 17th Ave. N, Nashville, TN 37208 (United States)

    2014-11-01

    In most theories of planet formation, the snow-line represents a boundary between the emergence of the interior rocky planets and the exterior ice giants. The wide separation of the snow-line makes the discovery of transiting worlds challenging, yet transits would allow for detailed subsequent characterization. We present the discovery of Kepler-421b, a Uranus-sized exoplanet transiting a G9/K0 dwarf once every 704.2 days in a near-circular orbit. Using public Kepler photometry, we demonstrate that the two observed transits can be uniquely attributed to the 704.2 day period. Detailed light curve analysis with BLENDER validates the planetary nature of Kepler-421b to >4σ confidence. Kepler-421b receives the same insolation as a body at ∼2 AU in the solar system, as well as a Uranian albedo, which would have an effective temperature of ∼180 K. Using a time-dependent model for the protoplanetary disk, we estimate that Kepler-421b's present semi-major axis was beyond the snow-line after ∼3 Myr, indicating that Kepler-421b may have formed at its observed location.

  1. HAT-P-11b: A SUPER-NEPTUNE PLANET TRANSITING A BRIGHT K STAR IN THE KEPLER FIELD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakos, G. A.; Torres, G.; Pal, A.; Hartman, J.; Noyes, R. W.; Latham, D. W.; Sasselov, D. D.; Sipocz, B.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Kovacs, Gabor; Fernandez, J.; Kovacs, Geza; Moor, A.; Fischer, D. A.; Isaacson, H.; Johnson, J. A.; Marcy, G. W.; Howard, A.; Butler, R. P.; Vogt, S.

    2010-01-01

    We report on the discovery of HAT-P-11b, the smallest radius transiting extrasolar planet (TEP) discovered from the ground, and the first hot Neptune discovered to date by transit searches. HAT-P-11b orbits the bright (V = 9.587) and metal rich ([Fe/H] = +0.31 ± 0.05) K4 dwarf star GSC 03561-02092 with P = 4.8878162 ± 0.0000071 days and produces a transit signal with depth of 4.2 mmag, the shallowest found by transit searches that is due to a confirmed planet. We present a global analysis of the available photometric and radial velocity (RV) data that result in stellar and planetary parameters, with simultaneous treatment of systematic variations. The planet, like its near-twin GJ 436b, is somewhat larger than Neptune (17 M + , 3.8 R + ) both in mass M p = 0.081 ± 0.009 M J (25.8 ± 2.9 M + ) and radius R p = 0.422 ± 0.014 R J (4.73 ± 0.16 R + ). HAT-P-11b orbits in an eccentric orbit with e = 0.198 ± 0.046 and ω = 355. 0 2 ± 17. 0 3, causing a reflex motion of its parent star with amplitude 11.6 ± 1.2 m s -1 , a challenging detection due to the high level of chromospheric activity of the parent star. Our ephemeris for the transit events is T c = 2454605.89132 ± 0.00032 (BJD), with duration 0.0957 ± 0.0012 days, and secondary eclipse epoch of 2454608.96 ± 0.15 days (BJD). The basic stellar parameters of the host star are M * = 0.809 +0.020 -0.027 M sun , R * = 0.752 ± 0.021 R sun , and T eff* = 4780 ± 50 K. Importantly, HAT-P-11 will lie on one of the detectors of the forthcoming Kepler mission; this should make possible fruitful investigations of the detailed physical characteristic of both the planet and its parent star at unprecedented precision. We discuss an interesting constraint on the eccentricity of the system by the transit light curve and stellar parameters. This will be particularly useful for eccentric TEPs with low-amplitude RV variations in Kepler's field. We also present a blend analysis, that for the first time treats the case of a

  2. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transiting planet GJ 1132 (Southworth+, 2017)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southworth, J.; Mancini, L.; Madhusudhan, N.; Molliere, P.; Ciceri, S.; Henning, T.

    2018-05-01

    Light curves of 10 transits of the extrasolar planetary system GJ 1132 are presented. The data were obtained using the MPG 2.2m telescope with GROND imager, and observed simultaneously in the g, r, i, z, J, H and K passbands. The errorbars for each transit have been scaled so the best-fitting model (obtained using the JKTEBOP code) has a reduced chi-squared value of 1.0. (1 data file).

  3. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transiting planet WASP-6b (Tregloan-Reed+, 2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tregloan-Reed, J.; Southworth, J.; Burgdorf, M.; Calchi Novati, S.; Dominik, M.; Finet, F.; Jorgensen, U. G.; Maier, G.; Mancini, L.; Prof, S.; Ricci, D.; Snodgrass, C.; Bozza, V.; Browne, P.; Dodds, P.; Gerner, T.; Harpsoe, K.; Hinse, T. C.; Hundertmark, M.; Kains, N.; Kerins, E.; Liebig, C.; Penny, M. T.; Rahvar, S.; Sahu, K.; Scarpetta, G.; Schafer, S.; Schonebeck, F.; Skottfelt, J.; Surdej, J.

    2018-05-01

    Four light curves of transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-6 are presented. They were obtained using the Danish 1.54m telescope at ESO La Silla, Chile, in the Bessell R passband. The errorbars for each transit have been scaled so the best-fitting model (obtained using the JKTEBOP code and without accounting for the presence of starspots) has a reduced chi-squared value of 1.0. (1 data file).

  4. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    While the James Webb Space Telescope will detect and characterize extrasolar planets by transit and direct imaging, a new generation of telescopes will be required to detect and characterize extrasolar planets by reflected light imaging. NASA's WFIRST space telescope, now in development, will image dozens of cool giant planets at optical wavelengths and will obtain spectra for several of the best and brightest targets. This mission will pave the way for the detection and characterization of terrestrial planets by the planned LUVOIR or HabEx space telescopes. In my presentation I will discuss the challenges that arise in the interpretation of direct imaging data and present the results of our group's effort to develop methods for maximizing the science yield from these planned missions.

  5. HAT-P-12b: A LOW-DENSITY SUB-SATURN MASS PLANET TRANSITING A METAL-POOR K DWARF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. A.; Torres, G.; Noyes, R. W.; Pal, A.; Latham, D. W.; Sipocz, B.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Sasselov, D. D.; Kovacs, Gabor; Stefanik, R. P.; Fernandez, J. M.; Kovacs, Geza; Fischer, D. A.; Johnson, J. A.; Marcy, G. W.; Howard, A. W.; Butler, R. P.; Lazar, J.; Papp, I.

    2009-01-01

    We report on the discovery of HAT-P-12b, a transiting extrasolar planet orbiting the moderately bright V ∼ 12.8 K4 dwarf GSC 03033 - 00706, with a period P = 3.2130598 ± 0.0000021 d, transit epoch T c = 2454419.19556 ± 0.00020 (BJD), and transit duration 0.0974 ± 0.0006 d. The host star has a mass of 0.73 ± 0.02 M sun , radius of 0.70 +0.02 -0.01 R sun , effective temperature 4650 ± 60 K, and metallicity [Fe/H] = -0.29 ± 0.05. We find a slight correlation between the observed spectral line bisector spans and the radial velocity, so we consider, and rule out, various blend configurations including a blend with a background eclipsing binary, and hierarchical triple systems where the eclipsing body is a star or a planet. We conclude that a model consisting of a single star with a transiting planet best fits the observations, and show that a likely explanation for the apparent correlation is contamination from scattered moonlight. Based on this model, the planetary companion has a mass of 0.211 ± 0.012 M J and radius of 0.959 +0.029 -0.021 R J yielding a mean density of 0.295 ± 0.025 g cm -3 . Comparing these observations with recent theoretical models, we find that HAT-P-12b is consistent with a ∼1-4.5 Gyr, mildly irradiated, H/He-dominated planet with a core mass M C ∼ + . HAT-P-12b is thus the least massive H/He-dominated gas giant planet found to date. This record was previously held by Saturn.

  6. Kepler Data Validation I: Architecture, Diagnostic Tests, and Data Products for Vetting Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Giroud, Forrest; Jenkins, Jon M.; Klaus, Todd C.; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean D.; Seader, Shawn E.; Tennenbaum, Peter; hide

    2018-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was designed to identify and characterize transiting planets in the Kepler Field of View and to determine their occurrence rates. Emphasis was placed on identification of Earth-size planets orbiting in the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Science data were acquired for a period of four years. Long-cadence data with 29.4 min sampling were obtained for approx. 200,000 individual stellar targets in at least one observing quarter in the primary Kepler Mission. Light curves for target stars are extracted in the Kepler Science Data Processing Pipeline, and are searched for transiting planet signatures. A Threshold Crossing Event is generated in the transit search for targets where the transit detection threshold is exceeded and transit consistency checks are satisfied. These targets are subjected to further scrutiny in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. Transiting planet candidates are characterized in DV, and light curves are searched for additional planets after transit signatures are modeled and removed. A suite of diagnostic tests is performed on all candidates to aid in discrimination between genuine transiting planets and instrumental or astrophysical false positives. Data products are generated per target and planet candidate to document and display transiting planet model fit and diagnostic test results. These products are exported to the Exoplanet Archive at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, and are available to the community. We describe the DV architecture and diagnostic tests, and provide a brief overview of the data products. Transiting planet modeling and the search for multiple planets on individual targets are described in a companion paper. The final revision of the Kepler Pipeline code base is available to the general public through GitHub. The Kepler Pipeline has also been modified to support the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission which is expected to commence in 2018.

  7. Kepler Data Validation I—Architecture, Diagnostic Tests, and Data Products for Vetting Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Girouard, Forrest; Jenkins, Jon M.; Klaus, Todd C.; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean D.; Seader, Shawn E.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Wohler, Bill; Bryson, Stephen T.; Burke, Christopher J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Haas, Michael R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Sanderfer, Dwight T.

    2018-06-01

    The Kepler Mission was designed to identify and characterize transiting planets in the Kepler Field of View and to determine their occurrence rates. Emphasis was placed on identification of Earth-size planets orbiting in the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Science data were acquired for a period of four years. Long-cadence data with 29.4 min sampling were obtained for ∼200,000 individual stellar targets in at least one observing quarter in the primary Kepler Mission. Light curves for target stars are extracted in the Kepler Science Data Processing Pipeline, and are searched for transiting planet signatures. A Threshold Crossing Event is generated in the transit search for targets where the transit detection threshold is exceeded and transit consistency checks are satisfied. These targets are subjected to further scrutiny in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. Transiting planet candidates are characterized in DV, and light curves are searched for additional planets after transit signatures are modeled and removed. A suite of diagnostic tests is performed on all candidates to aid in discrimination between genuine transiting planets and instrumental or astrophysical false positives. Data products are generated per target and planet candidate to document and display transiting planet model fit and diagnostic test results. These products are exported to the Exoplanet Archive at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, and are available to the community. We describe the DV architecture and diagnostic tests, and provide a brief overview of the data products. Transiting planet modeling and the search for multiple planets on individual targets are described in a companion paper. The final revision of the Kepler Pipeline code base is available to the general public through GitHub. The Kepler Pipeline has also been modified to support the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission which is expected to commence in 2018.

  8. Characterization and Validation of Transiting Planets in the TESS SPOC Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Davies, Misty; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Li, Jie; Morris, Robert L.; Rose, Mark; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Ting, Eric; Wohler, Bill

    2018-06-01

    Light curves for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) target stars will be extracted and searched for transiting planet signatures in the Science Processing Operations Center (SPOC) Science Pipeline at NASA Ames Research Center. Targets for which the transiting planet detection threshold is exceeded will be processed in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. The primary functions of DV are to (1) characterize planets identified in the transiting planet search, (2) search for additional transiting planet signatures in light curves after modeled transit signatures have been removed, and (3) perform a comprehensive suite of diagnostic tests to aid in discrimination between true transiting planets and false positive detections. DV data products include extensive reports by target, one-page summaries by planet candidate, and tabulated transit model fit and diagnostic test results. DV products may be employed by humans and automated systems to vet planet candidates identified in the Pipeline. TESS will launch in 2018 and survey the full sky for transiting exoplanets over a period of two years. The SPOC pipeline was ported from the Kepler Science Operations Center (SOC) codebase and extended for TESS after the mission was selected for flight in the NASA Astrophysics Explorer program. We describe the Data Validation component of the SPOC Pipeline. The diagnostic tests exploit the flux (i.e., light curve) and pixel time series associated with each target to support the determination of the origin of each purported transiting planet signature. We also highlight the differences between the DV components for Kepler and TESS. Candidate planet detections and data products will be delivered to the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST); the MAST URL is archive.stsci.edu/tess. Funding for the TESS Mission has been provided by the NASA Science Mission Directorate.

  9. The hottest planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph; Luszcz, Statia; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake; Richardson, L Jeremy

    2007-06-07

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, just 14 pass in front of and behind their parent stars as seen from Earth. This fortuitous geometry allows direct determination of many planetary properties. Previous reports of planetary thermal emission give fluxes that are roughly consistent with predictions based on thermal equilibrium with the planets' received radiation, assuming a Bond albedo of approximately 0.3. Here we report direct detection of thermal emission from the smallest known transiting planet, HD 149026b, that indicates a brightness temperature (an expression of flux) of 2,300 +/- 200 K at 8 microm. The planet's predicted temperature for uniform, spherical, blackbody emission and zero albedo (unprecedented for planets) is 1,741 K. As models with non-zero albedo are cooler, this essentially eliminates uniform blackbody models, and may also require an albedo lower than any measured for a planet, very strong 8 microm emission, strong temporal variability, or a heat source other than stellar radiation. On the other hand, an instantaneous re-emission blackbody model, in which each patch of surface area instantly re-emits all received light, matches the data. This planet is known to be enriched in heavy elements, which may give rise to novel atmospheric properties yet to be investigated.

  10. Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets through Mean-motion Resonances. II. The Effect of the Planet’s Orbital Eccentricity on Debris Disk Structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tabeshian, Maryam; Wiegert, Paul A., E-mail: mtabeshi@uwo.ca [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 3K7 (Canada)

    2017-09-20

    Structures observed in debris disks may be caused by gravitational interaction with planetary or stellar companions. These perturbed disks are often thought to indicate the presence of planets and offer insights into the properties of both the disk and the perturbing planets. Gaps in debris disks may indicate a planet physically present within the gap, but such gaps can also occur away from the planet’s orbit at mean-motion resonances (MMRs), and this is the focus of our interest here. We extend our study of planet–disk interaction through MMRs, presented in an earlier paper, to systems in which the perturbing planet has moderate orbital eccentricity, a common occurrence in exoplanetary systems. In particular, a new result is that the 3:1 MMR becomes distinct at higher eccentricity, while its effects are absent for circular planetary orbits. We also only consider gravitational interaction with a planetary body of at least 1 M {sub J}. Our earlier work shows that even a 1 Earth mass planet can theoretically open an MMR gap; however, given the narrow gap that can be opened by a low-mass planet, its observability would be questionable. We find that the widths, locations, and shapes of two prominent structures, the 2:1 and 3:1 MMRs, could be used to determine the mass, semimajor axis, and eccentricity of the planetary perturber and present an algorithm for doing so. These MMR structures can be used to narrow the position and even determine the planetary properties (such as mass) of any inferred but as-yet-unseen planets within a debris disk. We also briefly discuss the implications of eccentric disks on brightness asymmetries and their dependence on the wavelengths with which these disks are observed.

  11. High-resolution Imaging of Transiting Extrasolar Planetary systems (HITEP). II. Lucky Imaging results from 2015 and 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, D. F.; Southworth, J.; Smalley, B.; Jørgensen, U. G.; Dominik, M.; Andersen, M. I.; Bozza, V.; Bramich, D. M.; Burgdorf, M. J.; Ciceri, S.; D'Ago, G.; Figuera Jaimes, R.; Gu, S.-H.; Hinse, T. C.; Henning, Th.; Hundertmark, M.; Kains, N.; Kerins, E.; Korhonen, H.; Kokotanekova, R.; Kuffmeier, M.; Longa-Peña, P.; Mancini, L.; MacKenzie, J.; Popovas, A.; Rabus, M.; Rahvar, S.; Sajadian, S.; Snodgrass, C.; Skottfelt, J.; Surdej, J.; Tronsgaard, R.; Unda-Sanzana, E.; von Essen, C.; Wang, Yi-Bo; Wertz, O.

    2018-02-01

    Context. The formation and dynamical history of hot Jupiters is currently debated, with wide stellar binaries having been suggested as a potential formation pathway. Additionally, contaminating light from both binary companions and unassociated stars can significantly bias the results of planet characterisation studies, but can be corrected for if the properties of the contaminating star are known. Aim. We search for binary companions to known transiting exoplanet host stars, in order to determine the multiplicity properties of hot Jupiter host stars. We also search for and characterise unassociated stars along the line of sight, allowing photometric and spectroscopic observations of the planetary system to be corrected for contaminating light. Methods: We analyse lucky imaging observations of 97 Southern hemisphere exoplanet host stars, using the Two Colour Instrument on the Danish 1.54 m telescope. For each detected companion star, we determine flux ratios relative to the planet host star in two passbands, and measure the relative position of the companion. The probability of each companion being physically associated was determined using our two-colour photometry. Results: A catalogue of close companion stars is presented, including flux ratios, position measurements, and estimated companion star temperature. For companions that are potential binary companions, we review archival and catalogue data for further evidence. For WASP-77AB and WASP-85AB, we combine our data with historical measurements to determine the binary orbits, showing them to be moderately eccentric and inclined to the line of sight (and hence planetary orbital axis). Combining our survey with the similar Friends of Hot Jupiters survey, we conclude that known hot Jupiter host stars show a deficit of high mass stellar companions compared to the field star population; however, this may be a result of the biases in detection and target selection by ground-based surveys. Based on data collected by

  12. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Exoplanet Probe mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature and architecture of a variety of planets in other solar systems. Initially, it will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses and characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques. It will also observe the inner spatial structure of exozodiacal disks. EPIC has a heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 5 year mission lifetime. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument. The instrument achieves a contrast ratio of 10^9 over a 5 arcsecond field-of-view with an unprecedented inner working angle of 0.13 arcseconds over the spectral range of 440-880 nm. The telescope is a 1.65 meter off-axis Cassegrain with an OTA wavefront error of lambda/9, which when coupled to the VNC greatly reduces the requirements on the large scale optics.

  13. Investigations on physics of planetary atmospheres and small bodies of the Solar system, extrasolar planets and disk structures around the stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Delets, O. S.; Dlugach, J. M.; Zakhozhay, O. V.; Kostogryz, N. M.; Krushevska, V. M.; Kuznyetsova, Y. G.; Morozhenko, O. V.; Nevodovskyi, P. V.; Ovsak, O. S.; Rozenbush, O. E.; Romanyuk, Ya. O.; Shavlovskiy, V. I.; Yanovitskij, E. G.

    2015-12-01

    The history and main becoming stages of Planetary system physics Department of the Main astronomical observatory of National academy of Sciences of Ukraine are considered. Fundamental subjects of department researches and science achievements of employees are presented. Fields of theoretical and experimental researches are Solar system planets and their satellites; vertical structures of planet atmospheres; radiative transfer in planet atmospheres; exoplanet systems of Milky Way; stars having disc structures; astronomical engineering. Employees of the department carry out spectral, photometrical and polarimetrical observations of Solar system planets, exoplanet systems and stars with disc structures. 1. From the history of department 2. The main directions of department research 3. Scientific instrumentation 4. Telescopes and observation stations 5. Theoretical studies 6. The results of observations of planets and small Solar system bodies and their interpretation 7. The study of exoplanets around the stars of our galaxy 8. Spectral energy distribution of fragmenting protostellar disks 9. Cooperation with the National Technical University of Ukraine (KPI) and National University of Ukraine "Lviv Polytechnic" to study the impact of stratospheric aerosol changes on weather and climate of the Earth 10. International relations. Scientific and organizational work. Scientific conferences, congresses, symposia 11. The main achievements of the department 12. Current researches 13. Anniversaries and awards

  14. HATS-43b, HATS-44b, HATS-45b, and HATS-46b: Four Short-period Transiting Giant Planets in the Neptune–Jupiter Mass Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brahm, R.; Hartman, J. D.; Jordán, A.; Bakos, G. Á.; Espinoza, N.; Rabus, M.; Bhatti, W.; Penev, K.; Sarkis, P.; Suc, V.; Csubry, Z.; Bayliss, D.; Bento, J.; Zhou, G.; Mancini, L.; Henning, T.; Ciceri, S.; de Val-Borro, M.; Shectman, S.; Crane, J. D.; Arriagada, P.; Butler, P.; Teske, J.; Thompson, I.; Osip, D.; Díaz, M.; Schmidt, B.; Lázár, J.; Papp, I.; Sári, P.

    2018-03-01

    We report the discovery of four short-period extrasolar planets transiting moderately bright stars from photometric measurements of the HATSouth network coupled to additional spectroscopic and photometric follow-up observations. While the planet masses range from 0.26 to 0.90 {M}{{J}}, the radii are all approximately a Jupiter radii, resulting in a wide range of bulk densities. The orbital period of the planets ranges from 2.7 days to 4.7 days, with HATS-43b having an orbit that appears to be marginally non-circular (e = 0.173 ± 0.089). HATS-44 is notable for having a high metallicity ([{Fe}/{{H}}] = 0.320 ± 0.071). The host stars spectral types range from late F to early K, and all of them are moderately bright (13.3 Carnegie Institute is operated by PU in conjunction with PUC, the station at the High Energy Spectroscopic Survey (H.E.S.S.) site is operated in conjunction with MPIA, and the station at Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) is operated jointly with ANU. This paper includes data gathered with the MPG 2.2 m and ESO 3.6 m telescopes at the ESO Observatory in La Silla. This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 meter Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  15. Differential rotation of stars with multiple transiting planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Netto, Yuri; Valio, Adriana

    2017-10-01

    If a star hosts a planet in an orbit such that it eclipses the star periodically, can be estimated the rotation profile of this star. If planets in multiplanetary system occult different stellar areas, spots in more than one latitude of the stellar disc can be detected. The monitored study of theses starspots in different latitudes allow us to infer the rotation profile of the star. We use the model described in Silva (2003) to characterize the starspots of Kepler-210, an active star with two planets. Kepler-210 is a late K star with an estimated age of 350 +/- 50 Myrs, average rotation period of 12.33 days, mass of 0.63 M⊙ and radius of 0.69 R⊙. The planets that eclipses this star have radii of 0.0498 R s and 0.0635 R s with orbital periods of 2.4532 +/- 0.0007 days and 7.9725 +/- 0.0014 days, respectively, where R s is the star radius.

  16. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebauer, S; Grenfell, J L; Stock, J W; Lehmann, R; Godolt, M; von Paris, P; Rauer, H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O 2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O 2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O 2 , whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O 2 is formed abiotically via CO 2 photolysis. The O 2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH 4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH 4 with increasing O 2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O 2 is unique. Mixing, CH 4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O 2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O 2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases

  17. KEPLER-1647B: THE LARGEST AND LONGEST-PERIOD KEPLER TRANSITING CIRCUMBINARY PLANET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostov, Veselin B. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Code 665, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Orosz, Jerome A.; Welsh, William F.; Short, Donald R. [Department of Astronomy, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182 (United States); Doyle, Laurance R. [SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Principia College, IMoP, One Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Haghighipour, Nader [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Quarles, Billy [Department of Physics and Physical Science, The University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, NE 68849 (United States); Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael [McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas as Austin, Austin, TX 78712-0259 (United States); Ford, Eric B. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, 428A Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Gregorio, Joao [Atalaia Group and Crow-Observatory, Portalegre (Portugal); Hinse, Tobias C. [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), Advanced Astronomy and Space Science Division, Daejeon 305-348 (Korea, Republic of); Isaacson, Howard [Department of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley, 501 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Jenkins, Jon M. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Jensen, Eric L. N. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081 (United States); Kane, Stephen [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (United States); Kull, Ilya, E-mail: veselin.b.kostov@nasa.gov [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv (Israel); and others

    2016-08-10

    We report the discovery of a new Kepler transiting circumbinary planet (CBP). This latest addition to the still-small family of CBPs defies the current trend of known short-period planets orbiting near the stability limit of binary stars. Unlike the previous discoveries, the planet revolving around the eclipsing binary system Kepler-1647 has a very long orbital period (∼1100 days) and was at conjunction only twice during the Kepler mission lifetime. Due to the singular configuration of the system, Kepler-1647b is not only the longest-period transiting CBP at the time of writing, but also one of the longest-period transiting planets. With a radius of 1.06 ± 0.01 R {sub Jup}, it is also the largest CBP to date. The planet produced three transits in the light curve of Kepler-1647 (one of them during an eclipse, creating a syzygy) and measurably perturbed the times of the stellar eclipses, allowing us to measure its mass, 1.52 ± 0.65 M {sub Jup}. The planet revolves around an 11-day period eclipsing binary consisting of two solar-mass stars on a slightly inclined, mildly eccentric ( e {sub bin} = 0.16), spin-synchronized orbit. Despite having an orbital period three times longer than Earth’s, Kepler-1647b is in the conservative habitable zone of the binary star throughout its orbit.

  18. KEPLER-1647B: THE LARGEST AND LONGEST-PERIOD KEPLER TRANSITING CIRCUMBINARY PLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kostov, Veselin B.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Welsh, William F.; Short, Donald R.; Doyle, Laurance R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Haghighipour, Nader; Quarles, Billy; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Ford, Eric B.; Gregorio, Joao; Hinse, Tobias C.; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M.; Jensen, Eric L. N.; Kane, Stephen; Kull, Ilya

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of a new Kepler transiting circumbinary planet (CBP). This latest addition to the still-small family of CBPs defies the current trend of known short-period planets orbiting near the stability limit of binary stars. Unlike the previous discoveries, the planet revolving around the eclipsing binary system Kepler-1647 has a very long orbital period (∼1100 days) and was at conjunction only twice during the Kepler mission lifetime. Due to the singular configuration of the system, Kepler-1647b is not only the longest-period transiting CBP at the time of writing, but also one of the longest-period transiting planets. With a radius of 1.06 ± 0.01 R Jup , it is also the largest CBP to date. The planet produced three transits in the light curve of Kepler-1647 (one of them during an eclipse, creating a syzygy) and measurably perturbed the times of the stellar eclipses, allowing us to measure its mass, 1.52 ± 0.65 M Jup . The planet revolves around an 11-day period eclipsing binary consisting of two solar-mass stars on a slightly inclined, mildly eccentric ( e bin = 0.16), spin-synchronized orbit. Despite having an orbital period three times longer than Earth’s, Kepler-1647b is in the conservative habitable zone of the binary star throughout its orbit.

  19. Update on the KELT Transit Survey: Hot Planets around Hot Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, B. Scott; Stassun, Keivan G.; Pepper, Joshua; KELT Collaboration

    2018-01-01

    The KELT Transit Survey consists of a pair of small-aperture, wide-angle automated telescopes located at Winer Observatory in Sonoita, Arizona and the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Sutherland, South Africa. Together, they are surveying roughly 70% of the sky for transiting planets. By virtue of their small apertures (42 mm) and large fields-of-view (26 degrees x 26 degrees), KELT is most sensitive to hot Jupiters transiting relatively bright (V~8-11), and thus relatively hot stars. I will provide an update on the planets discovered by KELT, focusing in detail on our recent discoveries of very hot planets transiting several bright A and early F stars.

  20. Transit Duration Variations due to Secular Interactions in Systems with Tightly-packed Inner Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boley, Aaron; Van Laerhoven, Christa; Granados Contreras, A. Paula

    2018-04-01

    Secular interactions among planets in multi-planet systems will lead to variations in orbital inclinations and to the precession of orbital nodes. Taking known system architectures at face value, we calculate orbital precession rates for planets in tightly-packed systems using classical second-order secular theory, in which the orientation of the orbits can be described as a vector sum of eigenmodes and the eigenstructure is determined only by the masses and semi-major axes of the planets. Using this framework, we identify systems that have fast precession frequencies, and use those systems to explore the range of transit duration variation that could occur using amplitudes that are consistent with tightly-packed planetary systems. We then further assess how transit duration variations could be used in practice.

  1. Doppler spectroscopy as a path to the detection of Earth-like planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Michel; Lovis, Christophe; Santos, Nuno C

    2014-09-18

    Doppler spectroscopy was the first technique used to reveal the existence of extrasolar planetary systems hosted by solar-type stars. Radial-velocity surveys led to the detection of a rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets. The numerous detected systems revealed a remarkable diversity. Combining Doppler measurements with photometric observations of planets transiting their host stars further provides access to the planet bulk density, a first step towards comparative exoplanetology. The development of new high-precision spectrographs and space-based facilities will ultimately lead us to characterize rocky planets in the habitable zone of our close stellar neighbours.

  2. Detection of Intermediate-Period Transiting Planets with a Network of Small Telescopes: transitsearch.org

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seagroves, Scott; Harker, Justin; Laughlin, Gregory; Lacy, Justin; Castellano, Tim

    2003-12-01

    We describe a project (transitsearch.org) currently attempting to discover transiting intermediate-period planets orbiting bright parent stars, and we simulate that project's performance. The discovery of such a transit would be an important astronomical advance, bridging the critical gap in understanding between HD 209458b and Jupiter. However, the task is made difficult by intrinsically low transit probabilities and small transit duty cycles. This project's efficient and economical strategy is to photometrically monitor stars that are known (from radial velocity surveys) to bear planets, using a network of widely spaced observers with small telescopes. These observers, each individually capable of precision (1%) differential photometry, monitor candidates during the time windows in which the radial velocity solution predicts a transit if the orbital inclination is close to 90°. We use Monte Carlo techniques to simulate the performance of this network, performing simulations with different configurations of observers in order to optimize coordination of an actual campaign. Our results indicate that transitsearch.org can reliably rule out or detect planetary transits within the current catalog of known planet-bearing stars. A distributed network of skilled amateur astronomers and small college observatories is a cost-effective method for discovering the small number of transiting planets with periods in the range 10 days

  3. The formation of co-orbital planets and their resulting transit signatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granados Contreras, Agueda Paula; Boley, Aaron

    2018-04-01

    Systems with Tightly-packed Inner Planets (STIPs) are metastable, exhibiting sudden transitions to an unstable state that can potentially lead to planet consolidation. When these systems are embedded in a gaseous disc, planet-disc interactions can significantly reduce the frequency of instabilities, and if they do occur, disc torques alter the dynamical outcomes. We ran a suite of N-body simulations of synthetic 6-planet STIPs using an independent implementation of IAS15 that includes a prescription for gaseous tidal damping. The algorithm is based on the results of disc simulations that self-consistently evolve gas and planets. Even for very compact configurations, the STIPS are resistant to instability when gas is present. However, instability can still occur, and in some cases, the combination of system instability and gaseous damping leads to the formation of co-orbiting planets that are stable even when gas damping is removed. While rare, such systems should be detectable in transit surveys, although the dynamics of the system can make the transit signature difficult to identify.

  4. Accreting planets as dust dams in 'transition' disks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Owen, James E.

    2014-01-01

    We investigate under what circumstances an embedded planet in a protoplanetary disk may sculpt the dust distribution such that it observationally presents as a 'transition' disk. We concern ourselves with 'transition' disks that have large holes (≳ 10 AU) and high accretion rates (∼10 –9 -10 –8 M ☉ yr –1 ), particularly, those disks which photoevaporative models struggle to explain. Adopting the observed accretion rates in 'transition' disks, we find that the accretion luminosity from the forming planet is significant, and can dominate over the stellar luminosity at the gap edge. This planetary accretion luminosity can apply a significant radiation pressure to small (s ≲ 1 μm) dust particles provided they are suitably decoupled from the gas. Secular evolution calculations that account for the evolution of the gas and dust components in a disk with an embedded, accreting planet, show that only with the addition of the radiation pressure can we explain the full observed characteristics of a 'transition' disk (NIR dip in the spectral energy distribution (SED), millimeter cavity, and high accretion rate). At suitably high planet masses (≳ 3-4 M J ), radiation pressure from the accreting planet is able to hold back the small dust particles, producing a heavily dust-depleted inner disk that is optically thin to infrared radiation. The planet-disk system will present as a 'transition' disk with a dip in the SED only when the planet mass and planetary accretion rate are high enough. At other times, it will present as a disk with a primordial SED, but with a cavity in the millimeter, as observed in a handful of protoplanetary disks.

  5. Giant planet population synthesis: comparing theory with observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benz, W; Mordasini, C; Alibert, Y; Naef, D

    2008-01-01

    The characteristics of the now over 250 known extra-solar giant planets begin to provide a database with which current planet formation theories can be put to the test. To do this, we synthesize the expected planet population based on the core-accretion scenario by sampling initial conditions in a Monte Carlo fashion. We then apply appropriate observational detection biases and compare the resulting population with the one actually detected. Quantitative statistical tests allow us to determine how well the models are reproducing the observed samples. The model can be applied to compute the expected planet population detectable with different techniques (radial velocity measurements, transits, gravitational lensing, etc) or orbiting stars of different masses. In the latter case, we show that forming Jupiter-mass planets orbiting M dwarfs within the lifetime of proto-planetary disks is indeed possible. However, the models predict that with decreasing stellar mass, the ratio of Jupiter- to Neptune-mass planets will sharply decrease

  6. Giant planet population synthesis: comparing theory with observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benz, W.; Mordasini, C.; Alibert, Y.; Naef, D.

    2008-08-01

    The characteristics of the now over 250 known extra-solar giant planets begin to provide a database with which current planet formation theories can be put to the test. To do this, we synthesize the expected planet population based on the core-accretion scenario by sampling initial conditions in a Monte Carlo fashion. We then apply appropriate observational detection biases and compare the resulting population with the one actually detected. Quantitative statistical tests allow us to determine how well the models are reproducing the observed samples. The model can be applied to compute the expected planet population detectable with different techniques (radial velocity measurements, transits, gravitational lensing, etc) or orbiting stars of different masses. In the latter case, we show that forming Jupiter-mass planets orbiting M dwarfs within the lifetime of proto-planetary disks is indeed possible. However, the models predict that with decreasing stellar mass, the ratio of Jupiter- to Neptune-mass planets will sharply decrease.

  7. Formation, habitability, and detection of extrasolar moons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Williams, Darren; Kipping, David; Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin; Greenberg, Richard; Sasaki, Takanori; Bolmont, Emeline; Grasset, Olivier; Lewis, Karen; Barnes, Rory; Zuluaga, Jorge I

    2014-09-01

    The diversity and quantity of moons in the Solar System suggest a manifold population of natural satellites exist around extrasolar planets. Of peculiar interest from an astrobiological perspective, the number of sizable moons in the stellar habitable zones may outnumber planets in these circumstellar regions. With technological and theoretical methods now allowing for the detection of sub-Earth-sized extrasolar planets, the first detection of an extrasolar moon appears feasible. In this review, we summarize formation channels of massive exomoons that are potentially detectable with current or near-future instruments. We discuss the orbital effects that govern exomoon evolution, we present a framework to characterize an exomoon's stellar plus planetary illumination as well as its tidal heating, and we address the techniques that have been proposed to search for exomoons. Most notably, we show that natural satellites in the range of 0.1-0.5 Earth mass (i) are potentially habitable, (ii) can form within the circumplanetary debris and gas disk or via capture from a binary, and (iii) are detectable with current technology.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. EVIDENCE AGAINST AN EDGE-ON DISK AROUND THE EXTRASOLAR PLANET, 2MASS 1207 b AND A NEW THICK-CLOUD EXPLANATION FOR ITS UNDERLUMINOSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Close, Laird M.; Szucs, Laszlo; Apai, Daniel; Pascucci, Ilaria; Biller, Beth A.

    2011-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first directly imaged, planetary-mass object, 2MASS 1207 b, several works have sought to explain a disparity between its observed temperature and luminosity. Given its known age, distance, and spectral type, 2MASS 1207 b is underluminous by a factor of ∼10 (∼2.5 mag) when compared to standard models of brown-dwarf/giant-planet evolution. In this paper, we study three possible sources of 2MASS 1207 b's underluminosity. First, we investigate Mohanty et al.'s hypothesis that a near edge-on disk, comprising large, gray-extincting grains, might be responsible for 2MASS 1207 b's underluminosity. After radiative transfer modeling, we conclude that the hypothesis is unlikely due to the lack of variability seen in multi-epoch photometry and unnecessary due to the increasing sample of underluminous brown dwarfs/giant exoplanets that cannot be explained by an edge-on disk. Next, we test the analogous possibility that a spherical shell of dust could explain 2MASS 1207 b's underluminosity. Models containing enough dust to create ∼2.5 mag of extinction, placed at reasonable radii, are ruled out by our new Gemini/T-ReCS 8.7 μm photometric upper limit for 2MASS 1207 b. Finally, we investigate the possibility that 2MASS 1207 b is intrinsically cooler than the commonly used AMES-DUSTY fits to its spectrum, and thus it is not, in fact, underluminous. New, thick-cloud model grids by Madhusudhan et al. fit 2MASS 1207 b's 1-10 μm spectral energy distribution well, but they do not quite fit its near-infrared spectrum. However, we suggest that with some 'tuning', they might be capable of simultaneously reproducing 2MASS 1207 b's spectral shape and luminosity. In this case, the whole class of young, underluminous brown dwarfs/giant exoplanets might be explained by atmospheres that are able to suspend thick, dusty clouds in their photospheres at temperatures lower than field brown dwarfs.

  10. Searching for transits in the Wide Field Camera Transit Survey with difference-imaging light curves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zendejas, Dominguez J.; Koppenhoefer, J.; Saglia, R.; Birkby, J.L.; Hodgkin, S.; Kovács, G.; Pinfield, D.; Sipocz, B.; Barrado, D.; Bender, R.; Burgo, del C.; Cappetta, M.; Martín, E.; Nefs, B.; Riffeser, A.; Steele, P.

    2013-01-01

    The Wide Field Camera Transit Survey is a pioneer program aiming at for searching extra-solar planets in the near-infrared. The images from the survey are processed by a data reduction pipeline, which uses aperture photometry to construct the light curves. We produce an alternative set of light

  11. OBJECTS IN KEPLER'S MIRROR MAY BE LARGER THAN THEY APPEAR: BIAS AND SELECTION EFFECTS IN TRANSITING PLANET SURVEYS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric; Mann, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Statistical analyses of large surveys for transiting planets such as the Kepler mission must account for systematic errors and biases. Transit detection depends not only on the planet's radius and orbital period, but also on host star properties. Thus, a sample of stars with transiting planets may not accurately represent the target population. Moreover, targets are selected using criteria such as a limiting apparent magnitude. These selection effects, combined with uncertainties in stellar radius, lead to biases in the properties of transiting planets and their host stars. We quantify possible biases in the Kepler survey. First, Eddington bias produced by a steep planet radius distribution and uncertainties in stellar radius results in a 15%-20% overestimate of planet occurrence. Second, the magnitude limit of the Kepler target catalog induces Malmquist bias toward large, more luminous stars and underestimation of the radii of about one-third of candidate planets, especially those larger than Neptune. Third, because metal-poor stars are smaller, stars with detected planets will be very slightly (<0.02 dex) more metal-poor than the target average. Fourth, uncertainties in stellar radii produce correlated errors in planet radius and stellar irradiation. A previous finding, that highly irradiated giants are more likely to have 'inflated' radii, remains significant, even accounting for this effect. In contrast, transit depth is negatively correlated with stellar metallicity even in the absence of any intrinsic correlation, and a previous claim of a negative correlation between giant planet transit depth and stellar metallicity is probably an artifact.

  12. Transit Timing Observations from Kepler: IV. Confirmation of 4 Multiple Planet Systems by Simple Physical Models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fabrycky, Daniel C.; /UC, Santa Cruz; Ford, Eric B.; /Florida U.; Steffen, Jason H.; /Fermilab; Rowe, Jason F.; /SETI Inst., Mtn. View /NASA, Ames; Carter, Joshua A.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Moorhead, Althea V.; /Florida U.; Batalha, Natalie M.; /San Jose State U.; Borucki, William J.; /NASA, Ames; Bryson, Steve; /NASA, Ames; Buchhave, Lars A.; /Bohr Inst. /Copenhagen U.; Christiansen, Jessie L.; /SETI Inst., Mtn. View /NASA, Ames /Caltech

    2012-01-01

    Eighty planetary systems of two or more planets are known to orbit stars other than the Sun. For most, the data can be sufficiently explained by non-interacting Keplerian orbits, so the dynamical interactions of these systems have not been observed. Here we present 4 sets of lightcurves from the Kepler spacecraft, which each show multiple planets transiting the same star. Departure of the timing of these transits from strict periodicity indicates the planets are perturbing each other: the observed timing variations match the forcing frequency of the other planet. This confirms that these objects are in the same system. Next we limit their masses to the planetary regime by requiring the system remain stable for astronomical timescales. Finally, we report dynamical fits to the transit times, yielding possible values for the planets masses and eccentricities. As the timespan of timing data increases, dynamical fits may allow detailed constraints on the systems architectures, even in cases for which high-precision Doppler follow-up is impractical.

  13. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets . XXXII. New multi-planet systems in the HARPS volume limited sample: a super-Earth and a Neptune in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo Curto, G.; Mayor, M.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Hébrard, G.; Lovis, C.; Moutou, C.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2013-03-01

    The vast diversity of planetary systems detected to date is defying our capability of understanding their formation and evolution. Well-defined volume-limited surveys are the best tool at our disposal to tackle the problem, via the acquisition of robust statistics of the orbital elements. We are using the HARPS spectrograph to conduct our survey of ≈850 nearby solar-type stars, and in the course of the past nine years we have monitored the radial velocity of HD 103774, HD 109271, and BD-061339. In this work we present the detection of five planets orbiting these stars, with msin (i) between 0.6 and 7 Neptune masses, four of which are in two multiple systems, comprising one super-Earth and one planet within the habitable zone of a late-type dwarf. Although for strategic reasons we chose efficiency over precision in this survey, we have the capability to detect planets down to the Neptune and super-Earth mass range as well as multiple systems, provided that enough data points are made available. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla (Chile), under the GTO program ID 072.C-0488 and the regular programs: 085.C-0019, 087.C-0831 and 089.C-0732. RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A59

  14. KOI-142, the king of transit variations, is a pair of planets near the 2:1 resonance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nesvorný, David; Kipping, David; Terrell, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    The transit timing variations (TTVs) can be used as a diagnostic of gravitational interactions between planets in a multi-planet system. Many Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) exhibit significant TTVs, but KOI-142.01 stands out among them with an unrivaled ≃12 hr TTV amplitude. Here we report...... mass inferred from the transit variations is consistent with the measured transit depth, suggesting a Neptune-class planet (KOI-142b). The orbital period ratio P /P = 2.03 indicates that the two planets are just wide of the 2:1 resonance. The present dynamics of this system, characterized here...

  15. TRAPPIST-UCDTS: A prototype search for habitable planets transiting ultra-cool stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magain P.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The ∼1000 nearest ultra-cool stars (spectral type M6 and latter represent a unique opportunity for the search for life outside solar system. Due to their small luminosity, their habitable zone is 30–100 times closer than for the Sun, the corresponding orbital periods ranging from one to a few days. Thanks to this proximity, the transits of a habitable planet are much more probable and frequent than for an Earth-Sun analog, while their tiny size (∼1 Jupiter radius leads to transits deep enough for a ground-based detection, even for sub-Earth size planets. Furthermore, a habitable planet transiting one of these nearby ultra-cool star would be amenable for a thorough atmospheric characterization, including the detection of possible biosignatures, notably with the near-to-come JWST. Motivated by these reasons, we have set up the concept of a ground-based survey optimized for detecting planets of Earth-size and below transiting the nearest Southern ultra-cool stars. To assess thoroughly the actual potential of this future survey, we are currently conducting a prototype mini-survey using the TRAPPIST robotic 60cm telescope located at La Silla ESO Observatory (Chile. We summarize here the preliminary results of this mini-survey that fully validate our concept.

  16. Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M; Delrez, Laetitia; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valérie; Burgasser, Adam J; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Opitom, Cyrielle; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Sahu, Devendra K; Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2016-05-12

    Star-like objects with effective temperatures of less than 2,700 kelvin are referred to as 'ultracool dwarfs'. This heterogeneous group includes stars of extremely low mass as well as brown dwarfs (substellar objects not massive enough to sustain hydrogen fusion), and represents about 15 per cent of the population of astronomical objects near the Sun. Core-accretion theory predicts that, given the small masses of these ultracool dwarfs, and the small sizes of their protoplanetary disks, there should be a large but hitherto undetected population of terrestrial planets orbiting them--ranging from metal-rich Mercury-sized planets to more hospitable volatile-rich Earth-sized planets. Here we report observations of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting an ultracool dwarf star only 12 parsecs away. The inner two planets receive four times and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Our data suggest that 11 orbits remain possible for the third planet, the most likely resulting in irradiation significantly less than that received by Earth. The infrared brightness of the host star, combined with its Jupiter-like size, offers the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system.

  17. THE TRANSIT TRANSMISSION SPECTRUM OF A COLD GAS GIANT PLANET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalba, Paul A.; Muirhead, Philip S.; Veyette, Mark J. [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Hedman, Matthew M. [Department of Physics, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83843 (United States); Nicholson, Philip D., E-mail: pdalba@bu.edu [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)

    2015-12-01

    We use solar occultations observed by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer on board the Cassini Spacecraft to extract the 1–5 μm transmission spectrum of Saturn, as if it were a transiting exoplanet. We detect absorption from methane, ethane, acetylene, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and possibly carbon monoxide, with peak-to-peak features of up to 90 parts-per-million despite the presence of ammonia clouds. We also find that atmospheric refraction, as opposed to clouds or haze, determines the minimum altitude that could be probed during mid-transit. Self-consistent exoplanet atmosphere models show good agreement with Saturn’s transmission spectrum but fail to reproduce a large absorption feature near 3.4 μm, likely caused by gaseous ethane and a C–H stretching mode of an unknown aliphatic hydrocarbon. This large feature is located in one of the Spitzer Space Telescope bandpasses and could alter interpretations of transmission spectra if not properly modeled. The large signal in Saturn’s transmission spectrum suggests that transmission spectroscopy of cold, long-period gaseous exoplanets should be possible with current and future observatories. Motivated by these results, we briefly consider the feasibility of  using a survey to search for and characterize cold exoplanets that are analogous to Jupiter and Saturn utilizing a target-of-opportunity approach.

  18. ARCHITECTURE AND DYNAMICS OF KEPLER'S CANDIDATE MULTIPLE TRANSITING PLANET SYSTEMS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ragozzine, Darin; Holman, Matthew J.; Carter, Joshua A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Steffen, Jason H. [Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Ford, Eric B. [211 Bryant Space Science Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Shporer, Avi [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 (United States); Rowe, Jason F.; Quintana, Elisa V.; Caldwell, Douglas A. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States); Ciardi, David [Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Dunham, Edward W. [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Gautier, Thomas N. III, E-mail: Jack.Lissauer@nasa.gov [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); and others

    2011-11-01

    About one-third of the {approx}1200 transiting planet candidates detected in the first four months of Kepler data are members of multiple candidate systems. There are 115 target stars with two candidate transiting planets, 45 with three, 8 with four, and 1 each with five and six. We characterize the dynamical properties of these candidate multi-planet systems. The distribution of observed period ratios shows that the vast majority of candidate pairs are neither in nor near low-order mean-motion resonances. Nonetheless, there are small but statistically significant excesses of candidate pairs both in resonance and spaced slightly too far apart to be in resonance, particularly near the 2:1 resonance. We find that virtually all candidate systems are stable, as tested by numerical integrations that assume a nominal mass-radius relationship. Several considerations strongly suggest that the vast majority of these multi-candidate systems are true planetary systems. Using the observed multiplicity frequencies, we find that a single population of planetary systems that matches the higher multiplicities underpredicts the number of singly transiting systems. We provide constraints on the true multiplicity and mutual inclination distribution of the multi-candidate systems, revealing a population of systems with multiple super-Earth-size and Neptune-size planets with low to moderate mutual inclinations.

  19. The ExtraSolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, M.; Lyon, R.

    2010-10-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a 1.65-m telescope employing a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) to deliver high-contrast images of extrasolar system architectures. EPIC will survey the architectures of exosolar systems, and investigate the physical nature of planets in these solar systems. EPIC will employ a Visible Nulling Coronagraph (VNC), featuring an inner working angle of ≤2λ/D, and offers the ideal balance between performance and feasibility of implementation, while not sacrificing science return. The VNC does not demand unrealistic thermal stability from its telescope optics, achieving its primary mirror surface figure requires no new technology, and pointing stability is within state of the art. The EPIC mission will be launched into a drift-away orbit with a five-year mission lifetime.

  20. THE PHOTOECCENTRIC EFFECT AND PROTO-HOT JUPITERS. I. MEASURING PHOTOMETRIC ECCENTRICITIES OF INDIVIDUAL TRANSITING PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Johnson, John Asher

    2012-01-01

    Exoplanet orbital eccentricities offer valuable clues about the history of planetary systems. Eccentric, Jupiter-sized planets are particularly interesting: they may link the 'cold' Jupiters beyond the ice line to close-in hot Jupiters, which are unlikely to have formed in situ. To date, eccentricities of individual transiting planets primarily come from radial-velocity measurements. Kepler has discovered hundreds of transiting Jupiters spanning a range of periods, but the faintness of the host stars precludes radial-velocity follow-up of most. Here, we demonstrate a Bayesian method of measuring an individual planet's eccentricity solely from its transit light curve using prior knowledge of its host star's density. We show that eccentric Jupiters are readily identified by their short ingress/egress/total transit durations—part of the 'photoeccentric' light curve signature of a planet's eccentricity—even with long-cadence Kepler photometry and loosely constrained stellar parameters. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo exploration of parameter posteriors naturally marginalizes over the periapse angle and automatically accounts for the transit probability. To demonstrate, we use three published transit light curves of HD 17156 b to measure an eccentricity of e = 0.71 +0.16 –0.09 , in good agreement with the discovery value e = 0.67 ± 0.08 based on 33 radial-velocity measurements. We present two additional tests using Kepler data. In each case, the technique proves to be a viable method of measuring exoplanet eccentricities and their confidence intervals. Finally, we argue that this method is the most efficient, effective means of identifying the extremely eccentric, proto-hot Jupiters predicted by Socrates et al.

  1. Validation of small Kepler transiting planet candidates in or near the habitable zone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kane, Stephen R.; Rowe, Jason F.

    2017-01-01

    A main goal of NASA's Kepler Mission is to establish the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-size planets (). Relatively few such candidates identified by the mission can be confirmed to be rocky via dynamical measurement of their mass. Here we report an effort to validate 18 of them...... statistically using the BLENDER technique, by showing that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive. Our analysis incorporates follow-up observations including high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and information from...... the analysis of the flux centroids of the Kepler observations themselves. Although many of these candidates have been previously validated by others, the confidence levels reported typically ignore the possibility that the planet may transit a star different from the target along the same line of sight...

  2. DUST FILTRATION BY PLANET-INDUCED GAP EDGES: IMPLICATIONS FOR TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu Zhaohuan; Dong Ruobing [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, 4 Ivy Lane, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Nelson, Richard P. [Astronomy Unit, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom); Espaillat, Catherine [Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Hartmann, Lee, E-mail: zhzhu@astro.princeton.edu, E-mail: rdong@astro.princeton.edu, E-mail: lhartm@umich.edu, E-mail: r.p.nelson@qmul.ac.uk, E-mail: cespaillat@cfa.harvard.edu [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2012-08-10

    By carrying out two-dimensional two-fluid global simulations, we have studied the response of dust to gap formation by a single planet in the gaseous component of a protoplanetary disk-the so-called dust filtration mechanism. We have found that a gap opened by a giant planet at 20 AU in an {alpha} = 0.01, M-dot =10{sup -8} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1} disk can effectively stop dust particles larger than 0.1 mm drifting inward, leaving a submillimeter (submm) dust cavity/hole. However, smaller particles are difficult to filter by a gap induced by a several M{sub J} planet due to (1) dust diffusion and (2) a high gas accretion velocity at the gap edge. Based on these simulations, an analytic model is derived to understand what size particles can be filtered by the planet-induced gap edge. We show that a dimensionless parameter T{sub s} /{alpha}, which is the ratio between the dimensionless dust stopping time and the disk viscosity parameter, is important for the dust filtration process. Finally, with our updated understanding of dust filtration, we have computed Monte Carlo radiative transfer models with variable dust size distributions to generate the spectral energy distributions of disks with gaps. By comparing with transitional disk observations (e.g., GM Aur), we have found that dust filtration alone has difficulties depleting small particles sufficiently to explain the near-IR deficit of moderate M-dot transitional disks, except under some extreme circumstances. The scenario of gap opening by multiple planets studied previously suffers the same difficulty. One possible solution is to invoke both dust filtration and dust growth in the inner disk. In this scenario, a planet-induced gap filters large dust particles in the disk, and the remaining small dust particles passing to the inner disk can grow efficiently without replenishment from fragmentation of large grains. Predictions for ALMA have also been made based on all these scenarios. We conclude that dust filtration

  3. DUST FILTRATION BY PLANET-INDUCED GAP EDGES: IMPLICATIONS FOR TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Zhaohuan; Dong Ruobing; Nelson, Richard P.; Espaillat, Catherine; Hartmann, Lee

    2012-01-01

    By carrying out two-dimensional two-fluid global simulations, we have studied the response of dust to gap formation by a single planet in the gaseous component of a protoplanetary disk—the so-called dust filtration mechanism. We have found that a gap opened by a giant planet at 20 AU in an α = 0.01, M-dot =10 -8 M ☉ yr -1 disk can effectively stop dust particles larger than 0.1 mm drifting inward, leaving a submillimeter (submm) dust cavity/hole. However, smaller particles are difficult to filter by a gap induced by a several M J planet due to (1) dust diffusion and (2) a high gas accretion velocity at the gap edge. Based on these simulations, an analytic model is derived to understand what size particles can be filtered by the planet-induced gap edge. We show that a dimensionless parameter T s /α, which is the ratio between the dimensionless dust stopping time and the disk viscosity parameter, is important for the dust filtration process. Finally, with our updated understanding of dust filtration, we have computed Monte Carlo radiative transfer models with variable dust size distributions to generate the spectral energy distributions of disks with gaps. By comparing with transitional disk observations (e.g., GM Aur), we have found that dust filtration alone has difficulties depleting small particles sufficiently to explain the near-IR deficit of moderate M-dot transitional disks, except under some extreme circumstances. The scenario of gap opening by multiple planets studied previously suffers the same difficulty. One possible solution is to invoke both dust filtration and dust growth in the inner disk. In this scenario, a planet-induced gap filters large dust particles in the disk, and the remaining small dust particles passing to the inner disk can grow efficiently without replenishment from fragmentation of large grains. Predictions for ALMA have also been made based on all these scenarios. We conclude that dust filtration with planet(s) in the disk is a

  4. Pervasive orbital eccentricities dictate the habitability of extrasolar earths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kita, Ryosuke; Rasio, Frederic; Takeda, Genya

    2010-09-01

    The long-term habitability of Earth-like planets requires low orbital eccentricities. A secular perturbation from a distant stellar companion is a very important mechanism in exciting planetary eccentricities, as many of the extrasolar planetary systems are associated with stellar companions. Although the orbital evolution of an Earth-like planet in a stellar binary system is well understood, the effect of a binary perturbation on a more realistic system containing additional gas-giant planets has been very little studied. Here, we provide analytic criteria confirmed by a large ensemble of numerical integrations that identify the initial orbital parameters leading to eccentric orbits. We show that an extrasolar earth is likely to experience a broad range of orbital evolution dictated by the location of a gas-giant planet, which necessitates more focused studies on the effect of eccentricity on the potential for life.

  5. Auto-Vetting Transiting Planet Candidates Identified by the Kepler Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; McCauliff, Sean; Burke, Christopher; Seader, Shawn; Twicken, Joseph; Klaus, Todd; Sanderfer, Dwight; Srivastava, Ashok; Haas, Michael R.

    2014-04-01

    The Kepler Mission simultaneously measures the brightness of more than 150,000 stars every 29.4 minutes primarily for the purpose of transit photometry. Over the course of its 3.5-year primary mission Kepler has observed over 190,000 distinct stars, announcing 2,321 planet candidates, 2,165 eclipsing binaries, and 105 confirmed planets. As Kepler moves into its 4-year extended mission, the total number of transit-like features identified in the light curves has increased to as many as ~18,000. This number of signals has become intractable for human beings to inspect by eye in a thorough and timely fashion. To mitigate this problem we are developing machine learning approaches to perform the task of reviewing the diagnostics for each transit signal candidate to establish a preliminary list of planetary candidates ranked from most credible to least credible. Our preliminary results indicate that random forests can classify potential transiting planet signatures with an accuracy of more than 98.6% as measured by the area under a receiver-operating curve.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  7. Densities and eccentricities of 139 Kepler planets from transit time variations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hadden, Sam; Lithwick, Yoram [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)

    2014-05-20

    We extract densities and eccentricities of 139 sub-Jovian planets by analyzing transit time variations (TTVs) obtained by the Kepler mission through Quarter 12. We partially circumvent the degeneracies that plague TTV inversion with the help of an analytical formula for the TTV. From the observed TTV phases, we find that most of these planets have eccentricities of the order of a few percent. More precisely, the rms eccentricity is 0.018{sub −0.004}{sup +0.005}, and planets smaller than 2.5 R {sub ⊕} are around twice as eccentric as those bigger than 2.5 R {sub ⊕}. We also find a best-fit density-radius relationship ρ ≈ 3 g cm{sup –3} × (R/3 R {sub ⊕}){sup –2.3} for the 56 planets that likely have small eccentricity and hence small statistical correction to their masses. Many planets larger than 2.5 R {sub ⊕} are less dense than water, implying that their radii are largely set by a massive hydrogen atmosphere.

  8. CHARACTERIZING THE ATMOSPHERES OF TRANSITING ROCKY PLANETS AROUND LATE-TYPE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palle, E.; Garcia Munoz, A.; Zosorio, M. R. Zapatero

    2011-01-01

    Visible and near-infrared spectra of transiting hot Jupiter planets have recently been observed, revealing some of the atmospheric constituents of their atmospheres. In the near future, it is probable that primary and secondary eclipse observations of Earth-like rocky planets will also be achieved. The characterization of Earth's transmission spectrum has shown that both major and trace atmospheric constituents may present strong absorption features, including important bio-markers such as water, oxygen, and methane. Our simulations using a recently published empirical Earth's transmission spectrum, and the stellar spectra for a variety of stellar types, indicate that the new generation of extremely large telescopes, such as the proposed 42 m European Extremely Large Telescope, could be capable of retrieving the transmission spectrum of an Earth-like planet around very cool stars and brown dwarfs (T eff ≤ ∼3100 K). For a twin of Earth around a star with T eff ∼ 3100 K (M4), for example, the spectral features of H 2 O, CH 4 , CO 2 , and O 2 in the wavelength range between 0.9 and 2.4 μm can simultaneously be detected within 100 hr of observing time, or even less for a late-M star. Such detection would constitute proof for the existence of life in that planet. The detection time can be reduced to a few hours for a super-Earth type of planet with twice Earth's radius.

  9. 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.

  10. Discovery of Temperate Earth-Sized Planets Transiting a Nearby Ultracool Dwarf Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehin, Emmanuel; Gillon, Michael; Lederer, Susan M.; Delrez, Laetitia; De Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valerie; Burgasser, Adam; Triaud, Amaury; Demory, Brice-Olivier; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star using data collected by the Liège TRAPPIST telescope, located in la Silla (Chile). TRAPPIST-1 is an isolated M8.0+/-0.5-type dwarf star at a distance of 12.0+/-0.4 parsecs as measured by its trigonometric parallax, with an age constrained to be > 500 Myr, and with a luminosity, mass, and radius of 0.05%, 8% and 11.5% those of the Sun, respectively. The small size of the host star, only slightly larger than Jupiter, translates into Earth-like radii for the three discovered planets, as deduced from their transit depths. The inner two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Several orbits remain possible for the third planet based on our current data. The infrared brightness of the host star combined with its Jupiter-like size offer the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system.

  11. Optimized Strategies for Detecting Extrasolar Space Weather

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallinan, Gregg

    2018-06-01

    Fully understanding the implications of space weather for the young solar system, as well as the wider population of planet-hosting stars, requires remote sensing of space weather in other stellar systems. Solar coronal mass ejections can be accompanied by bright radio bursts at low frequencies (typically measurement of the magnetic field strength of the planet, informing on whether the atmosphere of the planet can survive the intense magnetic activity of its host star. However, both stellar and planetary radio emission are highly variable and optimal strategies for detection of these emissions requires the capability to monitor 1000s of nearby stellar/planetary systems simultaneously. I will discuss optimized strategies for both ground and space-based experiments to take advantage of the highly variable nature of the radio emissions powered by extrasolar space weather to enable detection of stellar CMEs and planetary magnetospheres.

  12. A pilot investigation to constrain the presence of ring systems around transiting exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatchett, W. Timothy; Barnes, Jason W.; Ahlers, John P.; MacKenzie, Shannon M.; Hedman, Matthew M.

    2018-04-01

    We demonstrate a process by which to evaluate the presence of large, Saturn-like ring systems around transiting extrasolar giant planets. We use extrasolar planet candidate KOI-422.01 as an example around which to establish limits on the presence of ring systems. We find that the spherical-planet (no-rings) fit matches the lightcurve of KOI-422.01 better than a lightcurve with a planet having obliquity angles 90°, 60°, 45°, or 20°. Hence we find no evidence for rings around KOI-422.01, but the methods that we have developed can be used for more comprehensive ring searches in the future. If the Hedman (2015) low-temperature rings hypothesis is correct, then the first positive detection of exorings might require transits of very long period ( ≳ 10 yr) giant planets outside their stars' ice lines.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  14. System Geometries and Transit/Eclipse Probabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard A.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Transiting exoplanets provide access to data to study the mass-radius relation and internal structure of extrasolar planets. Long-period transiting planets allow insight into planetary environments similar to the Solar System where, in contrast to hot Jupiters, planets are not constantly exposed to the intense radiation of their parent stars. Observations of secondary eclipses additionally permit studies of exoplanet temperatures and large-scale exo-atmospheric properties. We show how transit and eclipse probabilities are related to planet-star system geometries, particularly for long-period, eccentric orbits. The resulting target selection and observational strategies represent the principal ingredients of our photometric survey of known radial-velocity planets with the aim of detecting transit signatures (TERMS.

  15. THE PTF ORION PROJECT: A POSSIBLE PLANET TRANSITING A T-TAURI STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ciardi, David R.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Plavchan, Peter; Akeson, Rachel L.; Beichman, Charles A.; Gelino, Dawn M. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, 770 South Wilson Avenue, M/S 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Bender, Chad F.; Mahadevan, Suvrath [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Brown, Timothy M.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Crepp, Justin R. [Cahill Center for Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States); Howell, Steve B. [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Szkody, Paula [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Boden, Andrew F. [Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Hoard, D. W., E-mail: vaneyken@ipac.caltech.edu [Spitzer Science Center, M/S 220-6, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); and others

    2012-08-10

    We report observations of a possible young transiting planet orbiting a previously known weak-lined T-Tauri star in the 7-10 Myr old Orion-OB1a/25-Ori region. The candidate was found as part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) Orion project. It has a photometric transit period of 0.448413 {+-} 0.000040 days, and appears in both 2009 and 2010 PTF data. Follow-up low-precision radial velocity (RV) observations and adaptive optics imaging suggest that the star is not an eclipsing binary, and that it is unlikely that a background source is blended with the target and mimicking the observed transit. RV observations with the Hobby-Eberly and Keck telescopes yield an RV that has the same period as the photometric event, but is offset in phase from the transit center by Almost-Equal-To - 0.22 periods. The amplitude (half range) of the RV variations is 2.4 km s{sup -1} and is comparable with the expected RV amplitude that stellar spots could induce. The RV curve is likely dominated by stellar spot modulation and provides an upper limit to the projected companion mass of M{sub p}sin i{sub orb} {approx}< 4.8 {+-} 1.2 M{sub Jup}; when combined with the orbital inclination, i{sub orb}, of the candidate planet from modeling of the transit light curve, we find an upper limit on the mass of the planetary candidate of M{sub p} {approx}< 5.5 {+-} 1.4 M{sub Jup}. This limit implies that the planet is orbiting close to, if not inside, its Roche limiting orbital radius, so that it may be undergoing active mass loss and evaporation.

  16. THE PTF ORION PROJECT: A POSSIBLE PLANET TRANSITING A T-TAURI STAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ciardi, David R.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Plavchan, Peter; Akeson, Rachel L.; Beichman, Charles A.; Gelino, Dawn M.; Bender, Chad F.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Brown, Timothy M.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Crepp, Justin R.; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howell, Steve B.; Szkody, Paula; Boden, Andrew F.; Hoard, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    We report observations of a possible young transiting planet orbiting a previously known weak-lined T-Tauri star in the 7-10 Myr old Orion-OB1a/25-Ori region. The candidate was found as part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) Orion project. It has a photometric transit period of 0.448413 ± 0.000040 days, and appears in both 2009 and 2010 PTF data. Follow-up low-precision radial velocity (RV) observations and adaptive optics imaging suggest that the star is not an eclipsing binary, and that it is unlikely that a background source is blended with the target and mimicking the observed transit. RV observations with the Hobby-Eberly and Keck telescopes yield an RV that has the same period as the photometric event, but is offset in phase from the transit center by ≈ – 0.22 periods. The amplitude (half range) of the RV variations is 2.4 km s –1 and is comparable with the expected RV amplitude that stellar spots could induce. The RV curve is likely dominated by stellar spot modulation and provides an upper limit to the projected companion mass of M p sin i orb ∼ Jup ; when combined with the orbital inclination, i orb , of the candidate planet from modeling of the transit light curve, we find an upper limit on the mass of the planetary candidate of M p ∼ Jup . This limit implies that the planet is orbiting close to, if not inside, its Roche limiting orbital radius, so that it may be undergoing active mass loss and evaporation.

  17. Three Small Planets Transiting the Bright Young Field Star K2-233

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Trevor J.; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Benneke, Björn; Petigura, Erik A.; Gonzales, Erica J.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Yu, Liang; Isaacson, Howard T.; Howard, Andrew W.; Ciardi, David R.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Cody, Ann Marie; Riedel, Adric; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Tanner, Christopher; Ende, Martin

    2018-05-01

    We report the detection of three small transiting planets around the young K3 dwarf K2-233 (2MASS J15215519‑2013539) from observations during Campaign 15 of the K2 mission. The star is relatively nearby (d = 69 pc) and bright (V = 10.7 mag, K s = 8.4 mag), making the planetary system an attractive target for radial velocity follow-up and atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope. The inner two planets are hot super-Earths (R b = 1.40 ± 0.06 {R}\\oplus , R c = 1.34 ± 0.08 {R}\\oplus ), while the outer planet is a warm sub-Neptune (R d = 2.6 ± 0.1 {R}\\oplus ). We estimate the stellar age to be {360}-140+490 Myr based on rotation, activity, and kinematic indicators. The K2-233 system is particularly interesting given recent evidence for inflated radii in planets around similarly aged stars, a trend potentially related to photo-evaporation, core cooling, or both mechanisms.

  18. Inferring giant planets from ALMA millimeter continuum and line observations in (transition) disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facchini, S.; Pinilla, P.; van Dishoeck, E. F.; de Juan Ovelar, M.

    2018-05-01

    viscosity for the parameters explored in this paper. Because of the low dust density in the gaps, the dust and gas components can become thermally decoupled and the gas becomes colder than the dust. The gaps seen in CO are due to a combination of gas temperature dropping at the location of the planet and of the underlying surface density profile. Both effects need to be taken into account and disentangled when inferring gas surface densities from observed CO intensity profiles; otherwise, the gas surface density drop at the planet location can easily be overestimated. CO line ratios across the gap are able to quantify the gas temperature drop in the gaps in observed systems. Finally, a CO cavity not observed in any of the models, only CO gaps, indicating that one single massive planet is not able to explain the CO cavities observed in transition disks, at least without additional physical or chemical mechanisms.

  19. Monte Carlo Methods to Establish Confidence in Planets Discovered by Transit Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Caldwell, D. A.

    2000-12-01

    With the astonishing discovery of about a dozen super giant short-period (attention on the problem of assessing the significance of a candidate transit signature. There are two fundamental quantities of interest required to establish the confidence in a planetary candidate. These are: 1) the equivalent number of independent statistical tests conducted in searching the light curve of one star for transiting planets over a given range of periods, and 2) the characteristics of the observation noise for the light curve in question. The latter quantity determines the false alarm rate for a single test for that particular star as a function of the detection threshold. The former quantity, together with the total number of target stars in the observing program, dictate the requisite single-test false alarm rate based on the acceptable total number of false alarms. The methods described do not make any presumptions about the distribution of the observational noise. In addition they either provide conservative results for non-white noise or take the correlation structure of the noise into account. The results of this paper show that transit photometry is a promising method for detecting planets even in the presence of colored, non-Gaussian noise and with the required large number of target stars (>100,000 stars in the case of the Kepler Mission) for the small geometric probability of transit alignment. Support for this work was received from NASA's Discovery Program.

  20. Validation of Small Kepler Transiting Planet Candidates in or near the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kane, Stephen R.; Rowe, Jason F.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Henze, Christopher E.; Ciardi, David R.; Barclay, Thomas; Borucki, William J.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Crepp, Justin R.; Everett, Mark E.; Horch, Elliott P.; Howard, Andrew W.; Howell, Steve B.; Isaacson, Howard T.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Latham, David W.; Petigura, Erik A.; Quintana, Elisa V.

    2017-12-01

    A main goal of NASA’s Kepler Mission is to establish the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-size planets ({η }\\oplus ). Relatively few such candidates identified by the mission can be confirmed to be rocky via dynamical measurement of their mass. Here we report an effort to validate 18 of them statistically using the BLENDER technique, by showing that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive. Our analysis incorporates follow-up observations including high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and information from the analysis of the flux centroids of the Kepler observations themselves. Although many of these candidates have been previously validated by others, the confidence levels reported typically ignore the possibility that the planet may transit a star different from the target along the same line of sight. If that were the case, a planet that appears small enough to be rocky may actually be considerably larger and therefore less interesting from the point of view of habitability. We take this into consideration here and are able to validate 15 of our candidates at a 99.73% (3σ) significance level or higher, and the other three at a slightly lower confidence. We characterize the GKM host stars using available ground-based observations and provide updated parameters for the planets, with sizes between 0.8 and 2.9 R ⊕. Seven of them (KOI-0438.02, 0463.01, 2418.01, 2626.01, 3282.01, 4036.01, and 5856.01) have a better than 50% chance of being smaller than 2 R ⊕ and being in the habitable zone of their host stars.

  1. A SYSTEMATIC SEARCH FOR TROJAN PLANETS IN THE KEPLER DATA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Janson, Markus, E-mail: janson@astro.princeton.edu [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)

    2013-09-10

    Trojans are circumstellar bodies that reside in characteristic 1:1 orbital resonances with planets. While all the trojans in our solar system are small ({approx}<100 km), stable planet-size trojans may exist in extrasolar planetary systems, and the Kepler telescope constitutes a formidable tool to search for them. Here we report on a systematic search for extrasolar trojan companions to 2244 known Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), with epicyclic orbital characteristics similar to those of the Jovian trojan families. No convincing trojan candidates are found, despite a typical sensitivity down to Earth-size objects. This fact, however, cannot be used to stringently exclude the existence of trojans in this size range, since stable trojans need not necessarily share the same orbital plane as the planet, and thus may not transit. Following this reasoning, we note that if Earth-sized trojans exist at all, they are almost certainly both present and in principle detectable in the full set of Kepler data, although a very substantial computational effort would be required to detect them. Additionally, we also note that some of the existing KOIs could in principle be trojans themselves, with a primary planet orbiting outside of the transiting plane. A few examples are given for which this is a readily testable scenario.

  2. THE KEPLER-19 SYSTEM: A TRANSITING 2.2 R{sub Circled-Plus} PLANET AND A SECOND PLANET DETECTED VIA TRANSIT TIMING VARIATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballard, Sarah; Fressin, Francois; Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel; Torres, Guillermo; Holman, Matthew J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey; Isaacson, Howard [Department of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Burke, Christopher J.; Henze, Christopher; Howell, Steven B.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Lissauer, Jack J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Steffen, Jason H. [Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael [McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Jenkins, Jon M., E-mail: sballard@cfa.harvard.edu [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); and others

    2011-12-20

    We present the discovery of the Kepler-19 planetary system, which we first identified from a 9.3 day periodic transit signal in the Kepler photometry. From high-resolution spectroscopy of the star, we find a stellar effective temperature T{sub eff} = 5541 {+-} 60 K, a metallicity [Fe/H] = -0.13 {+-} 0.06, and a surface gravity log(g) = 4.59 {+-} 0.10. We combine the estimate of T{sub eff} and [Fe/H] with an estimate of the stellar density derived from the photometric light curve to deduce a stellar mass of M{sub *} = 0.936 {+-} 0.040 M{sub Sun} and a stellar radius of R{sub *} = 0.850 {+-} 0.018 R{sub Sun} (these errors do not include uncertainties in the stellar models). We rule out the possibility that the transits result from an astrophysical false positive by first identifying the subset of stellar blends that reproduce the precise shape of the light curve. Using the additional constraints from the measured color of the system, the absence of a secondary source in the high-resolution spectrum, and the absence of a secondary source in the adaptive optics imaging, we conclude that the planetary scenario is more than three orders of magnitude more likely than a blend. The blend scenario is independently disfavored by the achromaticity of the transit: we measure a transit depth with Spitzer at 4.5 {mu}m of 547{sup +113}{sub -110} ppm, consistent with the depth measured in the Kepler optical bandpass of 567 {+-} 6 ppm (corrected for stellar limb darkening). We determine a physical radius of the planet Kepler-19b of R{sub p} = 2.209 {+-} 0.048 R{sub Circled-Plus }; the uncertainty is dominated by uncertainty in the stellar parameters. From radial velocity observations of the star, we find an upper limit on the planet mass of 20.3 M{sub Circled-Plus }, corresponding to a maximum density of 10.4 g cm{sup -3}. We report a significant sinusoidal deviation of the transit times from a predicted linear ephemeris, which we conclude is due to an additional perturbing body in

  3. Gravitational waves emitted by extrasolar planetary systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berti, E.; Ferrari, V.

    2001-01-01

    The recently discovered Extrasolar Planetary Systems (EPS's) are potentially interesting sources of gravitational waves, since they are very close to Earth (at distances ∼ 10 pc), and their orbital features and positions in the sky are quite well known. As a first estimate, we compute the orbital emission of these systems using the quadrupole formula. Then we show that, in principle, the orbiting planet could resonantly excite the quasi-normal modes of the central star. We use the general-relativistic theory of stellar pulsations to estimate the effects of such a resonance on the gravitational-wave emission of the system. We also consider radiation-reaction effects on the orbital evolution, and give upper limits on the timescales required for a planet to get off-resonance. (author)

  4. TrES-5: A MASSIVE JUPITER-SIZED PLANET TRANSITING A COOL G DWARF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mandushev, Georgi; Dunham, Edward W.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Latham, David W.; Charbonneau, David; Buchhave, Lars A.; Rabus, Markus; Oetiker, Brian; Brown, Timothy M.; Belmonte, Juan A.; O'Donovan, Francis T.

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of TrES-5, a massive hot Jupiter that transits the star GSC 03949-00967 every 1.48 days. From spectroscopy of the star we estimate a stellar effective temperature of T eff = 5171 ± 36 K, and from high-precision B, R, and I photometry of the transit we constrain the ratio of the semimajor axis a and the stellar radius R * to be a/R * = 6.07 ± 0.14. We compare these values to model stellar isochrones to obtain a stellar mass of M * = 0.893 ± 0.024 M ☉ . Based on this estimate and the photometric time series, we constrain the stellar radius to be R * = 0.866 ± 0.013 R ☉ and the planet radius to be R p = 1.209 ± 0.021 R J . We model our radial-velocity data assuming a circular orbit and find a planetary mass of 1.778 ± 0.063 M J . Our radial-velocity observations rule out line-bisector variations that would indicate a specious detection resulting from a blend of an eclipsing binary system. TrES-5 orbits one of the faintest stars with transiting planets found to date from the ground and demonstrates that precise photometry and followup spectroscopy are possible, albeit challenging, even for such faint stars.

  5. 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...

  6. CHARACTERIZING K2 PLANET DISCOVERIES: A SUPER-EARTH TRANSITING THE BRIGHT K DWARF HIP 116454

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Montet, Benjamin T.; Johnson, John Asher; Buchhave, Lars A.; Zeng, Li; Latham, David W.; Angus, Ruth; Bieryla, Allyson; Charbonneau, David [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Pepe, Francesco; Udry, Stéphane; Lovis, Christophe [Observatoire Astronomique de l' Université de Genève, 51 chemin des Maillettes, CH-1290 Versoix (Switzerland); Cameron, Andrew Collier [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Molinari, Emilio; Boschin, Walter [INAF-Fundación Galileo Galilei, Rambla José Ana Fernández Pérez, 7, E-38712 Breña Baja (Spain); Matthews, Jaymie M. [University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z1 (Canada); Cameron, Chris [Cape Breton University, 1250 Grand Lake Road, Sydney NS B1P 6L2 (Canada); Law, Nicholas [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (United States); Bowler, Brendan P. [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Baranec, Christoph, E-mail: avanderburg@cfa.harvard.edu [University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); and others

    2015-02-10

    We report the first planet discovery from the two-wheeled Kepler (K2) mission: HIP 116454 b. The host star HIP 116454 is a bright (V = 10.1, K = 8.0) K1 dwarf with high proper motion and a parallax-based distance of 55.2 ± 5.4 pc. Based on high-resolution optical spectroscopy, we find that the host star is metal-poor with [Fe/H] =–0.16 ± 0.08 and has a radius R {sub *} = 0.716 ± 0.024 R {sub ☉} and mass M {sub *} = 0.775 ± 0.027 M {sub ☉}. The star was observed by the Kepler spacecraft during its Two-Wheeled Concept Engineering Test in 2014 February. During the 9 days of observations, K2 observed a single transit event. Using a new K2 photometric analysis technique, we are able to correct small telescope drifts and recover the observed transit at high confidence, corresponding to a planetary radius of R{sub p} = 2.53 ± 0.18 R {sub ⊕}. Radial velocity observations with the HARPS-N spectrograph reveal a 11.82 ± 1.33 M {sub ⊕} planet in a 9.1 day orbit, consistent with the transit depth, duration, and ephemeris. Follow-up photometric measurements from the MOST satellite confirm the transit observed in the K2 photometry and provide a refined ephemeris, making HIP 116454 b amenable for future follow-up observations of this latest addition to the growing population of transiting super-Earths around nearby, bright stars.

  7. CHARACTERIZING K2 PLANET DISCOVERIES: A SUPER-EARTH TRANSITING THE BRIGHT K DWARF HIP 116454

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Montet, Benjamin T.; Johnson, John Asher; Buchhave, Lars A.; Zeng, Li; Latham, David W.; Angus, Ruth; Bieryla, Allyson; Charbonneau, David; Pepe, Francesco; Udry, Stéphane; Lovis, Christophe; Cameron, Andrew Collier; Molinari, Emilio; Boschin, Walter; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Cameron, Chris; Law, Nicholas; Bowler, Brendan P.; Baranec, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    We report the first planet discovery from the two-wheeled Kepler (K2) mission: HIP 116454 b. The host star HIP 116454 is a bright (V = 10.1, K = 8.0) K1 dwarf with high proper motion and a parallax-based distance of 55.2 ± 5.4 pc. Based on high-resolution optical spectroscopy, we find that the host star is metal-poor with [Fe/H] =–0.16 ± 0.08 and has a radius R * = 0.716 ± 0.024 R ☉ and mass M * = 0.775 ± 0.027 M ☉ . The star was observed by the Kepler spacecraft during its Two-Wheeled Concept Engineering Test in 2014 February. During the 9 days of observations, K2 observed a single transit event. Using a new K2 photometric analysis technique, we are able to correct small telescope drifts and recover the observed transit at high confidence, corresponding to a planetary radius of R p = 2.53 ± 0.18 R ⊕ . Radial velocity observations with the HARPS-N spectrograph reveal a 11.82 ± 1.33 M ⊕ planet in a 9.1 day orbit, consistent with the transit depth, duration, and ephemeris. Follow-up photometric measurements from the MOST satellite confirm the transit observed in the K2 photometry and provide a refined ephemeris, making HIP 116454 b amenable for future follow-up observations of this latest addition to the growing population of transiting super-Earths around nearby, bright stars

  8. Planet-planet scattering leads to tightly packed planetary systems

    OpenAIRE

    Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory; Veras, Dimitri; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel; Greenberg, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The known extrasolar multiple-planet systems share a surprising dynamical attribute: they cluster just beyond the Hill stability boundary. Here we show that the planet-planet scattering model, which naturally explains the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution, can reproduce the observed distribution of dynamical configurations. We calculated how each of our scattered systems would appear over an appropriate range of viewing geometries; as Hill stability is weakly dependent on the masse...

  9. VALIDATION OF 12 SMALL KEPLER TRANSITING PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kipping, David M.; Fressin, Francois; Newton, Elisabeth R. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Caldwell, Douglas A.; Twicken, Joseph D. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ballard, Sarah [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Henze, Christopher E.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Barclay, Thomas; Borucki, William J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Isaacson, Howard T.; Petigura, Erik A. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Muirhead, Philip S. [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Crepp, Justin R. [University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); Everett, Mark E., E-mail: gtorres@cfa.harvard.edu [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); and others

    2015-02-20

    We present an investigation of 12 candidate transiting planets from Kepler with orbital periods ranging from 34 to 207 days, selected from initial indications that they are small and potentially in the habitable zone (HZ) of their parent stars. Few of these objects are known. The expected Doppler signals are too small to confirm them by demonstrating that their masses are in the planetary regime. Here we verify their planetary nature by validating them statistically using the BLENDER technique, which simulates large numbers of false positives and compares the resulting light curves with the Kepler photometry. This analysis was supplemented with new follow-up observations (high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, adaptive optics imaging, and speckle interferometry), as well as an analysis of the flux centroids. For 11 of them (KOI-0571.05, 1422.04, 1422.05, 2529.02, 3255.01, 3284.01, 4005.01, 4087.01, 4622.01, 4742.01, and 4745.01) we show that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive, to a confidence level of 99.73% (3σ) or higher. For KOI-4427.01 the confidence level is about 99.2% (2.6σ). With our accurate characterization of the GKM host stars, the derived planetary radii range from 1.1 to 2.7 R {sub ⊕}. All 12 objects are confirmed to be in the HZ, and nine are small enough to be rocky. Excluding three of them that have been previously validated by others, our study doubles the number of known rocky planets in the HZ. KOI-3284.01 (Kepler-438b) and KOI-4742.01 (Kepler-442b) are the planets most similar to the Earth discovered to date when considering their size and incident flux jointly.

  10. KEPLER-10 c: A 2.2 EARTH RADIUS TRANSITING PLANET IN A MULTIPLE SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Desert, Jean-Michel; Charbonneau, David; Holman, Matthew J.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Rowe, Jason F.; Allen, Christopher; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Henze, Christopher E.; Brown, Timothy M.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Deming, Drake; Dunham, Edward W.; Gautier III, Thomas N.; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2011-01-01

    The Kepler mission has recently announced the discovery of Kepler-10 b, the smallest exoplanet discovered to date and the first rocky planet found by the spacecraft. A second, 45 day period transit-like signal present in the photometry from the first eight months of data could not be confirmed as being caused by a planet at the time of that announcement. Here we apply the light curve modeling technique known as BLENDER to explore the possibility that the signal might be due to an astrophysical false positive (blend). To aid in this analysis we report the observation of two transits with the Spitzer Space Telescope at 4.5 μm. When combined, they yield a transit depth of 344 ± 85 ppm that is consistent with the depth in the Kepler passband (376 ± 9 ppm, ignoring limb darkening), which rules out blends with an eclipsing binary of a significantly different color than the target. Using these observations along with other constraints from high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, we are able to exclude the vast majority of possible false positives. We assess the likelihood of the remaining blends, and arrive conservatively at a false alarm rate of 1.6 x 10 -5 that is small enough to validate the candidate as a planet (designated Kepler-10 c) with a very high level of confidence. The radius of this object is measured to be R p = 2.227 +0.052 -0.057 R + (in which the error includes the uncertainty in the stellar properties), but currently available radial-velocity measurements only place an upper limit on its mass of about 20 M + . Kepler-10 c represents another example (with Kepler-9 d and Kepler-11 g) of statistical 'validation' of a transiting exoplanet, as opposed to the usual 'confirmation' that can take place when the Doppler signal is detected or transit timing variations are measured. It is anticipated that many of Kepler's smaller candidates will receive a similar treatment since dynamical confirmation may be difficult or impractical with the sensitivity of

  11. Constraints on Neutral Hydrogen Outflow from the Warm Rocky Planet GJ1132b using Lyman-alpha Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waalkes, William; Berta-Thompson, Zachory; Charbonneau, David; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth; Dittmann, Jason; Bourrier, Vincent; Ehrenreich, David; Kempton, Eliza

    2018-01-01

    GJ1132b is one of the few known Earth-sized planets, and at 12 pc away it is also one of the closest known transiting planets. With an equilibrium temperature of 500 K, this planet is too hot to be habitable but we can use it to learn about the presence and volatile content of rocky planet atmospheres around M dwarf stars. Using Hubble STIS spectra during primary transit, we explore the potential for UV transit detections of GJ1132b. If we were to observe a deep Lyman-α transit, that would indicate the presence of a neutral hydrogen envelope flowing from GJ1132b. On the other hand, ruling out deep absorption from neutral hydrogen may indicate that this planet has either retained its volatiles or lost them very early in the star’s life. We carry out this analysis by extracting 1D spectra from the STIS pipeline, splitting the time-tagged spectra into higher resolution samples, and producing light curves of the red and blue wings of the Lyman-α line. We fit for the baseline stellar flux and transit depths in order to constrain the characteristics of the cloud of neutral hydrogen gas that may surround the planet. Our work extends beyond the transit study into an analysis of the stellar variability and Lyman-α spectrum of GJ1132, a slowly-rotating 0.18 MSun M dwarf with previously uncharacterized UV activity. Understanding the role that UV variability plays in planetary atmospheres and volatile retention is crucial to assess atmospheric evolution and the habitability of cooler rocky planets.

  12. Design-considerations For A Ground-based Transit Survey To Find Habitable Planets Around L And T Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tata, Ramarao; Martin, E.

    2011-09-01

    Detection of planets in the habitable zone is one of the key drivers of the exoplanet science community. We present a detailed strategy for such detection around L and T dwarfs. We plan to implement the outcome of the analysis as a transit survey to search for planets around known L and T dwarfs. Understanding of the variability of these cool objects will be a worth-while byproduct of such a survey.

  13. A Neptune-sized transiting planet closely orbiting a 5–10-million-year-old star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Trevor J; Hillenbrand, Lynne A; Petigura, Erik A; Carpenter, John M; Crossfield, Ian J M; Hinkley, Sasha; Ciardi, David R; Howard, Andrew W; Isaacson, Howard T; Cody, Ann Marie; Schlieder, Joshua E; Beichman, Charles A; Barenfeld, Scott A

    2016-06-30

    Theories of the formation and early evolution of planetary systems postulate that planets are born in circumstellar disks, and undergo radial migration during and after dissipation of the dust and gas disk from which they formed. The precise ages of meteorites indicate that planetesimals—the building blocks of planets—are produced within the first million years of a star’s life. Fully formed planets are frequently detected on short orbital periods around mature stars. Some theories suggest that the in situ formation of planets close to their host stars is unlikely and that the existence of such planets is therefore evidence of large-scale migration. Other theories posit that planet assembly at small orbital separations may be common. Here we report a newly born, transiting planet orbiting its star with a period of 5.4 days. The planet is 50 per cent larger than Neptune, and its mass is less than 3.6 times that of Jupiter (at 99.7 per cent confidence), with a true mass likely to be similar to that of Neptune. The star is 5–10 million years old and has a tenuous dust disk extending outward from about twice the Earth–Sun separation, in addition to the fully formed planet located at less than one-twentieth of the Earth–Sun separation.

  14. Transit Timing Observations from Kepler: III. Confirmation of 4 Multiple Planet Systems by a Fourier-Domain Study of Anti-correlated Transit Timing Variations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steffen, Jason H.; /Fermilab; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; /Lick Observ.; Ford, Eric B.; /Florida U.; Carter, Joshua A.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Fressin, Francois; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Holman, Matthew J.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Lissauer, Jack J.; /NASA, Ames; Rowe, Jason F.; /SETI Inst., Mtn. View /NASA, Ames; Ragozzine, Darin; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Welsh, William F.; /Caltech; Borucki, William J.; /NASA, Ames /UC, Santa Barbara

    2012-01-01

    We present a method to confirm the planetary nature of objects in systems with multiple transiting exoplanet candidates. This method involves a Fourier-domain analysis of the deviations in the transit times from a constant period that result from dynamical interactions within the system. The combination of observed anticorrelations in the transit times and mass constraints from dynamical stability allow us to claim the discovery of four planetary systems, Kepler-25, Kepler-26, Kepler-27 and Kepler-28, containing eight planets and one additional planet candidate.

  15. Two Earth-sized planets orbiting Kepler-20.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Rowe, Jason F; Charbonneau, David; Rogers, Leslie A; Ballard, Sarah; Batalha, Natalie M; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Stephen T; Buchhave, Lars A; Ciardi, David R; Désert, Jean-Michel; Dressing, Courtney D; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Gautier, Thomas N; Henze, Christopher E; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Seager, Sara; Barclay, Thomas; Mullally, Fergal; Seader, Shawn E; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D; Thompson, Susan E; Uddin, Kamal

    2011-12-20

    Since the discovery of the first extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars, evolving observational capabilities have brought us closer to the detection of true Earth analogues. The size of an exoplanet can be determined when it periodically passes in front of (transits) its parent star, causing a decrease in starlight proportional to its radius. The smallest exoplanet hitherto discovered has a radius 1.42 times that of the Earth's radius (R(⊕)), and hence has 2.9 times its volume. Here we report the discovery of two planets, one Earth-sized (1.03R(⊕)) and the other smaller than the Earth (0.87R(⊕)), orbiting the star Kepler-20, which is already known to host three other, larger, transiting planets. The gravitational pull of the new planets on the parent star is too small to measure with current instrumentation. We apply a statistical method to show that the likelihood of the planetary interpretation of the transit signals is more than three orders of magnitude larger than that of the alternative hypothesis that the signals result from an eclipsing binary star. Theoretical considerations imply that these planets are rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate. The outer planet could have developed a thick water vapour atmosphere.

  16. Centroid vetting of transiting planet candidates from the Next Generation Transit Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, Maximilian N.; Queloz, Didier; Gillen, Edward; McCormac, James; Bayliss, Daniel; Bouchy, Francois; Walker, Simon. R.; West, Richard G.; Eigmüller, Philipp; Smith, Alexis M. S.; Armstrong, David J.; Burleigh, Matthew; Casewell, Sarah L.; Chaushev, Alexander P.; Goad, Michael R.; Grange, Andrew; Jackman, James; Jenkins, James S.; Louden, Tom; Moyano, Maximiliano; Pollacco, Don; Poppenhaeger, Katja; Rauer, Heike; Raynard, Liam; Thompson, Andrew P. G.; Udry, Stéphane; Watson, Christopher A.; Wheatley, Peter J.

    2017-11-01

    The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), operating in Paranal since 2016, is a wide-field survey to detect Neptunes and super-Earths transiting bright stars, which are suitable for precise radial velocity follow-up and characterization. Thereby, its sub-mmag photometric precision and ability to identify false positives are crucial. Particularly, variable background objects blended in the photometric aperture frequently mimic Neptune-sized transits and are costly in follow-up time. These objects can best be identified with the centroiding technique: if the photometric flux is lost off-centre during an eclipse, the flux centroid shifts towards the centre of the target star. Although this method has successfully been employed by the Kepler mission, it has previously not been implemented from the ground. We present a fully automated centroid vetting algorithm developed for NGTS, enabled by our high-precision autoguiding. Our method allows detecting centroid shifts with an average precision of 0.75 milli-pixel (mpix), and down to 0.25 mpix for specific targets, for a pixel size of 4.97 arcsec. The algorithm is now part of the NGTS candidate vetting pipeline and automatically employed for all detected signals. Further, we develop a joint Bayesian fitting model for all photometric and centroid data, allowing to disentangle which object (target or background) is causing the signal, and what its astrophysical parameters are. We demonstrate our method on two NGTS objects of interest. These achievements make NGTS the first ground-based wide-field transit survey ever to successfully apply the centroiding technique for automated candidate vetting, enabling the production of a robust candidate list before follow-up.

  17. New Insights on Planet Formation in WASP-47 from a Simultaneous Analysis of Radial Velocities and Transit Timing Variations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Lauren M.; Deck, Katherine M.; Sinukoff, Evan; Petigura, Erik A.; Agol, Eric; Lee, Eve J.; Becker, Juliette C.; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Hirsch, Lea; Benneke, Björn

    2017-06-01

    Measuring precise planet masses, densities, and orbital dynamics in individual planetary systems is an important pathway toward understanding planet formation. The WASP-47 system has an unusual architecture that motivates a complex formation theory. The system includes a hot Jupiter (“b”) neighbored by interior (“e”) and exterior (“d”) sub-Neptunes, and a long-period eccentric giant planet (“c”). We simultaneously modeled transit times from the Kepler K2 mission and 118 radial velocities to determine the precise masses, densities, and Keplerian orbital elements of the WASP-47 planets. Combining RVs and TTVs provides a better estimate of the mass of planet d (13.6+/- 2.0 {M}\\oplus ) than that obtained with only RVs (12.75+/- 2.70 {M}\\oplus ) or TTVs (16.1+/- 3.8 {M}\\oplus ). Planets e and d have high densities for their size, consistent with a history of photoevaporation and/or formation in a volatile-poor environment. Through our RV and TTV analysis, we find that the planetary orbits have eccentricities similar to the solar system planets. The WASP-47 system has three similarities to our own solar system: (1) the planetary orbits are nearly circular and coplanar, (2) the planets are not trapped in mean motion resonances, and (3) the planets have diverse compositions. None of the current single-process exoplanet formation theories adequately reproduce these three characteristics of the WASP-47 system (or our solar system). We propose that WASP-47, like the solar system, formed in two stages: first, the giant planets formed in a gas-rich disk and migrated to their present locations, and second, the high-density sub-Neptunes formed in situ in a gas-poor environment.

  18. TRANSIT TIMING OBSERVATIONS FROM KEPLER. IV. CONFIRMATION OF FOUR MULTIPLE-PLANET SYSTEMS BY SIMPLE PHYSICAL MODELS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Moorhead, Althea V.; Steffen, Jason H.; Rowe, Jason F.; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Carter, Joshua A.; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Steve; Haas, Michael R.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Fanelli, Michael N.; Fischer, Debra; Hall, Jennifer R.

    2012-01-01

    Eighty planetary systems of two or more planets are known to orbit stars other than the Sun. For most, the data can be sufficiently explained by non-interacting Keplerian orbits, so the dynamical interactions of these systems have not been observed. Here we present four sets of light curves from the Kepler spacecraft, each which of shows multiple planets transiting the same star. Departure of the timing of these transits from strict periodicity indicates that the planets are perturbing each other: the observed timing variations match the forcing frequency of the other planet. This confirms that these objects are in the same system. Next we limit their masses to the planetary regime by requiring the system remain stable for astronomical timescales. Finally, we report dynamical fits to the transit times, yielding possible values for the planets' masses and eccentricities. As the timespan of timing data increases, dynamical fits may allow detailed constraints on the systems' architectures, even in cases for which high-precision Doppler follow-up is impractical.

  19. TRANSIT TIMING OBSERVATIONS FROM KEPLER. IV. CONFIRMATION OF FOUR MULTIPLE-PLANET SYSTEMS BY SIMPLE PHYSICAL MODELS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fabrycky, Daniel C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Ford, Eric B.; Moorhead, Althea V. [Astronomy Department, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Sciences Center, Gainesville, FL 32111 (United States); Steffen, Jason H. [Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, P.O. Box 500, MS 127, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Rowe, Jason F.; Christiansen, Jessie L. [SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Carter, Joshua A.; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States); Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Steve; Haas, Michael R. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, 94035 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91126 (United States); Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael [McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas, Austin TX 78730 (United States); Fanelli, Michael N. [Bay Area Environmental Research Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Fischer, Debra [Astronomy Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT (United States); Hall, Jennifer R., E-mail: daniel.fabrycky@gmail.com [Orbital Sciences Corporation/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); and others

    2012-05-10

    Eighty planetary systems of two or more planets are known to orbit stars other than the Sun. For most, the data can be sufficiently explained by non-interacting Keplerian orbits, so the dynamical interactions of these systems have not been observed. Here we present four sets of light curves from the Kepler spacecraft, each which of shows multiple planets transiting the same star. Departure of the timing of these transits from strict periodicity indicates that the planets are perturbing each other: the observed timing variations match the forcing frequency of the other planet. This confirms that these objects are in the same system. Next we limit their masses to the planetary regime by requiring the system remain stable for astronomical timescales. Finally, we report dynamical fits to the transit times, yielding possible values for the planets' masses and eccentricities. As the timespan of timing data increases, dynamical fits may allow detailed constraints on the systems' architectures, even in cases for which high-precision Doppler follow-up is impractical.

  20. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph: Visible Nulling Coronagraph Testbed Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.

    2008-01-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Discovery mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres around A and F stars, observed the inner spatial structure and colors of inner Spitzer selected debris disks. EPIC would be launched to heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 3-year mission lifetime ( 5 year goal) and will revisit planets at least three times at intervals of 9 months. The starlight suppression approach consists of a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) that enables high order starlight suppression in broadband light. To demonstrate the VNC approach and advance it's technology readiness the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Lockheed-Martin have developed a laboratory VNC and have demonstrated white light nulling. We will discuss our ongoing VNC work and show the latest results from the VNC testbed,

  1. SURFACE LAYER ACCRETION IN TRANSITIONAL AND CONVENTIONAL DISKS: FROM POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS TO PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez-Becker, Daniel; Chiang, Eugene

    2011-01-01

    'Transitional' T Tauri disks have optically thin holes with radii ∼>10 AU, yet accrete up to the median T Tauri rate. Multiple planets inside the hole can torque the gas to high radial speeds over large distances, reducing the local surface density while maintaining accretion. Thus multi-planet systems, together with reductions in disk opacity due to grain growth, can explain how holes can be simultaneously transparent and accreting. There remains the problem of how outer disk gas diffuses into the hole. Here it has been proposed that the magnetorotational instability (MRI) erodes disk surface layers ionized by stellar X-rays. In contrast to previous work, we find that the extent to which surface layers are MRI-active is limited not by ohmic dissipation but by ambipolar diffusion, the latter measured by Am: the number of times a neutral hydrogen molecule collides with ions in a dynamical time. Simulations by Hawley and Stone showed that Am ∼ 100 is necessary for ions to drive MRI turbulence in neutral gas. We calculate that in X-ray-irradiated surface layers, Am typically varies from ∼10 -3 to 1, depending on the abundance of charge-adsorbing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, whose properties we infer from Spitzer observations. We conclude that ionization of H 2 by X-rays and cosmic rays can sustain, at most, only weak MRI turbulence in surface layers 1-10 g cm -2 thick, and that accretion rates in such layers are too small compared to observed accretion rates for the majority of disks.

  2. Planets in Binary Star Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Haghighipour, Nader

    2010-01-01

    The discovery of extrasolar planets over the past decade has had major impacts on our understanding of the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. There are features and characteristics unseen in our solar system and unexplainable by the current theories of planet formation and dynamics. Among these new surprises is the discovery of planets in binary and multiple-star systems. The discovery of such "binary-planetary" systems has confronted astrodynamicists with many new challenges, and has led them to re-examine the theories of planet formation and dynamics. Among these challenges are: How are planets formed in binary star systems? What would be the notion of habitability in such systems? Under what conditions can binary star systems have habitable planets? How will volatiles necessary for life appear on such planets? This volume seeks to gather the current research in the area of planets in binary and multistar systems and to familiarize readers with its associated theoretical and observation...

  3. Gemini Planet Imager: Preliminary Design Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B

    2007-05-10

    For the first time in history, direct and indirect detection techniques have enabled the exploration of the environments of nearby stars on scales comparable to the size of our solar system. Precision Doppler measurements have led to the discovery of the first extrasolar planets, while high-contrast imaging has revealed new classes of objects including dusty circumstellar debris disks and brown dwarfs. The ability to recover spectrophotometry for a handful of transiting exoplanets through secondary-eclipse measurements has allowed us to begin to study exoplanets as individual entities rather than points on a mass/semi-major-axis diagram and led to new models of planetary atmospheres and interiors, even though such measurements are only available at low SNR and for a handful of planets that are automatically those most modified by their parent star. These discoveries have galvanized public interest in science and technology and have led to profound new insights into the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and they have set the stage for the next steps--direct detection and characterization of extrasolar Jovian planets with instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). As discussed in Volume 1, the ability to directly detect Jovian planets opens up new regions of extrasolar planet phase space that in turn will inform our understanding of the processes through which these systems form, while near-IR spectra will advance our understanding of planetary physics. Studies of circumstellar debris disks using GPI's polarimetric mode will trace the presence of otherwise-invisible low-mass planets and measure the build-up and destruction of planetesimals. To accomplish the science mission of GPI will require a dedicated instrument capable of achieving contrast of 10{sup -7} or more. This is vastly better than that delivered by existing astronomical AO systems. Currently achievable contrast, about 10{sup -5} at separations of 1 arc second or larger, is

  4. GLANCING VIEWS OF THE EARTH: FROM A LUNAR ECLIPSE TO AN EXOPLANETARY TRANSIT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    García Muñoz, A.; Barrena, R.; Montañés-Rodríguez, P.; Pallé, E.; Zapatero Osorio, M. R.; Martín, E. L.

    2012-01-01

    It has been posited that lunar eclipse observations may help predict the in-transit signature of Earth-like extrasolar planets. However, a comparative analysis of the two phenomena addressing in detail the transport of stellar light through the planet's atmosphere has not yet been presented. Here, we proceed with the investigation of both phenomena by making use of a common formulation. Our starting point is a set of previously unpublished near-infrared spectra collected at various phases during the 2008 August lunar eclipse. We then take the formulation to the limit of an infinitely distant observer in order to investigate the in-transit signature of the Earth-Sun system as being observed from outside our solar system. The refraction bending of sunlight rays that pass through Earth's atmosphere is a critical factor in the illumination of the eclipsed Moon. Likewise, refraction will have an impact on the in-transit transmission spectrum for specific planet-star systems depending on the refractive properties of the planet's atmosphere, the stellar size, and the planet's orbital distance. For the Earth-Sun system, at mid-transit, refraction prevents the remote observer's access to the lower ∼12-14 km of the atmosphere and, thus, also to the bulk of the spectroscopically active atmospheric gases. We demonstrate that the effective optical radius of the Earth in-transit is modulated by refraction and varies by ∼12 km from mid-transit to internal contact. The refractive nature of atmospheres, a property which is rarely accounted for in published investigations, will pose additional challenges to the characterization of Earth-like extrasolar planets. Refraction may have a lesser impact for Earth-like extrasolar planets within the habitable zone of some M-type stars.

  5. GLANCING VIEWS OF THE EARTH: FROM A LUNAR ECLIPSE TO AN EXOPLANETARY TRANSIT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia Munoz, A.; Barrena, R.; Montanes-Rodriguez, P.; Palle, E. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, C/Via Lactea s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Zapatero Osorio, M. R.; Martin, E. L., E-mail: tonhingm@gmail.com [Centro de Astrobiologia, CSIC-INTA, Ctra. de Torrejon a Ajalvir, km 4, E-28550 Madrid (Spain)

    2012-08-20

    It has been posited that lunar eclipse observations may help predict the in-transit signature of Earth-like extrasolar planets. However, a comparative analysis of the two phenomena addressing in detail the transport of stellar light through the planet's atmosphere has not yet been presented. Here, we proceed with the investigation of both phenomena by making use of a common formulation. Our starting point is a set of previously unpublished near-infrared spectra collected at various phases during the 2008 August lunar eclipse. We then take the formulation to the limit of an infinitely distant observer in order to investigate the in-transit signature of the Earth-Sun system as being observed from outside our solar system. The refraction bending of sunlight rays that pass through Earth's atmosphere is a critical factor in the illumination of the eclipsed Moon. Likewise, refraction will have an impact on the in-transit transmission spectrum for specific planet-star systems depending on the refractive properties of the planet's atmosphere, the stellar size, and the planet's orbital distance. For the Earth-Sun system, at mid-transit, refraction prevents the remote observer's access to the lower {approx}12-14 km of the atmosphere and, thus, also to the bulk of the spectroscopically active atmospheric gases. We demonstrate that the effective optical radius of the Earth in-transit is modulated by refraction and varies by {approx}12 km from mid-transit to internal contact. The refractive nature of atmospheres, a property which is rarely accounted for in published investigations, will pose additional challenges to the characterization of Earth-like extrasolar planets. Refraction may have a lesser impact for Earth-like extrasolar planets within the habitable zone of some M-type stars.

  6. The science case of the CHEOPS planet finder for VLT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gratton, R.; Feldt, M.; Schmid, H.M.; Brandner, W.; Hippler, S.; Neuhauser, R.; Quirrenbach, A.; Desidera, S.; Turatto, M.; Stam, D.M.; Hasinger, G.; Turner, M.J.L.

    2004-01-01

    The CHEOPS Planet Finder is one of the proposed second generation instruments for the VLT. Its purpose is to image and characterize giant extrasolar planets in different phases of their evolution: young, warm planets as well as old, cold ones. Imaging the last ones is the most challenging task

  7. THE QUASIPERIODIC AUTOMATED TRANSIT SEARCH ALGORITHM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carter, Joshua A.; Agol, Eric

    2013-01-01

    We present a new algorithm for detecting transiting extrasolar planets in time-series photometry. The Quasiperiodic Automated Transit Search (QATS) algorithm relaxes the usual assumption of strictly periodic transits by permitting a variable, but bounded, interval between successive transits. We show that this method is capable of detecting transiting planets with significant transit timing variations without any loss of significance— s mearing — as would be incurred with traditional algorithms; however, this is at the cost of a slightly increased stochastic background. The approximate times of transit are standard products of the QATS search. Despite the increased flexibility, we show that QATS has a run-time complexity that is comparable to traditional search codes and is comparably easy to implement. QATS is applicable to data having a nearly uninterrupted, uniform cadence and is therefore well suited to the modern class of space-based transit searches (e.g., Kepler, CoRoT). Applications of QATS include transiting planets in dynamically active multi-planet systems and transiting planets in stellar binary systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-11

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

  9. A planet in a polar orbit of 1.4 solar-mass star

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guenther E.W.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although more than a thousand transiting extrasolar planets have been discovered, only very few of them orbit stars that are more massive than the Sun. The discovery of such planets is interesting, because they have formed in disks that are more massive but had a shorter life time than those of solar-like stars. Studies of planets more massive than the Sun thus tell us how the properties of the proto-planetary disks effect the formation of planets. Another aspect that makes these planets interesting is that they have kept their original orbital inclinations. By studying them we can thus find out whether the orbital axes planets are initially aligned to the stars rotational axes, or not. Here we report on the discovery of a planet of a 1.4 solar-mass star with a period of 5.6 days in a polar orbit made by CoRoT. This new planet thus is one of the few known close-in planets orbiting a star that is substantially more massive than the Sun.

  10. On the Radii of Close-in Giant Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows; Guillot; Hubbard; Marley; Saumon; Lunine; Sudarsky

    2000-05-01

    The recent discovery that the close-in extrasolar giant planet HD 209458b transits its star has provided a first-of-its-kind measurement of the planet's radius and mass. In addition, there is a provocative detection of the light reflected off of the giant planet tau Bootis b. Including the effects of stellar irradiation, we estimate the general behavior of radius/age trajectories for such planets and interpret the large measured radii of HD 209458b and tau Boo b in that context. We find that HD 209458b must be a hydrogen-rich gas giant. Furthermore, the large radius of a close-in gas giant is not due to the thermal expansion of its atmosphere but to the high residual entropy that remains throughout its bulk by dint of its early proximity to a luminous primary. The large stellar flux does not inflate the planet but retards its otherwise inexorable contraction from a more extended configuration at birth. This implies either that such a planet was formed near its current orbital distance or that it migrated in from larger distances (>/=0.5 AU), no later than a few times 107 yr of birth.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Timothy M.

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Kepler Planet Detection Metrics: Pixel-Level Transit Injection Tests of Pipeline Detection Efficiency for Data Release 25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Jessie L.

    2017-01-01

    This document describes the results of the fourth pixel-level transit injection experiment, which was designed to measure the detection efficiency of both the Kepler pipeline (Jenkins 2002, 2010; Jenkins et al. 2017) and the Robovetter (Coughlin 2017). Previous transit injection experiments are described in Christiansen et al. (2013, 2015a,b, 2016).In order to calculate planet occurrence rates using a given Kepler planet catalogue, produced with a given version of the Kepler pipeline, we need to know the detection efficiency of that pipeline. This can be empirically determined by injecting a suite of simulated transit signals into the Kepler data, processing the data through the pipeline, and examining the distribution of successfully recovered transits. This document describes the results for the pixel-level transit injection experiment performed to accompany the final Q1-Q17 Data Release 25 (DR25) catalogue (Thompson et al. 2017)of the Kepler Objects of Interest. The catalogue was generated using the SOC pipeline version 9.3 and the DR25 Robovetter acting on the uniformly processed Q1-Q17 DR25 light curves (Thompson et al. 2016a) and assuming the Q1-Q17 DR25 Kepler stellar properties (Mathur et al. 2017).

  13. Deciphering the Hot Giant Atmospheres Orbiting Nearby Extrasolar Systems with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afrin Badhan, Mahmuda; Batalha, Natasha; Deming, Drake; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; HEBRARD, Eric; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Irwin, Patrick Gerard Joseph

    2016-10-01

    Unique and exotic planets give us an opportunity to understand how planetary systems form and evolve over their lifetime, by placing our own planetary system in the context of the vastly different extrasolar systems that are being continually discovered by present space missions. With orbital separations that are less than one-tenth of the Mercury-Sun distance, these close-in planets provide us with valuable insights about the host stellar atmosphere and planetary atmospheres subjected to their enormous stellar insolation. Observed spectroscopic signatures reveal all spectrally active species in a planet, along with information about its thermal structure and dynamics, allowing us to characterize the planet's atmosphere. NASA's upcoming missions will give us the high-resolution spectra necessary to constrain the atmospheric properties with unprecedented accuracy. However, to interpret the observed signals from exoplanetary transit events with any certainty, we need reliable atmospheric retrieval tools that can model the expected observables adequately. In my work thus far, I have built a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) convergence scheme, with an analytical radiative equilibrium formulation for the thermal structures, within the NEMESIS atmospheric modeling tool, to allow sufficient (and efficient) exploration of the parameter space. I also augmented the opacity tables to improve the speed and reliability of retrieval models. I then utilized this upgraded version to infer the pressure-temperature (P-T) structures and volume-mixing ratios (VMRs) of major gas species in hot Jupiter dayside atmospheres, from their emission spectra. I have employed a parameterized thermal structure to retrieve plausible P-T profiles, along with altitude-invariant VMRs. Here I show my retrieval results on published datasets of HD189733b, and compare them with both medium and high spectral resolution JWST/NIRSPEC simulations. In preparation for the upcoming JWST mission, my current work

  14. Near-infrared Variability in the 2MASS Calibration Fields: A Search for Planetary Transit Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plavchan, Peter; Jura, M.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cutri, Roc M.; Gallagher, S. C.

    2008-01-01

    The Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) photometric calibration observations cover approximately 6 square degrees on the sky in 35 'calibration fields,' each sampled in nominal photometric conditions between 562 and 3692 times during the 4 years of the 2MASS mission. We compile a catalog of variables from the calibration observations to search for M dwarfs transited by extrasolar planets. We present our methods for measuring periodic and nonperiodic flux variability. From 7554 sources with apparent K(sub s) magnitudes between 5.6 and 16.1, we identify 247 variables, including extragalactic variables and 23 periodic variables. We have discovered three M dwarf eclipsing systems, including two candidates for transiting extrasolar planets.

  15. A Bayesian approach shows no correlation between transit-depth and stellar metallicity for confirmed and candidates Kepler gas giants planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nehmé, C; Sarkis, P

    2017-01-01

    Previous study to investigate the correlation between the transit depth and the stellar metallicity of Kepler’s (Q1-Q12) gas giant planets (radii of 5-20R ⊙ ) has led to a weakly significant negative correlation. We use the cumulative catalog of planets detected by the NASA Kepler mission Q1-Q17 catalog, as of April 2015, to perform a solid statistical analysis of this correlation. In the present work, we revise this correlation, within a Bayesian framework, for two large samples: sample A confirmed planets and sample B (confirmed + candidates). We expand a hierarchical method to account for false positives in the studied samples. Our statistical analysis reveals no correlation between the transit depth and the stellar metallicity. This has implications for planet formation theory and interior structure of giant planets. (paper)

  16. Kepler Planet Detection Metrics: Per-Target Flux-Level Transit Injection Tests of TPS for Data Release 25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Christopher J.; Catanzarite, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    Quantifying the ability of a transiting planet survey to recover transit signals has commonly been accomplished through Monte-Carlo injection of transit signals into the observed data and subsequent running of the signal search algorithm (Gilliland et al., 2000; Weldrake et al., 2005; Burke et al., 2006). In order to characterize the performance of the Kepler pipeline (Twicken et al., 2016; Jenkins et al., 2017) on a sample of over 200,000 stars, two complementary injection and recovery tests are utilized:1. Injection of a single transit signal per target into the image or pixel-level data, hereafter referred to as pixel-level transit injection (PLTI), with subsequent processing through the Photometric Analysis (PA), Presearch Data Conditioning (PDC), Transiting Planet Search (TPS), and Data Validation (DV) modules of the Kepler pipeline. The PLTI quantification of the Kepler pipeline's completeness has been described previously by Christiansen et al. (2015, 2016); the completeness of the final SOC 9.3 Kepler pipeline acting on the Data Release 25 (DR25) light curves is described by Christiansen (2017).2. Injection of multiple transit signals per target into the normalized flux time series data with a subsequent transit search using a stream-lined version of the Transiting Planet Search (TPS) module. This test, hereafter referred to as flux-level transit injection (FLTI), is the subject of this document. By running a heavily modified version of TPS, FLTI is able to perform many injections on selected targets and determine in some detail which injected signals are recoverable. Significant numerical efficiency gains are enabled by precomputing the data conditioning steps at the onset of TPS and limiting the search parameter space (i.e., orbital period, transit duration, and ephemeris zero-point) to a small region around each injected transit signal.The PLTI test has the advantage that it follows transit signals through all processing steps of the Kepler pipeline, and

  17. TRANSIT TIMING VARIATION MEASUREMENTS OF WASP-12b AND QATAR-1b: NO EVIDENCE OF ADDITIONAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Karen A.; Stassun, Keivan G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States); Kielkopf, John F. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292 (United States)

    2017-02-01

    WASP-12b and Qatar-1b are transiting hot Jupiters for which previous works have suggested the presence of transit timing variations (TTVs) indicative of additional bodies in these systems—an Earth-mass planet in WASP-12 and a brown-dwarf mass object in Qatar-1. Here, we present 23 new WASP-12b and 18 new Qatar-1b complete (or nearly complete) transit observations. We perform global system fits to all of our light curves for each system, as well as RV and stellar spectroscopic parameters from the literature. The global fits provide refined system parameters and uncertainties for each system, including precise transit center times for each transit. The transit model residuals of the combined and five minute binned light curves have an rms of 183 and 255 parts per million (ppm) for WASP-12b and Qatar-1b, respectively. Most of the WASP-12b system parameter values from this work are consistent with values from previous studies, but have ∼40%–50% smaller uncertainties. Most of the Qatar-1b system parameter values and uncertainties from this work are consistent with values recently reported in the literature. We find no convincing evidence for sinusoidal TTVs with a semi-amplitude of more than ∼35 and ∼25 s in the WASP-12b and Qatar-1b systems, respectively.

  18. THE NASA-UC ETA-EARTH PROGRAM. II. A PLANET ORBITING HD 156668 WITH A MINIMUM MASS OF FOUR EARTH MASSES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Johnson, John Asher; Fischer, Debra A.; Wright, Jason T.; Henry, Gregory W.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Anderson, Jay; Piskunov, Nikolai E.

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of HD 156668 b, an extrasolar planet with a minimum mass of M P sin i = 4.15 M + . This planet was discovered through Keplerian modeling of precise radial velocities from Keck-HIRES and is the second super-Earth to emerge from the NASA-UC Eta-Earth Survey. The best-fit orbit is consistent with circular and has a period of P = 4.6455 days. The Doppler semi-amplitude of this planet, K = 1.89 m s -1 , is among the lowest ever detected, on par with the detection of GJ 581 e using HARPS. A longer period (P ∼ 2.3 years), low-amplitude signal of unknown origin was also detected in the radial velocities and was filtered out of the data while fitting the short-period planet. Additional data are required to determine if the long-period signal is due to a second planet, stellar activity, or another source. Photometric observations using the Automated Photometric Telescopes at Fairborn Observatory show that HD 156668 (an old, quiet K3 dwarf) is photometrically constant over the radial velocity period to 0.1 mmag, supporting the existence of the planet. No transits were detected down to a photometric limit of ∼3 mmag, ruling out transiting planets dominated by extremely bloated atmospheres, but not precluding a transiting solid/liquid planet with a modest atmosphere.

  19. Two planetary systems with transiting Earth-size and super-Earth planets orbiting late-type dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, E. Díez; Hernández, J. I. González; Suárez Gómez, S. L.; Aguado, D. S.; González Gutiérrez, C.; Suárez Mascareño, A.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; González-Nuevo, J.; Toledo-Padrón, B.; Gracia, J.; de Cos Juez, F. J.; Rebolo, R.

    2018-06-01

    We present two new planetary systems found around cool dwarf stars with data from the K2 mission. The first system was found in K2-XX1 (EPIC 248545986), characterized in this work as M3.0V and observed in the 14th campaign of K2. It consists of three Earth-size transiting planets with radii of 1.1, 1.0 and 1.1 R⊕, showing a compact configuration with orbital periods of 5.24, 7.78 and 10.1 days, close to 2:3:4 resonance. The second was found in K2-XX2 (EPIC 249801827), characterized in this work as M0.5V and observed in the 15th campaign. It consists of two transiting super-Earths with radii 2.0 and 1.8 R⊕ and orbital periods of 6.03 and 20.5 days. The equilibrium temperatures of the atmospheres of these planets are estimated to be in the range of 380-600 K and the amplitudes of signals in transmission spectroscopy are estimated at ˜ 10 ppm.

  20. A Footprint Family extended MRIO model to support Europe's transition to a One Planet Economy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galli, Alessandro; Weinzettel, Jan; Cranston, Gemma; Ercin, Ertug

    2013-09-01

    Currently, the European economy is using nearly three times the ecological assets that are locally available. This situation cannot be sustained indefinitely. Tools are needed that can help reverse the unsustainable trend. In 2010, an EC funded One Planet Economy Network: Europe (OPEN:EU) project was launched to develop the evidence and innovative practical tools that will allow policy-makers and civil society to identify policy interventions to transform Europe into a One Planet Economy, by 2050. Building on the premise that no indicator alone is able to comprehensively monitor (progress towards) sustainability, the project has drawn on the Ecological, Carbon and Water Footprints to define a Footprint Family suite of indicators, to track human pressure on the planet. An environmentally-extended multi-regional input-output (MRIO) model has then been developed to group the Footprint Family under a common framework and combine the indicators in the family with national economic accounts and trade statistics. Although unable to monitor the full spectrum of human pressures, once grouped within the MRIO model, the Footprint Family is able to assess the appropriation of ecological assets, GHG emissions as well as freshwater consumption and pollution associated with consumption of specific products and services within a specified country. Using MRIO models within the context of Footprint analyses also enables the Footprint Family to take into account full production chains with technologies specific to country of origin. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. WASP-36b: A NEW TRANSITING PLANET AROUND A METAL-POOR G-DWARF, AND AN INVESTIGATION INTO ANALYSES BASED ON A SINGLE TRANSIT LIGHT CURVE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, A. M. S.; Anderson, D. R.; Hellier, C.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Smalley, B.; Southworth, J. [Astrophysics Group, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG (United Kingdom); Collier Cameron, A. [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, Fife, KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Gillon, M.; Jehin, E. [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Geophysique, Universite de Liege, Allee du 6 Aout, 17 Bat. B5C, Liege 1 (Belgium); Lendl, M.; Queloz, D.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Pepe, F.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S. [Observatoire de Geneve, Universite de Geneve, 51 Chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny (Switzerland); West, R. G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH (United Kingdom); Barros, S. C. C.; Pollacco, D. [Astrophysics Research Centre, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen' s University, University Road, Belfast, BT7 1NN (United Kingdom); Street, R. A., E-mail: amss@astro.keele.ac.uk [Las Cumbres Observatory, 6740 Cortona Drive Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States)

    2012-04-15

    We report the discovery, from WASP and CORALIE, of a transiting exoplanet in a 1.54 day orbit. The host star, WASP-36, is a magnitude V = 12.7, metal-poor G2 dwarf (T{sub eff} = 5959 {+-} 134 K), with [Fe/H] =-0.26 {+-} 0.10. We determine the planet to have mass and radius, respectively, 2.30 {+-} 0.07 and 1.28 {+-} 0.03 times that of Jupiter. We have eight partial or complete transit light curves, from four different observatories, which allow us to investigate the potential effects on the fitted system parameters of using only a single light curve. We find that the solutions obtained by analyzing each of these light curves independently are consistent with our global fit to all the data, despite the apparent presence of correlated noise in at least two of the light curves.

  3. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Twicken, Joseph D.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey

    2012-03-01

    The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy and astrophysics in the twenty-first century, capturing the public's attention as well as that of the astronomical community. This nascent field was conceived in 1989 with the discovery of a candidate planetary companion to HD114762 [35] and was born in 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg-b [37] orbiting a main sequence star. As of March, 2011, over 500 exoplanets have been discovered* and 106 are known to transit or cross their host star, as viewed from Earth. Of these transiting planets, 15 have been announced by the Kepler Mission, which was launched into an Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit in March, 2009 [1,4,6,15,18,20,22,31,32,34,36,43]. In addition, over 1200 candidate transiting planets have already been detected by Kepler [5], and vigorous follow-up observations are being conducted to vet these candidates. As the false-positive rate for Kepler is expected to be quite low [39], Kepler has effectively tripled the number of known exoplanets. Moreover, Kepler will provide an unprecedented data set in terms of photometric precision, duration, contiguity, and number of stars. Kepler's primary science objective is to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets transiting their Sun-like host stars in the habitable zone, that range of orbital distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a terrestrial planet such as Earth, Mars, or Venus. This daunting task demands an instrument capable of measuring the light output from each of over 100,000 stars simultaneously with an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) at 6.5-h intervals. The large number of stars is required because the probability of the geometrical alignment of planetary orbits that permit observation of transits is the ratio of the size of the star to the size of the planetary orbit. For Earth-like planets in 1-astronomical unit (AU) orbits† about sun-like stars

  4. Three new massive companions in the planet-brown dwarf boundary detected with SOPHIE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santerne A.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We report the detection of three new massive companions to mainsequence stars based on precise radial velocities obtained with the SOPHIE spectrograph, as part of an ongoing programme to search for extrasolar planets. The minimum masses of the detected companions range from around 16 Mjup to around 60 Mjup, and therefore lie at both sides of the boundary between massive extrasolar planets and brown dwarves.

  5. Aerosol Properties of the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavvas, P. [Groupe de Spectrométrie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique, UMR CNRS 7331, Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne, Reims (France); Koskinen, T., E-mail: panayotis.lavvas@univ-reims.fr [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2017-09-20

    We use a model of aerosol microphysics to investigate the impact of high-altitude photochemical aerosols on the transmission spectra and atmospheric properties of close-in exoplanets, such as HD 209458 b and HD 189733 b. The results depend strongly on the temperature profiles in the middle and upper atmospheres, which are poorly understood. Nevertheless, our model of HD 189733 b, based on the most recently inferred temperature profiles, produces an aerosol distribution that matches the observed transmission spectrum. We argue that the hotter temperature of HD 209458 b inhibits the production of high-altitude aerosols and leads to the appearance of a clearer atmosphere than on HD 189733 b. The aerosol distribution also depends on the particle composition, photochemical production, and atmospheric mixing. Due to degeneracies among these inputs, current data cannot constrain the aerosol properties in detail. Instead, our work highlights the role of different factors in controlling the aerosol distribution that will prove useful in understanding different observations, including those from future missions. For the atmospheric mixing efficiency suggested by general circulation models, we find that the aerosol particles are small (∼nm) and probably spherical. We further conclude that a composition based on complex hydrocarbons (soots) is the most likely candidate to survive the high temperatures in hot-Jupiter atmospheres. Such particles would have a significant impact on the energy balance of HD 189733 b’s atmosphere and should be incorporated in future studies of atmospheric structure. We also evaluate the contribution of external sources to photochemical aerosol formation and find that their spectral signature is not consistent with observations.

  6. Predicting radio fluxes of extrasolar planets (Griessmeier+, 2007)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griessmeier, J.M.; Zarka, P.; Spreeuw, H.

    2007-01-01

    Expected radio emission from presently known exoplanets. For each of the currently known exoplanets, we list its estimated magnetic moment, maximum radio emission frequency, plasma frequency in the ambient stellar wind, and radio fluxes according to three different models. (1 data file).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  8. The Contingency of Success: Operations for Deep Impact's Planet Hunt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieber, Richard R.; Sharrow, Robert F.

    2009-01-01

    The Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft completed its prime mission in August 2005. It was reactivated for a mission of opportunity add-on called EPOXI on September 25, 2007. The first portion of EPOXI, called EPOCh (Extra-solar Planetary Observation & CHaracterization), occurred from January 21, 2008 through August 31, 2008. Its purpose was to characterize transiting hot-Jupiters by measuring the effects the planet has on the luminosity of its parent star. These observations entailed using the spacecraft in ways it was never intended. A new green-light, success-oriented operational strategy was devised that entailed high amounts of automation and minimal intervention from the ground. The specifics, techniques, and key challenges to obtaining the 172,209 usable science images from EPOCh are discussed in detail.

  9. Kepler-423b: a half-Jupiter mass planet transiting a very old solar-like star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandolfi, D.; Parviainen, H.; Deeg, H. J.; Lanza, A. F.; Fridlund, M.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Alonso, R.; Augusteijn, T.; Cabrera, J.; Evans, T.; Geier, S.; Hatzes, A. P.; Holczer, T.; Hoyer, S.; Kangas, T.; Mazeh, T.; Pagano, I.; Tal-Or, L.; Tingley, B.

    2015-04-01

    We report the spectroscopic confirmation of the Kepler object of interest KOI-183.01 (Kepler-423b), a half-Jupiter mass planet transiting an old solar-like star every 2.7 days. Our analysis is the first to combine the full Kepler photometry (quarters 1-17) with high-precision radial velocity measurements taken with the FIES spectrograph at the Nordic Optical Telescope. We simultaneously modelled the photometric and spectroscopic data-sets using Bayesian approach coupled with Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling. We found that the Kepler pre-search data conditioned light curve of Kepler-423 exhibits quarter-to-quarter systematic variations of the transit depth, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of ~4.3% and seasonal trends reoccurring every four quarters. We attributed these systematics to an incorrect assessment of the quarterly variation of the crowding metric. The host star Kepler-423 is a G4 dwarf with M⋆ = 0.85 ± 0.04 M⊙, R⋆ = 0.95 ± 0.04 R⊙, Teff= 5560 ± 80 K, [M/H] = - 0.10 ± 0.05 dex, and with an age of 11 ± 2 Gyr. The planet Kepler-423b has a mass of Mp= 0.595 ± 0.081MJup and a radius of Rp= 1.192 ± 0.052RJup, yielding a planetary bulk density of ρp = 0.459 ± 0.083 g cm-3. The radius of Kepler-423b is consistent with both theoretical models for irradiated coreless giant planets and expectations based on empirical laws. The inclination of the stellar spin axis suggests that the system is aligned along the line of sight. We detected a tentative secondary eclipse of the planet at a 2σ confidence level (ΔFec = 14.2 ± 6.6 ppm) and found that the orbit might have asmall non-zero eccentricity of 0.019+0.028-0.014. With a Bond albedo of AB = 0.037 ± 0.019, Kepler-423b is one of the gas-giant planets with the lowest albedo known so far. Based on observations obtained with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of

  10. ESPRI: Astrometric planet search with PRIMA at the VLTI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ségransan D.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The ESPRI consortium will conduct an astrometric survey for extrasolar planets, using the PRIMA facility at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. Our scientific goals include determining orbital inclinations and masses for planets already known from radial-velocity surveys, searches for planets around nearby stars of all masses, and around young stars. The consortium has built the PRIMA differential delay lines, developed an astrometric operation and calibration plan, and will deliver astrometric data reduction software.

  11. EVIDENCE FOR GAS FROM A DISINTEGRATING EXTRASOLAR ASTEROID

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B.; Dufour, P.

    2016-01-01

    We report high-resolution spectroscopic observations of WD 1145+017—a white dwarf that was recently found to be transitted by multiple asteroid-sized objects within its tidal radius. We discovered numerous circumstellar absorption lines with linewidths of ∼300 km s −1 from Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni, possibly from several gas streams produced by collisions among the actively disintegrating objects. The atmosphere of WD 1145+017 is polluted with 11 heavy elements, including O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, V:, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni. Evidently, we are witnessing the active disintegration and subsequent accretion of an extrasolar asteroid

  12. EVIDENCE FOR GAS FROM A DISINTEGRATING EXTRASOLAR ASTEROID

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, S. [European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Jura, M.; Zuckerman, B. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles CA 90095-1562 (United States); Dufour, P., E-mail: sxu@eso.org, E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: ben@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: dufourpa@astro.umontreal.ca [Institut de Recherche sur les Exoplanètes (iREx), Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada)

    2016-01-10

    We report high-resolution spectroscopic observations of WD 1145+017—a white dwarf that was recently found to be transitted by multiple asteroid-sized objects within its tidal radius. We discovered numerous circumstellar absorption lines with linewidths of ∼300 km s{sup −1} from Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni, possibly from several gas streams produced by collisions among the actively disintegrating objects. The atmosphere of WD 1145+017 is polluted with 11 heavy elements, including O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, V:, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni. Evidently, we are witnessing the active disintegration and subsequent accretion of an extrasolar asteroid.

  13. Kepler Planets Tend to Have Siblings of the Same Size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-11-01

    After 8.5 years of observations with the Kepler space observatory, weve discovered a large number of close-in, tightly-spaced, multiple-planet systems orbiting distant stars. In the process, weve learned a lot about the properties about these systems and discovered some unexpected behavior. A new study explores one of the properties that has surprised us: planets of the same size tend to live together.Orbital architectures for 25 of the authors multiplanet systems. The dots are sized according to the planets relative radii and colored according to mass. Planets of similar sizes and masses tend to live together in the same system. [Millholland et al. 2017]Ordering of SystemsFrom Keplers observations of extrasolar multiplanet systems, we have seen that the sizes of planets in a given system arent completely random. Systems that contain a large planet, for example, are more likely to contain additional large planets rather than additional planets of random size. So though there is a large spread in the radii weve observed for transiting exoplanets, the spread within any given multiplanet system tends to be much smaller.This odd behavior has led us to ask whether this clustering occurs not just for radius, but also for mass. Since the multiplanet systems discovered by Kepler most often contain super-Earths and mini-Neptunes, which have an extremely large spread in densities, the fact that two such planets have similar radii does not guarantee that they have similar masses.If planets dont cluster in mass within a system, this would raise the question of why planets coordinate only their radii within a given system. If they do cluster in mass, it implies that planets within the same system tend to have similar densities, potentially allowing us to predict the sizes and masses of planets we might find in a given system.Insight into MassesLed by NSF graduate research fellow Sarah Millholland, a team of scientists at Yale University used recently determined masses for

  14. SOAP-T: a tool to study the light curve and radial velocity of a system with a transiting planet and a rotating spotted star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshagh, M.; Boisse, I.; Boué, G.; Montalto, M.; Santos, N. C.; Bonfils, X.; Haghighipour, N.

    2013-01-01

    We present an improved version of SOAP named "SOAP-T", which can generate the radial velocity variations and light curves for systems consisting of a rotating spotted star with a transiting planet. This tool can be used to study the anomalies inside transit light curves and the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, to better constrain the orbital configuration and properties of planetary systems and the active zones of their host stars. Tests of the code are presented to illustrate its performance and to validate its capability when compared with analytical models and real data. Finally, we apply SOAP-T to the active star, HAT-P-11, observed by the NASA Kepler space telescope and use this system to discuss the capability of this tool in analyzing light curves for the cases where the transiting planet overlaps with the star's spots. The tool's public interface is available at http://www.astro.up.pt/resources/soap-t/

  15. Interpreting Brightness Asymmetries in Transition Disks: Vortex at Dead Zone or Planet-carved Gap Edges?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regály, Zs.; Juhász, A.; Nehéz, D.

    2017-12-01

    Recent submillimeter observations show nonaxisymmetric brightness distributions with a horseshoe-like morphology for more than a dozen transition disks. The most-accepted explanation for the observed asymmetries is the accumulation of dust in large-scale vortices. Protoplanetary disks’ vortices can form by the excitation of Rossby wave instability in the vicinity of a steep pressure gradient, which can develop at the edges of a giant planet–carved gap or at the edges of an accretionally inactive zone. We studied the formation and evolution of vortices formed in these two distinct scenarios by means of two-dimensional locally isothermal hydrodynamic simulations. We found that the vortex formed at the edge of a planetary gap is short-lived, unless the disk is nearly inviscid. In contrast, the vortex formed at the outer edge of a dead zone is long-lived. The vortex morphology can be significantly different in the two scenarios: the vortex radial and azimuthal extensions are ∼1.5 and ∼3.5 times larger for the dead-zone edge compared to gap models. In some particular cases, the vortex aspect ratios can be similar in the two scenarios; however, the vortex azimuthal extensions can be used to distinguish the vortex formation mechanisms. We calculated predictions for vortex observability in the submillimeter continuum with ALMA. We found that the azimuthal and radial extent of the brightness asymmetry correlates with the vortex formation process within the limitations of α-viscosity prescription.

  16. Kepler's first rocky planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batalha, N.M.; Borucki, W.J.; Bryson, S.T.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were...... tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  18. Transit spectroscopy with GTC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osorio M.R. Zapatero

    2013-04-01

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

  19. THE REFLECTION EFFECT IN INTERACTING BINARIES OR IN PLANET-STAR SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Budaj, J.

    2011-01-01

    There are many similarities between interacting binary stars and stars with a close-in giant extrasolar planet. The reflection effect is a well-known example. Although the generally accepted treatment of this effect in interacting binaries is successful in fitting light curves of eclipsing binaries, it is not very suitable for studying cold objects irradiated by hot objects or extrasolar planets. The aim of this paper is to develop a model of the reflection effect which could be easily incorporated into the present codes for modeling of interacting binaries so that these can be used to study the aforementioned objects. Our model of the reflection effect takes into account the reflection (scattering), heating, and heat redistribution over the surface of the irradiated object. The shape of the object is described by the non-spherical Roche potential expected for close objects. Limb and gravity darkening are included in the calculations of the light output from the system. The model also accounts for the orbital revolution and rotation of the exoplanet with appropriate Doppler shifts for the scattered and thermal radiation. Subsequently, light curves and/or spectra of several exoplanets have been modeled and the effects of the heat redistribution, limb darkening/brightening, (non-)gray albedo, and non-spherical shape have been studied. Recent observations of planet-to-star flux ratio of HD189733b, WASP12b, and WASP-19b at various phases were reproduced with very good accuracy. It was found that HD189733b has a low Bond albedo and intense heat redistribution, while WASP-19b has a low Bond albedo and low heat redistribution. The exact Roche geometries and temperature distributions over the surface of all 78 transiting extrasolar planets have been determined. Departures from the spherical shape may vary considerably but departures of about 1% in the radius are common within the sample. In some cases, these departures can reach 8%, 12%, or 14%, for WASP-33b, WASP-19b, and

  20. Time-resolved UVES observations of a stellar flare on the planet host HD 189733 during primary transit

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  1. Ground-based search for the brightest transiting planets with the Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA: MASCARA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas A. G.; Stuik, Remko; Navarro, Ramon; Bettonvil, Felix; Kenworthy, Matthew; de Mooij, Ernst; Otten, Gilles; ter Horst, Rik; le Poole, Rudolf

    2012-09-01

    The Multi-site All-sky CAmeRA MASCARA is an instrument concept consisting of several stations across the globe, with each station containing a battery of low-cost cameras to monitor the near-entire sky at each location. Once all stations have been installed, MASCARA will be able to provide a nearly 24-hr coverage of the complete dark sky, down to magnitude 8, at sub-minute cadence. Its purpose is to find the brightest transiting exoplanet systems, expected in the V=4-8 magnitude range - currently not probed by space- or ground-based surveys. The bright/nearby transiting planet systems, which MASCARA will discover, will be the key targets for detailed planet atmosphere observations. We present studies on the initial design of a MASCARA station, including the camera housing, domes, and computer equipment, and on the photometric stability of low-cost cameras showing that a precision of 0.3-1% per hour can be readily achieved. We plan to roll out the first MASCARA station before the end of 2013. A 5-station MASCARA can within two years discover up to a dozen of the brightest transiting planet systems in the sky.

  2. DISCOVERY OF A COMPANION CANDIDATE IN THE HD 169142 TRANSITION DISK AND THE POSSIBILITY OF MULTIPLE PLANET FORMATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reggiani, Maddalena; Quanz, Sascha P.; Meyer, Michael R.; Amara, Adam; Avenhaus, Henning; Meru, Farzana; Pueyo, Laurent; Wolff, Schuyler; Absil, Olivier; Anglada, Guillem; Osorio, Mayra; Girard, Julien H.; Mawet, Dimitri; Milli, Julien; Gonzalez, Carlos Carrasco; Graham, James; Torrelles, Jose-Maria

    2014-01-01

    We present L'- and J-band high-contrast observations of HD 169142, obtained with the Very Large Telescope/NACO AGPM vector vortex coronagraph and the Gemini Planet Imager, respectively. A source located at 0.''156 ± 0.''032 north of the host star (P.A. = 7.°4 ± 11.°3) appears in the final reduced L' image. At the distance of the star (∼145 pc), this angular separation corresponds to a physical separation of 22.7 ± 4.7 AU, locating the source within the recently resolved inner cavity of the transition disk. The source has a brightness of L' = 12.2 ± 0.5 mag, whereas it is not detected in the J band (J >13.8 mag). If its L' brightness arose solely from the photosphere of a companion and given the J – L' color constraints, it would correspond to a 28-32 M Jupiter object at the age of the star, according to the COND models. Ongoing accretion activity of the star suggests, however, that gas is left in the inner disk cavity from which the companion could also be accreting. In this case, the object could be lower in mass and its luminosity enhanced by the accretion process and by a circumplanetary disk. A lower-mass object is more consistent with the observed cavity width. Finally, the observations enable us to place an upper limit on the L'-band flux of a second companion candidate orbiting in the disk annular gap at ∼50 AU, as suggested by millimeter observations. If the second companion is also confirmed, HD 169142 might be forming a planetary system, with at least two companions opening gaps and possibly interacting with each other

  3. Microlensing by multiple planets in high-magnification events

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaudi, BS; Sackett, PD

    1998-01-01

    Microlensing is increasingly gaining recognition as a powerful method for the detection and characterization of extrasolar planetary systems. Naively, one might expect that the probability of detecting the influence of more than one planet on any single microlensing light curve would be small.

  4. Simulated JWST/NIRISS Transit Spectroscopy of Anticipated Tess Planets Compared to Select Discoveries from Space-based and Ground-based Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, Dana R.; Deming, Drake; Albert, Loic; Bouma, L. G.; Bean, Jacob; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes

    2018-04-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will embark in 2018 on a 2 year wide-field survey mission, discovering over a thousand terrestrial, super-Earth and sub-Neptune-sized exoplanets ({R}pl}≤slant 4 {R}\\oplus ) potentially suitable for follow-up observations using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This work aims to understand the suitability of anticipated TESS planet discoveries for atmospheric characterization by JWST’s Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) by employing a simulation tool to estimate the signal-to-noise (S/N) achievable in transmission spectroscopy. We applied this tool to Monte Carlo predictions of the TESS expected planet yield and then compared the S/N for anticipated TESS discoveries to our estimates of S/N for 18 known exoplanets. We analyzed the sensitivity of our results to planetary composition, cloud cover, and presence of an observational noise floor. We find that several hundred anticipated TESS discoveries with radii 1.5 {R}\\oplus R}pl}≤slant 2.5 {R}\\oplus will produce S/N higher than currently known exoplanets in this radius regime, such as K2-3b or K2-3c. In the terrestrial planet regime, we find that only a few anticipated TESS discoveries will result in higher S/N than currently known exoplanets, such as the TRAPPIST-1 planets, GJ1132b, and LHS1140b. However, we emphasize that this outcome is based upon Kepler-derived occurrence rates, and that co-planar compact multi-planet systems (e.g., TRAPPIST-1) may be under-represented in the predicted TESS planet yield. Finally, we apply our calculations to estimate the required magnitude of a JWST follow-up program devoted to mapping the transition region between hydrogen-dominated and high molecular weight atmospheres. We find that a modest observing program of between 60 and 100 hr of charged JWST time can define the nature of that transition (e.g., step function versus a power law).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  6. ALMOST ALL OF KEPLER'S MULTIPLE-PLANET CANDIDATES ARE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C.; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2012-01-01

    We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

  7. A super-Earth transiting a nearby low-mass star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonneau, David; Berta, Zachory K; Irwin, Jonathan; Burke, Christopher J; Nutzman, Philip; Buchhave, Lars A; Lovis, Christophe; Bonfils, Xavier; Latham, David W; Udry, Stéphane; Murray-Clay, Ruth A; Holman, Matthew J; Falco, Emilio E; Winn, Joshua N; Queloz, Didier; Pepe, Francesco; Mayor, Michel; Delfosse, Xavier; Forveille, Thierry

    2009-12-17

    A decade ago, the detection of the first transiting extrasolar planet provided a direct constraint on its composition and opened the door to spectroscopic investigations of extrasolar planetary atmospheres. Because such characterization studies are feasible only for transiting systems that are both nearby and for which the planet-to-star radius ratio is relatively large, nearby small stars have been surveyed intensively. Doppler studies and microlensing have uncovered a population of planets with minimum masses of 1.9-10 times the Earth's mass (M[symbol:see text]), called super-Earths. The first constraint on the bulk composition of this novel class of planets was afforded by CoRoT-7b (refs 8, 9), but the distance and size of its star preclude atmospheric studies in the foreseeable future. Here we report observations of the transiting planet GJ 1214b, which has a mass of 6.55M[symbol:see text]), and a radius 2.68 times Earth's radius (R[symbol:see text]), indicating that it is intermediate in stature between Earth and the ice giants of the Solar System. We find that the planetary mass and radius are consistent with a composition of primarily water enshrouded by a hydrogen-helium envelope that is only 0.05% of the mass of the planet. The atmosphere is probably escaping hydrodynamically, indicating that it has undergone significant evolution during its history. The star is small and only 13 parsecs away, so the planetary atmosphere is amenable to study with current observatories.

  8. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING LEADS TO TIGHTLY PACKED PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory; Veras, Dimitri; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel; Greenberg, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The known extrasolar multiple-planet systems share a surprising dynamical attribute: they cluster just beyond the Hill stability boundary. Here we show that the planet-planet scattering model, which naturally explains the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution, can reproduce the observed distribution of dynamical configurations. We calculated how each of our scattered systems would appear over an appropriate range of viewing geometries; as Hill stability is weakly dependent on the masses, the mass-inclination degeneracy does not significantly affect our results. We consider a wide range of initial planetary mass distributions and find that some are poor fits to the observed systems. In fact, many of our scattering experiments overproduce systems very close to the stability boundary. The distribution of dynamical configurations of two-planet systems may provide better discrimination between scattering models than the distribution of eccentricity. Our results imply that, at least in their inner regions which are weakly affected by gas or planetesimal disks, planetary systems should be 'packed', with no large gaps between planets.

  9. DISCOVERY OF A COMPANION CANDIDATE IN THE HD 169142 TRANSITION DISK AND THE POSSIBILITY OF MULTIPLE PLANET FORMATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reggiani, Maddalena; Quanz, Sascha P.; Meyer, Michael R.; Amara, Adam; Avenhaus, Henning; Meru, Farzana [Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zurich, CH-8093 Zurich (Switzerland); Pueyo, Laurent; Wolff, Schuyler [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Absil, Olivier [Département d' Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie, Université de Liège, 17 Allée du Six Août, B-4000 Liège (Belgium); Anglada, Guillem; Osorio, Mayra [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, E-18008 Granada (Spain); Girard, Julien H.; Mawet, Dimitri; Milli, Julien [European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Casilla 19001 Vitacura, Santiago 19 (Chile); Gonzalez, Carlos Carrasco [Centro de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica (UNAM), Apartado Postal 3-72 (Xangari), 58089 Morelia (Mexico); Graham, James [University of California, 644 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA (United States); Torrelles, Jose-Maria, E-mail: reggiani@phys.ethz.ch [Instituto de Ciencias del Espacio (CSIC)-UB/IEEC, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2014-09-01

    We present L'- and J-band high-contrast observations of HD 169142, obtained with the Very Large Telescope/NACO AGPM vector vortex coronagraph and the Gemini Planet Imager, respectively. A source located at 0.''156 ± 0.''032 north of the host star (P.A. = 7.°4 ± 11.°3) appears in the final reduced L' image. At the distance of the star (∼145 pc), this angular separation corresponds to a physical separation of 22.7 ± 4.7 AU, locating the source within the recently resolved inner cavity of the transition disk. The source has a brightness of L' = 12.2 ± 0.5 mag, whereas it is not detected in the J band (J >13.8 mag). If its L' brightness arose solely from the photosphere of a companion and given the J – L' color constraints, it would correspond to a 28-32 M {sub Jupiter} object at the age of the star, according to the COND models. Ongoing accretion activity of the star suggests, however, that gas is left in the inner disk cavity from which the companion could also be accreting. In this case, the object could be lower in mass and its luminosity enhanced by the accretion process and by a circumplanetary disk. A lower-mass object is more consistent with the observed cavity width. Finally, the observations enable us to place an upper limit on the L'-band flux of a second companion candidate orbiting in the disk annular gap at ∼50 AU, as suggested by millimeter observations. If the second companion is also confirmed, HD 169142 might be forming a planetary system, with at least two companions opening gaps and possibly interacting with each other.

  10. Simulated JWST/NIRISS Transit Spectroscopy of Anticipated TESS Planets Compared to Select Discoveries from Space-Based and Ground-Based Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, Dana; Deming, Drake; Albert, Loic; Bouma, Luke; Bean, Jacob; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes

    2018-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will embark in 2018 on a 2-year wide-field survey mission of most of the celestial sky, discovering over a thousand super-Earth and sub-Neptune-sized exoplanets potentially suitable for follow-up observations using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Bouma et al. (2017) and Sullivan et al. (2015) used Monte Carlo simulations to predict the properties of the planetary systems that TESS is likely to detect, basing their simulations upon Kepler-derived planet occurrence rates and photometric performance models for the TESS cameras. We employed a JWST Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) simulation tool to estimate the signal-to-noise (S/N) that JWST/NIRISS will attain in transmission spectroscopy of these anticipated TESS discoveries, and we then compared the S/N for anticipated TESS discoveries to our estimates of S/N for 18 known exoplanets. We analyzed the sensitivity of our results to planetary composition, cloud cover, and presence of an observational noise floor. We find that only a few anticipated TESS discoveries in the terrestrial planet regime will result in better JWST/NIRISS S/N than currently known exoplanets, such as the TRAPPIST-1 planets, GJ1132b, or LHS1140b. However, we emphasize that this outcome is based upon Kepler-derived occurrence rates, and that co-planar compact systems (e.g. TRAPPIST-1) were not included in predicting the anticipated TESS planet yield. Furthermore, our results show that several hundred anticipated TESS discoveries in the super-Earth and sub-Neptune regime will produce S/N higher than currently known exoplanets such as K2-3b or K2-3c. We apply our results to estimate the scope of a JWST follow-up observation program devoted to mapping the transition region between high molecular weight and primordial planetary atmospheres.

  11. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON SURVIVAL OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Ida, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Makiko

    2013-01-01

    The orbital distributions of currently observed extrasolar giant planets allow marginally stable orbits for hypothetical, terrestrial planets. In this paper, we propose that many of these systems may not have additional planets on these ''stable'' orbits, since past dynamical instability among giant planets could have removed them. We numerically investigate the effects of early evolution of multiple giant planets on the orbital stability of the inner, sub-Neptune-like planets which are modeled as test particles, and determine their dynamically unstable region. Previous studies have shown that the majority of such test particles are ejected out of the system as a result of close encounters with giant planets. Here, we show that secular perturbations from giant planets can remove test particles at least down to 10 times smaller than their minimum pericenter distance. Our results indicate that, unless the dynamical instability among giant planets is either absent or quiet like planet-planet collisions, most test particles down to ∼0.1 AU within the orbits of giant planets at a few AU may be gone. In fact, out of ∼30% of survived test particles, about three quarters belong to the planet-planet collision cases. We find a good agreement between our numerical results and the secular theory, and present a semi-analytical formula which estimates the dynamically unstable region of the test particles just from the evolution of giant planets. Finally, our numerical results agree well with the observations, and also predict the existence of hot rocky planets in eccentric giant planet systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfgang, Angie; Fortney, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

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

  13. An Improved Transit Measurement for a 2.4 R ⊕ Planet Orbiting A Bright Mid-M Dwarf K2–28

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ge; Knutson, Heather A.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Morley, Caroline V.; Werner, Michael; Gorjian, Varoujan; Beichman, Charles; Benneke, Björn; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Ciardi, David; Crossfield, Ian; Howell, Steve B.; Krick, Jessica E.; Livingston, John; Morales, Farisa Y.; Schlieder, Joshua E.

    2018-05-01

    We present a new Spitzer transit observation of K2–28b, a sub-Neptune (R p = 2.45 ± 0.28 R ⊕) orbiting a relatively bright (V mag = 16.06, K mag = 10.75) metal-rich M4 dwarf (EPIC 206318379). This star is one of only seven with masses less than 0.2 {M}ȯ known to host transiting planets, and the planet appears to be a slightly smaller analogue of GJ 1214b (2.85+/- 0.20 {R}\\oplus ). Our new Spitzer observations were taken two years after the original K2 discovery data and have a significantly higher cadence, allowing us to derive improved estimates for this planet’s radius, semimajor axis, and orbital period, which greatly reduce the uncertainty in the prediction of near future transit times for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observations. We also evaluate the system’s suitability for atmospheric characterization with JWST and find that it is currently the only small (K2–28b to be representative of the kind of mid-M systems that should be detectable in the TESS sample.

  14. Elemental compositions of two extrasolar rocky planetesimals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1562 (United States); Koester, D., E-mail: sxu@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: kleinb@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: ben@astro.ucla.edu, E-mail: koester@astrophysik.uni-kiel.de [Institut fur Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, University of Kiel, D-24098 Kiel (Germany)

    2014-03-10

    We report Keck/HIRES and Hubble Space Telescope/COS spectroscopic studies of extrasolar rocky planetesimals accreted onto two hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs, G29-38 and GD 133. In G29-38, eight elements are detected, including C, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, and Fe while in GD 133, O, Si, Ca, and marginally Mg are seen. These two extrasolar planetesimals show a pattern of refractory enhancement and volatile depletion. For G29-38, the observed composition can be best interpreted as a blend of a chondritic object with some refractory-rich material, a result from post-nebular processing. Water is very depleted in the parent body accreted onto G29-38, based on the derived oxygen abundance. The inferred total mass accretion rate in GD 133 is the lowest of all known dusty white dwarfs, possibly due to non-steady state accretion. We continue to find that a variety of extrasolar planetesimals all resemble to zeroth order the elemental composition of bulk Earth.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-22

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

  16. Stabilizing Cloud Feedback Dramatically Expands the Habitable Zone of Tidally Locked Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Jun; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2013-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and planned extrasolar planet surveys. Previous estimates of the inner edge of the HZ were based on one-dimensional radiative-convective models. The most serious limitation of these models is the inability to predict cloud behavior. Here we use global climate models with sophisticated cloud schemes to sho...

  17. Challenges in Discerning Atmospheric Composition in Directly Imaged Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.

    2017-01-01

    One of the justifications motivating efforts to detect and characterize young extrasolar giant planets has been to measure atmospheric composition for comparison with that of the primary star. If the enhancement of heavy elements in the atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets, like it is for their solar system analogs, is inversely proportional to mass, then it is likely that these worlds formed by core accretion. However in practice it has been very difficult to constrain metallicity because of the complex effect of clouds. Cloud opacity varies both vertically and, in some cases, horizontally through the atmosphere. Particle size and composition, both of which impact opacity, are difficult challenges both for forward modeling and retrieval studies. In my presentation I will discuss systematic efforts to improve cloud studies to enable more reliable determinations of atmospheric composition. These efforts are relevant both to discerning composition of directly imaged young planets from ground based telescopes and future space based missions, such as WFIRST and LUVOIR.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  19. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE 0.94-DAY PERIOD TRANSITING PLANETARY SYSTEM WASP-18

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Southworth, John; Anderson, D. R.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Hinse, T. C.; Dominik, M.; Mathiasen, M.; Browne, P.; Glitrup, M.; Joergensen, U. G.; Harpsoee, K.; Liebig, C.; Maier, G.; Bozza, V.; Calchi Novati, S.; Mancini, L.; Burgdorf, M.; Dreizler, S.; Hessman, F.; Hundertmark, M.; Finet, F.

    2009-01-01

    We present high-precision photometry of five consecutive transits of WASP-18, an extrasolar planetary system with one of the shortest orbital periods known. Through the use of telescope defocusing we achieve a photometric precision of 0.47-0.83 mmag per observation over complete transit events. The data are analyzed using the JKTEBOP code and three different sets of stellar evolutionary models. We find the mass and radius of the planet to be M b = 10.43 ± 0.30 ± 0.24 M Jup and R b = 1.165 ± 0.055 ± 0.014 R Jup (statistical and systematic errors), respectively. The systematic errors in the orbital separation and the stellar and planetary masses, arising from the use of theoretical predictions, are of a similar size to the statistical errors and set a limit on our understanding of the WASP-18 system. We point out that seven of the nine known massive transiting planets (M b > 3 M Jup ) have eccentric orbits, whereas significant orbital eccentricity has been detected for only four of the 46 less-massive planets. This may indicate that there are two different populations of transiting planets, but could also be explained by observational biases. Further radial velocity observations of low-mass planets will make it possible to choose between these two scenarios.

  20. Kepler-77b: a very low albedo, Saturn-mass transiting planet around a metal-rich solar-like star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandolfi, D.; Parviainen, H.; Fridlund, M.; Hatzes, A. P.; Deeg, H. J.; Frasca, A.; Lanza, A. F.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Tognelli, E.; McQuillan, A.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Antoci, V.; Cabrera, J.; Carone, L.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Djupvik, A. A.; Guenther, E. W.; Jessen-Hansen, J.; Ofir, A.; Telting, J.

    2013-09-01

    We report the discovery of Kepler-77b (alias KOI-127.01), a Saturn-mass transiting planet in a 3.6-day orbit around a metal-rich solar-like star. We combined the publicly available Kepler photometry (quarters 1-13) with high-resolution spectroscopy from the Sandiford at McDonald and FIES at NOT spectrographs. We derived the system parameters via a simultaneous joint fit to the photometric and radial velocity measurements. Our analysis is based on the Bayesian approach and is carried out by sampling the parameter posterior distributions using a Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation. Kepler-77b is a moderately inflated planet with a mass of Mp = 0.430 ± 0.032 MJup, a radius of Rp = 0.960 ± 0.016 RJup, and a bulk density of ρp = 0.603 ± 0.055 g cm-3. It orbits a slowly rotating (Prot = 36 ± 6 days) G5 V star with M⋆ = 0.95 ± 0.04 M⊙, R⋆ = 0.99 ± 0.02 R⊙, Teff = 5520 ± 60 K, [M/H] = 0.20 ± 0.05 dex, that has an age of 7.5 ± 2.0 Gyr. The lack of detectable planetary occultation with a depth higher than ~10 ppm implies a planet geometric and Bond albedo of Ag ≤ 0.087 ± 0.008 and AB ≤ 0.058 ± 0.006, respectively, placing Kepler-77b among the gas-giant planets with the lowest albedo known so far. We found neither additional planetary transit signals nor transit-timing variations at a level of ~0.5 min, in accordance with the trend that close-in gas giant planets seem to belong to single-planet systems. The 106 transitsobserved in short-cadence mode by Kepler for nearly 1.2 years show no detectable signatures of the planet's passage in front of starspots. We explored the implications of the absence of detectable spot-crossing events for the inclination of the stellar spin-axis, the sky-projected spin-orbit obliquity, and the latitude of magnetically active regions. Based on observations obtained with the 2.1-m Otto Struve telescope at McDonald Observatory, Texas, USA.Based on observations obtained with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the

  1. Dust-trapping Vortices and a Potentially Planet-triggered Spiral Wake in the Pre-transitional Disk of V1247 Orionis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kraus, Stefan; Kreplin, Alexander; Young, Alison K.; Bate, Matthew R.; Harries, Tim T.; Willson, Matthew [University of Exeter, School of Physics, Astrophysics Group, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom); Fukugawa, Misato [Division of Particle and Astrophysical Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya (Japan); Muto, Takayuki [Division of Liberal Arts, Kogakuin University, 1-24-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-8677 (Japan); Sitko, Michael L. [Department of Physics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221 (United States); Grady, Carol [Eureka Scientific, 2452 Delmer Street, Suite 100, Oakland, CA 96402 (United States); Monnier, John D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 311 West Hall, 1085 South University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Wisniewski, John, E-mail: skraus@astro.ex.ac.uk [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73071 (United States)

    2017-10-10

    The radial drift problem constitutes one of the most fundamental problems in planet formation theory, as it predicts particles to drift into the star before they are able to grow to planetesimal size. Dust-trapping vortices have been proposed as a possible solution to this problem, as they might be able to trap particles over millions of years, allowing them to grow beyond the radial drift barrier. Here, we present ALMA 0.″04 resolution imaging of the pre-transitional disk of V1247 Orionis that reveals an asymmetric ring as well as a sharply confined crescent structure, resembling morphologies seen in theoretical models of vortex formation. The asymmetric ring (at 0.″17 = 54 au separation from the star) and the crescent (at 0.″38 = 120 au) seem smoothly connected through a one-armed spiral-arm structure that has been found previously in scattered light. We propose a physical scenario with a planet orbiting at ∼0.″3 ≈ 100 au, where the one-armed spiral arm detected in polarized light traces the accretion stream feeding the protoplanet. The dynamical influence of the planet clears the gap between the ring and the crescent and triggers two vortices that trap millimeter-sized particles, namely, the crescent and the bright asymmetry seen in the ring. We conducted dedicated hydrodynamics simulations of a disk with an embedded planet, which results in similar spiral-arm morphologies as seen in our scattered-light images. At the position of the spiral wake and the crescent we also observe {sup 12}CO(3-2) and H{sup 12}CO{sup +} (4-3) excess line emission, likely tracing the increased scale-height in these disk regions.

  2. Dust-trapping Vortices and a Potentially Planet-triggered Spiral Wake in the Pre-transitional Disk of V1247 Orionis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Stefan; Kreplin, Alexander; Fukugawa, Misato; Muto, Takayuki; Sitko, Michael L.; Young, Alison K.; Bate, Matthew R.; Grady, Carol; Harries, Tim T.; Monnier, John D.; Willson, Matthew; Wisniewski, John

    2017-10-01

    The radial drift problem constitutes one of the most fundamental problems in planet formation theory, as it predicts particles to drift into the star before they are able to grow to planetesimal size. Dust-trapping vortices have been proposed as a possible solution to this problem, as they might be able to trap particles over millions of years, allowing them to grow beyond the radial drift barrier. Here, we present ALMA 0.″04 resolution imaging of the pre-transitional disk of V1247 Orionis that reveals an asymmetric ring as well as a sharply confined crescent structure, resembling morphologies seen in theoretical models of vortex formation. The asymmetric ring (at 0.″17 = 54 au separation from the star) and the crescent (at 0.″38 = 120 au) seem smoothly connected through a one-armed spiral-arm structure that has been found previously in scattered light. We propose a physical scenario with a planet orbiting at ˜0.″3 ≈ 100 au, where the one-armed spiral arm detected in polarized light traces the accretion stream feeding the protoplanet. The dynamical influence of the planet clears the gap between the ring and the crescent and triggers two vortices that trap millimeter-sized particles, namely, the crescent and the bright asymmetry seen in the ring. We conducted dedicated hydrodynamics simulations of a disk with an embedded planet, which results in similar spiral-arm morphologies as seen in our scattered-light images. At the position of the spiral wake and the crescent we also observe 12CO(3-2) and H12CO+ (4-3) excess line emission, likely tracing the increased scale-height in these disk regions.

  3. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Arbesman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  4. A scientometric prediction of the discovery of the first potentially habitable planet with a mass similar to Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbesman, Samuel; Laughlin, Gregory

    2010-10-04

    The search for a habitable extrasolar planet has long interested scientists, but only recently have the tools become available to search for such planets. In the past decades, the number of known extrasolar planets has ballooned into the hundreds, and with it, the expectation that the discovery of the first Earth-like extrasolar planet is not far off. Here, we develop a novel metric of habitability for discovered planets and use this to arrive at a prediction for when the first habitable planet will be discovered. Using a bootstrap analysis of currently discovered exoplanets, we predict the discovery of the first Earth-like planet to be announced in the first half of 2011, with the likeliest date being early May 2011. Our predictions, using only the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, accord well with external estimates for the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet and highlight the the usefulness of predictive scientometric techniques to understand the pace of scientific discovery in many fields.

  5. STELLAR TRANSITS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Béky, Bence; Kocsis, Bence

    2013-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are typically surrounded by a dense stellar population in galactic nuclei. Stars crossing the line of site in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) produce a characteristic transit light curve, just like extrasolar planets do when they transit their host star. We examine the possibility of finding such AGN transits in deep optical, UV, and X-ray surveys. We calculate transit light curves using the Novikov-Thorne thin accretion disk model, including general relativistic effects. Based on the expected properties of stellar cusps, we find that around 10 6 solar mass SMBHs, transits of red giants are most common for stars on close orbits with transit durations of a few weeks and orbital periods of a few years. We find that detecting AGN transits requires repeated observations of thousands of low-mass AGNs to 1% photometric accuracy in optical, or ∼10% in UV bands or soft X-ray. It may be possible to identify stellar transits in the Pan-STARRS and LSST optical and the eROSITA X-ray surveys. Such observations could be used to constrain black hole mass, spin, inclination, and accretion rate. Transit rates and durations could give valuable information on the circumnuclear stellar clusters as well. Transit light curves could be used to image accretion disks with unprecedented resolution, allowing us to resolve the SMBH silhouette in distant AGNs.

  6. Exploring Disks Around Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    Giant planets are thought to form in circumstellar disks surrounding young stars, but material may also accrete into a smaller disk around the planet. Weve never detected one of these circumplanetary disks before but thanks to new simulations, we now have a better idea of what to look for.Image from previous work simulating a Jupiter-mass planet forming inside a circumstellar disk. The planet has its own circumplanetary disk of accreted material. [Frdric Masset]Elusive DisksIn the formation of giant planets, we think the final phase consists of accretion onto the planet from a disk that surrounds it. This circumplanetary disk is important to understand, since it both regulates the late gas accretion and forms the birthplace of future satellites of the planet.Weve yet to detect a circumplanetary disk thus far, because the resolution needed to spot one has been out of reach. Now, however, were entering an era where the disk and its kinematics may be observable with high-powered telescopes (like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array).To prepare for such observations, we need models that predict the basic characteristics of these disks like the mass, temperature, and kinematic properties. Now a researcher at the ETH Zrich Institute for Astronomy in Switzerland, Judit Szulgyi, has worked toward this goal.Simulating CoolingSzulgyi performs a series of 3D global radiative hydrodynamic simulations of 1, 3, 5, and 10 Jupiter-mass (MJ) giant planets and their surrounding circumplanetary disks, embedded within the larger circumstellar disk around the central star.Density (left column), temperature (center), and normalized angular momentum (right) for a 1 MJ planet over temperatures cooling from 10,000 K (top) to 1,000 K (bottom). At high temperatures, a spherical circumplanetary envelope surrounds the planet, but as the planet cools, the envelope transitions around 64,000 K to a flattened disk. [Szulgyi 2017]This work explores the effects of different planet temperatures and

  7. The Gemini Planet Imager: From Science to Design to Construction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macintosh, B; Graham, J R; Palmer, D; Doyon, R; Dunn, J; Gavel, D; Larkin, J; Oppenheimer, B; Saddlemyer, L; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Wallace, J K; Bauman, B; Erickson, D; Marois, C; Poyneer, L; Soummer, R

    2008-07-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a facility instrument under construction for the 8-m Gemini South telescope. It combines a 1500 subaperture AO system using a MEMS deformable mirror, an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph, a high-accuracy IR interferometer calibration system, and a near-infrared integral field spectrograph to allow detection and characterization of self-luminous extrasolar planets at planet/star contrast ratios of 10{sup -7}. I will discuss the evolution from science requirements through modeling to the final detailed design, provide an overview of the subsystems and show models of the instrument's predicted performance.

  8. The radius anomaly in the planet/brown dwarf overlapping mass regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baraffe I.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The recent detection of the transit of very massive substellar companions (Deleuil et al. 2008; Bouchy et al. 2010; Anderson et al. 2010; Bakos et al. 2010 provides a strong constraint to planet and brown dwarf formation and migration mechanisms. Whether these objects are brown dwarfs originating from the gravitational collapse of a dense molecular cloud that, at the same time, gave birth to the more massive stellar companion, or whether they are planets that formed through core accretion of solids in the protoplanetary disk can not always be determined unambiguously and the mechanisms responsible for their short orbital distances are not yet fully understood. In this contribution, we examine the possibility to constrain the nature of a massive substellar object from the various observables provided by the combination of Radial Velocity and Photometry measurements (e.g. Mp , Rp , M⋆, Age, a, e.... In a second part, developments in the modeling of tidal evolution at high eccentricity and inclination - as measured for HD 80 606 with e = 0.9337 (Naef et al. 2001 , XO-3 with a stellar obliquity ε⋆  > 37.3 ± 3.7 deg (Hébrard et al. 2008; Winn et al. 2009 and several other exoplanets - are discussed along with their implication in the understanding of the radius anomaly problem of extrasolar giant planets.

  9. Transiting Exoplanet Monitoring Project (TEMP). IV. Refined System Parameters, Transit Timing Variations, and Orbital Stability of the Transiting Planetary System HAT-P-25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xian-Yu; Wang, Songhu; Hinse, Tobias C.; Li, Kai; Wang, Yong-Hao; Laughlin, Gregory; Liu, Hui-Gen; Zhang, Hui; Wu, Zhen-Yu; Zhou, Xu; Zhou, Ji-Lin; Hu, Shao-Ming; Wu, Dong-Hong; Peng, Xi-Yan; Chen, Yuan-Yuan

    2018-06-01

    We present eight new light curves of the transiting extra-solar planet HAT-P-25b obtained from 2013 to 2016 with three telescopes at two observatories. We use the new light curves, along with recent literature material, to estimate the physical and orbital parameters of the transiting planet. Specifically, we determine the mid-transit times (T C ) and update the linear ephemeris, T C[0] = 2456418.80996 ± 0.00025 [BJDTDB] and P = 3.65281572 ± 0.00000095 days. We carry out a search for transit timing variations (TTVs), and find no significant TTV signal at the ΔT = 80 s-level, placing a limit on the possible strength of planet–planet interactions (TTVG). In the course of our analysis, we calculate the upper mass-limits of the potential nearby perturbers. Near the 1:2, 2:1, and 3:1 resonances with HAT-P-25b, perturbers with masses greater than 0.5, 0.3, and 0.5 M ⊕ respectively, can be excluded. Furthermore, based on the analysis of TTVs caused by light travel time effect (LTTE) we also eliminate the possibility that a long-period perturber exists with M p > 3000 MJ within a = 11.2 au of the parent star.

  10. Stellar oscillations in planet-hosting giant stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-10-15

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

  11. PLANETARY CONSTRUCTION ZONES IN OCCULTATION: DISCOVERY OF AN EXTRASOLAR RING SYSTEM TRANSITING A YOUNG SUN-LIKE STAR AND FUTURE PROSPECTS FOR DETECTING ECLIPSES BY CIRCUMSECONDARY AND CIRCUMPLANETARY DISKS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mamajek, Eric E.; Quillen, Alice C.; Pecaut, Mark J.; Moolekamp, Fred; Scott, Erin L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0171 (United States); Kenworthy, Matthew A. [Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands); Cameron, Andrew Collier; Parley, Neil R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)

    2012-03-15

    The large relative sizes of circumstellar and circumplanetary disks imply that they might be seen in eclipse in stellar light curves. We estimate that a survey of {approx}10{sup 4} young ({approx}10 million year old) post-accretion pre-main-sequence stars monitored for {approx}10 years should yield at least a few deep eclipses from circumplanetary disks and disks surrounding low-mass companion stars. We present photometric and spectroscopic data for a pre-main-sequence K5 star (1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 = ASAS J140748-3945.7), a newly discovered {approx}0.9 M{sub Sun} member of the {approx}16 Myr old Upper Centaurus-Lupus subgroup of Sco-Cen at a kinematic distance of 128 {+-} 13 pc. This star exhibited a remarkably long, deep, and complex eclipse event centered on 2007 April 29 (as discovered in Super Wide Angle Search for Planets (SuperWASP) photometry, and with portions of the dimming confirmed by All Sky Automated Survey (ASAS) data). At least five multi-day dimming events of >0.5 mag are identified, with a >3.3 mag deep eclipse bracketed by two pairs of {approx}1 mag eclipses symmetrically occurring {+-}12 days and {+-}26 days before and after. Hence, significant dimming of the star was taking place on and off over at least a {approx}54 day period in 2007, and a strong >1 mag dimming event occurring over a {approx}12 day span. We place a firm lower limit on the period of 850 days (i.e., the orbital radius of the eclipser must be >1.7 AU and orbital velocity must be <22 km s{sup -1}). The shape of the light curve is similar to the lopsided eclipses of the Be star EE Cep. We suspect that this new star is being eclipsed by a low-mass object orbited by a dense inner disk, further girded by at least three dusty rings of optical depths near unity. Between these rings are at least two annuli of near-zero optical depth (i.e., gaps), possibly cleared out by planets or moons, depending on the nature of the secondary. For possible periods in the range 2.33-200 yr, the

  12. EXOPLANET CHARACTERIZATION BY PROXY: A TRANSITING 2.15 R{sub Circled-Plus} PLANET NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE LATE K DWARF KEPLER-61

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Desert, Jean-Michel; Crepp, Justin R.; Shporer, Avi [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mann, Andrew W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Henze, Christopher E.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steven B. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Horch, Elliott P. [Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515 (United States); Everett, Mark E., E-mail: sarahba@uw.edu [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)

    2013-08-20

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.15 R{sub Circled-Plus} planet orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of a low-mass star. Our characterization of the host star Kepler-61 is based upon a comparison with a set of spectroscopically similar stars with directly measured radii and temperatures. We apply a stellar prior drawn from the weighted mean of these properties, in tandem with the Kepler photometry, to infer a planetary radius for Kepler-61b of 2.15 {+-} 0.13 R{sub Circled-Plus} and an equilibrium temperature of 273 {+-} 13 K (given its period of 59.87756 {+-} 0.00020 days and assuming a planetary albedo of 0.3). The technique of leveraging the physical properties of nearby ''proxy'' stars allows for an independent check on stellar characterization via the traditional measurements with stellar spectra and evolutionary models. In this case, such a check had implications for the putative habitability of Kepler-61b: the planet is 10% warmer and larger than inferred from K-band spectral characterization. From the Kepler photometry, we estimate a stellar rotation period of 36 days, which implies a stellar age of >1 Gyr. We summarize the evidence for the planetary nature of the Kepler-61 transit signal, which we conclude is 30,000 times more likely to be due to a planet than a blend scenario. Finally, we discuss possible compositions for Kepler-61b with a comparison to theoretical models as well as to known exoplanets with similar radii and dynamically measured masses.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth; Desert, Jean-Michel; Crepp, Justin R.; Shporer, Avi; Mann, Andrew W.; Ciardi, David R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steven B.; Horch, Elliott P.; Everett, Mark E.

    2013-01-01

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.15 R ⊕ planet orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of a low-mass star. Our characterization of the host star Kepler-61 is based upon a comparison with a set of spectroscopically similar stars with directly measured radii and temperatures. We apply a stellar prior drawn from the weighted mean of these properties, in tandem with the Kepler photometry, to infer a planetary radius for Kepler-61b of 2.15 ± 0.13 R ⊕ and an equilibrium temperature of 273 ± 13 K (given its period of 59.87756 ± 0.00020 days and assuming a planetary albedo of 0.3). The technique of leveraging the physical properties of nearby ''proxy'' stars allows for an independent check on stellar characterization via the traditional measurements with stellar spectra and evolutionary models. In this case, such a check had implications for the putative habitability of Kepler-61b: the planet is 10% warmer and larger than inferred from K-band spectral characterization. From the Kepler photometry, we estimate a stellar rotation period of 36 days, which implies a stellar age of >1 Gyr. We summarize the evidence for the planetary nature of the Kepler-61 transit signal, which we conclude is 30,000 times more likely to be due to a planet than a blend scenario. Finally, we discuss possible compositions for Kepler-61b with a comparison to theoretical models as well as to known exoplanets with similar radii and dynamically measured masses

  14. Magic Planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2009-01-01

    Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november......Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november...

  15. FIVE NEW TRANSIT EPOCHS OF THE EXOPLANET OGLE-TR-111b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoyer, S.; Rojo, P.; Lopez-Morales, M.; DIaz, R. F.; Chambers, J.; Minniti, D.

    2011-01-01

    We report five new transit epochs of the extrasolar planet OGLE-TR-111b, observed in the v-HIGH and Bessell I bands with the FORS1 and FORS2 at the ESO Very Large Telescope between 2008 April and May. The new transits have been combined with all previously published transit data for this planet to provide a new transit timing variations (TTVs) analysis of its orbit. We find no TTVs with amplitudes larger than 1.5 minutes over a four-year observation time baseline, in agreement with the recent result by Adams et al. Dynamical simulations fully exclude the presence of additional planets in the system with masses greater than 1.3, 0.4, and 0.5 M + at the 3:2, 1:2, and 2:1 resonances, respectively. We also place an upper limit of about 30 M + on the mass of potential second planets in the region between the 3:2 and 1:2 mean-motion resonances.

  16. HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b: Two Transiting Inflated Hot Jupiters and Observational Evidence for the Reinflation of Close-in Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. Á.; Bhatti, W.; Penev, K.; Bieryla, A.; Latham, D. W.; Kovács, G.; Torres, G.; Csubry, Z.; de Val-Borro, M.; Buchhave, L.; Kovács, T.; Quinn, S.; Howard, A. W.; Isaacson, H.; Fulton, B. J.; Everett, M. E.; Esquerdo, G.; Béky, B.; Szklenar, T.; Falco, E.; Santerne, A.; Boisse, I.; Hébrard, G.; Burrows, A.; Lázár, J.; Papp, I.; Sári, P.

    2016-12-01

    We present the discovery of the transiting exoplanets HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b, with orbital periods of 2.6055 and 2.9721 days, masses of 0.527+/- 0.083 {M}{{J}} and 0.783+/- 0.057 {M}{{J}}, and inflated radii of 1.89+/- 0.13 {R}{{J}} and {1.59}-0.10+0.16 {R}{{J}}, respectively. They orbit moderately bright (V=13.145+/- 0.029 and V=12.993+/- 0.052) stars of mass 1.212+/- 0.050 {M}⊙ and {1.255}-0.054+0.107 {M}⊙ . The stars are at the main-sequence turnoff. While it is well known that the radii of close-in giant planets are correlated with their equilibrium temperatures, whether or not the radii of planets increase in time as their hosts evolve and become more luminous is an open question. Looking at the broader sample of well-characterized close-in transiting giant planets, we find that there is a statistically significant correlation between planetary radii and the fractional ages of their host stars, with a false-alarm probability of only 0.0041%. We find that the correlation between the radii of planets and the fractional ages of their hosts is fully explained by the known correlation between planetary radii and their present-day equilibrium temperatures; however, if the zero-age main-sequence equilibrium temperature is used in place of the present-day equilibrium temperature, then a correlation with age must also be included to explain the planetary radii. This suggests that, after contracting during the pre-main-sequence, close-in giant planets are reinflated over time due to the increasing level of irradiation received from their host stars. Prior theoretical work indicates that such a dynamic response to irradiation requires a significant fraction of the incident energy to be deposited deep within the planetary interiors. Based on observations obtained with the Hungarian-made Automated Telescope Network. Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology

  17. Small vs. large dust grains in transitional disks: do different cavity sizes indicate a planet?. SAO 206462 (HD 135344B) in polarized light with VLT/NACO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garufi, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Avenhaus, H.; Buenzli, E.; Dominik, C.; Meru, F.; Meyer, M. R.; Pinilla, P.; Schmid, H. M.; Wolf, S.

    2013-12-01

    Context. Transitional disks represent a short stage of the evolution of circumstellar material. Studies of dust grains in these objects can provide pivotal information on the mechanisms of planet formation. Dissimilarities in the spatial distribution of small (μm-size) and large (mm-size) dust grains have recently been pointed out. Aims: Constraints on the small dust grains can be obtained by imaging the distribution of scattered light at near-infrared wavelengths. We aim at resolving structures in the surface layer of transitional disks (with particular emphasis on the inner 10-50 AU), thus increasing the scarce sample of high-resolution images of these objects. Methods: We obtained VLT/NACO near-IR high-resolution polarimetric differential imaging observations of SAO 206462 (HD 135344B). This technique allows one to image the polarized scattered light from the disk without any occulting mask and to reach an inner working angle of ~0.1″. Results: A face-on disk is detected in H and Ks bands between 0.1″ and 0.9″. No significant differences are seen between the H and Ks images. In addition to the spiral arms, these new data allow us to resolve for the first time an inner disk cavity for small dust grains. The cavity size (≃28 AU) is much smaller than what is inferred for large dust grains from (sub-)mm observations (39 to 50 AU). This discrepancy cannot be ascribed to any resolution effect. Conclusions: The interaction between the disk and potential orbiting companion(s) can explain both the spiral arm structure and the discrepant cavity sizes for small and large dust grains. One planet may be carving out the gas (and, thus, the small grains) at 28 AU, and generating a pressure bump at larger radii (39 AU), which holds back the large grains. We analytically estimate that, in this scenario, a single giant planet (with a mass between 5 and 15 MJ) at 17 to 20 AU from the star is consistent with the observed cavity sizes. Based on observations collected at the

  18. The MEarth-North and MEarth-South Transit Surveys: Searching for Habitable Super-Earth Exoplanets Around Nearby M-dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Jonathan M.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Dittmann, Jason; Falco, Emilio E.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Nutzman, Philip

    2015-01-01

    Detection and characterization of potentially habitable Earth-size extrasolar planets is one of the major goals of contemporary astronomy. By applying the transit method to very low-mass M-dwarfs , it is possible to find these planets from the ground with present-day instrumentation and observational techniques. The MEarth project is one such survey with stations in both hemispheres: MEarth-North at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Mount Hopkins, Arizona, and MEarth-South at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile. We present an update on recent results of this survey, for planet occurrence rates, and interesting stellar astrophysics, for which our sample of 3000 nearby mid-to-late M-dwarfs has been very fruitful. All light curves gathered during the survey are made publicly available after one year, and we describe how to access and use these data.

  19. Capture of terrestrial-sized moons by gas giant planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Darren M

    2013-04-01

    Terrestrial moons with masses >0.1 M (symbol in text) possibly exist around extrasolar giant planets, and here we consider the energetics of how they might form. Binary-exchange capture can occur if a binary-terrestrial object (BTO) is tidally disrupted during a close encounter with a giant planet and one of the binary members is ejected while the other remains as a moon. Tidal disruption occurs readily in the deep gravity wells of giant planets; however, the large encounter velocities in the wells make binary exchange more difficult than for planets of lesser mass. In addition, successful capture favors massive binaries with large rotational velocities and small component mass ratios. Also, since the interaction tends to leave the captured moons on highly elliptical orbits, permanent capture is only possible around planets with sizable Hill spheres that are well separated from their host stars.

  20. A planet in transition: The onset of plate tectonics on Earth between 3 and 2 Ga?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kent C. Condie

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Many geological and geochemical changes are recorded on Earth between 3 and 2 Ga. Among the more important of these are the following: (1 increasing proportion of basalts with “arc-like” mantle sources; (2 an increasing abundance of basalts derived from enriched (EM and depleted (DM mantle sources; (3 onset of a Great Thermal Divergence in the mantle; (4 a decrease in degree of melting of the mantle; (5 beginning of large lateral plate motions; (6 appearance of eclogite inclusions in diamonds; (7 appearance and rapid increase in frequency of collisional orogens; (8 rapid increase in the production rate of continental crust as recorded by zircon age peaks; (9 appearance of ophiolites in the geologic record, and (10 appearance of global LIP (large igneous province events some of which correlate with global zircon age peaks. All of these changes may be tied directly or indirectly to cooling of Earth's mantle and corresponding changes in convective style and the strength of the lithosphere, and they may record the gradual onset and propagation of plate tectonics around the planet. To further understand the changes that occurred between 3 and 2 Ga, it is necessary to compare rocks, rock associations, tectonics and geochemistry during and between zircon age peaks. Geochemistry of peak and inter-peak basalts and TTGs needs to be evaluated in terms of geodynamic models that predict the existence of an episodic thermal regime between stagnant-lid and plate tectonic regimes in early planetary evolution.

  1. The evolution of comets and the detectability of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stern, S.A.

    1989-01-01

    According the standard theory, comets are natural products of solar system formation, ejected to the Oort Cloud by gravitational scattering events during the epoch of giant planet formation. Stored far from the Sun for billions of years, comets almost certainly contain a record of the events which occurred during (and perhaps even before) the epoch of planetary formation. Two themes are examined of the evolutionary processes that affect comets in the Oort Cloud, and a search for evidence of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds (ESOCs). With regard to cometary evolution in the Oort Cloud, it was found that luminous O stars and supernovae have heated the surface layers of all comets on numerous occasions to 20 to 30 K and perhaps once to 50 K. Interstellar medium (ISM) interactions blow small grains out of the Oort Clouds, and erode the upper few hundred g/cu cm of material from cometary surfaces. The findings presented contradict the standard view that comets do not undergo physical change in the Oort Cloud. A logical consequence of the intimate connection between the Oort Cloud and our planetary system is that the detection of comet clouds around other stars would strongly indicate the sites of extant extra-solar planetary systems. A search was conducted for infrared IR emission from debris in ESOCs. After examining 17 stars using the Infrared Astronomical Satellite data base, only upper limits on ESOC emission could be set

  2. Planets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  3. Polarized Light Imaging of the HD 142527 Transition Disk with the Gemini Planet Imager: Dust around the Close-in Companion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Follette, Katherine B.; Weinberger, Alycia; Close, Laird; Hines, Dean C.

    2014-08-01

    When giant planets form, they grow by accreting gas and dust. HD 142527 is a young star that offers a scaled-up view of this process. It has a broad, asymmetric ring of gas and dust beyond ~100 AU and a wide inner gap. Within the gap, a low-mass stellar companion orbits the primary star at just ~12 AU, and both the primary and secondary are accreting gas. In an attempt to directly detect the dusty counterpart to this accreted gas, we have observed HD 142527 with the Gemini Planet Imager in polarized light at Y band (0.95-1.14 μm). We clearly detect the companion in total intensity and show that its position and photometry are generally consistent with the expected values. We also detect a point source in polarized light that may be spatially separated by ~ a few AU from the location of the companion in total intensity. This suggests that dust is likely falling onto or orbiting the companion. Given the possible contribution of scattered light from this dust to previously reported photometry of the companion, the current mass limits should be viewed as upper limits only. If the dust near the companion is eventually confirmed to be spatially separated, this system would resemble a scaled-up version of the young planetary system inside the gap of the transition disk around LkCa 15. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministrio da Cincia, Tecnologia e Inovao (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  4. Effect of realistic and filtered stellar photometric noise on the detection of moons using photometric transit timing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lewis K.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The photometric transit timing technique was proposed by Szabó et al. (2006 as a method for discovering moons of transiting extrasolar planets. In the preliminary analysis of this technique, it was assumed that the noise in the transit lightcurve was well described by uncorrelated white noise. However, this assumption is not necessarily realistic. To determine the effect of using more realistic lightcurves, transit timing uncertainties are calculated for the case of white noise, measured solar photometric noise and measured solar photometric noise that has been filtered. It is found that for light curves contaminated with realistic photometric noise, the transit timing uncertainties are dramatically increased (and thus moon detection reduced. In addition, we find that while filtering reduced this problem, it did not negate it.

  5. Modeling Kepler Transit Light Curves as False Positives: Rejection of Blend Scenarios for Kepler-9, and Validation of Kepler-9 d, a Super-Earth-Size Planet in a Multiple System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Guillermo; Fressin, Francois; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Brown, Timothy M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Charbonneau, David; Ciardi, David R.; Dunham, Edward W.; hide

    2011-01-01

    Light curves from the Kepler Mission contain valuable information on the nature of the phenomena producing the transit-like signals. To assist in exploring the possibility that they are due to an astrophysical false positive we describe a procedure (BLENDER) to model the photometry in terms of a blend rather than a planet orbiting a star. A blend may consist of a background or foreground eclipsing binary (or star-planet pair) whose eclipses are attenuated by the light of the candidate and possibly other stars within the photometric aperture. We apply BLENDER to the case of Kepler-9 (KIC 3323887), a target harboring two previously confirmed Saturn-size planets (Kepler-9 b and Kepler-9 c) showing transit timing variations, and an additional shallower signal with a 1.59 day period suggesting the presence of a super-Earth-size planet. Using BLENDER together with constraints from other follow-up observations we are able to rule out all blends for the two deeper signals and provide independent validation of their planetary nature. For the shallower signal, we rule out a large fraction of the false positives that might mimic the transits. The false alarm rate for remaining blends depends in part (and inversely) on the unknown frequency of small-size planets. Based on several realistic estimates of this frequency, we conclude with very high confidence that this small signal is due to a super-Earth-size planet (Kepler-9 d) in a multiple system, rather than a false positive. The radius is determined to be 1.64(exp)(sub-14),R, and current spectroscopic observations are as yet insufficient to establish its mass.

  6. Planetary transit candidates in the CoRoT-SRc01 field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erikson, A.; Santerne, A.; Renner, S.

    2012-01-01

    Context. CoRoT is a pioneering space mission whose primary goals are stellar seismology and extrasolar planets search. Its surveys of large stellar fields generate numerous planetary candidates whose lightcurves have transit-like features. An extensive analytical and observational follow-up effort...... is undertaken to classify these candidates. Aims. We present the list of planetary transit candidates from the CoRoT LRa01 star field in the Monoceros constellation toward the Galactic anti-center direction. The CoRoT observations of LRa01 lasted from 24 October 2007 to 3 March 2008. Methods. We acquired...... and analyzed 7470 chromatic and 3938 monochromatic lightcurves. Instrumental noise and stellar variability were treated with several filtering tools by different teams from the CoRoT community. Different transit search algorithms were applied to the lightcurves. Results. Fifty-one stars were classified...

  7. Inside-out planet formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatterjee, Sourav; Tan, Jonathan C.

    2014-01-01

    The compact multi-transiting planet systems discovered by Kepler challenge planet formation theories. Formation in situ from disks with radial mass surface density, Σ, profiles similar to the minimum mass solar nebula but boosted in normalization by factors ≳ 10 has been suggested. We propose that a more natural way to create these planets in the inner disk is formation sequentially from the inside-out via creation of successive gravitationally unstable rings fed from a continuous stream of small (∼cm-m size) 'pebbles', drifting inward via gas drag. Pebbles collect at the pressure maximum associated with the transition from a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive ('dead zone') region to an inner MRI-active zone. A pebble ring builds up until it either becomes gravitationally unstable to form an ∼1 M ⊕ planet directly or induces gradual planet formation via core accretion. The planet may undergo Type I migration into the active region, allowing a new pebble ring and planet to form behind it. Alternatively, if migration is inefficient, the planet may continue to accrete from the disk until it becomes massive enough to isolate itself from the accretion flow. A variety of densities may result depending on the relative importance of residual gas accretion as the planet approaches its isolation mass. The process can repeat with a new pebble ring gathering at the new pressure maximum associated with the retreating dead-zone boundary. Our simple analytical model for this scenario of inside-out planet formation yields planetary masses, relative mass scalings with orbital radius, and minimum orbital separations consistent with those seen by Kepler. It provides an explanation of how massive planets can form with tightly packed and well-aligned system architectures, starting from typical protoplanetary disk properties.

  8. A dynamical study on extrasolar comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loibnegger, B.; Dvorak, R.

    2017-09-01

    Since the detection of absorption features in spectra of beta Pictoris varying on short time scales it is known that comets exist in other stellar systems. We investigate the dynamics of comets in two differently build systems (HD 10180 and HIP 14810). The outcomes of the scattering process, as there are collisions with the planets, captures and ejections from the systems are analysed statistically. Collisions and close encounters with the planets are investigated in more detail in order to conclude about transport of water and organic material. We will also investigate the possibility of detection of comets in other planetary systems.

  9. PLANET HUNTERS: ASSESSING THE KEPLER INVENTORY OF SHORT-PERIOD PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris J.; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Simpson, Robert J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    We present the results from a search of data from the first 33.5 days of the Kepler science mission (Quarter 1) for exoplanet transits by the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Planet Hunters enlists members of the general public to visually identify transits in the publicly released Kepler light curves via the World Wide Web. Over 24,000 volunteers reviewed the Kepler Quarter 1 data set. We examine the abundance of ≥2 R ⊕ planets on short-period ( ⊕ Planet Hunters ≥85% efficient at identifying transit signals for planets with periods less than 15 days for the Kepler sample of target stars. Our high efficiency rate for simulated transits along with recovery of the majority of Kepler ≥4 R ⊕ planets suggests that the Kepler inventory of ≥4 R ⊕ short-period planets is nearly complete.

  10. Space based microlensing planet searches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisserand Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: “Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes”. They also add: “This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters”. We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020–2025.

  11. OUTCOMES AND DURATION OF TIDAL EVOLUTION IN A STAR-PLANET-MOON SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sasaki, Takashi; Barnes, Jason W.; O'Brien, David P.

    2012-01-01

    We formulated tidal decay lifetimes for hypothetical moons orbiting extrasolar planets with both lunar and stellar tides. Previous works neglected the effect of lunar tides on planet rotation, and are therefore applicable only to systems in which the moon's mass is much less than that of the planet. This work, in contrast, can be applied to the relatively large moons that might be detected around newly discovered Neptune-mass and super-Earth planets. We conclude that moons are more stable when the planet/moon systems are further from the parent star, the planets are heavier, or the parent stars are lighter. Inclusion of lunar tides allows for significantly longer lifetimes for a massive moon relative to prior formulations. We expect that the semimajor axis of the planet hosting the first detected exomoon around a G-type star is 0.4-0.6 AU and is 0.2-0.4 AU for an M-type star.

  12. Transit and radial velocity survey efficiency comparison for a habitable zone Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burke, Christopher J.; McCullough, P. R.

    2014-01-01

    Transit and radial velocity searches are two techniques for identifying nearby extrasolar planets to Earth that transit bright stars. Identifying a robust sample of these exoplanets around bright stars for detailed atmospheric characterization is a major observational undertaking. In this study we describe a framework that answers the question of whether a transit or radial velocity survey is more efficient at finding transiting exoplanets given the same amount of observing time. Within the framework we show that a transit survey's window function can be approximated using the hypergeometric probability distribution. We estimate the observing time required for a transit survey to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone (HZ) with an emphasis on late-type stars. We also estimate the radial velocity precision necessary to detect the equivalent HZ Earth-mass exoplanet that also transits when using an equal amount of observing time as the transit survey. We find that a radial velocity survey with σ rv ∼ 0.6 m s –1 precision has comparable efficiency in terms of observing time to a transit survey with the requisite photometric precision σ phot ∼ 300 ppm to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the HZ of late M dwarfs. For super-Earths, a σ rv ∼ 2.0 m s –1 precision radial velocity survey has comparable efficiency to a transit survey with σ phot ∼ 2300 ppm.

  13. Scenarios of giant planet formation and evolution and their impact on the formation of habitable terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2014-04-28

    In our Solar System, there is a clear divide between the terrestrial and giant planets. These two categories of planets formed and evolved separately, almost in isolation from each other. This was possible because Jupiter avoided migrating into the inner Solar System, most probably due to the presence of Saturn, and never acquired a large-eccentricity orbit, even during the phase of orbital instability that the giant planets most likely experienced. Thus, the Earth formed on a time scale of several tens of millions of years, by collision of Moon- to Mars-mass planetary embryos, in a gas-free and volatile-depleted environment. We do not expect, however, that this clear cleavage between the giant and terrestrial planets is generic. In many extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date, the giant planets migrated into the vicinity of the parent star and/or acquired eccentric orbits. In this way, the evolution and destiny of the giant and terrestrial planets become intimately linked. This paper discusses several evolutionary patterns for the giant planets, with an emphasis on the consequences for the formation and survival of habitable terrestrial planets. The conclusion is that we should not expect Earth-like planets to be typical in terms of physical and orbital properties and accretion history. Most habitable worlds are probably different, exotic worlds.

  14. Planet Hunters: Kepler by Eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, C.; Fischer, D.; Smith, A. M.; Boyajian, T. S.; Brewer, J. M.; Giguere, M. J.; Lynn, S.; Parrish, M.; Schawinski, K.; Schmitt, J.; Simpson, R.; Wang, J.

    2014-01-01

    Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org), part of the Zooniverse's (http://www.zooniverse.org) collection of online citizen science projects, uses the World Wide Web to enlist the general public to identify transits in the pubic Kepler light curves. Planet Hunters utilizes human pattern recognition to identify planet transits that may be missed by automated detection algorithms looking for periodic events. Referred to as ‘crowdsourcing’ or ‘citizen science’, the combined assessment of many non-expert human classifiers with minimal training can often equal or best that of a trained expert and in many cases outperform the best machine-learning algorithm. Visitors to the Planet Hunters' website are presented with a randomly selected ~30-day light curve segment from one of Kepler’s ~160,000 target stars and are asked to draw boxes to mark the locations of visible transits in the web interface. 5-10 classifiers review each 30-day light curve segment. Since December 2010, more than 260,000 volunteers world wide have participated, contributing over 20 million classifications. We have demonstrated the success of a citizen science approach with the project’s more than 20 planet candidates, the discovery of PH1b, a transiting circumbinary planet in a quadruple star system, and the discovery of PH2-b, a confirmed Jupiter-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. I will provide an overview of Planet Hunters, highlighting several of project's most recent exoplanet and astrophysical discoveries. Acknowledgements: MES was supported in part by a NSF AAPF under award AST-1003258 and a American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant. We acknowledge support from NASA ADAP12-0172 grant to PI Fischer.

  15. The fate of scattered planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bromley, Benjamin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 S 1400 E, Rm 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets at least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.

  16. Towards the Rosetta Stone of planet formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt T.O.B.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Transiting exoplanets (TEPs observed just ~10 Myrs after formation of their host systems may serve as the Rosetta Stone for planet formation theories. They would give strong constraints on several aspects of planet formation, e.g. time-scales (planet formation would then be possible within 10 Myrs, the radius of the planet could indicate whether planets form by gravitational collapse (being larger when young or accretion growth (being smaller when young. We present a survey, the main goal of which is to find and then characterise TEPs in very young open clusters.

  17. THE ORBITAL PHASES AND SECONDARY TRANSITS OF KEPLER-10b. A PHYSICAL INTERPRETATION BASED ON THE LAVA-OCEAN PLANET MODEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rouan, D.; Deeg, H. J.; Demangeon, O.; Samuel, B.; Cavarroc, C.; Léger, A.; Fegley, B.

    2011-01-01

    The Kepler mission has made an important observation: the first detection of photons from a terrestrial planet by observing its phase curve (Kepler-10b). This opens a new field in exoplanet science: the possibility of obtaining information about the atmosphere and surface of rocky planets, objects of prime interest. In this Letter, we apply the Lava-ocean model to interpret the observed phase curve. The model, a planet without atmosphere and a surface partially made of molten rocks, has been proposed for planets of the class of CoRoT-7b, i.e., rocky planets very close to their star (at a few stellar radii). Kepler-10b is a typical member of this family. It predicts that the light from the planet has an important emission component in addition to the reflected one, even in the Kepler spectral band. Assuming an isotropical reflection of light by the planetary surface (Lambertian-like approximation), we find that a Bond albedo of ∼50% can account for the observed amplitude of the phase curve, as opposed to a first attempt where an unusually high value was found. We propose a physical process to explain this still large value of the albedo. The overall interpretation can be tested in the future with instruments such as the James Webb Space Telescope or the Exoplanet Characterization Observatory. Our model predicts a spectral dependence that is clearly distinguishable from that of purely reflected light and from that of a planet at a uniform temperature.

  18. ALMOST ALL OF KEPLER'S MULTIPLE-PLANET CANDIDATES ARE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100, Copenhagen (Denmark); Ciardi, David R. [Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Cochran, William D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C. [University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L., E-mail: Jack.Lissauer@nasa.gov [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); and others

    2012-05-10

    We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

  19. Methane, carbon monoxide, and ammonia in brown dwarfs and self-luminous giant planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zahnle, Kevin J.; Marley, Mark S., E-mail: Kevin.J.Zahnle@NASA.gov, E-mail: Mark.S.Marley@NASA.gov [NASA Ames Research Center, MS-245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2014-12-10

    We address disequilibrium abundances of some simple molecules in the atmospheres of solar composition brown dwarfs and self-luminous extrasolar giant planets using a kinetics-based one-dimensional atmospheric chemistry model. Our approach is to use the full kinetics model to survey the parameter space with effective temperatures between 500 K and 1100 K. In all of these worlds, equilibrium chemistry favors CH{sub 4} over CO in the parts of the atmosphere that can be seen from Earth, but in most disequilibrium favors CO. The small surface gravity of a planet strongly discriminates against CH{sub 4} when compared to an otherwise comparable brown dwarf. If vertical mixing is like Jupiter's, the transition from methane to CO occurs at 500 K in a planet. Sluggish vertical mixing can raise this to 600 K, but clouds or more vigorous vertical mixing could lower this to 400 K. The comparable thresholds in brown dwarfs are 1100 ± 100 K. Ammonia is also sensitive to gravity, but, unlike CH{sub 4}/CO, the NH{sub 3}/N{sub 2} ratio is insensitive to mixing, which makes NH{sub 3} a potential proxy for gravity. HCN may become interesting in high-gravity brown dwarfs with very strong vertical mixing. Detailed analysis of the CO-CH{sub 4} reaction network reveals that the bottleneck to CO hydrogenation goes through methanol, in partial agreement with previous work. Simple, easy to use quenching relations are derived by fitting to the complete chemistry of the full ensemble of models. These relations are valid for determining CO, CH{sub 4}, NH{sub 3}, HCN, and CO{sub 2} abundances in the range of self-luminous worlds we have studied, but may not apply if atmospheres are strongly heated at high altitudes by processes not considered here (e.g., wave breaking).

  20. WILL THE LARGE SYNOPTIC SURVEY TELESCOPE DETECT EXTRA-SOLAR PLANETESIMALS ENTERING THE SOLAR SYSTEM?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moro-Martin, Amaya; Turner, Edwin L.; Loeb, Abraham

    2009-01-01

    Planetesimal formation is a common by-product of the star formation process. Taking the dynamical history of the solar system as a guideline-in which the planetesimal belts were heavily depleted due to gravitational perturbation with the giant planets-and assuming similar processes have taken place in other planetary systems, one would expect the interstellar space to be filled with extra-solar planetesimals. However, not a single one of these objects has been detected so far entering the solar system, even though it would clearly be distinguishable from a solar system comet due to its highly hyperbolic orbit. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will provide wide coverage maps of the sky to a very high sensitivity, ideal to detect moving objects like comets, both active and inactive. In anticipation of these observations, we estimate how many inactive 'interstellar comets' might be detected during the duration of the survey. The calculation takes into account estimates (from observations and models) of the number density of stars, the amount of solids available to form planetesimals, the frequency of planet and planetesimal formation, the efficiency of planetesimal ejection, and the possible size distribution of these small bodies.

  1. Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolak, Morris

    2018-04-01

    Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues to the formation process. The first is that the most primitive form of material in interstellar space exists as a dilute gas. Some of this gas is unstable against gravitational collapse, and begins to contract. Because the angular momentum of the gas is not zero, it contracts along the spin axis, but remains extended in the plane perpendicular to that axis, so that a disk is formed. Viscous processes in the disk carry most of the mass into the center where a star eventually forms. In the process, almost as a by-product, a planetary system is formed as well. The second clue is the time required. Young stars are indeed observed to have gas disks, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, surrounding them, and observations tell us that these disks dissipate after about 5 to 10 million years. If planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are very rich in hydrogen and helium, are to form in such a disk, they must accrete their gas within 5 million years of the time of the formation of the disk. Any formation scenario one proposes must produce Jupiter in that time, although the terrestrial planets, which don't contain significant amounts of hydrogen and helium, could have taken longer to build. Modern estimates for the formation time of the Earth are of the order of 100 million years. To date there are two main candidate theories for producing Jupiter-like planets. The core accretion (CA) scenario supposes that any solid materials in the disk slowly coagulate into protoplanetary cores with progressively larger masses. If the core remains small enough it won't have a strong enough gravitational force to attract gas from the surrounding disk, and the result will be a terrestrial planet. If the core grows large enough (of the order of ten Earth masses), and the disk has not yet dissipated, then

  2. Planetary transit candidates in Corot-IRa01 field

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  3. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF SMALL PLANETS AROUND SMALL STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David

    2013-01-01

    We use the optical and near-infrared photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog to provide improved estimates of the stellar characteristics of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list. We find 3897 dwarfs with temperatures below 4000 K, including 64 planet candidate host stars orbited by 95 transiting planet candidates. We refit the transit events in the Kepler light curves for these planet candidates and combine the revised planet/star radius ratios with our improved stellar radii to revise the radii of the planet candidates orbiting the cool target stars. We then compare the number of observed planet candidates to the number of stars around which such planets could have been detected in order to estimate the planet occurrence rate around cool stars. We find that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 R ⊕ planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days is 0.90 +0.04 -0.03 planets per star. The occurrence rate of Earth-size (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ) planets is constant across the temperature range of our sample at 0.51 -0.05 +0.06 Earth-size planets per star, but the occurrence of 1.4-4 R ⊕ planets decreases significantly at cooler temperatures. Our sample includes two Earth-size planet candidates in the habitable zone, allowing us to estimate that the mean number of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone is 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 planets per cool star. Our 95% confidence lower limit on the occurrence rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of cool stars is 0.04 planets per star. With 95% confidence, the nearest transiting Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cool star is within 21 pc. Moreover, the nearest non-transiting planet in the habitable zone is within 5 pc with 95% confidence.

  4. The Dependence of Signal-To-Noise Ratio (S/N) Between Star Brightness and Background on the Filter Used in Images Taken by the Vulcan Photometric Planet Search Camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mena-Werth, Jose

    1998-01-01

    The Vulcan Photometric Planet Search is the ground-based counterpart of Kepler Mission Proposal. The Kepler Proposal calls for the launch of telescope to look intently at a small patch of sky for four year. The mission is designed to look for extra-solar planets that transit sun-like stars. The Kepler Mission should be able to detect Earth-size planets. This goal requires an instrument and software capable of detecting photometric changes of several parts per hundred thousand in the flux of a star. The goal also requires the continuous monitoring of about a hundred thousand stars. The Kepler Mission is a NASA Discovery Class proposal similar in cost to the Lunar Prospector. The Vulcan Search is also a NASA project but based at Lick Observatory. A small wide-field telescope monitors various star fields successively during the year. Dozens of images, each containing tens of thousands of stars, are taken any night that weather permits. The images are then monitored for photometric changes of the order of one part in a thousand. These changes would reveal the transit of an inner-orbit Jupiter-size planet similar to those discovered recently in spectroscopic searches. In order to achieve a one part in one thousand photometric precision even the choice of a filter used in taking an exposure can be critical. The ultimate purpose of an filter is to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of one's observation. Ideally, filters reduce the sky glow cause by street lights and, thereby, make the star images more distinct. The higher the S/N, the higher is the chance to observe a transit signal that indicates the presence of a new planet. It is, therefore, important to select the filter that maximizes the S/N.

  5. Planet Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  6. Does the Galactic Bulge Have Fewer Planets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-12-01

    The Milky Ways dense central bulge is a very different environment than the surrounding galactic disk in which we live. Do the differences affect the ability of planets to form in the bulge?Exploring Galactic PlanetsSchematic illustrating how gravitational microlensing by an extrasolar planet works. [NASA]Planet formation is a complex process with many aspects that we dont yet understand. Do environmental properties like host star metallicity, the density of nearby stars, or the intensity of the ambient radiation field affect the ability of planets to form? To answer these questions, we will ultimately need to search for planets around stars in a large variety of different environments in our galaxy.One way to detect recently formed, distant planets is by gravitational microlensing. In this process, light from a distant source star is bent by a lens star that is briefly located between us and the source. As the Earth moves, this momentary alignment causes a blip in the sources light curve that we can detect and planets hosted by the lens star can cause an additional observable bump.Artists impression of the Milky Way galaxy. The central bulge is much denserthan the surroundingdisk. [ESO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Kornmesser/R. Hurt]Relative AbundancesMost source stars reside in the galactic bulge, so microlensing events can probe planetary systems at any distance between the Earth and the galactic bulge. This means that planet detections from microlensing could potentially be used to measure the relative abundances of exoplanets in different parts of our galaxy.A team of scientists led by Matthew Penny, a Sagan postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University, set out to do just that. The group considered a sample of 31 exoplanetary systems detected by microlensing and asked the following question: are the planet abundances in the galactic bulge and the galactic disk the same?A Paucity of PlanetsTo answer this question, Penny and collaborators derived the expected

  7. Limb Darkening and Planetary Transits: Testing Center-to-limb Intensity Variations and Limb-darkening Directly from Model Stellar Atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neilson, Hilding R.; Lester, John B. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); McNeil, Joseph T.; Ignace, Richard, E-mail: neilson@astro.utoronto.ca [Department of Physics and Astronomy, East Tennessee State University, Box 70652, Johnson City, TN 37614 (United States)

    2017-08-10

    The transit method, employed by Microvariability and Oscillation of Stars ( MOST ), Kepler , and various ground-based surveys has enabled the characterization of extrasolar planets to unprecedented precision. These results are precise enough to begin to measure planet atmosphere composition, planetary oblateness, starspots, and other phenomena at the level of a few hundred parts per million. However, these results depend on our understanding of stellar limb darkening, that is, the intensity distribution across the stellar disk that is sequentially blocked as the planet transits. Typically, stellar limb darkening is assumed to be a simple parameterization with two coefficients that are derived from stellar atmosphere models or fit directly. In this work, we revisit this assumption and compute synthetic planetary-transit light curves directly from model stellar atmosphere center-to-limb intensity variations (CLIVs) using the plane-parallel Atlas and spherically symmetric SAtlas codes. We compare these light curves to those constructed using best-fit limb-darkening parameterizations. We find that adopting parametric stellar limb-darkening laws leads to systematic differences from the more geometrically realistic model stellar atmosphere CLIV of about 50–100 ppm at the transit center and up to 300 ppm at ingress/egress. While these errors are small, they are systematic, and they appear to limit the precision necessary to measure secondary effects. Our results may also have a significant impact on transit spectra.

  8. Optimizing the TESS Planet Finding Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitamitara, Aerbwong; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; TESS Science Processing Operations Center

    2017-10-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a new NASA planet finding all-sky survey that will observe stars within 200 light years and 10-100 times brighter than that of the highly successful Kepler mission. TESS is expected to detect ~1000 planets smaller than Neptune and dozens of Earth size planets. As in the Kepler mission, the Science Processing Operations Center (SPOC) processing pipeline at NASA Ames Research center is tasked with calibrating the raw pixel data, generating systematic error corrected light curves and then detecting and validating transit signals. The Transiting Planet Search (TPS) component of the pipeline must be modified and tuned for the new data characteristics in TESS. For example, due to each sector being viewed for as little as 28 days, the pipeline will be identifying transiting planets based on a minimum of two transit signals rather than three, as in the Kepler mission. This may result in a significantly higher false positive rate. The study presented here is to measure the detection efficiency of the TESS pipeline using simulated data. Transiting planets identified by TPS are compared to transiting planets from the simulated transit model using the measured epochs, periods, transit durations and the expected detection statistic of injected transit signals (expected MES). From the comparisons, the recovery and false positive rates of TPS is measured. Measurements of recovery in TPS are then used to adjust TPS configuration parameters to maximize the planet recovery rate and minimize false detections. The improvements in recovery rate between initial TPS conditions and after various adjustments will be presented and discussed.

  9. Kepler-68: Three Planets, One with a Density between that of Earth and Ice Giants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gilliland, R.L.; Marcy, G.W.; Rowe, J.F.; Rogers, L.; Torres, G.; Fressin, F.; Lopez, E.D.; Buchhave, L.A.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Désert, J.M.; Henze, C.E.; Isaacson, H.; Jenkins, J.M.; Lissauer, J.J.; Chaplin, W.J.; Basu, S.; Metcalfe, T.S.; Elsworth, Y.; Handberg, R.; Hekker, S.; Huber, D.; Karoff, C.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lund, M.N.; Lundkvist, M.; Miglio, A.; Charbonneau, D.; Ford, E.B.; Fortney, J.J.; Haas, M.R.; Howard, A.W.; Howell, S.B.; Ragozzine, D.; Thompson, S.E.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission has revealed two transiting planets orbiting Kepler-68. Follow-up Doppler measurements have established the mass of the innermost planet and revealed a third Jovian-mass planet orbiting beyond the two transiting planets. Kepler-68b, in a 5.4 day orbit, has Mp_{\\rm

  10. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Extrasolar planet HD 189733b whitelight curve (Crouzet+, 2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouzet, N.; McCullough, P. R.; Deming, D.; Madhusudhan, N.

    2017-05-01

    We used HST WFC3 with the newly implemented spatial scanning mode, developed in part to enable observations such as these (McCullough & MacKenty, 2012wfc..rept....8M). In this mode, a controlled scan is applied to the telescope during the exposure in a direction perpendicular to the wavelength dispersion direction (Figure 1). This technique is particularly efficient for bright stars such as HD 189733 (see McCullough et al. 2014ApJ...791...55M, for more details). One eclipse of HD 189733b was observed on 2013 June 24. The observations are divided into five HST orbits, the planetary eclipse occurring during the fourth orbit. In total, 159 exposures of 5.97 s each were acquired, corresponding to 32 exposures per orbit (except for the first orbit in which the first image is a direct image). (1 data file).

  11. Origins of Solar Systems: Removing Activity-Related Radial Velocity Noise to Improve Extrasolar Planet Searches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saar, Steven; Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    We have continued the super high resolution (R is approximately 200,000), high S/N (> 300) echelle study of joint line bisector and radial velocity variations using the McDonald 2-D coude. A long observing run in October 2002 was quite successful (8 clear nights). We now have close to three years of data, which begins to sample a good fraction of the magnetic cycle timescales for some of our targets (e.g., K Ceti; P(sub cyc)=5.6 yrs). This will be very helpful in unraveling the complex relationships between plage and v(sub r), changes which we have uncovered. A preliminary analysis of the limited data in hand, and find some tantalizing evidence for correlations between median line bisector displacement and radial velocity v(sub r). The correlation appears to be specific to the particular star being considered, probably since it is a function of both spectral type and rotation rate. Additional information regarding progress on the grant is included.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-11-10

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

  13. CAN TiO EXPLAIN THERMAL INVERSIONS IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERES OF IRRADIATED GIANT PLANETS?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spiegel, David S.; Silverio, Katie; Burrows, Adam

    2009-01-01

    Spitzer Space Telescope infrared observations indicate that several transiting extrasolar giant planets have thermal inversions in their upper atmospheres. Above a relative minimum, the temperature appears to increase with altitude. Such an inversion probably requires a species at high altitude that absorbs a significant amount of incident optical/UV radiation. Some authors have suggested that the strong optical absorbers titanium oxide (TiO) and vanadium oxide (VO) could provide the needed additional opacity, but if regions of the atmosphere are cold enough for Ti and V to be sequestered into solids they might rain out and be severely depleted. With a model of the vertical distribution of a refractory species in gaseous and condensed form, we address the question of whether enough TiO (or VO) could survive aloft in an irradiated planet's atmosphere to produce a thermal inversion. We find that it is unlikely that VO could play a critical role in producing thermal inversions. Furthermore, we find that macroscopic mixing is essential to the TiO hypothesis; without macroscopic mixing, such a heavy species cannot persist in a planet's upper atmosphere. The amount of macroscopic mixing that is required depends on the size of condensed titanium-bearing particles that form in regions of an atmosphere that are too cold for gaseous TiO to exist. We parameterize the macroscopic mixing with the eddy diffusion coefficient K zz and find, as a function of particle size a, the values that K zz must assume on the highly irradiated planets HD 209458b, HD 149026b, TrES-4, and OGLE-TR-56b to loft enough titanium to the upper atmosphere for the TiO hypothesis to be correct. On these planets, we find that for TiO to be responsible for thermal inversions K zz must be at least a few times 10 7 cm 2 s -1 , even for a = 0.1 μm, and increases to nearly 10 11 cm 2 s -1 for a = 10 μm. Such large values may be problematic for the TiO hypothesis, but are not impossible.

  14. DO GIANT PLANETS SURVIVE TYPE II MIGRATION?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Ida, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    Planetary migration is one of the most serious problems to systematically understand the observations of exoplanets. We clarify that the theoretically predicted type II, migration (like type I migration) is too fast, by developing detailed analytical arguments in which the timescale of type II migration is compared with the disk lifetime. In the disk-dominated regime, the type II migration timescale is characterized by a local viscous diffusion timescale, while the disk lifetime is characterized by a global diffusion timescale that is much longer than the local one. Even in the planet-dominated regime where the inertia of the planet mass reduces the migration speed, the timescale is still shorter than the disk lifetime except in the final disk evolution stage where the total disk mass decays below the planet mass. This suggests that most giant planets plunge into the central stars within the disk lifetime, and it contradicts the exoplanet observations that gas giants are piled up at r ∼> 1 AU. We examine additional processes that may arise in protoplanetary disks: dead zones, photoevaporation of gas, and gas flow across a gap formed by a type II migrator. Although they make the type II migration timescale closer to the disk lifetime, we show that none of them can act as an effective barrier for rapid type II migration with the current knowledge of these processes. We point out that gas flow across a gap and the fraction of the flow accreted onto the planets are uncertain and they may have the potential to solve the problem. Much more detailed investigation for each process may be needed to explain the observed distribution of gas giants in extrasolar planetary systems

  15. Full exploration of the giant planet population around β Pictoris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagrange, A.-M.; Keppler, M.; Meunier, N.; Lannier, J.; Beust, H.; Milli, J.; Bonnavita, M.; Bonnefoy, M.; Borgniet, S.; Chauvin, G.; Delorme, P.; Galland, F.; Iglesias, D.; Kiefer, F.; Messina, S.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Wilson, P. A.

    2018-05-01

    Context. The search for extrasolar planets has been limited so far to close orbit (typ. ≤5 au) planets around mature solar-type stars on the one hand, and to planets on wide orbits (≥10 au) around young stars on the other hand. To get a better view of the full giant planet population, we have started a survey to search for giant planets around a sample of carefully selected young stars. Aims: This paper aims at exploring the giant planet population around one of our targets, β Pictoris, over a wide range of separations. With a disk and a planet already known, the β Pictoris system is indeed a very precious system for studies of planetary formation and evolution, as well as of planet-disk interactions. Methods: We analyse more than 2000 HARPS high-resolution spectra taken over 13 years as well as NaCo images recorded between 2003 and 2016. We combine these data to compute the detection probabilities of planets throughout the disk, from a fraction of au to a few dozen au. Results: We exclude the presence of planets more massive than 3 MJup closer than 1 au and further than 10 au, with a 90% probability. 15+ MJup companions are excluded throughout the disk except between 3 and 5 au with a 90% probability. In this region, we exclude companions with masses larger than 18 (resp. 30) MJup with probabilities of 60 (resp. 90) %. Based on data obtained with the ESO3.6 m/HARPS spectrograph at La Silla, and with NaCO on the VLT.The RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/612/A108

  16. CLOUDLESS ATMOSPHERES FOR L/T DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tremblin, P.; Amundsen, D. S.; Chabrier, G.; Baraffe, I.; Drummond, B.; Hinkley, S. [Astrophysics Group, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom); Mourier, P. [Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, CRAL, UMR CNRS 5574, F-69364 Lyon Cedex 07 (France); Venot, O., E-mail: tremblin@astro.ex.ac.uk, E-mail: pascal.tremblin@cea.fr [Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)

    2016-02-01

    The admitted, conventional scenario to explain the complex spectral evolution of brown dwarfs (BDs) since their first detection 20 years ago has always been the key role played by micron-size condensates, called “dust” or “clouds,” in their atmosphere. This scenario, however, faces major problems, in particular the J-band brightening and the resurgence of FeH absorption at the L to T transition, and a physical first-principle understanding of this transition is lacking. In this Letter, we propose a new, completely different explanation for BD and extrasolar giant planet (EGP) spectral evolution, without the need to invoke clouds. We show that, due to the slowness of the CO/CH{sub 4} and N{sub 2}/NH{sub 3} chemical reactions, brown dwarf (L and T, respectively) and EGP atmospheres are subject to a thermo-chemical instability similar in nature to the fingering or chemical convective instability present in Earth oceans and at the Earth core/mantle boundary. The induced small-scale turbulent energy transport reduces the temperature gradient in the atmosphere, explaining the observed increase in near-infrared J–H and J–K colors of L dwarfs and hot EGPs, while a warming up of the deep atmosphere along the L to T transition, as the CO/CH{sub 4} instability vanishes, naturally solves the two aforementioned puzzles, and provides a physical explanation of the L to T transition. This new picture leads to a drastic revision of our understanding of BD and EGP atmospheres and their evolution.

  17. CLOUDLESS ATMOSPHERES FOR L/T DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tremblin, P.; Amundsen, D. S.; Chabrier, G.; Baraffe, I.; Drummond, B.; Hinkley, S.; Mourier, P.; Venot, O.

    2016-01-01

    The admitted, conventional scenario to explain the complex spectral evolution of brown dwarfs (BDs) since their first detection 20 years ago has always been the key role played by micron-size condensates, called “dust” or “clouds,” in their atmosphere. This scenario, however, faces major problems, in particular the J-band brightening and the resurgence of FeH absorption at the L to T transition, and a physical first-principle understanding of this transition is lacking. In this Letter, we propose a new, completely different explanation for BD and extrasolar giant planet (EGP) spectral evolution, without the need to invoke clouds. We show that, due to the slowness of the CO/CH 4 and N 2 /NH 3 chemical reactions, brown dwarf (L and T, respectively) and EGP atmospheres are subject to a thermo-chemical instability similar in nature to the fingering or chemical convective instability present in Earth oceans and at the Earth core/mantle boundary. The induced small-scale turbulent energy transport reduces the temperature gradient in the atmosphere, explaining the observed increase in near-infrared J–H and J–K colors of L dwarfs and hot EGPs, while a warming up of the deep atmosphere along the L to T transition, as the CO/CH 4 instability vanishes, naturally solves the two aforementioned puzzles, and provides a physical explanation of the L to T transition. This new picture leads to a drastic revision of our understanding of BD and EGP atmospheres and their evolution

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  19. Planet gaps in the dust layer of 3D proto-planetary disks: Observability with ALMA

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez, Jean-François; Pinte, Christophe; Maddison, Sarah T.; Ménard, François

    2013-01-01

    2 pages, 2 figures, to appear in the Proceedings of IAU Symp. 299: Exploring the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems (Victoria, Canada); International audience; Among the numerous known extrasolar planets, only a handful have been imaged directly so far, at large orbital radii and in rather evolved systems. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will have the capacity to observe these wide planetary systems at a younger age, thus bringing a better understanding of th...

  20. Exoplanet Transit Spectroscopy Using WFC3: WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Avram Max; Haynes, Korey N.; Sinukoff, Evan; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Burrows, Adam; Deming, Drake

    2013-01-01

    We report an analysis of transit spectroscopy of the extrasolar planets WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We analyze the data for a single transit for each planet using a strategy similar, in certain aspects, to the techniques used by Berta et al., but we extend their methodology to allow us to correct for channel- or wavelength-dependent instrumental effects by utilizing the band-integrated time series and measurements of the drift of the spectrum on the detector over time. We achieve almost photon-limited results for individual spectral bins, but the uncertainties in the transit depth for the band-integrated data are exacerbated by the uneven sampling of the light curve imposed by the orbital phasing of HST's observations. Our final transit spectra for all three objects are consistent with the presence of a broad absorption feature at 1.4 nano meter most likely due to water. However, the amplitude of the absorption is less than that expected based on previous observations with Spitzer, possibly due to hazes absorbing in the NIR or non-solar compositions. The degeneracy of models with different compositions and temperature structures combined with the low amplitude of any features in the data preclude our ability to place unambiguous constraints on the atmospheric composition without additional observations with WFC3 to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and/or a comprehensive multi-wavelength analysis.

  1. ON THE NOTION OF WELL-DEFINED TECTONIC REGIMES FOR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN THIS SOLAR SYSTEM AND OTHERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lenardic, A.; Crowley, J. W.

    2012-01-01

    A model of coupled mantle convection and planetary tectonics is used to demonstrate that history dependence can outweigh the effects of a planet's energy content and material parameters in determining its tectonic state. The mantle convection-surface tectonics system allows multiple tectonic modes to exist for equivalent planetary parameter values. The tectonic mode of the system is then determined by its specific geologic and climatic history. This implies that models of tectonics and mantle convection will not be able to uniquely determine the tectonic mode of a terrestrial planet without the addition of historical data. Historical data exists, to variable degrees, for all four terrestrial planets within our solar system. For the Earth, the planet with the largest amount of observational data, debate does still remain regarding the geologic and climatic history of Earth's deep past but constraints are available. For planets in other solar systems, no such constraints exist at present. The existence of multiple tectonic modes, for equivalent parameter values, points to a reason why different groups have reached different conclusions regarding the tectonic state of extrasolar terrestrial planets larger than Earth ( s uper-Earths ) . The region of multiple stable solutions is predicted to widen in parameter space for more energetic mantle convection (as would be expected for larger planets). This means that different groups can find different solutions, all potentially viable and stable, using identical models and identical system parameter values. At a more practical level, the results argue that the question of whether extrasolar terrestrial planets will have plate tectonics is unanswerable and will remain so until the temporal evolution of extrasolar planets can be constrained.

  2. On the Terminal Rotation Rates of Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batygin, Konstantin

    2018-04-01

    Within the general framework of the core-nucleated accretion theory of giant planet formation, the conglomeration of massive gaseous envelopes is facilitated by a transient period of rapid accumulation of nebular material. While the concurrent build-up of angular momentum is expected to leave newly formed planets spinning at near-breakup velocities, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as super-Jovian long-period extrasolar planets, are observed to rotate well below criticality. In this work, we demonstrate that the large luminosity of a young giant planet simultaneously leads to the generation of a strong planetary magnetic field, as well as thermal ionization of the circumplanetary disk. The ensuing magnetic coupling between the planetary interior and the quasi-Keplerian motion of the disk results in efficient braking of planetary rotation, with hydrodynamic circulation of gas within the Hill sphere playing the key role of expelling spin angular momentum to the circumstellar nebula. Our results place early-stage giant planet and stellar rotation within the same evolutionary framework, and motivate further exploration of magnetohydrodynamic phenomena in the context of the final stages of giant planet formation.

  3. Trapping planets in an evolving protoplanetary disk: preferred time, locations and planet mass

    OpenAIRE

    Baillié, Kévin; Charnoz, Sébastien; Pantin, Éric

    2016-01-01

    Planet traps are necessary to prevent forming planets from falling onto their host star by type I migration. Surface mass density and temperature gradient irregularities favor the apparition of traps and deserts. Such features are found at the dust sublimation lines and heat transition barriers. We study how planets may remain trapped or escape as they grow and as the disk evolves. We model the temporal viscous evolution of a protoplanetary disk by coupling its dynamics, thermodynamics, geome...

  4. Dance of the Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    As students continue their monthly plotting of the planets along the ecliptic they should start to notice differences between inner and outer planet orbital motions, and their relative position or separation from the Sun. Both inner and outer planets have direct eastward motion, as well as retrograde motion. Inner planets Mercury and Venus,…

  5. Energy flux determines magnetic field strength of planets and stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Ulrich R; Holzwarth, Volkmar; Reiners, Ansgar

    2009-01-08

    The magnetic fields of Earth and Jupiter, along with those of rapidly rotating, low-mass stars, are generated by convection-driven dynamos that may operate similarly (the slowly rotating Sun generates its field through a different dynamo mechanism). The field strengths of planets and stars vary over three orders of magnitude, but the critical factor causing that variation has hitherto been unclear. Here we report an extension of a scaling law derived from geodynamo models to rapidly rotating stars that have strong density stratification. The unifying principle in the scaling law is that the energy flux available for generating the magnetic field sets the field strength. Our scaling law fits the observed field strengths of Earth, Jupiter, young contracting stars and rapidly rotating low-mass stars, despite vast differences in the physical conditions of the objects. We predict that the field strengths of rapidly rotating brown dwarfs and massive extrasolar planets are high enough to make them observable.

  6. HAT-P-10b: A LIGHT AND MODERATELY HOT JUPITER TRANSITING A K DWARF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakos, G. A.; Pal, A.; Torres, G.; Sipocz, B.; Latham, D. W.; Noyes, R. W.; Hartman, J.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Sasselov, D. D.; Kovacs, Gabor; Stefanik, R. P.; Kovacs, Geza; Fischer, D. A.; Johnson, J. A.; Marcy, G. W.; Howard, A. W.; Butler, R. P.; Lazar, J.; Papp, I.; Sari, P.

    2009-01-01

    We report on the discovery of HAT-P-10b, one of the lowest mass (0.487 ± 0.018 M J ) transiting extrasolar planets (TEPs) discovered to date by transit searches. HAT-P-10b orbits the moderately bright V = 11.89 K dwarf GSC 02340-01714, with a period P = 3.7224747 ± 0.0000065 days, transit epoch T c = 2454759.68683 ± 0.00016 (BJD), and duration 0.1090 ± 0.0008 days. HAT-P-10b has a radius of 1.005 +0.032 -0.027 R J yielding a mean density of 0.594 ± 0.052 g cm -3 . Comparing these observations with recent theoretical models we find that HAT-P-10b is consistent with a ∼4.5 Gyr, almost pure hydrogen and helium gas giant planet with a 10 M + core. With an equilibrium temperature of T eq = 1020 ± 17 K, HAT-P-10b is one of the coldest TEPs. Curiously, its Safronov number θ = 0.053 ± 0.002 falls close to the dividing line between the two suggested TEP populations.

  7. Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey: Key Results Two Years Into The Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchis, Franck; Rameau, Julien; Nielsen, Eric L.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Esposito, Thomas; Draper, Zachary H.; Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; GPIES

    2016-10-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) is targeting 600 young, nearby stars using the GPI instrument. We report here on recent results obtained with this instrument from our team.Rameau et al. (ApJL, 822 2, L2, 2016) presented astrometric monitoring of the young exoplanet HD 95086 b obtained with GPI between 2013 and 2016. Efficient Monte Carlo techniques place preliminary constraints on the orbital parameters of HD 95086 b. Under the assumption of a coplanar planet-disk system, the periastron of HD 95086 b is beyond 51 AU. Therefore, HD 95086 b cannot carve the entire gap inferred from the measured infrared excess in the SED of HD 95086. Additional photometric and spectroscopic measurements reported by de Rosa et al. (2016, apJ, in press) showed that the spectral energy distribution of HD 95086 b is best fit by low temperature (T~800-1300 K), low surface gravity spectra from models which simulate high photospheric dust content. Its temperature is typical to L/T transition objects, but the spectral type is poorly constrained. HD 95086 b is an important exoplanet to test our models of atmospheric properties of young extrasolar planets.Direct detections of debris disk are keys to infer the collisional past and understand the formation of planetary systems. Two debris disks were recently studied with GPI:- Draper et al. (submitted to ApJ, 2016) show the resolved circumstellar debris disk around HD 111520 at a projected range of ~30-100 AU using both total and polarized H-band intensity. Structures in the disks such as a large brightness asymmetry and symmetric polarization fraction are seen. Additional data would confirm if a large disruption event from a stellar fly-by or planetary perturbations altered the disk density- Esposito et al. (submitted to ApJ, 2016) combined Keck NIRC2 data taken at 1.2-2.3 microns and GPI 1.6 micron total intensity and polarized light detections that probes down to projected separations less than 10 AU to show that the HD

  8. EPOXI EXOPLANET TRANSIT OBS - HRIV CALIBRATED IMAGES V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set set contains calibrated images of eight known transiting extrasolar planetary systems (hot Jupiters) acquired by the Deep Impact High Resolution...

  9. Very high-density planets: a possible remnant of gas giants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocquet, A; Grasset, O; Sotin, C

    2014-04-28

    Data extracted from the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia (see http://exoplanet.eu) show the existence of planets that are more massive than iron cores that would have the same size. After meticulous verification of the data, we conclude that the mass of the smallest of these planets is actually not known. However, the three largest planets, Kepler-52b, Kepler-52c and Kepler-57b, which are between 30 and 100 times the mass of the Earth, have indeed density larger than an iron planet of the same size. This observation triggers this study that investigates under which conditions these planets could represent the naked cores of gas giants that would have lost their atmospheres during their migration towards the star. This study shows that for moderate viscosity values (10(25) Pa s or lower), large values of escape rate and associated unloading stress rate during the atmospheric loss process lead to the explosion of extremely massive planets. However, for moderate escape rate, the bulk viscosity and finite-strain incompressibility of the cores of giant planets can be large enough to retain a very high density during geological time scales. This would make those a new kind of planet, which would help in understanding the interior structure of the gas giants. However, this new family of exoplanets adds some degeneracy for characterizing terrestrial exoplanets.

  10. THE STRUCTURE OF SURFACE H{sub 2}O LAYERS OF ICE-COVERED PLANETS WITH HIGH-PRESSURE ICE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueta, S.; Sasaki, T., E-mail: ueta@geo.titech.ac.jp, E-mail: takanori@geo.titech.ac.jp [Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan)

    2013-10-01

    Many extrasolar (bound) terrestrial planets and free-floating (unbound) planets have been discovered. While the existence of bound and unbound terrestrial planets with liquid water is an important question, of particular importance is the question of these planets' habitability. Even for a globally ice-covered planet, geothermal heat from the planetary interior may melt the interior ice, creating an internal ocean covered by an ice shell. In this paper, we discuss the conditions that terrestrial planets must satisfy for such an internal ocean to exist on the timescale of planetary evolution. The question is addressed in terms of planetary mass, distance from a central star, water abundance, and abundance of radiogenic heat sources. In addition, we investigate the structure of the surface H{sub 2}O layers of ice-covered planets by considering the effects of ice under high pressure (high-pressure ice). As a fiducial case, a 1 M{sub ⊕} planet at 1 AU from its central star and with 0.6-25 times the H{sub 2}O mass of the Earth could have an internal ocean. We find that high-pressure ice layers may appear between the internal ocean and the rock portion on a planet with an H{sub 2}O mass over 25 times that of the Earth. The planetary mass and abundance of surface water strongly restrict the conditions under which an extrasolar terrestrial planet may have an internal ocean with no high-pressure ice under the ocean. Such high-pressure ice layers underlying the internal ocean are likely to affect the habitability of the planet.

  11. Habitable Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen H

    2007-01-01

    ..., and discusses how to search for habitable planets. Interestingly for our time, he also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered...

  12. Observsational Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Ruobing; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Fung, Jeffrey

    2017-06-01

    Planets form in gaseous protoplanetary disks surrounding newborn stars. As such, the most direct way to learn how they form from observations, is to directly watch them forming in disks. In the past, this was very difficult due to a lack of observational capabilities; as such, planet formation was largely a subject of pure theoretical astrophysics. Now, thanks to a fleet of new instruments with unprecedented resolving power that have come online recently, we have just started to unveil features in resolve images of protoplanetary disks, such as gaps and spiral arms, that are most likely associated with embedded (unseen) planets. By comparing observations with theoretical models of planet-disk interactions, the masses and orbits of these still forming planets may be constrained. Such planets may help us to directly test various planet formation models. This marks the onset of a new field — observational planet formation. I will introduce the current status of this field.

  13. TWO EXTRASOLAR ASTEROIDS WITH LOW VOLATILE-ELEMENT MASS FRACTIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jura, M.; Xu, S.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Koester, D.

    2012-01-01

    Using ultraviolet spectra obtained with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope, we extend our previous ground-based optical determinations of the composition of the extrasolar asteroids accreted onto two white dwarfs, GD 40 and G241-6. Combining optical and ultraviolet spectra of these stars with He-dominated atmospheres, 13 and 12 polluting elements are confidently detected in GD 40 and G241-6, respectively. For the material accreted onto GD 40, the volatile elements C and S are deficient by more than a factor of 10 and N by at least a factor of 5 compared to their mass fractions in primitive CI chondrites and approach what is inferred for bulk Earth. A similar pattern is found for G241-6 except that S is undepleted. We have also newly detected or placed meaningful upper limits for the amount of Cl, Al, P, Ni, and Cu in the accreted matter. Extending results from optical studies, the mass fractions of refractory elements in the accreted parent bodies are similar to what is measured for bulk Earth and chondrites. Thermal processing, perhaps interior to a snow line, appears to be of central importance in determining the elemental compositions of these particular extrasolar asteroids.

  14. Search for a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tokovinin, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    The problem of search for star planets is discussed in a popular form. Two methods of search for planets are considered: astrometric and spectral. Both methods complement one another. An assumption is made that potential possessors of planets are in the first place yellow and red dwarfs with slow axial rotation. These stars are the most numerous representatives of Galaxy population

  15. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2011-06-01

    There exists strong circumstantial evidence from their eccentric orbits that most of the known extra-solar planetary systems are the survivors of violent dynamical instabilities. Here we explore the effect of giant planet instabilities on the formation and survival of terrestrial planets. We numerically simulate the evolution of planetary systems around Sun-like stars that include three components: (i) an inner disk of planetesimals and planetary embryos; (ii) three giant planets at Jupiter-Saturn distances; and (iii) an outer disk of planetesimals comparable to estimates of the primitive Kuiper belt. We calculate the dust production and spectral energy distribution of each system by assuming that each planetesimal particle represents an ensemble of smaller bodies in collisional equilibrium. Our main result is a strong correlation between the evolution of the inner and outer parts of planetary systems, i.e. between the presence of terrestrial planets and debris disks. Strong giant planet instabilities - that produce very eccentric surviving planets - destroy all rocky material in the system, including fully-formed terrestrial planets if the instabilities occur late, and also destroy the icy planetesimal population. Stable or weakly unstable systems allow terrestrial planets to accrete in their inner regions and significant dust to be produced in their outer regions, detectable at mid-infrared wavelengths as debris disks. Stars older than ~100 Myr with bright cold dust emission (in particular at λ ~ 70 μm) signpost dynamically calm environments that were conducive to efficient terrestrial accretion. Such emission is present around ~16% of billion-year old Solar-type stars. Our simulations yield numerous secondary results: 1) the typical eccentricities of as-yet undetected terrestrial planets are ~0.1 but there exists a novel class of terrestrial planet system whose single planet undergoes large amplitude oscillations in orbital eccentricity and inclination; 2) by

  16. A septet of Earth-sized planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triaud, Amaury; SPECULOOS Team; TRAPPIST-1 Team

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the astronomical requirements for life to emerge, and to persist, on a planet is one of the most important and exciting scientific endeavours, yet without empirical answers. To resolve this, multiple planets whose sizes and surface temperatures are similar to the Earth, need to be discovered. Those planets also need to possess properties enabling detailed atmospheric characterisation with forthcoming facilities, from which chemical traces produced by biological activity can in principle be identified.I will describe a dedicated search for such planets called SPECULOOS. Our first detection is the TRAPPIST-1 system. Intensive ground-based and space-based observations have revealed that at least seven planets populate this system. We measured their radii and obtained first estimates of their masses thanks to transit-timing variations. I will describe our on-going observational efforts aiming to reduce our uncertainties on the planet properties. The incident flux on the planets ranges from Mercury to Ceres, comprising the Earth, and permitting climatic comparisons between each of those worlds such as is not possible within our Solar system. All seven planets have the potential to harbour liquid water on at least a fraction of their surfaces, given some atmospheric and geological conditions.

  17. Discovery, Characterization, and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Blue Marble: Remote Characterization of Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolf, Neville; Lewis, Brian; Chartres, James; Genova, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    The study of the nature and distribution of habitable environments beyond the Solar System is a key area for Astrobiology research. At the present time, our Earth is the only habitable planet that can be characterized in the same way that we might characterize planets beyond the Solar System. Due to limitations in our current and near-future technology, it is likely that extra-solar planets will be observed as single-pixel objects. To understand this data, we must develop skills in analyzing and interpreting the radiation obtained from a single pixel. These skills must include the study of the time variation of the radiation, and the range of its photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric properties. In addition, to understand whether we are properly analyzing the single pixel data, we need to compare it with a ground truth of modest resolution images in key spectral bands. This paper discusses the concept for a mission called Blue Marble that would obtain data of the Earth using a combination of spectropolarimetry, spectrophotometry, and selected band imaging. To obtain imagery of the proper resolution, it is desirable to place the Blue Marble spacecraft no closer than the outer region of cis-lunar space. This paper explores a conceptual mission design that takes advantage of low-cost launchers, bus designs and mission elements to provide a cost effective observing platform located at one of the stable Earth-moon Lagrangian points (L4, L5). The mission design allows for the development and use of novel technologies, such as a spinning moon sensor for attitude control, and leverages lessons-learned from previous low-cost spacecraft such as Lunar Prospector to yield a low-risk mission concept.

  19. From Pixels to Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was launched in 2009 as NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Its telescope consists of a 1.5-m primary mirror and a 0.95-m aperture. The 42 charge-coupled devices in its focal plane are read out every half hour, compressed, and then downlinked monthly. After four years, the second of four reaction wheels failed, ending the original mission. Back on earth, the Science Operations Center developed the Science Pipeline to analyze about 200,000 target stars in Keplers field of view, looking for evidence of periodic dimming suggesting that one or more planets had crossed the face of its host star. The Pipeline comprises several steps, from pixel-level calibration, through noise and artifact removal, to detection of transit-like signals and the construction of a suite of diagnostic tests to guard against false positives. The Kepler Science Pipeline consists of a pipeline infrastructure written in the Java programming language, which marshals data input to and output from MATLAB applications that are executed as external processes. The pipeline modules, which underwent continuous development and refinement even after data started arriving, employ several analytic techniques, many developed for the Kepler Project. Because of the large number of targets, the large amount of data per target and the complexity of the pipeline algorithms, the processing demands are daunting. Some pipeline modules require days to weeks to process all of their targets, even when run on NASA's 128-node Pleiades supercomputer. The software developers are still seeking ways to increase the throughput. To date, the Kepler project has discovered more than 4000 planetary candidates, of which more than 1000 have been independently confirmed or validated to be exoplanets. Funding for this mission is provided by NASAs Science Mission Directorate.

  20. The first planet detected in the WTS: an inflated hot Jupiter in a 3.35 d orbit around a late F star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappetta, M.; Saglia, R. P.; Birkby, J. L.; Koppenhoefer, J.; Pinfield, D. J.; Hodgkin, S. T.; Cruz, P.; Kovács, G.; Sipőcz, B.; Barrado, D.; Nefs, B.; Pavlenko, Y. V.; Fossati, L.; del Burgo, C.; Martín, E. L.; Snellen, I.; Barnes, J.; Bayo, A.; Campbell, D. A.; Catalan, S.; Gálvez-Ortiz, M. C.; Goulding, N.; Haswell, C.; Ivanyuk, O.; Jones, H. R.; Kuznetsov, M.; Lodieu, N.; Marocco, F.; Mislis, D.; Murgas, F.; Napiwotzki, R.; Palle, E.; Pollacco, D.; Sarro Baro, L.; Solano, E.; Steele, P.; Stoev, H.; Tata, R.; Zendejas, J.

    2012-12-01

    We report the discovery of WTS-1b, the first extrasolar planet found by the WFCAM Transit Survey, which began observations at the 3.8-m United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in 2007 August. Light curves comprising almost 1200 epochs with a photometric precision of better than 1 per cent to J ˜ 16 were constructed for ˜60 000 stars and searched for periodic transit signals. For one of the most promising transiting candidates, high-resolution spectra taken at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) allowed us to estimate the spectroscopic parameters of the host star, a late-F main-sequence dwarf (V = 16.13) with possibly slightly subsolar metallicity, and to measure its radial velocity variations. The combined analysis of the light curves and spectroscopic data resulted in an orbital period of the substellar companion of 3.35 d, a planetary mass of 4.01 ± 0.35 MJ and a planetary radius of 1.49-0.18+0.16 RJ. WTS-1b has one of the largest radius anomalies among the known hot Jupiters in the mass range 3-5 MJ. The high irradiation from the host star ranks the planet in the pM class. Based on observations collected at the 3.8-m United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (Hawaii, USA), the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (Texas, USA), the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope (La Palma, Spain), the William Herschel Telescope (La Palma, Spain), the German-Spanish Astronomical Centre (Calar Alto, Spain), the Kitt Peak National Observatory (Arizona, USA) and the Hertfordshire's Bayfordbury Observatory.

  1. "Osiris"(HD209458b), an evaporating planet

    OpenAIRE

    Vidal-Madjar, Alfred; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des

    2003-01-01

    Three transits of the planet orbiting the solar type star HD209458 were observed in the far UV at the wavelength of the HI Ly-alpha line. The planet size at this wavelength is equal to 4.3 R_Jup, i.e. larger than the planet Roche radius (3.6 R_Jup). Absorbing hydrogen atoms were found to be blueshifted by up to -130 km/s, exceeding the planet escape velocity. This implies that hydrogen atoms are escaping this ``hot Jupiter'' planet. An escape flux of >~ 10^10g/s is needed to explain the obser...

  2. The Trojan minor planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratt, Christopher E.

    1988-08-01

    There are (March, 1988) 3774 minor planets which have received a permanent number. Of these, there are some whose mean distance to the sun is very nearly equal to that of Jupiter, and whose heliocentric longitudes from that planet are about 60°, so that the three bodies concerned (sun, Jupiter, minor planet) make an approximate equilateral triangle. These minor planets, which occur in two distinct groups, one preceding Jupiter and one following, have received the names of the heroes of the Trojan war. This paper concerns the 49 numbered minor planets of this group.

  3. White dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonsor Amy

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The recognition that planets may survive the late stages of stellar evolution, and the prospects for finding them around White Dwarfs, are growing. We discuss two aspects governing planetary survival through stellar evolution to the White Dwarf stage. First we discuss the case of a single planet, and its survival under the effects of stellar mass loss, radius expansion, and tidal orbital decay as the star evolves along the Asymptotic Giant Branch. We show that, for stars initially of 1 − 5 M⊙, any planets within about 1 − 5 AU will be engulfed, this distance depending on the stellar and planet masses and the planet's eccentricity. Planets engulfed by the star's envelope are unlikely to survive. Hence, planets surviving the Asymptotic Giant Branch phase will probably be found beyond ∼ 2 AU for a 1  M⊙ progenitor and ∼ 10 AU for a 5 M⊙ progenitor. We then discuss the evolution of two-planet systems around evolving stars. As stars lose mass, planet–planet interactions become stronger, and many systems stable on the Main Sequence become destabilised following evolution of the primary. The outcome of such instabilities is typically the ejection of one planet, with the survivor being left on an eccentric orbit. These eccentric planets could in turn be responsible for feeding planetesimals into the neighbourhood of White Dwarfs, causing observed pollution and circumstellar discs.

  4. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE DELIVERY OF ATMOPHILE ELEMENTS DURING TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsumura, Soko [School of Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics, University of Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland (United Kingdom); Brasser, Ramon; Ida, Shigeru, E-mail: s.matsumura@dundee.ac.uk [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-8550 (Japan)

    2016-02-10

    Recent observations started revealing the compositions of protostellar disks and planets beyond the solar system. In this paper, we explore how the compositions of terrestrial planets are affected by the dynamical evolution of giant planets. We estimate the initial compositions of the building blocks of these rocky planets by using a simple condensation model, and numerically study the compositions of planets formed in a few different formation models of the solar system. We find that the abundances of refractory and moderately volatile elements are nearly independent of formation models, and that all the models could reproduce the abundances of these elements of the Earth. The abundances of atmophile elements, on the other hand, depend on the scattering rate of icy planetesimals into the inner disk, as well as the mixing rate of the inner planetesimal disk. For the classical formation model, neither of these mechanisms are efficient and the accretion of atmophile elements during the final assembly of terrestrial planets appears to be difficult. For the Grand Tack model, both of these mechanisms are efficient, which leads to a relatively uniform accretion of atmophile elements in the inner disk. It is also possible to have a “hybrid” scenario where the mixing is not very efficient but the scattering is efficient. The abundances of atmophile elements in this case increase with orbital radii. Such a scenario may occur in some of the extrasolar planetary systems, which are not accompanied by giant planets or those without strong perturbations from giants. We also confirm that the Grand Tack scenario leads to the distribution of asteroid analogues where rocky planetesimals tend to exist interior to icy ones, and show that their overall compositions are consistent with S-type and C-type chondrites, respectively.

  5. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE DELIVERY OF ATMOPHILE ELEMENTS DURING TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Brasser, Ramon; Ida, Shigeru

    2016-01-01

    Recent observations started revealing the compositions of protostellar disks and planets beyond the solar system. In this paper, we explore how the compositions of terrestrial planets are affected by the dynamical evolution of giant planets. We estimate the initial compositions of the building blocks of these rocky planets by using a simple condensation model, and numerically study the compositions of planets formed in a few different formation models of the solar system. We find that the abundances of refractory and moderately volatile elements are nearly independent of formation models, and that all the models could reproduce the abundances of these elements of the Earth. The abundances of atmophile elements, on the other hand, depend on the scattering rate of icy planetesimals into the inner disk, as well as the mixing rate of the inner planetesimal disk. For the classical formation model, neither of these mechanisms are efficient and the accretion of atmophile elements during the final assembly of terrestrial planets appears to be difficult. For the Grand Tack model, both of these mechanisms are efficient, which leads to a relatively uniform accretion of atmophile elements in the inner disk. It is also possible to have a “hybrid” scenario where the mixing is not very efficient but the scattering is efficient. The abundances of atmophile elements in this case increase with orbital radii. Such a scenario may occur in some of the extrasolar planetary systems, which are not accompanied by giant planets or those without strong perturbations from giants. We also confirm that the Grand Tack scenario leads to the distribution of asteroid analogues where rocky planetesimals tend to exist interior to icy ones, and show that their overall compositions are consistent with S-type and C-type chondrites, respectively

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-20

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

  9. Giant Planets in Reflected Light: What Science Can We Expect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Interpreting the reflection spectra of cool giant planets will be a challenge. Spectra of such worlds are expected to be primarily shaped by scattering from clouds and hazes and punctuated by absorption bands of methane, water, and ammonia. While the warmest giants may be cloudless, their atmospheres will almost certainly sport substantial photochemical hazes. Furthermore the masses of most direct imaging targets will be constrained by radial velocity observations, their radii, and thus atmospheric gravity, will be imperfectly known. The uncertainty in planet radius and gravity will compound with uncertain aerosol properties to make estimation of key absorber abundances difficult. To address such concerns our group is developing atmospheric retrieval tools to constrain quantities of interest, particular gas mixing ratios. We have applied our Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods to simulated data of the quality expected from the WFIRST CGI instrument and found that given sufficiently high SNR data we can confidentially identify and constrain the abundance of methane, cloud top pressures, gravity, and the star-planet-observer phase angle. In my presentation I will explain the expected characteristics of cool extrasolar giant planet reflection spectra, discuss these and other challenges in their interpretation, and summarize the science results we can expect from direct imaging observations.

  10. Final Report: "Recreating Planet Cores in the Laboratory"

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeanloz, Raymond [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2017-06-02

    The grant supported a combination of experimental and theoretical research characterizing materials at high pressures (above 0.1-1 TPa = 1-10 million atmospheres) and modest temperatures (below 20,000-100,000 K). This is the “warm dense” (sub-nuclear) regime relevant to understanding the properties of planets, and also to characterizing the chemical bonding forces between atoms. As such, the experiments provide important validation and extensions of theoretical simulations based on quantum mechanics, and offer new insights into the nature and evolution of planets, including the thousands of recently discovered extra-solar planets. In particular, our experiments have documented that: 1) helium can separate from hydrogen at conditions existing inside Jupiter and Saturn, providing much of these planets’ internal energy hence observed luminosities; 2) water ice is likely present in a superionic state with mobile protons inside Uranus and Neptune; 3) rock (oxides) can become metallic at conditions inside “super-Earths” and other large planets, thereby contributing to their magnetic fields; and 4) the “statistical atom” regime that provides the theoretical foundation for characterizing materials at planetary and astrophysical conditions is now accessible to experimental testing.

  11. The role of carbon in extrasolar planetary geodynamics and habitability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Kabbes, Jason E.; Pigott, Jeffrey S.; Panero, Wendy R. [School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43202 (United States); Reaman, Daniel M., E-mail: unterborn.1@buckeyemail.osu.edu [US Army Research Laboratory, RDRL-WML-B (Bldg. 390), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005 (United States)

    2014-10-01

    The proportions of oxygen, carbon, and major rock-forming elements (e.g., Mg, Fe, Si) determine a planet's dominant mineralogy. Variation in a planet's mineralogy subsequently affects planetary mantle dynamics as well as any deep water or carbon cycle. Through thermodynamic models and high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments, we demonstrate that the oxidation potential of C is above that of Fe at all pressures and temperatures, indicative of 0.1-2 Earth-mass planets. This means that for a planet with (Mg+2Si+Fe+2C)/O > 1, excess C in the mantle will be in the form of diamond. We find that an increase in C, and thus diamond, concentration slows convection relative to a silicate-dominated planet, due to diamond's ∼3 order of magnitude increase in both viscosity and thermal conductivity. We assert then that in the C-(Mg+2Si+Fe)-O system, there is a compositional range in which a planet can be habitable. Planets outside of this range will be dynamically sluggish or stagnant, thus having limited carbon or water cycles leading to surface conditions inhospitable to life as we know it.

  12. The role of carbon in extrasolar planetary geodynamics and habitability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Kabbes, Jason E.; Pigott, Jeffrey S.; Panero, Wendy R.; Reaman, Daniel M.

    2014-01-01

    The proportions of oxygen, carbon, and major rock-forming elements (e.g., Mg, Fe, Si) determine a planet's dominant mineralogy. Variation in a planet's mineralogy subsequently affects planetary mantle dynamics as well as any deep water or carbon cycle. Through thermodynamic models and high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments, we demonstrate that the oxidation potential of C is above that of Fe at all pressures and temperatures, indicative of 0.1-2 Earth-mass planets. This means that for a planet with (Mg+2Si+Fe+2C)/O > 1, excess C in the mantle will be in the form of diamond. We find that an increase in C, and thus diamond, concentration slows convection relative to a silicate-dominated planet, due to diamond's ∼3 order of magnitude increase in both viscosity and thermal conductivity. We assert then that in the C-(Mg+2Si+Fe)-O system, there is a compositional range in which a planet can be habitable. Planets outside of this range will be dynamically sluggish or stagnant, thus having limited carbon or water cycles leading to surface conditions inhospitable to life as we know it.

  13. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Checlair, Jade; Menou, Kristen; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2017-08-01

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO2 outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  14. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Checlair, Jade; Abbot, Dorian S. [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Menou, Kristen, E-mail: jadecheclair@uchicago.edu [Centre for Planetary Sciences, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4 (Canada)

    2017-08-20

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO{sub 2} outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  15. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Checlair, Jade; Abbot, Dorian S.; Menou, Kristen

    2017-01-01

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO 2 outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  16. Kepler Confirmation of Multi-Planet Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, W. D.

    2011-10-01

    The NASA Kepler spacecraft has detected 170 candidate multi-planet systems in the first two quarters of data released in February 2011 by Borucki et al. (2011). These systems comprise 115 double candidate systems, 45 triple candidate sys- tems, and 10 systems with 4 or more candidate planets. The architecture and dynamics of these systems were discussed by Lissauer et al. (2011), and a comparison of candidates in single- and multi-planet systems was presented by Latham et al. (2011). Proceeding from "planetary candidate" systems to confirmed and validated multi-planet systems is a difficult process, as most of these systems orbit stars too faint to obtain extremely precise (1ms-1) radial velocity confimation. Here, we discuss in detail the use of transit timing vari- ations (cf. e.g. Holman et al., 2010) to confirm planets near a mean motion resonance. We also discuss extensions to the BLENDER validation (Torres et al., 2004, 2011; Fressin et al., 2011) to validate planets in multi-planet systems. Kepler was competitively selected as the tenth Discovery mission. Funding for the Kepler Mis- sion is provided by NASA's Science Mission Direc- torate. We are deeply grateful for the very hard work of the entire Kepler team.

  17. TRANSIT

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    First page Back Continue Last page Overview Graphics. TRANSIT. SYSTEM: DETERMINE 2D-POSITION GLOBALLY BUT INTERMITTENT (POST-FACTO). IMPROVED ACCURACY. PRINCIPLE: POLAR SATELLITES WITH INNOVATIONS OF: GRAVITY-GRADIENT ATTITUDE CONTROL; DRAG COMPENSATION. WORKS ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  19. Planet formation in Binaries

    OpenAIRE

    Thebault, Ph.; Haghighipour, N.

    2014-01-01

    Spurred by the discovery of numerous exoplanets in multiple systems, binaries have become in recent years one of the main topics in planet formation research. Numerous studies have investigated to what extent the presence of a stellar companion can affect the planet formation process. Such studies have implications that can reach beyond the sole context of binaries, as they allow to test certain aspects of the planet formation scenario by submitting them to extreme environments. We review her...

  20. THERMALLY DRIVEN ATMOSPHERIC ESCAPE: TRANSITION FROM HYDRODYNAMIC TO JEANS ESCAPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volkov, Alexey N.; Johnson, Robert E.; Tucker, Orenthal J.; Erwin, Justin T.

    2011-01-01

    Thermally driven escape from planetary atmospheres changes in nature from an organized outflow (hydrodynamic escape) to escape on a molecule-by-molecule basis (Jeans escape) with increasing Jeans parameter, λ, the ratio of the gravitational to thermal energy of the atmospheric molecules. This change is described here for the first time using the direct simulation Monte Carlo method. When heating is predominantly below the lower boundary of the simulation region, R 0 , and well below the exobase of a single-component atmosphere, the nature of the escape process changes over a surprisingly narrow range of Jeans parameters, λ 0 , evaluated at R 0 . For an atomic gas, the transition occurs over λ 0 ∼ 2-3, where the lower bound, λ 0 ∼ 2.1, corresponds to the upper limit for isentropic, supersonic outflow. For λ 0 > 3 escape occurs on a molecule-by-molecule basis and we show that, contrary to earlier suggestions, for λ 0 > ∼6 the escape rate does not deviate significantly from the familiar Jeans rate. In a gas composed of diatomic molecules, the transition shifts to λ 0 ∼ 2.4-3.6 and at λ 0 > ∼4 the escape rate increases a few tens of percent over that for the monatomic gas. Scaling by the Jeans parameter and the Knudsen number, these results can be applied to thermally induced escape of the major species from solar and extrasolar planets.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-02-20

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

  2. Terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  3. Richest Planetary System Discovered - Up to seven planets orbiting a Sun-like star

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-01

    content of its host star. All very massive planetary systems are found around massive and metal-rich stars, while the four lowest-mass systems are found around lower-mass and metal-poor stars [5]. Such properties confirm current theoretical models. The discovery is announced today at the international colloquium "Detection and dynamics of transiting exoplanets", at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France. Notes [1] Using the radial velocity method, astronomers can only estimate a minimum mass for a planet as the mass estimate also depends on the tilt of the orbital plane relative to the line of sight, which is unknown. From a statistical point of view, this minimum mass is however often close to the real mass of the planet. [2] (added 30 August 2010) HD 10180b would be the lowest mass exoplanet discovered orbiting a "normal" star like our Sun. However, lower mass exoplanets have been previously discovered orbiting the pulsar PSR B1257+12 (a highly magnetised rotating neutron star). [3] On average the planets in the inner region of the HD 10180 system have 20 times the mass of the Earth, whereas the inner planets in our own Solar System (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) have an average mass of half that of the Earth. [4] The Titius-Bode law states that the distances of the planets from the Sun follow a simple pattern. For the outer planets, each planet is predicted to be roughly twice as far away from the Sun as the previous object. The hypothesis correctly predicted the orbits of Ceres and Uranus, but failed as a predictor of Neptune's orbit. [5] According to the definition used in astronomy, "metals" are all the elements other than hydrogen and helium. Such metals, except for a very few minor light chemical elements, have all been created by the various generations of stars. Rocky planets are made of "metals". More information This research was presented in a paper submitted to Astronomy and Astrophysics ("The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXVII. Up to

  4. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    automated batch processing of a large number of candidates.In a recently published study the results of which were announced yesterday the teamapplied their code to the entire catalog of 7,470 Kepler objects of interest.New Planets and False PositivesThe teams code was able to successfully evaluate the total false-positive probability (FPP) for 7,056 of the objects of interest. Of these, 428 objects previously identified as candidates were found to have FPP of more than 90%, suggesting that they are most likely false positives.Periods and radii of candidate and confirmed planets in the Kepler Objects of Interest catalog. Blue circles have previously been identified as confirmed planets. Candidates (orange) are shaded by false positive probability; more transparent means more likely to be a false positive. [Morton et al. 2016]In contrast, 1,935 candidates were found to have FPP of less than 1%, and were therefore declared validated planets. Of these confirmations, 1,284 were previously unconfirmed, more than doubling Keplers previous catalog of 1,041 confirmed planets. Morton and collaborators believe that 9 of these newly confirmed planets may fall within the habitable zone of their host stars.While the announcement of 1,284 newly confirmed planets is huge, the analysis presented in this study is the real news. The code used is publicly available and can be applied to any transiting exoplanet candidate. This means that this analysis technique can be used to find batches of exoplanets in data from the extended Kepler mission (K2) or from the future TESS and PLATO transit missions.CitationTimothy D. Morton et al 2016 ApJ 822 86. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/86

  5. Transiting planetary system WASP-17 (Southworth+, 2012)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Southworth, J.; Hinse, T. C.; Dominik, M.

    2013-01-01

    A light curve of four transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-17 is presented. The data were obtained using the Danish 1.5m telescope and DFOSC camera at ESO La Silla in 2012, with substantial telescope defocussing in order to improve the photometric precision of the observations...

  6. CANDIDATE PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF KEPLER STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric

    2013-01-01

    A key goal of the Kepler mission is the discovery of Earth-size transiting planets in ''habitable zones'' where stellar irradiance maintains a temperate climate on an Earth-like planet. Robust estimates of planet radius and irradiance require accurate stellar parameters, but most Kepler systems are faint, making spectroscopy difficult and prioritization of targets desirable. The parameters of 2035 host stars were estimated by Bayesian analysis and the probabilities p HZ that 2738 candidate or confirmed planets orbit in the habitable zone were calculated. Dartmouth Stellar Evolution Program models were compared to photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog, priors for stellar mass, age, metallicity and distance, and planet transit duration. The analysis yielded probability density functions for calculating confidence intervals of planet radius and stellar irradiance, as well as p HZ . Sixty-two planets have p HZ > 0.5 and a most probable stellar irradiance within habitable zone limits. Fourteen of these have radii less than twice the Earth; the objects most resembling Earth in terms of radius and irradiance are KOIs 2626.01 and 3010.01, which orbit late K/M-type dwarf stars. The fraction of Kepler dwarf stars with Earth-size planets in the habitable zone (η ⊕ ) is 0.46, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.31-0.64. Parallaxes from the Gaia mission will reduce uncertainties by more than a factor of five and permit definitive assignments of transiting planets to the habitable zones of Kepler stars.

  7. Imaging Planet Formation Inside the Diffraction Limit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallum, Stephanie Elise

    For decades, astronomers have used observations of mature planetary systems to constrain planet formation theories, beginning with our own solar system and now the thousands of known exoplanets. Recent advances in instrumentation have given us a direct view of some steps in the planet formation process, such as large-scale protostar and protoplanetary disk features and evolution. However, understanding the details of how planets accrete and interact with their environment requires direct observations of protoplanets themselves. Transition disks, protoplanetary disks with inner clearings that may be caused by forming planets, are the best targets for these studies. Their large distances, compared to the stars normally targeted for direct imaging of exoplanets, make protoplanet detection difficult and necessitate novel imaging techniques. In this dissertation, I describe the results of using non-redundant masking (NRM) to search for forming planets in transition disk clearings. I first present a data reduction pipeline that I wrote to this end, using example datasets and simulations to demonstrate reduction and imaging optimizations. I discuss two transition disk NRM case studies: T Cha and LkCa 15. In the case of T Cha, while we detect significant asymmetries, the data cannot be explained by orbiting companions. The fluxes and orbital motion of the LkCa 15 companion signals, however, can be naturally explained by protoplanets in the disk clearing. I use these datasets and simulated observations to illustrate the effects of scattered light from transition disk material on NRM protoplanet searches. I then demonstrate the utility of the dual-aperture Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer's NRM mode on the bright B[e] star MWC 349A. I discuss the implications of this work for planet formation studies as well as future prospects for NRM and related techniques on next generation instruments.

  8. The 2004 Transit of Venus as a Space Science Education Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odenwald, S.; Mayo, L.; Vondrak, R.; Thieman, J.; Hawkins, I.; Schultz, G.

    2003-12-01

    We will present some of the programs and activities that NASA and its missions are preparing in order to support public and K12 education in space science and astronomy using the 2004 transit of Venus as a focal event. The upcoming transit of Venus on June 8 offers a unique opportunity to educate students and the general public about the scale of the solar system and the universe, as well as basic issues in comparative planetology. NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum is offering a number of programs to take advantage of this rare event. Among these are a live web cast from Spain of the entire transit, a series of radio and TV programs directed at students and the general public, a web cast describing extra-solar planet searches using the transit geometry, and archived observations produced by public observatories and student-operated solar viewers. The NASA/OSS Education Forums will also partner with science museums, planetaria and teachers across the country to bring the transit of Venus 'down to Earth'. In addition to offering enrichment activities in mathematics and space science, we also describe collaborations that have yielded unique historical resources including online archives of newspaper articles from the 1874 and 1882 transits. In addition, in collaboration with the Library of Congress Music Division, we have supported a modern re-orchestration of John Philip Sousa's Transit of Venus March which has not been performed since 1883. We anticipate that the transit of Venus will be a significant event of considerable public interest and curiosity, if the newspaper headlines from the transit seen in 1882 are any indication.

  9. IMAGING OF A TRANSITIONAL DISK GAP IN REFLECTED LIGHT: INDICATIONS OF PLANET FORMATION AROUND THE YOUNG SOLAR ANALOG LkCa 15

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thalmann, C.; Goto, M.; Henning, T.; Carson, J.; Brandner, W.; Feldt, M.; Grady, C. A.; Wisniewski, J. P.; Janson, M.; Fukagawa, M.; Honda, M.; Mulders, G. D.; Min, M.; Moro-MartIn, A.; McElwain, M. W.; Hodapp, K. W.; Abe, L.; Egner, S.; Golota, T.; Fukue, T.

    2010-01-01

    We present H- and K s -band imaging data resolving the gap in the transitional disk around LkCa 15, revealing the surrounding nebulosity. We detect sharp elliptical contours delimiting the nebulosity on the inside as well as the outside, consistent with the shape, size, ellipticity, and orientation of starlight reflected from the far-side disk wall, whereas the near-side wall is shielded from view by the disk's optically thick bulk. We note that forward scattering of starlight on the near-side disk surface could provide an alternate interpretation of the nebulosity. In either case, this discovery provides confirmation of the disk geometry that has been proposed to explain the spectral energy distributions of such systems, comprising an optically thick disk with an inner truncation radius of ∼46 AU enclosing a largely evacuated gap. Our data show an offset of the nebulosity contours along the major axis, likely corresponding to a physical pericenter offset of the disk gap. This reinforces the leading theory that dynamical clearing by at least one orbiting body is the cause of the gap. Based on evolutionary models, our high-contrast imagery imposes an upper limit of 21 M Jup on companions at separations outside of 0.''1 and of 13 M Jup outside of 0.''2. Thus, we find that a planetary system around LkCa 15 is the most likely explanation for the disk architecture.

  10. POLARIMETRIC DETECTION OF EXOPLANETS TRANSITING T AND L BROWN DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sengupta, Sujan, E-mail: sujan@iiap.res.in [Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala 2nd Block, Bangalore 560 034 (India)

    2016-10-01

    While scattering of light by atoms and molecules yields large amounts of polarization at the B-band of both T and L dwarfs, scattering by dust grains in the cloudy atmosphere of L dwarfs gives rise to significant polarization at the far-optical and infrared wavelengths where these objects are much brighter. However, the observable disk-averaged polarization should be zero if the clouds are uniformly distributed and the object is spherically symmetric. Therefore, in order to explain the observed large polarization of several L dwarfs, rotation-induced oblateness or horizontally inhomogeneous cloud distribution in the atmosphere is invoked. On the other hand, when an extra-solar planet of Earth-size or larger transits the brown dwarf along the line of sight, the asymmetry induced during the transit gives rise to a net non-zero, time-dependent polarization. Employing atmospheric models for a range of effective temperature and surface gravity appropriate for T and L dwarfs, I derive the time-dependent polarization profiles of these objects during the transit phase and estimate the peak amplitude of polarization that occurs during the inner contact points of the transit ingress/egress phase. It is found that peak polarization in the range of 0.2%–1.0% at I and J band may arise of cloudy L dwarfs occulted by Earth-size or larger exoplanets. Such an amount of polarization is higher than what can be produced by rotation-induced oblateness of even rapidly rotating L dwarfs. Hence, I suggest that time-resolved imaging polarization could be a potential technique for detecting transiting exoplanets around L dwarfs.

  11. POLARIMETRIC DETECTION OF EXOPLANETS TRANSITING T AND L BROWN DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sengupta, Sujan

    2016-01-01

    While scattering of light by atoms and molecules yields large amounts of polarization at the B-band of both T and L dwarfs, scattering by dust grains in the cloudy atmosphere of L dwarfs gives rise to significant polarization at the far-optical and infrared wavelengths where these objects are much brighter. However, the observable disk-averaged polarization should be zero if the clouds are uniformly distributed and the object is spherically symmetric. Therefore, in order to explain the observed large polarization of several L dwarfs, rotation-induced oblateness or horizontally inhomogeneous cloud distribution in the atmosphere is invoked. On the other hand, when an extra-solar planet of Earth-size or larger transits the brown dwarf along the line of sight, the asymmetry induced during the transit gives rise to a net non-zero, time-dependent polarization. Employing atmospheric models for a range of effective temperature and surface gravity appropriate for T and L dwarfs, I derive the time-dependent polarization profiles of these objects during the transit phase and estimate the peak amplitude of polarization that occurs during the inner contact points of the transit ingress/egress phase. It is found that peak polarization in the range of 0.2%–1.0% at I and J band may arise of cloudy L dwarfs occulted by Earth-size or larger exoplanets. Such an amount of polarization is higher than what can be produced by rotation-induced oblateness of even rapidly rotating L dwarfs. Hence, I suggest that time-resolved imaging polarization could be a potential technique for detecting transiting exoplanets around L dwarfs.

  12. More Planets in the Hyades Cluster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    A few weeks ago, Astrobites reported on a Neptune-sized planet discovered orbiting a star in the Hyades cluster. A separate study submitted at the same time, however, reveals that there may be even more planets lurking in this system.Thanks, KeplerArtists impression of the Kepler spacecraft and the mapping of the fields of the current K2 mission. [NASA]As we learn about the formation and evolution of planets outside of our own solar system, its important that we search for planets throughout different types of star clusters; observing both old and young clusters, for instance, can tell us about planets in different stages of their evolutionary histories. Luckily for us, we have a tool that has been doing exactly this: the Kepler mission.In true holiday spirit, Kepler is the gift that just keeps on giving. Though two of its reaction wheels have failed, Kepler now as its reincarnation, K2 just keeps detecting more planet transits. Whats more, detailed analysis of past Kepler/K2 data with ever more powerful techniques as well as the addition of high-precision parallaxes for stars from Gaia in the near future ensures that the Kepler data set will continue to reveal new exoplanet transits for many years to come.Image of the Hyades cluster, a star cluster that is only 800 million years old. [NASA/ESA/STScI]Hunting in the Young HyadesTwo studies using K2 data were recently submitted on exoplanet discoveries around EPIC 247589423 in the Hyades cluster, a nearby star cluster that is only 800 million years old. Astrobites reported on the first study in October and discussed details about the newly discovered mini-Neptune presented in that study.The second study, led by Andrew Mann (University of Texas at Austin and NASA Hubble Fellow at Columbia University), was published this week. This study presented a slightly different outcome: the authors detect the presence of not just the one, but three exoplanets orbiting EPIC 247589423.New DiscoveriesMann and collaborators searched

  13. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Diego J; Lai, Dong

    2015-07-28

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries currently known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 d, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via the so-called Lidov-Kozai migration mechanism, in which gravitational perturbations from a distant tertiary companion induce large-amplitude eccentricity oscillations in the binary, followed by orbital decay and circularization due to tidal dissipation in the stars. Here we explore the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this mechanism. We show that planets may survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may develop erratic behavior in eccentricity, resulting in their consumption by the stars or ejection from the system as the binary decays. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like.

  14. The HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Motalebi, F.; Udry, S.; Gillon, M.

    2015-01-01

    We know now from radial velocity surveys and transit space missions that planets only a few times more massive than our Earth are frequent around solar-type stars. Fundamental questions about their formation history, physical properties, internal structure, and atmosphere composition are, however......, still to be solved. We present here the detection of a system of four low-mass planets around the bright (V = 5.5) and close-by (6.5 pc) star HD 219134. This is the first result of the Rocky Planet Search programme with HARPS-N on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in La Palma. The inner planet orbits...... on a close-in, quasi-circular orbit with a period of 6.767 ± 0.004 days. The third planet in the system has a period of 46.66 ± 0.08 days and a minimum-mass of 8.94 ± 1.13 M⊕, at 0.233 ± 0.002 AU from the star. Its eccentricity is 0.46 ± 0.11. The period of this planet is close to the rotational period...

  15. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

    The uneven historical development of terrestrial planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars - is probably due to the differences in their size, weight and rotational dynamics in association with the internal planet structure, their distance from the Sun, etc. A systematic study of extraterrestrial planets showed that the time span of internal activity was not the same for all bodies. It is assumed that the initial history of all terrestrial planets was marked with catastrophic events connected with the overall dynamic development of the solar system. In view of the fact that the cores of small terrestrial bodies cooled quicker, their geological development almost stagnated after two or three thousand million years. This is what probably happened to the Mercury and the Moon as well as the Mars. Therefore, traces of previous catastrophic events were preserved on the surface of the planets. On the other hand, the Earth is the most metamorphosed terrestrial planet and compared to the other planets appears to be atypical. Its biosphere is significantly developed as well as the other shell components, its hydrosphere and atmosphere, and its crust is considerably differentiated. (J.P.)

  16. Planets a very short introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A

    2010-01-01

    Planets: A Very Short Introduction demonstrates the excitement, uncertainties, and challenges faced by planetary scientists, and provides an overview of our Solar System and its origins, nature, and evolution. Terrestrial planets, giant planets, dwarf planets and various other objects such as satellites (moons), asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, and exoplanets are discussed. Our knowledge about planets has advanced over the centuries, and has expanded at a rapidly growing rate in recent years. Controversial issues are outlined, such as What qualifies as a planet? What conditions are required for a planetary body to be potentially inhabited by life? Why does Pluto no longer have planet status? And Is there life on other planets?

  17. TIDAL EVOLUTION OF CLOSE-IN PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Rasio, Frederic A.; Peale, Stanton J.

    2010-01-01

    Recent discoveries of several transiting planets with clearly non-zero eccentricities and some large obliquities started changing the simple picture of close-in planets having circular and well-aligned orbits. The two major scenarios that form such close-in planets are planet migration in a disk and planet-planet interactions combined with tidal dissipation. The former scenario can naturally produce a circular and low-obliquity orbit, while the latter implicitly assumes an initially highly eccentric and possibly high-obliquity orbit, which are then circularized and aligned via tidal dissipation. Most of these close-in planets experience orbital decay all the way to the Roche limit as previous studies showed. We investigate the tidal evolution of transiting planets on eccentric orbits, and find that there are two characteristic evolution paths for them, depending on the relative efficiency of tidal dissipation inside the star and the planet. Our study shows that each of these paths may correspond to migration and scattering scenarios. We further point out that the current observations may be consistent with the scattering scenario, where the circularization of an initially eccentric orbit occurs before the orbital decay primarily due to tidal dissipation in the planet, while the alignment of the stellar spin and orbit normal occurs on a similar timescale to the orbital decay largely due to dissipation in the star. We also find that even when the stellar spin-orbit misalignment is observed to be small at present, some systems could have had a highly misaligned orbit in the past, if their evolution is dominated by tidal dissipation in the star. Finally, we also re-examine the recent claim by Levrard et al. that all orbital and spin parameters, including eccentricity and stellar obliquity, evolve on a similar timescale to orbital decay. This counterintuitive result turns out to have been caused by a typo in their numerical code. Solving the correct set of tidal

  18. Exoplanet transit spectroscopy using WFC3: WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mandell, Avi M.; Haynes, Korey [Solar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Sinukoff, Evan [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (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 (United States); Deming, Drake, E-mail: Avi.Mandell@nasa.gov [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)

    2013-12-20

    We report an analysis of transit spectroscopy of the extrasolar planets WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We analyze the data for a single transit for each planet using a strategy similar, in certain aspects, to the techniques used by Berta et al., but we extend their methodology to allow us to correct for channel- or wavelength-dependent instrumental effects by utilizing the band-integrated time series and measurements of the drift of the spectrum on the detector over time. We achieve almost photon-limited results for individual spectral bins, but the uncertainties in the transit depth for the band-integrated data are exacerbated by the uneven sampling of the light curve imposed by the orbital phasing of HST's observations. Our final transit spectra for all three objects are consistent with the presence of a broad absorption feature at 1.4 μm most likely due to water. However, the amplitude of the absorption is less than that expected based on previous observations with Spitzer, possibly due to hazes absorbing in the NIR or non-solar compositions. The degeneracy of models with different compositions and temperature structures combined with the low amplitude of any features in the data preclude our ability to place unambiguous constraints on the atmospheric composition without additional observations with WFC3 to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and/or a comprehensive multi-wavelength analysis.

  19. Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen; Asimov, Isaac

    2007-01-01

    "Planets for Man" was written at the height of the space race, a few years before the first moon landing, when it was assumed that in the not-too-distant future human beings "will be able to travel...

  20. Jupiter: as a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The planet Jupiter, its planetary mass and atmosphere, radio waves emitted from Jupiter, thermal radiation, internal structure of Jupiter, and the possibility of life on Jupiter are discussed. Educational study projects are included

  1. Jupiter and planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included

  2. CoRoT’s first seven planets: An overview*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barge P.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The up to 150 day uninterrupted high-precision photometry of about 100000 stars – provided so far by the exoplanet channel of the CoRoT space telescope – gave a new perspective on the planet population of our galactic neighbourhood. The seven planets with very accurate parameters widen the range of known planet properties in almost any respect. Giant planets have been detected at low metallicity, rapidly rotating and active, spotted stars. CoRoT-3 populated the brown dwarf desert and closed the gap of measured physical properties between standard giant planets and very low mass stars. CoRoT extended the known range of planet masses down-to 5 Earth masses and up to 21 Jupiter masses, the radii to less than 2 Earth radii and up to the most inflated hot Jupiter found so far, and the periods of planets discovered by transits to 9 days. Two CoRoT planets have host stars with the lowest content of heavy elements known to show a transit hinting towards a different planet-host-star-metallicity relation then the one found by radial-velocity search programs. Finally the properties of the CoRoT-7b prove that terrestrial planets with a density close to Earth exist outside the Solar System. The detection of the secondary transit of CoRoT-1 at the 10−5-level and the very clear detection of the 1.7 Earth radii of CoRoT-7b at 3.5 10−4 relative flux are promising evidence of CoRoT being able to detect even smaller, Earth sized planets.

  3. The planet Mercury (1971)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The physical properties of the planet Mercury, its surface, and atmosphere are presented for space vehicle design criteria. The mass, dimensions, mean density, and orbital and rotational motions are described. The gravity field, magnetic field, electromagnetic radiation, and charged particles in the planet's orbit are discussed. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, and composition data are given along with the surface composition, soil mechanical properties, and topography, and the surface electromagnetic and temperature properties.

  4. INFORMATION CONTENT OF EXOPLANETARY TRANSIT SPECTRA: AN INITIAL LOOK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Line, Michael R.; Zhang Xi; Yung, Yuk L.; Vasisht, Gautam; Natraj, Vijay; Chen Pin

    2012-01-01

    It has been shown that spectroscopy of transiting extrasolar planets can potentially provide a wealth of information about their atmospheres. Herein, we set up the inverse problem in spectroscopic retrieval. We use nonlinear optimal estimation to retrieve the atmospheric state (pioneered for Earth sounding by Rodgers). The formulation quantifies the degrees of freedom and information content of the spectrum with respect to geophysical parameters; herein, we focus specifically on temperature and composition. First, we apply the technique to synthetic near-infrared spectra and explore the influence of spectral signal-to-noise ratio and resolution (the two important parameters when designing a future instrument) on the information content of the data. As expected, we find that the number of retrievable parameters increases with increasing signal-to-noise ratio and resolution, although the gains quickly level off for large values. Second, we apply the methods to the previously studied dayside near-infrared emission spectrum of HD 189733b and compare the results of our retrieval with those obtained by others.

  5. GEODYNAMICS AND RATE OF VOLCANISM ON MASSIVE EARTH-LIKE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kite, E. S.; Manga, M.; Gaidos, E.

    2009-01-01

    We provide estimates of volcanism versus time for planets with Earth-like composition and masses 0.25-25 M + , as a step toward predicting atmospheric mass on extrasolar rocky planets. Volcanism requires melting of the silicate mantle. We use a thermal evolution model, calibrated against Earth, in combination with standard melting models, to explore the dependence of convection-driven decompression mantle melting on planet mass. We show that (1) volcanism is likely to proceed on massive planets with plate tectonics over the main-sequence lifetime of the parent star; (2) crustal thickness (and melting rate normalized to planet mass) is weakly dependent on planet mass; (3) stagnant lid planets live fast (they have higher rates of melting than their plate tectonic counterparts early in their thermal evolution), but die young (melting shuts down after a few Gyr); (4) plate tectonics may not operate on high-mass planets because of the production of buoyant crust which is difficult to subduct; and (5) melting is necessary but insufficient for efficient volcanic degassing-volatiles partition into the earliest, deepest melts, which may be denser than the residue and sink to the base of the mantle on young, massive planets. Magma must also crystallize at or near the surface, and the pressure of overlying volatiles must be fairly low, if volatiles are to reach the surface. If volcanism is detected in the 10 Gyr-old τ Ceti system, and tidal forcing can be shown to be weak, this would be evidence for plate tectonics.

  6. Spectroscopic follow up of Kepler planet candidates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Latham..[], D. W.; Cochran, W. D.; Marcy, G.W.

    2010-01-01

    Spectroscopic follow-up observations play a crucial role in the confirmation and characterization of transiting planet candidates identified by Kepler. The most challenging part of this work is the determination of radial velocities with a precision approaching 1 m/s in order to derive masses from...... spectroscopic orbits. The most precious resource for this work is HIRES on Keck I, to be joined by HARPS-North on the William Herschel Telescope when that new spectrometer comes on line in two years. Because a large fraction of the planet candidates are in fact stellar systems involving eclipsing stars...... and not planets, our strategy is to start with reconnaissance spectroscopy using smaller telescopes, to sort out and reject as many of the false positives as possible before going to Keck. During the first Kepler observing season in 2009, more than 100 nights of telescope time were allocated for this work, using...

  7. Searching for transits in the WTS with the difference imaging light curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zendejas Dominguez, Jesus

    2013-12-01

    The search for exo-planets is currently one of the most exiting and active topics in astronomy. Small and rocky planets are particularly the subject of intense research, since if they are suitably located from their host star, they may be warm and potentially habitable worlds. On the other hand, the discovery of giant planets in short-period orbits provides important constraints on models that describe planet formation and orbital migration theories. Several projects are dedicated to discover and characterize planets outside of our solar system. Among them, the Wide-Field Camera Transit Survey (WTS) is a pioneer program aimed to search for extra-solar planets, that stands out for its particular aims and methodology. The WTS has been in operation since August 2007 with observations from the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, and represents the first survey that searches for transiting planets in the near-infrared wavelengths; hence the WTS is designed to discover planets around M-dwarfs. The survey was originally assigned about 200 nights, observing four fields that were selected seasonally (RA = 03, 07, 17 and 19h) during a year. The images from the survey are processed by a data reduction pipeline, which uses aperture photometry to construct the light curves. For the most complete field (19h-1145 epochs) in the survey, we produce an alternative set of light curves by using the method of difference imaging, which is a photometric technique that has shown important advantages when used in crowded fields. A quantitative comparison between the photometric precision achieved with both methods is carried out in this work. We remove systematic effects using the sysrem algorithm, scale the error bars on the light curves, and perform a comparison of the corrected light curves. The results show that the aperture photometry light curves provide slightly better precision for objects with J detect transits in the WTS light curves, we use a modified version of the box

  8. Planets in a Room

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, l.; Aloisi, F.; De Angelis, I.

    2017-09-01

    Teaching planetary science using a spherical projector to show the planets' surfaces is a very effective but usually very expensive idea. Whatsmore, it usually assumes the availability of a dedicated space and a trained user. "Planets in a room" is a prototypal low cost version of a small, spherical p