WorldWideScience

Sample records for icy dwarf planet

  1. Icy Dwarf Planets: Colored popsicles in the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi

    2015-08-01

    In 1992 the discovery of 1992 QB1 was the starting signal of a race to characterize the trans-Neptunian belt. The detection of icy “asteroids”, similar to Pluto, in the outer Solar System had been largely hypothesized but it had also being an elusive goal. This belt was considered by the planetary scientists as the icy promised land, the largest reservoir of primordial ices in the Solar System.From 1992 to 2005 about 1000 trans-Neptunian objects and Centaurs had been discovered and a lot of “first ever” science had been published: 1996 TO66, first ever detection of the water ice bands in a TNO's spectrum; 1998 WW31, first detection of a binary; first estimation of size and albedo from thermal and visible observations, Varuna; discovery of Sedna, at that moment “the coldest most distant place known in the Solar System”2005 was the year of the discovery of three large TNOs: (136108) Haumea, (136472) Makemake and (136199) Eris (a.k.a 2003 EL61, 2005 FY9 and 2003 UB313). These three big guys entered the schoolyard showing off as colored popsicles and making a clear statement: “We are special”, and sure they are!The discovery of these large TNOs resulted in 2006 in the adoption by the IAU of a new definition of planet and in the introduction of a new category of minor bodies: the “dwarf planets”. With only three members at this moment (although this can change anytime) the exclusive club of the icy dwarf planets is formed by the TNOs at the higher end of the size distribution. By virtue of their size and low surface temperatures, these bodies can retain most of their original inventory of ices. As a consequence, their visible and near-infrared spectra show evidences of water ice, nitrogen, methane and longer chains of hydrocarbons. Moreover, they have high geometric albedo in the visible. Also the accretional and radiogenic heating for these bodies was likely more than sufficient to have caused their internal differentiation.In this talk we will

  2. Post-main-sequence Evolution of Icy Minor Planets. III. Water Retention in Dwarf Planets and Exomoons and Implications for White Dwarf Pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malamud, Uri; Perets, Hagai B., E-mail: uri.mal@tx.technion.ac.il, E-mail: hperets@physics.technion.ac.il [Department of Physics, Technion (Israel)

    2017-11-01

    Studies suggest that the pollution of white dwarf (WD) atmospheres arises from the accretion of minor planets, but the exact properties of polluting material, and in particular the evidence for water in some cases are not yet understood. Several previous works studied the possibility of water surviving inside minor planets around evolving stars. However, they all focused on small, comet-sized to moonlet-sized minor planets, when the inferred mass inside the convection zones of He-dominated WDs could actually be compatible with much more massive minor planets. Here we explore for the first time, the water retention inside exoplanetary dwarf planets, or moderate-sized moons, with radii of the order of hundreds of kilometers. This paper concludes a series of papers that has now covered nearly the entire potential mass range of minor planets, in addition to the full mass range of their host stars. We find that water retention is (a) affected by the mass of the WD progenitor, and (b) it is on average at least 5%, irrespective of the assumed initial water composition, if it came from a single accretion event of an icy dwarf planet or moon. The latter prediction strengthens the possibility of habitability in WD planetary systems, and it may also be used in order to distinguish between pollution originating from multiple small accretion events and singular large accretion events. To conclude our work, we provide a code that calculates ice and water retention by interpolation and may be freely used as a service to the community.

  3. POST-MAIN SEQUENCE EVOLUTION OF ICY MINOR PLANETS: IMPLICATIONS FOR WATER RETENTION AND WHITE DWARF POLLUTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malamud, Uri; Perets, Hagai B., E-mail: uri.mal@tx.technion.ac.il, E-mail: hperets@physics.technion.ac.il [Department of Physics, Technion (Israel)

    2016-12-01

    Most observations of polluted white dwarf atmospheres are consistent with accretion of water-depleted planetary material. Among tens of known cases, merely two involve accretion of objects that contain a considerable mass fraction of water. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relative scarcity of these detections. Based on a new and highly detailed model, we evaluate the retention of water inside icy minor planets during the high-luminosity stellar evolution that follows the main sequence. Our model fully considers the thermal, physical, and chemical evolution of icy bodies, following their internal differentiation as well as water depletion, from the moment of their birth and through all stellar evolution phases preceding the formation of the white dwarf. We also account for different initial compositions and formation times. Our results differ from previous studies, which have either underestimated or overestimated water retention. We show that water can survive in a variety of circumstances and in great quantities, and therefore other possibilities are discussed in order to explain the infrequency of water detection. We predict that the sequence of accretion is such that water accretes earlier, and more rapidly, than the rest of the silicate disk, considerably reducing the chance of its detection in H-dominated atmospheres. In He-dominated atmospheres, the scarcity of water detections could be observationally biased. It implies that the accreted material is typically intrinsically dry, which may be the result of the inside-out depopulation sequence of minor planets.

  4. POST-MAIN SEQUENCE EVOLUTION OF ICY MINOR PLANETS: IMPLICATIONS FOR WATER RETENTION AND WHITE DWARF POLLUTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malamud, Uri; Perets, Hagai B.

    2016-01-01

    Most observations of polluted white dwarf atmospheres are consistent with accretion of water-depleted planetary material. Among tens of known cases, merely two involve accretion of objects that contain a considerable mass fraction of water. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relative scarcity of these detections. Based on a new and highly detailed model, we evaluate the retention of water inside icy minor planets during the high-luminosity stellar evolution that follows the main sequence. Our model fully considers the thermal, physical, and chemical evolution of icy bodies, following their internal differentiation as well as water depletion, from the moment of their birth and through all stellar evolution phases preceding the formation of the white dwarf. We also account for different initial compositions and formation times. Our results differ from previous studies, which have either underestimated or overestimated water retention. We show that water can survive in a variety of circumstances and in great quantities, and therefore other possibilities are discussed in order to explain the infrequency of water detection. We predict that the sequence of accretion is such that water accretes earlier, and more rapidly, than the rest of the silicate disk, considerably reducing the chance of its detection in H-dominated atmospheres. In He-dominated atmospheres, the scarcity of water detections could be observationally biased. It implies that the accreted material is typically intrinsically dry, which may be the result of the inside-out depopulation sequence of minor planets.

  5. Post-main-sequence Evolution of Icy Minor Planets. II. Water Retention and White Dwarf Pollution around Massive Progenitor Stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malamud, Uri; Perets, Hagai B., E-mail: uri.mal@tx.technion.ac.il, E-mail: hperets@physics.technion.ac.il [Department of Physics, Technion (Israel)

    2017-06-10

    Most studies suggest that the pollution of white dwarf (WD) atmospheres arises from the accretion of minor planets, but the exact properties of polluting material, and in particular the evidence for water in some cases, are not yet understood. Here we study the water retention of small icy bodies in exo-solar planetary systems, as their respective host stars evolve through and off the main sequence and eventually become WDs. We explore, for the first time, a wide range of star masses and metallicities. We find that the mass of the WD progenitor star is of crucial importance for the retention of water, while its metallicity is relatively unimportant. We predict that minor planets around lower-mass WD progenitors would generally retain more water and would do so at closer distances from the WD than compared with high-mass progenitors. The dependence of water retention on progenitor mass and other parameters has direct implications for the origin of observed WD pollution, and we discuss how our results and predictions might be tested in the future as more observations of WDs with long cooling ages become available.

  6. 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.

  7. Habitability of planets around red dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, M J; Doyle, L R; Joshi, M M; Haberle, R M

    1999-08-01

    Recent models indicate that relatively moderate climates could exist on Earth-sized planets in synchronous rotation around red dwarf stars. Investigation of the global water cycle, availability of photosynthetically active radiation in red dwarf sunlight, and the biological implications of stellar flares, which can be frequent for red dwarfs, suggests that higher plant habitability of red dwarf planets may be possible.

  8. Stabilization of ammonia-rich hydrate inside icy planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naden Robinson, Victor; Wang, Yanchao; Ma, Yanming; Hermann, Andreas

    2017-08-22

    The interior structure of the giant ice planets Uranus and Neptune, but also of newly discovered exoplanets, is loosely constrained, because limited observational data can be satisfied with various interior models. Although it is known that their mantles comprise large amounts of water, ammonia, and methane ices, it is unclear how these organize themselves within the planets-as homogeneous mixtures, with continuous concentration gradients, or as well-separated layers of specific composition. While individual ices have been studied in great detail under pressure, the properties of their mixtures are much less explored. We show here, using first-principles calculations, that the 2:1 ammonia hydrate, (H 2 O)(NH 3 ) 2 , is stabilized at icy planet mantle conditions due to a remarkable structural evolution. Above 65 GPa, we predict it will transform from a hydrogen-bonded molecular solid into a fully ionic phase O 2- ([Formula: see text]) 2 , where all water molecules are completely deprotonated, an unexpected bonding phenomenon not seen before. Ammonia hemihydrate is stable in a sequence of ionic phases up to 500 GPa, pressures found deep within Neptune-like planets, and thus at higher pressures than any other ammonia-water mixture. This suggests it precipitates out of any ammonia-water mixture at sufficiently high pressures and thus forms an important component of icy planets.

  9. Thermal evolution of trans-Neptunian objects, icy satellites, and minor icy planets in the early solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatia, Gurpreet Kaur; Sahijpal, Sandeep

    2017-12-01

    Numerical simulations are performed to understand the early thermal evolution and planetary scale differentiation of icy bodies with the radii in the range of 100-2500 km. These icy bodies include trans-Neptunian objects, minor icy planets (e.g., Ceres, Pluto); the icy satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune; and probably the icy-rocky cores of these planets. The decay energy of the radionuclides, 26Al, 60Fe, 40K, 235U, 238U, and 232Th, along with the impact-induced heating during the accretion of icy bodies were taken into account to thermally evolve these planetary bodies. The simulations were performed for a wide range of initial ice and rock (dust) mass fractions of the icy bodies. Three distinct accretion scenarios were used. The sinking of the rock mass fraction in primitive water oceans produced by the substantial melting of ice could lead to planetary scale differentiation with the formation of a rocky core that is surrounded by a water ocean and an icy crust within the initial tens of millions of years of the solar system in case the planetary bodies accreted prior to the substantial decay of 26Al. However, over the course of billions of years, the heat produced due to 40K, 235U, 238U, and 232Th could have raised the temperature of the interiors of the icy bodies to the melting point of iron and silicates, thereby leading to the formation of an iron core. Our simulations indicate the presence of an iron core even at the center of icy bodies with radii ≥500 km for different ice mass fractions.

  10. The habitability of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Aomawa L.; Ballard, Sarah; Johnson, John Asher

    2016-12-01

    The prospects for the habitability of M-dwarf planets have long been debated, due to key differences between the unique stellar and planetary environments around these low-mass stars, as compared to hotter, more luminous Sun-like stars. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made by both space- and ground-based observatories to measure the likelihood of small planets to orbit in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars. We now know that most M dwarfs are hosts to closely-packed planetary systems characterized by a paucity of Jupiter-mass planets and the presence of multiple rocky planets, with roughly a third of these rocky M-dwarf planets orbiting within the habitable zone, where they have the potential to support liquid water on their surfaces. Theoretical studies have also quantified the effect on climate and habitability of the interaction between the spectral energy distribution of M-dwarf stars and the atmospheres and surfaces of their planets. These and other recent results fill in knowledge gaps that existed at the time of the previous overview papers published nearly a decade ago by Tarter et al. (2007) and Scalo et al. (2007). In this review we provide a comprehensive picture of the current knowledge of M-dwarf planet occurrence and habitability based on work done in this area over the past decade, and summarize future directions planned in this quickly evolving field.

  11. Nearby Red Dwarfs are Sexy for Planets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, T. J.; Jao, W.-C.; Subasavage, J. P.; RECONS Team

    2005-12-01

    The RECONS group continues to discover many nearby red dwarfs in the southern sky through a combination of proper motion surveys, literature review, and ultimately, our parallax program CTIOPI. Already, we have measured the first accurate parallaxes for 11 of the nearest 100 stellar systems, including four within 5 parsecs of the Sun. These nearby red dwarfs are prime candidates for NASA's Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) because the astrometric perturbations are largest for planets orbiting stars of low mass that are nearby. In addition, new multiple red dwarf systems can be targeted for mass determinations, thereby providing points on a comprehensive mass-luminosity relation for the most populous members of the Galaxy. Recent atmospheric modeling of planets orbiting red dwarfs indicates that even if the planets are tidally locked, heat distribution is highly effective in keeping the worlds balmy over the entire surface. Red dwarfs are therefore "back on the table" as viable hosts of life-bearing planets. Given their ubiquity, red dwarfs are being seriously considered as prime SETI targets, and will allow us to answer not only the question "Are We Alone?" but "Just How Alone Are We?" This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA's Space Interferometry Mission, and Georgia State University.

  12. Guide to the universe asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets

    CERN Document Server

    Rivkin, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series covers asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets-those small bodies that revolve the Sun-and provides readers with the most up-to-date understanding of the current state of scientific knowledge about them. Scientifically sound, but written with the student in mind, Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets is an excellent first step for researching the exciting scientific discoveries of the smallest celestial bodies in the solar system.||The book will introduce students to all of the areas of research surrounding the subject, answering many intr

  13. Pan-Planets: Searching for hot Jupiters around cool dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obermeier, C.; Koppenhoefer, J.; Saglia, R. P.; Henning, Th.; Bender, R.; Kodric, M.; Deacon, N.; Riffeser, A.; Burgett, W.; Chambers, K. C.; Draper, P. W.; Flewelling, H.; Hodapp, K. W.; Kaiser, N.; Kudritzki, R.-P.; Magnier, E. A.; Metcalfe, N.; Price, P. A.; Sweeney, W.; Wainscoat, R. J.; Waters, C.

    2016-03-01

    The Pan-Planets survey observed an area of 42 sq deg. in the galactic disk for about 165 h. The main scientific goal of the project is the detection of transiting planets around M dwarfs. We establish an efficient procedure for determining the stellar parameters Teff and log g of all sources using a method based on SED fitting, utilizing a three-dimensional dust map and proper motion information. In this way we identify more than 60 000 M dwarfs, which is by far the largest sample of low-mass stars observed in a transit survey to date. We present several planet candidates around M dwarfs and hotter stars that are currently being followed up. Using Monte Carlo simulations we calculate the detection efficiency of the Pan-Planets survey for different stellar and planetary populations. We expect to find 3.0+3.3-1.6 hot Jupiters around F, G, and K dwarfs with periods lower than 10 days based on the planet occurrence rates derived in previous surveys. For M dwarfs, the percentage of stars with a hot Jupiter is under debate. Theoretical models expect a lower occurrence rate than for larger main sequence stars. However, radial velocity surveys find upper limits of about 1% due to their small sample, while the Kepler survey finds a occurrence rate that we estimate to be at least 0.17b(+0.67-0.04) %, making it even higher than the determined fraction from OGLE-III for F, G and K stellar types, 0.14 (+0.15-0.076) %. With the large sample size of Pan-Planets, we are able to determine an occurrence rate of 0.11 (+0.37-0.02) % in case one of our candidates turns out to be a real detection. If, however, none of our candidates turn out to be true planets, we are able to put an upper limit of 0.34% with a 95% confidence on the hot Jupiter occurrence rate of M dwarfs. This limit is a significant improvement over previous estimates where the lowest limit published so far is 1.1% found in the WFCAM Transit Survey. Therefore we cannot yet confirm the theoretical prediction of a lower

  14. Red Optical Planet Survey: A radial velocity search for low mass M dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minniti D.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We present radial velocity results from our Red Optical Planet Survey (ROPS, aimed at detecting low-mass planets orbiting mid-late M dwarfs. The ∼10 ms−1 precision achieved over 2 consecutive nights with the MIKE spectrograph at Magellan Clay is also found on week long timescales with UVES at VLT. Since we find that UVES is expected to attain photon limited precision of order 2 ms−1 using our novel deconvolution technique, we are limited only by the (≤10 ms−1 stability of atmospheric lines. Rocky planet frequencies of η⊕ = 0.3−0.7 lead us to expect high planet yields, enabling determination of η⊕ for the uncharted mid-late M dwarfs with modest surveys.

  15. Testing the Planet-Metallicity Correlation in M-dwarfs with Gemini GNIRS Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, M. J.; Jofré, E.; García, L.; Petrucci, R.; Gómez, M.

    2018-04-01

    While the planet-metallicity correlation for FGK main-sequence stars hosting giant planets is well established, it is less clear for M-dwarf stars. We determine stellar parameters and metallicities for 16 M-dwarf stars, 11 of which host planets, with near-infrared spectra from the Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS). We find that M-dwarfs with planets are preferentially metal-rich compared to those without planets. This result is supported by the analysis of a larger catalogue of 18 M stars with planets and 213 M stars without known planets T15, and demonstrates the utility of GNIRS spectra to obtain reliable stellar parameters of M stars. We also find that M dwarfs with giant planets are preferentially more metallic than those with low-mass planets, in agreement with previous results for solar-type stars. These results favor the core accretion model of planetary formation.

  16. A Common Origin of Magnetism from Planets to White Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Isern, Jordi; Külebi, Baybars [Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (CSIC), Campus UAB, 08193 Cerdanyola (Spain); García-Berro, Enrique [Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, Ed. Nexus-201, c/Gran Capità 2-4, E-08034 Barcelona (Spain); Lorén-Aguilar, Pablo [School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom)

    2017-02-20

    Isolated magnetic white dwarfs have field strengths ranging from kilogauss to gigagauss. However, the origin of the magnetic field has not been hitherto elucidated. Whether these fields are fossil, hence the remnants of original weak magnetic fields amplified during the course of the evolution of their progenitor stars, or are the result of binary interactions, or, finally, they are produced by other internal physical mechanisms during the cooling of the white dwarf itself, remains a mystery. At sufficiently low temperatures, white dwarfs crystallize. Upon solidification, phase separation of its main constituents, {sup 12}C and {sup 16}O, and of the impurities left by previous evolution occurs. This process leads to the formation of a Rayleigh–Taylor unstable liquid mantle on top of a solid core. This convective region, as it occurs in solar system planets like the Earth and Jupiter, can produce a dynamo able to yield magnetic fields of strengths of up to 0.1 MG, thus providing a mechanism that could explain magnetism in single white dwarfs.

  17. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R. [Department of Physical Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bagnulo, S. [Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG (United Kingdom); Kowalski, P. M. [GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam (Germany); Shulyak, D. V. [Institute of Astrophysics, Georg-August-University, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, D-37077 Goettingen (Germany); Sterzik, M. F., E-mail: l.fossati@open.ac.uk, E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk, E-mail: M.R.Patel@open.ac.uk, E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk, E-mail: sba@arm.ac.uk, E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de, E-mail: denis.shulyak@gmail.com, E-mail: msterzik@eso.org [European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile)

    2012-09-20

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for {approx}8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10{sup 2} (10{sup 4}) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M{sub Sun} white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  18. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R.; Bagnulo, S.; Kowalski, P. M.; Shulyak, D. V.; Sterzik, M. F.

    2012-01-01

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for ∼8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10 2 (10 4 ) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M ☉ white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  19. Dawn of small worlds dwarf planets, asteroids, comets

    CERN Document Server

    Moltenbrey, Michael

    2016-01-01

    This book gives a detailed introduction to the thousands and thousands of smaller bodies in the solar system. Written for interested laymen, amateur astronomers and students it describes the nature and origin of asteroids, dwarf planets and comets, and gives detailed information about their role in the solar system. The author nicely reviews the history of small-world-exploration and describes past, current and future space craft missions studying small worlds, and presents their results. Readers will learn that small solar system worlds have a dramatically different nature and appearance than the planets. Even though research activity on small worlds has increased in the recent past many of their properties are still in the dark and need further research.

  20. HABITABLE PLANETS ECLIPSING BROWN DWARFS: STRATEGIES FOR DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belu, Adrian R.; Selsis, Franck; Raymond, Sean N.; Bolmont, Emeline; Pallé, Enric; Street, Rachel; Sahu, D. K.; Anupama, G. C.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Figueira, Pedro; Ribas, Ignasi

    2013-01-01

    Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P HZ o ut ). Habitable planets with P HZ o ut shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between 4.5 +5.6 -1.4 % and 56 +31 -13 %, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using ∼1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

  1. HABITABLE PLANETS ECLIPSING BROWN DWARFS: STRATEGIES FOR DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belu, Adrian R.; Selsis, Franck; Raymond, Sean N.; Bolmont, Emeline [Universite de Bordeaux, LAB, UMR 5804, F-33270, Floirac (France); Palle, Enric [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, E-38205 La Laguna (Spain); Street, Rachel [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, 6740 Cortona Drive, Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Sahu, D. K.; Anupama, G. C. [Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala, Bangalore 560034 (India); Von Braun, Kaspar [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, MC 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Figueira, Pedro [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Ribas, Ignasi, E-mail: belu@obs.u-bordeaux1.fr [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai (CSIC-IEEC), Campus UAB, Facultat de Ciencies, Torre C5, parell, 2a pl., E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2013-05-10

    Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P{sub HZ{sub out}}). Habitable planets with P{sub HZ{sub out}} shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between 4.5{sup +5.6}{sub -1.4}% and 56{sup +31}{sub -13}%, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using {approx}1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

  2. Ensemble Atmospheric Properties of Small Planets around M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xueying; Ballard, Sarah; Dragomir, Diana

    2018-01-01

    With the growing number of planets discovered by the Kepler mission and ground-base surveys, people start to try to understand the atmospheric features of those uncovered new worlds. While it has been found that hot Jupiters exhibit diverse atmosphere composition with both clear and cloudy/hazy atmosphere possible, similar studies on ensembles of smaller planets (Earth analogs) have been held up due to the faintness of most of their host stars. In this work, a sample of 20 Earth analogs of similar periods around M dwarfs with existing Kepler transit information and Spitzer observations is composed, complemented with previously studies GJ1214b and GJ1132b, as well as the recently announced 7 small planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. We evaluate their transit depths with uncertainties on the Spitzer 4.5 micron band using the “pixel-level decorrelation” method, and together with their well analyzed Kepler data and Hubble data, we put constraints on their atmosphere haze slopes and cloud levels. Aside from improving the understanding of ensemble properties of small planets, this study will also provide clues of potential targets for detailed atmospheric studies using the upcoming James Webb Telescope.

  3. Water and the Interior Structure of Terrestrial Planets and Icy Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteux, J.; Golabek, G. J.; Rubie, D. C.; Tobie, G.; Young, E. D.

    2018-02-01

    Water content and the internal evolution of terrestrial planets and icy bodies are closely linked. The distribution of water in planetary systems is controlled by the temperature structure in the protoplanetary disk and dynamics and migration of planetesimals and planetary embryos. This results in the formation of planetesimals and planetary embryos with a great variety of compositions, water contents and degrees of oxidation. The internal evolution and especially the formation time of planetesimals relative to the timescale of radiogenic heating by short-lived 26Al decay may govern the amount of hydrous silicates and leftover rock-ice mixtures available in the late stages of their evolution. In turn, water content may affect the early internal evolution of the planetesimals and in particular metal-silicate separation processes. Moreover, water content may contribute to an increase of oxygen fugacity and thus affect the concentrations of siderophile elements within the silicate reservoirs of Solar System objects. Finally, the water content strongly influences the differentiation rate of the icy moons, controls their internal evolution and governs the alteration processes occurring in their deep interiors.

  4. The effect of M dwarf starspot activity on low-mass planet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barnes, J.R.; Jeffers, S.V.; Jones, H.R.A.

    2011-01-01

    In light of the growing interest in searching for low mass, rocky planets, we investigate the impact of starspots on radial velocity searches for earth-mass planets in orbit about M dwarf stars. Since new surveys targeting M dwarfs will likely be carried out at infrared wavelengths, a comparison

  5. Titan and habitable planets around M-dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2010-01-01

    The Cassini-Huygens mission discovered an active "hydrologic cycle" on Saturn's giant moon Titan, in which methane takes the place of water. Shrouded by a dense nitrogen-methane atmosphere, Titan's surface is blanketed in the equatorial regions by dunes composed of solid organics, sculpted by wind and fluvial erosion, and dotted at the poles with lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane. The underlying crust is almost certainly water ice, possibly in the form of gas hydrates (clathrate hydrates) dominated by methane as the included species. The processes that work the surface of Titan resemble in their overall balance no other moon in the solar system; instead, they are most like that of the Earth. The presence of methane in place of water, however, means that in any particular planetary system, a body like Titan will always be outside the orbit of an Earth-type planet. Around M-dwarfs, planets with a Titan-like climate will sit at 1 AU--a far more stable environment than the approximately 0.1 AU where Earth-like planets sit. However, an observable Titan-like exoplanet might have to be much larger than Titan itself to be observable, increasing the ratio of heat contributed to the surface atmosphere system from internal (geologic) processes versus photons from the parent star.

  6. Giant Planet Candidates, Brown Dwarfs, and Binaries from the SDSS-III MARVELS Planet Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Neil; Ge, Jian; Li, Rui; de Lee, Nathan M.; Heslar, Michael; Ma, Bo; SDSS-Iii Marvels Team

    2015-01-01

    We report the discoveries of giant planet candidates, brown dwarfs, and binaries from the SDSS-III MARVELS survey. The finalized 1D pipeline has provided 18 giant planet candidates, 16 brown dwarfs, and over 500 binaries. An additional 96 targets having RV variability indicative of a giant planet companion are also reported for future investigation. These candidates are found using the advanced MARVELS 1D data pipeline developed at UF from scratch over the past three years. This pipeline carefully corrects most of the instrument effects (such as trace, slant, distortion, drifts and dispersion) and observation condition effects (such as illumination profile, fiber degradation, and tracking variations). The result is long-term RV precisions that approach the photon limits in many cases for the ~89,000 individual stellar observations. A 2D version of the pipeline that uses interferometric information is nearing completion and is demonstrating a reduction of errors to half the current levels. The 2D processing will be used to increase the robustness of the detections presented here and to find new candidates in RV regions not confidently detectable with the 1D pipeline. The MARVELS survey has produced the largest homogeneous RV measurements of 3300 V=7.6-12 FGK stars with a well defined cadence of 27 RV measurements over 2 years. The MARVELS RV data and other follow-up data (photometry, high contrast imaging, high resolution spectroscopy and RV measurements) will explore the diversity of giant planet companion formation and evolution around stars with a broad range in metallicity (Fe/H -1.5-0.5), mass ( 0.6-2.5M(sun)), and environment (thin disk and thick disk), and will help to address the key scientific questions identified for the MARVELS survey including, but not limited to: Do metal poor stars obey the same trends for planet occurrence as metal rich stars? What is the distribution of giant planets around intermediate-mass stars and binaries? Is the 'planet desert

  7. HAZE AT OCCATOR CRATER ON DWARF PLANET CERES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thangjam, G.; Hoffmann, M.; Nathues, A.; Platz, T. [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077, Goettingen (Germany); Li, J.-Y., E-mail: thangjam@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: hoffmann@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: nathues@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: platz@mps.mpg.de, E-mail: jyli@psi.edu [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell Rd., Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States)

    2016-12-20

    A diurnal varying haze layer at the bright spots of Occator on dwarf planet Ceres has been reported from images of the Dawn Framing Camera. This finding is supported by ground-based observations revealing diurnal albedo changes at Occator’s longitude. In the present work, we further investigate the previously reported haze phenomenon in more detail using additional Framing Camera images. We demonstrate that the light scattering behavior at the central floor of Occator is different compared to a typical cerean surface and is likely inconsistent with a pure solid surface scatterer. The identified deviation is best explained by an additional component to the scattered light of the surface, i.e., a haze layer. Our results support the water vapor detection by Herschel observations though the existence of a tenuous cerean exosphere is not yet confirmed.

  8. The stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Haumea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Sanz, Pablo; Ortiz, Jose Luis; Sicardy, Bruno; Rossi, Gustavo; Berard, Diane; Morales, Nicolas; Duffard, Rene; Braga-Ribas, Felipe; Hopp, Ulrich; Ries, Christoph; Nascimbeni, Valerio; Marzari, Francesco; Granata, Valentina; Pál, András; Kiss, Csaba; Pribulla, Theodor; Milan Komzík, Richard; Hornoch, Kamil; Pravec, Petr; Bacci, Paolo; Maestripieri, Martina; Nerli, Luca; Mazzei, Leonardo; Bachini, Mauro; Martinelli, Fabio; Succi, Giacomo; Ciabattari, Fabrizio; Mikuz, Herman; Carbognani, Albino; Gaehrken, Bernd; Mottola, Stefano; Hellmich, Stephan; Rommel, Flavia; Fernández-Valenzuela, Estela; Campo Bagatin, Adriano; Haumea occultation international Collaboration: https://cloud.iaa.csic.es/public.php?service=files&t=d9276f8ab1a316cef13bee28bef75add

    2017-10-01

    The dwarf planet Haumea is a very peculiar Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) with unique and exotic characteristics. It is currently classified as one of the five dwarf planets of the solar system, and it is the only one for which size, shape, albedo, density and other basic properties were not accurately known. To solve that we predicted an occultation of the star GaiaDR1 1233009038221203584 by Haumea and organized observations within the expected shadow path. Medium/large telescopes were needed to record the occultation with enough signal to noise ratio because the occulted star is of similar brightness as Haumea (R~17.7 mag). We will report results derived from this successful stellar occultation by Haumea on 2017 January 21st. The occultation was positive from 12 telescopes at 10 observing stations in Europe: the Asiago Observatory 1.8m telescope (Italy), the Mount Agliale Observatory 0.5m telescope (Italy), the Lajatico Astronomical Centre 0.5m telescope (Italy), the S.Marcello Pistoiese Observatory 0.6m telescope (Italy), the Crni Vrh Observatory 0.6m telescope (Slovenia), the Ondrejov Observatory 0.65m telescope (Czech Republic), the Bavarian Public Observatory 0.81m telescope (Germany), the Konkoly Observatory 1m and 0.6m telescopes (Hungary), the Skalnate Pleso Observatory 1.3m telescope (Slovakia), and the Wendelstein Observatory 2m and 0.4m telescopes (Germany). This is the occultation by a TNO with the largest number of chords ever recorded.Part of this work has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 687378.

  9. HD 91669B: A NEW BROWN DWARF CANDIDATE FROM THE MCDONALD OBSERVATORY PLANET SEARCH

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Endl, Michael; Cochran, William D.; Ramirez, Ivan; MacQueen, Phillip J.; Shetrone, Matthew; Reffert, Sabine

    2009-01-01

    We report the detection of a brown dwarf candidate orbiting the metal-rich K dwarf HD 91669, based on radial-velocity data from the McDonald Observatory Planet Search. HD 91669b is a substellar object in an eccentric orbit (e = 0.45) at a separation of 1.2 AU. The minimum mass of 30.6M Jup places this object firmly within the brown dwarf desert for inclinations i ∼> 23 0 . This is the second rare close-in brown dwarf candidate discovered by the McDonald planet search program.

  10. 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

  11. Stagnant lid tectonics: Perspectives from silicate planets, dwarf planets, large moons, and large asteroids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Stern

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available To better understand Earth's present tectonic style–plate tectonics–and how it may have evolved from single plate (stagnant lid tectonics, it is instructive to consider how common it is among similar bodies in the Solar System. Plate tectonics is a style of convection for an active planetoid where lid fragment (plate motions reflect sinking of dense lithosphere in subduction zones, causing upwelling of asthenosphere at divergent plate boundaries and accompanied by focused upwellings, or mantle plumes; any other tectonic style is usefully called “stagnant lid” or “fragmented lid”. In 2015 humanity completed a 50+ year effort to survey the 30 largest planets, asteroids, satellites, and inner Kuiper Belt objects, which we informally call “planetoids” and use especially images of these bodies to infer their tectonic activity. The four largest planetoids are enveloped in gas and ice (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and are not considered. The other 26 planetoids range in mass over 5 orders of magnitude and in diameter over 2 orders of magnitude, from massive Earth down to tiny Proteus; these bodies also range widely in density, from 1000 to 5500 kg/m3. A gap separates 8 silicate planetoids with ρ = 3000 kg/m3 or greater from 20 icy planetoids (including the gaseous and icy giant planets with ρ = 2200 kg/m3 or less. We define the “Tectonic Activity Index” (TAI, scoring each body from 0 to 3 based on evidence for recent volcanism, deformation, and resurfacing (inferred from impact crater density. Nine planetoids with TAI = 2 or greater are interpreted to be tectonically and convectively active whereas 17 with TAI <2 are inferred to be tectonically dead. We further infer that active planetoids have lithospheres or icy shells overlying asthenosphere or water/weak ice. TAI of silicate (rocky planetoids positively correlates with their inferred Rayleigh number. We conclude that some type of stagnant lid tectonics is

  12. Preparing for Dawn's Mission at Ceres: Challenges and Opportunities in the Exploration of a Dwarf Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayman, Marc D.; Mase, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    After escaping from Vesta in 2012, Dawn is continuing its 2.5-year flight to dwarf planet Ceres. Investigating this second destination promises to provide a view of an intriguing world of ice and rock, likely displaying fascinating geology entirely unlike any body yet orbited by a spacecraft. Dawn spends the significant majority of the time thrusting with its ion propulsion system to deliver the 3.6 km/s required to rendezvous with Ceres. Meanwhile, the operations team has developed the sequences that will be used there. Following orbit capture in March 2015, Dawn will fly to a series of four circular polar science orbits. The orbits, ranging from about 13,500 km to 375 km in altitude, are designed to optimize the scientific observations. The overall strategy for exploring Ceres is based strongly on the extremely successful 16 months of Vesta operations, during which Dawn met or exceeded all of its objectives. Nevertheless, the loss of two of the spacecraft's four reaction wheels has necessitated some important changes. Based on a very productive hydrazine conservation campaign in the interplanetary cruise and the development of new hydrazine-efficient methods of operating at Ceres, there is good reason to expect that Dawn will be able to accomplish all of its objectives regardless of the health of the reaction wheels. This paper describes the progress in traveling to Ceres as well as the plans for exploring this giant, icy world.

  13. THE COLDEST BROWN DWARF (OR FREE-FLOATING PLANET)?: THE Y DWARF WISE 1828+2650

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beichman, C.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Marsh, Kenneth A.; Barman, Travis S.; Cushing, Michael C.; Wright, E. L.

    2013-01-01

    We have monitored the position of the cool Y dwarf WISEPA J182831.08+265037.8 using a combination of ground- and space-based telescopes and have determined its distance to be 11.2 +1.3 –1.0 pc. Its absolute H magnitude, M H = 22.21 +0.25 –0.22 mag, suggests a mass in the range 0.5-20 M Jup for ages of 0.1-10 Gyr with an effective temperature in the range 250-400 K. The broad range in mass is due primarily to the unknown age of the object. Since the high tangential velocity of the object, 51 ± 5 km s –1 , is characteristic of an old disk population, a plausible age range of 2-4 Gyr leads to a mass range of 3-6 M Jup based on fits to the (highly uncertain) COND evolutionary models. The range in temperature is due to the fact that no single model adequately represents the 1-5 μm spectral energy distribution (SED) of the source, failing by factors of up to five at either the short or long wavelength portions of the SED. The appearance of this very cold object may be affected by non-equilibrium chemistry or low temperature condensates forming clouds, two atmospheric processes that are known to be important in brown dwarf atmospheres but have proven difficult to model. Finally, we argue that there would have to be a very steep upturn in the number density of late-type Y-dwarfs to account for the putative population of objects suggested by recent microlensing observations. Whether WISE 1828+2650 sits at the low-mass end of the brown dwarf population or is the first example of a large number of 'free-floating' planets is not yet known.

  14. CONSTRAINTS ON PLANET OCCURRENCE AROUND NEARBY MID-TO-LATE M DWARFS FROM THE MEARTH PROJECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berta, Zachory K.; Irwin, Jonathan; Charbonneau, David

    2013-01-01

    The MEarth Project is a ground-based photometric survey intended to find planets transiting the closest and smallest main-sequence stars. In its first four years, MEarth discovered one transiting exoplanet, the 2.7 R ⊕ planet GJ1214b. Here, we answer an outstanding question: in light of the bounty of small planets transiting small stars uncovered by the Kepler mission, should MEarth have found more than just one planet so far? We estimate MEarth's ensemble sensitivity to exoplanets by performing end-to-end simulations of 1.25 × 10 6 observations of 988 nearby mid-to-late M dwarfs, gathered by MEarth between 2008 October and 2012 June. For 2-4 R ⊕ planets, we compare this sensitivity to results from Kepler and find that MEarth should have found planets at a rate of 0.05-0.36 planets yr –1 in its first four years. As part of this analysis, we provide new analytic fits to the Kepler early M dwarf planet occurrence distribution. When extrapolating between Kepler's early M dwarfs and MEarth's mid-to-late M dwarfs, we find that assuming the planet occurrence distribution stays fixed with respect to planetary equilibrium temperature provides a good match to our detection of a planet with GJ1214b's observed properties. For larger planets, we find that the warm (600-700 K), Neptune-sized (4 R ⊕ ) exoplanets that transit early M dwarfs like Gl436 and GJ3470 occur at a rate of –1 (at 95% confidence) around MEarth's later M dwarf targets. We describe a strategy with which MEarth can increase its expected planet yield by 2.5 × without new telescopes by shifting its sensitivity toward the smaller and cooler exoplanets that Kepler has demonstrated to be abundant

  15. The solar neighborhood. XXXIV. A search for planets orbiting nearby M dwarfs using astrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lurie, John C.; Henry, Todd J.; Ianna, Philip A.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Quinn, Samuel N.; Winters, Jennifer G.; Koerner, David W.; Riedel, Adric R.; Subasavage, John P.

    2014-01-01

    Astrometric measurements are presented for seven nearby stars with previously detected planets: six M dwarfs (GJ 317, GJ 667C, GJ 581, GJ 849, GJ 876, and GJ 1214) and one K dwarf (BD-10 -3166). Measurements are also presented for six additional nearby M dwarfs without known planets, but which are more favorable to astrometric detections of low mass companions, as well as three binary systems for which we provide astrometric orbit solutions. Observations have baselines of 3 to 13 years, and were made as part of the RECONS long-term astrometry and photometry program at the CTIO/SMARTS 0.9 m telescope. We provide trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions for all 16 systems, and perform an extensive analysis of the astrometric residuals to determine the minimum detectable companion mass for the 12 M dwarfs not having close stellar secondaries. For the six M dwarfs with known planets, we are not sensitive to planets, but can rule out the presence of all but the least massive brown dwarfs at periods of 2–12 years. For the six more astrometrically favorable M dwarfs, we conclude that none have brown dwarf companions, and are sensitive to companions with masses as low as 1 M Jup for periods longer than two years. In particular, we conclude that Proxima Centauri has no Jovian companions at orbital periods of 2–12 years. These results complement previously published M dwarf planet occurrence rates by providing astrometrically determined upper mass limits on potential super-Jupiter companions at orbits of two years and longer. As part of a continuing survey, these results are consistent with the paucity of super-Jupiter and brown dwarf companions we find among the over 250 red dwarfs within 25 pc observed longer than five years in our astrometric program.

  16. The solar neighborhood. XXXIV. A search for planets orbiting nearby M dwarfs using astrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lurie, John C. [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Henry, Todd J.; Ianna, Philip A. [RECONS Institute, Chambersburg, PA 17201 (United States); Jao, Wei-Chun; Quinn, Samuel N.; Winters, Jennifer G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302 (United States); Koerner, David W. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 (United States); Riedel, Adric R. [Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10034 (United States); Subasavage, John P., E-mail: lurie@uw.edu [United States Naval Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States)

    2014-11-01

    Astrometric measurements are presented for seven nearby stars with previously detected planets: six M dwarfs (GJ 317, GJ 667C, GJ 581, GJ 849, GJ 876, and GJ 1214) and one K dwarf (BD-10 -3166). Measurements are also presented for six additional nearby M dwarfs without known planets, but which are more favorable to astrometric detections of low mass companions, as well as three binary systems for which we provide astrometric orbit solutions. Observations have baselines of 3 to 13 years, and were made as part of the RECONS long-term astrometry and photometry program at the CTIO/SMARTS 0.9 m telescope. We provide trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions for all 16 systems, and perform an extensive analysis of the astrometric residuals to determine the minimum detectable companion mass for the 12 M dwarfs not having close stellar secondaries. For the six M dwarfs with known planets, we are not sensitive to planets, but can rule out the presence of all but the least massive brown dwarfs at periods of 2–12 years. For the six more astrometrically favorable M dwarfs, we conclude that none have brown dwarf companions, and are sensitive to companions with masses as low as 1 M{sub Jup} for periods longer than two years. In particular, we conclude that Proxima Centauri has no Jovian companions at orbital periods of 2–12 years. These results complement previously published M dwarf planet occurrence rates by providing astrometrically determined upper mass limits on potential super-Jupiter companions at orbits of two years and longer. As part of a continuing survey, these results are consistent with the paucity of super-Jupiter and brown dwarf companions we find among the over 250 red dwarfs within 25 pc observed longer than five years in our astrometric program.

  17. Geomorphological evidence for ground ice on dwarf planet Ceres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Britney E.; Hughson, Kynan H.G.; Chilton, Heather T.; Scully, Jennifer E. C.; Platz, Thomas; Nathues, Andreas; Sizemore, Hanna; Bland, Michael T.; Byrne, Shane; Marchi, Simone; O'Brien, David; Schorghofer, Norbert; Hiesinger, Harald; Jaumann, Ralf; Hendrick Pasckert, Jan; Lawrence, Justin D.; Buzckowski, Debra; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Sykes, Mark V.; Schenk, Paul M.; DeSanctis, Maria-Cristina; Mitri, Giuseppe; Formisano, Michelangelo; Li, Jian-Yang; Reddy, Vishnu; Le Corre, Lucille; Russell, Christopher T.; Raymond, Carol A.

    2017-01-01

    Five decades of observations of Ceres suggest that the dwarf planet has a composition similar to carbonaceous meteorites and may have an ice-rich outer shell protected by a silicate layer. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected ubiquitous clays, carbonates and other products of aqueous alteration across the surface of Ceres, but surprisingly it has directly observed water ice in only a few areas. Here we use Dawn Framing Camera observations to analyse lobate morphologies on Ceres’ surface and we infer the presence of ice in the upper few kilometres of Ceres. We identify three distinct lobate morphologies that we interpret as surface flows: thick tongue-shaped, furrowed flows on steep slopes; thin, spatulate flows on shallow slopes; and cuspate sheeted flows that appear fluidized. The shapes and aspect ratios of these flows are different from those of dry landslides—including those on ice-poor Vesta—but are morphologically similar to ice-rich flows on other bodies, indicating the involvement of ice. Based on the geomorphology and poleward increase in prevalence of these flows, we suggest that the shallow subsurface of Ceres is comprised of mixtures of silicates and ice, and that ice is most abundant near the poles.

  18. FORMING HABITABLE PLANETS AROUND DWARF STARS: APPLICATION TO OGLE-06-109L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Su; Zhou Jilin

    2011-01-01

    Dwarf stars are believed to have a small protostar disk where planets may grow up. During the planet formation stage, embryos undergoing type I migration are expected to be stalled at an inner edge of the magnetically inactive disk (a crit ∼ 0.2-0.3 AU). This mechanism makes the location around a crit a 'sweet spot' for forming planets. In dwarf stars with masses ∼0.5 M sun , a crit is roughly inside the habitable zone of the system. In this paper, we study the formation of habitable planets due to this mechanism using model system OGLE-06-109L, which has a 0.51 M sun dwarf star with two giant planets in 2.3 and 4.6 AU observed by microlensing. We model the embryos undergoing type I migration in the gas disk with a constant disk-accretion rate ( M-dot ). Giant planets in outside orbits affect the formation of habitable planets through secular perturbations at the early stage and secular resonance at the late stage. We find that the existence and the masses of the habitable planets in the OGLE-06-109L system depend on both M-dot and the speed of type I migration. If planets are formed earlier, so that M-dot is larger (∼10 -7 M sun yr -1 ), terrestrial planets cannot survive unless the type I migration rate is an order of magnitude less. If planets are formed later, so that M-dot is smaller (∼10 -8 M sun yr -1 ), single and high-mass terrestrial planets with high water contents (∼5%) will be formed by inward migration of outer planet cores. A slower-speed migration will result in several planets via collisions of embryos, and thus their water contents will be low (∼2%). Mean motion resonances or apsidal resonances among planets may be observed if multiple planets survive in the inner system.

  19. Habitable planets around white and brown dwarfs: the perils of a cooling primary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

    White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10(-6). Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 10(4) K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable.

  20. Development and Testing of a Laser-Powered Cryobot for Outer Planet Icy Moon Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, V.; Stone, W.; Hogan, B.; Lelievre, S.; Flesher, C.

    2013-12-01

    Project VALKYRIE (Very-deep Autonomous Laser-powered Kilowatt-class Yo-yoing Robotic Ice Explorer) is a NASA-funded effort to develop the first laser powered cryobot - a self-contained intelligent ice penetrator capable of delivering science payloads through ice caps of the outer planet icy moons. The long range objective is to enable a full-scale Europa lander mission in which an autonomous life-searching underwater vehicle is transported by the cryobot and launched into the sub-surface Europan ocean. Mission readiness testing will involve an Antarctic sub-glacial lake cryobot sample return through kilometers of ice cap thickness. A key element of VALKYRIE's design is the use of a high energy laser as the primary power source. 1070 nm laser light is transmitted at a power level of 5 kW from a surface-based laser and injected into a custom-designed optical waveguide that is spooled out from the descending cryobot. Light exits the downstream end of the fiber, travels through diverging optics, and strikes a beam dump, which channels thermal power to hot water jets that melt the descent hole. Some beam energy is converted, via photovoltaic cells, to electricity for running onboard electronics and jet pumps. Since the vehicle can be sterilized prior to deployment and the melt path freezes behind it, preventing forward contamination, expansions on VALKYRIE concepts may enable cleaner and faster access to sub-glacial Antarctic lakes. Testing at Stone Aerospace between 2010 and 2013 has already demonstrated high power optical energy transfer over relevant (kilometer scale) distances as well as the feasibility of a vehicle-deployed optical waveguide (through which the power is transferred). The test vehicle is equipped with a forward-looking synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can detect obstacles out to 1 kilometer from the vehicle. The initial ASTEP test vehicle will carry a science payload consisting of a DUV flow cytometer and a water sampling sub-system that will be

  1. 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.

  2. Structure and Evolution of Kuiper Belt Objects and Dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, W. B.; Prialnik, D.; Stern, S. A.; Coradini, A.

    Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) accreted from a mélange of volatile ices, carbonaceous matter, and rock of mixed interstellar and solar nebular provenance. The transneptunian region, where this accretion took place, was likely more radially compact than today. This and the influence of gas drag during the solar nebula epoch argue for more rapid KBO accretion than usually considered. Early evolution of KBOs was largely the result of heating due to radioactive decay, the most important potential source being 26Al, whereas long-term evolution of large bodies is controlled by the decay of U, Th, and 40K. Several studies are reviewed dealing with the evolution of KBO models, calculated by means of one-dimensional numerical codes that solve the heat and mass balance equations. It is shown that, depending on parameters (principally rock content and porous conductivity), KBO interiors may have reached relatively high temperatures. The models suggest that KBOs likely lost ices of very volatile species during early evolution, whereas ices of less-volatile species should be retained in cold, less-altered subsurface layers. Initially amorphous ice may have crystallized in KBO interiors, releasing volatiles trapped in the amorphous ice, and some objects may have lost part of these volatiles as well. Generally, the outer layers are far less affected by internal evolution than the inner part, which in the absence of other effects (such as collisions) predicts a stratified composition and altered porosity distribution. Kuiper belt objects are thus unlikely to be "the most pristine objects in the solar system," but they do contain key information as to how the early solar system accreted and dynamically evolved. For large (dwarf planet) KBOs, long-term radiogenic heating alone may lead to differentiated structures -- rock cores, ice mantles, volatile-ice-rich "crusts," and even oceans. Persistence of oceans and (potential) volcanism to the present day depends strongly on body size and

  3. Habitable Planets Around White and Brown Dwarfs: The Perils of a Cooling Primary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René

    2013-01-01

    Abstract White and brown dwarfs are astrophysical objects that are bright enough to support an insolation habitable zone (IHZ). Unlike hydrogen-burning stars, they cool and become less luminous with time; hence their IHZ moves in with time. The inner edge of the IHZ is defined as the orbital radius at which a planet may enter a moist or runaway greenhouse, phenomena that can remove a planet's surface water forever. Thus, as the IHZ moves in, planets that enter it may no longer have any water and are still uninhabitable. Additionally, the close proximity of the IHZ to the primary leads to concern that tidal heating may also be strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse, even for orbital eccentricities as small as 10−6. Water loss occurs due to photolyzation by UV photons in the planetary stratosphere, followed by hydrogen escape. Young white dwarfs emit a large amount of these photons, as their surface temperatures are over 104 K. The situation is less clear for brown dwarfs, as observational data do not constrain their early activity and UV emission very well. Nonetheless, both types of planets are at risk of never achieving habitable conditions, but planets orbiting white dwarfs may be less likely to sustain life than those orbiting brown dwarfs. We consider the future habitability of the planet candidates KOI 55.01 and 55.02 in these terms and find they are unlikely to become habitable. Key Words: Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Habitable zone—Tides—Exoplanets. Astrobiology 13, 279–291. PMID:23537137

  4. VVV Survey Search for Habitable Planets around M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minniti, Dante

    2015-08-01

    VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) is a public ESO near- infrared (near-IR) variability survey aimed at scanning the Milky Way Bulge and an adjacent section of the mid-plane. The survey covers an area of 562 sqdeg in the Galactic bulge and the southern disk, containing a billion point sources. In this work we discuss the selection of nearby M-type dwarf stars using multicolor cuts. The ZYJHKs photometry allows an accurate estimation of the spectral types of the M-dwarf candidates. Our procedure is applied for fields located far from the Galactic center where the photometric quality is best. The results of this search covering 15 sqdeg allow us to estimate the total number of M-dwarfs that can be photometrically monitored in the VVV database. In addition, we analyze the light curves of the ~10000 best candidate M-dwarf stars searching for extrasolar planetary transits. In this poster we present the light curves of a hundred good transit candidates, and select those that lie in the HZ around their parent stars.

  5. Low probability of tropical cyclones on ocean planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bin, Jiayu; Tian, Feng; Lin, Yanluan; Wang, Yuwei

    2018-01-01

    The genesis potential index (GPI) of tropical cyclones (TC) on ocean planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs is analyzed based on 3D GCM simulations. We found that GPI on these planets are smaller than those in TC basins on the Earth mainly because of slow rotation of such planets. GPI's on exoplanets with eccentric orbits are strong function of time with values generally greater than those on circular orbits. Future high resolution models are needed to better understand whether TCs could form on ocean exoplanets, and what their potential intensities and distributions might be.

  6. On the Biohabitability of M-dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandel, A.

    2018-04-01

    The recent detection of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, Trappist-1, and many other nearby M-type stars has led to speculations whether liquid water and life actually exist on these planets. To a large extent, the answer depends on their yet unknown atmospheres, which may, however, be within observational reach in the near future by JWST, ELT, and other planned telescopes. We consider the habitability of planets of M-type stars in the context of their atmospheric properties, heat transport, and irradiation. Instead of the traditional definition of the habitable zone, we define the biohabitable zone, where liquid water and complex organic molecules can survive on at least part of the planetary surface. The atmospheric impact on the temperature is quantified in terms of the heating factor (a combination of greenhouse heating, stellar irradiation, albedo, etc.) and heat redistribution (horizontal energy transport). We investigate the biohabitable domain (where planets can support surface liquid water and organics) in terms of these two factors. Our results suggest that planets orbiting M-type stars may have life-supporting temperatures, at least on part of their surface, for a wide range of atmospheric properties. We apply this analyses to Proxima Cen b and the Trappist-1 system. Finally, we discuss the implications for the search of biosignatures and demonstrate how they may be used to estimate the abundance of photosynthesis and biotic planets.

  7. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS (PALMS). IV. THE OUTER ARCHITECTURE OF M DWARF PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowler, Brendan P. [California Institute of Technology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Liu, Michael C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Shkolnik, Evgenya L. [Lowell Observatory, 1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Tamura, Motohide, E-mail: bpbowler@caltech.edu [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)

    2015-01-01

    We present results from a high-contrast adaptive optics imaging search for giant planets and brown dwarfs (≳1 M {sub Jup}) around 122 newly identified nearby (≲40 pc) young M dwarfs. Half of our targets are younger than 135 Myr and 90% are younger than the Hyades (620 Myr). After removing 44 close stellar binaries (implying a stellar companion fraction of >35.4% ± 4.3% within 100 AU), 27 of which are new or spatially resolved for the first time, our remaining sample of 78 single M dwarfs makes this the largest imaging search for planets around young low-mass stars (0.1-0.6 M {sub ☉}) to date. Our H- and K-band coronagraphic observations with Keck/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO achieve typical contrasts of 12-14 mag and 9-13 mag at 1'', respectively, which correspond to limiting planet masses of 0.5-10 M {sub Jup} at 5-33 AU for 85% of our sample. We discovered four young brown dwarf companions: 1RXS J235133.3+312720 B (32 ± 6 M {sub Jup}; L0{sub −1}{sup +2}; 120 ± 20 AU), GJ 3629 B (64{sub −23}{sup +30} M {sub Jup}; M7.5 ± 0.5; 6.5 ± 0.5 AU), 1RXS J034231.8+121622 B (35 ± 8 M {sub Jup}; L0 ± 1; 19.8 ± 0.9 AU), and 2MASS J15594729+4403595 B (43 ± 9 M {sub Jup}; M8.0 ± 0.5; 190 ± 20 AU). Over 150 candidate planets were identified; we obtained follow-up imaging for 56% of these but all are consistent with background stars. Our null detection of planets enables strong statistical constraints on the occurrence rate of long-period giant planets around single M dwarfs. We infer an upper limit (at the 95% confidence level) of 10.3% and 16.0% for 1-13 M {sub Jup} planets between 10-100 AU for hot-start and cold-start (Fortney) evolutionary models, respectively. Fewer than 6.0% (9.9%) of M dwarfs harbor massive gas giants in the 5-13 M {sub Jup} range like those orbiting HR 8799 and β Pictoris between 10-100 AU for a hot-start (cold-start) formation scenario. The frequency of brown dwarf (13-75 M {sub Jup}) companions

  8. The occurrence of planets and other substellar bodies around white dwarfs using K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Sluijs, L.; Van Eylen, V.

    2018-03-01

    The majority of stars both host planetary systems and evolve into a white dwarf (WD). To understand their post-main-sequence planetary system evolution, we present a search for transiting/eclipsing planets and other substellar bodies (SBs) around WDs using a sample of 1148 WDs observed by K2. Using transit injections, we estimate the completeness of our search. We place constraints on the occurrence of planets and SBs around WDs as a function of planet radius and orbital period. For short-period (P sized to 1.5 R⊕, these are the strongest constraints known to date. We further constrain the occurrence of hot Jupiters ( Earth-sized planets ( < 28 per cent), and disintegrating short-period planets ( ˜ 12 per cent). We blindly recovered all previously known eclipsing objects, providing confidence in our analysis, and make all light curves publicly available.

  9. Fundmental Parameters of Low-Mass Stars, Brown Dwarfs, and Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montet, Benjamin; Johnson, John A.; Bowler, Brendan; Shkolnik, Evgenya

    2016-01-01

    Despite advances in evolutionary models of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, these models remain poorly constrained by observations. In order to test these predictions directly, masses of individual stars must be measured and combined with broadband photometry and medium-resolution spectroscopy to probe stellar atmospheres. I will present results from an astrometric and spectroscopic survey of low-mass pre-main sequence binary stars to measure individual dynamical masses and compare to model predictions. This is the first systematic test of a large number of stellar systems of intermediate age between young star-forming regions and old field stars. Stars in our sample are members of the Tuc-Hor, AB Doradus, and beta Pictoris moving groups, the last of which includes GJ 3305 AB, the wide binary companion to the imaged exoplanet host 51 Eri. I will also present results of Spitzer observations of secondary eclipses of LHS 6343 C, a T dwarf transiting one member of an M+M binary in the Kepler field. By combining these data with Kepler photometry and radial velocity observations, we can measure the luminosity, mass, and radius of the brown dwarf. This is the first non-inflated brown dwarf for which all three of these parameters have been measured, providing the first benchmark to test model predictions of the masses and radii of field T dwarfs. I will discuss these results in the context of K2 and TESS, which will find additional benchmark transiting brown dwarfs over the course of their missions, including a description of the first planet catalog developed from K2 data and a program to search for transiting planets around mid-M dwarfs.

  10. A reappraisal of the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarter, Jill C; Backus, Peter R; Mancinelli, Rocco L; Aurnou, Jonathan M; Backman, Dana E; Basri, Gibor S; Boss, Alan P; Clarke, Andrew; Deming, Drake; Doyle, Laurance R; Feigelson, Eric D; Freund, Friedmann; Grinspoon, David H; Haberle, Robert M; Hauck, Steven A; Heath, Martin J; Henry, Todd J; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L; Joshi, Manoj M; Kilston, Steven; Liu, Michael C; Meikle, Eric; Reid, I Neill; Rothschild, Lynn J; Scalo, John; Segura, Antigona; Tang, Carol M; Tiedje, James M; Turnbull, Margaret C; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Weber, Arthur L; Young, Richard E

    2007-02-01

    Stable, hydrogen-burning, M dwarf stars make up about 75% of all stars in the Galaxy. They are extremely long-lived, and because they are much smaller in mass than the Sun (between 0.5 and 0.08 M(Sun)), their temperature and stellar luminosity are low and peaked in the red. We have re-examined what is known at present about the potential for a terrestrial planet forming within, or migrating into, the classic liquid-surface-water habitable zone close to an M dwarf star. Observations of protoplanetary disks suggest that planet-building materials are common around M dwarfs, but N-body simulations differ in their estimations of the likelihood of potentially habitable, wet planets that reside within their habitable zones, which are only about one-fifth to 1/50th of the width of that for a G star. Particularly in light of the claimed detection of the planets with masses as small as 5.5 and 7.5 M(Earth) orbiting M stars, there seems no reason to exclude the possibility of terrestrial planets. Tidally locked synchronous rotation within the narrow habitable zone does not necessarily lead to atmospheric collapse, and active stellar flaring may not be as much of an evolutionarily disadvantageous factor as has previously been supposed. We conclude that M dwarf stars may indeed be viable hosts for planets on which the origin and evolution of life can occur. A number of planetary processes such as cessation of geothermal activity or thermal and nonthermal atmospheric loss processes may limit the duration of planetary habitability to periods far shorter than the extreme lifetime of the M dwarf star. Nevertheless, it makes sense to include M dwarf stars in programs that seek to find habitable worlds and evidence of life. This paper presents the summary conclusions of an interdisciplinary workshop (http://mstars.seti.org) sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and convened at the SETI Institute.

  11. Steamworlds: Atmospheric Structure and Critical Mass of Planets Accreting Icy Pebbles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chambers, John

    2017-01-01

    In the core accretion model, gas-giant planets first form a solid core, which then accretes gas from a protoplanetary disk when the core exceeds a critical mass. Here, we model the atmosphere of a core that grows by accreting ice-rich pebbles. The ice fraction of pebbles evaporates in warm regions of the atmosphere, saturating it with water vapor. Excess water precipitates to lower altitudes. Beneath an outer radiative region, the atmosphere is convective, following a moist adiabat in saturated regions due to water condensation and precipitation. Atmospheric mass, density, and temperature increase with core mass. For nominal model parameters, planets with core masses (ice + rock) between 0.08 and 0.16 Earth masses have surface temperatures between 273 and 647 K and form an ocean. In more massive planets, water exists as a supercritical convecting fluid mixed with gas from the disk. Typically, the core mass reaches a maximum (the critical mass) as a function of the total mass when the core is 2–5 Earth masses. The critical mass depends in a complicated way on pebble size, mass flux, and dust opacity due to the occasional appearance of multiple core-mass maxima. The core mass for an atmosphere of 50% hydrogen and helium may be a more robust indicator of the onset of gas accretion. This mass is typically 1–3 Earth masses for pebbles that are 50% ice by mass, increasing with opacity and pebble flux and decreasing with pebble ice/rock ratio.

  12. Steamworlds: Atmospheric Structure and Critical Mass of Planets Accreting Icy Pebbles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chambers, John, E-mail: jchambers@carnegiescience.edu [Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States)

    2017-11-01

    In the core accretion model, gas-giant planets first form a solid core, which then accretes gas from a protoplanetary disk when the core exceeds a critical mass. Here, we model the atmosphere of a core that grows by accreting ice-rich pebbles. The ice fraction of pebbles evaporates in warm regions of the atmosphere, saturating it with water vapor. Excess water precipitates to lower altitudes. Beneath an outer radiative region, the atmosphere is convective, following a moist adiabat in saturated regions due to water condensation and precipitation. Atmospheric mass, density, and temperature increase with core mass. For nominal model parameters, planets with core masses (ice + rock) between 0.08 and 0.16 Earth masses have surface temperatures between 273 and 647 K and form an ocean. In more massive planets, water exists as a supercritical convecting fluid mixed with gas from the disk. Typically, the core mass reaches a maximum (the critical mass) as a function of the total mass when the core is 2–5 Earth masses. The critical mass depends in a complicated way on pebble size, mass flux, and dust opacity due to the occasional appearance of multiple core-mass maxima. The core mass for an atmosphere of 50% hydrogen and helium may be a more robust indicator of the onset of gas accretion. This mass is typically 1–3 Earth masses for pebbles that are 50% ice by mass, increasing with opacity and pebble flux and decreasing with pebble ice/rock ratio.

  13. An Astrobiological Experiment to Explore the Habitability of Tidally Locked M-Dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Sapers, Haley; Simoncini, Eugenio; Lutz, Stefanie; Alexandre, Marcelo da Rosa; Galante, Douglas

    2014-04-01

    We present a summary of a three-year academic research proposal drafted during the Sao Paulo Advanced School of Astrobiology (SPASA) to prepare for upcoming observations of tidally locked planets orbiting M-dwarf stars. The primary experimental goal of the suggested research is to expose extremophiles from analogue environments to a modified space simulation chamber reproducing the environmental parameters of a tidally locked planet in the habitable zone of a late-type star. Here we focus on a description of the astronomical analysis used to define the parameters for this climate simulation.

  14. Connecting Young Brown Dwarfs and Directly Imaged Gas-Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Michael; Dupuy, Trent; Allers, Katelyn; Aller, Kimberly; Best, William; Magnier, Eugene

    2015-12-01

    Direct detections of gas-giant exoplanets and discoveries of young (~10-100 Myr) field brown dwarfs from all-sky surveys are strengthening the link between the exoplanet and brown dwarf populations, given the overlapping ages, masses, temperatures, and surface gravities. In light of the relatively small number of directly imaged planets and the modest associated datasets, the large census of young field brown dwarfsprovides a compelling laboratory for enriching our understanding of both classes of objects. However, work to date on young field objects has typically focused on individual discoveries.We present a large comprehensive study of the youngest field brown dwarfs, comprising both previously known objects and our new discoveries from the latest wide-field surveys (Pan-STARRS-1 and WISE). With masses now extending down to ~5 Jupiter masses, these objects have physical properties that largely overlap young gas-giant planets and thus are promising analogs for studying exoplanet atmospheres at unparalleled S/N, spectral resolution, and wavelength coverage. We combine high-quality spectra and parallaxes to determine spectral energy distributions, luminosities, temperatures, and ages for young field objects. We demonstrate that this population spans a continuum in the color-magnitude diagram, thereby forming a bridge between the hot and cool extremes of directly imaged planets. We find that the extremely dusty properties of the planets around 2MASS J1207-39 and HR 8799 do occur in some young brown dwarfs, but these properties do not have a simple correspondence with age, perhaps contrary to expectations. We find young field brown dwarfs can have unusually low temperatures and suggest a new spectral type-temperature scale appropriate for directly imaged planets.To help provide a reference for extreme-contrast imaging surveys, we establish a grid of spectral standards and benchmarks, based on membership in nearby young moving groups, in order to calibrate gravity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. The First Brown Dwarf Discovered by the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchner, Marc J.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Schneider, Adam C.; Meisner, Aaron M.; Filippazzo, Joseph C.; Gagne, Jonathan; Trouille, Laura; Silverberg, Steven M.; Castro, Rosa; Fletcher, Bob; hide

    2017-01-01

    The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a powerful tool for finding nearby brown dwarfs and searching for new planets in the outer solar system, especially with the incorporation of NEOWISE and NEOWISE Reactivation data. However, so far, searches for brown dwarfs in WISE data have yet to take advantage of the full depth of the WISE images. To efficiently search this unexplored space via visual inspection, we have launched anew citizen science project, called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9," which asks volunteers to examine short animations composed of difference images constructed from time-resolved WISE co adds. We report the first new substellar object discovered by this project, WISEA J110125.95+540052.8, a T5.5 brown dwarf located approximately 34 pc from the Sun with a total proper motion of approx.0. "7/ yr. WISEA J110125.95+540052.8 has a WISE W2 magnitude of W2 = 15.37+/- 0.09; our sensitivity to this source demonstrates the ability of citizen scientists to identify moving objects via visual inspection that are 0.9 mag fainter than the W2 single-exposure sensitivity, a threshold that has limited prior motion-based brown dwarf searches with WISE.

  18. On the Growth and Detectability of Land Plants on Habitable Planets around M Dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Duo; Tian, Feng; Wang, Yuwei; Li, Changshen; Yu, Chaoqing; Yu, Le

    2017-12-01

    One signature of life on Earth is the vegetation red edge (VRE) feature of land plants, a dramatic change of reflectivity at wavelength near 0.7 μm. Potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs are tidally locked, which can limit the distribution of land plants. In this study, we used a biogeochemical model to investigate the distribution of land plants on potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs driven by climate data produced in a general circulation model (GCM). When considering the effects of clouds, the observation time needed for VRE detection on nearby p = 1 exoplanets around nearby M dwarfs is on the order of days using a 25 m 2 telescope if a large continent faces Earth during observations. For p = 1.5 exoplanets, the detection time could be similar if land plants developed the capability to endure a dark/cold environment for extended periods of time and the continent configuration favors observations. Our analysis suggests that hypothetical exovegetation VRE features are easier to detect than Earth vegetation and that VRE detection is possible for nearby exoplanets even under cloudy conditions. Key Words: Vegetation red edge-Exoplanets-M dwarfs-Biosignature detection. Astrobiology 17, 1219-1232.

  19. 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.

  20. Morphology of Cryogenic Flows and Channels on Dwarf Planet Ceres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krohn, Katrin; Jaumann, Ralf; Otto, Katharina A.; von der Gathen, Isabel; Matz, Klaus-Dieter; Buczkowski, Debra L.; Williams, David A.; Pieters, Carle M.; Preusker, Frank; Roatsch, Thomas; Stephan, Katrin; Wagner, Roland J.; Russell, Christopher T.; Raymond, Carol A.

    2016-04-01

    source of impact melt flows is diffusely distributed but many of the observed flows originate from district sources in the crater interior and the flows, however, are well defined. The compositional differences derived from the color ratio and possible time variable effects related to cryo-processes either volcanic or glacial [1,2]. Furthermore, the suggestion of an occurrence ice within the Cerean crust [5] as well as possible salts incorporated into a regolith layer [4,5,6] indicates similar geological processes as seen on other icy bodies. Some lobate flow-like deposits on Ganymede such as at Sippar Sulcus are suggested to be formed by volcanic eruptions creating a channel and flow, and cutting down into the surface forming a depression. Thus, an endogenic formation process cannot be excluded. References: [1] Jaumann R. et al. (2015) EPSC X, Abstract #2015-83. [2] Jaumann R. et al. (2015) AGU, Abstract #P42A-05. [3] Krohn K. et al. (2016) LPSC XLVII, this issue. [4] Jaumann R. et al. (2016) LPSC XLVII, this issue. [5] McCord T.B. and Sotin C. (2005) J. Geophys. Res., 110, E05009. [6] Castillo-Rogez J.C. and McCord T.B. (2010) Icarus 203, 443-459.

  1. Ogle-2012-blg-0724lb: A Saturn Mass Planet Around an M-dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirao, Y.; Sumi, T.; Bennett, D. P.; Bond, I. A.; Rattenbury, N.; Suzuki, D.; Koshimoto, N.; Abe, F.; Asakura, Y.; Bhattacharya, A.

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of a planet by the microlensing method, OGLE-2012-BLG-0724Lb. Although the duration of the planetary signal for this event was one of the shortest seen for a planetary event, the anomaly was well covered thanks to high-cadence observations taken by the survey groups OGLE and MOA. By analyzing the light curve, this planetary system is found to have a mass ratio q = (1.58 +/- 0.15) x 10(exp -3). By conducting a Bayesian analysis, we estimate that the host star is an M dwarf with a mass of M(sub L) = 0.29(+0.33/-0.16) solar mass located at D(sub L) = 6.7(+1.1/-1.2) kpc away from the Earth and the companion's mass is m(sub P) = 0.47(+0.54/-0.26) M(Jup). The projected planet- host separation is a falsum = 1.6(+0.4/-0.3) AU. Because the lens-source relative proper motion is relatively high, future highresolution images would detect the lens host star and determine the lens properties uniquely. This system is likely a Saturn-mass exoplanet around an M dwarf, and such systems are commonly detected by gravitational microlensing. This adds another example of a possible pileup of sub-Jupiters (0.2 less than m(sub P)/M(sub Jup) less than 1) in contrast to a lack of Jupiters (approximately 1-2 M(sub Jup)) around M dwarfs, supporting the prediction by core accretion models that Jupiter-mass or more massive planets are unlikely to form around M dwarfs.

  2. 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).

  3. Asteroid 4 Vesta: A Fully Differentiated Dwarf Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, David

    2014-01-01

    mafic crust through impact disruption and foundering. The quenched mafic crust thickens over time through magma extrusion/intrusion. Melt from the residual magma ocean intrudes and penetrates the mafic crust forming cumulate eucrite plutons, and dikes, sills and flows of basaltic eucrite composition. The post-differentiation vestan structure is thus not too dissimilar from that of terrestrial planets: (i) a metallic core; (ii) an ultramafic mantle comprised of a lower dunitic layer (if melting was substantially <100%) and an upper cumulate harzburgitic layer; (iii) a lower crust of harzburgitic and orthopyroxenitic cumulates; and (iv) an upper mafic crust of basalts and diabases (melt compositions) with cumulate gabbro intrusions. Impacts have excavated to the lower crust and delivered howardites, eucrites and diogenites to Earth, but there is yet no evidence demonstrating excavation of the vestan mantlle.

  4. The Direct Detection and Characterization of M-dwarf Planets Using Light Echoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, William B.; White, Richard L.; Lupu, Roxana E.; Ford, Holland C.

    2018-02-01

    Exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf stars are a prime target in the search for life in the universe. M-dwarf stars are active, with powerful flares that could adversely impact prospects for life, though there are counter-arguments. Here, we turn flaring to advantage and describe ways in which it can be used to enhance the detectability of planets, in the absence of transits or a coronagraph, significantly expanding the accessible discovery and characterization space. Flares produce brief bursts of intense luminosity, after which the star dims. Due to the light travel time between the star and planet, the planet receives the high-intensity pulse, which it re-emits through scattering (a light echo) or intrinsic emission when the star is much fainter, thereby increasing the planet’s detectability. The planet’s light-echo emission can potentially be discriminated from that of the host star by means of a time delay, Doppler shift, spatial shift, and polarization, each of which can improve the contrast of the planet to the star. Scattered light can reveal the albedo spectrum of the planet to within a size scale factor, and is likely to be polarized. Intrinsic emission mechanisms include fluorescent pumping of multiple molecular hydrogen and neutral oxygen lines by intense Lyα and Lyβ flare emission, recombination radiation of ionized and photodissociated species, and atmospheric processes such as terrestrial upper atmosphere airglow and near-infrared hydroxyl emission. We discuss the feasibility of detecting light echoes and find that light echo detection is possible under favorable circumstances.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Coagulation calculations of icy planet formation around 0.1-0.5 M {sub ☉} stars: Super-Earths from large planetesimals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenyon, Scott J. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Bromley, Benjamin C., E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu [Department of Physics, University of Utah, 201 JFB, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States)

    2014-01-01

    We investigate formation mechanisms for icy super-Earth-mass planets orbiting at 2-20 AU around 0.1-0.5 M {sub ☉} stars. A large ensemble of coagulation calculations demonstrates a new formation channel: disks composed of large planetesimals with radii of 30-300 km form super-Earths on timescales of ∼1 Gyr. In other gas-poor disks, a collisional cascade grinds planetesimals to dust before the largest planets reach super-Earth masses. Once icy Earth-mass planets form, they migrate through the leftover swarm of planetesimals at rates of 0.01-1 AU Myr{sup –1}. On timescales of 10 Myr to 1 Gyr, many of these planets migrate through the disk of leftover planetesimals from semimajor axes of 5-10 AU to 1-2 AU. A few percent of super-Earths might migrate to semimajor axes of 0.1-0.2 AU. When the disk has an initial mass comparable with the minimum-mass solar nebula, scaled to the mass of the central star, the predicted frequency of super-Earths matches the observed frequency.

  9. Atmospheres and surfaces of small bodies and dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schaller E.L.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs are icy relics orbiting the sun beyond Neptune left over from the planetary accretion disk. These bodies act as unique tracers of the chemical, thermal, and dynamical history of our solar system. Over 1000 Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs and centaurs (objects with perihelia between the giant planets have been discovered over the past two decades. While the vast majority of these objects are small ( 6-meter telescopes, have allowed for the first detailed studies of their surfaces and atmospheres. Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of KBOs and centaurs has revealed a great diversity of surface compositions. Only the largest and coldest objects are capable of retaining volatile ices and atmospheres. Knowledge of the dynamics, physical properties, and collisional history of objects in the Kuiper belt is important for understanding solar system formation and evolution.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. A REVISED ESTIMATE OF THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES AROUND KEPLER M-DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Because of their large numbers, low-mass stars may be the most abundant planet hosts in our Galaxy. Furthermore, terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) around M-dwarfs can potentially be characterized in the near future and hence may be the first such planets to be studied. Recently, Dressing and Charbonneau used Kepler data and calculated the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZ of cool stars to be 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 per star for Earth-size planets (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ). However, this estimate was derived using the Kasting et al. HZ limits, which were not valid for stars with effective temperatures lower than 3700 K. Here we update their result using new HZ limits from Kopparapu et al. for stars with effective temperatures between 2600 K and 7200 K, which includes the cool M stars in the Kepler target list. The new HZ boundaries increase the number of planet candidates in the HZ. Assuming Earth-size planets as 0.5-1.4 R ⊕ , when we reanalyze their results, we obtain a terrestrial planet frequency of 0.48 +0.12 -0.24 and 0.53 +0.08 -0.17 planets per M-dwarf star for conservative and optimistic limits of the HZ boundaries, respectively. Assuming Earth-size planets as 0.5-2 R ⊕ , the frequency increases to 0.51 +0.10 -0.20 per star for the conservative estimate and to 0.61 +0.07 -0.15 per star for the optimistic estimate. Within uncertainties, our optimistic estimates are in agreement with a similar optimistic estimate from the radial velocity survey of M-dwarfs (0.41 +0.54 -0.13 ). So, the potential for finding Earth-like planets around M stars may be higher than previously reported.

  13. The size, shape, density and ring of the dwarf planet Haumea from a stellar occultation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, J L; Santos-Sanz, P; Sicardy, B; Benedetti-Rossi, G; Bérard, D; Morales, N; Duffard, R; Braga-Ribas, F; Hopp, U; Ries, C; Nascimbeni, V; Marzari, F; Granata, V; Pál, A; Kiss, C; Pribulla, T; Komžík, R; Hornoch, K; Pravec, P; Bacci, P; Maestripieri, M; Nerli, L; Mazzei, L; Bachini, M; Martinelli, F; Succi, G; Ciabattari, F; Mikuz, H; Carbognani, A; Gaehrken, B; Mottola, S; Hellmich, S; Rommel, F L; Fernández-Valenzuela, E; Bagatin, A Campo; Cikota, S; Cikota, A; Lecacheux, J; Vieira-Martins, R; Camargo, J I B; Assafin, M; Colas, F; Behrend, R; Desmars, J; Meza, E; Alvarez-Candal, A; Beisker, W; Gomes-Junior, A R; Morgado, B E; Roques, F; Vachier, F; Berthier, J; Mueller, T G; Madiedo, J M; Unsalan, O; Sonbas, E; Karaman, N; Erece, O; Koseoglu, D T; Ozisik, T; Kalkan, S; Guney, Y; Niaei, M S; Satir, O; Yesilyaprak, C; Puskullu, C; Kabas, A; Demircan, O; Alikakos, J; Charmandaris, V; Leto, G; Ohlert, J; Christille, J M; Szakáts, R; Farkas, A Takácsné; Varga-Verebélyi, E; Marton, G; Marciniak, A; Bartczak, P; Santana-Ros, T; Butkiewicz-Bąk, M; Dudziński, G; Alí-Lagoa, V; Gazeas, K; Tzouganatos, L; Paschalis, N; Tsamis, V; Sánchez-Lavega, A; Pérez-Hoyos, S; Hueso, R; Guirado, J C; Peris, V; Iglesias-Marzoa, R

    2017-10-11

    Haumea-one of the four known trans-Neptunian dwarf planets-is a very elongated and rapidly rotating body. In contrast to other dwarf planets, its size, shape, albedo and density are not well constrained. The Centaur Chariklo was the first body other than a giant planet known to have a ring system, and the Centaur Chiron was later found to possess something similar to Chariklo's rings. Here we report observations from multiple Earth-based observatories of Haumea passing in front of a distant star (a multi-chord stellar occultation). Secondary events observed around the main body of Haumea are consistent with the presence of a ring with an opacity of 0.5, width of 70 kilometres and radius of about 2,287 kilometres. The ring is coplanar with both Haumea's equator and the orbit of its satellite Hi'iaka. The radius of the ring places it close to the 3:1 mean-motion resonance with Haumea's spin period-that is, Haumea rotates three times on its axis in the time that a ring particle completes one revolution. The occultation by the main body provides an instantaneous elliptical projected shape with axes of about 1,704 kilometres and 1,138 kilometres. Combined with rotational light curves, the occultation constrains the three-dimensional orientation of Haumea and its triaxial shape, which is inconsistent with a homogeneous body in hydrostatic equilibrium. Haumea's largest axis is at least 2,322 kilometres, larger than previously thought, implying an upper limit for its density of 1,885 kilograms per cubic metre and a geometric albedo of 0.51, both smaller than previous estimates. In addition, this estimate of the density of Haumea is closer to that of Pluto than are previous estimates, in line with expectations. No global nitrogen- or methane-dominated atmosphere was detected.

  14. 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.

  15. Magnetospheric structure and atmospheric Joule heating of habitable planets orbiting M-dwarf stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J.; Garraffo, C.; Poppenhaeger, K. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Glocer, A. [NASA/GSFC, Code 673, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Bell, J. M. [Center for Planetary Atmospheres and Flight Sciences, National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA 23666 (United States); Ridley, A. J.; Gombosi, T. I. [Center for Space Environment Modeling, University of Michigan, 2455 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2014-07-20

    We study the magnetospheric structure and the ionospheric Joule Heating of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars in the habitable zone using a set of magnetohydrodynamic models. The stellar wind solution is used to drive a model for the planetary magnetosphere, which is coupled with a model for the planetary ionosphere. Our simulations reveal that the space environment around close-in habitable planets is extreme, and the stellar wind plasma conditions change from sub- to super-Alfvénic along the planetary orbit. As a result, the magnetospheric structure changes dramatically with a bow shock forming in the super-Alfvénic sectors, while no bow shock forms in the sub-Alfvénic sectors. The planets reside most of the time in the sub-Alfvénic sectors with poor atmospheric protection. A significant amount of Joule Heating is provided at the top of the atmosphere as a result of the intense stellar wind. For the steady-state solution, the heating is about 0.1%-3% of the total incoming stellar irradiation, and it is enhanced by 50% for the time-dependent case. The significant Joule Heating obtained here should be considered in models for the atmospheres of habitable planets in terms of the thickness of the atmosphere, the top-side temperature and density, the boundary conditions for the atmospheric pressure, and particle radiation and transport. Here we assume constant ionospheric Pedersen conductance similar to that of the Earth. The conductance could be greater due to the intense EUV radiation leading to smaller heating rates. We plan to quantify the ionospheric conductance in future study.

  16. OGLE-2013-BLG-1761Lb: A Massive Planet around an MK Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirao, Y.; Udalski, A.; Sumi, T.; Bennett, D. P.; Koshimoto, N.; Bond, I. A.; Rattenbury, N. J.; Suzuki, D.; Abe, F.; Asakura, Y.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We report the discovery and the analysis of the planetary microlensing event, OGLE-2013-BLG-1761. There are some degenerate solutions in this event because the planetary anomaly is only sparsely sampled. However, the detailed light curve analysis ruled out all stellar binary models and shows the lens to be a planetary system. There is the so-called close wide degeneracy in the solutions with the planet host mass ratio of q approx.(7.0+/-2.0) x 10(exp -3) and q approx.(8.1+/-2.6) x 10(exp -3) with the projected separation in Einstein radius units of s = 0.95 (close) and s = 1.18(wide), respectively. The microlens parallax effect is not detected, but the finite source effect is detected. Our Bayesian analysis indicates that the lens system is located -D(sub L) = 6.9(+ 1.0 -1.2)kpc away from us and the host star is an M/K dwarf with amass of M(sub L) = 0.33(+ 0.32- 1.9)Stellar Mass orbited by a super-Jupiter mass planet with a mass of m(sub p) = 2.7(+ 2.5 - 1.5) M(sub Jup) at the projected separation of a(sub l) = 1.8(+ 0.5 -0.5)au. The preference of the large lens distance in the Bayesian analysis is due to the relatively large observed source star radius. The distance and other physical parameters may be constrained by the future high-resolution imaging by large ground telescopes or HST. If the estimated lens distance is correct, then this planet provides another sample for testing the claimed deficit of planets in the Galactic bulge.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Exoplanet detection. Stellar activity masquerading as planets in the habitable zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Endl, Michael; Roy, Arpita

    2014-07-25

    The M dwarf star Gliese 581 is believed to host four planets, including one (GJ 581d) near the habitable zone that could possibly support liquid water on its surface if it is a rocky planet. The detection of another habitable-zone planet--GJ 581g--is disputed, as its significance depends on the eccentricity assumed for d. Analyzing stellar activity using the Hα line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130 ± 2 days and a correlation for Hα modulation with radial velocity. Correcting for activity greatly diminishes the signal of GJ 581d (to 1.5 standard deviations) while significantly boosting the signals of the other known super-Earth planets. GJ 581d does not exist, but is an artifact of stellar activity which, when incompletely corrected, causes the false detection of planet g. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. H-atmospheres of Icy Super-Earths Formed In Situ in the Outer Solar System: An Application to a Possible Planet Nine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levi, A.; Kenyon, S. J.; Podolak, M.; Prialnik, D.

    2017-04-01

    We examine the possibility that icy super-Earth mass planets, formed over long timescales (0.1-1 Gyr) at large distances (˜200-1000 au) from their host stars, will develop massive H-rich atmospheres. Within the interior of these planets, high pressure converts CH4 into ethane, butane, or diamond and releases H2. Using simplified models that capture the basic physics of the internal structure, we show that the physical properties of the atmosphere depend on the outflux of H2 from the mantle. When this outflux is ≲ {10}10 molec cm-2 s-1, the outgassed atmosphere has a base pressure of ≲1 bar. Larger outflows result in a substantial atmosphere where the base pressure may approach 103-104 bar. For any pressure, the mean density of these planets, 2.4-3 g cm-3, is much larger than the mean density of Uranus and Neptune, 1.3-1.6 g cm-3. Thus, observations can distinguish between a Planet Nine with a primordial H/He-rich atmosphere accreted from the protosolar nebula and one with an atmosphere outgassed from the core.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. OSSOS. IV. Discovery of a Dwarf Planet Candidate in the 9:2 Resonance with Neptune

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannister, Michele T.; Alexandersen, Mike; Benecchi, Susan; Chen, Ying-Tung; Delsanti, Audrey; Fraser, Wesley C.; Gladman, Brett; Granvik, Mikael; Grundy, Will M.; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurelie; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery and orbit of a new dwarf planet candidate, 2015 RR245, by the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS). The orbit of 2015 RR245 is eccentric (e 0.586), with a semimajor axis near 82 au, yielding a perihelion distance of 34 au. 2015 RR245 has g - r 0.59 +/- 0.11 and absolute magnitude Hr 3.6 +/- 0.1; for an assumed albedo of pV 12, the object has a diameter of approximately 670 km. Based on astrometric measurements from OSSOS and Pan-STARRS1, we find that 2015 RR245 is securely trapped on ten-megayear timescales in the 9:2 mean-motion resonance with Neptune. It is the first trans-Neptunian object (TNO) identied in this resonance. On hundred-megayear timescales, particles in 2015 RR245-like orbits depart and sometimes return to the resonance, indicating that 2015 RR245 likely forms part of the long-lived metastable population of distant TNOs that drift between resonance sticking and actively scattering via gravitational encounters with Neptune. The discovery of a 9:2 TNO stresses the role of resonances in the long-term evolution of objects in the scattering disk and reinforces the view that distant resonances are heavily populated in the current solar system. This object further motivates detailed modeling of the transient sticking population.

  6. ORBITS AND MASSES OF THE SATELLITES OF THE DWARF PLANET HAUMEA (2003 EL61)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ragozzine, D.; Brown, M. E.

    2009-01-01

    Using precise relative astrometry from the Hubble Space Telescope and the W. M. Keck Telescope, we have determined the orbits and masses of the two dynamically interacting satellites of the dwarf planet (136108) Haumea, formerly 2003 EL61. The orbital parameters of Hi'iaka, the outer, brighter satellite, match well the previously derived orbit. On timescales longer than a few weeks, no Keplerian orbit is sufficient to describe the motion of the inner, fainter satellite Namaka. Using a fully interacting three-point-mass model, we have recovered the orbital parameters of both orbits and the mass of Haumea and Hi'iaka; Namaka's mass is marginally detected. The data are not sufficient to uniquely determine the gravitational quadrupole of the nonspherical primary (described by J 2 ). The nearly coplanar nature of the satellites, as well as an inferred density similar to water ice, strengthen the hypothesis that Haumea experienced a giant collision billions of years ago. The excited eccentricities and mutual inclination point to an intriguing tidal history of significant semimajor axis evolution through satellite mean-motion resonances. The orbital solution indicates that Namaka and Haumea are currently undergoing mutual events and that the mutual event season will last for next several years.

  7. Extreme water loss and abiotic O2 buildup on planets throughout the habitable zones of M dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luger, R; Barnes, R

    2015-02-01

    We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars.

  8. FC colour images of dwarf planet Ceres reveal a complicated geological history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathues, A.; Hoffmann, M.; Platz, T.; Thangjam, G. S.; Cloutis, E. A.; Reddy, V.; Le Corre, L.; Li, J.-Y.; Mengel, K.; Rivkin, A.; Applin, D. M.; Schaefer, M.; Christensen, U.; Sierks, H.; Ripken, J.; Schmidt, B. E.; Hiesinger, H.; Sykes, M. V.; Sizemore, H. G.; Preusker, F.; Russell, C. T.

    2016-12-01

    The dwarf planet Ceres (equatorial diameter 963km) is the largest object that has remained in the main asteroid belt (Russell and Raymond, 2012), while most large bodies have been destroyed or removed by dynamical processes (Petit et al. 2001; Minton and Malhotra, 2009). Pre-Dawn investigations (McCord and Sotin, 2005; Castillo-Rogez and McCord, 2010; Castillo-Rogez et al., 2011) suggest that Ceres is a thermally evolved, but still volatile-rich body with potential geological activity, that was never completely molten, but possibly differentiated into a rocky core, an ice-rich mantle, and may contain remnant internal liquid water. Thermal alteration should contribute to producing a (dark) carbonaceous chondritic-like surface (McCord and Sotin, 2005; Castillo-Rogez and McCord, 2010; Castillo-Rogez et al., 2011; Nathues et al., 2015) containing ammoniated phyllosilicates (King et al., 1992; De Sanctis et al., 2015 and 2016). Here we show and analyse global contrast-rich colour mosaics, derived from a camera on-board Dawn at Ceres (Russell et al., 2016). Colours are unexpectedly more diverse on global scale than anticipated by Hubble Space Telescope (Li et al., 2006) and ground-based observations (Reddy et al. 2015). Dawn data led to the identification of five major colour units. The youngest units identified by crater counting, termed bright and bluish units, are exclusively found at equatorial and intermediate latitudes. We identified correlations between the distribution of the colour units, crater size, and formation age, inferring a crustal stratigraphy. Surface brightness and spectral properties are not correlated. The youngest surface features are the bright spots at crater Occator ( Ø 92km). Their colour spectra are highly consistent with the presence of carbonates while most of the remaining surface resembles modifications of various types of ordinary carbonaceous chondrites.

  9. GASEOUS MEAN OPACITIES FOR GIANT PLANET AND ULTRACOOL DWARF ATMOSPHERES OVER A RANGE OF METALLICITIES AND TEMPERATURES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freedman, Richard S. [SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA (United States); Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob [Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Lupu, Roxana E.; Marley, Mark S. [Space Science and Astrobiology Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (United States); Lodders, Katharina, E-mail: Richard.S.Freedman@nasa.gov [Planetary Chemistry Laboratory, Washington University, St. Louis, MO (United States)

    2014-10-01

    We present new calculations of Rosseland and Planck gaseous mean opacities relevant to the atmospheres of giant planets and ultracool dwarfs. Such calculations are used in modeling the atmospheres, interiors, formation, and evolution of these objects. Our calculations are an expansion of those presented in Freedman et al. to include lower pressures, finer temperature resolution, and also the higher metallicities most relevant for giant planet atmospheres. Calculations span 1 μbar to 300 bar, and 75-4000 K, in a nearly square grid. Opacities at metallicities from solar to 50 times solar abundances are calculated. We also provide an analytic fit to the Rosseland mean opacities over the grid in pressure, temperature, and metallicity. In addition to computing mean opacities at these local temperatures, we also calculate them with weighting functions up to 7000 K, to simulate the mean opacities for incident stellar intensities, rather than locally thermally emitted intensities. The chemical equilibrium calculations account for the settling of condensates in a gravitational field and are applicable to cloud-free giant planet and ultracool dwarf atmospheres, but not circumstellar disks. We provide our extensive opacity tables for public use.

  10. The Surface UV Environment on Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs: Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry and the Need for Experimental Follow-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Wordsworth, Robin; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2017-07-01

    Potentially habitable planets orbiting M dwarfs are of intense astrobiological interest because they are the only rocky worlds accessible to biosignature search over the next 10+ years because of a confluence of observational effects. Simultaneously, recent experimental and theoretical work suggests that UV light may have played a key role in the origin of life on Earth, especially the origin of RNA. Characterizing the UV environment on M-dwarf planets is important for understanding whether life as we know it could emerge on such worlds. In this work, we couple radiative transfer models to observed M-dwarf spectra to determine the UV environment on prebiotic Earth-analog planets orbiting M dwarfs. We calculate dose rates to quantify the impact of different host stars on prebiotically important photoprocesses. We find that M-dwarf planets have access to 100–1000 times less bioactive UV fluence than the young Earth. It is unclear whether UV-sensitive prebiotic chemistry that may have been important to abiogenesis, such as the only known prebiotically plausible pathways for pyrimidine ribonucleotide synthesis, could function on M-dwarf planets. This uncertainty affects objects like the recently discovered habitable-zone planets orbiting Proxima Centauri, TRAPPIST-1, and LHS 1140. Laboratory studies of the sensitivity of putative prebiotic pathways to irradiation level are required to resolve this uncertainty. If steady-state M-dwarf UV output is insufficient to power these pathways, transient elevated UV irradiation due to flares may suffice; laboratory studies can constrain this possibility as well.

  11. The Surface UV Environment on Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs: Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry and the Need for Experimental Follow-up

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Sasselov, Dimitar D. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Wordsworth, Robin, E-mail: sranjan@cfa.harvard.edu [Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02140 (United States)

    2017-07-10

    Potentially habitable planets orbiting M dwarfs are of intense astrobiological interest because they are the only rocky worlds accessible to biosignature search over the next 10+ years because of a confluence of observational effects. Simultaneously, recent experimental and theoretical work suggests that UV light may have played a key role in the origin of life on Earth, especially the origin of RNA. Characterizing the UV environment on M-dwarf planets is important for understanding whether life as we know it could emerge on such worlds. In this work, we couple radiative transfer models to observed M-dwarf spectra to determine the UV environment on prebiotic Earth-analog planets orbiting M dwarfs. We calculate dose rates to quantify the impact of different host stars on prebiotically important photoprocesses. We find that M-dwarf planets have access to 100–1000 times less bioactive UV fluence than the young Earth. It is unclear whether UV-sensitive prebiotic chemistry that may have been important to abiogenesis, such as the only known prebiotically plausible pathways for pyrimidine ribonucleotide synthesis, could function on M-dwarf planets. This uncertainty affects objects like the recently discovered habitable-zone planets orbiting Proxima Centauri, TRAPPIST-1, and LHS 1140. Laboratory studies of the sensitivity of putative prebiotic pathways to irradiation level are required to resolve this uncertainty. If steady-state M-dwarf UV output is insufficient to power these pathways, transient elevated UV irradiation due to flares may suffice; laboratory studies can constrain this possibility as well.

  12. The Surface UV Environment on Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs: Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry and the Need for Experimental Follow-up

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Wordsworth, Robin

    2017-01-01

    Potentially habitable planets orbiting M dwarfs are of intense astrobiological interest because they are the only rocky worlds accessible to biosignature search over the next 10+ years because of a confluence of observational effects. Simultaneously, recent experimental and theoretical work suggests that UV light may have played a key role in the origin of life on Earth, especially the origin of RNA. Characterizing the UV environment on M-dwarf planets is important for understanding whether life as we know it could emerge on such worlds. In this work, we couple radiative transfer models to observed M-dwarf spectra to determine the UV environment on prebiotic Earth-analog planets orbiting M dwarfs. We calculate dose rates to quantify the impact of different host stars on prebiotically important photoprocesses. We find that M-dwarf planets have access to 100–1000 times less bioactive UV fluence than the young Earth. It is unclear whether UV-sensitive prebiotic chemistry that may have been important to abiogenesis, such as the only known prebiotically plausible pathways for pyrimidine ribonucleotide synthesis, could function on M-dwarf planets. This uncertainty affects objects like the recently discovered habitable-zone planets orbiting Proxima Centauri, TRAPPIST-1, and LHS 1140. Laboratory studies of the sensitivity of putative prebiotic pathways to irradiation level are required to resolve this uncertainty. If steady-state M-dwarf UV output is insufficient to power these pathways, transient elevated UV irradiation due to flares may suffice; laboratory studies can constrain this possibility as well.

  13. Brown dwarfs: at last filling the gap between stars and planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerman, B

    2000-02-01

    Until the mid-1990s a person could not point to any celestial object and say with assurance that "here is a brown dwarf." Now dozens are known, and the study of brown dwarfs has come of age, touching upon major issues in astrophysics, including the nature of dark matter, the properties of substellar objects, and the origin of binary stars and planetary systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark Scott

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Short-duration Lensing Events: Wide-orbit Planets? Free-floating Dwarfs? Or Hypervelocity Stellar Remnants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Patel, B.; Kallivayalil, N.; Primini, F. A.

    2009-01-01

    Ongoing microlensing observations by OGLE and MOA regularly detect and conduct high-cadence sampling of lensing events with Einstein diameter crossing times shorter than a few days. We show that many short-duration events are likely to have been caused by planet-mass or brown-dwarf lenses. Many of these low-mass lenses are located within a kpc. Information about some individual systems can be derived through a combination of lensing, radial velocity, and transit studies. The present discovery rate is high enough that the study of short-duration events could soon become the primary channel for planet detection via microlensing. We develop a protocol for observing and modeling these events, and apply it to archived data. A small number of short events may be caused by hypervelocity (v 10^3 km/s) masses located within a kpc.

  16. 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.

  17. Extreme Water Loss and Abiotic O2 Buildup on Planets Throughout the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars. Key Words: Astrobiology—Biosignatures—Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 15, 119–143. PMID:25629240

  18. K2-137 b: an Earth-sized planet in a 4.3-h orbit around an M-dwarf

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smith, A. M. S.; Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz

    2018-01-01

    We report the discovery in K2's Campaign 10 of a transiting terrestrial planet in an ultra-short-period orbit around an M3-dwarf. K2-137 b completes an orbit in only 4.3 h, the second shortest orbital period of any known planet, just 4 min longer than that of KOI 1843.03, which also orbits an M-d...

  19. 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.

  20. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuël; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M; Lederer, Susan M; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Ingalls, James G; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Raymond, Sean N; Selsis, Franck; Turbet, Martin; Barkaoui, Khalid; Burgasser, Adam; Burleigh, Matthew R; Carey, Sean J; Chaushev, Aleksander; Copperwheat, Chris M; Delrez, Laetitia; Fernandes, Catarina S; Holdsworth, Daniel L; Kotze, Enrico J; Van Grootel, Valérie; Almleaky, Yaseen; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2017-02-22

    One aim of modern astronomy is to detect temperate, Earth-like exoplanets that are well suited for atmospheric characterization. Recently, three Earth-sized planets were detected that transit (that is, pass in front of) a star with a mass just eight per cent that of the Sun, located 12 parsecs away. The transiting configuration of these planets, combined with the Jupiter-like size of their host star-named TRAPPIST-1-makes possible in-depth studies of their atmospheric properties with present-day and future astronomical facilities. Here we report the results of a photometric monitoring campaign of that star from the ground and space. Our observations reveal that at least seven planets with sizes and masses similar to those of Earth revolve around TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets form a near-resonant chain, such that their orbital periods (1.51, 2.42, 4.04, 6.06, 9.1 and 12.35 days) are near-ratios of small integers. This architecture suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and migrated inwards. Moreover, the seven planets have equilibrium temperatures low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surfaces.

  1. CHARACTERIZING THE COOL KOIs. VI. H- AND K-BAND SPECTRA OF KEPLER M DWARF PLANET-CANDIDATE HOSTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muirhead, Philip S. [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Becker, Juliette; Price, Ellen M.; Thorp, Rachel; Riddle, Reed [California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Feiden, Gregory A. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, SE-75120 Uppsala (Sweden); Rojas-Ayala, Bárbara [Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Oporto (Portugal); Vanderburg, Andrew; Johnson, John Asher [Harvard College Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Law, Nicholas M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3255 (United States); Baranec, Christoph [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Hamren, Katherine [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Schlawin, Everett; Lloyd, James P. [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14583 (United States); Covey, Kevin R., E-mail: philipm@bu.edu [Lowell Observatory, 1400 W Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States)

    2014-07-01

    We present H- and K-band spectra for late-type Kepler Objects of Interest (the {sup C}ool KOIs{sup )}: low-mass stars with transiting-planet candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler Mission that are listed on the NASA Exoplanet Archive. We acquired spectra of 103 Cool KOIs and used the indices and calibrations of Rojas-Ayala et al. to determine their spectral types, stellar effective temperatures, and metallicities, significantly augmenting previously published values. We interpolate our measured effective temperatures and metallicities onto evolutionary isochrones to determine stellar masses, radii, luminosities, and distances, assuming the stars have settled onto the main sequence. As a choice of isochrones, we use a new suite of Dartmouth predictions that reliably include mid-to-late M dwarf stars. We identify five M4V stars: KOI-961 (confirmed as Kepler 42), KOI-2704, KOI-2842, KOI-4290, and the secondary component to visual binary KOI-1725, which we call KOI-1725 B. We also identify a peculiar star, KOI-3497, which has Na and Ca lines consistent with a dwarf star but CO lines consistent with a giant. Visible-wavelength adaptive optics imaging reveals two objects within a 1 arcsec diameter; however, the objects' colors are peculiar. The spectra and properties presented in this paper serve as a resource for prioritizing follow-up observations and planet validation efforts for the Cool KOIs and are all available for download online using the ''data behind the figure'' feature.

  2. A statistical analysis of seeds and other high-contrast exoplanet surveys: massive planets or low-mass brown dwarfs?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brandt, Timothy D.; Spiegel, David S. [Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ (United States); McElwain, Michael W.; Grady, C. A. [Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States); Turner, Edwin L. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (United States); Mede, Kyle; Kuzuhara, Masayuki [University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan); Schlieder, Joshua E.; Brandner, W.; Feldt, M. [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg (Germany); Wisniewski, John P. [HL Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Abe, L. [Laboratoire Hippolyte Fizeau, Nice (France); Biller, B. [University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom); Carson, J. [College of Charleston, Charleston, SC (United States); Currie, T. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada); Egner, S.; Golota, T.; Guyon, O. [Subaru Telescope, Hilo, Hawai' i (United States); Goto, M. [Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Munich (Germany); Hashimoto, J. [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo (Japan); and others

    2014-10-20

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ∼60 M {sub J} brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD–35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ∼30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ∼5 M {sub J}, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)∝M {sup –0.65} {sup ±} {sup 0.60} a {sup –0.85} {sup ±} {sup 0.39} (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M {sub J} companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs.

  3. K2-137 b: an Earth-sized planet in a 4.3-h orbit around an M-dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A. M. S.; Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz; Dai, F.; Gandolfi, D.; Hirano, T.; Winn, J. N.; Albrecht, S.; Alonso, R.; Antoniciello, G.; Barragán, O.; Deeg, H.; Eigmüller, Ph; Endl, M.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Fukui, A.; Grziwa, S.; Guenther, E. W.; Hatzes, A. P.; Hidalgo, D.; Howard, A. W.; Isaacson, H.; Korth, J.; Kuzuhara, M.; Livingston, J.; Narita, N.; Nespral, D.; Nowak, G.; Palle, E.; Pätzold, M.; Persson, C. M.; Petigura, E.; Prieto-Arranz, J.; Rauer, H.; Ribas, I.; Van Eylen, V.

    2018-03-01

    We report the discovery in K2's Campaign 10 of a transiting terrestrial planet in an ultra-short-period orbit around an M3-dwarf. K2-137 b completes an orbit in only 4.3 h, the second shortest orbital period of any known planet, just 4 min longer than that of KOI 1843.03, which also orbits an M-dwarf. Using a combination of archival images, adaptive optics imaging, radial velocity measurements, and light-curve modelling, we show that no plausible eclipsing binary scenario can explain the K2 light curve, and thus confirm the planetary nature of the system. The planet, whose radius we determine to be 0.89 ± 0.09 R⊕, and which must have an iron mass fraction greater than 0.45, orbits a star of mass 0.463 ± 0.052 M⊙ and radius 0.442 ± 0.044 R⊙.

  4. 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.

  5. Opportunities for Laboratory Opacity Chemistry Studies to Facilitate Characterization of Young Giant Planets and Brown Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark; Freedman, Richard S.

    2015-01-01

    The thermal emission spectra of young giant planets is shaped by the opacity of atoms and molecules residing in their atmospheres. While great strides have been made in improving the opacities of important molecules, particularly NH3 and CH4, at high temperatures, much more work is needed to understand the opacity and chemistry of atomic Na and K. The highly pressure broadened fundamental band of Na and K in the optical stretches into the near-infrared, strongly influencing the shape of the Y and K spectral bands. Since young giant planets are bright in these bands it is important to understand the influences on the spectral shape. Discerning gravity and atmospheric composition is difficult, if not impossible, without both good atomic opacities as well as an excellent understanding of the relevant atmospheric chemistry. Since Na and K condense at temperatures near 500 to 600 K, the chemistry of the condensation process must be well understood as well, particularly any disequilibrium chemical pathways. Comparisons of the current generation of sophisticated atmospheric models and available data, however, reveal important shortcomings in the models. We will review the current state of observations and theory of young giant planets and will discuss these and other specific examples where improved laboratory measurements for alkali compounds have the potential of substantially improving our understanding of these atmospheres.

  6. The effect of a strong stellar flare on the atmospheric chemistry of an earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segura, Antígona; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Meadows, Victoria; Kasting, James; Hawley, Suzanne

    2010-09-01

    Main sequence M stars pose an interesting problem for astrobiology: their abundance in our galaxy makes them likely targets in the hunt for habitable planets, but their strong chromospheric activity produces high-energy radiation and charged particles that may be detrimental to life. We studied the impact of the 1985 April 12 flare from the M dwarf AD Leonis (AD Leo), simulating the effects from both UV radiation and protons on the atmospheric chemistry of a hypothetical, Earth-like planet located within its habitable zone. Based on observations of solar proton events and the Neupert effect, we estimated a proton flux associated with the flare of 5.9 × 10⁸ protons cm⁻² sr⁻¹ s⁻¹ for particles with energies >10 MeV. Then we calculated the abundance of nitrogen oxides produced by the flare by scaling the production of these compounds during a large solar proton event called the Carrington event. The simulations were performed with a 1-D photochemical model coupled to a 1-D radiative/convective model. Our results indicate that the UV radiation emitted during the flare does not produce a significant change in the ozone column depth of the planet. When the action of protons is included, the ozone depletion reaches a maximum of 94% two years after the flare for a planet with no magnetic field. At the peak of the flare, the calculated UV fluxes that reach the surface, in the wavelength ranges that are damaging for life, exceed those received on Earth during less than 100 s. Therefore, flares may not present a direct hazard for life on the surface of an orbiting habitable planet. Given that AD Leo is one of the most magnetically active M dwarfs known, this conclusion should apply to planets around other M dwarfs with lower levels of chromospheric activity.

  7. Nuclear planetology: understanding habitable planets as Galactic bulge stellar remnants (black dwarfs) in a Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roller, Goetz

    2016-04-01

    The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram is one of the most important diagrams in astronomy. In a HR diagram, the luminosity of stars and/or stellar remnants (white dwarf stars, WD's), relative to the luminosity of the sun, is plotted versus their surface temperatures (Teff). The Earth shows a striking similarity in size (radius ≈ 6.370 km) and Teff of its outer core surface (Teff ≈ 3800 K at the core-mantle-boundary) with old WD's (radius ≈ 6.300 km) like WD0346+246 (Teff ≈ 3820 K after ≈ 12.7 Ga [1]), which plot in the HR diagram close to the low-mass extension of the stellar population or main sequence. In the light of nuclear planetology [2], Earth-like planets are regarded as old, down-cooled and differentiated black dwarfs (Fe-C BLD's) after massive decompression, the most important nuclear reactions involved being 56Fe(γ,α)52Cr (etc.), possibly responsible for extreme terrestrial glaciations events ("snowball" Earth), together with (γ,n), (γ,p) and fusion reactions like 12C(α,γ)16O. The latter reaction might have caused oxidation of the planet from inside out. Nuclear planetology is a new research field, tightly constrained by a coupled 187Re-232Th-238U systematics. By means of nuclear/quantum physics and taking the theory of relativity into account, it aims at understanding the thermal and chemical evolution of Fe-C BLD's after gravitational contraction (e.g. Mercury) or Fermi-pressure controlled collapse (e.g. Earth) events after massive decompression, leading possibly to an r-process event, towards the end of their cooling period [2]. So far and based upon 187Re-232Th-238U nuclear geochronometry, the Fe-C BLD hypothesis can successfully explain the global terrestrial MORB 232Th/238U signature [3]. Thus, it may help to elucidate the DM (depleted mantle), EMI (enriched mantle 1), EMII (enriched mantle 2) or HIMU (high U/Pb) reservoirs, and the 187Os/188Os isotopic dichotomy in Archean magmatic rocks and sediments [4]. Here I present a conceptual

  8. 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.

  9. High-Contrast 3.8 Micron Imaging of the Brown Dwarf/Planet-Mass Companion to GJ 758

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, Thayne M.; Bailey, Vanessa; Fabrycky, Daniel; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Rodigas, Timothy; Hinz, Phil

    2011-01-01

    We present L' band (3.8 Micron) MMT/Clio high-contrast imaging data for the nearby star GJ 758, which was recently reported by Thalmann et al. (2009) to have one - possibly two - faint comoving companions (GJ 7588 and "C", respectively). GJ 758B is detected in two distinct datasets. Additionally, we report a \\textit{possible} detection of the object identified by Thalmann et al as "GJ 758C" in our more sensitive dataset, though it is likely a residual speckle. However, if it is the same object as that reported by Thalmann et al. it cannot be a companion in a bound orbit. GJ 7588 has a H-L' color redder than nearly all known L-T8 dwarfs. 8ased on comparisons with the COND evolutionary models, GJ 7588 has Te approx. 560 K (+150 K, -90 K) and a mass ranging from approx.10-20 Mj if it is approx.1 Gyr old to approx. 25-40 Mj if it is 8.7 Gyr old. GJ 7588 is likely in a highly eccentric orbit, e approx. 0.73 (+0.12,-0.21), with a semimajor axis of approx. 44 AU (+32 AU, -14 AU). Though GJ 7588 is sometimes discussed within the context of exoplanet direct imaging, its mass is likely greater than the deuterium-burning limit and its formation may resemble that of binary stars rather than that of jovian-mass planets.

  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. MICROLENS TERRESTRIAL PARALLAX MASS MEASUREMENTS: A RARE PROBE OF ISOLATED BROWN DWARFS AND FREE-FLOATING PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gould, Andrew; Yee, Jennifer C.

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial microlens parallax is one of the very few methods that can measure the mass and number density of isolated dark low-mass objects, such as old free-floating planets and brown dwarfs. Terrestrial microlens parallax can be measured whenever a microlensing event differs substantially as observed from two or more well-separated sites. If the lens also transits the source during the event, then its mass can be measured. We derive an analytic expression for the expected rate of such events and then use this to derive two important conclusions. First, the rate is directly proportional to the number density of a given population, greatly favoring low-mass populations relative to their contribution to the general microlensing rate, which further scales as M 1/2 where M is the lens mass. Second, the rate rises sharply as one probes smaller source stars, despite the fact that the probability of transit falls directly with source size. We propose modifications to current observing strategies that could yield a factor of 100 increase in sensitivity to these rare events.

  12. Fast and Slow Precession of Gaseous Debris Disks around Planet-accreting White Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Ryan; Rafikov, Roman R.

    2018-04-01

    Spectroscopic observations of some metal-rich white dwarfs (WDs), believed to be polluted by planetary material, reveal the presence of compact gaseous metallic disks orbiting them. The observed variability of asymmetric, double-peaked emission-line profiles in about half of such systems could be interpreted as the signature of precession of an eccentric gaseous debris disk. The variability timescales—from decades down to 1.4 year (recently inferred for the debris disk around HE 1349–2305)—are in rough agreement with the rate of general relativistic (GR) precession in the test-particle limit. However, it has not been demonstrated that this mechanism can drive such a fast, coherent precession of a radially extended (out to 1 {R}ȯ ) gaseous disk mediated by internal stresses (pressure). Here, we use the linear theory of eccentricity evolution in hydrodynamic disks to determine several key properties of eccentric modes in gaseous debris disks around WDs. We find a critical dependence of both the precession period and radial eccentricity distribution of the modes on the inner disk radius, r in. For small inner radii, {r}in}≲ (0.2{--}0.4) {R}ȯ , the modes are GR-driven, with periods of ≈1–10 year. For {r}in}≳ (0.2{--}0.4) {R}ȯ , the modes are pressure dominated, with periods of ≈3–20 year. Correspondence between the variability periods and inferred inner radii of the observed disks is in general agreement with this trend. In particular, the short period of HE 1349–2305 is consistent with its small r in. Circum-WD debris disks may thus serve as natural laboratories for studying the evolution of eccentric gaseous disks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  14. COAGULATION CALCULATIONS OF ICY PLANET FORMATION AT 15-150 AU: A CORRELATION BETWEEN THE MAXIMUM RADIUS AND THE SLOPE OF THE SIZE DISTRIBUTION FOR TRANS-NEPTUNIAN OBJECTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenyon, Scott J. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Bromley, Benjamin C., E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu [Department of Physics, University of Utah, 201 JFB, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States)

    2012-03-15

    We investigate whether coagulation models of planet formation can explain the observed size distributions of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). Analyzing published and new calculations, we demonstrate robust relations between the size of the largest object and the slope of the size distribution for sizes 0.1 km and larger. These relations yield clear, testable predictions for TNOs and other icy objects throughout the solar system. Applying our results to existing observations, we show that a broad range of initial disk masses, planetesimal sizes, and fragmentation parameters can explain the data. Adding dynamical constraints on the initial semimajor axis of 'hot' Kuiper Belt objects along with probable TNO formation times of 10-700 Myr restricts the viable models to those with a massive disk composed of relatively small (1-10 km) planetesimals.

  15. 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.

  16. TRIGONOMETRIC PARALLAXES AND PROPER MOTIONS OF 134 SOUTHERN LATE M, L, AND T DWARFS FROM THE CARNEGIE ASTROMETRIC PLANET SEARCH PROGRAM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weinberger, Alycia J.; Boss, Alan P.; Keiser, Sandra A.; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Thompson, Ian B.; Burley, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    We report trigonometric parallaxes for 134 low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, of which 38 have no previously published measurement and 79 more have improved uncertainties. Our survey focused on nearby targets, so 119 are closer than 30 pc. Of the 38 stars with new parallaxes, 14 are within 20 pc and seven are likely brown dwarfs (spectral types later than L0). These parallaxes are useful for studies of kinematics, multiplicity, and spectrophotometric calibration. Two objects with new parallaxes are confirmed as young stars with membership in nearby young moving groups: LP 870-65 in AB Doradus and G 161-71 in Argus. We also report the first parallax for the planet-hosting star GJ 3470; this allows us to refine the density of its Neptune-mass planet. T-dwarf 2MASS J12590470-4336243, previously thought to lie within 4 pc, is found to be at 7.8 pc, and the M-type star 2MASS J01392170-3936088 joins the ranks of nearby stars as it is found to be within 10 pc. Five stars that are overluminous and/or too red for their spectral types are identified and deserve further study as possible young stars.

  17. TRIGONOMETRIC PARALLAXES AND PROPER MOTIONS OF 134 SOUTHERN LATE M, L, AND T DWARFS FROM THE CARNEGIE ASTROMETRIC PLANET SEARCH PROGRAM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinberger, Alycia J.; Boss, Alan P.; Keiser, Sandra A. [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015-1305 (United States); Anglada-Escudé, Guillem [School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London, 327 Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS (United Kingdom); Thompson, Ian B. [Carnegie Observatories, Carnegie Institution for Science, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101-1292 (United States); Burley, Gregory [National Research Council of Canada, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7 (Canada)

    2016-07-01

    We report trigonometric parallaxes for 134 low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, of which 38 have no previously published measurement and 79 more have improved uncertainties. Our survey focused on nearby targets, so 119 are closer than 30 pc. Of the 38 stars with new parallaxes, 14 are within 20 pc and seven are likely brown dwarfs (spectral types later than L0). These parallaxes are useful for studies of kinematics, multiplicity, and spectrophotometric calibration. Two objects with new parallaxes are confirmed as young stars with membership in nearby young moving groups: LP 870-65 in AB Doradus and G 161-71 in Argus. We also report the first parallax for the planet-hosting star GJ 3470; this allows us to refine the density of its Neptune-mass planet. T-dwarf 2MASS J12590470-4336243, previously thought to lie within 4 pc, is found to be at 7.8 pc, and the M-type star 2MASS J01392170-3936088 joins the ranks of nearby stars as it is found to be within 10 pc. Five stars that are overluminous and/or too red for their spectral types are identified and deserve further study as possible young stars.

  18. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS. III. A YOUNG DUSTY L DWARF COMPANION AT THE DEUTERIUM-BURNING LIMIT ,

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Shkolnik, Evgenya L. [Lowell Observatory, 1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Dupuy, Trent J., E-mail: bpbowler@ifa.hawaii.edu [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2013-09-01

    We report the discovery of an L-type companion to the young M3.5V star 2MASS J01225093-2439505 at a projected separation of 1.''45 ( Almost-Equal-To 52 AU) as part of our adaptive optics imaging search for extrasolar giant planets around young low-mass stars. 2MASS 0122-2439 B has very red near-infrared colors similar to the HR 8799 planets and the reddest known young/dusty L dwarfs in the field. Moderate-resolution (R Almost-Equal-To 3800) 1.5-2.4 {mu}m spectroscopy reveals a near-infrared spectral type of L4-L6 and an angular H-band shape, confirming its cool temperature and young age. The kinematics of 2MASS 0122-2439 AB are marginally consistent with members of the {approx}120 Myr AB Dor young moving group based on the photometric distance to the primary (36 {+-} 4 pc) and our radial velocity measurement of 2MASS 0122-2439 A from Keck/HIRES. We adopt the AB Dor group age for the system, but the high energy emission, lack of Li I {lambda}6707 absorption, and spectral shape of 2MASS 0122-2439 B suggest a range of {approx}10-120 Myr is possible. The age and luminosity of 2MASS 0122-2439 B fall in a strip where ''hot-start'' evolutionary model mass tracks overlap as a result of deuterium burning. Several known substellar companions also fall in this region (2MASS J0103-5515 ABb, AB Pic b, {kappa} And b, G196-3 B, SDSS 2249+0044 B, LP 261-75 B, HD 203030 B, and HN Peg B), but their dual-valued mass predictions have largely been unrecognized. The implied mass of 2MASS 0122-2439 B is Almost-Equal-To 12-13 M{sub Jup} or Almost-Equal-To 22-27 M{sub Jup} if it is an AB Dor member, or possibly as low as 11 M{sub Jup} if the wider age range is adopted. Evolutionary models predict an effective temperature for 2MASS 0122-2439 B that corresponds to spectral types near the L/T transition ( Almost-Equal-To 1300-1500 K) for field objects. However, we find a mid-L near-infrared spectral type, indicating that 2MASS 0122-2439 B represents another case

  19. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS. III. A YOUNG DUSTY L DWARF COMPANION AT THE DEUTERIUM-BURNING LIMIT ,

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Dupuy, Trent J.

    2013-01-01

    We report the discovery of an L-type companion to the young M3.5V star 2MASS J01225093-2439505 at a projected separation of 1.''45 (≈52 AU) as part of our adaptive optics imaging search for extrasolar giant planets around young low-mass stars. 2MASS 0122-2439 B has very red near-infrared colors similar to the HR 8799 planets and the reddest known young/dusty L dwarfs in the field. Moderate-resolution (R ≈ 3800) 1.5-2.4 μm spectroscopy reveals a near-infrared spectral type of L4-L6 and an angular H-band shape, confirming its cool temperature and young age. The kinematics of 2MASS 0122-2439 AB are marginally consistent with members of the ∼120 Myr AB Dor young moving group based on the photometric distance to the primary (36 ± 4 pc) and our radial velocity measurement of 2MASS 0122-2439 A from Keck/HIRES. We adopt the AB Dor group age for the system, but the high energy emission, lack of Li I λ6707 absorption, and spectral shape of 2MASS 0122-2439 B suggest a range of ∼10-120 Myr is possible. The age and luminosity of 2MASS 0122-2439 B fall in a strip where ''hot-start'' evolutionary model mass tracks overlap as a result of deuterium burning. Several known substellar companions also fall in this region (2MASS J0103-5515 ABb, AB Pic b, κ And b, G196-3 B, SDSS 2249+0044 B, LP 261-75 B, HD 203030 B, and HN Peg B), but their dual-valued mass predictions have largely been unrecognized. The implied mass of 2MASS 0122-2439 B is ≈12-13 M Jup or ≈22-27 M Jup if it is an AB Dor member, or possibly as low as 11 M Jup if the wider age range is adopted. Evolutionary models predict an effective temperature for 2MASS 0122-2439 B that corresponds to spectral types near the L/T transition (≈1300-1500 K) for field objects. However, we find a mid-L near-infrared spectral type, indicating that 2MASS 0122-2439 B represents another case of photospheric dust being retained to cooler temperatures at low surface gravities, as seen in the spectra of young (8-30 Myr

  20. Suppression of the water ice and snow albedo feedback on planets orbiting red dwarf stars and the subsequent widening of the habitable zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Manoj M; Haberle, Robert M

    2012-01-01

    M stars comprise 80% of main sequence stars, so their planetary systems provide the best chance for finding habitable planets, that is, those with surface liquid water. We have modeled the broadband albedo or reflectivity of water ice and snow for simulated planetary surfaces orbiting two observed red dwarf stars (or M stars), using spectrally resolved data of Earth's cryosphere. The gradual reduction of the albedos of snow and ice at wavelengths greater than 1 μm, combined with M stars emitting a significant fraction of their radiation at these same longer wavelengths, means that the albedos of ice and snow on planets orbiting M stars are much lower than their values on Earth. Our results imply that the ice/snow albedo climate feedback is significantly weaker for planets orbiting M stars than for planets orbiting G-type stars such as the Sun. In addition, planets with significant ice and snow cover will have significantly higher surface temperatures for a given stellar flux if the spectral variation of cryospheric albedo is considered, which in turn implies that the outer edge of the habitable zone around M stars may be 10-30% farther away from the parent star than previously thought.

  1. ASTROMETRY AND RADIAL VELOCITIES OF THE PLANET HOST M DWARF GJ 317: NEW TRIGONOMETRIC DISTANCE, METALLICITY, AND UPPER LIMIT TO THE MASS OF GJ 317b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Boss, Alan P.; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Butler, R. Paul; Thompson, Ian B.; Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, Eugenio J.

    2012-01-01

    We have obtained precision astrometry of the planet host M dwarf GJ 317 in the framework of the Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search project. The new astrometric measurements give a distance determination of 15.3 pc, 65% further than previous estimates. The resulting absolute magnitudes suggest that it is metal-rich and more massive than previously assumed. This result strengthens the correlation between high metallicity and the presence of gas giants around low-mass stars. At 15.3 pc, the minimal astrometric amplitude for planet candidate GJ 317b is 0.3 mas (edge-on orbit), just below our astrometric sensitivity. However, given the relatively large number of observations and good astrometric precision, a Bayesian Monte Carlo Markov Chain analysis indicates that the mass of planet b has to be smaller than twice the minimum mass with a 99% confidence level, with a most likely value of 2.5 M Jup . Additional radial velocity (RV) measurements obtained with Keck by the Lick-Carnegie Planet search program confirm the presence of an additional very long period planet candidate, with a period of 20 years or more. Even though such an object will imprint a large astrometric wobble on the star, its curvature is yet not evident in the astrometry. Given high metallicity, and the trend indicating that multiple systems are rich in low-mass companions, this system is likely to host additional low-mass planets in its habitable zone that can be readily detected with state-of-the-art optical and near-infrared RV measurements.

  2. ASTROMETRY AND RADIAL VELOCITIES OF THE PLANET HOST M DWARF GJ 317: NEW TRIGONOMETRIC DISTANCE, METALLICITY, AND UPPER LIMIT TO THE MASS OF GJ 317b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anglada-Escude, Guillem; Boss, Alan P.; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Butler, R. Paul [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, 5241 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States); Thompson, Ian B. [Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, Eugenio J., E-mail: anglada@dtm.ciw.edu [UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2012-02-10

    We have obtained precision astrometry of the planet host M dwarf GJ 317 in the framework of the Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search project. The new astrometric measurements give a distance determination of 15.3 pc, 65% further than previous estimates. The resulting absolute magnitudes suggest that it is metal-rich and more massive than previously assumed. This result strengthens the correlation between high metallicity and the presence of gas giants around low-mass stars. At 15.3 pc, the minimal astrometric amplitude for planet candidate GJ 317b is 0.3 mas (edge-on orbit), just below our astrometric sensitivity. However, given the relatively large number of observations and good astrometric precision, a Bayesian Monte Carlo Markov Chain analysis indicates that the mass of planet b has to be smaller than twice the minimum mass with a 99% confidence level, with a most likely value of 2.5 M{sub Jup}. Additional radial velocity (RV) measurements obtained with Keck by the Lick-Carnegie Planet search program confirm the presence of an additional very long period planet candidate, with a period of 20 years or more. Even though such an object will imprint a large astrometric wobble on the star, its curvature is yet not evident in the astrometry. Given high metallicity, and the trend indicating that multiple systems are rich in low-mass companions, this system is likely to host additional low-mass planets in its habitable zone that can be readily detected with state-of-the-art optical and near-infrared RV measurements.

  3. Emergence of Habitable Environments in Icy World Interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neveu, Marc

    2016-07-01

    Finding habitable worlds is a key driver of solar system exploration. Many solar system missions seek environments providing liquid water, energy, and nutrients, the three ingredients necessary to sustain life [1]. Such environments include hydrothermal systems, spatially confined systems where hot aqueous fluid circulates through rock by convection. Hydrothermal activity may be widespread in the solar system. Most solar system worlds larger than 200 km in radius are icy moons and dwarf planets, likely composed of an icy, cometary mantle surrounding a rocky, chondritic core [2]. By improving an icy world evolution code [3] to include the effects of core fracturing and hydrothermal circulation, I show that several icy moons and dwarf planets likely have undergone extensive water-rock interaction [4,5]. This supports observations of aqueous products on their surfaces [6,7]. I simulated the alteration of chondritic rock [8] by pure water or fluid of cometary composition [9] to show that aqueous alteration feeds back on geophysical evolution: it modifies the fluid antifreeze content, affecting its persistence over geological timescales; and the distribution of radionuclides, whose decay is a chief heat source on dwarf planets [10]. Hydrothermal circulation also efficiently transports heat from the core into the ocean, thereby increasing ocean persistence [4]. Thus, these coupled geophysical-geochemical models provide a comprehensive picture of icy world evolution and the emergence of liquid environments in chemical disequilibrium with underlying rock in their interiors. Habitable settings also require a suitable supply of bioessential elements; but what constitutes "suitable"? I sought to quantify the bulk elemental composition of hydrothermal microbial communities, collected in hot spring sediments and mats at Yellowstone National Park, USA. To do so, one must minimize the contribution of non-biological material to the samples analyzed. This was achieved using a

  4. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS (PALMS). I. A SUBSTELLAR COMPANION TO THE YOUNG M DWARF 1RXS J235133.3+312720

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Cieza, Lucas A.; Kraus, Adam L. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Shkolnik, Evgenya L. [Lowell Observatory, 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Dupuy, Trent J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Tamura, Motohide, E-mail: bpbowler@ifa.hawaii.edu [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)

    2012-07-10

    We report the discovery of a brown dwarf companion to the young M dwarf 1RXS J235133.3+312720 as part of a high contrast imaging search for planets around nearby young low-mass stars with Keck-II/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO. The 2.''4 ({approx}120 AU) pair is confirmed to be comoving from two epochs of high-resolution imaging. Follow-up low- and moderate-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy of 1RXS J2351+3127 B with IRTF/SpeX and Keck-II/OSIRIS reveals a spectral type of L0{sup +2}{sub -1}. The M2 primary star 1RXS J2351+3127 A exhibits X-ray and UV activity levels comparable to young moving group members with ages of {approx}10-100 Myr. UVW kinematics based the measured radial velocity of the primary and the system's photometric distance (50 {+-} 10 pc) indicate it is likely a member of the {approx}50-150 Myr AB Dor moving group. The near-infrared spectrum of 1RXS J2351+3127 B does not exhibit obvious signs of youth, but its H-band morphology shows subtle hints of intermediate surface gravity. The spectrum is also an excellent match to the {approx}200 Myr M9 brown dwarf LP 944-20. Assuming an age of 50-150 Myr, evolutionary models imply a mass of 32 {+-} 6 M{sub Jup} for the companion, making 1RXS J2351+3127 B the second lowest-mass member of the AB Dor moving group after the L4 companion CD-35 2722 B and one of the few benchmark brown dwarfs known at young ages.

  5. CROWDING-OUT OF GIANTS BY DWARFS: AN ORIGIN FOR THE LACK OF COMPANION PLANETS IN HOT JUPITER SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogihara, Masahiro; Inutsuka, Shu-ichiro; Kobayashi, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the formation of close-in terrestrial planets from planetary embryos under the influence of a hot Jupiter (HJ) using gravitational N-body simulations that include gravitational interactions between the gas disk and the terrestrial planet (e.g., type I migration). Our simulations show that several terrestrial planets efficiently form outside the orbit of the HJ, making a chain of planets, and all of them gravitationally interact directly or indirectly with the HJ through resonance, which leads to inward migration of the HJ. We call this mechanism of induced migration of the HJ ''crowding-out''. The HJ is eventually lost through collision with the central star, and only several terrestrial planets remain. We also find that the efficiency of the crowding-out effect depends on the model parameters; for example, the heavier the disk is, the more efficient the crowding-out is. When planet formation occurs in a massive disk, the HJ can be lost to the central star and is never observed. On the other hand, for a less massive disk, the HJ and terrestrial planets can coexist; however, the companion planets may be below the detection limit of current observations. In both cases, systems with a HJ and terrestrial planets have little chance of detection. Therefore, our model naturally explains the lack of companion planets in HJ systems regardless of the disk mass. In effect, our model provides a theoretical prediction for future observations; additional planets can be discovered just outside the HJ, and their masses should generally be small

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF GJ 3470 b: A VERY LOW-DENSITY NEPTUNE-SIZE PLANET ORBITING A METAL-RICH M DWARF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demory, Brice-Olivier; Seager, Sara [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Torres, Guillermo [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Neves, Vasco; Santos, Nuno [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Rogers, Leslie [Department of Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Gillon, Michaeel [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Geophysique, Universite de Liege, Allee du 6 Aout, 17, Bat. B5C, Liege 1 (Belgium); Horch, Elliott [Department of Physics, 501 Crescent Street, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515 (United States); Sullivan, Peter [Department of Physics and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Bonfils, Xavier; Delfosse, Xavier; Forveille, Thierry [UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planetologie et d' Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274, Grenoble, F-38041 (France); Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Udry, Stephane [Observatoire de Geneve, Universite de Geneve, 51 ch. des Maillettes, CH-1290 Versoix (Switzerland); Smalley, Barry, E-mail: demory@mit.edu [Astrophysics Group, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST55BG (United Kingdom)

    2013-05-10

    We present Spitzer/IRAC 4.5 {mu}m transit photometry of GJ 3470 b, a Neptune-size planet orbiting an M1.5 dwarf star with a 3.3 day period recently discovered in the course of the HARPS M-dwarf survey. We refine the stellar parameters by employing purely empirical mass-luminosity and surface brightness relations constrained by our updated value for the mean stellar density, and additional information from new near-infrared spectroscopic observations. We derive a stellar mass of M{sub *}= 0.539{sup +0.047}{sub -0.043} M{sub sun} and a radius of R{sub *}= 0.568{sup +0.037}{sub -0.031} R{sub sun}. We determine the host star of GJ 3470 b to be metal-rich, with a metallicity of [Fe/H] = +0.20 {+-} 0.10 and an effective temperature of T{sub eff} = 3600 {+-} 100 K. The revised stellar parameters yield a planetary radius R{sub p}= 4.83{sub -0.21}{sup +0.22} R{sub Circled-Plus} that is 13% larger than the value previously reported in the literature. We find a planetary mass M{sub p}= 13.9{sup +1.5}{sub -1.4} M{sub Circled-Plus} that translates to a very low planetary density, {rho}{sub p}= 0.72{sup +0.13}{sub -0.12} g cm{sup -3}, which is 33% smaller than the original value. With a mean density half of that of GJ 436 b, GJ 3470 b is an example of a very low-density low-mass planet, similar to Kepler-11 d, Kepler-11 e, and Kepler-18 c, but orbiting a much brighter nearby star that is more conducive to follow-up studies.

  9. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF GJ 3470 b: A VERY LOW-DENSITY NEPTUNE-SIZE PLANET ORBITING A METAL-RICH M DWARF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demory, Brice-Olivier; Seager, Sara; Torres, Guillermo; Neves, Vasco; Santos, Nuno; Rogers, Leslie; Gillon, Michaël; Horch, Elliott; Sullivan, Peter; Bonfils, Xavier; Delfosse, Xavier; Forveille, Thierry; Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Udry, Stephane; Smalley, Barry

    2013-01-01

    We present Spitzer/IRAC 4.5 μm transit photometry of GJ 3470 b, a Neptune-size planet orbiting an M1.5 dwarf star with a 3.3 day period recently discovered in the course of the HARPS M-dwarf survey. We refine the stellar parameters by employing purely empirical mass-luminosity and surface brightness relations constrained by our updated value for the mean stellar density, and additional information from new near-infrared spectroscopic observations. We derive a stellar mass of M * = 0.539 +0.047 -0.043 M sun and a radius of R * = 0.568 +0.037 -0.031 R sun . We determine the host star of GJ 3470 b to be metal-rich, with a metallicity of [Fe/H] = +0.20 ± 0.10 and an effective temperature of T eff = 3600 ± 100 K. The revised stellar parameters yield a planetary radius R p = 4.83 -0.21 +0.22 R ⊕ that is 13% larger than the value previously reported in the literature. We find a planetary mass M p = 13.9 +1.5 -1.4 M ⊕ that translates to a very low planetary density, ρ p = 0.72 +0.13 -0.12 g cm –3 , which is 33% smaller than the original value. With a mean density half of that of GJ 436 b, GJ 3470 b is an example of a very low-density low-mass planet, similar to Kepler-11 d, Kepler-11 e, and Kepler-18 c, but orbiting a much brighter nearby star that is more conducive to follow-up studies.

  10. PLANETS AROUND LOW-MASS STARS (PALMS). II. A LOW-MASS COMPANION TO THE YOUNG M DWARF GJ 3629 SEPARATED BY 0.''2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Shkolnik, Evgenya L. [Lowell Observatory, 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Tamura, Motohide, E-mail: bpbowler@ifa.hawaii.edu [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)

    2012-09-01

    We present the discovery of a 0.''2 companion to the young M dwarf GJ 3629 as part of our high-contrast adaptive optics imaging search for giant planets around low-mass stars with the Keck-II and Subaru telescopes. Two epochs of imaging confirm that the pair is comoving and reveal signs of orbital motion. The primary exhibits saturated X-ray emission which, together with its UV photometry from GALEX, points to an age younger than {approx}300 Myr. At these ages the companion lies below the hydrogen burning limit with a model-dependent mass of 46 {+-} 16 M{sub Jup} based on the system's photometric distance of 22 {+-} 3 pc. Resolved YJHK photometry of the pair indicates a spectral type of M7 {+-} 2 for GJ 3629 B. With a projected separation of 4.4 {+-} 0.6 AU and an estimated orbital period of 21 {+-} 5 yr, GJ 3629 AB is likely to yield a dynamical mass in the next several years, making it one of only a handful of brown dwarfs to have a measured mass and an age constrained from the stellar primary.

  11. Point Source Polarimetry with the Gemini Planet Imager: Sensitivity Characterization with T5.5 Dwarf Companion HD 19467 B

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Point Source Polarimetry with the Gemini Planet Imager: Sensitivity Characterization with T5.5 Dwarf Companion HD 19467 B

    OpenAIRE

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Mawet, Dimitri; Graham, James R.; Wallace, J. Kent; Macintosh, Bruce; Hinkley, Sasha; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Marley, Mark S.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Ammons, S. Mark; Rantakyro, Fredrik T.; Marchis, Franck

    2016-01-01

    © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Detecting polarized light from self-luminous exoplanets has the potential to provide key information about rotation, surface gravity, cloud grain size, and cloud coverage. While field brown dwarfs with detected polarized emission are common, no exoplanet or substellar companion has yet been detected in polarized light. With the advent of high contrast imaging spectro-polarimeters such as GPI and SPHERE, such a detection may now b...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Planets around Low-mass Stars (PALMS). I. A Substellar Companion to the Young M Dwarf 1RXS J235133.3+312720

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Dupuy, Trent J.; Cieza, Lucas A.; Kraus, Adam L.; Tamura, Motohide

    2012-07-01

    We report the discovery of a brown dwarf companion to the young M dwarf 1RXS J235133.3+312720 as part of a high contrast imaging search for planets around nearby young low-mass stars with Keck-II/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO. The 2farcs4 (~120 AU) pair is confirmed to be comoving from two epochs of high-resolution imaging. Follow-up low- and moderate-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy of 1RXS J2351+3127 B with IRTF/SpeX and Keck-II/OSIRIS reveals a spectral type of L0+2 -1. The M2 primary star 1RXS J2351+3127 A exhibits X-ray and UV activity levels comparable to young moving group members with ages of ~10-100 Myr. UVW kinematics based the measured radial velocity of the primary and the system's photometric distance (50 ± 10 pc) indicate it is likely a member of the ~50-150 Myr AB Dor moving group. The near-infrared spectrum of 1RXS J2351+3127 B does not exhibit obvious signs of youth, but its H-band morphology shows subtle hints of intermediate surface gravity. The spectrum is also an excellent match to the ~200 Myr M9 brown dwarf LP 944-20. Assuming an age of 50-150 Myr, evolutionary models imply a mass of 32 ± 6 M Jup for the companion, making 1RXS J2351+3127 B the second lowest-mass member of the AB Dor moving group after the L4 companion CD-35 2722 B and one of the few benchmark brown dwarfs known at young ages. Some 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.

  16. A KECK HIRES DOPPLER SEARCH FOR PLANETS ORBITING METAL-POOR DWARFS. II. ON THE FREQUENCY OF GIANT PLANETS IN THE METAL-POOR REGIME

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sozzetti, Alessandro; Torres, Guillermo; Latham, David W.; Stefanik, Robert P.; Korzennik, Sylvain G.; Boss, Alan P.; Carney, Bruce W.; Laird, John B.

    2009-01-01

    We present an analysis of three years of precision radial velocity (RV) measurements of 160 metal-poor stars observed with HIRES on the Keck 1 telescope. We report on variability and long-term velocity trends for each star in our sample. We identify several long-term, low-amplitude RV variables worthy of followup with direct imaging techniques. We place lower limits on the detectable companion mass as a function of orbital period. Our survey would have detected, with a 99.5% confidence level, over 95% of all companions on low-eccentricity orbits with velocity semiamplitude K ∼> 100 m s -1 , or M p sin i ∼> 3.0 M J (P/yr) (1/3) , for orbital periods P ∼ p p ≅ 1%. Our results can usefully inform theoretical studies of the process of giant-planet formation across two orders of magnitude in metallicity.

  17. Response of atmospheric biomarkers to NO(x)-induced photochemistry generated by stellar cosmic rays for earth-like planets in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grenfell, John Lee; Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A Beate C; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-12-01

    Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N(2)), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O(3)). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NO(x) production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O(3) formation proceeds via the reaction O+O(2)+M→O(3)+M. At high NO(x) abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO(2) photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O(2)). For the flaring case, O(3) is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O(3)→NO(2)+O(2), and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O(3), Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O(2), N(2), and CO(2)) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O(3) survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong

  18. Response of Atmospheric Biomarkers to NOx-Induced Photochemistry Generated by Stellar Cosmic Rays for Earth-like Planets in the Habitable Zone of M Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A. Beate C.; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N2), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O3). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NOx production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O3 formation proceeds via the reaction O+O2+M→O3+M. At high NOx abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO2 photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O2). For the flaring case, O3 is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O3→NO2+O2, and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O3, Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O2, N2, and CO2) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O3 survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong case, whereas the biomarker

  19. Planet or brown dwarf? Inferring the companion mass in HD 100546 from the wall shape using mid-infrared interferometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulders, G.D.; Paardekooper, S.J.; Panic, O.; Dominik, C.; van Boekel, R.; Ratzka, T.

    2013-01-01

    Context. Giant planets form in protoplanetary disks while these disks are still gas-rich, and can reveal their presence through the annular gaps they carve out. HD 100546 is a gas-rich disk with a wide gap between a radius of ~1 and 13 AU, possibly cleared out by a planetary companion or planetary

  20. A planet orbiting an sdB star and an M dwarf in 2M 1938+4603

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blokesz Adam

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a preliminary analysis of the 2M 1938+4603 star. It is an eclipsing binary system consisting of a primary sdB component and a secondary M dwarf. The photometric data are dominated by mutual eclipses and a very strong reflection effect. The primary has a fairly rich pulsation spectrum which can be used to study its interior. On the other hand, the pulsations affect the binary trend and vice versa what makes the analysis very difficult. Therefore, we attempted at proper modeling of the light variation due to eclipses and reflection and their removal from the data so it does not affect the Fourier analysis of stellar pulsations. We focus on mid-times of over 16 000 primary and secondary minima, which were used to verify stability of the orbital period. The O-C diagram indicates possible parabolic and sinusoidal variations, commonly explained by period changes caused by evolution and a presence of a third body, respectively.

  1. 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

  2. MARVELS-1b: A SHORT-PERIOD, BROWN DWARF DESERT CANDIDATE FROM THE SDSS-III MARVELS PLANET SEARCH

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Brian L.; Ge Jian; Fleming, Scott W.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Sivarani, Thirupathi; Stassun, Keivan G.; Gary, Bruce; Pepper, Joshua; Gaudi, B. Scott; Eastman, Jason D.; Siverd, Robert J.; Barnes, Rory; Laws, Chris; Wisniewski, John P.; Wright, Jason; Ghezzi, Luan; Ogando, Ricardo L. C.; Maia, Marcio A. G.; Da Costa, Luiz Nicolaci; Porto de Mello, G. F.

    2011-01-01

    We present a new short-period brown dwarf (BD) candidate around the star TYC 1240-00945-1. This candidate was discovered in the first year of the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanets Large-area Survey (MARVELS), which is part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) III, and we designate the BD as MARVELS-1b. MARVELS uses the technique of dispersed fixed-delay interferometery to simultaneously obtain radial velocity (RV) measurements for 60 objects per field using a single, custom-built instrument that is fiber fed from the SDSS 2.5 m telescope. From our 20 RV measurements spread over a ∼370 day time baseline, we derive a Keplerian orbital fit with semi-amplitude K = 2.533 ± 0.025 km s -1 , period P = 5.8953 ± 0.0004 days, and eccentricity consistent with circular. Independent follow-up RV data confirm the orbit. Adopting a mass of 1.37 ± 0.11 M sun for the slightly evolved F9 host star, we infer that the companion has a minimum mass of 28.0 ± 1.5 M Jup , a semimajor axis 0.071 ± 0.002 AU assuming an edge-on orbit, and is probably tidally synchronized. We find no evidence for coherent intrinsic variability of the host star at the period of the companion at levels greater than a few millimagnitudes. The companion has an a priori transit probability of ∼14%. Although we find no evidence for transits, we cannot definitively rule them out for companion radii ∼ Jup .

  3. 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?

  4. Cost-Effective Icy Bodies Exploration using Small Satellite Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, Jonas; Mauro, David; Stupl, Jan; Nayak, Michael; Aziz, Jonathan; Cohen, Aaron; Colaprete, Anthony; Dono-Perez, Andres; Frost, Chad; Klamm, Benjamin; hide

    2015-01-01

    It has long been known that Saturn's moon Enceladus is expelling water-rich plumes into space, providing passing spacecraft with a window into what is hidden underneath its frozen crust. Recent discoveries indicate that similar events could also occur on other bodies in the solar system, such as Jupiter's moon Europa and the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt. These plumes provide a possible giant leap forward in the search for organics and assessing habitability beyond Earth, stepping stones toward the long-term goal of finding extraterrestrial life. The United States Congress recently requested mission designs to Europa, to fit within a cost cap of $1B, much less than previous mission designs' estimates. Here, innovative cost-effective small spacecraft designs for the deep-space exploration of these icy worlds, using new and emerging enabling technologies, and how to explore the outer solar system on a budget below the cost horizon of a flagship mission, are investigated. Science requirements, instruments selection, rendezvous trajectories, and spacecraft designs are some topics detailed. The mission concepts revolve around a comparably small-sized and low-cost Plume Chaser spacecraft, instrumented to characterize the vapor constituents encountered on its trajectory. In the event that a plume is not encountered, an ejecta plume can be artificially created by a companion spacecraft, the Plume Maker, on the target body at a location timed with the passage of the Plume Chaser spacecraft. Especially in the case of Ceres, such a mission could be a great complimentary mission to Dawn, as well as a possible future Europa Clipper mission. The comparably small volume of the spacecraft enables a launch to GTO as a secondary payload, providing multiple launch opportunities per year. Plume Maker's design is nearly identical to the Plume Chaser, and fits within the constraints for a secondary payload launch. The cost-effectiveness of small spacecraft missions enables the

  5. Biomarker response to galactic cosmic ray-induced NOx and the methane greenhouse effect in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grenfell, John Lee; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Patzer, Beate; Rauer, Heike; Segura, Antigona; Stadelmann, Anja; Stracke, Barbara; Titz, Ruth; Von Paris, Philip

    2007-02-01

    Planets orbiting in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars are subject to high levels of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), which produce nitrogen oxides (NOx) in Earth-like atmospheres. We investigate to what extent these NO(Mx) species may modify biomarker compounds such as ozone (O3) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as related compounds such as water (H2O) (essential for life) and methane (CH4) (which has both abiotic and biotic sources). Our model results suggest that such signals are robust, changing in the M star world atmospheric column due to GCR NOx effects by up to 20% compared to an M star run without GCR effects, and can therefore survive at least the effects of GCRs. We have not, however, investigated stellar cosmic rays here. CH4 levels are about 10 times higher on M star worlds than on Earth because of a lowering in hydroxyl (OH) in response to changes in the ultraviolet. The higher levels of CH4 are less than reported in previous studies. This difference arose partly because we used different biogenic input. For example, we employed 23% lower CH4 fluxes compared to those studies. Unlike on Earth, relatively modest changes in these fluxes can lead to larger changes in the concentrations of biomarker and related species on the M star world. We calculate a CH4 greenhouse heating effect of up to 4K. O3 photochemistry in terms of the smog mechanism and the catalytic loss cycles on the M star world differs considerably compared with that of Earth.

  6. Abiotic production of nitrous oxide by lightning. Implications for a false positive identification of life on Earth-Like Planets around quiescent M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Karina F.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.

    _{2} dominated primitive Earth-like atmospheres. However, during the rise in atmospheric O _{2} at the start of the Proterozoic, the ocean became stratified (anoxic at the bottom and oxygenic at the surface). During this period, the emissions of N _{2}O were probably higher than today associated with a stronger microbial activity in the early anoxic ocean layer (Grenfell et al., 2011). Under this scenario, the predicted N _{2}O concentration would be about 3920 ppb, considering 10% the current atmospheric O _{2} concentrations, 100 times higher the current microbial N _{2}O flux, and a fainter Sun (94.3%) (Grenfell et al., 2011). This concentration would be still undetectable (Grenfell et al., 2011). A completely different scenario could be expected in Earth-like planets orbiting M dwarfs, which are the most abundant stars in the galaxy, representing about 75% of the total stellar population. M stars exhibit a large range in activity levels from very low levels of chromospheric and coronal activity, the so-called “quiescent” to high levels, the so-called “active" states. Photochemical models predict that the N _{2}O concentration would only increase to about 1,000 ppb for the current Earth orbiting an active M star, but surprisingly up to about 1,000 ppm for the current Earth orbiting a quiescent M star (Segura et al., 2005). Therefore, N _{2}O becomes a promising biomarker. Under this scenario it is important to constrain the abiotic sources of N _{2}O under different atmospheric conditions to avoid a false positive identification of life. Here we report an experimental study of the effects of lightning discharges on the nitrogen fixation rate during the evolution of the Earth’s early atmosphere from 10 to 1 percent of carbon dioxide in molecular nitrogen. We extended our study from no methane up to 1,000 ppm CH _{4}, which would be applicable to the postbiotic Earth (Tian et al., 2011). Lightning was simulated in the laboratory by a plasma generated with a

  7. Modeling of light scattering by icy bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolokolova, L.; Mackowski, D.; Pitman, K.; Verbiscer, A.; Buratti, B.; Momary, T.

    2014-07-01

    As a result of ground-based, space-based, and in-situ spacecraft mission observations, a great amount of photometric, polarimetric, and spectroscopic data of icy bodies (satellites of giant planets, Kuiper Belt objects, comet nuclei, and icy particles in cometary comae and rings) has been accumulated. These data have revealed fascinating light-scattering phenomena, such as the opposition surge resulting from coherent backscattering and shadow hiding and the negative polarization associated with them. Near-infrared (NIR) spectra of these bodies are especially informative as the depth, width, and shape of the absorption bands of ice are sensitive not only to the ice abundance but also to the size of icy grains. Numerous NIR spectra obtained by Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) have been used to map the microcharacteristics of the icy satellites [1] and rings of Saturn [2]. VIMS data have also permitted a study of the opposition surge for icy satellites of Saturn [3], showing that coherent backscattering affects not only brightness and polarization of icy bodies but also their spectra [4]. To study all of the light-scattering phenomena that affect the photopolarimetric and spectroscopic characteristics of icy bodies, including coherent backscattering, requires computer modeling that rigorously considers light scattering by a large number of densely packed small particles that form either layers (in the case of regolith) or big clusters (ring and comet particles) . Such opportunity has appeared recently with a development of a new version MSTM4 of the Multi-Sphere T-Matrix code [5]. Simulations of reflectance and absorbance spectra of a ''target'' (particle layer or cluster) require that the dimensions of the target be significantly larger than the wavelength, sphere radius, and layer thickness. For wavelength-sized spheres and packing fractions typical of regolith, targets can contain dozens of thousands of spheres that, with the original MSTM

  8. THE EXTREMELY RED, YOUNG L DWARF PSO J318.5338–22.8603: A FREE-FLOATING PLANETARY-MASS ANALOG TO DIRECTLY IMAGED YOUNG GAS-GIANT PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Michael C.; Magnier, Eugene A.; Kotson, Michael C.; Aller, Kimberly M.; Burgett, W. S.; Chambers, K. C.; Hodapp, K. W.; Jedicke, R.; Kaiser, N.; Kudritzki, R.-P.; Morgan, J. S.; Tonry, J. L.; Wainscoat, R. J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Deacon, Niall R. [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Konigstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Allers, Katelyn N. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837 (United States); Dupuy, Trent J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Draper, P. W.; Price, P. A. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Metcalfe, N. [Department of Physics, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE (United Kingdom)

    2013-11-10

    We have discovered using Pan-STARRS1 an extremely red late-L dwarf, which has (J – K){sub MKO} = 2.78 and (J – K){sub 2MASS} = 2.84, making it the reddest known field dwarf and second only to 2MASS J1207–39b among substellar companions. Near-IR spectroscopy shows a spectral type of L7 ± 1 and reveals a triangular H-band continuum and weak alkali (K I and Na I) lines, hallmarks of low surface gravity. Near-IR astrometry from the Hawaii Infrared Parallax Program gives a distance of 24.6 ± 1.4 pc and indicates a much fainter J-band absolute magnitude than field L dwarfs. The position and kinematics of PSO J318.5–22 point to membership in the β Pic moving group. Evolutionary models give a temperature of 1160{sup +30}{sub -40} K and a mass of 6.5{sup +1.3}{sub -1.0} M {sub Jup}, making PSO J318.5–22 one of the lowest mass free-floating objects in the solar neighborhood. This object adds to the growing list of low-gravity field L dwarfs and is the first to be strongly deficient in methane relative to its estimated temperature. Comparing their spectra suggests that young L dwarfs with similar ages and temperatures can have different spectral signatures of youth. For the two objects with well constrained ages (PSO J318.5–22 and 2MASS J0355+11), we find their temperatures are ≈400 K cooler than field objects of similar spectral type but their luminosities are similar, i.e., these young L dwarfs are very red and unusually cool but not 'underluminous'. Altogether, PSO J318.5–22 is the first free-floating object with the colors, magnitudes, spectrum, luminosity, and mass that overlap the young dusty planets around HR 8799 and 2MASS J1207–39.

  9. 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.

  10. Exobiology of icy satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simakov, M. B.

    At the beginning of 2004 the total number of discovered planets near other stars was 119 All of them are massive giants and met practically in all orbits In a habitable zone from 0 8 up to 1 1 AU at less 11 planets has been found starting with HD 134987 and up to HD 4203 It would be naive to suppose existence of life in unique known to us amino-nucleic acid form on the gas-liquid giant planets Nevertheless conditions for onset and evolutions of life can be realized on hypothetical satellites extrasolar planets All giant planets of the Solar system have a big number of satellites 61 of Jupiter 52 of Saturn known in 2003 A small part of them consist very large bodies quite comparable to planets of terrestrial type but including very significant share of water ice Some from them have an atmosphere E g the mass of a column of the Titan s atmosphere exceeds 15 times the mass of the Earth atmosphere column Formation or capture of satellites is a natural phenomenon and satellite systems definitely should exist at extrasolar planets A hypothetical satellite of the planet HD 28185 with a dense enough atmosphere and hydrosphere could have biosphere of terrestrial type within the limits of our notion about an origin of terrestrial biosphere As an example we can see on Titan the largest satellite of Saturn which has a dense nitrogen atmosphere and a large quantity of liquid water under ice cover and so has a great exobiological significance The most recent models of the Titan s interior lead to the conclusion that a substantial liquid layer

  11. Understanding Brown Dwarf Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.

    2013-01-01

    Surveys of brown dwarf variability continue to find that roughly half of all brown dwarfs are variable. While variability is observed amongst all types of brown dwarfs, amplitudes are typically greatest for L-T transition objects. In my talk I will discuss the possible physical mechanisms that are responsible for the observed variability. I will particularly focus on comparing and contrasting the effects of changes in atmospheric thermal profile and cloud opacity. The two different mechanisms will produce different variability signatures and I will discuss the extent to which the current datasets constrain both mechanisms. By combining constraints from studies of variability with existing spectral and photometric datasets we can begin to construct and test self-consistent models of brown dwarf atmospheres. These models not only aid in the interpretation of existing objects but also inform studies of directly imaged giant planets.

  12. Rotational Dynamics of Icy Satellites : Tidal response and forced longitudinal librations at the surface of a viscoelastic Europa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jara Orue, H.M.

    2016-01-01

    The icy satellites of the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn are among the most interesting celestial bodies in our Solar System. The interpretation of various remote sensing observations performed by the Voyager, Galileo and Cassini-Huygens missions strongly suggests that many icy satellites harbor a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  14. New Light on Dark Stars Red Dwarfs, Low-Mass Stars, Brown Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Reid, I. Neill

    2005-01-01

    There has been very considerable progress in research into low-mass stars, brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets during the past few years, particularly since the fist edtion of this book was published in 2000. In this new edtion the authors present a comprehensive review of both the astrophysical nature of individual red dwarf and brown dwarf stars and their collective statistical properties as an important Galactic stellar population. Chapters dealing with the observational properies of low-mass dwarfs, the stellar mass function and extrasolar planets have been completely revised. Other chapters have been significantly revised and updated as appropriate, including important new material on observational techniques, stellar acivity, the Galactic halo and field star surveys. The authors detail the many discoveries of new brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets made since publication of the first edition of the book and provide a state-of-the-art review of our current knowledge of very low-mass stars, brown dwarfs a...

  15. White dwarfs in the WTS: Eclipsing binaries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burleigh M.R.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We have identified photometric white dwarf candidates in the WFCAM transit survey through a reduced proper motion versus colour approach. Box-fitting with parameters adjusted to detect the unique signature of a white dwarf + planet/brown dwarf transit/eclipse event was performed, as well as looking for variability due to the irradiation of the companions atmosphere by the white dwarf's high UV flux. We have also performed a simple sensitivity analysis in order to assess the ability of the survey to detect companions to white dwarfs via the transit method.

  16. Seismic Wave Propagation in Icy Ocean Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stähler, Simon C.; Panning, Mark P.; Vance, Steven D.; Lorenz, Ralph D.; van Driel, Martin; Nissen-Meyer, Tarje; Kedar, Sharon

    2018-01-01

    Seismology was developed on Earth and shaped our model of the Earth's interior over the twentieth century. With the exception of the Philae lander, all in situ extraterrestrial seismological effort to date was limited to other terrestrial planets. All have in common a rigid crust above a solid mantle. The coming years may see the installation of seismometers on Europa, Titan, and Enceladus, so it is necessary to adapt seismological concepts to the setting of worlds with global oceans covered in ice. Here we use waveform analyses to identify and classify wave types, developing a lexicon for icy ocean world seismology intended to be useful to both seismologists and planetary scientists. We use results from spectral-element simulations of broadband seismic wavefields to adapt seismological concepts to icy ocean worlds. We present a concise naming scheme for seismic waves and an overview of the features of the seismic wavefield on Europa, Titan, Ganymede, and Enceladus. In close connection with geophysical interior models, we analyze simulated seismic measurements of Europa and Titan that might be used to constrain geochemical parameters governing the habitability of a sub-ice ocean.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. ICIS Contacts Subject Area Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) is a web-based system that provides information for the federal enforcement and compliance (FE&C) and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) programs.

  20. Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The purpose of ICIS is to meet evolving Enforcement and Compliance business needs for EPA and State users by integrating information into a single integrated data...

  1. Explaining millimeter-sized particles in brown dwarf disks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pinilla, P.; Birnstiel, T.; Benisty, M.; Ricci, L.; Natta, A.; Dullemond, C.P.; Dominik, C.; Testi, L.

    2013-01-01

    Context. Planets have been detected around a variety of stars, including low-mass objects, such as brown dwarfs. However, such extreme cases are challenging for planet formation models. Recent sub-millimeter observations of disks around brown dwarf measured low spectral indices of the continuum

  2. Hot Jupiters around M dwarfs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murgas F.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The WFCAM Transit Survey (WTS is a near-infrared transit survey running on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT. We conduct Monte Carlo transit injection and detection simulations for short period (<10 day Jupiter-sized planets to characterize the sensitivity of the survey. We investigate the recovery rate as a function of period and magnitude in 2 hypothetical star-planet cases: M0–2 + hot Jupiter, M2–4 + hot Jupiter. We find that the WTS lightcurves are very sensitive to the presence of Jupiter-sized short-period transiting planets around M dwarfs. The non-detection of a hot-Jupiter around an M dwarf by the WFCAM Transit Survey allows us to place a firm upper limit of 1.9 per cent (at 95 per cent confidence on the planet occurrence rate.

  3. DETAILED COMPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE HEAVILY POLLUTED DBZ WHITE DWARF SDSS J073842.56+183509.06: A WINDOW ON PLANET FORMATION?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dufour, P.; Fontaine, G.; Bergeron, P. [Departement de Physique, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada); Kilic, M. [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, 440 W. Brooks St., Norman, OK 73019 (United States); Melis, C. [Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093-0424 (United States); Bochanski, J., E-mail: dufourpa@astro.umontreal.ca [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2012-04-10

    We present a new model atmosphere analysis of the most metal-contaminated white dwarf known, the DBZ SDSS J073842.56+183509.06. Using new high-resolution spectroscopic observations taken with Keck and Magellan, we determine precise atmospheric parameters and measure abundances of 14 elements heavier than helium. We also report new Spitzer mid-infrared photometric data that are used to better constrain the properties of the debris disk orbiting this star. Our detailed analysis, which combines data taken from seven different observational facilities (Galaxy Evolution Explorer, Gemini, Keck, Magellan, MMT, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and Spitzer), clearly demonstrates that J0738+1835 is accreting large amounts of rocky terrestrial-like material that has been tidally disrupted into a debris disk. We estimate that the body responsible for the photospheric metal contamination was at least as large as Ceres, but was much drier, with less than 1% of the mass contained in the form of water ice, indicating that it formed interior to the snow line around its parent star. We also find a correlation between the abundances (relative to Mg and bulk Earth) and the condensation temperature; refractory species are clearly depleted, while the more volatile elements are possibly enhanced. This could be the signature of a body that formed in a lower temperature environment than where Earth formed. Alternatively, we could be witnessing the remains of a differentiated body that lost a large part of its outer layers.

  4. The atomic and molecular content of disks around very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pascucci, I. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Herczeg, G. [Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Carr, J. S. [Naval Research Laboratory, Code 7211, Washington, DC 20375 (United States); Bruderer, S., E-mail: pascucci@lpl.arizona.edu [Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Giessenbachstrasse 1, D-85748 Garching (Germany)

    2013-12-20

    There is growing observational evidence that disk evolution is stellar-mass-dependent. Here, we show that these dependencies extend to the atomic and molecular content of disk atmospheres. We analyze a unique dataset of high-resolution Spitzer/IRS spectra from eight very low mass star and brown dwarf disks. We report the first detections of Ne{sup +}, H{sub 2}, CO{sub 2}, and tentative detections of H{sub 2}O toward these faint and low-mass disks. Two of our [Ne II] 12.81 μm emission lines likely trace the hot (≥5000 K) disk surface irradiated by X-ray photons from the central stellar/sub-stellar object. The H{sub 2} S(2) and S(1) fluxes are consistent with arising below the fully or partially ionized surface traced by the [Ne II] emission in gas at ∼600 K. We confirm the higher C{sub 2}H{sub 2}/HCN flux and column density ratio in brown dwarf disks previously noted from low-resolution IRS spectra. Our high-resolution spectra also show that the HCN/H{sub 2}O fluxes of brown dwarf disks are on average higher than those of T Tauri disks. Our LTE modeling hints that this difference extends to column density ratios if H{sub 2}O lines trace warm ≥600 K disk gas. These trends suggest that the inner regions of brown dwarf disks have a lower O/C ratio than those of T Tauri disks, which may result from a more efficient formation of non-migrating icy planetesimals. An O/C = 1, as inferred from our analysis, would have profound implications on the bulk composition of rocky planets that can form around very low mass stars and brown dwarfs.

  5. Water Loss from Young Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Feng; Güdel, Manuel; Johnstone, Colin P.; Lammer, Helmut; Luger, Rodrigo; Odert, Petra

    2018-04-01

    Good progress has been made in the past few years to better understand the XUV evolution trend of Sun-like stars, the capture and dissipation of hydrogen dominant envelopes of planetary embryos and protoplanets, and water loss from young planets around M dwarfs. This chapter reviews these recent developments. Observations of exoplanets and theoretical works in the near future will significantly advance our understanding of one of the fundamental physical processes shaping the evolution of solar system terrestrial planets.

  6. Origins and Destinations: Tracking Planet Composition through Planet Formation Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chance, Quadry; Ballard, Sarah

    2018-01-01

    There are now several thousand confirmed exoplanets, a number which far exceeds our resources to study them all in detail. In particular, planets around M dwarfs provide the best opportunity for in-depth study of their atmospheres by telescopes in the near future. The question of which M dwarf planets most merit follow-up resources is a pressing one, given that NASA’s TESS mission will soon find hundreds of such planets orbiting stars bright enough for both ground and spaced-based follow-up.Our work aims to predict the approximate composition of planets around these stars through n-body simulations of the last stage of planet formation. With a variety of initial disk conditions, we investigate how the relative abundances of both refractory and volatile compounds in the primordial planetesimals are mapped to the final planet outcomes. These predictions can serve to provide a basis for making an educated guess about (a) which planets to observe with precious resources like JWST and (b) how to identify them based on dynamical clues.

  7. Solar system a visual exploration of the planets, moons, and other heavenly bodies that orbit our sun

    CERN Document Server

    Chown, Marcus

    2011-01-01

    Based on the latest ebook sensation developed by Theodore Gray and his company Touch Press, this beautiful print book presents a new and fascinating way to experience the wonders of the solar system Following the stunning success of both the print edition and the app of The Elements, Black Dog & Leventhal and Touch Press have teamed up again. Solar System is something completely new under the sun. Never before have the wonders of our solar system—all its planets, dwarf planets, the sun, moons, rocky Asteroid Belt, and icy Kuiper Belt—been so immediately accessible to readers of all ages. Beginning with a fascinating overview and then organized by planet, in order of its distance from the sun, Solar System takes us on a trip across time and space that includes a front-row seat to the explosive birth of the solar system, a journey to (and then deep inside) each of its eight planets, and even an in-depth exploration of asteroids and comets. With hundreds of gorgeous images produced especially for this...

  8. Activity-induced radial velocity variation of M dwarf stars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jan Marie; Korhonen, Heidi Helena

    2012-01-01

    that can drown out a planetary signature. Cool, low-mass M dwarf stars can be highly active, which can make detection of potentially habitable planets around these stars difficult. We investigate radial velocity variations caused by different activity (spot) patterns on M dwarf stars in order to determine...... the limits of detectability for small planets orbiting active M dwarfs. We report on our progress toward the aim of answering the following questions: What types of spot patterns are realistic for M dwarf stars? What effect will spots have on M dwarf RV measurements? Can jitter from M dwarf spots mimic...... planetary signals? What is the ideal observing wavelength to reduce M dwarf jitter?...

  9. Habitability Imposters: Extreme Terrestrial Climates in the Habitable Zone of M Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lincowski, A. P.; Meadows, V. S.; Crisp, D.; Robinson, T. D.; Luger, R.; Arney, G. N.

    2017-11-01

    We use coupled climate-photochemical modeling of TRAPPIST-1 planets to present a variety of evolved environmental states and their spectral discriminants, for use by upcoming M dwarf planet characterization observations.

  10. Aqueous geochemistry in icy world interiors: Equilibrium fluid, rock, and gas compositions, and fate of antifreezes and radionuclides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neveu, Marc; Desch, Steven J.; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.

    2017-09-01

    The geophysical evolution of many icy moons and dwarf planets seems to have provided opportunities for interaction between liquid water and rock (silicate and organic solids). Here, we explore two ways by which water-rock interaction can feed back on geophysical evolution: the production or consumption of antifreeze compounds, which affect the persistence and abundance of cold liquid; and the potential leaching into the fluid of lithophile radionuclides, affecting the distribution of a long-term heat source. We compile, validate, and use a numerical model, implemented with the PHREEQC code, of the interaction of chondritic rock with pure water and with C, N, S-bearing cometary fluid, thought to be the materials initially accreted by icy worlds, and describe the resulting equilibrium fluid and rock assemblages at temperatures, pressures, and water-to-rock ratios of 0-200 ° C, 1-1000 bar, and 0.1-10 by mass, respectively. Our findings suggest that water-rock interaction can strongly alter the nature and amount of antifreezes, resulting in solutions rich in reduced nitrogen and carbon, and sometimes dissolved H2, with additional sodium, calcium, chlorine, and/or oxidized carbon. Such fluids can remain partially liquid down to 176 K if NH3 is present. The prominence of Cl in solution seems to hinge on its primordial supply in ices, which is unconstrained by the meteoritical record. Equilibrium assemblages, rich in serpentine and saponite clays, retain thorium and uranium radionuclides unless U-Cl or U-HCO3 complexing, which was not modeled, significantly enhances U solubility. However, the radionuclide 40 K can be leached at high water:rock ratio and/or low temperature at which K is exchanged with ammonium in minerals. We recommend the inclusion of these effects in future models of the geophysical evolution of ocean-bearing icy worlds. Our simulation products match observations of chloride salts on Europa and Enceladus; CI chondrites mineralogies; the observation of

  11. The brown dwarf kinematics project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faherty, Jackie K.

    2010-10-01

    Brown dwarfs are a recent addition to the plethora of objects studied in Astronomy. With theoretical masses between 13 and 75 MJupiter , they lack sustained stable Hydrogen burning so they never join the stellar main sequence. They have physical properties similar to both planets and low-mass stars so studies of their population inform on both. The distances and kinematics of brown dwarfs provide key statistical constraints on their ages, moving group membership, absolute brightnesses, evolutionary trends, and multiplicity. Yet, until my thesis, fundamental measurements of parallax and proper motion were made for only a relatively small fraction of the known population. To address this deficiency, I initiated the Brown Dwarf Kinematics (BDKP). Over the past four years I have re-imaged the majority of spectroscopically confirmed field brown dwarfs (or ultracool dwarfs---UCDs) and created the largest proper motion catalog for ultracool dwarfs to date. Using new astrometric information I examined population characteristics such as ages calculated from velocity dispersions and correlations between kinematics and colors. Using proper motions, I identified several new wide co-moving companions and investigated binding energy (and hence formation) limitations as well as the frequency of hierarchical companions. Concurrently over the past four years I have been conducting a parallax survey of 84 UCDs including those showing spectral signatures of youth, metal-poor brown dwarfs, and those within 20 pc of the Sun. Using absolute magnitude relations in J,H, and K, I identified overluminous binary candidates and investigated known flux-reversal binaries. Using current evolutionary models, I compared the MK vs J-K color magnitude diagram to model predictions and found that the low-surface gravity dwarfs are significantly red-ward and underluminous of predictions and a handful of late-type T dwarfs may require thicker clouds to account for their scatter.

  12. Throwing Icebergs at White Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephan, Alexander P.; Naoz, Smadar; Zuckerman, B., E-mail: alexpstephan@astro.ucla.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2017-08-01

    White dwarfs (WDs) have atmospheres that are expected to consist nearly entirely of hydrogen and helium, since heavier elements will sink out of sight on short timescales. However, observations have revealed atmospheric pollution by heavier elements in about a quarter to a half of all WDs. While most of the pollution can be accounted for with asteroidal or dwarf planetary material, recent observations indicate that larger planetary bodies, as well as icy and volatile material from Kuiper belt analog objects, are also viable sources of pollution. The commonly accepted pollution mechanisms, namely scattering interactions between planetary bodies orbiting the WDs, can hardly account for pollution by objects with large masses or long-period orbits. Here we report on a mechanism that naturally leads to the emergence of massive body and icy and volatile material pollution. This mechanism occurs in wide binary stellar systems, where the mass loss of the planets’ host stars during post main sequence stellar evolution can trigger the Eccentric Kozai–Lidov mechanism. This mechanism leads to large eccentricity excitations, which can bring massive and long-period objects close enough to the WDs to be accreted. We find that this mechanism readily explains and is consistent with observations.

  13. Ages of M Dwarf Stars from their Alpha Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muirhead, Philip Steven; Veyette, Mark

    2018-01-01

    M dwarf stars dominate stellar populations, and recent results from NASA's Kepler Mission suggest rocky planets are abundant around M dwarf stars. With so many planets orbiting M dwarfs, exoplanet scientists can now turn to questions about their history and evolution. Unfortunately, measuring fundamental properties of M dwarfs is challenging for a variety of reasons. I will discuss the importance of near-infrared spectroscopy in this effort. With high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy covering Y to K band, we can measure detailed fundamental properties of low-mass stars. With new techniques to measure stellar alpha and iron abundances, we can begin to measure the most challenging fundamental property of M dwarfs: their age. These efforts are even more exciting in the coming years, when the TESS spacecraft is expected to discover five times as many planets orbiting low-mass stars as Kepler.

  14. THREE PLANETS ORBITING WOLF 1061

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, D. J.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Tinney, C. G.; Bentley, J. S.; Zhao, Jinglin, E-mail: duncan.wright@unsw.edu.au [Department of Astronomy and Australian Centre for Astrobiology, School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052 (Australia)

    2016-02-01

    We use archival HARPS spectra to detect three planets orbiting the M3 dwarf Wolf 1061 (GJ 628). We detect a 1.36 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with an orbital period P = 4.888 days (Wolf 1061b), a 4.25 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 17.867 days (Wolf 1061c), and a likely 5.21 M{sub ⊕} minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 67.274 days (Wolf 1061d). All of the planets are of sufficiently low mass that they may be rocky in nature. The 17.867 day planet falls within the habitable zone for Wolf 1061 and the 67.274 day planet falls just outside the outer boundary of the habitable zone. There are no signs of activity observed in the bisector spans, cross-correlation FWHMs, calcium H and K indices, NaD indices, or Hα indices near the planetary periods. We use custom methods to generate a cross-correlation template tailored to the star. The resulting velocities do not suffer the strong annual variation observed in the HARPS DRS velocities. This differential technique should deliver better exploitation of the archival HARPS data for the detection of planets at extremely low amplitudes.

  15. THE LINK BETWEEN PLANETARY SYSTEMS, DUSTY WHITE DWARFS, AND METAL-POLLUTED WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Debes, John H.; Walsh, Kevin J.; Stark, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    It has long been suspected that metal-polluted white dwarfs (types DAZ, DBZ, and DZ) and white dwarfs with dusty disks possess planetary systems, but a specific physical mechanism by which planetesimals are perturbed close to a white dwarf has not yet been fully posited. In this paper, we demonstrate that mass loss from a central star during post-main-sequence evolution can sweep planetesimals into interior mean motion resonances with a single giant planet. These planetesimals are slowly removed through chaotic excursions of eccentricity that in time create radial orbits capable of tidally disrupting the planetesimal. Numerical N-body simulations of the solar system show that a sufficient number of planetesimals are perturbed to explain white dwarfs with both dust and metal pollution, provided other white dwarfs have more massive relic asteroid belts. Our scenario requires only one Jupiter-sized planet and a sufficient number of asteroids near its 2:1 interior mean motion resonance. Finally, we show that once a planetesimal is perturbed into a tidal crossing orbit, it will become disrupted after the first pass of the white dwarf, where a highly eccentric stream of debris forms the main reservoir for dust-producing collisions. These simulations, in concert with observations of white dwarfs, place interesting limits on the frequency of planetary systems around main-sequence stars, the frequency of planetesimal belts, and the probability that dust may obscure future terrestrial planet finding missions.

  16. Calibrating Detailed Chemical Analysis of M dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veyette, Mark; Muirhead, Philip Steven; Mann, Andrew; Brewer, John; Allard, France; Homeier, Derek

    2018-01-01

    The ability to perform detailed chemical analysis of Sun-like F-, G-, and K-type stars is a powerful tool with many applications including studying the chemical evolution of the Galaxy, assessing membership in stellar kinematic groups, and constraining planet formation theories. Unfortunately, complications in modeling cooler stellar atmospheres has hindered similar analysis of M-dwarf stars. Large surveys of FGK abundances play an important role in developing methods to measure the compositions of M dwarfs by providing benchmark FGK stars that have widely-separated M dwarf companions. These systems allow us to empirically calibrate metallicity-sensitive features in M dwarf spectra. However, current methods to measure metallicity in M dwarfs from moderate-resolution spectra are limited to measuring overall metallicity and largely rely on astrophysical abundance correlations in stellar populations. In this talk, I will discuss how large, homogeneous catalogs of precise FGK abundances are crucial to advancing chemical analysis of M dwarfs beyond overall metallicity to direct measurements of individual elemental abundances. I will present a new method to analyze high-resolution, NIR spectra of M dwarfs that employs an empirical calibration of synthetic M dwarf spectra to infer effective temperature, Fe abundance, and Ti abundance. This work is a step toward detailed chemical analysis of M dwarfs at a similar precision achieved for FGK stars.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. SILICON AND OXYGEN ABUNDANCES IN PLANET-HOST STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. TESTING THE METAL OF LATE-TYPE KEPLER PLANET HOSTS WITH IRON-CLAD METHODS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, Andrew W.; Hilton, Eric J.; Gaidos, Eric; Kraus, Adam

    2013-01-01

    It has been shown that F, G, and early K dwarf hosts of Neptune-sized planets are not preferentially metal-rich. However, it is less clear whether the same holds for late K and M dwarf planet hosts. We report metallicities of Kepler targets and candidate transiting planet hosts with effective temperatures below 4500 K. We use new metallicity calibrations to determine [Fe/H] from visible and near-infrared spectra. We find that the metallicity distribution of late K and M dwarfs monitored by Kepler is consistent with that of the solar neighborhood. Further, we show that hosts of Earth- to Neptune-sized planets have metallicities consistent with those lacking detected planets and rule out a previously claimed 0.2 dex offset between the two distributions at 6σ confidence. We also demonstrate that the metallicities of late K and M dwarfs hosting multiple detected planets are consistent with those lacking detected planets. Our results indicate that multiple terrestrial and Neptune-sized planets can form around late K and M dwarfs with metallicities as low as 0.25 solar. The presence of Neptune-sized planets orbiting such low-metallicity M dwarfs suggests that accreting planets collect most or all of the solids from the disk and that the potential cores of giant planets can readily form around M dwarfs. The paucity of giant planets around M dwarfs compared to solar-type stars must be due to relatively rapid disk evaporation or a slower rate of planet accretion, rather than insufficient solids to form a core.

  1. TESTING THE METAL OF LATE-TYPE KEPLER PLANET HOSTS WITH IRON-CLAD METHODS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mann, Andrew W.; Hilton, Eric J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Dr, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Gaidos, Eric [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Kraus, Adam [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2013-06-10

    It has been shown that F, G, and early K dwarf hosts of Neptune-sized planets are not preferentially metal-rich. However, it is less clear whether the same holds for late K and M dwarf planet hosts. We report metallicities of Kepler targets and candidate transiting planet hosts with effective temperatures below 4500 K. We use new metallicity calibrations to determine [Fe/H] from visible and near-infrared spectra. We find that the metallicity distribution of late K and M dwarfs monitored by Kepler is consistent with that of the solar neighborhood. Further, we show that hosts of Earth- to Neptune-sized planets have metallicities consistent with those lacking detected planets and rule out a previously claimed 0.2 dex offset between the two distributions at 6{sigma} confidence. We also demonstrate that the metallicities of late K and M dwarfs hosting multiple detected planets are consistent with those lacking detected planets. Our results indicate that multiple terrestrial and Neptune-sized planets can form around late K and M dwarfs with metallicities as low as 0.25 solar. The presence of Neptune-sized planets orbiting such low-metallicity M dwarfs suggests that accreting planets collect most or all of the solids from the disk and that the potential cores of giant planets can readily form around M dwarfs. The paucity of giant planets around M dwarfs compared to solar-type stars must be due to relatively rapid disk evaporation or a slower rate of planet accretion, rather than insufficient solids to form a core.

  2. A SEARCH FOR ASTEROIDS, MOONS, AND RINGS ORBITING WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Howell, Steve B.; Kawaler, Steven D.

    2010-01-01

    Do white dwarfs host asteroid systems? Although several lines of argument suggest that white dwarfs may be orbited by large populations of asteroids, transits would provide the most direct evidence. We demonstrate that the Kepler mission has the capability to detect transits of white dwarfs by asteroids. Because white-dwarf asteroid systems, if they exist, are likely to contain many asteroids orbiting in a spatially extended distribution, discoveries of asteroid transits can be made by monitoring only a small number of white dwarfs, compatible with Kepler's primary mission, which is to monitor stars with potentially habitable planets. Possible future missions that survey 10 times as many stars with similar sensitivity and minute-cadence monitoring can establish the characteristics of asteroid systems around white dwarfs, such as the distribution of asteroid sizes and semimajor axes. Transits by planets would be more dramatic, but the probability that they will occur is lower. Ensembles of planetary moons and/or the presence of rings around planets can also produce transits detectable by Kepler. The presence of moons and rings can significantly increase the probability that Kepler will discover planets orbiting white dwarfs, even while monitoring only a small number of them.

  3. White dwarf-red dwarf binaries in the Galaxy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Besselaar, E.J.M. van den

    2007-01-01

    This PhD thesis shows several studies on white dwarf - red dwarf binaries. White dwarfs are the end products of most stars and red dwarfs are normal hydrogen burning low-mass stars. White dwarf - red dwarf binaries are both blue (white dwarf) and red (red dwarf). Together with the fact that they are

  4. Unraveling the Reaction Chemistry of Icy Ocean World Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, R.; Loeffler, M. J.; Gerakines, P.

    2017-12-01

    The diverse endogenic chemistry of ocean worlds can be divided among interior, surface, and above-surface process, with contributions from exogenic agents such as solar, cosmic, and magnetospheric radiation. Bombardment from micrometeorites to comets also can influence chemistry by both delivering new materials and altering pre-existing ones, and providing energy to drive reactions. Geological processes further complicate the chemistry by transporting materials from one environment to another. In this presentation the focus will be on some of the thermally driven and radiation-induced changes expected from icy materials, primarily covalent and ionic compounds. Low-temperature conversions of a few relatively simple molecules into ions possessing distinct infrared (IR) features will be covered, with an emphasis on such features as might be identified through either orbiting spacecraft or landers. The low-temperature degradation of a few bioorganic molecules, such as DNA nucleobases and some common amino acids, will be used as examples of the more complex, and potentially misleading, chemistry expected for icy moons of the outer solar system. This work was supported by NASA's Emerging Worlds and Outer Planets Research programs, as well as the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Goddard Center for Astrobiology.

  5. The K Dwarf Advantage for Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn David; Meadows, Victoria

    2018-01-01

    Biosignature detection is typically studied in the context of an atmosphere in chemical disequilibrium. Oxygen (O2) and methane (CH4) are generally considered the “canonical” biosignature disequilibrium pair. However, the modern CH4 concentration poses a major detection challenge to future direct imaging telescopes, and it has been difficult for Earth to accumulate spectrally detectable quantities of O2 and CH4 over its history (Olson et al 2016, Reinhard et al 2017). Even the lower atmospheric levels of O2 typical of the Earth’s Proterozoic eon (0.01-1% of the modern O2 amount) may have resulted in a reduced photochemical lifetime of CH4 due to decreased UV shielding of CH4 (Claire et al 2006, Goldblatt et al 2006). However, while the above is true for an Earthlike planet orbiting a sunlike star, the situation changes for other stars. For instance, Segura et al (2005) found longer photochemical lifetimes for CH4 in the atmospheres of Earthlike planets orbiting M dwarfs. M dwarfs, however, present several barriers to planetary habitability including desiccation during the stellar super-luminous pre-main sequence phase (Lugar and Barnes 2015) and tidal locking. K dwarfs, which comprise about 12% of all main sequence stars, avoid these M dwarf hazards, and will be important targets for future exoplanet direct imaging missions. Using a photochemical model, we find CH4 and O2 are simultaneously detectable in the atmospheres of K dwarf planets with various O2 concentrations ranging between Proterozoic levels and modern O2 amounts. For instance, for a planet with an Earth-like CH4 surface flux (1 x 1011 molecules/cm2/s) and a Proterozoic-like O2 level (1% of modern), the planet generates a CH4 surface mixing ratio of 1x10-5 for a planet orbiting the sun, and 1.5x10-4 – an order of magnitude more CH4 – for a planet orbiting a K6V star. This is enough to produce detectable CH4 and O2 for the planet orbiting the K6V star. We discuss the implications of this

  6. Photometric Properties of Icy Bodies: A Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arakalian, B. J.; Buratti, T.

    1997-01-01

    Photometry is the quantitative measurement of reflected or emitted radiation. In the past 15 years, the classical study on planetary surfaces of arbitrary albedo, including bright icy satellites (e.g., Hapke, 1981 JGR, 1984 and 1986, Icarus).

  7. About the Linguistic Impossibility of Claiming that Small Planets are not Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedeljkovic, A. B.

    2012-12-01

    Philology, which is, the science of language and literature, must now offer assistance to the science of astronomy, about one question of terminology and logic. Namely, if something belongs to one category, then it is, regardless of its size (large, or medium, or small) a member of that category. Therefore, it was linguistically wrong to claim that Pluto is one of the dwarf planets and therefore not a planet. This mistake, much noticed by the world's public opinion, ought to be corrected immediately.

  8. The formation of planets by disc fragmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stamatellos Dimitris

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available I discuss the role that disc fragmentation plays in the formation of gas giant and terrestrial planets, and how this relates to the formation of brown dwarfs and low-mass stars, and ultimately to the process of star formation. Protostellar discs may fragment, if they are massive enough and can cool fast enough, but most of the objects that form by fragmentation are brown dwarfs. It may be possible that planets also form, if the mass growth of a proto-fragment is stopped (e.g. if this fragment is ejected from the disc, or suppressed and even reversed (e.g by tidal stripping. I will discuss if it is possible to distinguish whether a planet has formed by disc fragmentation or core accretion, and mention of a few examples of observed exoplanets that are suggestive of formation by disc fragmentation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  10. PAINT SUPPLIES AND LOCATION: EXAMINING ICI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Herron

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available How important is location to an international retailer? Not just any retailer but the second largest paint retailer in the world. Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI was a British chemical company and was at one stage the largest manufacturer in Britain. Formed from the merger of several leading British chemical companies in 1926, ICI makes paints and speciality products, including food ingredients, speciality polymers, electronic materials, fragrances and flavourings. ICI paints purchased the Cleveland Ohiobased Glidden Coatings & Resins (Glidden Paint Company in 1986 for USD$580 million. The addition of Glidden to ICI's North American operations more than doubled that subsidiary's annual sales to $3 billion and increased ICI's corporate presence in the United States dramatically. A decline in paint and solvent consumption during the 2000 decade slowed the average growth of the paint industry to about 2% annually. Rauch Associates, the leading US paint analyst firm, predicted near-term growth to slow even further to 1.2% per annum. Through the 1990’s and early 2000’s Glidden paint was sold only through Glidden-badged paint stores and smaller retailers under licence, developing a strong identifiable brand and reputation. How were potential Glidden retail paint store locations chosen across America to enable and support this market growth? This paper investigates the real process that was developed and applied to construct a national network of retail outlets across the United States. It also highlights the change in direction that occurred at ICI paints culminating in its eventual acquisition by AkzoNobel in 2008 who immediately sold parts of ICI to Henkel, and integrated ICI's remaining operations within its existing organisation. This sale and the associated corporate restructure caused considerable change in marketing directions allowing for the first time the selling of Glidden paint products to mass market centres

  11. 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.

  12. Naming Disney's Dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidwell, Robert T.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses Disney's version of the folkloric dwarfs in his production of "Snow White" and weighs the Disney rendition of the dwarf figure against the corpus of traits and behaviors pertaining to dwarfs in traditional folklore. Concludes that Disney's dwarfs are "anthropologically true." (HOD)

  13. TRANSIT SURVEYS FOR EARTHS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agol, Eric

    2011-01-01

    To date the search for habitable Earth-like planets has primarily focused on nuclear burning stars. I propose that this search should be expanded to cool white dwarf stars that have expended their nuclear fuel. I define the continuously habitable zone of white dwarfs and show that it extends from ∼0.005 to 0.02 AU for white dwarfs with masses from 0.4 to 0.9 M sun , temperatures less than ∼10 4 K, and habitable durations of at least 3 Gyr. As they are similar in size to Earth, white dwarfs may be deeply eclipsed by terrestrial planets that orbit edge-on, which can easily be detected with ground-based telescopes. If planets can migrate inward or reform near white dwarfs, I show that a global robotic telescope network could carry out a transit survey of nearby white dwarfs placing interesting constraints on the presence of habitable Earths. If planets were detected, I show that the survey would favor detection of planets similar to Earth: similar size, temperature, and rotation period, and host star temperatures similar to the Sun. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope could place even tighter constraints on the frequency of habitable Earths around white dwarfs. The confirmation and characterization of these planets might be carried out with large ground and space telescopes.

  14. Planetesimals early differentiation and consequences for planets

    CERN Document Server

    Weiss, Benjamin P

    2017-01-01

    Processes governing the evolution of planetesimals are critical to understanding how rocky planets are formed, how water is delivered to them, the origin of planetary atmospheres, how cores and magnetic dynamos develop, and ultimately, which planets have the potential to be habitable. Theoretical advances and new data from asteroid and meteorite observations, coupled with spacecraft missions such as Rosetta and Dawn, have led to major advances in this field over the last decade. This transdisciplinary volume presents an authoritative overview of the latest in our understanding of the processes of planet formation. Combining meteorite, asteroid and icy body observations with theory and modelling of accretion and orbital dynamics, this text also provides insights into the exoplanetary system and the search for habitable worlds. This is an essential reference for those interested in planetary formation, solar system dynamics, exoplanets and planetary habitability.

  15. Radiation of dwarf novae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bruch, A.

    1987-01-01

    The nature of dwarf novae with their components white dwarf star, cool star, accretion disk, boundary layer and hot spot is investigated. It is shown that very different physical states and processes occur in the components of dwarf novae. Spectroscopical and photometrical observations are carried out. For better understanding the radiation portions of the single dwarf novae components are separated from the total electromagnetic spectrum recieved from the dwarf novae. The model assumptions are compared with the observations and verified

  16. PREFACE: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarita; Isern, Jordi; Torres, Santiago

    2009-07-01

    The 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 30 June to 4 July 2008 at the premises of the UPC. Almost 120 participants from Europe (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and several others), America (USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile), and other continents (Australia, South Africa, . . . ) attended the workshop. Among these participants were the most relevant specialists in the field. The topics covered by the conference were: White dwarf structure and evolution Progenitors and Planetary Nebulae White dwarfs in binaries: cataclysmic variables, double degenerates and other binaries White dwarfs, dust disks and planetary systems Atmospheres, chemical composition, magnetic fields Variable white dwarfs White dwarfs in stellar clusters and the halo White Dwarfs as SNIa progenitors The programme included 54 talks, and 45 posters. The oral presentations were distributed into the following sessions: Luminosity function, mass function and populations White dwarf structure and evolution White dwarf ages White dwarf catalogs and surveys Central stars of planetary nebulae Supernovae progenitors White dwarfs in novae and CVs Physical processes in white dwarfs and magnetic white dwarfs Disks, dust and planets around white dwarfs Pulsating white dwarfs Additionally we had a special open session about Spitzer and white dwarfs. The Proceedings of the 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs are representative of the current state-of-the-art of the research field and include new and exciting results. We acknowledge the very positive attitude of the attendants to the workshop, which stimulated very fruitful discussions that took place in all the sessions and after the official schedule. Also, the meeting allowed new collaborations tp start that will undoubtedly result in significant advances in the research field. We also acknowledge the willingness of the participants to deliver their contributions before the final deadline. We sincerely

  17. Molecular Gas Clumps from the Destruction of Icy Bodies in the beta Pictoris Debris Disk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dent, W. R. F.; Wyatt, M. C.; Roberge, A.; Augereau, J. -C.; Casassus, S.; Corder, S.; Greaves, J. S.; DeGregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Hales, A.; Jackson, A. P.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Many stars are surrounded by disks of dusty debris formed in the collisions of asteroids, comets and dwarf planets. But is gas also released in such events? Observations at sub-mm wavelengths of the archetypal debris disk around ß Pictoris show that 0.3% of a Moon mass of carbon monoxide orbits in its debris belt. The gas distribution is highly asymmetric, with 30% found in a single clump 85 AU from the star, in a plane closely aligned with the orbit of the inner planet, beta Pic b. This gas clump delineates a region of enhanced collisions, either from a mean motion resonance with an unseen giant planet, or from the remnants of a collision of Mars-mass planets.

  18. JUICE: A European Mission to Jupiter and its Icy Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grasset, Olivier; Witasse, Olivier; Barabash, Stas; Brandt, Pontus; Bruzzone, Lorenzo; Bunce, Emma; Cecconi, Baptiste; Cavalié, Thibault; Cimo, Giuseppe; Coustenis, Athena; Cremonese, Gabriele; Dougherty, Michele; Fletcher, Leigh N.; Gladstone, Randy; Gurvits, Leonid; Hartogh, Paul; Hoffmann, Holger; Hussmann, Hauke; Iess, Luciano; Jaumann, Ralf; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Kaspi, Yohai; Krupp, Norbert; Langevin, Yves; Mueller-Wodarg, Ingo; Palumbo, Pasquale; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Plaut, Jeffrey; Poulet, Francois; Roatsch, Thomas; Retherford, Kurt D.; Rothkaehl, Hanna; Stevenson, David J.; Tosi, Federico; Van Hoolst, Tim; Wahlund, Jan-Erik; Wurz, Peter; Altobelli, Nicolas; Accomazzo, A.; Boutonnet, Arnaud; Erd, Christian; Vallat, Claire

    2016-10-01

    JUICE - JUpiter ICy moons Explorer - is the first large mission in the ESA Cosmic Vision programme [1]. The implementation phase started in July 2015. JUICE will arrive at Jupiter in October 2029, and will spend 3 years characterizing the Jovian system, the planet itself, its giant magnetosphere, and the giant icy moons: Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. JUICE will then orbit Ganymede.The first goal of JUICE is to explore the habitable zone around Jupiter [2]. Ganymede is a high-priority target because it provides a unique laboratory for analyzing the nature, evolution and habitability of icy worlds, including the characteristics of subsurface oceans, and because it possesses unique magnetic fields and plasma interactions with the environment. On Europa, the focus will be on recently active zones, where the composition, surface and subsurface features (including putative water reservoirs) will be characterized. Callisto will be explored as a witness of the early Solar System.JUICE will also explore the Jupiter system as an archetype of gas giants. The circulation, meteorology, chemistry and structure of the Jovian atmosphere will be studied from the cloud tops to the thermosphere and ionosphere. JUICE will investigate the 3D properties of the magnetodisc, and study the coupling processes within the magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere. The mission also focuses on characterizing the processes that influence surface and space environments of the moons.The payload consists of 10 instruments plus a ground-based experiment (PRIDE) to better constrain the S/C position. A remote sensing package includes imaging (JANUS) and spectral-imaging capabilities from UV to sub-mm wavelengths (UVS, MAJIS, SWI). A geophysical package consists of a laser altimeter (GALA) and a radar sounder (RIME) for exploring the moons, and a radio science experiment (3GM) to probe the atmospheres and to determine the gravity fields. The in situ package comprises a suite to study plasma and

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  1. Glaciers and Ice Sheets As Analog Environments of Potentially Habitable Icy Worlds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Garcia-Lopez

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Icy worlds in the solar system and beyond have attracted a remarkable attention as possible habitats for life. The current consideration about whether life exists beyond Earth is based on our knowledge of life in terrestrial cold environments. On Earth, glaciers and ice sheets have been considered uninhabited for a long time as they seemed too hostile to harbor life. However, these environments are unique biomes dominated by microbial communities which maintain active biochemical routes. Thanks to techniques such as microscopy and more recently DNA sequencing methods, a great biodiversity of prokaryote and eukaryote microorganisms have been discovered. These microorganisms are adapted to a harsh environment, in which the most extreme features are the lack of liquid water, extremely cold temperatures, high solar radiation and nutrient shortage. Here we compare the environmental characteristics of icy worlds, and the environmental characteristics of terrestrial glaciers and ice sheets in order to address some interesting questions: (i which are the characteristics of habitability known for the frozen worlds, and which could be compatible with life, (ii what are the environmental characteristics of terrestrial glaciers and ice sheets that can be life-limiting, (iii What are the microbial communities of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms that can live in them, and (iv taking into account these observations, could any of these planets or satellites meet the conditions of habitability? In this review, the icy worlds are considered from the point of view of astrobiological exploration. With the aim of determining whether icy worlds could be potentially habitable, they have been compared with the environmental features of glaciers and ice sheets on Earth. We also reviewed some field and laboratory investigations about microorganisms that live in analog environments of icy worlds, where they are not only viable but also metabolically active.

  2. 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.

  3. Alpha Elements' Effects on Planet Formation and the Hunt for Extragalactic Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penny, Matthew; Rodriguez, Joseph E.; Beatty, Thomas; Zhou, George

    2018-01-01

    A star's likelihood of hosting a giant planet is well known to be strongly dependent on metallicity. However, little is known about what elements cause this correlation (e.g. bulk metals, iron, or alpha elements such as silicon and oxygen). This is likely because most planet searches target stars in the Galactic disk, and due to Galactic chemical evolution, alpha element abundances are themselves correlated with metallicity within a population. We investigate the feasibility of simultaneous transiting planet search towards the alpha-poor Sagittarius dwarf galaxy and alpha-rich Galactic bulge in a single field of view of DECam, that would enable a comparative study of planet frequency over an [alpha/Fe] baseline of ~0.4 dex. We show that a modestly sized survey could detect planet candidates in both populations, but that false positive rejection in Sgr Dwarf may be prohibitively expensive. Conversely, two-filter survey observations alone would be sufficient to rule out a large fraction of bulge false positives, enabling statistical validation of candidates with a modest follow-up investment. Although over a shorter [alpha/Fe] baseline, this survey would provide a test of whether it is alpha or iron that causes the planet metallicity correlation.

  4. 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

  5. Evidence of an Upper Bound on the Masses of Planets and Its Implications for Giant Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.

    2018-01-01

    Celestial bodies with a mass of M≈ 10 {M}{Jup} have been found orbiting nearby stars. It is unknown whether these objects formed like gas-giant planets through core accretion or like stars through gravitational instability. I show that objects with M≲ 4 {M}{Jup} orbit metal-rich solar-type dwarf stars, a property associated with core accretion. Objects with M≳ 10 {M}{Jup} do not share this property. This transition is coincident with a minimum in the occurrence rate of such objects, suggesting that the maximum mass of a celestial body formed through core accretion like a planet is less than 10 {M}{Jup}. Consequently, objects with M≳ 10 {M}{Jup} orbiting solar-type dwarf stars likely formed through gravitational instability and should not be thought of as planets. Theoretical models of giant planet formation in scaled minimum-mass solar nebula Shakura–Sunyaev disks with standard parameters tuned to produce giant planets predict a maximum mass nearly an order of magnitude larger. To prevent newly formed giant planets from growing larger than 10 {M}{Jup}, protoplanetary disks must therefore be significantly less viscous or of lower mass than typically assumed during the runaway gas accretion stage of giant planet formation. Either effect would act to slow the Type I/II migration of planetary embryos/giant planets and promote their survival. These inferences are insensitive to the host star mass, planet formation location, or characteristic disk dissipation time.

  6. Realistic limitations of detecting planets around young active stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinfield D.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Current planet hunting methods using the radial velocity method are limited to observing middle-aged main-sequence stars where the signatures of stellar activity are much less than on young stars that have just arrived on the main-sequence. In this work we apply our knowledge from the surface imaging of these young stars to place realistic limitations on the possibility of detecting orbiting planets. In general we find that the magnitude of the stellar jitter is directly proportional to the stellar vsini. For G and K dwarfs, we find that it is possible, for models with high stellar activity and low stellar vsini, to be able to detect a 1 MJupiter mass planet within 50 epochs of observations and for the M dwarfs it is possible to detect a habitable zone Earth-like planet in 10s of observational epochs.

  7. Unstable low-mass planetary systems as drivers of white dwarf pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustill, Alexander J.; Villaver, Eva; Veras, Dimitri; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Bonsor, Amy

    2018-05-01

    At least 25 {per cent} of white dwarfs show atmospheric pollution by metals, sometimes accompanied by detectable circumstellar dust/gas discs or (in the case of WD 1145+017) transiting disintegrating asteroids. Delivery of planetesimals to the white dwarf by orbiting planets is a leading candidate to explain these phenomena. Here, we study systems of planets and planetesimals undergoing planet-planet scattering triggered by the star's post-main-sequence mass loss, and test whether this can maintain high rates of delivery over the several Gyr that they are observed. We find that low-mass planets (Earth to Neptune mass) are efficient deliverers of material and can maintain the delivery for Gyr. Unstable low-mass planetary systems reproduce the observed delayed onset of significant accretion, as well as the slow decay in accretion rates at late times. Higher-mass planets are less efficient, and the delivery only lasts a relatively brief time before the planetesimal populations are cleared. The orbital inclinations of bodies as they cross the white dwarf's Roche limit are roughly isotropic, implying that significant collisional interactions of asteroids, debris streams and discs can be expected. If planet-planet scattering is indeed responsible for the pollution of white dwarfs, many such objects, and their main-sequence progenitors, can be expected to host (currently undetectable) super-Earth planets on orbits of several au and beyond.

  8. Changes in the metallicity of gas giant planets due to pebble accretion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, R. J.; Nayakshin, S.

    2018-06-01

    We run numerical simulations to study the accretion of gas and dust grains on to gas giant planets embedded into massive protoplanetary discs. The outcome is found to depend on the disc cooling rate, planet mass, grain size, and irradiative feedback from the planet. If radiative cooling is efficient, planets accrete both gas and pebbles rapidly, open a gap, and usually become massive brown dwarfs. In the inefficient cooling case, gas is too hot to accrete on to the planet but pebble accretion continues and the planets migrate inward rapidly. Radiative feedback from the planet tends to suppress gas accretion. Our simulations predict that metal enrichment of planets by dust grain accretion inversely correlates with the final planet mass, in accordance with the observed trend in the inferred bulk composition of Solar system and exosolar giant planets. To account for observations, however, as many as ˜30-50 per cent of the dust mass should be in the form of large grains.

  9. Robo-AO M Dwarf Multiplicity Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamman, Claire; Baranec, Christoph; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Law, Nicholas M.; Ziegler, Carl; Schonhut-Stasik, Jessica

    2018-06-01

    We analyzed close to 7,000 observations from Robo-AO’s field M dwarf survey taken on the 2.1m Kitt Peak telescope. Results will help determine the total multiplicity fraction and multiplicity functions of M dwarfs, which are crucial steps towards understanding their evolution and formation mechanics. Through its robotic, laser-guided, and automated system, the Robo-AO instrument has yielded the largest adaptive-optics M dwarf survey to date. I developed a graphical user interface to quickly analyze this data. Initial data analysis included assessing data quality, checking the result from Robo-AO’s automatic reduction pipeline, and determining existence as well as the relative position of companions through a visual inspection. This program can be applied to other datasets and was successfully tested by re-analyzing observations from a separate Robo-AO survey. After a conservative initial cut for quality, over 350 companions were found within 4” of a primary star out of 2,746 high quality Robo-AO M dwarf observations, including four triple systems. Further observations were done with the Keck II telescope by using its NIRC2 imager to follow up on ten select targets for the existence and physical association of companions. Future research will yield insights into low-mass stellar formation and provide a database of nearby M dwarf multiples that will potentially assist ongoing and future surveys for planets around these stars, such as the NASA TESS mission.

  10. Heating of Porous Icy Dust Aggregates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sirono, Sin-iti [Earth and Environmental Sciences, Nagoya University, Tikusa-ku, Furo-cho, Nagoya 464-8601 (Japan)

    2017-06-10

    At the beginning of planetary formation, highly porous dust aggregates are formed through coagulation of dust grains. Outside the snowline, the main component of an aggregate is H{sub 2}O ice. Because H{sub 2}O ice is formed in amorphous form, its thermal conductivity is extremely small. Therefore, the thermal conductivity of an icy dust aggregate is low. There is a possibility of heating inside an aggregate owing to the decay of radionuclides. It is shown that the temperature increases substantially inside an aggregate, leading to crystallization of amorphous ice. During the crystallization, the temperature further increases sufficiently to continue sintering. The mechanical properties of icy dust aggregates change, and the collisional evolution of dust aggregates is affected by the sintering.

  11. Thermal Conductivity Measurements on Icy Satellite Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javeed, Aurya; Barmatz, Martin; Zhong, Fang; Choukroun, Mathieu

    2012-01-01

    With regard to planetary science, NASA aspires to: "Advance scientific knowledge of the origin and history of the solar system, the potential for life elsewhere, and the hazards and resources present as humans explore space". In pursuit of such an end, the Galileo and Cassini missions garnered spectral data of icy satellite surfaces implicative of the satellites' structure and material composition. The potential for geophysical modeling afforded by this information, coupled with the plausibility of life on icy satellites, has pushed Jupiter's Europa along with Saturn's Enceladus and Titan toward the fore of NASA's planetary focus. Understanding the evolution of, and the present processes at work on, the aforementioned satellites falls squarely in-line with NASA's cited goal.

  12. Laboratory Reference Spectroscopy of Icy Satellite Candidate Surface Materials (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, J. B.; Jamieson, C. S.; Shirley, J. H.; Pitman, K. M.; Kariya, M.; Crandall, P.

    2013-12-01

    Pitman, 2012). We will report on recent results, including spectra of sulfate hydrates, simple organic molecules, and volatile ices measured at PICL in support of past, present and planned missions. We gratefully acknowledge the support of JPL's Research and Technology Development and Strategic Hire Programs, and of the NASA Outer Planets Research and Planetary Geology and Geophysics programs. Dalton, III, J.B., Spectroscopy of icy moon surface materials, Space Sci. Rev. 153:219-247, 2010. Dalton, III, J.B., and Pitman, K.M., Low temperature optical constants of some hydrated sulfates relevant to planetary surfaces, J. Geophys. Res. 117:E09001, doi:10.1029/2011JE004036, 2012. Hapke, B.W., Bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy I. Theory, J. Geophys. Res. 86, 3039-3054, 1981. Shkuratov, Y., L. Starukhina, H. Hoffmann, and G. Arnold, A model of spectral albedo of particulate surfaces: Implications for optical properties of the Moon, Icarus 137, 235-246, 1999.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Tandem planet formation for solar system-like planetary systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Imaeda

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available We present a new united theory of planet formation, which includes magneto-rotational instability (MRI and porous aggregation of solid particles in a consistent way. We show that the “tandem planet formation” regime is likely to result in solar system-like planetary systems. In the tandem planet formation regime, planetesimals form at two distinct sites: the outer and inner edges of the MRI suppressed region. The former is likely to be the source of the outer gas giants, and the latter is the source for the inner volatile-free rocky planets. Our study spans disks with a various range of accretion rates, and we find that tandem planet formation can occur for M˙=10−7.3-10−6.9M⊙yr−1. The rocky planets form between 0.4–2 AU, while the icy planets form between 6–30 AU; no planets form in 2–6 AU region for any accretion rate. This is consistent with the gap in the solid component distribution in the solar system, which has only a relatively small Mars and a very small amount of material in the main asteroid belt from 2–6 AU. The tandem regime is consistent with the idea that the Earth was initially formed as a completely volatile-free planet. Water and other volatile elements came later through the accretion of icy material by occasional inward scattering from the outer regions. Reactions between reductive minerals, such as schreibersite (Fe3P, and water are essential to supply energy and nutrients for primitive life on Earth.

  16. A DARK SPOT ON A MASSIVE WHITE DWARF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, Alexandros; Curd, Brandon; Wisniewski, John P. [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, 440 W. Brooks St., Norman, OK 73019 (United States); Bell, Keaton J.; Winget, D. E.; Winget, K. I. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Brown, Warren R. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Hermes, J. J. [Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Dufour, Patrick [Institut de recherche sur les exoplanétes (iREx), Département de Physique, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada)

    2015-12-01

    We present the serendipitous discovery of eclipse-like events around the massive white dwarf SDSS J152934.98+292801.9 (hereafter J1529+2928). We selected J1529+2928 for time-series photometry based on its spectroscopic temperature and surface gravity, which place it near the ZZ Ceti instability strip. Instead of pulsations, we detect photometric dips from this white dwarf every 38 minutes. Follow-up optical spectroscopy observations with Gemini reveal no significant radial velocity variations, ruling out stellar and brown dwarf companions. A disintegrating planet around this white dwarf cannot explain the observed light curves in different filters. Given the short period, the source of the photometric dips must be a dark spot that comes into view every 38 minutes due to the rotation of the white dwarf. Our optical spectroscopy does not show any evidence of Zeeman splitting of the Balmer lines, limiting the magnetic field strength to B < 70 kG. Since up to 15% of white dwarfs display kG magnetic fields, such eclipse-like events should be common around white dwarfs. We discuss the potential implications of this discovery on transient surveys targeting white dwarfs, like the K2 mission and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

  17. Heating and melting of small icy satellites by the decay of Al-26

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prialnik, D.; Bar-Nun, A.

    1990-01-01

    The effect of radiogenic heating due to Al-26 on the thermal evolution of small icy satellites is studied. The object is to find the extent of internal melting as a function of the satellite radius and of the initial Al-26 abundance. The implicit assumption, based on observations of young stars, is that planet and satellite accretion occurred on a time scale of about 10 to the 6th yr (comparable with the lifetime of Al-26). The icy satellites are modeled as spheres of initially amorphous ice, with chondritic abundances of K-40, Th-232, U-235, and U-238, corresponding to an ice/dust mass ratio of 1. Evolutionary calculations are carried out, spanning 4.5 x 10 to the 9th yr, for different combinations of the two free parameters. Heat transfer by subsolidus convection is neglected for these small satellites. The main conclusion is that the initial Al-26 abundance capable of melting icy bodies of satellite size to a significant extent is more than 10 times lower than that prevailing in the interstellar medium (or that inferred from the Ca-Al rich inclusions of the Allende meteorite, about 7 x 10 to the -7th by mass). 34 refs

  18. Heating and melting of small icy satellites by the decay of Al-26

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prialnik, Dina; Bar-Nun, Akiva

    1990-05-01

    The effect of radiogenic heating due to Al-26 on the thermal evolution of small icy satellites is studied. The object is to find the extent of internal melting as a function of the satellite radius and of the initial Al-26 abundance. The implicit assumption, based on observations of young stars, is that planet and satellite accretion occurred on a time scale of about 10 to the 6th yr (comparable with the lifetime of Al-26. The icy satellites are modeled as spheres of initially amorphous ice, with chondritic abundances of K-40, Th-232, U-235, and U-238, corresponding to an ice/dust mass ratio of 1. Evolutionary calculations are carried out, spanning 4.5 x 10 to the 9th yr, for different combinations of the two free parameters. Heat transfer by subsolidus convection is neglected for these small satellites. The main conclusion is that the initial Al-26 abundance capable of melting icy bodies of satellite size to a significant extent is more than 10 times lower than that prevailing in the interstellar medium (or that inferred from the Ca-Al rich inclusions of the Allende meteorite, about 7 x 10 to the -7th by mass).

  19. FORMATION, SURVIVAL, AND DETECTABILITY OF PLANETS BEYOND 100 AU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veras, Dimitri; Crepp, Justin R.; Ford, Eric B.

    2009-01-01

    Direct imaging searches have begun to detect planetary and brown dwarf companions and to place constraints on the presence of giant planets at large separations from their host star. This work helps to motivate such planet searches by predicting a population of young giant planets that could be detectable by direct imaging campaigns. Both the classical core accretion and the gravitational instability model for planet formation are hard pressed to form long-period planets in situ. Here, we show that dynamical instabilities among planetary systems that originally formed multiple giant planets much closer to the host star could produce a population of giant planets at large (∼ 10 2 -10 5 AU) separations. We estimate the limits within which these planets may survive, quantify the efficiency of gravitational scattering into both stable and unstable wide orbits, and demonstrate that population analyses must take into account the age of the system. We predict that planet scattering creates detectable giant planets on wide orbits that decreases in number on timescales of ∼ 10 Myr. We demonstrate that several members of such populations should be detectable with current technology, quantify the prospects for future instruments, and suggest how they could place interesting constraints on planet formation models.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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 .

  3. 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 .

  4. Habitability potential of icy moons: a comparative study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomonidou, Anezina; Coustenis, Athena; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Sohl, Frank; Hussmann, Hauke; Bampasidis, Georgios; Wagner, Frank; Raulin, François; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Lopes, Rosaly

    2014-05-01

    Looking for habitable conditions in the outer solar system our research focuses on the natural satellites rather than the planets themselves. Indeed, the habitable zone as traditionally defined may be larger than originally con-ceived. The strong gravitational pull caused by the giant planets may produce enough energy to sufficiently heat the interiors of orbiting icy moons. The outer solar system satellites then provide a conceptual basis within which new theories for understanding habitability can be constructed. Measurements from the ground but also by the Voyager, Galileo and the Cassini spacecrafts revealed the potential of these satellites in this context, and our understanding of habitability in the solar system and beyond can be greatly enhanced by investigating several of these bodies together [1]. Their environments seem to satisfy many of the "classical" criteria for habitability (liquid water, energy sources to sustain metabolism and chemical compounds that can be used as nutrients over a period of time long enough to allow the development of life). Indeed, several of the moons show promising conditions for habitability and the de-velopment and/or maintenance of life. Europa, Callisto and Ganymede may be hiding, under their icy crust, putative undersurface liquid water oceans [3] which, in the case of Europa [2], may be in direct contact with a silicate mantle floor and kept warm by tidally generated heat [4]. Titan and Enceladus, Saturn's satellites, were found by the Cassini-Huygens mission to possess active organic chemistries with seasonal variations, unique geological features and possibly internal liquid water oceans. Titan's rigid crust and the probable existence of a subsurface ocean create an analogy with terrestrial-type plate tectonics, at least surficial [5], while Enceladus' plumes find an analogue in gey-sers. As revealed by Cassini the liquid hydrocarbon lakes [6] distributed mainly at polar latitudes on Titan are ideal isolated

  5. K-band spectroscopic metallicities and temperatures of M-dwarf stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rojas-Ayala Bárbara

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available I present the metallicity and effective temperature techniques developed for M dwarf stars by Rojas-Ayala et al. (2010, 2012. These techniques are based on absorption features present in the modest resolution K-band spectra (R∼2700 of M dwarfs and have been calibrated using FGK+M dwarf pairs and synthetic atmosphere models. The H2O-K2 index seems to overestimate the effective temperatures of M dwarfs when compared to interferometric measurements. The metallicity distribution of the M dwarf host candidates by the Kepler Mission hints that jovian-size planets form preferentially around solar and super-solar metallicity environments, while small rocky planet host exhibit a wide range of metallicities, just like in their solar-type counterparts.

  6. 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.

  7. Brown dwarf disks with ALMA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ricci, L.; Isella, A. [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Testi, L.; De Gregorio-Monsalvo, I. [European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Natta, A. [INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, I-50125 Firenze (Italy); Scholz, A., E-mail: lricci@astro.caltech.edu [School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2 (Ireland)

    2014-08-10

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array continuum and spectral line data at 0.89 mm and 3.2 mm for three disks surrounding young brown dwarfs and very low mass stars in the Taurus star forming region. Dust thermal emission is detected and spatially resolved for all the three disks, while CO(J = 3-2) emission is seen in two disks. We analyze the continuum visibilities and constrain the disks' physical structure in dust. The results of our analysis show that the disks are relatively large; the smallest one has an outer radius of about 70 AU. The inferred disk radii, radial profiles of the dust surface density, and disk to central object mass ratios lie within the ranges found for disks around more massive young stars. We derive from our observations the wavelength dependence of the millimeter dust opacity. In all the three disks, data are consistent with the presence of grains with at least millimeter sizes, as also found for disks around young stars, and confirm that the early stages of the solid growth toward planetesimals occur also around very low-mass objects. We discuss the implications of our findings on models of solids evolution in protoplanetary disks, the main mechanisms proposed for the formation of brown dwarfs and very low-mass stars, as well as the potential of finding rocky and giant planets around very low-mass objects.

  8. 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,…

  9. Worlds beyond our own the search for habitable planets

    CERN Document Server

    Sengupta, Sujan

    2015-01-01

    This is a book on planets: Solar system planets and dwarf planets. And planets outside our solar system – exoplanets. How did they form? What types of planets are there and what do they have in common? How do they differ? What do we know about their atmospheres – if they have one? What are the conditions for life and on which planets may they be met? And what’s the origin of life on Earth and how did it form? You will understand how rare the solar system, the Earth and hence life is. This is also a book on stars. The first and second generation of stars in the Universe. But in particular also on the link between planets and stars – brown dwarfs. Their atmospheric properties and similarities with giant exoplanets. All these fascinating questions will be answered in a non-technical manner. But those of you who want to know a bit more may look up the relevant mathematical relationships in appendices.

  10. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History Online: ICIS-NPDES Limit

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Limits data set for Clean Water Act permitted...

  11. Raman Life Detection Instrument Development for Icy Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Seamus; Allen, A'Lester; Gutierrez, Daniel; Quinn, Richard C.; Chen, Bin; Koehne, Jessica E.

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this project is to develop a compact, high sensitivity Raman sensor for detection of life signatures in a flow cell configuration to enable bio-exploration and life detection during future mission to our Solar Systems Icy Worlds. The specific project objectives are the following: 1) Develop a Raman spectroscopy liquid analysis sensor for biosignatures; 2) Demonstrate applicability towards a future Enceladus or other Icy Worlds missions; 3) Establish key parameters for integration with the ARC Sample Processor for Life on Icy Worlds (SPLIce); 4) Position ARC for a successful response to upcoming Enceladus or other Icy World mission instrument opportunities.

  12. A Panchromatic View of Brown Dwarf Aurorae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pineda, J. Sebastian [University of Colorado Boulder, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, 3665 Discovery Drive, Boulder CO, 80303 (United States); Hallinan, Gregg; Kao, Melodie M. [California Institute of Technology, Department of Astronomy, 1200 E. California Avenue, Pasadena CA, 91125 (United States)

    2017-09-01

    Stellar coronal activity has been shown to persist into the low-mass star regime, down to late M-dwarf spectral types. However, there is now an accumulation of evidence suggesting that at the end of the main sequence, there is a transition in the nature of the magnetic activity from chromospheric and coronal to planet-like and auroral, from local impulsive heating via flares and MHD wave dissipation to energy dissipation from strong large-scale magnetospheric current systems. We examine this transition and the prevalence of auroral activity in brown dwarfs through a compilation of multiwavelength surveys of magnetic activity, including radio, X-ray, and optical. We compile the results of those surveys and place their conclusions in the context of auroral emission as a consequence of large-scale magnetospheric current systems that accelerate energetic electron beams and drive the particles to impact the cool atmospheric gas. We explore the different manifestations of auroral phenomena, like H α , in brown dwarf atmospheres and define their distinguishing characteristics. We conclude that large-amplitude photometric variability in the near-infrared is most likely a consequence of clouds in brown dwarf atmospheres, but that auroral activity may be responsible for long-lived stable surface features. We report a connection between auroral H α emission and quiescent radio emission in electron cyclotron maser instability pulsing brown dwarfs, suggesting a potential underlying physical connection between quiescent and auroral emissions. We also discuss the electrodynamic engines powering brown dwarf aurorae and the possible role of satellites around these systems both to power the aurorae and seed the magnetosphere with plasma.

  13. ROBO-AO M DWARF MULTIPLICITY SURVEY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamman, Claire; Berta-Thompson, Zachory; Baranec, Christoph; Law, Nicholas; Schonhut, Jessica

    2018-01-01

    We analyzed over 7,000 observations from Robo-AO’s field M dwarf survey taken on the 2.1m Kitt Peak telescope. Results will help determine the multiplicity fraction of M dwarfs as a function of primary mass, which is a crucial step towards understanding their evolution and formation mechanics. Through its robotic, laser-guided, and automated system, the Robo-AO instrument has yielded the largest adaptive-optics M dwarf survey to date. I developed a graphical user interface to quickly analyze this data. Initial data analysis included assessing data quality, checking the result from Robo-AO’s automatic reduction pipeline, and determining existence as well as the relative position of companions through a visual inspection. This program can be applied to other datasets and was successfully tested by re-analyzing observations from a separate Robo-AO survey. Following the preliminary results from this data analysis tool, further observations were done with the Keck II telescope by using its NIRC2 imager to follow up on ten select targets for the existence and physical association of companions. After a conservative initial cut for quality, 356 companions were found within 4” of a primary star out of 2,746 high quality Robo-AO M dwarf observations, including four triple systems. We will present a preliminary estimate for the multiplicity rate of wide M dwarf companions after accounting for observation limitations and the completeness of our search. Future research will yield insights into low-mass stellar formation and provide a database of nearby M dwarf multiples that will potentially assist ongoing and future surveys for planets around these stars, such as the NASA TESS mission.

  14. Sublimation of icy planetesimals and the delivery of water to the habitable zone around solar type stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunini, Adrián; López, María Cristina

    2018-06-01

    We present a semi analytic model to evaluate the delivery of water to the habitable zone around a solar type star carried by icy planetesimals born beyond the snow line. The model includes sublimation of ice, gas drag and scattering by an outer giant planet located near the snow line. The sublimation model is general and could be applicable to planetary synthesis models or N-Body simulations of the formation of planetary systems. We perform a short series of simulations to asses the potential relevance of sublimation of volatiles in the process of delivery of water to the inner regions of a planetary system during early stages of its formation. We could anticipate that erosion by sublimation would prevent the arrival of much water to the habitable zone of protoplanetary disks in the form of icy planetesimals. Close encounters with a massive planet orbiting near the outer edge of the snow line could make possible for planetesimals to reach the habitable zone somewhat less eroded. However, only large planetesimals could provide appreciable amounts of water. Massive disks and sharp gas surface density profiles favor icy planetesimals to reach inner regions of a protoplanetary disk.

  15. The Longevity of Water Ice on Ganymedes and Europas around Migrated Giant Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lehmer, Owen R.; Catling, David C.; Zahnle, Kevin J.

    2017-01-01

    The gas giant planets in the Solar System have a retinue of icy moons, and we expect giant exoplanets to have similar satellite systems. If a Jupiter-like planet were to migrate toward its parent star the icy moons orbiting it would evaporate, creating atmospheres and possible habitable surface oceans. Here, we examine how long the surface ice and possible oceans would last before being hydrodynamically lost to space. The hydrodynamic loss rate from the moons is determined, in large part, by the stellar flux available for absorption, which increases as the giant planet and icy moons migrate closer to the star. At some planet–star distance the stellar flux incident on the icy moons becomes so great that they enter a runaway greenhouse state. This runaway greenhouse state rapidly transfers all available surface water to the atmosphere as vapor, where it is easily lost from the small moons. However, for icy moons of Ganymede’s size around a Sun-like star we found that surface water (either ice or liquid) can persist indefinitely outside the runaway greenhouse orbital distance. In contrast, the surface water on smaller moons of Europa’s size will only persist on timescales greater than 1 Gyr at distances ranging 1.49–0.74 au around a Sun-like star for Bond albedos of 0.2 and 0.8, where the lower albedo becomes relevant if ice melts. Consequently, small moons can lose their icy shells, which would create a torus of H atoms around their host planet that might be detectable in future observations.

  16. The Longevity of Water Ice on Ganymedes and Europas around Migrated Giant Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehmer, Owen R.; Catling, David C. [Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences/Astrobiology Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Zahnle, Kevin J., E-mail: olehmer@gmail.com [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (United States)

    2017-04-10

    The gas giant planets in the Solar System have a retinue of icy moons, and we expect giant exoplanets to have similar satellite systems. If a Jupiter-like planet were to migrate toward its parent star the icy moons orbiting it would evaporate, creating atmospheres and possible habitable surface oceans. Here, we examine how long the surface ice and possible oceans would last before being hydrodynamically lost to space. The hydrodynamic loss rate from the moons is determined, in large part, by the stellar flux available for absorption, which increases as the giant planet and icy moons migrate closer to the star. At some planet–star distance the stellar flux incident on the icy moons becomes so great that they enter a runaway greenhouse state. This runaway greenhouse state rapidly transfers all available surface water to the atmosphere as vapor, where it is easily lost from the small moons. However, for icy moons of Ganymede’s size around a Sun-like star we found that surface water (either ice or liquid) can persist indefinitely outside the runaway greenhouse orbital distance. In contrast, the surface water on smaller moons of Europa’s size will only persist on timescales greater than 1 Gyr at distances ranging 1.49–0.74 au around a Sun-like star for Bond albedos of 0.2 and 0.8, where the lower albedo becomes relevant if ice melts. Consequently, small moons can lose their icy shells, which would create a torus of H atoms around their host planet that might be detectable in future observations.

  17. Giant Planets Can Act as Stabilizing Agents on Debris Disks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muñoz-Gutiérrez, M. A.; Pichardo, B.; Peimbert, A., E-mail: mmunoz.astro@gmail.com [Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apdo. postal 70-264 Ciudad Universitaria, México (Mexico)

    2017-07-01

    We have explored the evolution of a cold debris disk under the gravitational influence of dwarf-planet-sized objects (DPs), both in the presence and absence of an interior giant planet. Through detailed long-term numerical simulations, we demonstrate that when the giant planet is not present, DPs can stir the eccentricities and inclinations of disk particles, in linear proportion to the total mass of the DPs; on the other hand, when the giant planet is included in the simulations, the stirring is approximately proportional to the mass squared. This creates two regimes: below a disk mass threshold (defined by the total mass of DPs), the giant planet acts as a stabilizing agent of the orbits of cometary nuclei, diminishing the effect of the scatterers; above the threshold, the giant contributes to the dispersion of the particles.

  18. White Dwarf Stars

    OpenAIRE

    Kepler, S. O.; Romero, Alejandra Daniela; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Ourique, Gustavo

    2017-01-01

    White dwarf stars are the final stage of most stars, born single or in multiple systems. We discuss the identification, magnetic fields, and mass distribution for white dwarfs detected from spectra obtained by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey up to Data Release 13 in 2016, which lead to the increase in the number of spectroscopically identified white dwarf stars from 5000 to 39000. This number includes only white dwarf stars with log g >= 6.5 stars, i.e., excluding the Extremely Low Mass white dw...

  19. L'espion d'ici

    CERN Document Server

    Omnes, Roland

    2000-01-01

    On les appelle " ceux-qui-savent-le-savoir-inutile ". De leur planète puissante qui répond au nom orgueilleux d'" Ici ", ils dépêchent sur Terre un agent : à charge pour lui d'évaluer l'état d'avancement des connaissances chez les humains et de mesurer les risques que ceux-ci représentent. L'espion sera introduit auprès des sages grecs, il s'initiera aux mystères de Pythagore, il tiendra tête à Aristote, il se réincarnera en Merlin, il fréquentera le salon de Mme du Châtelet, il s'entretiendra avec Darwin, il côtoiera Einstein, il assistera à la naissance de la mécanique quantique, il fera un détour par les cafés de philosophie... Au terme de ses pérégrinations, il devra finalement choisir. Prendra-t-il le parti d'" Ici ", dont les connaissances plongent dans des temps insondables, ou celui de la Terre, au savoir étonnamment neuf ?

  20. EVIDENCE FOR ACCRETION IN A NEARBY, YOUNG BROWN DWARF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reiners, Ansgar

    2009-01-01

    We report on the discovery of the young, nearby, brown dwarf 2MASS J0041353-562112. The object has a spectral type of M7.5; it shows Li absorption and signatures of accretion, which implies that it still has a disk and suggests an age below 10 Myr. The space motion vector and position on the sky indicate that the brown dwarf is probably a member of the ∼20 Myr old Tuc-Hor association, or that it may be an ejected member of the ∼12 Myr old β Pic association; both would imply that 2MASS J0041353-562112 may in fact be older than 10 Myr. No accreting star or brown dwarf was previously known in these associations. Assuming an age of 10 Myr, the brown dwarf has a mass of about 30 M Jup and is located at 35 pc distance. The newly discovered object is the closest accreting brown dwarf known. Its membership to an association older than 10 Myr implies that either disks in brown dwarfs can survive as long as in more massive stars, perhaps even longer, or that star formation in Tuc-Hor or β Pic occurred more recently than previously thought. The history and evolution of this object can provide new fundamental insight into the formation process of stars, brown dwarfs, and planets.

  1. Backyard Worlds: Finding Nearby Brown Dwarfs Through Citizen Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchner, Marc

    Recent discoveries of cool brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood and microlensing surveys both point to an undiscovered population of brown dwarfs and rogue planets in the solar neighborhood. We propose to develop and sustain a novel website that enables a unique and powerful citizen-science based search for these and other high-proper-motion objects at 3.5 and 4.6 microns. Through this search, we have an opportunity to discover new ultracool Y dwarfs, crucial links between star formation and planet formation, and also the Sun's nearest neighbors-potentially a system closer than Proxima Centauri. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission (WISE) is nominally sensitive enough to detect a 250 K brown dwarf to > 6 pc and even a Jupiter analog to > 0.6 pc. However, high proper motion objects like these can easily be confused with variable stars, electronic noise, latent images, optical ghosts, cosmic ray hits, and so on in the WISE archive. Computer-based searches for high-proper motion objects falter in dense star fields, necessitating visual inspection all candidates. Our citizen science project, called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9", remedies this problem by engaging volunteers to visually inspect WISE and NEOWISE images. Roughly 104,000 participants have already begun using a preliminary version of the site to examine time-resolved co-adds of unWISE-processed images, four epochs spanning 2010 to 2014. They have already performed more than 3.6 million classifications of these images since the site's launch on February 15, 2017. Besides seeking new brown dwarfs and nearby stars, this site is also the most sensitive all-sky WISE-based search for a planet orbiting the Sun beyond Pluto (sometimes called Planet Nine). Preliminary analysis data from the site has resulted in the discovery of 13 brown dwarf candidates including 6 T dwarfs. We obtained a spectrum of one of these candidates and published it in Astrophysical Journal Letters, with four citizen scientists

  2. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Searching for chemical signatures of brown dwarf formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, J.; Villaver, E.

    2017-06-01

    Context. Recent studies have shown that close-in brown dwarfs in the mass range 35-55 MJup are almost depleted as companions to stars, suggesting that objects with masses above and below this gap might have different formation mechanisms. Aims: We aim to test whether stars harbouring massive brown dwarfs and stars with low-mass brown dwarfs show any chemical peculiarity that could be related to different formation processes. Methods: Our methodology is based on the analysis of high-resolution échelle spectra (R 57 000) from 2-3 m class telescopes. We determine the fundamental stellar parameters, as well as individual abundances of C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, and Zn for a large sample of stars known to have a substellar companion in the brown dwarf regime. The sample is divided into stars hosting massive and low-mass brown dwarfs. Following previous works, a threshold of 42.5 MJup was considered. The metallicity and abundance trends of the two subsamples are compared and set in the context of current models of planetary and brown dwarf formation. Results: Our results confirm that stars with brown dwarf companions do not follow the well-established gas-giant planet metallicity correlation seen in main-sequence planet hosts. Stars harbouring massive brown dwarfs show similar metallicity and abundance distribution as stars without known planets or with low-mass planets. We find a tendency of stars harbouring less-massive brown dwarfs of having slightly higher metallicity, [XFe/Fe] values, and abundances of Sc II, Mn I, and Ni I than the stars having the massive brown dwarfs. The data suggest, as previously reported, that massive and low-mass brown dwarfs might present differences in period and eccentricity. Conclusions: We find evidence of a non-metallicity dependent mechanism for the formation of massive brown dwarfs. Our results agree with a scenario in which massive brown dwarfs are formed as stars. At high metallicities, the core

  5. Fluffy dust forms icy planetesimals by static compression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kataoka, Akimasa; Tanaka, Hidekazu; Okuzumi, Satoshi; Wada, Koji

    2013-09-01

    Context. Several barriers have been proposed in planetesimal formation theory: bouncing, fragmentation, and radial drift problems. Understanding the structure evolution of dust aggregates is a key in planetesimal formation. Dust grains become fluffy by coagulation in protoplanetary disks. However, once they are fluffy, they are not sufficiently compressed by collisional compression to form compact planetesimals. Aims: We aim to reveal the pathway of dust structure evolution from dust grains to compact planetesimals. Methods: Using the compressive strength formula, we analytically investigate how fluffy dust aggregates are compressed by static compression due to ram pressure of the disk gas and self-gravity of the aggregates in protoplanetary disks. Results: We reveal the pathway of the porosity evolution from dust grains via fluffy aggregates to form planetesimals, circumventing the barriers in planetesimal formation. The aggregates are compressed by the disk gas to a density of 10-3 g/cm3 in coagulation, which is more compact than is the case with collisional compression. Then, they are compressed more by self-gravity to 10-1 g/cm3 when the radius is 10 km. Although the gas compression decelerates the growth, the aggregates grow rapidly enough to avoid the radial drift barrier when the orbital radius is ≲6 AU in a typical disk. Conclusions: We propose a fluffy dust growth scenario from grains to planetesimals. It enables icy planetesimal formation in a wide range beyond the snowline in protoplanetary disks. This result proposes a concrete initial condition of planetesimals for the later stages of the planet formation.

  6. Studies of Planet Formation using a Hybrid N-body + Planetesimal Code

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Bromley, Benjamin C.; Salamon, Michael (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    The goal of our proposal was to use a hybrid multi-annulus planetesimal/n-body code to examine the planetesimal theory, one of the two main theories of planet formation. We developed this code to follow the evolution of numerous 1 m to 1 km planetesimals as they collide, merge, and grow into full-fledged planets. Our goal was to apply the code to several well-posed, topical problems in planet formation and to derive observational consequences of the models. We planned to construct detailed models to address two fundamental issues: 1) icy planets - models for icy planet formation will demonstrate how the physical properties of debris disks, including the Kuiper Belt in our solar system, depend on initial conditions and input physics; and 2) terrestrial planets - calculations following the evolution of 1-10 km planetesimals into Earth-mass planets and rings of dust will provide a better understanding of how terrestrial planets form and interact with their environment. During the past year, we made progress on each issue. Papers published in 2004 are summarized. Summaries of work to be completed during the first half of 2005 and work planned for the second half of 2005 are included.

  7. The Gemini Deep Planet Survey - GDPS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lafreniere, D; Doyon, R; Marois, C; Nadeau, D; Oppenheimer, B R; Roche, P F; Rigaut, F; Graham, J R; Jayawardhana, R; Johnstone, D; Kalas, P G; Macintosh, B; Racine, R

    2007-06-01

    We present the results of the Gemini Deep Planet Survey, a near-infrared adaptive optics search for giant planets and brown dwarfs around nearby young stars. The observations were obtained with the Altair adaptive optics system at the Gemini North telescope and angular differential imaging was used to suppress the speckle noise of the central star. Detection limits for the 85 stars observed are presented, along with a list of all faint point sources detected around them. Typically, the observations are sensitive to angular separations beyond 0.5-inch with 5{sigma} contrast sensitivities in magnitude difference at 1.6 {micro}m of 9.6 at 0.5-inch, 12.9 at 1-inch, 15 at 2-inch, and 16.6 at 5-inch. For the typical target of the survey, a 100 Myr old K0 star located 22 pc from the Sun, the observations are sensitive enough to detect planets more massive than 2 M{sub Jup} with a projected separation in the range 40-200 AU. Depending on the age, spectral type, and distance of the target stars, the minimum mass that could be detected with our observations can be {approx}1 M{sub Jup}. Second epoch observations of 48 stars with candidates (out of 54) have confirmed that all candidates are unrelated background stars. A detailed statistical analysis of the survey results, which provide upper limits on the fractions of stars with giant planet or low mass brown dwarf companions, is presented. Assuming a planet mass distribution dn/dm {proportional_to} m{sup -1.2} and a semi-major axis distribution dn/da {proportional_to} a{sup -1}, the upper limits on the fraction of stars with at least one planet of mass 0.5-13 M{sub Jup} are 0.29 for the range 10-25 AU, 0.13 for 25-50 AU, and 0.09 for 50-250 AU, with a 95% confidence level; this result is weakly dependent on the semi-major axis distribution power-law index. Without making any assumption on the mass and semi-major axis distributions, the fraction of stars with at least one brown dwarf companion having a semi-major axis in the

  8. Radiation Induced Chemistry of Icy Surfaces: Laboratory Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudipati, Murthy S.; Lignell, Antti; Li, Irene; Yang, Rui; Jacovi, Ronen

    2011-01-01

    We will discuss laboratory experiments designed to enhance our understanding the chemical processes on icy solar system bodies, enable interpretation of in-situ and remote-sensing data, and help future missions to icy solar system bodies, such as comets, Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus etc.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. THE CALIFORNIA PLANET SURVEY. I. FOUR NEW GIANT EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Peek, Kathryn M. G.; Johnson, John Asher; Fischer, Debra A.; Isaacson, Howard; Wright, Jason T.; Bernat, David; Henry, Gregory W.; Apps, Kevin; Endl, Michael; Cochran, William D.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Anderson, Jay; Piskunov, Nikolai E.

    2010-01-01

    We present precise Doppler measurements of four stars obtained during the past decade at Keck Observatory by the California Planet Survey (CPS). These stars, namely, HD 34445, HD 126614, HD 13931, and Gl 179, all show evidence for a single planet in Keplerian motion. We also present Doppler measurements from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) for two of the stars, HD 34445 and Gl 179, that confirm the Keck detections and significantly refine the orbital parameters. These planets add to the statistical properties of giant planets orbiting near or beyond the ice line, and merit follow-up by astrometry, imaging, and space-borne spectroscopy. Their orbital parameters span wide ranges of planetary minimum mass (M sin i = 0.38-1.9 M Jup ), orbital period (P = 2.87-11.5 yr), semimajor axis (a = 2.1-5.2 AU), and eccentricity (e = 0.02-0.41). HD 34445 b (P = 2.87 yr, M sin i = 0.79 M Jup , e = 0.27) is a massive planet orbiting an old, G-type star. We announce a planet, HD 126614 Ab, and an M dwarf, HD 126614 B, orbiting the metal-rich star HD 126614 (which we now refer to as HD 126614 A). The planet, HD 126614 Ab, has minimum mass M sin i = 0.38 M Jup and orbits the stellar primary with period P = 3.41 yr and orbital separation a = 2.3 AU. The faint M dwarf companion, HD 126614 B, is separated from the stellar primary by 489 mas (33 AU) and was discovered with direct observations using adaptive optics and the PHARO camera at Palomar Observatory. The stellar primary in this new system, HD 126614 A, has the highest measured metallicity ([Fe/H] = +0.56) of any known planet-bearing star. HD 13931 b (P = 11.5 yr, M sin i = 1.88 M Jup , e = 0.02) is a Jupiter analog orbiting a near solar twin. Gl 179 b (P = 6.3 yr, M sin i = 0.82 M Jup , e = 0.21) is a massive planet orbiting a faint M dwarf. The high metallicity of Gl 179 is consistent with the planet-metallicity correlation among M dwarfs, as documented recently by Johnson and Apps.

  12. The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kuchner, Marc; Schneider, Adam; Meisner, Aaron; Gagné, Jonathan; Filippazzo, Joeseph; Trouille, Laura; Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Collaboration; Jacqueline Faherty

    2018-01-01

    In February of 2017 our team launched a new citizen science project entitled Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 to scan the cosmos for fast moving stars, brown dwarfs, and even planets. This Zooniverse website, BackyardWorlds.org, invites anyone with a computer or smartphone to flip through WISE images taken over a several year baseline and mark any point source that appears to move. This “blinking technique” is the same that Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto with over 80 years ago. In the first few days of our program we recruited over 30,000 volunteers. After 3/4 of a year with the program we have completed 30% of the sky and our participants have identified several hundred candidate movers. These include (1) over 20 candidate Y-type brown dwarfs, (2) a handful of new co-moving systems containing a previously unidentified low mass object and a known nearby star, (3) over 100 previously missed M dwarfs, (4) and more than 200 candidate L and T brown dwarfs, many of which occupy outlier positions on reduced proper motion diagrams. Our first publication credited four citizen scientists as co-authors. The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project is both scientifically fruitful and empowering for any mind across the globe that has ever wanted to participate in a discovery-driven astronomy research project.

  13. Hemlock Dwarf Mistletoe (FIDL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul E. Hennon; Jerome S. Beatty; Diane Hildebrand

    2001-01-01

    Hemlock dwarf mistletoe, Arceuthobium tsugense (Rosendahl) G.N. Jones, causes a serious disease of western hemlock and several other tree species along the Pacific Coast of North America. This small, seed-bearing plant lives exclusively as a parasite on living trees. Throughout its range, hemlock dwarf mistletoe occurs in patch-like patterns in the forests. Some...

  14. Larch Dwarf Mistletoe (FIDL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerome S. Beatty; Gregory M. Filip; Robert L. Mathiason

    1997-01-01

    Larch dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium laricis (Piper) St. John) is a common and damaging parasite of western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.) in the Pacific Northwest and southern British Columbia. Larch dwarf mistletoe occurs commonly throughout the range of western larch in British Columbia, northern and central Idaho, western Montana and east of the Cascades in...

  15. Low Force Penetration of Icy Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantovani, J. G.; Galloway, G. M.; Zacny, K.

    2016-01-01

    A percussive cone penetrometer measures the strength of granular material by using percussion to deliver mechanical energy into the material. A percussive cone penetrometer was used in this study to penetrate a regolith ice mixture by breaking up ice and decompacting the regolith. As compared to a static cone penetrometer, percussion allows low reaction forces to push a penetrometer probe tip more easily into dry regolith in a low gravity environment from a planetary surface rover or a landed spacecraft. A percussive cone penetrates icy regolith at ice concentrations that a static cone cannot penetrate. In this study, the percussive penetrator was able to penetrate material under 65 N of down-force which could not be penetrated using a static cone under full body weight. This paper discusses using a percussive cone penetrometer to discern changes in the concentration of water-ice in a mixture of lunar regolith simulant and ice to a depth of one meter. The rate of penetration was found to be a function of the ice content and was not significantly affected by the down-force. The test results demonstrate that this method may be ideal for a small platform in a reduced gravity environment. However, there are some cases where the system may not be able to penetrate the icy regolith, and there is some risk of the probe tip becoming stuck so that it cannot be retracted. It is also shown that a percussive cone penetrometer could be used to prospect for water ice in regolith at concentrations as high as 8 by weight.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. New inner boundaries of the habitable zones around M dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bin, Jiayu; Tian, Feng; Liu, Lei

    2018-06-01

    Two general circulation models CAM4 and CAM5 are used to study the climate of ocean planets around M dwarfs with different effective temperatures. The atmospheres in CAM5 simulations are warmer and contain more water vapor than those in CAM4 under identical model settings, a result likely caused by improved treatments of radiation and possibly clouds in CAM5. The inner boundary of the habitable zones of M dwarfs based on CAM5 simulations, expressed as a second order polynomial function, are farther away from the stars than what are suggested by previous works and the corresponding atmospheres are in the moist greenhouse state.

  19. Characterizing Young Giant Planets with the Gemini Planet Imager: An Iterative Approach to Planet Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2015-01-01

    After discovery, the first task of exoplanet science is characterization. However experience has shown that the limited spectral range and resolution of most directly imaged exoplanet data requires an iterative approach to spectral modeling. Simple, brown dwarf-like models, must first be tested to ascertain if they are both adequate to reproduce the available data and consistent with additional constraints, including the age of the system and available limits on the planet's mass and luminosity, if any. When agreement is lacking, progressively more complex solutions must be considered, including non-solar composition, partial cloudiness, and disequilibrium chemistry. Such additional complexity must be balanced against an understanding of the limitations of the atmospheric models themselves. For example while great strides have been made in improving the opacities of important molecules, particularly NH3 and CH4, at high temperatures, much more work is needed to understand the opacity of atomic Na and K. The highly pressure broadened fundamental band of Na and K in the optical stretches into the near-infrared, strongly influencing the spectral shape of Y and J spectral bands. Discerning gravity and atmospheric composition is difficult, if not impossible, without both good atomic opacities as well as an excellent understanding of the relevant atmospheric chemistry. I will present examples of the iterative process of directly imaged exoplanet characterization as applied to both known and potentially newly discovered exoplanets with a focus on constraints provided by GPI spectra. If a new GPI planet is lacking, as a case study I will discuss HR 8799 c and d will explain why some solutions, such as spatially inhomogeneous cloudiness, introduce their own additional layers of complexity. If spectra of new planets from GPI are available I will explain the modeling process in the context of understanding these new worlds.

  20. Hydrothermal systems in small ocean planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, Steve; Harnmeijer, Jelte; Kimura, Jun; Hussmann, Hauke; Demartin, Brian; Brown, J Michael

    2007-12-01

    We examine means for driving hydrothermal activity in extraterrestrial oceans on planets and satellites of less than one Earth mass, with implications for sustaining a low level of biological activity over geological timescales. Assuming ocean planets have olivine-dominated lithospheres, a model for cooling-induced thermal cracking shows how variation in planet size and internal thermal energy may drive variation in the dominant type of hydrothermal system-for example, high or low temperature system or chemically driven system. As radiogenic heating diminishes over time, progressive exposure of new rock continues to the current epoch. Where fluid-rock interactions propagate slowly into a deep brittle layer, thermal energy from serpentinization may be the primary cause of hydrothermal activity in small ocean planets. We show that the time-varying hydrostatic head of a tidally forced ice shell may drive hydrothermal fluid flow through the seafloor, which can generate moderate but potentially important heat through viscous interaction with the matrix of porous seafloor rock. Considering all presently known potential ocean planets-Mars, a number of icy satellites, Pluto, and other trans-neptunian objects-and applying Earth-like material properties and cooling rates, we find depths of circulation are more than an order of magnitude greater than in Earth. In Europa and Enceladus, tidal flexing may drive hydrothermal circulation and, in Europa, may generate heat on the same order as present-day radiogenic heat flux at Earth's surface. In all objects, progressive serpentinization generates heat on a globally averaged basis at a fraction of a percent of present-day radiogenic heating and hydrogen is produced at rates between 10(9) and 10(10) molecules cm(2) s(1).

  1. NGTS-1b: a hot Jupiter transiting an M-dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayliss, Daniel; Gillen, Edward; Eigmüller, Philipp; McCormac, James; Alexander, Richard D.; Armstrong, David J.; Booth, Rachel S.; Bouchy, François; Burleigh, Matthew R.; Cabrera, Juan; Casewell, Sarah L.; Chaushev, Alexander; Chazelas, Bruno; Csizmadia, Szilard; Erikson, Anders; Faedi, Francesca; Foxell, Emma; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Goad, Michael R.; Grange, Andrew; Günther, Maximilian N.; Hodgkin, Simon T.; Jackman, James; Jenkins, James S.; Lambert, Gregory; Louden, Tom; Metrailler, Lionel; Moyano, Maximiliano; Pollacco, Don; Poppenhaeger, Katja; Queloz, Didier; Raddi, Roberto; Rauer, Heike; Raynard, Liam; Smith, Alexis M. S.; Soto, Maritza; Thompson, Andrew P. G.; Titz-Weider, Ruth; Udry, Stéphane; Walker, Simon R.; Watson, Christopher A.; West, Richard G.; Wheatley, Peter J.

    2018-04-01

    We present the discovery of NGTS-1b, a hot Jupiter transiting an early M-dwarf host (Teff,* = 3916 ^{+71}_{-63} K) in a P = 2.647 d orbit discovered as part of the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS). The planet has a mass of 0.812 ^{+0.066}_{-0.075} MJ, making it the most massive planet ever discovered transiting an M-dwarf. The radius of the planet is 1.33 ^{+0.61}_{-0.33} RJ. Since the transit is grazing, we determine this radius by modelling the data and placing a prior on the density from the population of known gas giant planets. NGTS-1b is the third transiting giant planet found around an M-dwarf, reinforcing the notion that close-in gas giants can form and migrate similar to the known population of hot Jupiters around solar-type stars. The host star shows no signs of activity, and the kinematics hint at the star being from the thick disc population. With a deep (2.5 per cent) transit around a K = 11.9 host, NGTS-1b will be a strong candidate to probe giant planet composition around M-dwarfs via James Webb Space Telescope transmission spectroscopy.

  2. Star Formation in Dwarf-Dwarf Mergers: Fueling Hierarchical Assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stierwalt, Sabrina; Johnson, K. E.; Kallivayalil, N.; Patton, D. R.; Putman, M. E.; Besla, G.; Geha, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    We present early results from the first systematic study a sample of isolated interacting dwarf pairs and the mechanisms governing their star formation. Low mass dwarf galaxies are ubiquitous in the local universe, yet the efficiency of gas removal and the enhancement of star formation in dwarfs via pre-processing (i.e. dwarf-dwarf interactions occurring before the accretion by a massive host) are currently unconstrained. Studies of Local Group dwarfs credit stochastic internal processes for their complicated star formation histories, but a few intriguing examples suggest interactions among dwarfs may produce enhanced star formation. We combine archival UV imaging from GALEX with deep optical broad- and narrow-band (Halpha) imaging taken with the pre- One Degree Imager (pODI) on the WIYN 3.5-m telescope and with the 2.3-m Bok telescope at Steward Observatory to confirm the presence of stellar bridges and tidal tails and to determine whether dwarf-dwarf interactions alone can trigger significant levels of star formation. We investigate star formation rates and global galaxy colors as a function of dwarf pair separation (i.e. the dwarf merger sequence) and dwarf-dwarf mass ratio. This project is a precursor to an ongoing effort to obtain high spatial resolution HI imaging to assess the importance of sequential triggering caused by dwarf-dwarf interactions and the subsequent affect on the more massive hosts that later accrete the low mass systems.

  3. A STELLAR-MASS-DEPENDENT DROP IN PLANET OCCURRENCE RATES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler spacecraft has discovered a large number of planets with up to one-year periods and down to terrestrial sizes. While the majority of the target stars are main-sequence dwarfs of spectral type F, G, and K, Kepler covers stars with effective temperatures as low as 2500 K, which corresponds to M stars. These cooler stars allow characterization of small planets near the habitable zone, yet it is not clear if this population is representative of that around FGK stars. In this paper, we calculate the occurrence of planets around stars of different spectral types as a function of planet radius and distance from the star and show that they are significantly different from each other. We further identify two trends. First, the occurrence of Earth- to Neptune-sized planets (1-4 R ⊕ ) is successively higher toward later spectral types at all orbital periods probed by Kepler; planets around M stars occur twice as frequently as around G stars, and thrice as frequently as around F stars. Second, a drop in planet occurrence is evident at all spectral types inward of a ∼10 day orbital period, with a plateau further out. By assigning to each spectral type a median stellar mass, we show that the distance from the star where this drop occurs is stellar mass dependent, and scales with semi-major axis as the cube root of stellar mass. By comparing different mechanisms of planet formation, trapping, and destruction, we find that this scaling best matches the location of the pre-main-sequence co-rotation radius, indicating efficient trapping of migrating planets or planetary building blocks close to the star. These results demonstrate the stellar-mass dependence of the planet population, both in terms of occurrence rate and of orbital distribution. The prominent stellar-mass dependence of the inner boundary of the planet population shows that the formation or migration of planets is sensitive to the stellar parameters

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Permanently Shadowed Regions of Dwarf Planet Ceres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorghofer, Norbert; Mazarico, Erwan; Platz, Thomas; Preusker, Frank; Schroeder, Stefan E.; Raymond, Carol A.; Russell, Christopher T.

    2016-01-01

    Ceres has only a small spin axis tilt (4 deg), and craters near its rotational poles can experience permanent shadow and trap volatiles, as is the case on Mercury and on Earth's Moon. Topography derived from stereo imaging by the Dawn spacecraft is used to calculate direct solar irradiance that defines the extent of the permanently shadowed regions (PSRs). In the northern polar region, PSRs cover approximately 1800 sq km or 0.13% of the hemisphere, and most of the PSRs are cold enough to trap water ice over geological time periods. Based on modeling of the water exosphere, water molecules seasonally reside around the winter pole and ultimately an estimated 0.14% of molecules get trapped. Even for the lowest estimates of the amount of available water, this predicts accumulation rates in excess of loss rates, and hence, there should be fresh ice deposits in the cold traps.

  7. Asteroids and Dwarf Planets and How to Observe Them

    CERN Document Server

    Dymock, Roger

    2010-01-01

    ASTRONOMERS’ OBSERVING GUIDES provide up-to-date information for amateur astronomers who want to know all about what it is they are observing. This is the basis of the first part of the book. The second part details observing techniques for practical astronomers, working with a range of different instruments. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ We live in a violent universe. The media constantly remind us of the possibility of an object suddenly appearing and hitting Earth. A hit by an asteroid is believed to have spelled the end of the dinosaurs. Such a collision by an object from space could cause another extinction event, if the object were large enough. And such objects are definitely out there. Often called “the vermin of the sky,” asteroids roam our Solar System often unseen. Many have been tracked, and their orbits calculated. But there are still many to be discovered and assessed. Many amateur astronomers are helping in this effo...

  8. WISE Y dwarfs as probes of the brown dwarf-exoplanet connection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beichman, C.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cushing, Michael C.; Dodson-Robinson, Sally; Marley, Mark S.; Morley, Caroline V.; Wright, E. L.

    2014-01-01

    We have determined astrometric positions for 15 WISE-discovered late-type brown dwarfs (six T8-9 and nine Y dwarfs) using the Keck-II telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Hubble Space Telescope. Combining data from 8 to 20 epochs we derive parallactic and proper motions for these objects, which puts the majority within 15 pc. For ages greater than a few Gyr, as suggested from kinematic considerations, we find masses of 10-30 M Jup based on standard models for the evolution of low-mass objects with a range of mass estimates for individual objects, depending on the model in question. Three of the coolest objects have effective temperatures ∼350 K and inferred masses of 10-15 M Jup . Our parallactic distances confirm earlier photometric estimates and direct measurements and suggest that the number of objects with masses below about 15 M Jup must be flat or declining, relative to higher mass objects. The masses of the coldest Y dwarfs may be similar to those inferred for recently imaged planet-mass companions to nearby young stars. Objects in this mass range, which appear to be rare in both the interstellar and protoplanetary environments, may both have formed via gravitational fragmentation—the brown dwarfs in interstellar clouds and companion objects in a protoplanetary disk. In both cases, however, the fact that objects in this mass range are relatively infrequent suggests that this mechanism must be inefficient in both environments.

  9. 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.

  10. ROTATIONAL VELOCITIES FOR M DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jenkins, J. S.; Ramsey, L. W.; Jones, H. R. A.; Pavlenko, Y.; Barnes, J. R.; Pinfield, D. J.; Gallardo, J.

    2009-01-01

    We present spectroscopic rotation velocities (v sin i) for 56 M dwarf stars using high-resolution Hobby-Eberly Telescope High Resolution Spectrograph red spectroscopy. In addition, we have also determined photometric effective temperatures, masses, and metallicities ([Fe/H]) for some stars observed here and in the literature where we could acquire accurate parallax measurements and relevant photometry. We have increased the number of known v sin i values for mid M stars by around 80% and can confirm a weakly increasing rotation velocity with decreasing effective temperature. Our sample of v sin is peak at low velocities (∼3 km s -1 ). We find a change in the rotational velocity distribution between early M and late M stars, which is likely due to the changing field topology between partially and fully convective stars. There is also a possible further change in the rotational distribution toward the late M dwarfs where dust begins to play a role in the stellar atmospheres. We also link v sin i to age and show how it can be used to provide mid-M star age limits. When all literature velocities for M dwarfs are added to our sample, there are 198 with v sin i ≤ 10 km s -1 and 124 in the mid-to-late M star regime (M3.0-M9.5) where measuring precision optical radial velocities is difficult. In addition, we also search the spectra for any significant Hα emission or absorption. Forty three percent were found to exhibit such emission and could represent young, active objects with high levels of radial-velocity noise. We acquired two epochs of spectra for the star GJ1253 spread by almost one month and the Hα profile changed from showing no clear signs of emission, to exhibiting a clear emission peak. Four stars in our sample appear to be low-mass binaries (GJ1080, GJ3129, Gl802, and LHS3080), with both GJ3129 and Gl802 exhibiting double Hα emission features. The tables presented here will aid any future M star planet search target selection to extract stars with low v

  11. Progenitors of white dwarfs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drilling, J.S.; Schoenberner, D.

    1985-01-01

    Direct observational evidence is presented which indicates that the immediate progenitors of white dwarfs are the central stars of planetary nebulae (approximately 70%), other post-AGB objects (approximately 30%), and post-HB objects not massive enough to climb the AGB (approximately 0.3%). The combined birth rate for these objects is in satisfactory agreement with the death rate of main-sequence stars and the birth rate of white dwarfs

  12. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities. Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. ICI system for protecting underwater structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-10-14

    The new ICI Offshore product consists of polypropylene fibers about 4.4 m long, and with a density lower than that of sea water and thus a good buoyancy coefficient. Bundles of the fibers are passed through a braided mat of polyester, ''Paraweb'', which is weighted in accordance with the density of the entire system. The system is installed at the foot of platform legs and axially along pipelines to prevent scouring by ocean currents. The system has been installed in 144.8 m of water along the pipeline linking the Piper field to the Flotta terminal in the Orkney Islands. By reducing the velocity of the marine currents, the system causes sand and other material to be deposited along the fibers, forming a protective ''talus'' cone at first, then completely covering the structure. A sizable sand deposit had accumulated along the test segment of the pipeline less than one month after installation of the system. Use of the system on the Ekofisk-Emden gas pipeline where it is uncovered in the Danish North Sea sector is proposed.

  14. ICI optical data storage tape: An archival mass storage media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruddick, Andrew J.

    1993-01-01

    At the 1991 Conference on Mass Storage Systems and Technologies, ICI Imagedata presented a paper which introduced ICI Optical Data Storage Tape. This paper placed specific emphasis on the media characteristics and initial data was presented which illustrated the archival stability of the media. More exhaustive analysis that was carried out on the chemical stability of the media is covered. Equally important, it also addresses archive management issues associated with, for example, the benefits of reduced rewind requirements to accommodate tape relaxation effects that result from careful tribology control in ICI Optical Tape media. ICI Optical Tape media was designed to meet the most demanding requirements of archival mass storage. It is envisaged that the volumetric data capacity, long term stability and low maintenance characteristics demonstrated will have major benefits in increasing reliability and reducing the costs associated with archival storage of large data volumes.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Dwarf Mice and Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masternak, Michal M; Darcy, Justin; Victoria, Berta; Bartke, Andrzej

    2018-01-01

    Dwarf mice have been studied for many decades, however, the focus of these studies shifted in 1996 when it was shown by Brown-Borg and her coworkers that Ames dwarf (Prop1 df ) mice are exceptionally long-lived. Since then, Snell dwarf (Pit1 dw ) and growth hormone receptor knockout (GHR-KO, a.k.a. Laron dwarf) mice were also shown to be exceptionally long-lived, presumably due to their growth hormone (GH)-deficiency or -resistance, respectively. What is of equal importance in these dwarf mice is their extended health span, that is, these animals have a longer period of life lived free of frailty and age-related diseases. This review article focuses on recent studies conducted in these dwarf mice, which concerned brown and white adipose tissue biology, microRNA (miRNA) profiling, as well as early-life dietary and hormonal interventions. Results of these studies identify novel mechanisms linking reduced GH action with extensions of both life span and health span. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-15

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

  20. Seek a Minor Sun: The Distribution of Habitable Planets in the Hertzsprung-Russell-Rosenberg Diagram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, Eric

    2015-07-01

    The Sun-Earth systems has long been used as a template to understand habitable planets around other stars and to develop missions to seek them. However, two decades of exoplanet studies have shown that many, if not most planetary systems around G dwarf stars do not resemble the Solar System. Moreover, an objective census of our Galaxy might ignore solar- type stars and focus on M dwarfs, which constitute some 80% of all stars in the neighborhood. Recent work has shown that M dwarfs have more close-in planets than solar-type stars, and perhaps more planets in the "habitable zone" defined by stellar irradiation. M dwarfs also burn hydrogen over a vastly longer time; slow evolution on the main sequence means a planet can remain habitable for much longer, providing a more permissive environment for the evo- lution of life and intelligence. If M dwarfs are such compelling locales to look for life, why are we ourselves not orbiting a red Sun?

  1. A search for southern ultracool dwarfs in young moving groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deacon N.R.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available We have constructed an 800-strong red object catalogue by cross-referencing optical and infrared catalogues with an extensive proper motion catalogue compiled for red objects in the southern sky to obtain proper motions. We have applied astrometric and photometric constraints to the catalogue in order to select ultracool dwarf moving group candidates. 132 objects were found to be candidates of a moving group. From this candidate list we present initial results. Using spectroscopy we have obtained reliable spectral types and space motions, and by association with moving groups we can infer an age and composition. the further study of the remainder of our candidates will provide a large sample of young brown dwarfs and confirmed members will provide benchmark ultracool dwarfs. These will make suitable targets of AO planet searches.

  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. Observing the Spectra of MEarth and TRAPPIST Planets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, Caroline; Kreidberg, Laura; Rustamkulov, Zafar; Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2017-10-01

    During the past two years, nine planets close to Earth in radius have been discovered around nearby M dwarfs cooler than 3300 K. These planets include the 7 planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system and two planets discovered by the MEarth survey, GJ 1132b and LHS 1140b (Dittmann et al. 2017; Berta-Thompson et al. 2015; Gillon et al. 2017). These planets are the smallest planets discovered to date that will be amenable to atmospheric characterization with JWST. They span equilibrium temperatures from ˜130 K to >500 K, and radii from 0.7 to 1.43 Earth radii. Some of these planets orbit as distances potentially amenable to surface liquid water, though the actual surface temperatures will depend strongly on the albedo of the planet and the thickness and composition of its atmosphere. The stars they orbit also vary in activity levels, from the quiet LHS 1140b host star to the more active TRAPPIST-1 host star. This set of planets will form the testbed for our first chance to study the diversity of atmospheres around Earth-sized planets. Here, we will present model spectra of these 9 planets, varying the composition and the surface pressure of the atmosphere. We base our elemental compositions on three outcomes of planetary atmosphere evolution in our own solar system: Earth, Titan, and Venus. We calculate the molecular compositions in chemical equilibrium. We present both thermal emission spectra and transmission spectra for each of these objects, and make predictions for the observability of these spectra with different instrument modes with JWST.

  4. Survival of a brown dwarf after engulfment by a red giant star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxted, P F L; Napiwotzki, R; Dobbie, P D; Burleigh, M R

    2006-08-03

    Many sub-stellar companions (usually planets but also some brown dwarfs) orbit solar-type stars. These stars can engulf their sub-stellar companions when they become red giants. This interaction may explain several outstanding problems in astrophysics but it is unclear under what conditions a low mass companion will evaporate, survive the interaction unchanged or gain mass. Observational tests of models for this interaction have been hampered by a lack of positively identified remnants-that is, white dwarf stars with close, sub-stellar companions. The companion to the pre-white dwarf AA Doradus may be a brown dwarf, but the uncertain history of this star and the extreme luminosity difference between the components make it difficult to interpret the observations or to put strong constraints on the models. The magnetic white dwarf SDSS J121209.31 + 013627.7 may have a close brown dwarf companion but little is known about this binary at present. Here we report the discovery of a brown dwarf in a short period orbit around a white dwarf. The properties of both stars in this binary can be directly observed and show that the brown dwarf was engulfed by a red giant but that this had little effect on it.

  5. STABILITY OF CO2 ATMOSPHERES ON DESICCATED M DWARF EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Peter; Hu, Renyu; Li, Cheng; Yung, Yuk L.; Robinson, Tyler D.

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the chemical stability of CO 2 -dominated atmospheres of desiccated M dwarf terrestrial exoplanets using a one-dimensional photochemical model. Around Sun-like stars, CO 2 photolysis by Far-UV (FUV) radiation is balanced by recombination reactions that depend on water abundance. Planets orbiting M dwarf stars experience more FUV radiation, and could be depleted in water due to M dwarfs’ prolonged, high-luminosity pre-main sequences. We show that, for water-depleted M dwarf terrestrial planets, a catalytic cycle relying on H 2 O 2 photolysis can maintain a CO 2 atmosphere. However, this cycle breaks down for atmospheric hydrogen mixing ratios <1 ppm, resulting in ∼40% of the atmospheric CO 2 being converted to CO and O 2 on a timescale of 1 Myr. The increased O 2 abundance leads to high O 3 concentrations, the photolysis of which forms another CO 2 -regenerating catalytic cycle. For atmospheres with <0.1 ppm hydrogen, CO 2 is produced directly from the recombination of CO and O. These catalytic cycles place an upper limit of ∼50% on the amount of CO 2 that can be destroyed via photolysis, which is enough to generate Earth-like abundances of (abiotic) O 2 and O 3 . The conditions that lead to such high oxygen levels could be widespread on planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs. Discrimination between biological and abiotic O 2 and O 3 in this case can perhaps be accomplished by noting the lack of water features in the reflectance and emission spectra of these planets, which necessitates observations at wavelengths longer than 0.95 μm

  6. Predictions of Planet Detections with Near-infrared Radial Velocities in the Upcoming SPIRou Legacy Survey-planet Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloutier, Ryan; Artigau, Étienne; Delfosse, Xavier; Malo, Lison; Moutou, Claire; Doyon, René; Donati, Jean-Francois; Cumming, Andrew; Dumusque, Xavier; Hébrard, Élodie; Menou, Kristen

    2018-02-01

    The SPIRou near-infrared spectropolarimeter is destined to begin science operations at the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope in mid-2018. One of the instrument’s primary science goals is to discover the closest exoplanets to the solar system by conducting a three- to five-year long radial velocity survey of nearby M dwarfs at an expected precision of ∼1 m s‑1, the SPIRou Legacy Survey-Planet Search (SLS-PS). In this study, we conduct a detailed Monte Carlo simulation of the SLS-PS using our current understanding of the occurrence rate of M dwarf planetary systems and physical models of stellar activity. From simultaneous modeling of planetary signals and activity, we predict the population of planets to be detected in the SLS-PS. With our fiducial survey strategy and expected instrument performance over a nominal survey length of ∼3 years, we expect SPIRou to detect {85.3}-12.4+29.3 planets including {20.0}-7.2+16.8 habitable-zone planets and {8.1}-3.2+7.6 Earth-like planets from a sample of 100 M1–M8.5 dwarfs out to 11 pc. By studying mid-to-late M dwarfs previously inaccessible to existing optical velocimeters, SPIRou will put meaningful constraints on the occurrence rate of planets around those stars including the value of {η }\\oplus at an expected level of precision of ≲ 45 % . We also predict that a subset of {46.7}-6.0+16.0 planets may be accessible with dedicated high-contrast imagers on the next generation of extremely large telescopes including {4.9}-2.0+4.7 potentially imagable Earth-like planets. Lastly, we compare the results of our fiducial survey strategy to other foreseeable survey versions to quantify which strategy is optimized to reach the SLS-PS science goals. The results of our simulations are made available to the community on GitHub (https://github.com/r-cloutier/SLSPS_Simulations).

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. A Very Cool Pair of Brown Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    Observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, along with two other telescopes, have shown that there is a new candidate for the coldest known star: a brown dwarf in a double system with about the same temperature as a freshly made cup of tea - hot in human terms, but extraordinarily cold for the surface of a star. This object is cool enough to begin crossing the blurred line dividing small cold stars from big hot planets. Brown dwarfs are essentially failed stars: they lack enough mass for gravity to trigger the nuclear reactions that make stars shine. The newly discovered brown dwarf, identified as CFBDSIR 1458+10B, is the dimmer member of a binary brown dwarf system located just 75 light-years from Earth [1]. The powerful X-shooter spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) was used to show that the composite object was very cool by brown dwarf standards. "We were very excited to see that this object had such a low temperature, but we couldn't have guessed that it would turn out to be a double system and have an even more interesting, even colder component," said Philippe Delorme of the Institut de planétologie et d'astrophysique de Grenoble (CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier), a co-author of the paper. CFBDSIR 1458+10 is the coolest brown dwarf binary found to date. The dimmer of the two dwarfs has now been found to have a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius - the boiling point of water, and not much different from the temperature inside a sauna [2]. "At such temperatures we expect the brown dwarf to have properties that are different from previously known brown dwarfs and much closer to those of giant exoplanets - it could even have water clouds in its atmosphere," said Michael Liu of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, who is lead author of the paper describing this new work. "In fact, once we start taking images of gas-giant planets around Sun-like stars in the near future, I expect that many of them

  12. Exoplanet recycling in massive white-dwarf debris discs

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lieshout, R.; Kral, Q.; Charnoz, S.; Wyatt, M. C.; Shannon, A.

    2018-05-01

    Several tens of white dwarfs are known to host circumstellar discs of dusty debris, thought to arise from the tidal disruption of rocky bodies originating in the star's remnant planetary system. This paper investigates the evolution of such discs if they are very massive, as may be the case if their progenitor was a terrestrial planet, moon, or dwarf planet. Assuming the discs are physically thin and flat, like Saturn's rings, their evolution is governed by Poynting-Robertson drag or viscous spreading, where the disc's effective viscosity is due to self-gravity wakes. For discs with masses ≳ 1026 g, located in the outer parts of the tidal disruption zone, viscous spreading dominates the evolution, and mass is transported both in- and outwards. When outwards-spreading material flows beyond the Roche limit, it coagulates into new (minor) planets in a process analogous to the ongoing formation of moonlets at the outer edge of Saturn's rings. The newly formed bodies migrate outwards by exchanging angular momentum with the disc and coalesce into larger objects through mutual collisions. Eventually, the disc's Roche-limit overflow recycles tens of percent of the original disc mass; most ends up in a single large body near 2:1 mean-motion resonance with the disc's outer edge. Hence, the recycling of a tidally disrupted super-Earth, for example, could yield an Earth-mass planet on a ˜10-h orbit, located in the habitable zone for 2-to-10-Gyr-old white dwarfs. The recycling process also creates a population of smaller bodies just outside the Roche limit, which may explain the minor planets recently postulated to orbit WD 1145+017.

  13. Selections from 2017: Atmosphere Around an Earth-Like Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    Editors note:In these last two weeks of 2017, well be looking at a few selections that we havent yet discussed on AAS Nova from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume in January.Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6 M Exoplanet GJ 1132 bPublished March2017Main takeaway:An atmosphere was detected around the roughly Earth-size exoplanet GJ 1132 b using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. A team of scientists led byJohn Southworth (Keele University) found features indicating the presence of an atmosphere in theobservationsof this 1.6-Earth-mass planet as it transits an M-dwarf host star. This is the lowest-mass planet with a detected atmosphere thus far.Why its interesting:M dwarfs are among the most common stars in our galaxy, and weve found manyEarth-sizeexoplanets in or near the habitable zones around M-dwarf hosts. But M dwarfs are also more magnetically active than stars like our Sun, suggesting that the planets in M-dwarfhabitable zones may not be able to support life due to stellar activity eroding their atmospheres. The detection of an atmosphere around GJ 1132 b suggests that some planets orbiting M dwarfsare able to retain their atmospheres which meansthat these planetsmay be an interesting place to search for life after all.How the atmosphere was detected:The measured planetary radius for GJ 1132 b as a function of the wavelength used to observe it. [Southworth et al. 2017]When measuring the radius of GJ 1132 b based on its transits, the authors noticed that the planet appeared to be largerwhen observed in some wavelengths than in others. This can beexplained if the planet has asurface radius of 1.4 Earth radii, overlaid by an atmosphere that extends out another few tenths of an Earth radius. The atmosphere, which may consist of water vapor or methane, is transparent to some wavelengths and absorbs others which is why the apparent size of the planet changes

  14. HPF: The Habitable Zone Planet Finder at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Jason T.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Hearty, Fred; Monson, Andy; Stefansson, Gudmundur; Ramsey, Larry; Ninan, Joe; Bender, Chad; Kaplan, Kyle; Roy, Arpita; Terrien, Ryan; Robertson, Paul; Halverson, Sam; Schwab, Christian; Kanodia, Shubham

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF) is an ultra-stable NIR (ZYJ) high resolution echelle spectrograph on the 10-m Hobby-Eberly Telescope capable of 1-3 m/s Doppler velocimetry on nearby late M dwarfs (M4-M9). This precision is sufficient to detect terrestrial planets in the Habitable Zones of these relatively unexplored stars. Here we present its capabilities and early commissioning results.

  15. Testing Gravity Using Dwarf Stars

    OpenAIRE

    Sakstein, Jeremy

    2015-01-01

    Generic scalar-tensor theories of gravity predict deviations from Newtonian physics inside astrophysical bodies. In this paper, we point out that low mass stellar objects, red and brown dwarf stars, are excellent probes of these theories. We calculate two important and potentially observable quantities: the radius of brown dwarfs and the minimum mass for hydrogen burning in red dwarfs. The brown dwarf radius can differ significantly from the GR prediction and upcoming surveys that probe the m...

  16. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macintosh, Bruce

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

  17. A Dark Spot on a Massive White Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilic, Mukremin; Gianninas, Alexandros; Bell, Keaton J.; Curd, Brandon; Brown, Warren R.; Hermes, J. J.; Dufour, Patrick; Wisniewski, John P.; Winget, D. E.; Winget, K. I.

    2015-12-01

    We present the serendipitous discovery of eclipse-like events around the massive white dwarf SDSS J152934.98+292801.9 (hereafter J1529+2928). We selected J1529+2928 for time-series photometry based on its spectroscopic temperature and surface gravity, which place it near the ZZ Ceti instability strip. Instead of pulsations, we detect photometric dips from this white dwarf every 38 minutes. Follow-up optical spectroscopy observations with Gemini reveal no significant radial velocity variations, ruling out stellar and brown dwarf companions. A disintegrating planet around this white dwarf cannot explain the observed light curves in different filters. Given the short period, the source of the photometric dips must be a dark spot that comes into view every 38 minutes due to the rotation of the white dwarf. Our optical spectroscopy does not show any evidence of Zeeman splitting of the Balmer lines, limiting the magnetic field strength to B Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina).

  18. DISCOVERY OF AN UNUSUALLY RED L-TYPE BROWN DWARF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gizis, John E.; Castro, Philip J.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Liu, Michael C.; Aller, Kimberly M.; Shaw, John D.; Vrba, Frederick J.; Harris, Hugh C.; Deacon, Niall R.

    2012-01-01

    We report the discovery of an unusually red brown dwarf found in a search for high proper motion objects using WISE and 2MASS data. WISEP J004701.06+680352.1 is moving at 0.''44 yr –1 and lies relatively close to the Galactic plane (b = 5. 0 2). Near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy reveals that this is one of the reddest (2MASS J – K s 2.55 ± 0.08 mag) field L dwarfs yet detected, making this object an important member of the class of unusually red L dwarfs. We discuss evidence for thick condensate clouds and speculate on the age of the object. Although models by different research groups agree that thick clouds can explain the red spectrum, they predict dramatically different effective temperatures, ranging from 1100 K to 1600 K. This brown dwarf is well suited for additional studies of extremely dusty substellar atmospheres because it is relatively bright (K s = 13.05 ± 0.03 mag), which should also contribute to an improved understanding of young gas-giant planets and the transition between L and T brown dwarfs.

  19. Anelastic tidal dissipation in multi-layer planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remus, F.; Mathis, S.; Zahn, J.-P.; Lainey, V.

    2012-09-01

    Earth-like planets have anelastic mantles, whereas giant planets may have anelastic cores. As for the fluid parts of a body, the tidal dissipation of such solid regions, gravitationally perturbed by a companion body, highly depends on its internal friction, and thus on its internal structure. Therefore, modelling this kind of interaction presents a high interest to provide constraints on planets interiors, whose properties are still quite uncertain. Here, we examine the equilibrium tide in the solid part of a planet, taking into account the presence of a fluid envelope. We derive the different Love numbers that describe its deformation and discuss the dependence of the quality factor Q on the chosen anelastic model and the size of the core. Taking plausible values for the anelastic parameters, and discussing the frequency-dependence of the solid dissipation, we show how this mechanism may compete with the dissipation in fluid layers, when applied to Jupiter- and Saturn-like planets. We also discuss the case of the icy giants Uranus and Neptune. Finally, we present the way to implement the results in the equations that describe the dynamical evolution of planetary systems.

  20. Asteroseismology of White Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Carl J.

    1997-01-01

    The primary purpose of this investigation has been to study various aspects of multimode pulsations in variable white dwarfs. In particular, nonlinear interactions among pulsation modes in white dwarfs (and, to some extent, in other variable stars), analysis of recent observations where such interactions are important, and preliminary work on the effects of crystallization in cool white dwarfs are reported.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. The Fate of Close-in Planets: Tidal or Magnetic Migration?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strugarek, A.; Bolmont, E.; Mathis, S.; Brun, A. S.; Réville, V. [Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/Irfu Université Paris-Diderot CNRS/INSU, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Gallet, F.; Charbonnel, C., E-mail: antoine.strugarek@cea.fr [Department of Astronomy, University of Geneva, Chemin des Maillettes 51, 1290 Versoix (Switzerland)

    2017-10-01

    Planets in close-in orbits interact magnetically and tidally with their host stars. These interactions lead to a net torque that makes close-in planets migrate inward or outward depending on their orbital distance. We systematically compare the strength of magnetic and tidal torques for typical observed star–planet systems (T-Tauri and hot Jupiter, M-dwarf and Earth-like planet, K star and hot Jupiter) based on state-of-the-art scaling laws. We find that depending on the characteristics of the system, tidal or magnetic effects can dominate. For very close-in planets, we find that both torques can make a planet migrate on a timescale as small as 10–100 thousands of years. Both effects thus have to be taken into account when predicting the evolution of compact systems.

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Romy; Ballard, Sarah

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Genesis of magnetic fields in isolated white dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Gordon P.; Ferrario, Lilia; Tout, Christopher A.; Wickramasinghe, Dayal T.

    2018-05-01

    A dynamo mechanism driven by differential rotation when stars merge has been proposed to explain the presence of strong fields in certain classes of magnetic stars. In the case of the high field magnetic white dwarfs (HFMWDs), the site of the differential rotation has been variously thought to be the common envelope, the hot outer regions of a merged degenerate core or an accretion disc formed by a tidally disrupted companion that is subsequently accreted by a degenerate core. We have shown previously that the observed incidence of magnetism and the mass distribution in HFMWDs are consistent with the hypothesis that they are the result of merging binaries during common envelope evolution. Here we calculate the magnetic field strengths generated by common envelope interactions for synthetic populations using a simple prescription for the generation of fields and find that the observed magnetic field distribution is also consistent with the stellar merging hypothesis. We use the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to study the correlation between the calculated and the observed field strengths and find that it is consistent for low envelope ejection efficiency. We also suggest that field generation by the plunging of a giant gaseous planet on to a white dwarf may explain why magnetism among cool white dwarfs (including DZ white dwarfs) is higher than among hot white dwarfs. In this picture a super-Jupiter residing in the outer regions of the white dwarf's planetary system is perturbed into a highly eccentric orbit by a close stellar encounter and is later accreted by the white dwarf.

  6. HYDROGEN GREENHOUSE PLANETS BEYOND THE HABITABLE ZONE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond; Gaidos, Eric

    2011-01-01

    We show that collision-induced absorption allows molecular hydrogen to act as an incondensible greenhouse gas and that bars or tens of bars of primordial H 2 -He mixtures can maintain surface temperatures above the freezing point of water well beyond the 'classical' habitable zone defined for CO 2 greenhouse atmospheres. Using a one-dimensional radiative-convective model, we find that 40 bars of pure H 2 on a three Earth-mass planet can maintain a surface temperature of 280 K out to 1.5 AU from an early-type M dwarf star and 10 AU from a G-type star. Neglecting the effects of clouds and of gaseous absorbers besides H 2 , the flux at the surface would be sufficient for photosynthesis by cyanobacteria (in the G star case) or anoxygenic phototrophs (in the M star case). We argue that primordial atmospheres of one to several hundred bars of H 2 -He are possible and use a model of hydrogen escape to show that such atmospheres are likely to persist further than 1.5 AU from M stars, and 2 AU from G stars, assuming these planets have protecting magnetic fields. We predict that the microlensing planet OGLE-05-390Lb could have retained an H 2 -He atmosphere and be habitable at ∼2.6 AU from its host M star.

  7. Deriving the true mass of an unresolved Brown Dwarf companion to an M-Dwarf with AO aided astrometry*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kürster M.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available From radial velocity (RV detections alone one does not get all orbital parameters needed to derive the true mass of a non-transiting, unresolved substellar companion to a star. Additional astrometric measurements are needed to calculate the inclination and the longitude of the ascending node. Until today only few true substellar companion masses have been determined by this method with the HST fine guidance sensor [1, 2]. We aim to derive the true mass of a brown dwarf candidate companion to an early M 2.5V dwarf with groundbased high-resolution astrometry aided by adaptive optics. We found this unique brown dwarf desert object, whose distance to the host star is only 0.42 AU, in our UVES precision RV survey of M dwarfs, inferring a minimum companion mass of 27 Jupiter masses [3]. Combining the data with HIPPARCOS astrometry, we found a probability of only 2.9% that the companion is stellar. We therefore observed the host star together with a reference star within a monitoring program with VLT/NACO to derive the true mass of the companion and establish its nature (brown dwarf vs. star. Simultaneous observations of a reference field in a globular cluster are performed to determine the stability of the adaptive optics (AO plus detector system and check its suitability for such high-precision astrometric measurements over several epochs which are needed to find and analyse extrasolar planet systems.

  8. 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

  9. The impact of red noise in radial velocity planet searches: only three planets orbiting GJ 581?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baluev, Roman V.

    2013-03-01

    We perform a detailed analysis of the latest HARPS and Keck radial velocity data for the planet-hosting red dwarf GJ 581, which attracted a lot of attention in recent time. We show that these data contain important correlated noise component (`red noise') with the correlation time-scale of the order of 10 d. This red noise imposes a lot of misleading effects while we work in the traditional white-noise model. To eliminate these misleading effects, we propose a maximum-likelihood algorithm equipped by an extended model of the noise structure. We treat the red noise as a Gaussian random process with an exponentially decaying correlation function. Using this method we prove that (i) planets b and c do exist in this system, since they can be independently detected in the HARPS and Keck data, and regardless of the assumed noise models; (ii) planet e can also be confirmed independently by both the data sets, although to reveal it in the Keck data it is mandatory to take the red noise into account; (iii) the recently announced putative planets f and g are likely just illusions of the red noise; (iv) the reality of the planet candidate GJ 581 d is questionable, because it cannot be detected from the Keck data, and its statistical significance in the HARPS data (as well as in the combined data set) drops to a marginal level of ˜2σ, when the red noise is taken into account. Therefore, the current data for GJ 581 really support the existence of no more than four (or maybe even only three) orbiting exoplanets. The planet candidate GJ 581 d requests serious observational verification.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.)

  12. Observing outer planet satellites (except Titan) with JWST: Science justification and observational requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kestay, Laszlo P.; Grundy, Will; Stansberry, John; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Thatte, Deepashri; Gudipati, Murthy; Tsang, Constantine; Greenbaum, Alexandra; McGruder, Chima

    2016-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will allow observations with a unique combination of spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution for the study of outer planet satellites within our Solar System. We highlight the infrared spectroscopy of icy moons and temporal changes on geologically active satellites as two particularly valuable avenues of scientific inquiry. While some care must be taken to avoid saturation issues, JWST has observation modes that should provide excellent infrared data for such studies.

  13. Morphology and Scaling of Ejecta Deposits on Icy Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, Paul M.; Ridolfi, Francis J.; Bredekamp, Joe (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Continuous ejecta deposits on Ganymede consist of two major units, or facies: a thick inner hummocky pedestal facies, and a relatively thin outer radially scoured facies defined also by the inner limit of the secondary crater field. Both ejecta facies have a well-defined power-law relationship to crater diameter for craters ranging from 15 to approx. 600 km across. This relationship can be used to estimate the nominal crater diameter for impact features on icy satellites (such as palimpsests and multiring basins) for which the crater rim is no longer recognizable. Ejecta deposits have also been mapped on 4 other icy satellites. Although morphologically similar to eject deposits on the Moon, ejecta deposits for smaller craters are generally significantly broader in extent on the icy satellites, in apparent defiance of predictions of self-similarity. A greater degree of rim collapse and enlargement on the Moon may explain the observed difference.

  14. Stark Broadening and White Dwarfs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrijević Milan S.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available White dwarf and pre-white dwarfs are the best types of stars for the application of Stark broadening research results in astrophysics, since in the atmospheres of these stars physical conditions are very favorable for this line broadening mechanism - in hot hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs and pre-white dwarfs Teff = 75 000–180 000 K and log g = 5.5–8 [cgs]. Even for much cooler DA and DB white dwarfs with the typical effective temperatures 10 000-20 000 K, Stark broadening is usually the dominant broadening mechanism. In this review, Stark broadening in white dwarf spectra is considered, and the attention is drawn to the STARK-B database (http://stark-b.obspm.fr/, containing the parameters needed for analysis and synthesis of white dwarf spectra, as well as for the collective efforts to develop the Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Center.

  15. Alpha Centauri's siren call has frustrated planet hunters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clery, Daniel

    2018-04-01

    Alpha Centauri, a three-star system just 4 light-years away that is the sun's nearest neighbor, ought to be a great place to look for Earth-like planets. But last week, at a meeting of the European Astronomical Society here, astronomers lamented that the system has so far thwarted discovery efforts—and announced new schemes to probe it. The two sunlike stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, orbit each other closely while Proxima Centauri, a tempestuous red dwarf, hangs onto the system tenuously in a much more distant orbit. In 2016, astronomers discovered an Earth-mass planet around Proxima Centauri, but few think the planet, blasted by radiation and fierce stellar winds, is habitable. Astrobiologists believe the other two stars are more likely to host temperate, Earth-like worlds.

  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. Lodgepole Pine Dwarf Mistletoe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank G. Hawksworth; Oscar J. Dooling

    1984-01-01

    Lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium americanum Nutt. ex Engelm.) is a native, parasitic, seed plant that occurs essentially throughout the range of lodgepole pine in North America. It is the most damaging disease agent in lodgepole pine, causing severe growth loss and increased tree mortality. Surveys in the Rocky Mountains show that the parasite is found in...

  18. Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibata, R.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Sagittarius DWARF GALAXY is the closest member of the Milky Way's entourage of satellite galaxies. Discovered by chance in 1994, its presence had previously been overlooked because it is largely hidden by the most crowded regions of our own Galaxy with which it is merging....

  19. Dwarf Eye Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Johns Hopkins researchers at the Wilmer Eye Institute have discovered what appears to be the first human gene mutation that causes extreme farsightedness. The researchers report that nanophthalmos, Greek for "dwarf eye," is a rare, potentially blinding disorder caused by an alteration in a gene called MFRP that helps control eye growth and…

  20. Fir dwarf mistletoe (FIDL).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory M. Filip; Jerome S. Beatty; Robert L. Mathiasen

    2000-01-01

    Fir dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium abietinum Engelmann ex Munz) is a common and damaging parasite of white fir (Abies concolor (Gord. & Glend.) Lindl. ex Hildebr.), grand fir (Abies grandis (Dougl. ex D. Don) Lindl.), and California red fir (A. magnifica A. Murr.) in the western...

  1. Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, N.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    DWARF SPHEROIDAL GALAXIES were first identified by Shapley, who had noticed two very diffuse collections of stars on Harvard patrol plates. Although these systems had about as many stars as a GLOBULAR CLUSTER, they were of much lower density, and hence much larger radius, and thus were considered distinct galaxies. These two, named Fornax and Sculptor after the constellations in which they ap...

  2. The critical binary star separation for a planetary system origin of white dwarf pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veras, Dimitri; Xu, Siyi; Rebassa-Mansergas, Alberto

    2018-01-01

    The atmospheres of between one quarter and one half of observed single white dwarfs in the Milky Way contain heavy element pollution from planetary debris. The pollution observed in white dwarfs in binary star systems is, however, less clear, because companion star winds can generate a stream of matter which is accreted by the white dwarf. Here, we (i) discuss the necessity or lack thereof of a major planet in order to pollute a white dwarf with orbiting minor planets in both single and binary systems, and (ii) determine the critical binary separation beyond which the accretion source is from a planetary system. We hence obtain user-friendly functions relating this distance to the masses and radii of both stars, the companion wind, and the accretion rate on to the white dwarf, for a wide variety of published accretion prescriptions. We find that for the majority of white dwarfs in known binaries, if pollution is detected, then that pollution should originate from planetary material.

  3. A NEARLY VOLUME-COMPLETE SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY OF THE CLOSESTMID-TO-LATE M DWARFS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winters, Jennifer; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth; Charbonneau, David; Latham, David W.; Mink, Jessica; Esquerdo, Gil; Berlind, Perry; Calkins, Mike

    2018-01-01

    Recent results from Kepler estimate that M dwarfs harbor 2.5 planets per star. Yet, we will understand our exoplanet discoveries only as well as we understand their host stars, and much remains unknown about our low-mass stellar neighbors, such as their kinematics, ages, and multiplicity. A nearly volume-complete sample of M dwarfs lies within 15 pc of the Sun, and it is only for planets orbiting these nearest and smallest stars that thorough follow-up work for characterization will be possible. Unfortunately, more than half of this sample have only low-resolution (R SMARTS) 1.5m. We present here results from year one of our TRES survey. We have measured radial velocities, rotational broadening, and H-alpha equivalent widths for 305 mid-to-late M dwarfs. We have discovered five new spectroscopic binaries, one of which is a rare M dwarf - (likely) brown dwarf binary within 10 pc, for which we have determined the orbit.Our survey more than doubles the number of mid-M dwarfs within 15 pc with complete high-resolution spectroscopic and trigonometric characterization. We hope to provide a legacy dataset for the use of future generations of astronomers.This work is being supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  5. How empty are disk gaps opened by giant planets?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fung, Jeffrey [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4 (Canada); Shi, Ji-Ming; Chiang, Eugene, E-mail: fung@astro.utoronto.ca [Department of Astronomy, UC Berkeley, Hearst Field Annex B-20, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States)

    2014-02-20

    Gap clearing by giant planets has been proposed to explain the optically thin cavities observed in many protoplanetary disks. How much material remains in the gap determines not only how detectable young planets are in their birth environments, but also how strong co-rotation torques are, which impacts how planets can survive fast orbital migration. We determine numerically how the average surface density inside the gap, Σ{sub gap}, depends on planet-to-star mass ratio q, Shakura-Sunyaev viscosity parameter α, and disk height-to-radius aspect ratio h/r. Our results are derived from our new graphics processing unit accelerated Lagrangian hydrodynamical code PEnGUIn and are verified by independent simulations with ZEUS90. For Jupiter-like planets, we find Σ{sub gap}∝q {sup –2.2}α{sup 1.4}(h/r){sup 6.6}, and for near brown dwarf masses, Σ{sub gap}∝q {sup –1}α{sup 1.3}(h/r){sup 6.1}. Surface density contrasts inside and outside gaps can be as large as 10{sup 4}, even when the planet does not accrete. We derive a simple analytic scaling, Σ{sub gap}∝q {sup –2}α{sup 1}(h/r){sup 5}, that compares reasonably well to empirical results, especially at low Neptune-like masses, and use discrepancies to highlight areas for progress.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Temperatures and luminosities of white dwarfs in dwarf novae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smak, J.

    1984-01-01

    Far ultraviolet radiation observed in dwarf novae at minimum can only be attributed to their white dwarfs. In three systems white dwarfs are detected directly through their eclipses. These data are used to determine the effective temperatures and luminosities of white dwarfs. The resulting temperatures range from about logT e = 4.1 to about 4.9, with typical values of about 4.5. The luminosities range from about logL 1 = 31.0 to about 33.5 and show correlation with the average accretion rates. Radiation from white dwarfs is likely to be the source of excitation of the emission lines from disks. It is also argued that the heating by the white dwarf can significantly modify the structure of the innermost parts of the disk and, particularly, inhibit the incidence of thermal instability in that region. 26 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab. (author)

  11. The Far Ultraviolet M-dwarf Evolution Survey (FUMES): Overview and Initial Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, J. Sebastian; France, Kevin; Youngblood, Allison

    2018-01-01

    M-dwarf stars are prime targets for exoplanet searches because of their close proximity and favorable properties for both planet detection and characterization, with current searches around these targets having already discovered several Earth-sized planets within their star’s habitable zones. However, the atmospheric characterization and potential habitability of these exoplanetary systems depends critically on the high-energy stellar radiation environment from X-rays to NUV. Strong radiation at these energies can lead to atmospheric mass loss and is a strong driver of photochemistry in planetary atmospheres. Recently, the MUSCLES Treasury Survey provided the first comprehensive assessment of the high-energy radiation field around old, planet hosting M-dwarfs. However, the habitability and potential for such exoplanetary atmospheres to develop life also depends on the evolution of the atmosphere and hence the evolution of the incident radiation field. The strong high-energy spectrum of young M-dwarfs can have devastating consequences for the potential habitability of a given system. We, thus, introduce the Far Ultraviolet M-dwarf Evolution Survey (FUMES), a new HST-STIS observing campaign targeting 10 early-mid M dwarfs with known rotation periods, including 6 targets with known ages, to assess the evolution of the FUV radiation, including Lyα, of M-dwarf stars with stellar rotation period. We present the initial results of our survey characterizing the FUV emission features of our targets and the implications of our measurements for the evolution of the entire high-energy radiation environment around M-dwarfs from youth to old age.

  12. Deep ice and salty oceans of icy worlds, how high pressures influence their thermodynamics and provide constrains on extraterrestrial habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journaux, B.; Brown, J. M.; Bollengier, O.; Abramson, E.

    2017-12-01

    As in Earth arctic and Antarctic regions, suspected extraterrestrial deep oceans in icy worlds (i.e. icy moons and water-rich exoplanets) chemistry and thermodynamic state will strongly depend on their equilibrium with H2O ice and present solutes. Na-Mg-Cl-SO4 salt species are currently the main suspected ionic solutes to be present in deep oceans based on remote sensing, magnetic field measurements, cryovolcanism ice grains chemical analysis and chondritic material aqueous alteration chemical models. Unlike on our planet, deep extraterrestrial ocean might also be interacting at depth with high pressure ices (e.g. III, V, VI, VI, X) which have different behavior compared to ice Ih. Unfortunately, the pressures and temperatures inside these hydrospheres differ significantly from the one found in Earth aqueous environments, so most of our current thermodynamic databases do not cover the range of conditions relevant for modeling realistically large icy worlds interiors. Recent experimental results have shown that the presence of solutes, and more particularly salts, in equilibrium with high pressure ices have large effects on the stability, buoyancy and chemistry of all the phases present at these extreme conditions. High pressure in-situ measurements using diamond anvil cell apparatus were operated both at the University of washington and at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility on aqueous systems phase diagrams with Na-Mg-Cl-SO4 species, salt incorporation in high pressure ices and density inversions between the solid and the fluids. These results suggest a more complex picture of the interior structure, dynamic and chemical evolution of large icy worlds hydrospheres when solutes are taken into account, compared to current models mainly using pure water. Based on our in-situ experimental measurements, we propose the existence of new liquid environments at greater depths and the possibility of solid state transport of solute through the high pressure ices

  13. Flow and fracture of ices, with application to icy satellites (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durham, W. B.; Stern, L. A.; Pathare, A.; Golding, N.

    2013-12-01

    Exploration of the outer planets and their satellites by spacecraft over the past 4 decades has revealed that the prevailing low temperatures in the outer solar system have not produced "dead" cryoworlds of generic appearance. Rather, there is an extraordinary diversity in average densities, presence/absence and compositions of atmospheres and planetary rings, average albedos and their seasonal changes, near-surface compositions, and surface records of impact cratering and endogenic tectonic and igneous processes. One reason for this diversity is that the icy minerals present in abundance on many of these worlds are now or once were at significant fractions of their melting temperatures. Hence, a host of thermally activated processes related to endogenic activity (such as crystal defect migration, mass diffusion, surface transport, solid-solid changes of state, and partial melting) may occur that can enable inelastic flow on the surfaces and in the interiors of these bodies. Planetary manifestations include viscous crater relaxation in ice-rich terrain, cryovolcanism, the presence of a stable subsurface ocean, and the effects of solid-ice convection in deep interiors. We make the connection between theoretical mechanisms of deformation and planetary geology through laboratory experiment. Specifically, we develop quantitative constitutive flow laws (strain rate vs. stress) that describe the effects of relevant environmental variables (hydrostatic pressure, temperature, phase composition, chemical impurities). Our findings speak to topics including (1) the behavior of an outer ice I layer, its thickness, the depth to which a stagnant lid might extend, and possibility of wholesale overturn; (2) softening effects of dissolved species such as ammonia and perchlorate; (3) hardening effects of enclathration and of rock dust; and (4) effects of grain size on strength and factors affecting grain size. Other applications of lab data include dynamics of the deep interiors of

  14. A putative Type IIS restriction endonuclease GeoICI from ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-02-15

    Feb 15, 2016 ... 41(1), 27–38 * Indian Academy of Sciences. 27. Keywords. ... tis (Subang Jaya, Malaysia), DEAE-cellulose and Phosphocel- lulose P11 were from ... conditions at 67.5°C, subsequently the culture was chilled down and centrifuged. ..... influence of ionic strength on GeoICI REase activity. 0.3 μg PCR.

  15. A putative Type IIS restriction endonuclease GeoICI

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    As opposed to the unstable prototype, which cleaves DNA at 30°C, GeoICI is highly active at elevated temperatures, up to 73°C and over a very wide salt concentration range. Recognition/cleavage sites were determined by: (i) digestion of plasmid and bacteriophage lambda DNA (λ); (ii) cleavage of custom PCR substrates, ...

  16. Sustainability Development Research at ICIS : Taking Stock and Looking Ahead

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cörvers, Ron; de Kraker, J.; Kemp, René; Martens, P.; van Lente, Harro

    2016-01-01

    This book presents an overview of the diversity and richness of ongoing and recent sustainable development research at ICIS (international Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development, Maastricht University) in 35 short chapters, and it introduces the research agenda for the coming

  17. A Ninth Planet in Our Solar System?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    The recent discovery that the orbits of some Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) share properties has proved puzzling. A pair of scientists have now proposed a bold explanation: there may be a planet-sized object yet undetected in our solar system.Mysterious ClusteringKBOs, the population of mainly small objects beyond Neptune, have proven an especially interesting subject of study in the last decade as many small, distant bodies (such as Eris, the object that led to the demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet) have been discovered.Previous studies have recently discovered that some especially distant KBOs those that orbit with semimajor axes of a 150 AU, nearly four times that of Pluto all cross the ecliptic at a similar phase in their elliptical trajectories. This is unexpected, since gravitational tugs from the giant planets should have randomized this parameter over our solar systems multi-billion-year lifespan.Physical alignment of the orbits of Kuiper belt objects with a 250 AU (and two objects with a 150 AU that are dynamically stable). [Batygin Brown 2016]Two scientists at California Institute of Technology, Konstantin Batygin and Michael Brown (you might recognize Brown as the man who killed Pluto) have now increased the mystery. In a recently published a study, they demonstrate that for KBOs that have orbits with a 250 AU, the orbits are actually physically aligned.To explain this unexpected alignment which Batygin and Brown calculate has only a 0.007% probability of having occurred by chance the authors ask an exciting question: could this be caused by the presence of an unseen, large, perturbing body further out in the solar system?Simulating a Ninth PlanetThe authors test this hypothesis by carrying out both analytical calculations and numerical N-body simulations designed to determine if the gravitational influence of a distant, planetary-mass companion can explain the behavior we observe from the large-orbit KBOs.Simulation of the effect of a distant planet (M = 10

  18. Stellar and Planetary Parameters for K2 's Late-type Dwarf Systems from C1 to C5

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martinez, Arturo O. [Department of Astronomy, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182 (United States); Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Peacock, Sarah [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Schlieder, Joshua E. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Dressing, Courtney D. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Obermeier, Christian [Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg (Germany); Livingston, John; Petigura, Erik A. [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Ciceri, Simona [Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Beichman, Charles A. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Lépine, Sébastien [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, 25 Park Pl NE #605, Atlanta, GA 30303 (United States); Aller, Kimberly M. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, 2680 Woodlawn Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Chance, Quadry A. [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Howard, Andrew W. [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Werner, Michael W. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2017-03-01

    The NASA K2 mission uses photometry to find planets transiting stars of various types. M dwarfs are of high interest since they host more short-period planets than any other type of main-sequence star and transiting planets around M dwarfs have deeper transits compared to other main-sequence stars. In this paper, we present stellar parameters from K and M dwarfs hosting transiting planet candidates discovered by our team. Using the SOFI spectrograph on the European Southern Observatory’s New Technology Telescope, we obtained R ≈ 1000 J -, H -, and K -band (0.95–2.52 μ m) spectra of 34 late-type K2 planet and candidate planet host systems and 12 bright K4–M5 dwarfs with interferometrically measured radii and effective temperatures. Out of our 34 late-type K2 targets, we identify 27 of these stars as M dwarfs. We measure equivalent widths of spectral features, derive calibration relations using stars with interferometric measurements, and estimate stellar radii, effective temperatures, masses, and luminosities for the K2 planet hosts. Our calibrations provide radii and temperatures with median uncertainties of 0.059 R {sub ⊙} (16.09%) and 160 K (4.33%), respectively. We then reassess the radii and equilibrium temperatures of known and candidate planets based on our spectroscopically derived stellar parameters. Since a planet’s radius and equilibrium temperature depend on the parameters of its host star, our study provides more precise planetary parameters for planets and candidates orbiting late-type stars observed with K2 . We find a median planet radius and an equilibrium temperature of approximately 3 R {sub ⊕} and 500 K, respectively, with several systems (K2-18b and K2-72e) receiving near-Earth-like levels of incident irradiation.

  19. How Planet Nine could change the fate of the Solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veras, D.

    2017-09-01

    The potential existence of a distant planet ('Planet Nine') in the Solar system has prompted a re-think about the evolution of planetary systems. As the Sun transitions from a main-sequence star into a white dwarf, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are currently assumed to survive in expanded but otherwise unchanged orbits. However, a sufficiently distant and sufficiently massive extra planet would alter this quiescent end scenario through the combined effects of Solar giant branch mass-loss and Galactic tides. Here I estimate bounds for the mass and orbit of a distant extra planet that would incite future instability in systems with a Sun-like star and giant planets with masses and orbits equivalent to those of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. I find that this boundary is diffuse and strongly dependent on each of the distant planet's orbital parameters. Nevertheless, I claim that instability occurs more often than not when the planet is as massive as Jupiter and harbours a semimajor axis exceeding about 300 au, or has a mass of a super-Earth and a semimajor axis exceeding about 3000 au. These results hold for orbital pericentres ranging from 100 to at least 400 au. This instability scenario might represent a common occurrence, as potentially evidenced by the ubiquity of metal pollution in white dwarf atmospheres throughout the Galaxy.

  20. Inward migration of the TRAPPIST-1 planets as inferred from their water-rich compositions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Desch, Steven J.; Hinkel, Natalie R.; Lorenzo, Alejandro

    2018-04-01

    Multiple planet systems provide an ideal laboratory for probing exoplanet composition, formation history and potential habitability. For the TRAPPIST-1 planets, the planetary radii are well established from transits1,2, with reasonable mass estimates coming from transit timing variations2,3 and dynamical modelling4. The low bulk densities of the TRAPPIST-1 planets demand substantial volatile content. Here we show, using mass-radius-composition models, that TRAPPIST-1f and g probably contain substantial (≥50 wt%) water/ice, with TRAPPIST-1 b and c being significantly drier (≤15 wt%). We propose that this gradient of water mass fractions implies that planets f and g formed outside the primordial snow line whereas b and c formed within it. We find that, compared with planets in our Solar System that also formed within the snow line, TRAPPIST-1b and c contain hundreds more oceans of water. We demonstrate that the extent and timescale of migration in the TRAPPIST-1 system depends on how rapidly the planets formed and the relative location of the primordial snow line. This work provides a framework for understanding the differences between the protoplanetary disks of our Solar System versus M dwarfs. Our results provide key insights into the volatile budgets, timescales of planet formation and migration history of M dwarf systems, probably the most common type of planetary host in the Galaxy.

  1. EFFECT OF UV RADIATION ON THE SPECTRAL FINGERPRINTS OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING M STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rugheimer, S. [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Kaltenegger, L. [Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Segura, A. [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México (Mexico); Linsky, J. [JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0440 (United States); Mohanty, S. [Imperial College London, 1010 Blackett Lab, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)

    2015-08-10

    We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with T{sub eff} = 2300 K to T{sub eff} = 3800 K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data. We set the Earth-like planets at the 1 AU equivalent distance and show spectra from the visible to IR (0.4–20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future ground- and spaced-based missions to characterize exo-Earths. We focus on the effect of UV activity levels on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H{sub 2}O, O{sub 3}, CH{sub 4}, N{sub 2}O, and CH{sub 3}Cl. To observe signatures of life—O{sub 2}/O{sub 3} in combination with reducing species like CH{sub 4}—we find that early and active M dwarfs are the best targets of the M star grid for future telescopes. The O{sub 2} spectral feature at 0.76 μm is increasingly difficult to detect in reflected light of later M dwarfs owing to low stellar flux in that wavelength region. N{sub 2}O, another biosignature detectable in the IR, builds up to observable concentrations in our planetary models around M dwarfs with low UV flux. CH{sub 3}Cl could become detectable, depending on the depth of the overlapping N{sub 2}O feature. We present a spectral database of Earth-like planets around cool stars for directly imaged planets as a framework for interpreting future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone to design and assess future telescope capabilities.

  2. EFFECT OF UV RADIATION ON THE SPECTRAL FINGERPRINTS OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING M STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.; Segura, A.; Linsky, J.; Mohanty, S.

    2015-01-01

    We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with T eff = 2300 K to T eff = 3800 K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data. We set the Earth-like planets at the 1 AU equivalent distance and show spectra from the visible to IR (0.4–20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future ground- and spaced-based missions to characterize exo-Earths. We focus on the effect of UV activity levels on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H 2 O, O 3 , CH 4 , N 2 O, and CH 3 Cl. To observe signatures of life—O 2 /O 3 in combination with reducing species like CH 4 —we find that early and active M dwarfs are the best targets of the M star grid for future telescopes. The O 2 spectral feature at 0.76 μm is increasingly difficult to detect in reflected light of later M dwarfs owing to low stellar flux in that wavelength region. N 2 O, another biosignature detectable in the IR, builds up to observable concentrations in our planetary models around M dwarfs with low UV flux. CH 3 Cl could become detectable, depending on the depth of the overlapping N 2 O feature. We present a spectral database of Earth-like planets around cool stars for directly imaged planets as a framework for interpreting future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone to design and assess future telescope capabilities

  3. White dwarf heating and the ultraviolet flux in dwarf novae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pringle, J.E.

    1988-01-01

    An investigation is made of the heating of the outer layers of the white dwarf which is likely to occur during a dwarf nova outburst. It is shown that the decline in IUE flux, observed during quiescent intervals in the dwarf novae VW Hydri and WX Hydri, may be due to the outer layers cooling off once the heat source is removed. The calculations here assume uniformity of the heat source over the white dwarf surface. This is unlikely to be realized from disc accretion, and we discuss that further calculations are required. (author)

  4. METALLICITY AND TEMPERATURE INDICATORS IN M DWARF K-BAND SPECTRA: TESTING NEW AND UPDATED CALIBRATIONS WITH OBSERVATIONS OF 133 SOLAR NEIGHBORHOOD M DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rojas-Ayala, Barbara [Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024 (United States); Covey, Kevin R.; Lloyd, James P. [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, 122 Sciences Drive, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Muirhead, Philip S., E-mail: babs@amnh.org [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2012-04-01

    We present K-band spectra for 133 nearby (d < 33 ps) M dwarfs, including 18 M dwarfs with reliable metallicity estimates (as inferred from an FGK type companion), 11 M dwarf planet hosts, more than 2/3 of the M dwarfs in the northern 8 pc sample, and several M dwarfs from the LSPM catalog. From these spectra, we measure equivalent widths of the Ca and Na lines, and a spectral index quantifying the absorption due to H{sub 2}O opacity (the H{sub 2}O-K2 index). Using empirical spectral type standards and synthetic models, we calibrate the H{sub 2}O-K2 index as an indicator of an M dwarf's spectral type and effective temperature. We also present a revised relationship that estimates the [Fe/H] and [M/H] metallicities of M dwarfs from their Na I, Ca I, and H{sub 2}O-K2 measurements. Comparisons to model atmosphere provide a qualitative validation of our approach, but also reveal an overall offset between the atomic line strengths predicted by models as compared to actual observations. Our metallicity estimates also reproduce expected correlations with Galactic space motions and H{alpha} emission line strengths, and return statistically identical metallicities for M dwarfs within a common multiple system. Finally, we find systematic residuals between our H{sub 2}O-based spectral types and those derived from optical spectral features with previously known sensitivity to stellar metallicity, such as TiO, and identify the CaH1 index as a promising optical index for diagnosing the metallicities of near-solar M dwarfs.

  5. SECRETLY ECCENTRIC: THE GIANT PLANET AND ACTIVITY CYCLE OF GJ 328

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robertson, Paul; Endl, Michael; Cochran, William D.; MacQueen, Phillip J.; Boss, Alan P.

    2013-01-01

    We announce the discovery of a ∼2 Jupiter-mass planet in an eccentric 11 yr orbit around the K7/M0 dwarf GJ 328. Our result is based on 10 years of radial velocity (RV) data from the Hobby-Eberly and Harlan J. Smith telescopes at McDonald Observatory, and from the Keck Telescope at Mauna Kea. Our analysis of GJ 328's magnetic activity via the Na I D features reveals a long-period stellar activity cycle, which creates an additional signal in the star's RV curve with amplitude 6-10 m s –1 . After correcting for this stellar RV contribution, we see that the orbit of the planet is more eccentric than suggested by the raw RV data. GJ 328b is currently the most massive, longest-period planet discovered around a low-mass dwarf

  6. The Dwarf Project: Vidojevica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vince, O.

    2013-05-01

    The DWARF project is an important international project for observing eclipsing binary stars and searching for third companion which orbit around both stars. Recently, a group of researchers at the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade joined this project using the 60 cm telescope at the Astronomical Station Vidojevica for observations. All the equipment and the human potential involved with this project from Serbia will be described in this paper.

  7. Pulsations in white dwarf stars

    OpenAIRE

    Van Grootel, Valérie; Fontaine, Gilles; Brassard, Pierre; Dupret, Marc-Antoine

    2017-01-01

    I will present a description of the six distinct families of pulsating white dwarfs that are currently known. Pulsations are present at various stages of the evolution (from hot, pre-white dwarfs to cool white dwarfs), at various stellar masses, and for various atmospheric compositions. In all of them, a mechanism linked to opacity changes along the evolution drives the oscillations. The existence of these oscillations offers the opportunity to apply asteroseismology for constraining physics ...

  8. Evolution of White Dwarf Stars

    OpenAIRE

    L. G. Althaus

    2001-01-01

    This paper is aimed at presenting the main results we have obtained for the study of the evoution of white dwarf stars. The calculations are carried out by means of a detailed evolutionary code based on an updated physical description. In particular, we briefly discuss the results for the evolution of white dwarfs of different stellar masses and chemical composition, and the evolution of whit e dwarfs in the framework of a varying gravitational constant G scenario as well.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 projector that teachers, museum, planetary scientists and other individuals can easily build and use on their own, to show and teach the planets The project of "Planets in a Room" was made by the italian non-profit association Speak Science with the collaboration of INAF-IAPS of Rome and the Roma Tre University (Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica). This proposal was funded by the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme in 2016. "Planets in a room" will be presented during EPSC 2017 to give birth to the second phase of the project, when the outreach and research community will be involved and schools from all over Europe will be invited to participate with the aim of bringing planetary science to a larger audience.

  11. The POKEMON Speckle Survey of Nearby M-Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Belle, Gerard; von Braun, Kaspar; Horch, Elliott; Clark, Catherine; DSSI Speckle Team

    2018-01-01

    The POKEMON (Pervasive Overview of Kompanions of Every M-dwarf in Our Neighborhood) survey of nearby M-dwarfs intends to inspect, at diffraction-limited resolution, every low-mass star out to 15pc, along with selected additional objects to 25pc. The primary emphasis of the survey is detection of low-mass companions to these M-dwarfs for refinement of the low-mass star multiplicity rate. The resultant catalog of M-dwarf companions will also guide immediate refinement of transit planet detection results from surveys such as TESS. POKEMON is using Lowell Observatory's 4.3-m Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) with the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument (DSSI) speckle camera, along with the NN-Explore Exoplanet Stellar Speckle Imager (NESSI) speckle imager on 3.5-m WIYN; the survey takes advantage of the extremely rapid observing cadence rates possible with WIYN and (especially) DCT. The current status and preliminary results from the first 20+ nights of observing will be presented. Gotta observe them all!

  12. Recipes for planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Michael R.

    2009-11-01

    Anyone who has ever used baking soda instead of baking powder when trying to make a cake knows a simple truth: ingredients matter. The same is true for planet formation. Planets are made from the materials that coalesce in a rotating disk around young stars - essentially the "leftovers" from when the stars themselves formed through the gravitational collapse of rotating clouds of gas and dust. The planet-making disk should therefore initially have the same gas-to-dust ratio as the interstellar medium: about 100 to 1, by mass. Similarly, it seems logical that the elemental composition of the disk should match that of the star, reflecting the initial conditions at that particular spot in the galaxy.

  13. The Galactic Distribution of Planets via Spitzer Microlensing Parallax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Andrew; Yee, Jennifer; Carey, Sean; Shvartzvald, Yossi

    2018-05-01

    We will measure the Galactic distribution of planets by obtaining 'microlens parallaxes' of about 200 events, including 3 planetary events, from the comparison of microlens lightcurves observed from Spitzer and Earth, which are separated by >1.5 AU in projection. The proposed observations are part of a campaign that we have conducted with Spitzer since 2014. The planets expected to be identified in this campaign when combined with previous work will yield a first statistically significant measurement of the frequency of planets in the Galactic bulge versus the Galactic disk. As we have demonstrated in three previous programs, the difference in these lightcurves yields both the 'microlens parallax' (ratio of the lens-source relative parallax) to the Einstein radius, and the direction of lens-source relative motion. For planetary events, this measurement directly yields the mass and distance of the planet. This proposal is significantly more sensitive to planets than previous work because it takes advantage of the KMTNet observing strategy that covers >85 sq.deg t >0.4/hr cadence, 24/7 from 3 southern observatories and a alert system KMTNet is implementing for 2019. This same observing program also provides a unique probe of dark objects. It will yield an improved measurement of the isolated-brown-dwarf mass function. Thirteen percent of the observations will specifically target binaries, which will probe systems with dark components (brown dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes) that are difficult or impossible to investigate by other methods. The observations and methods from this work are a test bed for WFIRST microlensing.

  14. Planetesimals and Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, John

    The first step in the standard model for planet formation is the growth of gravitationally bound bodies called ``planetesimals'' from dust grains in a protoplanetary disk. Currently, we do not know how planetesimals form, how long they take to form, or what their sizes and mechanical properties are. The goal of this proposal is to assess how these uncertainties affect subsequent stages of planetary growth and the kind of planetary systems that form. The work will address three particular questions: (i) Can the properties of small body populations in the modern Solar System constrain the properties of planetesimals? (ii) How do the properties of planetesimals affect the formation of giant planets? (iii) How does the presence of a water ice condensation front (the ``snow line'') in a disk affect planetesimal formation and the later stages of planetary growth? These questions will be examined with computer simulations of planet formation using new computer codes to be developed as part of the proposal. The first question will be addressed using a statistical model for planetesimal coagulation and fragmentation. This code will be merged with the proposer's Mercury N-body integrator code to model the dynamics of large protoplanets in order to address the second question. Finally, a self- consistent model of disk evolution and the radial transport of water ice and vapour will be added to examine the third question. A theoretical understanding of how planets form is one of the key goals of NASA and the Origins of Solar Systems programme. Researchers have carried out many studies designed to address this goal, but the questions of how planetesimals form and how their properties affect planet formation have received relatively little attention. The proposed work will help address these unsolved questions, and place other research in context by assessing the importance of planetesimal origins and properties for planet formation.

  15. Characterizing Water Ice Clouds on the Coldest Known Brown Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luhman, Kevin; Burgasser, Adam; Cushing, Michael; Esplin, Taran; Fortney, Jonathan; Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Marley, Mark; Morley, Caroline; Schneider, Adam; Trucks, Jesica

    2014-12-01

    We have conducted a search for high proper motion brown dwarfs using multi-epoch all-sky mid-infrared images from the WISE satellite. Through this work, we have discovered an object with a parallactic distance of 2.3 pc and a temperature of 250 K, making it the 4th closest neighbor of the Sun, and the coldest known brown dwarf. Because of its extreme proximity and temperature, it represents an unparalleled laboratory for studying planet-like atmospheres in an unexplored temperature regime. We propose to photometrically monitor this object with IRAC to 1) detect and characterize water ice clouds in its atmosphere via the short-term variations induced during rotation and 2) constrain the long-term evolution of its clouds across a period of months.

  16. Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilford, Shelby G.; Asrar, Ghassem; Backlund, Peter W.

    1994-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic Earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the Earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the Earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment.

  17. Mission to Planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.S.; Backlund, P.W.

    1992-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment. 8 refs

  18. POPULATION PROPERTIES OF BROWN DWARF ANALOGS TO EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Gagne, Jonathan; Weinberger, Alycia; Riedel, Adric R.; Cruz, Kelle L.; Filippazzo, Joseph C.; Lambrides, Erini; Fica, Haley; Baldassare, Vivienne; Lemonier, Emily; Rice, Emily L.; Thorstensen, John R.; Tinney, C. G.

    2016-01-01

    temperatures, which logically extends into the lowest-mass, directly imaged exoplanets. Furthermore, there is an indication on color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs; such as M J versus (J – W 2)) of increasingly redder sequences separated by gravity classification, although it is not consistent across all CMD combinations. Examining bolometric luminosities for planets and low-gravity objects, we confirm that (in general) young M dwarfs are overluminous while young L dwarfs are normal compared to the field. Using model extracted radii, this translates into normal to slightly warmer M dwarf temperatures compared to the field sequence and lower temperatures for L dwarfs with no obvious correlation with the assigned moving group.

  19. Satellite dwarf galaxies in a hierarchical universe: the prevalence of dwarf-dwarf major mergers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deason, Alis [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA (United States); Wetzel, Andrew [TAPIR, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Garrison-Kimmel, Shea, E-mail: alis@ucolick.org [Center for Cosmology, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, CA (United States)

    2014-10-20

    Mergers are a common phenomenon in hierarchical structure formation, especially for massive galaxies and clusters, but their importance for dwarf galaxies in the Local Group remains poorly understood. We investigate the frequency of major mergers between dwarf galaxies in the Local Group using the ELVIS suite of cosmological zoom-in dissipationless simulations of Milky Way- and M31-like host halos. We find that ∼10% of satellite dwarf galaxies with M {sub star} > 10{sup 6} M {sub ☉} that are within the host virial radius experienced a major merger of stellar mass ratio closer than 0.1 since z = 1, with a lower fraction for lower mass dwarf galaxies. Recent merger remnants are biased toward larger radial distance and more recent virial infall times, because most recent mergers occurred shortly before crossing within the virial radius of the host halo. Satellite-satellite mergers also occur within the host halo after virial infall, catalyzed by the large fraction of dwarf galaxies that fell in as part of a group. The merger fraction doubles for dwarf galaxies outside of the host virial radius, so the most distant dwarf galaxies in the Local Group are the most likely to have experienced a recent major merger. We discuss the implications of these results on observable dwarf merger remnants, their star formation histories, the gas content of mergers, and massive black holes in dwarf galaxies.

  20. Satellite dwarf galaxies in a hierarchical universe: the prevalence of dwarf-dwarf major mergers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deason, Alis; Wetzel, Andrew; Garrison-Kimmel, Shea

    2014-01-01

    Mergers are a common phenomenon in hierarchical structure formation, especially for massive galaxies and clusters, but their importance for dwarf galaxies in the Local Group remains poorly understood. We investigate the frequency of major mergers between dwarf galaxies in the Local Group using the ELVIS suite of cosmological zoom-in dissipationless simulations of Milky Way- and M31-like host halos. We find that ∼10% of satellite dwarf galaxies with M star > 10 6 M ☉ that are within the host virial radius experienced a major merger of stellar mass ratio closer than 0.1 since z = 1, with a lower fraction for lower mass dwarf galaxies. Recent merger remnants are biased toward larger radial distance and more recent virial infall times, because most recent mergers occurred shortly before crossing within the virial radius of the host halo. Satellite-satellite mergers also occur within the host halo after virial infall, catalyzed by the large fraction of dwarf galaxies that fell in as part of a group. The merger fraction doubles for dwarf galaxies outside of the host virial radius, so the most distant dwarf galaxies in the Local Group are the most likely to have experienced a recent major merger. We discuss the implications of these results on observable dwarf merger remnants, their star formation histories, the gas content of mergers, and massive black holes in dwarf galaxies.

  1. Under a crimson sun prospects for life in a red dwarf system

    CERN Document Server

    Stevenson, David S

    2013-01-01

    Gliese 581 is a red dwarf star some 20.3 light years from Earth. Red dwarfs are among the most numerous stars in the galaxy, and they sport diverse planetary systems. At magnitude 10, Gliese 581 is visible to amateur observers but does not stand out. So what makes this star so important? It is that professional observers have confirmed that it has at least four planets orbiting it, and in 2009, Planet d was described in the letters of The Astrophysical Journal as “the first confirmed exoplanet that could support Earth-like life.”   Under a Crimson Sun looks at the nature of red dwarf systems such as Gliese as potential homes for life.   Realistically, what are prospects for life on these distant worlds? Could life evolve and survive there? How do these planetary surfaces and geology evolve? How would life on a red dwarf planet differ from life on Earth? And what are the implications for finding further habitable worlds in our galaxy?   Stevenson provides readers with insight into the habitability of pl...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkley, Sasha

    2012-04-01

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

  3. Axion cooling of white dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    Isern, J.; Catalan, S.; Garcia--Berro, E.; Salaris, M.; Torres, S.

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of white dwarfs is a simple gravothermal process. This process can be tested in two ways, through the luminosity function of these stars and through the secular variation of the period of pulsation of those stars that are variable. Here we show how the mass of the axion can be constrained using the white dwarf luminosity function.

  4. Protected urban planet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pereira Roders, A.R.; Veldpaus, L.; Verbruggen, R.C.

    2012-01-01

    PUP, abbreviation to Protected Urban Planet, is the first tool developed for visualizing, mapping and contributing to information exchange on the evolution of protected urban areas worldwide. Besides locating them, it also provides communities with means to disseminate and raise awareness for their

  5. Life in other planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, S.N.

    1977-01-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high temperature fusion reactions taking place in it, is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection etc. are briefly touched upon. (K.B.)

  6. Life in other planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghosh, S N [Calcutta Univ. (India). Dept. of Applied Physics

    1977-12-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high-temperature fusion reactions taking place in it is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection, etc., are briefly touched upon.

  7. An icy-glue model of cometary nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gombosi, T.I.; Houpis, H.L.F.

    1986-05-01

    Since 1950 a number of models have been proposed to explain the observations of comets. For the most part the icy conglomerate model of Whipple was the standard. Based on the recent images made by VEGA and GIOTTO spacecrafts of comet Halley, a model of the nucleus is suggested that retains the advantages of the icy conglomerate formalism on a local level, while a new global framework is introduced. The model is disscussed in terms of the mounting knowledge of comets, the creation of the nucleus in the cosmogenic sence, and expectations of future analysis of data and observations are presented. A new methodology for calculating the evolution and thermal profiles of the nucleus is also presented. (author)

  8. Decommissioning of the ICI TRIGA Mark I reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parry, D.R.; England, M.R.; Ward, A.; Green, D.

    2000-01-01

    This paper considers the fuel removal, transportation and subsequent decommissioning of the ICI TRIGA Mark I Reactor at Billingham, UK. BNFL Waste Management and Decommissioning carried out this work on behalf of ICI. The decommissioning methodology was considered in the four stages to be described, namely Preparatory Works, Reactor Defueling, Intermediate Level Waste Removal and Low Level Waste Removal. This paper describes the principal methodologies involved in the defueling of the reactor and subsequent decommissioning operations, highlighting in particular the design and safety case methodologies used in order to achieve a solution which was completed without incident or accident and resulted in a cumulative radiation dose to personnel of only 1.57 mSv. (author)

  9. The Threatening Magnetic and Plasma Environment of the TRAPPIST-1 Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garraffo, Cecilia; Drake, Jeremy J.; Cohen, Ofer; Alvarado-Gómez, Julian D.; Moschou, Sofia P. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2017-07-10

    Recently, four additional Earth-mass planets were discovered orbiting the nearby ultracool M8 dwarf, TRAPPIST-1, making a remarkable total of seven planets with equilibrium temperatures compatible with the presence of liquid water on their surface. Temperate terrestrial planets around an M-dwarf orbit close to their parent star, rendering their atmospheres vulnerable to erosion by the stellar wind and energetic electromagnetic and particle radiation. Here, we use state-of-the-art 3D magnetohydrodynamic models to simulate the wind around TRAPPIST-1 and study the conditions at each planetary orbit. All planets experience a stellar wind pressure between 10{sup 3} and 10{sup 5} times the solar wind pressure on Earth. All orbits pass through wind pressure changes of an order of magnitude and most planets spend a large fraction of their orbital period in the sub-Alfvénic regime. For plausible planetary magnetic field strengths, all magnetospheres are greatly compressed and undergo much more dynamic change than that of the Earth. The planetary magnetic fields connect with the stellar radial field over much of the planetary surface, allowing the direct flow of stellar wind particles onto the planetary atmosphere. These conditions could result in strong atmospheric stripping and evaporation and should be taken into account for any realistic assessment of the evolution and habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 planets.

  10. Potential Biospheres of the icy world in our solar systems

    OpenAIRE

    de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul; Baque, Mickael

    2016-01-01

    The challenge in astrobiology and planetary research in the near future is to realize space missions to study the habitability of Mars and the icy moons of the Jovian and Saturnian systems. Mars is an interesting object to search for habitable environments and for fossilized (and potentially present) life because of its past water driven wet history. On the other hand the Jovian moon Europa and the Saturnian moon Enceladus are promising candidates, where liquid water oceans beneath the surfac...

  11. Mineralogy of Sediments on a Cold and Icy Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampe, E. B.; Horgan, B. H. N.; Smith, R.; Scudder, N.; Rutledge, A. M.; Bamber, E.; Morris, R. V.

    2017-12-01

    The water-related minerals discovered in ancient martian terrains suggest liquid water was abundant on the surface and/or near subsurface during Mars' early history. The debate remains, however, whether these minerals are indicative of a warm and wet or cold and icy climate. To characterize mineral assemblages of cold and icy mafic terrains, we analyzed pro- and supraglacial rocks and sediments from the Collier and Diller glacial valleys in Three Sisters, Oregon. We identified primary and secondary phases using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning and transmission electron microscopies with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM, TEM, EDS), and visible/short-wave-infrared (VSWIR) and thermal-infrared (TIR) spectroscopies. Samples from both glacial valleys are dominated by primary igneous minerals (i.e., plagioclase and pyroxene). Sediments in the Collier glacial valley contain minor to trace amounts of phyllosilicates and zeolites, but these phases are likely detrital and sourced from hydrothermally altered units on North Sister. We find that the authigenic phases in cold and icy mafic terrains are poorly crystalline and/or amorphous. TEM-EDS analyses of the materials, including iron oxides, devitrified volcanic glass, and Fe-Si-Al (e.g., proto-clay) phases. A variety of primary and secondary amorphous materials (e.g., volcanic glass, leached glass, allophane) have been suggested from orbital IR data from Mars, and the CheMin XRD on the Curiosity rover has identified X-ray amorphous materials in all rocks and soils measured to date. The compositions of the Gale Crater amorphous components cannot be explained by primary volcanic glass alone and likely include secondary silicates, iron oxides, and sulfates. We suggest that the prevalence of amorphous materials on the martian surface and the variety of amorphous components may be a signature of a cold and icy climate on Early Mars.

  12. Seeing Baby Dwarf Galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Visible/DSS Click on image for larger version Ultraviolet/GALEX Click on image for larger version Poster Version Click on image for larger version The unique ultraviolet vision of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer reveals, for the first time, dwarf galaxies forming out of nothing more than pristine gas likely leftover from the early universe. Dwarf galaxies are relatively small collections of stars that often orbit around larger galaxies like our Milky Way. The forming dwarf galaxies shine in the far ultraviolet spectrum, rendered as blue in the call-out on the right hand side of this image. Near ultraviolet light, also obtained by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, is displayed in green, and visible light from the blue part of the spectrum here is represented by red. The clumps (in circles) are distinctively blue, indicating they are primarily detected in far ultraviolet light. The faint blue overlay traces the outline of the Leo Ring, a huge cloud of hydrogen and helium that orbits around two massive galaxies in the constellation Leo (left panel). The cloud is thought likely to be a primordial object, an ancient remnant of material that has remained relatively unchanged since the very earliest days of the universe. Identified about 25 years ago by radio waves, the ring cannot be seen in visible light. Only a portion of the Leo Ring has been imaged in the ultraviolet, but this section contains the telltale ultraviolet signature of recent massive star formation within this ring of pristine gas. Astronomers have previously only seen dwarf galaxies form out of gas that has already been cycled through a galaxy and enriched with metals elements heavier than helium produced as stars evolve. The visible data come from the Digitized Sky Survey of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. The Leo Ring visible image (left

  13. The DWARF project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopoulou, P. E.

    2013-09-01

    In the era of staggering Kepler data and sophisticated approach of the automatic analysis, how obsolete are the traditional object-by-object multiwavelength photometric observations? Can we apply the new tools of classification, light curve modeling and timing analysis to study the newly detected or/and most interesting Eclipsing Binaries or to detect circumbinary bodies? In this talk, I will discuss developments in this area in the light of the recent DWARF project that promises additional useful science of binary stars within an extensive network of relatively small to medium-size telescopes with apertures of ~20-200 cm.

  14. Detection of Deuterium in Icy Surfaces and the D/H Ratio of Icy Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Roger Nelson; Brown, Robert H.; Swayze, Gregg A.; Cruikshank, Dale P.

    2017-10-01

    Water ice in crystalline or amorphous form is orientationally disordered, which results in very broad absorptions. Deuterium in trace amounts goes into an ordered position, so is not broadened like H2O absorptions. The D-O stretch is located at 4.13 microns with a width of 0.027 micron. Laboratory spectral measurements on natural H2O and deuterium doped ice show the absorption is slightly asymmetric and in reflectance the band shifts from 4.132 to 4.137 microns as abundance decreases. We derive a preliminary absorption coefficient of ~ 80,000 cm^-1 for the D-O stretch compared to about 560 cm^-1 in H2O ice at 4.13 microns, enabling the detection of deuterium at levels less than Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW), depending on S/N. How accurate the D/H ratios can be derived will require additional lab work and radiative transfer modeling to simultaneously derive the grain size distribution, the abundance of any contaminants, and deuterium abundance. To first order, the grain size distribution can be compensated by computing the D-O stretch band depth to 2-micron H2O ice band depth ratio, which we call Dratio. Colorado fresh water (~80% of VSMOW) has a Dratio of 0.036, at a D/H = 0.0005, the Dratio = 0.15, and at a D/H = 0.0025, the Dratio = 0.42. The VSMOW Dratio is ~ 0.045.We have used VIMS data from the Cassini spacecraft to compute large spectral averages to detect the deuterium in the rings and on the icy satellite surfaces. A B-ring, 21,882 pixel average, at 640 ms/pixel, or 3.89 hours of integration time, shows a 3.5% O-D stretch band depth and a Dratio = 0.045, indicating deuterium abundance equal to VSMOW. Rhea, using 1.89 hours of integration time shows Dratio = 0.052, or slightly higher than VSMOW. Phoebe has an unusually deep O-D stretch band of 1.85% considering the high abundance of dark material suppressing the ice absorptions. We measure a Dratio = 0.11, an enhancement of ~2.4 over VSMOW, but detailed radiative transfer modeling is needed to

  15. Astronomers Find World with Thick, Inhospitable Atmosphere and an Icy Heart

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    is a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun. [2] The star GJ1214 is five times smaller than our Sun and intrinsically three hundred times less bright. [3] Corot-7b is the smallest and fastest-orbiting exoplanet known and has a density quite similar to the Earth's, suggesting a solid, rocky world. Discovered by the CoRoT satellite as a transiting object, its true nature was revealed by HARPS (eso0933). [4] The MEarth project uses an armada of eight small telescopes each with a diameter of 40 cm, located on top of Mount Hopkins, Arizona, USA. MEarth looks for stars that change brightness. The goal is to find a planet that crosses in front of, or transits, its star. During such a mini-eclipse, the planet blocks a small portion of the star's light, making it dimmer. NASA's Kepler mission also uses transits to look for Earth-sized planets orbiting Sun-like stars. However, such systems dim by only one part in ten thousand. The higher precision required to detect the drop means that such worlds can only be found from space. In contrast, a super-Earth transiting a small, red dwarf star yields a greater proportional decrease in brightness and a stronger signal that is detectable from the ground. More information This research was presented in a paper appearing this week in Nature ("A Super-Earth Transiting a Nearby Low-Mass Star", by David Charbonneau et al.). The team is composed of David Charbonneau, Zachory K. Berta, Jonathan Irwin, Christopher J. Burke, Philip Nutzman, Lars Buchhave, David W. Latham, Ruth A. Murray-Clay, Matthew J. Holman, and Emilio E. Falco (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, USA), Christophe Lovis, Stephane Udry, Didier Queloz, Francesco Pepe, and Michel Mayor (Observatoire de l'Université de Genève, Switzerland), Xavier Bonfils, Xavier Delfosse, and Thierry Forveille (University Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1/CNRS, LOAG, Grenoble, France), and Joshua N. Winn (Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, MIT, Cambridge

  16. 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...

  17. Classifying Planets: Nature vs. Nurture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beichman, Charles A.

    2009-05-01

    The idea of a planet was so simple when we learned about the solar system in elementary school. Now students and professional s alike are faced with confusing array of definitions --- from "Brown Dwarfs” to "Super Jupiters", from "Super Earths” to "Terrestrial Planets", and from "Planets” to "Small, Sort-of Round Things That Aren't Really Planets". I will discuss how planets might be defined by how they formed, where they are found, or by the life they might support.

  18. Infrared Colors of Dwarf-Dwarf Galaxy Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liss, Sandra; Stierwalt, Sabrina; Johnson, Kelsey; Patton, Dave; Kallivayalil, Nitya

    2015-10-01

    We request Spitzer Warm Mission IRAC Channel 1 & 2 imaging for a sample of 60 isolated dwarf galaxy pairs as a key component of a larger, multi-wavelength effort to understand the role low-mass mergers play in galaxy evolution. A systematic study of dwarf-dwarf mergers has never been done, and we wish to characterize the impact such interactions have on fueling star formation in the nearby universe. The Spitzer imaging proposed here will allow us to determine the extent to which the 3.6 and 4.5 mum bands are dominated by stellar light and investigate a) the extent to which interacting pairs show IR excess and b) whether the excess is related to the pair separation. Second, we will use this IR photometry to constrain the processes contributing to the observed color excess and scatter in each system. We will take advantage of the wealth of observations available in the Spitzer Heritage Archive for 'normal' non-interacting dwarfs by comparing the stellar populations of those dwarfs with the likely interacting dwarfs in our sample. Ultimately, we can combine the Spitzer imaging proposed here with our current, ongoing efforts to obtain groundbased optical photometry to model the star formation histories of these dwarfs and to help constrain the timescales and impact dwarf-dwarf mergers have on fueling star formation. The sensitivity and resolution offered by Spitzer are necessary to determine the dust properties of these interacting systems, and how these properties vary as a function of pair separation, mass ratio, and gas fraction.

  19. 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

  20. White dwarfs and revelations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltas, Ippocratis D.; Sawicki, Ignacy; Lopes, Ilidio

    2018-05-01

    We use the most recent, complete and independent measurements of masses and radii of white dwarfs in binaries to bound the class of non-trivial modified gravity theories, viable after GW170817/GRB170817, using its effect on the mass-radius relation of the stars. We show that the uncertainty in the latest data is sufficiently small that residual evolutionary effects, most notably the effect of core composition, finite temperature and envelope structure, must now accounted for if correct conclusions about the nature of gravity are to be made. We model corrections resulting from finite temperature and envelopes to a base Hamada-Salpeter cold equation of state and derive consistent bounds on the possible modifications of gravity in the stars' interiors, finding that the parameter quantifying the strength of the modification Y< 0.14 at 95% confidence, an improvement of a factor of three with respect to previous bounds. Finally, our analysis reveals some fundamental degeneracies between the theory of gravity and the precise chemical makeup of white dwarfs.

  1. 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.…

  2. White Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, giving astronomers a fresh reading on the age of the universe. Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, burned-out stars -- called white dwarfs -- are about 12 to 13 billion years old. By adding the one billion years it took the cluster to form after the Big Bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates that the universe is 13 to 14 billion years old. The images, including some taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, are available online at http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2002/10/ or http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/wfpc . The camera was designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's .9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope. The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles indicate the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars. Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the oldest stars puts astronomers within

  3. 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.

  4. White dwarfs - black holes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sexl, R.; Sexl, H.

    1975-01-01

    The physical arguments and problems of relativistic astrophysics are presented in a correct way, but without any higher mathematics. The book is addressed to teachers, experimental physicists, and others with a basic knowledge covering an introductory lecture in physics. The issues dealt with are: fundamentals of general relativity, classical tests of general relativity, curved space-time, stars and planets, pulsars, gravitational collapse and black holes, the search for black holes, gravitational waves, cosmology, cosmogony, and the early universe. (BJ/AK) [de

  5. Two-phase convection in the high-pressure ice layer of the large icy moons: geodynamical implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalousova, K.; Sotin, C.; Tobie, G.; Choblet, G.; Grasset, O.

    2015-12-01

    The H2O layers of large icy satellites such as Ganymede, Callisto, or Titan probably include a liquid water ocean sandwiched between the deep high-pressure ice layer and the outer ice I shell [1]. It has been recently suggested that the high-pressure ice layer could be decoupled from the silicate core by a salty liquid water layer [2]. However, it is not clear whether accumulation of liquids at the bottom of the high-pressure layer is possible due to positive buoyancy of water with respect to high-pressure ice. Numerical simulation of this two-phase (i.e. ice and water) problem is challenging, which explains why very few studies have self-consistently handled the presence and transport of liquids within the solid ice [e.g. 3]. While using a simplified description of water production and transport, it was recently showed in [4] that (i) a significant fraction of the high-pressure layer reaches the melting point and (ii) the melt generation and its extraction to the overlying ocean significantly influence the global thermal evolution and interior structure of the large icy moons.Here, we treat the high-pressure ice layer as a compressible mixture of solid ice and liquid water [5]. Several aspects are investigated: (i) the effect of the water formation on the vigor of solid-state convection and its influence on the amount of heat that is transferred from the silicate mantle to the ocean; (ii) the fate of liquids within the upper thermal boundary layer - whether they freeze or reach the ocean; and (iii) the effect of salts and volatile compounds (potentially released from the rocky core) on the melting/freezing processes. Investigation of these aspects will allow us to address the thermo-chemical evolution of the internal ocean which is crucial to evaluate the astrobiological potential of large icy moons. This work has been performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA. [1] Hussmann et al. (2007), Treatise of

  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. Chandra Captures Flare From Brown Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-07-01

    The first flare ever seen from a brown dwarf, or failed star, was detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The bright X-ray flare has implications for understanding the explosive activity and origin of magnetic fields of extremely low mass stars. Chandra detected no X-rays at all from LP 944-20 for the first nine hours of a twelve hour observation, then the source flared dramatically before it faded away over the next two hours. "We were shocked," said Dr. Robert Rutledge of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the lead author on the discovery paper to appear in the July 20 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters. "We didn't expect to see flaring from such a lightweight object. This is really the 'mouse that roared.'" Chandra LP 944-20 X-ray Image Press Image and Caption The energy emitted in the brown dwarf flare was comparable to a small solar flare, and was a billion times greater than observed X-ray flares from Jupiter. The flaring energy is believed to come from a twisted magnetic field. "This is the strongest evidence yet that brown dwarfs and possibly young giant planets have magnetic fields, and that a large amount of energy can be released in a flare," said Dr. Eduardo Martin, also of Caltech and a member of the team. Professor Gibor Basri of the University of California, Berkeley, the principal investigator for this observation, speculated that the flare "could have its origin in the turbulent magnetized hot material beneath the surface of the brown dwarf. A sub-surface flare could heat the atmosphere, allowing currents to flow and give rise to the X-ray flare -- like a stroke of lightning." LP 944-20 is about 500 million years old and has a mass that is about 60 times that of Jupiter, or 6 percent that of the Sun. Its diameter is about one-tenth that of the Sun and it has a rotation period of less than five hours. Located in the constellation Fornax in the southern skies, LP 944-20 is one of the best studied brown dwarfs because it is

  8. TPS for Outer Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Ellerby, D.; Gage, P.; Gasch, M.; Hwang, H.; Prabhu, D.; Stackpoole, M.; Wercinski, Paul

    2018-01-01

    This invited talk will provide an assessment of the TPS needs for Outer Planet In-situ missions to destinations with atmosphere. The talk will outline the drivers for TPS from destination, science, mission architecture and entry environment. An assessment of the readiness of the TPS, both currently available and under development, for Saturn, Titan, Uranus and Neptune are provided. The challenges related to sustainability of the TPS for future missions are discussed.

  9. Planets in Inuit Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, John

    2018-02-01

    phenomenon of the "polar night." For several reasons, the role of planets in Inuit astronomy is difficult to determine, due, in part, to the characteristics of the planets themselves. Naked-eye differentiation between the major visible planets is by no means straightforward, and for observers living north of the Arctic Circle, the continuous or semicontinuous periods of daylight/twilight obtaining throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall effectively prevent year-round viewing of the night sky, making much planetary movement unobservable, far less an appreciation of the planets' predictable synodic and sidereal periods. Mitigating against the significant use of planets in Inuit culture is also the principle that their applied astronomy, along with its cosmology and mythologies depend principally on—apart from the sun and the moon—the predictability of the "fixed stars." Inuit of course did see the major planets and took note of them when they moved through their familiar asterisms or appeared, irregularly, as markers of solstice, or harbingers of daylight after winter's dark. Generally, however, planets seem to have been little regarded until after the introduction of Christianity, when, in parts of the Canadian eastern Arctic, Venus, in particular, became associated with Christmas. While there are anecdotal accounts that some of the planets, again especially Venus, may have had a place in Greenlandic mythology, this assertion is far from certain. Furthermore, reports from Alaska and Greenland suggesting that the appearance of Venus was a regular marker of the new year, or a predictor of sun's return, need qualification, given the apparent irregularity of Venus's appearances above the horizon. A survey of relevant literature, including oral history, pertaining either directly or peripherally to Inuit astronomical traditions, reveals few bona fide mention of planets. References to planets in Inuit mythology and astronomy are usually speculative, typically lacking

  10. THE HYADES CLUSTER: IDENTIFICATION OF A PLANETARY SYSTEM AND ESCAPING WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuckerman, B.; Xu, S.; Klein, B.; Jura, M.

    2013-01-01

    Recently, some hot DA-type white dwarfs have been proposed to plausibly be escaping members of the Hyades. We used hydrogen Balmer lines to measure the radial velocities of seven such stars and confirm that three, and perhaps two others, are/were indeed cluster members and one is not. The other candidate Hyad is strongly magnetic and its membership status remains uncertain. The photospheres of at least one quarter of field white dwarf stars are ''polluted'' by elements heavier than helium that have been accreted. These stars are orbited by extended planetary systems that contain both debris belts and major planets. We surveyed the seven classical single Hyades white dwarfs and the newly identified (escaping) Hyades white dwarfs and found calcium in the photosphere of LP 475-242 of type DBA (now DBAZ), thus implying the presence of an orbiting planetary system. The spectrum of white dwarf GD 31, which may be, but probably is not, an escaping member of the Hyades, displays calcium absorption lines; these originate either from the interstellar medium or, less likely, from a gaseous circumstellar disk. If GD 31 was once a Hyades member, then it would be the first identified white dwarf Hyad with a cooling age >340 Myr.

  11. 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.

  12. FIRST DIRECT EVIDENCE THAT BARIUM DWARFS HAVE WHITE DWARF COMPANIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, R. O.; McGahee, C. E.; Griffin, R. E. M.; Corbally, C. J.

    2011-01-01

    Barium II (Ba) stars are chemically peculiar F-, G-, and K-type objects that show enhanced abundances of s-process elements. Since s-process nucleosynthesis is unlikely to take place in stars prior to the advanced asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stage, the prevailing hypothesis is that each present Ba star was contaminated by an AGB companion which is now a white dwarf (WD). Unless the initial mass ratio of such a binary was fairly close to unity, the receiving star is thus at least as likely to be a dwarf as a giant. So although most known Ba stars appear to be giants, the hypothesis requires that Ba dwarfs be comparably plentiful and moreover that they should all have WD companions. However, despite dedicated searches with the IUE satellite, no WD companions have been directly detected to date among the classical Ba dwarfs, even though some 90% of those stars are spectroscopic binaries, so the contamination hypothesis is therefore presently in some jeopardy. In this paper, we analyze recent deep, near-UV and far-UV Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) exposures of four of the brightest of the class (HD 2454, 15360, 26367, and 221531), together with archived GALEX data for two newly recognized Ba dwarfs: HD 34654 and HD 114520 (which also prove to be spectroscopic binaries). The GALEX observations of the Ba dwarfs as a group show a significant far-UV excess compared to a control sample of normal F-type dwarfs. We suggest that this ensemble far-UV excess constitutes the first direct evidence that Ba dwarfs have WD companions.

  13. The Scattering Outcomes of Kepler Circumbinary Planets: Planet Mass Ratio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gong, Yan-Xiang; Ji, Jianghui, E-mail: yxgong@pmo.ac.cn, E-mail: jijh@pmo.ac.cn [CAS Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)

    2017-11-01

    Recent studies reveal that the free eccentricities of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b are much larger than their forced eccentricities, implying that scattering events may take place in their formation. The observed orbital configuration of Kepler-34b cannot be well reproduced in disk-driven migration models, whereas a two-planet scattering scenario can play a significant role of shaping the planetary configuration. These studies indicate that circumbinary planets discovered by Kepler may have experienced scattering process. In this work, we extensively investigate the scattering outcomes of circumbinary planets focusing on the effects of planet mass ratio . We find that the planetary mass ratio and the the initial relative locations of planets act as two important parameters that affect the eccentricity distribution of the surviving planets. As an application of our model, we discuss the observed orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b. We first adopt the results from the disk-driven models as the initial conditions, then simulate the scattering process that occurs in the late evolution stage of circumbinary planets. We show that the present orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b can be well reproduced when considering a two unequal-mass planet ejection model. Our work further suggests that some of the currently discovered circumbinary single-planet systems may be survivors of original multiple-planet systems. The disk-driven migration and scattering events occurring in the late stage both play an irreplaceable role in sculpting the final systems.

  14. Spectral differential imaging detection of planets about nearby stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, W.H.

    1987-01-01

    Direct ground-based optical imaging of planets in orbit about nearby stars may be accomplished by spectral differential imaging using multiple passband acoustooptic filters with a CCD. This technique provides two essential results. First, it provides a means to modulate the stellar flux reflected from a planet while leaving the flux from the star and other sources in the same field of view unmodulated. Second, spectral differential imaging enables the CCD detector to achieve a sufficiently high dynamic range to locate planets near a star in spite of an integrated brightness differential of 5 x 10 8 . Spectral differential imaging at nearby diffraction limited imaging conditions with telescope apodization can reduce the time to conduct a sensitive planetary search to a few hours in some cases. The feasibility of this idea is discussed here and shown to provide, in principle, the discrimination and sensitivity to detect a Jovian-class planet about stars at distances of about 10 parsecs. The detection of brown dwarfs is shown to be feasible as well. 31 references

  15. Atmospheres of Brown Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ruoyan; Seay, Christopher

    2018-01-01

    We construct a grid of brown dwarf model atmospheres spanning a wide range of atmospheric metallicity (0.3x ≤ met ≤ 100x), C/O ratios (0.25x ≤ C/O ≤ 2.5x), and cloud properties, encompassing atmospheres of effective temperatures 200 ≤ Teff ≤ 2400 K and gravities 2.5 ≤ log g ≤ 5.5. We produce the expected temperature-pressure profiles and emergent spectra from an atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium. We can then compare our predicted spectra to observations and retrieval results to aid in their predictions and influence future missions and telescopic observations. In our poster we briefly describe our modeling methodology and present our progress on model grid construction, spanning solar and subsolar C/O and metallicity.

  16. K2-155: A Bright Metal-poor M Dwarf with Three Transiting Super-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Teruyuki; Dai, Fei; Livingston, John H.; Fujii, Yuka; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Gandolfi, Davide; Redfield, Seth; Winn, Joshua N.; Guenther, Eike W.; Prieto-Arranz, Jorge; Albrecht, Simon; Barragan, Oscar; Cabrera, Juan; Cauley, P. Wilson; Csizmadia, Szilard; Deeg, Hans; Eigmüller, Philipp; Erikson, Anders; Fridlund, Malcolm; Fukui, Akihiko; Grziwa, Sascha; Hatzes, Artie P.; Korth, Judith; Narita, Norio; Nespral, David; Niraula, Prajwal; Nowak, Grzegorz; Pätzold, Martin; Palle, Enric; Persson, Carina M.; Rauer, Heike; Ribas, Ignasi; Smith, Alexis M. S.; Van Eylen, Vincent

    2018-03-01

    We report on the discovery of three transiting super-Earths around K2-155 (EPIC 210897587), a relatively bright early M dwarf (V = 12.81 mag) observed during Campaign 13 of the NASA K2 mission. To characterize the system and validate the planet candidates, we conducted speckle imaging and high-dispersion optical spectroscopy, including radial velocity measurements. Based on the K2 light curve and the spectroscopic characterization of the host star, the planet sizes and orbital periods are {1.55}-0.17+0.20 {R}\\oplus and 6.34365 ± 0.00028 days for the inner planet; {1.95}-0.22+0.27 {R}\\oplus and 13.85402 ± 0.00088 days for the middle planet; and {1.64}-0.17+0.18 {R}\\oplus and 40.6835 ± 0.0031 days for the outer planet. The outer planet (K2-155d) is near the habitable zone, with an insolation 1.67 ± 0.38 times that of the Earth. The planet’s radius falls within the range between that of smaller rocky planets and larger gas-rich planets. To assess the habitability of this planet, we present a series of three-dimensional global climate simulations, assuming that K2-155d is tidally locked and has an Earth-like composition and atmosphere. We find that the planet can maintain a moderate surface temperature if the insolation proves to be smaller than ∼1.5 times that of the Earth. Doppler mass measurements, transit spectroscopy, and other follow-up observations should be rewarding, as K2-155 is one of the optically brightest M dwarfs known to harbor transiting planets.

  17. 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.

  18. The Kepler Mission: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, David; Borucki, W.; Mayer, D.; Caldwell, D.; Jenkens, J.; Dunham, E.; Geary, J.; Bachtell, E.; Deininger, W.; Philbrick, R.

    2003-01-01

    We have embarked on a mission to detect terrestrial planets. The space mission has been optimized to search for earth-size planets (0.5 to 10 earth masses) in the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. Given this design, the mission will necessarily be capable of not only detecting Earth analogs, but a wide range of planetary types and characteristics ranging from Mercury-size objects with orbital periods of days to gas-giants in decade long orbits that have undeniable signatures even with only one transit detected. The mission is designed to survey the full range of spectral-type dwarf stars. The approach is to detect the periodic signal of transiting planets. Three or more transits of a star exceeding a combined threshold of eight sigma with a statistically consistent period, brightness change and duration provide a rigorous method of detection. From the relative brightness change the planet size can be calculated. From the period the orbital size can be calculated and its location relative to the HZ determined. Presented here are: the mission goals, the top level system design requirements derived from these goals that drive the flight system design, a number of the trades that have lead to the mission concept, expected photometric performance dependence on stellar brightness and spectral type based on the system 'noise tree' analysis. Updated estimates are presented of the numbers of detectable planets versus size, orbit, stellar spectral type and distances based on a planet frequency hypothesis. The current project schedule and organization are given.

  19. SATELLITE DWARF GALAXIES IN A HIERARCHICAL UNIVERSE: THE PREVALENCE OF DWARF-DWARF MAJOR MERGERS

    OpenAIRE

    Deason, A; Wetzel, A; Garrison-Kimmel, S

    2014-01-01

    Mergers are a common phenomenon in hierarchical structure formation, especially for massive galaxies and clusters, but their importance for dwarf galaxies in the Local Group remains poorly understood. We investigate the frequency of major mergers between dwarf galaxies in the Local Group using the ELVIS suite of cosmological zoom-in dissipationless simulations of Milky Way- and M31-like host halos. We find that ~10% of satellite dwarf galaxies with M_star > 10^6 M_sun that are within the host...

  20. Irregular Dwarf Galaxy IC 1613

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Ultraviolet image (left) and visual image (right) of the irregular dwarf galaxy IC 1613. Low surface brightness galaxies, such as IC 1613, are more easily detected in the ultraviolet because of the low background levels compared to visual wavelengths.

  1. THE FREQUENCY OF DEBRIS DISKS AT WHITE DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barber, Sara D.; Patterson, Adam J.; Kilic, Mukremin [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, 440 W. Brooks St., Norman, OK 73019 (United States); Leggett, S. K. [Gemini Observatory, 670 N. A' ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Dufour, P. [Departement de Physique, Universite de Montreal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7 (Canada); Bloom, J. S.; Starr, D. L., E-mail: barber@nhn.ou.edu [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2012-11-20

    We present near- and mid-infrared photometry and spectroscopy from PAIRITEL, IRTF, and Spitzer of a metallicity-unbiased sample of 117 cool, hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs (WDs) from the Palomar-Green survey and find five with excess radiation in the infrared, translating to a 4.3{sup +2.7} {sub -1.2}% frequency of debris disks. This is slightly higher than, but consistent with the results of previous surveys. Using an initial-final mass relation, we apply this result to the progenitor stars of our sample and conclude that 1-7 M {sub Sun} stars have at least a 4.3% chance of hosting planets; an indirect probe of the intermediate-mass regime eluding conventional exoplanetary detection methods. Alternatively, we interpret this result as a limit on accretion timescales as a fraction of WD cooling ages; WDs accrete debris from several generations of disks for {approx}10 Myr. The average total mass accreted by these stars ranges from that of 200 km asteroids to Ceres-sized objects, indicating that WDs accrete moons and dwarf planets as well as solar system asteroid analogs.

  2. THE FREQUENCY OF DEBRIS DISKS AT WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barber, Sara D.; Patterson, Adam J.; Kilic, Mukremin; Leggett, S. K.; Dufour, P.; Bloom, J. S.; Starr, D. L.

    2012-01-01

    We present near- and mid-infrared photometry and spectroscopy from PAIRITEL, IRTF, and Spitzer of a metallicity-unbiased sample of 117 cool, hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs (WDs) from the Palomar-Green survey and find five with excess radiation in the infrared, translating to a 4.3 +2.7 –1.2 % frequency of debris disks. This is slightly higher than, but consistent with the results of previous surveys. Using an initial-final mass relation, we apply this result to the progenitor stars of our sample and conclude that 1-7 M ☉ stars have at least a 4.3% chance of hosting planets; an indirect probe of the intermediate-mass regime eluding conventional exoplanetary detection methods. Alternatively, we interpret this result as a limit on accretion timescales as a fraction of WD cooling ages; WDs accrete debris from several generations of disks for ∼10 Myr. The average total mass accreted by these stars ranges from that of 200 km asteroids to Ceres-sized objects, indicating that WDs accrete moons and dwarf planets as well as solar system asteroid analogs.

  3. Thermo-chemical Ice Penetrator for Icy Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenberg, J. W.; Lee, G.; Harpole, G.; Zamel, J.; Sen, B.; Ross, F.; Retherford, K. D.

    2016-12-01

    The ability to place sensors or to take samples below the ice surface enables a wide variety of potential scientific investigations. Penetrating an ice cap can be accomplished via a mechanical drill, laser drill, kinetic impactor, or heated penetrator. This poster reports on the development of technology for the latter most option, namely a self-heated probe driven by an exothermic chemical reaction: a Thermo-chemical ice penetrator (TChIP). Our penetrator design employs a eutectic mix of alkali metals that produce an exothermic reaction upon contact with an icy surface. This reaction increases once the ice starts melting, so no external power is required. This technology is inspired by a classified Cold-War era program developed at Northrop Grumman for the US Navy. Terrestrial demonstration of this technology took place in the Arctic; however, this device cannot be considered high TRL for application at the icy moons of the solar system due to the environmental differences between Earth's Arctic and the icy moons. These differences demand a TChIP design specific to these cold, low mass, airless worlds. It is expected that this model of TChIP performance will be complex, incorporating all of the forces on the penetrator, gravity, the thermo-chemistry at the interface between penetrator and ice, and multi-phase heat and mass transport, and hydrodynamics. Our initial efforts are aimed at the development of a validated set of tools and simulations to predict the performance of the penetrator for both the environment found on these icy moons and for a terrestrial environment. The purpose of the inclusion of the terrestrial environment is to aid in model validation. Once developed and validated, our models will allow us to design penetrators for a specific scientific application on a specific body. This poster discusses the range of scientific investigations that are enabled by TChIP. We also introduce the development plan to advance TChIP to the point where it can be

  4. An excess of pedestrian injuries in icy conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Merrild, Ulrik; Bak, Soeren

    1983-01-01

    An "icy condition epidemic" has been analyzed in an investigation of patients treated in the casualty department of Odense University Hospital: it was found that the victims were mainly comprised of pedestrians and that the pedestrians had 14 times more injuries than during a normal winter period...... clearing of the snow, and (3) spreading of sand, and possibly salt, on footpaths and bicycle paths. Specific measures should be launched to help the elderly during such periods, in order that outdoor activities may be cut to a minimum....

  5. White dwarfs in cataclysmic variables

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sion, E.M.

    1987-01-01

    The physical properties and evolutionary state of the underlying white dwarfs in CVs are explored. Observations of 25 white dwarfs with effective temperature upper limits of 9000-75,000 K are discussed. Correlations between effective temperature, orbital period, accretion rate, and CV type with respect to the CV period gap are considered. Quasi-static and hydrodynamic evolutionary models are used to explain the surface temperature/luminosity distribution ratios. 42 references

  6. The Andromeda Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies

    OpenAIRE

    Armandroff, Taft E.; Da Costa, Gary S.

    1998-01-01

    Our current knowledge of M31's dwarf spheroidal companions is reviewed. Two topics of recent interest constitute the bulk of this review. First, color-magnitude diagrams reaching below the horizontal branch have been constructed for two M31 dwarf spheroidals based on images from HST/WFPC2. The horizontal branches are predominantly red in both galaxies, redder than expected for their metallicity based on Galactic globular clusters. Thus, the second parameter effect is seen in the M31 halo. Sec...

  7. Did A Planet Survive A Post-Main Sequence Evolutionary Event?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorber, Rebecca; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Zimmerman, Mara

    2018-06-01

    The GL86 is star system approximately 10 pc away with a main sequence K- type ~ 0.77 M⊙ star (GL 86A) with a white dwarf ~0.49 M⊙ companion (GL86 B). The system has a ~ 18.4 AU semi-major axis, an orbital period of ~353 yrs, and an eccentricity of ~ 0.39. A 4.5 MJ planet orbits the main sequence star with a semi-major axis of 0.113 AU, an orbital period of 15.76 days, in a near circular orbit with an eccentricity of 0.046. If we assume that this planet was formed during the time when the white dwarf was a main sequence star, it would be difficult for the planet to have remained in a stable orbit during the post-main sequence evolution of GL86 B. The post-main sequence evolution with planet survival will be examined by modeling using the program Mercury (Chambers 1999). Using the model, we examine the origins of the planet: whether it formed before or after the post-main sequence evolution of GL86B. The modeling will give us insight into the dynamical evolution of, not only, the binary star system, but also the planet’s life cycle.

  8. Exploring Substellar Evolution with the Coldest Brown Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupuy, Trent J.

    2017-01-01

    The coldest brown dwarfs are our best analogs to extrasolar gas-giant planets, representing the lowest mass products of star formation. Our view of such objects has been transformed over the last few years as new observations have revealed that the solar neighborhood is populated by much colder objects than previously recognized. At the center of efforts to discover and characterize these coldest substellar objects have been observations from NASA missions (WISE, Spitzer, HST) and the Keck Telescopes. I will review the tremendous progress made in this field over just the last few years thanks to major community efforts to overcome observational challenges in obtaining spectroscopy, photometry, and astrometry of these infrared-faint, optically invisible objects. Spectra from HST and Keck were key in establishing the much anticipated "Y" spectral type, extending the classic stellar classification scheme to atmospheres as cool as 300-400 K. Parallaxes and photometry from Spitzer and Keck have provided absolute fluxes, enabling robust temperature determinations and critical tests of model atmopheres. High-resolution imaging with Keck laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS AO) has been the most prolific resource for revealing tight companions among the coldest brown dwarfs. In fact, with continued orbit monitoring with Keck LGS AO and HST, these binary systems will ultimately provide dynamical masses that will allow the strongest tests of models and reveal if the coldest brown dwarfs are indeed "planetary mass" (less than about 13 Jupiter masses) as is currently thought.

  9. ROCKY EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY COMPOSITIONS DERIVED FROM EXTERNALLY POLLUTED WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

    We report Keck High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer data and model atmosphere analysis of two helium-dominated white dwarfs, PG1225–079 and HS2253+8023, whose heavy pollutions most likely derive from the accretion of terrestrial-type planet(esimal)s. For each system, the minimum accreted mass is ∼10 22 g, that of a large asteroid. In PG1225–079, Mg, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni have abundance ratios similar to bulk Earth values, while we measure four refractory elements, Ca, Sc, Ti, and V, all at a factor of ∼2-3 higher abundance than in the bulk Earth. For HS2253+8023 the swallowed material was compositionally similar to bulk Earth in being more than 85% by mass in the major element species, O, Mg, Si, and Fe, and with abundances in the distinctive proportions of mineral oxides—compelling evidence for an origin in a rocky parent body. Including previous studies we now know of four heavily polluted white dwarfs where the measured oxygen and hydrogen are consistent with the view that the parents' bodies formed with little ice, interior to any snow line in their nebular environments. The growing handful of polluted white dwarf systems with comprehensive abundance measurements form a baseline for characterizing rocky exoplanet compositions that can be compared with bulk Earth.

  10. The Kepler Dichotomy in Planetary Disks: Linking Kepler Observables to Simulations of Late-stage Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriarty, John; Ballard, Sarah

    2016-11-01

    NASA’s Kepler Mission uncovered a wealth of planetary systems, many with planets on short-period orbits. These short-period systems reside around 50% of Sun-like stars and are similarly prevalent around M dwarfs. Their formation and subsequent evolution is the subject of active debate. In this paper, we simulate late-stage, in situ planet formation across a grid of planetesimal disks with varying surface density profiles and total mass. We compare simulation results with observable characteristics of the Kepler sample. We identify mixture models with different primordial planetesimal disk properties that self-consistently recover the multiplicity, radius, period and period ratio, and duration ratio distributions of the Kepler planets. We draw three main conclusions. (1) We favor a “frozen-in” narrative for systems of short-period planets, in which they are stable over long timescales, as opposed to metastable. (2) The “Kepler dichotomy,” an observed phenomenon of the Kepler sample wherein the architectures of planetary systems appear to either vary significantly or have multiple modes, can naturally be explained by formation within planetesimal disks with varying surface density profiles. Finally, (3) we quantify the nature of the “Kepler dichotomy” for both GK stars and M dwarfs, and find that it varies with stellar type. While the mode of planet formation that accounts for high multiplicity systems occurs in 24% ± 7% of planetary systems orbiting GK stars, it occurs in 63% ± 16% of planetary systems orbiting M dwarfs.

  11. 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...

  12. Is Pluto a planet? A historical journey through the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Weintraub, David A

    2007-01-01

    A Note from the Author: On August 24, 2006, at the 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Prague, by a majority vote of only the 424 members present, the IAU (an organization of over 10,000 members) passed a resolution defining planet in such a way as to exclude Pluto and established a new class of objects in the solar system to be called ""dwarf planets,"" which was deliberately designed to include Pluto. With the discovery of Eris (2003 UB313)--an outer solar system object thought to be both slightly larger than Pluto and twice as far from the Sun--astrono

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. Discovery of Nearest Known Brown Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    Bright Southern Star Epsilon Indi Has Cool, Substellar Companion [1] Summary A team of European astronomers [2] has discovered a Brown Dwarf object (a 'failed' star) less than 12 light-years from the Sun. It is the nearest yet known. Now designated Epsilon Indi B, it is a companion to a well-known bright star in the southern sky, Epsilon Indi (now "Epsilon Indi A"), previously thought to be single. The binary system is one of the twenty nearest stellar systems to the Sun. The brown dwarf was discovered from the comparatively rapid motion across the sky which it shares with its brighter companion : the pair move a full lunar diameter in less than 400 years. It was first identified using digitised archival photographic plates from the SuperCOSMOS Sky Surveys (SSS) and confirmed using data from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Follow-up observations with the near-infrared sensitive SOFI instrument on the ESO 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the La Silla Observatory confirmed its nature and has allowed measurements of its physical properties. Epsilon Indi B has a mass just 45 times that of Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, and a surface temperature of only 1000 °C. It belongs to the so-called 'T dwarf' category of objects which straddle the domain between stars and giant planets. Epsilon Indi B is the nearest and brightest T dwarf known. Future studies of the new object promise to provide astronomers with important new clues as to the formation and evolution of these exotic celestial bodies, at the same time yielding interesting insights into the border zone between planets and stars. TINY MOVING NEEDLES IN GIANT HAYSTACKS ESO PR Photo 03a/03 ESO PR Photo 03a/03 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 605 pix - 92k [Normal - JPEG: 1200 x 1815 pix - 1.0M] Caption: PR Photo 03a/03 shows Epsilon Indi A (the bright star at far right) and its newly discovered brown dwarf companion Epsilon Indi B (circled). The upper image comes from one of the SuperCOSMOS Sky

  19. Triple Microlens OGLE-2008-BLG-092L: Binary Stellar System with a Circumprimary Uranus-type Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poleski, Radosław; Skowron, Jan; Udalski, Andrzej; Han, Cheongho; Kozłowski, Szymon; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz; Dong, Subo; Szymański, Michał K.; Kubiak, Marcin; Pietrzyński, Grzegorz; Soszyński, Igor; Ulaczyk, Krzysztof; Pietrukowicz, Paweł; Gould, Andrew

    2014-11-01

    We present the gravitational microlensing discovery of a 4 M Uranus planet that orbits a 0.7 M ⊙ star at ≈18 AU. This is the first known analog of Uranus. Similar planets, i.e., cold ice giants, are inaccessible to either radial velocity or transit methods because of the long orbital periods, while low reflected light prevents direct imaging. We discuss how similar planets may contaminate the sample of the very short microlensing events that are interpreted as free-floating planets with an estimated rate of 1.8 per main-sequence star. Moreover, the host star has a nearby stellar (or brown dwarf) companion. The projected separation of the planet is only about three times smaller than that of the companion star, suggesting significant dynamical interactions.

  20. Triple microlens OGLE-2008-BLG-092L: binary stellar system with a circumprimary uranus-type planet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poleski, Radosław; Gould, Andrew [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Skowron, Jan; Udalski, Andrzej; Kozłowski, Szymon; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz; Szymański, Michał K.; Kubiak, Marcin; Pietrzyński, Grzegorz; Soszyński, Igor; Ulaczyk, Krzysztof; Pietrukowicz, Paweł [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Han, Cheongho [Department of Physics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 371-763 (Korea, Republic of); Dong, Subo, E-mail: poleski@astronomy.ohio-state.edu [Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Yi He Yuan Road 5, Hai Dian District, Beijing 100871 (China)

    2014-11-01

    We present the gravitational microlensing discovery of a 4 M {sub Uranus} planet that orbits a 0.7 M {sub ☉} star at ≈18 AU. This is the first known analog of Uranus. Similar planets, i.e., cold ice giants, are inaccessible to either radial velocity or transit methods because of the long orbital periods, while low reflected light prevents direct imaging. We discuss how similar planets may contaminate the sample of the very short microlensing events that are interpreted as free-floating planets with an estimated rate of 1.8 per main-sequence star. Moreover, the host star has a nearby stellar (or brown dwarf) companion. The projected separation of the planet is only about three times smaller than that of the companion star, suggesting significant dynamical interactions.

  1. BENZENE FORMATION ON INTERSTELLAR ICY MANTLES CONTAINING PROPARGYL ALCOHOL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sivaraman, B.; Mukherjee, R.; Subramanian, K. P.; Banerjee, S. B., E-mail: bhala@prl.res.in [Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad (India)

    2015-01-10

    Propargyl alcohol (CHCCH{sub 2}OH) is a known stable isomer of the propenal (CH{sub 2}CHCHO) molecule that was reported to be present in the interstellar medium (ISM). At astrochemical conditions in the laboratory, icy layers of propargyl alcohol grown at 85 K were irradiated by 2 keV electrons and probed by a Fourier Transform InfraRed spectrometer in the mid-infrared (IR) region, 4000-500 cm{sup –1}. Propargyl alcohol ice under astrochemical conditions was studied for the first time; therefore, IR spectra of reported amorphous (85 K) and crystalline (180 K) propargyl alcohol ices can be used to detect its presence in the ISM. Moreover, our experiments clearly show benzene (C{sub 6}H{sub 6}) formation to be the major product from propargyl alcohol irradiation, confirming the role of propargyl radicals (C{sub 3}H{sub 3}) formed from propargyl alcohol dissociation that was long expected based on theoretical modeling to effectively synthesize C{sub 6}H{sub 6} in the interstellar icy mantles.

  2. 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.

  3. Stars and Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neta, Miguel

    2014-05-01

    'Estrelas e Planetas' (Stars and Planets) project was developed during the academic year 2009/2010 and was tested on three 3rd grade classes of one school in Quarteira, Portugal. The aim was to encourage the learning of science and the natural and physical phenomena through the construction and manipulation of materials that promote these themes - in this case astronomy. Throughout the project the students built a small book containing three themes of astronomy: differences between stars and planets, the solar system and the phases of the Moon. To each topic was devoted two sessions of about an hour each: the first to teach the theoretical aspects of the theme and the second session to assembly two pages of the book. All materials used (for theoretical sessions and for the construction of the book) and videos of the finished book are available for free use in www.miguelneta.pt/estrelaseplanetas. So far there is only a Portuguese version but soon will be published in English as well. This project won the Excellency Prize 2011 of Casa das Ciências, a portuguese site for teachers supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Fundation (www.casadasciencias.org).

  4. The ocean planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichsen, D

    1998-01-01

    The Blue Planet is 70% water, and all but 3% of it is salt water. Life on earth first evolved in the primordial soup of ancient seas, and though today's seas provide 99% of all living space on the planet, little is known about the world's oceans. However, the fact that the greatest threats to the integrity of our oceans come from land-based activities is becoming clear. Humankind is in the process of annihilating the coastal and ocean ecosystems and the wealth of biodiversity they harbor. Mounting population and development pressures have taken a grim toll on coastal and ocean resources. The trend arising from such growth is the chronic overexploitation of marine resources, whereby rapidly expanding coastal populations and the growth of cities have contributed to a rising tide of pollution in nearly all of the world's seas. This crisis is made worse by government inaction and a frustrating inability to enforce existing coastal and ocean management regulations. Such inability is mainly because concerned areas contain so many different types of regulations and involve so many levels of government, that rational planning and coordination of efforts are rendered impossible. Concerted efforts are needed by national governments and the international community to start preserving the ultimate source of all life on earth.

  5. Constitution of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waenke, H.

    1981-01-01

    Reliable estimates of the bulk composition are restricted to the Earth, the Moon and the eucrite parent asteroid. The last, the parent body of the eucrite-diogenite family of meteorites, seems to have an almost chondritic composition except for a considerable depletion of all moderately volatile (Na, K, Rb, F, etc.) and highly volatile (Cl, Br, Cd, Pb, etc.) elements. The moon is also depleted in moderate volatile and volatile elements compared to carbonaceous chondrites of type 1 (C1) and to the Earth. Again normalized to C1 and Si the Earth's mantle and the Moon are slightly enriched in refractory lithophile elements and in magnesium. The striking depletion of the Earth's mantle for the elements V, Cr and Mn can be explained by their partial removal into the core. Apart from their contents of metallic iron, all siderophile elements, moderately volatile and volatile elements, Earth and Moon are chemically very similar. It might well be that, with these exceptions and that of a varying degree of oxidation, all the inner planets have a similar chemistry. The chemical composition of the Earth's mantle, yields important information about the accretion history of the Earth and that of the inner planets. (author)

  6. Comet Dust: The Story of Planet Formation as Told by the Tiniest of Particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, D. H.

    2005-01-01

    Our planetary system formed out of a gas-rich disk-shaped nebula with the early Sun at its center. Many small icy bodies were consumed by the formation of the giant planets. However, many km-size icy bodies were tossed out of the giant-planet region to the cold, distant reaches of our solar system. Comets remained in their places of cold storage until perturbed into orbits that carry them into the inner solar system where they pass relatively close to the Sun. Comets are warmed by the Sun and shed material from their outer layers. The ices and gases shed by comets reveal simple and complex organic molecules were present at the time and in the region of the formation of the giant planets. Where the Earth was forming was too hot and had too intense sunlight for many of these ices and molecules to survive. The dust shed by comets tells us that some stardust survived unaltered but much of the dust was heated and crystallized before becoming part of the comet. Therefore, comet dust grains tell of large radial migrations from the cold outer reaches near Neptune into the hot regions near the forming Sun, and then back out to the cold regions where icy comets were accreting and forming. On 2005 July 4, the NASA Deep Impact Mission hit a comet and ejected primitive materials fiom its interior. These materials were not released into the comet s coma during normal activity. Despite the many passages of this comet close to the Sun, these primitive volatile gases and dust grains survived in its interior. Comet dust grains show that cold and hot materials were mixed into the same tiny particle very early in the formation of the solar system, and these aggregate dust grains never saw high temperatures again. The survival of primitive materials in comet nuclei suggests comets could have delivered organic molecules and primitive dust grains to early Earth.

  7. 8-12 GHz Radio Observations of Flare Activity On M dwarf CN Leo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wofford, Alia; Villadsen, Jackie; Quintana, Elisa; Barclay, Thomas; Thackeray, Beverly

    2018-01-01

    Red dwarfs are cool stars that make up 70% of all stars. Red dwarfs can be utilized to detect potentially habitable planets but they have particularly strong magnetic activity that can be detrimental to orbiting planets’ atmospheres and habitability. A coronal mass ejection (CME) is an eruption of magnetized plasma from the star that is ejected into the interplanetary medium which can erode a planet’s atmosphere daily. Based on the sun CMEs are expected to produce very bright radio bursts along with optical flares. We are using M dwarf CN Leo, a well studied flare star that was in the K2 campaign field in summer 2017, as a template to understand the relationship between radio and optical flares and the space weather conditions impacting M dwarf planets. Using radio frequencies ranging from 0.22 GHz-12 GHz we search for simultaneous radio bursts and optical flares to infer if CMEs, flares or aurorae are occurring on the star. I will present the 8-12 GHz radio data from eight 1.5-hour observations with simultaneous optical data. CN Leo produced a bright non-thermal radio flare that lasted approximately for a day during two consecutive observations, with a gyrosynchrotron emission mechanism.

  8. United theory of planet formation (i): Tandem regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebisuzaki, Toshikazu; Imaeda, Yusuke

    2017-07-01

    The present paper is the first one of a series of papers that present the new united theory of planet formation, which includes magneto-rotational instability and porous aggregation of solid particles in an consistent way. We here describe the ;tandem; planet formation regime, in which a solar system like planetary systems are likely to be produced. We have obtained a steady-state, 1-D model of the accretion disk of a protostar taking into account the magneto-rotational instability (MRI) and and porous aggregation of solid particles. We find that the disk is divided into an outer turbulent region (OTR), a MRI suppressed region (MSR), and an inner turbulent region (ITR). The outer turbulent region is fully turbulent because of MRI. However, in the range, rout(= 8 - 60 AU) from the central star, MRI is suppressed around the midplane of the gas disk and a quiet area without turbulence appears, because the degree of ionization of gas becomes low enough. The disk becomes fully turbulent again in the range rin(= 0.2 - 1 AU), which is called the inner turbulent region, because the midplane temperature become high enough (>1000 K) due to gravitational energy release. Planetesimals are formed through gravitational instability at the outer and inner MRI fronts (the boundaries between the MRI suppressed region (MSR) and the outer and inner turbuent regions) without particle enhancement in the original nebula composition, because of the radial concentration of the solid particles. At the outer MRI front, icy particles grow through low-velocity collisions into porous aggregates with low densities (down to ∼10-5 gcm-3). They eventually undergo gravitational instability to form icy planetesimals. On the other hand, rocky particles accumulate at the inner MRI front, since their drift velocities turn outward due to the local maximum in gas pressure. They undergo gravitational instability in a sub-disk of pebbles to form rocky planetesimals at the inner MRI front. They are likely

  9. Starting a Planet Protectors Club

    Science.gov (United States)

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007

    2007-01-01

    If your mission is to teach children how to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste and create the next generation of Planet Protectors, perhaps leading a Planet Protectors Club is part of your future challenges. You don't have to be an expert in waste reduction and recycling to lead a a Planet Protectors Club. You don't even have to be a teacher. You do…

  10. The hunt for Planet X

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Croswell, Ken.

    1990-01-01

    This article examines the hypothesis that an, as yet unobserved, planet, beyond the orbit of Pluto is responsible for peculiarities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. A brief overview of the discovery and observation of the outer planets is offered. The evidence for and against the proposition is noted, and the work of two present day scientists, is mentioned both of whom agree with the idea, and are searching for optical proof of the planet's existence. U.K

  11. Professor: The Animal Planet Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Satish Gajawada

    2014-01-01

    This paper is dedicated to everyone who is interested in making this planet a better place to live. In the past, researchers have explored behavior of several animals separately. But there is scope to explore in the direction where various artificial animals together solve the optimization problem. In this paper, Satish Gajawada proposed The AnimalPlanet Optimization. The concept of this paper is to imitate all the animals on this planet. The idea is to solve the optimization problem where al...

  12. Kepler planet-detection mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borucki...[], William J.; Koch, David; Buchhave, Lars C. Astrup

    2010-01-01

    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet’s surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler...... is one of the lowest-density planets (~0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets....

  13. Students Use VLA to Make Startling Brown-Dwarf Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-03-01

    A group of summer students making a long-shot astronomical gamble with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Very Large Array (VLA) have found the first radio emission ever detected from a brown dwarf, an enigmatic object that is neither a star nor a planet, but something in between. Their surprising discovery is forcing experts to re-think their theories about how brown dwarfs work. The Very Large Array "Many astronomers are surprised at this discovery, because they didn't expect such strong radio emission from this object," said Shri Kulkarni, a Caltech professor who was on the team that first discovered a brown dwarf in 1995, and advisor to one of the students. "What is so cool is that this is research that probably nobody else would have tried to do because of its low chance of success. That made it ideal for summer students -- we had almost nothing to lose," said Kate Becker, a student at Oberlin College in Ohio. "The radio emission these students discovered coming from this brown dwarf is 10,000 times stronger than anyone expected," said Dale Frail, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, NM. "This student project is going to open up a whole new area of research for the VLA," Frail added. The students, in addition to Becker, are: Edo Berger from Caltech; Steven Ball from New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM; Melanie Clarke from Carleton College in Northfield, MN; Therese Fukuda from the University of Denver; Ian Hoffman from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque; Richard Mellon from The Pennsylvania State University; Emmanuel Momjian from the University of Kentucky; Nathanial Murphy from Amherst College in Amherst, MA; Stacey Teng from the University of Maryland; Timothy Woodruff from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX; Ashley Zauderer from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA; and Robert Zavala from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. Frail also is an author of the research paper, published in the March

  14. ABOUT EXOBIOLOGY: THE CASE FOR DWARF K STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cuntz, M. [Department of Physics, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Guinan, E. F., E-mail: cuntz@uta.edu, E-mail: edward.guinan@villanova.edu [Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085 (United States)

    2016-08-10

    One of the most fundamental topics of exobiology concerns the identification of stars with environments consistent with life. Although it is believed that most types of main-sequence stars might be able to support life, particularly extremophiles, special requirements appear to be necessary for the development and sustainability of advanced life forms. From our study, orange main-sequence stars, ranging from spectral type late-G to mid-K (with a maximum at early K), are most promising. Our analysis considers a variety of aspects, including (1) the frequency of the various types of stars, (2) the speed of stellar evolution in their lifetimes, (3) the size of the stellar climatological habitable zones (CLI-HZs), (4) the strengths and persistence of their magnetic-dynamo-generated X-ray–UV emissions, and (5) the frequency and severity of flares, including superflares; both (4) and (5) greatly reduce the suitability of red dwarfs to host life-bearing planets. The various phenomena show pronounced dependencies on the stellar key parameters such as effective temperature and mass, permitting the assessment of the astrobiological significance of various types of stars. Thus, we developed a “Habitable-Planetary-Real-Estate Parameter” (HabPREP) that provides a measure for stars that are most suitable for planets with life. Early K stars are found to have the highest HabPREP values, indicating that they may be “Goldilocks” stars for life-hosting planets. Red dwarfs are numerous, with long lifetimes, but their narrow CLI-HZs and hazards from magnetic activity make them less suitable for hosting exolife. Moreover, we provide X-ray–far-UV irradiances for G0 V–M5 V stars over a wide range of ages.

  15. ABOUT EXOBIOLOGY: THE CASE FOR DWARF K STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cuntz, M.; Guinan, E. F.

    2016-01-01

    One of the most fundamental topics of exobiology concerns the identification of stars with environments consistent with life. Although it is believed that most types of main-sequence stars might be able to support life, particularly extremophiles, special requirements appear to be necessary for the development and sustainability of advanced life forms. From our study, orange main-sequence stars, ranging from spectral type late-G to mid-K (with a maximum at early K), are most promising. Our analysis considers a variety of aspects, including (1) the frequency of the various types of stars, (2) the speed of stellar evolution in their lifetimes, (3) the size of the stellar climatological habitable zones (CLI-HZs), (4) the strengths and persistence of their magnetic-dynamo-generated X-ray–UV emissions, and (5) the frequency and severity of flares, including superflares; both (4) and (5) greatly reduce the suitability of red dwarfs to host life-bearing planets. The various phenomena show pronounced dependencies on the stellar key parameters such as effective temperature and mass, permitting the assessment of the astrobiological significance of various types of stars. Thus, we developed a “Habitable-Planetary-Real-Estate Parameter” (HabPREP) that provides a measure for stars that are most suitable for planets with life. Early K stars are found to have the highest HabPREP values, indicating that they may be “Goldilocks” stars for life-hosting planets. Red dwarfs are numerous, with long lifetimes, but their narrow CLI-HZs and hazards from magnetic activity make them less suitable for hosting exolife. Moreover, we provide X-ray–far-UV irradiances for G0 V–M5 V stars over a wide range of ages.

  16. The Productivity of Oxygenic Photosynthesis around Cool, M Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmer, Owen R.; Catling, David C.; Parenteau, Mary N.; Hoehler, Tori M.

    2018-06-01

    In the search for life around cool stars, the presence of atmospheric oxygen is a prominent biosignature, as it may indicate oxygenic photosynthesis (OP) on the planetary surface. On Earth, most oxygenic photosynthesizing organisms (OPOs) use photons between 400 and 750 nm, which have sufficient energy to drive the photosynthetic reaction that generates O2 from H2O and CO2. OPOs around cool stars may evolve similar biological machinery capable of producing oxygen from water. However, in the habitable zones (HZs) of the coolest M dwarf stars, the flux of 400–750 nm photons may be just a few percent that of Earth’s. We show that the reduced flux of 400–750 nm photons around M dwarf stars could result in Earth-like planets being growth limited by light, unlike the terrestrial biosphere, which is limited by nutrient availability. We consider stars with photospheric temperatures between 2300 and 4200 K and show that such light-limited worlds could occur at the outer edge of the HZ around TRAPPIST-1-like stars. We find that even if OP can use photons longer than 750 nm, there would still be insufficient energy to sustain the Earth’s extant biosphere throughout the HZ of the coolest stars. This is because such stars emit largely in the infrared and near-infrared, which provide sufficient energy to make the planet habitable, but limits the energy available for OP. TRAPPIST-1f and g may fall into this category. Biospheres on such planets, potentially limited by photon availability, may generate small biogenic signals, which could be difficult for future observations to detect.

  17. PLANET OCCURRENCE WITHIN 0.25 AU OF SOLAR-TYPE STARS FROM KEPLER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Lissauer, Jack J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Jenkins, Jon M.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; 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); Dunham, Edward W. [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Gautier, Thomas N. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Cochran, William D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Latham, David W.; Torres, Guillermo [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Brown, Timothy M. [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University (Denmark); Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen, E-mail: howard@astro.berkeley.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); and others

    2012-08-01

    occurrence of less than 0.001 planets per star. For all planets with orbital periods less than 50 days, we measure occurrence of 0.130 {+-} 0.008, 0.023 {+-} 0.003, and 0.013 {+-} 0.002 planets per star for planets with radii 2-4, 4-8, and 8-32 R{sub Circled-Plus }, in agreement with Doppler surveys. We fit occurrence as a function of P to a power-law model with an exponential cutoff below a critical period P{sub 0}. For smaller planets, P{sub 0} has larger values, suggesting that the 'parking distance' for migrating planets moves outward with decreasing planet size. We also measured planet occurrence over a broader stellar T{sub eff} range of 3600-7100 K, spanning M0 to F2 dwarfs. Over this range, the occurrence of 2-4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets in the Kepler field increases with decreasing T{sub eff}, with these small planets being seven times more abundant around cool stars (3600-4100 K) than the hottest stars in our sample (6600-7100 K).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-05-20

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

  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. Atmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Julien; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Delrez, Laetitia; Gillon, Michaël; Selsis, Frank; Leconte, Jérémy; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Bolmont, Emeline; Bourrier, Vincent; Burgasser, Adam J.; Grimm, Simon; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Owen, James E.; Stamenković, Vlada; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2018-03-01

    Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from extended primordial hydrogen-dominated to depleted atmospheres3-6. Hydrogen in particular is a powerful greenhouse gas that may prevent the habitability of inner planets while enabling the habitability of outer ones6-8. An atmosphere largely dominated by hydrogen, if cloud-free, should yield prominent spectroscopic signatures in the near-infrared detectable during transits. Observations of the innermost planets have ruled out such signatures9. However, the outermost planets are more likely to have sustained such a Neptune-like atmosphere10, 11. Here, we report observations for the four planets within or near the system's habitable zone, the circumstellar region where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface12-14. These planets do not exhibit prominent spectroscopic signatures at near-infrared wavelengths either, which rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 d, e and f, with significance of 8σ, 6σ and 4σ, respectively. Such an atmosphere is instead not excluded for planet g. As high-altitude clouds and hazes are not expected in hydrogen-dominated atmospheres around planets with such insolation15, 16, these observations further support their terrestrial and potentially habitable nature.

  1. 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

  2. a Faint and Lonely Brown Dwarf in the Solar Vicinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-04-01

    Discovery of KELU-1 Promises New Insights into Strange Objects Brown Dwarfs are star-like objects which are too small to become real stars, yet too large to be real planets. Their mass is too small to ignite those nuclear processes which are responsible for the large energies and high temperatures of stars, but it is much larger than that of the planets we know in our solar system. Until now, very few Brown Dwarfs have been securely identified as such. Two are members of double-star systems, and a few more are located deep within the Pleiades star cluster. Now, however, Maria Teresa Ruiz of the Astronomy Department at Universidad de Chile (Santiago de Chile), using telescopes at the ESO La Silla observatory, has just discovered one that is all alone and apparently quite near to us. Contrary to the others which are influenced by other objects in their immediate surroundings, this new Brown Dwarf is unaffected and will thus be a perfect object for further investigations that may finally allow us to better understand these very interesting celestial bodies. It has been suggested that Brown Dwarfs may constitute a substantial part of the unseen dark matter in our Galaxy. This discovery may therefore also have important implications for this highly relevant research area. Searching for nearby faint stars The story of this discovery goes back to 1987 when Maria Teresa Ruiz decided to embark upon a long-term search (known as the Calan-ESO proper-motion survey ) for another type of unusual object, the so-called White Dwarfs , i.e. highly evolved, small and rather faint stars. Although they have masses similar to that of the Sun, such stars are no larger than the Earth and are therefore extremely compact. They are particularly interesting, because they most probably represent the future end point of evolution of our Sun, some billions of years from now. For this project, the Chilean astronomer obtained large-field photographic exposures with the 1-m ESO Schmidt telescope at

  3. 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.

  4. IS Research and Policy: Notes From the 2015 ICIS Senior Scholar’s Forum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niederman, Fred; Applegate, Lynda; Beck, Roman

    2017-01-01

    Based on the International Conference on Information Systems’ (ICIS) 2015 senior scholars’ forum, we provide insights on the role and opportunities of IS researchers in shaping policy.......Based on the International Conference on Information Systems’ (ICIS) 2015 senior scholars’ forum, we provide insights on the role and opportunities of IS researchers in shaping policy....

  5. The late-M dwarfs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bessell, M.S.

    1991-01-01

    Far-red spectra and VRIJHK photometry have been obtained for a sample of late-M dwarfs selected on the basis of large reduced red magnitudes from the LHS Catalog. Half of the stars in the three faintest 1 mag bins are late-M stars, the other red stars are metallic-hydride subdwarfs. Relations between various colors for the late-M dwarfs are investigated. Of all the colors I - K most reliably correlates with spectral type. FeH bands near 9900 A are clearly seen in the spectra of all dwarf stars later than M5. Two stars cooler than VB10, and similar in temperature to LHS2924 have been identified; both have H-alpha in emission and appear variable in magnitude and R - I color; one is a flare star. The other stars are of earlier spectral type and resemble W359 and VB8. The observed MI, I - K main sequence is in good agreement with the IG theoretical main sequence of Stringfellow, and the faintest stars could be about 0.09 solar mass red dwarfs or lower mass brown dwarfs. 65 refs

  6. Distinguishing CDM dwarfs from SIDM dwarfs in baryonic simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Emily; Fitts, Alex B.; Boylan-Kolchin, Michael

    2017-06-01

    Dwarf galaxies in the nearby Universe are the most dark-matter-dominated systems known. They are therefore natural probes of the nature of dark matter, which remains unknown. Our collaboration has performed several high-resolution cosmological zoom-in simulations of isolated dwarf galaxies. We simulate each galaxy in standard cold dark matter (ΛCDM) as well as self-interacting dark matter (SIDM, with a cross section of σ/m ~ 1 cm2/g), both with and without baryons, in order to identify distinguishing characteristics between the two. The simulations are run using GIZMO, a meshless-finite-mass hydrodynamical code, and are part of the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) project. By analyzing both the global properties and inner structure of the dwarfs in varying dark matter prescriptions, we provide a side-by-side comparison of isolated, dark-matter-dominated galaxies at the mass scale where differences in the two models of dark matter are thought to be the most obvious. We find that the edge of classical dwarfs and ultra-faint dwarfs (at stellar masses of ~105 solar masses) provides the clearest window for distinguishing between the two theories. At these low masses, our SIDM galaxies have a cored inner density profile, while their CDM counterparts have “cuspy” centers. The SIDM versions of each galaxy also have measurably lower stellar velocity dispersions than their CDM counterparts. Future observations of ultra faint dwarfs with JWST and 30-m telescopes will be able to discern whether such alternate theories of dark matter are viable.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-04-20

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

  8. Free-floating planets from microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumi, Takahiro

    2014-06-01

    Gravitational microlensing has an unique sensitivity to exoplanets at outside of the snow-line and even exoplanets unbound to any host stars because the technique does not rely on any light from the host but the gravity of the lens. MOA and OGLE collaborations reported the discovery of a population of unbound or distant Jupiter-mass objects, which are almost twice (1.8_{-0.8}^{+1.7}) as common as main-sequence stars, based on two years of gravitational microlensing survey observations toward the Galactic Bulge. These planetary-mass objects have no host stars that can be detected within about ten astronomical units by gravitational microlensing. However a comparison with constraints from direct imaging suggests that most of these planetary-mass objects are not bound to any host star. The such short-timescale unbound planetary candidates have been detected with the similar rate in on-going observations and these groups are working to update the analysis with larger statistics. Recently, there are also discoveries of free-floating planetary mass objects by the direct imaging in young star-forming regions and in the moving groups, but these objects are limited to massive objects of 3 to 15 Jupiter masses.They are more massive than the population found by microlensing. So they may be a different population with the different formation process, either similar with that of stars and brown dwarfs, or formed in proto-planetary disks and subsequently scattered into unbound or very distant orbits. It is important to fill the gap of these mass ranges to fully understand these populations. The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is the highest ranked recommendation for a large space mission in the recent New Worlds, New Horizons (NWNH) in Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 Decadal Survey. Exoplanet microlensing program is one of the primary science of WFIRST. WFIRST will find about 3000 bound planets and 2000 unbound planets by the high precision continuous survey 15 min

  9. 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.

  10. The Global Contribution of Secondary Craters on the Icy Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogenboom, T.; Johnson, K. E.; Schenk, P.

    2014-12-01

    At present, surface ages of bodies in the Outer Solar System are determined only from crater size-frequency distributions (a method dependent on an understanding of the projectile populations responsible for impact craters in these planetary systems). To derive accurate ages using impact craters, the impactor population must be understood. Impact craters in the Outer Solar System can be primary, secondary or sesquinary. The contribution of secondary craters to the overall population has recently become a "topic of interest." Our objective is to better understand the contribution of dispersed secondary craters to the small crater populations, and ultimately that of small comets to the projectile flux on icy satellites in general. We measure the diameters of obvious secondary craters (determined by e.g. irregular crater shape, small size, clustering) formed by all primary craters on Ganymede for which we have sufficiently high resolution data to map secondary craters. Primary craters mapped range from approximately 40 km to 210 km. Image resolution ranges from 45 to 440 m/pixel. Bright terrain on Ganymede is our primary focus. These resurfaced terrains have relatively low crater densities and serve as a basis for characterizing secondary populations as a function of primary size on an icy body for the first time. Although focusing on Ganymede, we also investigate secondary crater size, frequency, distribution, and formation, as well as secondary crater chain formation on icy satellites throughout the Saturnian and Jovian systems principally Rhea. We compare our results to similar studies of secondary cratering on the Moon and Mercury. Using Galileo and Voyager data, we have identified approximately 3,400 secondary craters on Ganymede. In some cases, we measured crater density as a function of distance from a primary crater. Because of the limitations of the Galileo data, it is necessary to extrapolate from small data sets to the global population of secondary craters

  11. The First Circumbinary Planet Found by Microlensing: OGLE-2007-BLG-349L(AB)c

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, D. P.; Rhie, S. H.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Tsapras, Y.; Kubas, D.; Bond, I. A.; Greenhill, J.; Cassan, A.; Rattenbury, N. J.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present the analysis of the first circumbinary planet microlensing event, OGLE-2007-BLG-349. This event has a strong planetary signal that is best fit with a mass ratio of q approx. = 3.4×10(exp -4), but there is an additional signal due to an additional lens mass, either another planet or another star. We find acceptable light-curve fits with two classes of models: two-planet models (with a single host star) and circumbinary planet models. The light curve also reveals a significant microlensing parallax effect, which constrains the mass of the lens system to be M(sub L) approx. = 0.7 Stellar Mass. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images resolve the lens and source stars from their neighbors and indicate excess flux due to the star(s) in the lens system. This is consistent with the predicted flux from the circumbinary models, where the lens mass is shared between two stars, but there is not enough flux to be consistent with the two-planet, one-star models. So, only the circumbinary models are consistent with the HST data. They indicate a planet of mass m(sub c) = 80 +/- 13 Stellar Mass, orbiting a pair of M dwarfs with masses of M(sub A) = 0.41+/- 0.07 and M(sub B) = 0.30 +/- 0.07, which makes this the lowest-mass circumbinary planet system known. The ratio of the separation between the planet and the center of mass to the separation of the two stars is approx.40, so unlike most of the circumbinary planets found by Kepler, the planet does not orbit near the stability limit.

  12. Star Formation Histories of Nearby Dwarf Galaxies

    OpenAIRE

    Grebel, Eva K.

    2000-01-01

    Properties of nearby dwarf galaxies are briefly discussed. Dwarf galaxies vary widely in their star formation histories, the ages of their subpopulations, and in their enrichment history. Furthermore, many dwarf galaxies show evidence for spatial variations in their star formation history; often in the form of very extended old populations and radial gradients in age and metallicity. Determining factors in dwarf galaxy evolution appear to be both galaxy mass and environment. We may be observi...

  13. Radio images of the planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Pater, I.

    1990-01-01

    Observations at radio wavelengths make possible detailed studies of planetary atmospheres, magnetospheres, and surface layers. The paper addresses the question of what can be learned from interferometric radio images of planets. Results from single-element radio observations are also discussed. Observations of both the terrestrial and the giant planets are considered. 106 refs

  14. 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.

  15. Migration of accreting giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crida, A.; Bitsch, B.; Raibaldi, A.

    2016-12-01

    We present the results of 2D hydro simulations of giant planets in proto-planetary discs, which accrete gas at a more or less high rate. First, starting from a solid core of 20 Earth masses, we show that as soon as the runaway accretion of gas turns on, the planet is saved from type I migration : the gap opening mass is reached before the planet is lost into its host star. Furthermore, gas accretion helps opening the gap in low mass discs. Consequently, if the accretion rate is limited to the disc supply, then the planet is already inside a gap and in type II migration. We further show that the type II migration of a Jupiter mass planet actually depends on its accretion rate. Only when the accretion is high do we retrieve the classical picture where no gas crosses the gap and the planet follows the disc spreading. These results impact our understanding of planet migration and planet population synthesis models. The e-poster presenting these results in French can be found here: L'e-poster présentant ces résultats en français est disponible à cette adresse: http://sf2a.eu/semaine-sf2a/2016/posterpdfs/156_179_49.pdf.

  16. Youngest Brown Dwarf Yet in a Multiple Stellar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-07-01

    ... and the Sharpest Optical Image (0.18 arcsec) from the VLT so far...! Astronomers are eager to better understand the formation of stars and planets - with an eye on the complex processes that lead to the emergence of our own solar system some 4600 million years ago. Brown Dwarfs (BDs) play a special role in this context. Within the cosmic zoo, they represent a class of "intermediate" objects. While they are smaller than normal stars, they shine by their own energy for a limited time, in contrast to planets. Recent observations with the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) of a "young" Brown Dwarf in a multiple stellar system are taking on a particular importance in this connection. An evaluation of the new data by an international team of astronomers [1] shows that it is by far the youngest of only four such objects found in a stellar system so far. The results are now providing new insights into the stellar formation process. This small object is known as TWA-5 B and with a mass of only 15 - 40 times that of Jupiter, it is near the borderline between planets and Brown Dwarfs, cf. the explanatory Appendix to this Press Release. However, visible and infrared VLT spectra unambiguously classify it in the latter category. Accurate positional measurements with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the VLT hint that it is orbiting the central, much heavier and brighter star in this system, TWA-5 A (itself a close double star of which each component presumably has a mass of 0.75 solar masses), with a period that may be as long as 900 years. And, by the way, an (I-band) image of the TWA-5 system is the sharpest delivered by the VLT so far, with an image size of only 0.18 arcsec [2]! Brown Dwarfs: a cool subject In current astronomical terminology, Brown Dwarfs (BDs) are objects whose masses are below those of normal stars - the borderline is believed to be about 8% of the mass of our Sun - but larger than those of planets, cf. [3]. Unlike normal stars, Brown Dwarfs are unable

  17. SMA and CARMA observations of young brown dwarfs in ρ Ophiuchi and Taurus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee C.-F.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Molecular outflows provide vital information about the earliest stages in the birth of stars, studying the molecular outflow properties is therefore crucial for understanding how stars form. Brown dwarfs with masses between that of stars and planets are not massive enough to maintain stable hydrogen-burning fusion reactions during most of their lifetime. Their origins are subject to much debate in recent literature because their masses are far below the typical mass where core collapse is expected to occur. Based on Submillimeter Array (SMA and Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA observations, we present the first detections of bipolar molecular outflows from young brown dwarfs in ρ Ophiuchi and Taurus. Our results demonstrate that the bipolar molecular outflow operates down to brown dwarf masses, occurring in brown dwarfs as a scaled-down version of the universal process seen in young low-mass stars. This demonstrates that brown dwarfs and low-mass stars likely share the same formation mechanism.

  18. THE WHITE DWARFS WITHIN 20 PARSECS OF THE SUN: KINEMATICS AND STATISTICS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sion, Edward M.; McCook, George P.; Wasatonic, Richard; Holberg, J. B.; Oswalt, Terry D.

    2009-01-01

    We present the kinematical properties, distribution of spectroscopic subtypes, and stellar population subcomponents of the white dwarfs within 20 pc of the Sun. We find no convincing evidence of halo white dwarfs in the total 20 pc sample of 129 white dwarfs nor is there convincing evidence of genuine thick disk subcomponent members within 20 parsecs. Virtually, the entire 20 pc sample likely belongs to the thin disk. The total DA to non-DA ratio of the 20 pc sample is 1.6, a manifestation of deepening envelope convection which transforms DA stars with sufficiently thin H surface layers into non-DAs. The addition of five new stars to the 20 pc sample yields a revised local space density of white dwarfs of (4.9 ± 0.5) x 10 -3 pc -3 and a corresponding mass density of (3.3 ± 0.3) x 10 -3 M sun pc -3 . We find that at least 15% of the white dwarfs within 20 parsecs of the Sun (the DAZ and DZ stars) have photospheric metals that possibly originate from accretion of circumstellar material (debris disks) around them. If this interpretation is correct, this suggests the possibility that the same percentage have planets or asteroid-like bodies orbiting them.

  19. Exploring the brown dwarf desert: new substellar companions from the SDSS-III MARVELS survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grieves, Nolan; Ge, Jian; Thomas, Neil; Ma, Bo; Sithajan, Sirinrat; Ghezzi, Luan; Kimock, Ben; Willis, Kevin; De Lee, Nathan; Lee, Brian; Fleming, Scott W.; Agol, Eric; Troup, Nicholas; Paegert, Martin; Schneider, Donald P.; Stassun, Keivan; Varosi, Frank; Zhao, Bo; Jian, Liu; Li, Rui; Porto de Mello, Gustavo F.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Pan, Kaike; Dutra-Ferreira, Letícia; Lorenzo-Oliveira, Diego; Santiago, Basílio X.; da Costa, Luiz N.; Maia, Marcio A. G.; Ogando, Ricardo L. C.; del Peloso, E. F.

    2017-06-01

    Planet searches using the radial velocity technique show a paucity of companions to solar-type stars within ˜5 au in the mass range of ˜10-80 MJup. This deficit, known as the brown dwarf desert, currently has no conclusive explanation. New substellar companions in this region help assess the reality of the desert and provide insight to the formation and evolution of these objects. Here, we present 10 new brown dwarf and 2 low-mass stellar companion candidates around solar-type stars from the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-Area Survey (MARVELS) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III. These companions were selected from processed MARVELS data using the latest University of Florida Two Dimensional pipeline, which shows significant improvement and reduction of systematic errors over previous pipelines. The 10 brown dwarf companions range in mass from ˜13 to 76 MJup and have orbital radii of less than 1 au. The two stellar companions have minimum masses of ˜98 and 100 MJup. The host stars of the MARVELS brown dwarf sample have a mean metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.03 ± 0.08 dex. Given our stellar sample we estimate the brown dwarf occurrence rate around solar-type stars with periods less than ˜300 d to be ˜0.56 per cent.

  20. Indications of M-Dwarf Deficits in the Halo and Thick Disk of the Galaxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konishi, Mihoko; Shibai, Hiroshi; Sumi, Takahiro; Fukagawa, Misato; Matsuo, Taro; Samland, Matthias S.; Yamamoto, Kodai; Sudo, Jun; Itoh, Yoichi; Arimoto, Nobuo; hide

    2014-01-01

    We compared the number of faint stars detected in deep survey fields with the current stellar distribution model of the Galaxy and found that the detected number in the H band is significantly smaller than the predicted number. This indicates that M-dwarfs, the major component, are fewer in the halo and the thick disk. We used archived data of several surveys in both the north and south field of GOODS (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey), MODS in GOODS-N, and ERS and CANDELS in GOODS-S. The number density of M-dwarfs in the halo has to be 20+/-13% relative to that in the solar vicinity, in order for the detected number of stars fainter than 20.5 mag in the H band to match with the predicted value from the model. In the thick disk, the number density of M-dwarfs must be reduced (52+/-13%) or the scale height must be decreased ( approx. 600 pc). Alternatively, overall fractions of the halo and thick disks can be significantly reduced to achieve the same effect, because our sample mainly consists of faint M-dwarfs. Our results imply that the M-dwarf population in regions distant from the Galactic plane is significantly smaller than previously thought. We then discussed the implications this has on the suitability of the model predictions for the prediction of non-companion faint stars in direct imaging extrasolar planet surveys by using the best-fit number densities.

  1. THE SECOND ARECIBO SEARCH FOR 5 GHz RADIO FLARES FROM ULTRACOOL DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Route, Matthew; Wolszczan, Alexander, E-mail: alex@astro.psu.edu, E-mail: mroute@purdue.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2016-10-20

    We describe our second installment of the 4.75 GHz survey of ultracool dwarfs (UCDs) conducted with the Arecibo radio telescope, which has observed 27 such objects and resulted in the detection of sporadic flaring from the T6 dwarf, WISEPC J112254.73+255021.5. We also present follow-up observations of the first radio-emitting T dwarf, 2MASS J10475385+2124234, a tentatively identified radio-emitting L1 dwarf, 2MASS J1439284+192915, and the known radio-flaring source, 2MASS J13142039+132011 AB. Our new data indicate that 2MASS J1439284+192915 is not a radio-flaring source. The overall detection rate of our unbiased survey for radio-flaring UCDs is ∼5% for new sources, with a detection rate for each spectral class of ∼5%–10%. Evidently, radio luminosity of the UCDs does not appear to monotonically decline with spectral type from M7 dwarfs to giant planets, contradictory to theories of the magnetic field generation and the internal structure of these objects. Along with other, recently published results, our data exemplify the unique value of using radio surveys to reveal and study properties of substellar magnetic activity.

  2. A PATCHY CLOUD MODEL FOR THE L TO T DWARF TRANSITION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marley, Mark S.; Saumon, Didier; Goldblatt, Colin

    2010-01-01

    One mechanism suggested for the L to T dwarf spectral type transition is the appearance of relatively cloud-free regions across the disk of brown dwarfs as they cool. The existence of partly cloudy regions has been supported by evidence for variability in dwarfs in the late L to early T spectral range, but no self-consistent atmosphere models of such partly cloudy objects have yet been constructed. Here, we present a new approach for consistently modeling partly cloudy brown dwarfs and giant planets. We find that even a small fraction of cloud holes dramatically alter the atmospheric thermal profile, spectra, and photometric colors of a given object. With decreasing cloudiness objects briskly become bluer in J - K and brighten in J band, as is observed at the L/T transition. Model spectra of partly cloudy objects are similar to our models with globally homogenous, but thinner, clouds. Hence, spectra alone may not be sufficient to distinguish partial cloudiness although variability and polarization measurements are potential observational signatures. Finally, we note that partial cloud cover may be an alternative explanation for the blue L dwarfs.

  3. Explosive helium burning in white dwarf stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khokhlov, A.M. (AN SSSR, Moscow. Astronomicheskij Sovet)

    1984-04-01

    Helium burning kinetics in white dwarfs has been considered at constant temperatures T >= 10/sup 9/ K and densities rho >10/sup 5/ g/cm/sup 3/. It is found, that helium detonation in white dwarfs does not lead to formation of light (A < 56) elements. Thus, helium white dwarf model for supernova 1 is inconsistent with observations.

  4. Topics in white dwarf astrophysics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hintzen, P.M.N.

    1975-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate the apparent deficiency, compared to theoretical predictions, of cool degenerate stars. Two approaches to the problem were employed: a spectroscopic survey designed to identify red degenerates, and a model atmospheres study of the spectroscopic and photometric differences between red dwarfs and red degenerate stars. On computed atmospheric models for white dwarfs at the temperatures under investigation. Line profiles obtained from these models indicate that degenerate stars with T/sub e/ approximately 6000 0 K and depleted surface metals would be extremely difficult to identify spectroscopically. Their hydrogen and calcium line profiles would strongly resemble those of classical sub-dwarfs. Three apparently degenerate stars whose spectral features match our predictions have been identified. These results indicate that the existence of the previously postulated deficiency of red degenerate stars is uncertain

  5. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Aspeitia, Miguel A. [Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Mexico (Mexico); Unidad Academica de Fisica, Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas (Mexico)

    2015-11-15

    We consider here a robust study of stellar dynamics for white dwarf stars with polytropic matter in the weak-field approximation using the Lane-Emden equation from the brane-world scenario. We also derive an analytical solution to the nonlocal energy density and show the behavior and sensitivity of these stars to the presence of extra dimensions. Similarly, we analyze stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to agree with the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predict an average value of the brane tension of left angle λ right angle >or similar 84.818 MeV{sup 4}, with a standard deviation σ ≅ 82.021 MeV{sup 4}, which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining higher than cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others. (orig.)

  6. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    García-Aspeitia, Miguel A., E-mail: aspeitia@fisica.uaz.edu.mx [Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Av, Insurgentes Sur 1582, Colonia Crédito Constructor, Del. Benito Juárez, C.P. 03940, Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Unidad Académica de Física, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Calzada Solidaridad esquina con Paseo a la Bufa S/N, C.P. 98060, Zacatecas (Mexico)

    2015-11-06

    We consider here a robust study of stellar dynamics for white dwarf stars with polytropic matter in the weak-field approximation using the Lane–Emden equation from the brane-world scenario. We also derive an analytical solution to the nonlocal energy density and show the behavior and sensitivity of these stars to the presence of extra dimensions. Similarly, we analyze stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to agree with the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predict an average value of the brane tension of <λ>≳84.818 MeV{sup 4}, with a standard deviation σ≃82.021 MeV{sup 4}, which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining higher than cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others.

  7. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    García-Aspeitia, Miguel A.

    2015-01-01

    We consider here a robust study of stellar dynamics for white dwarf stars with polytropic matter in the weak-field approximation using the Lane–Emden equation from the brane-world scenario. We also derive an analytical solution to the nonlocal energy density and show the behavior and sensitivity of these stars to the presence of extra dimensions. Similarly, we analyze stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to agree with the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predict an average value of the brane tension of <λ>≳84.818 MeV 4 , with a standard deviation σ≃82.021 MeV 4 , which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining higher than cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others

  8. WHY ARE PULSAR PLANETS RARE?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, Rebecca G.; Livio, Mario; Palaniswamy, Divya [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154 (United States)

    2016-12-01

    Pulsar timing observations have revealed planets around only a few pulsars. We suggest that the rarity of these planets is due mainly to two effects. First, we show that the most likely formation mechanism requires the destruction of a companion star. Only pulsars with a suitable companion (with an extreme mass ratio) are able to form planets