WorldWideScience

Sample records for spitzer exoplanet target

  1. Exoplanet Characterization With Spitzer Eclipses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph

    We will analyze our existing Spitzer eclipse data for 11 exoplanets (GJ 436b, WASP-8b, WASP-29b, WASP-11b, TrES-1, WASP-34b, WASP-43b, HD 209458b, HAT-P-30b, HAT-P-13b, and WASP-12b) along with all other Spitzer eclipse and transit data for these systems (723 hours of total data). In combination with transit results, these measurements reveal the surface fluxes emitted by the planets' atmospheres in the six Spitzer bandpasses (3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0, 16, and 24 1-4m), as well as orbital eccentricity and in a few cases possibly even precession rate. The fluxes, in turn, can constrain atmospheric composition and thermal profiles. We propose here to analyze data for these planets using Monte Carlo-driven, radiative-transfer, model-fitting codes; to conduct aggregate analyses; and to develop and share statistical modeling tools. Secondary eclipses provide us with a unique way to characterize exoplanetary atmospheres. Since other techniques like spectroscopy divide the planetary signal into many channels, they require very high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and are only possible for a few planets. Broadband eclipse photometry is thus the only technique that can measure dozens of atmospheres and identify the mechanisms that cause planets at a given irradiation level to behave so differently from one another. Until JWST becomes available, the broad variety of Spitzer data that we already have in hand, along with observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and possibly SOFIA, are our best way to understand the wide diversity of exoplanetary atmospheres. Since 2010, the team has produced six papers from a new, highly modular pipeline that implements optimal methods for analysis of Spitzer photometric time series, and our efficiency is increasing. The sensitivity needed for these measurements is up to 100 times better than Spitzer's design criteria, so careful treatment of systematic error is critically important and first-order approximations rarely work. The new pipeline

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morello, G.; Waldmann, I. P.; Tinetti, G.; Howarth, I. D. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E6BT (United Kingdom); Peres, G. [Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Palermo, via Archirafi I-90123, Italy. (Italy); Micela, G., E-mail: giuseppe.morello.11@ucl.ac.uk [Dipartimento di Fisica e Chimica (previously Dipartimento di Fisica), Specola Universitaria, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1 I-90123 (Italy)

    2014-05-01

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

  3. WFIRST: Exoplanet Target Selection and Scheduling with Greedy Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Detection of Planetary Emission from the Exoplanet TrES-2 Using Spitzer/IRAC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Francis T.; Charbonneau, David; Harrington, Joseph; Madhusudhan, N.; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake; Knutson, Heather A.

    2010-01-01

    We present here the results of our observations of TrES-2 using the Infrared Array Camera on Spitzer. We monitored this transiting system during two secondary eclipses, when the planetary emission is blocked by the star. The resulting decrease in flux is 0.127% +/- 0.021%, 0.230% +/- 0.024%, 0.199% +/- 0.054%, and 0.359% +/- 0.060% at 3.6 microns, 4.5 microns, 5.8 microns, and 8.0 microns, respectively. We show that three of these flux contrasts are well fit by a blackbody spectrum with T(sub eff) = 1500 K, as well as by a more detailed model spectrum of a planetary atmosphere. The observed planet-to-star flux ratios in all four lRAC channels can be explained by models with and without a thermal inversion in the atmosphere of TrES-2, although with different atmospheric chemistry. Based on the assumption of thermochemical equilibrium, the chemical composition of the inversion model seems more plausible, making it a more favorable scenario. TrES-2 also falls in the category of highly irradiated planets which have been theoretically predicted to exhibit thermal inversions. However, more observations at infrared and visible wavelengths would be needed to confirm a thermal inversion in this system. Furthermore, we find that the times of the secondary eclipses are consistent with previously published times of transit and the expectation from a circular orbit. This implies that TrES-2 most likely has a circular orbit, and thus does not obtain additional thermal energy from tidal dissipation of a non-zero orbital eccentricity, a proposed explanation for the large radius of this planet. Key words: eclipses - infrared: stars - planetary systems - stars: individual (OSC 03549-02811) - techniques: photometric

  5. Physical Properties of Asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, a Potential Spacecraft Target, from Spitzer Observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; Harris, A. W.

    2006-01-01

    We report on results from recent Spitzer observations of near-Earth asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, which is among the lowest-ranking objects in terms of the specific momentum Δv required to reach it from Earth. It was originally considered as a target for Hayabusa and is now under consideration as a

  6. Physical Properties of Asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, a Potential Spacecraft Target, from Spitzer Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Michael; Harris, A. W.

    2006-09-01

    We report on results from recent Spitzer observations of near-Earth asteroid (10302) 1989 ML, which is among the lowest-ranking objects in terms of the specific momentum Δv required to reach it from Earth. It was originally considered as a target for Hayabusa and is now under consideration as a target of the planned ESA mission Don Quijote. Unfortunately, little is known about the physical properties of 1989 ML, in particular its size and albedo are unknown. Its exhibits an X type reflection spectrum, so depending on its albedo, 1989 ML may be an E, M, or P type asteroid. Provisional results from thermal-infrared observations carried out with Spitzer indicate that the albedo of 1989 ML is compatible with an M- or E-type classification. We will discuss our results and their implications for the physical properties and the rotation period of 1989 ML, and its importance as a potential spacecraft target. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. THE SPITZER INFRARED SPECTROGRAPH DEBRIS DISK CATALOG. I. CONTINUUM ANALYSIS OF UNRESOLVED TARGETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Christine H. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Mittal, Tushar [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-4767 (United States); Kuchner, Marc [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Code 667, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Forrest, William J.; Watson, Dan M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627 (United States); Lisse, Carey M. [Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); Manoj, P. [Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai 400 005 (India); Sargent, Benjamin A., E-mail: cchen@stsci.edu [Center for Imaging Science and Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623 (United States)

    2014-04-01

    During the Spitzer Space Telescope cryogenic mission, Guaranteed Time Observers, Legacy Teams, and General Observers obtained Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) observations of hundreds of debris disk candidates. We calibrated the spectra of 571 candidates, including 64 new IRAS and Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) debris disks candidates, modeled their stellar photospheres, and produced a catalog of excess spectra for unresolved debris disks. For 499 targets with IRS excess but without strong spectral features (and a subset of 420 targets with additional MIPS 70 μm observations), we modeled the IRS (and MIPS data) assuming that the dust thermal emission was well-described using either a one- or two-temperature blackbody model. We calculated the probability for each model and computed the average probability to select among models. We found that the spectral energy distributions for the majority of objects (∼66%) were better described using a two-temperature model with warm (T {sub gr} ∼ 100-500 K) and cold (T {sub gr} ∼ 50-150 K) dust populations analogous to zodiacal and Kuiper Belt dust, suggesting that planetary systems are common in debris disks and zodiacal dust is common around host stars with ages up to ∼1 Gyr. We found that younger stars generally have disks with larger fractional infrared luminosities and higher grain temperatures and that higher-mass stars have disks with higher grain temperatures. We show that the increasing distance of dust around debris disks is inconsistent with self-stirred disk models, expected if these systems possess planets at 30-150 AU. Finally, we illustrate how observations of debris disks may be used to constrain the radial dependence of material in the minimum mass solar nebula.

  9. THE SPITZER INFRARED SPECTROGRAPH DEBRIS DISK CATALOG. II. SILICATE FEATURE ANALYSIS OF UNRESOLVED TARGETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mittal, Tushar [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-4767 (United States); Chen, Christine H. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Jang-Condell, Hannah [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071 (United States); Manoj, P. [Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai 400 005 (India); Sargent, Benjamin A. [Center for Imaging Science and Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623 (United States); Watson, Dan M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627 (United States); Lisse, Carey M., E-mail: cchen@stsci.edu [Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States)

    2015-01-10

    During the Spitzer Space Telescope cryogenic mission, astronomers obtained Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) observations of hundreds of debris disk candidates that have been compiled in the Spitzer IRS Debris Disk Catalog. We have discovered 10 and/or 20 μm silicate emission features toward 120 targets in the catalog and modeled the IRS spectra of these sources, consistent with MIPS 70 μm observations, assuming that the grains are composed of silicates (olivine, pyroxene, forsterite, and enstatite) and are located either in a continuous disk with power-law size and surface density distributions or thin rings that are well-characterized using two separate dust grain temperatures. For systems better fit by the continuous disk model, we find that (1) the dust size distribution power-law index is consistent with that expected from a collisional cascade, q = 3.5-4.0, with a large number of values outside this range, and (2) the minimum grain size, a {sub min}, increases with stellar luminosity, L {sub *}, but the dependence of a {sub min} on L {sub *} is weaker than expected from radiation pressure alone. In addition, we also find that (3) the crystalline fraction of dust in debris disks evolves as a function of time with a large dispersion in crystalline fractions for stars of any particular stellar age or mass, (4) the disk inner edge is correlated with host star mass, and (5) there exists substantial variation in the properties of coeval disks in Sco-Cen, indicating that the observed variation is probably due to stochasticity and diversity in planet formation.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. SPITZER SECONDARY ECLIPSES OF WASP-18b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nymeyer, Sarah; Harrington, Joseph; Hardy, Ryan A.; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Campo, Christopher J.; Blecic, Jasmina; Bowman, William C.; Britt, Christopher B. T.; Cubillos, Patricio; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Collier-Cameron, Andrew; Maxted, Pierre F. L.; Loredo, Thomas J.; Hellier, Coel; Anderson, David R.; Gillon, Michael; Hebb, Leslie; Wheatley, Peter J.; Pollacco, Don

    2011-01-01

    The transiting exoplanet WASP-18b was discovered in 2008 by the Wide Angle Search for Planets project. The Spitzer Exoplanet Target of Opportunity Program observed secondary eclipses of WASP-18b using Spitzer's Infrared Array Camera in the 3.6 μm and 5.8 μm bands on 2008 December 20, and in the 4.5 μm and 8.0 μm bands on 2008 December 24. We report eclipse depths of 0.30% ± 0.02%, 0.39% ± 0.02%, 0.37% ± 0.03%, 0.41% ± 0.02%, and brightness temperatures of 3100 ± 90, 3310 ± 130, 3080 ± 140, and 3120 ± 110 K in order of increasing wavelength. WASP-18b is one of the hottest planets yet discovered—as hot as an M-class star. The planet's pressure-temperature profile most likely features a thermal inversion. The observations also require WASP-18b to have near-zero albedo and almost no redistribution of energy from the day side to the night side of the planet.

  13. De-Trending K2 Exoplanet Targets for High Spacecraft Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Nicholas; Luger, Rodrigo; Barnes, Rory

    2018-01-01

    After the failure of two reaction wheels, the Kepler space telescope lost its fine pointing ability and entered a new phase of observation, K2. Targets observed by K2 have high motion relative to the detector and K2 light curves have higher noise than Kepler observations. Despite the increased noise, systematics removal pipelines such as K2SFF and EVEREST have enabled continued high-precision transiting planet science with the telescope, resulting in the detection of hundreds of new exoplanets. However, as the spacecraft begins to run out of fuel, sputtering will drive large and random variations in pointing that can prevent detection of exoplanets during the remaining 5 campaigns. In general, higher motion will spread the stellar point spread function (PSF) across more pixels during a campaign, which increases the number of degrees of freedom in the noise component and significantly reduces the de-trending power of traditional systematics removal methods. We use a model of the Kepler CCD combined with pixel-level information of a large number of stars across the detector to improve the performance of the EVEREST pipeline at high motion. We also consider the problem of increased crowding for static apertures in the high-motion regime and develop pixel response function (PRF)-fitting techniques to mitigate contamination and maximize the de-trending power. We assess the performance of our code by simulating sputtering events and assessing exoplanet detection efficiency with transit injection/recovery tests. We find that targets with roll amplitudes of up to 8 pixels, approximately 15 times K2 roll, can be de-trended within 2 to 3 factors of current K2 photometric precision for stars up to 14th magnitude. Achieved recovery precision allows detection of small planets around 11th and 12th magnitude stars. These methods can be applied to the light curves of K2 targets for existing and future campaigns to ensure that precision exoplanet science can still be performed

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  16. The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  17. Exoplanet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-03

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

  18. Spitzer Telemetry Processing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanboli, Alice; Martinez, Elmain M.; McAuley, James M.

    2013-01-01

    The Spitzer Telemetry Processing System (SirtfTlmProc) was designed to address objectives of JPL's Multi-mission Image Processing Lab (MIPL) in processing spacecraft telemetry and distributing the resulting data to the science community. To minimize costs and maximize operability, the software design focused on automated error recovery, performance, and information management. The system processes telemetry from the Spitzer spacecraft and delivers Level 0 products to the Spitzer Science Center. SirtfTlmProc is a unique system with automated error notification and recovery, with a real-time continuous service that can go quiescent after periods of inactivity. The software can process 2 GB of telemetry and deliver Level 0 science products to the end user in four hours. It provides analysis tools so the operator can manage the system and troubleshoot problems. It automates telemetry processing in order to reduce staffing costs.

  19. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Eylen Vincent

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Spitzer Spies Spectacular Sombrero

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1Figure 2 NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes on one of the most famous objects in the sky, Messier 104, also called the Sombrero galaxy. In this striking infrared picture, Spitzer sees an exciting new view of a galaxy that in visible light has been likened to a 'sombrero,' but here looks more like a 'bulls-eye.' Recent observations using Spitzer's infrared array camera uncovered the bright, smooth ring of dust circling the galaxy, seen in red. In visible light, because this galaxy is seen nearly edge-on, only the near rim of dust can be clearly seen in silhouette. Spitzer's full view shows the disk is warped, which is often the result of a gravitational encounter with another galaxy, and clumpy areas spotted in the far edges of the ring indicate young star-forming regions. Spitzer's infrared view of the starlight from this galaxy, seen in blue, can pierce through obscuring murky dust that dominates in visible light. As a result, the full extent of the bulge of stars and an otherwise hidden disk of stars within the dust ring are easily seen. The Sombrero galaxy is located some 28 million light years away. Viewed from Earth, it is just six degrees south of its equatorial plane. Spitzer detected infrared emission not only from the ring, but from the center of the galaxy too, where there is a huge black hole, believed to be a billion times more massive than our Sun. This picture is composed of four images taken at 3.6 (blue), 4.5 (green), 5.8 (orange), and 8.0 (red) microns. The contribution from starlight (measured at 3.6 microns) has been subtracted from the 5.8 and 8-micron images to enhance the visibility of the dust features. In figure 1, the new picture of Messier 104 combines a recent infrared observation from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope with a well-known visible light image from the

  2. THE ATMOSPHERES OF THE HOT-JUPITERS KEPLER-5b AND KEPLER-6b OBSERVED DURING OCCULTATIONS WITH WARM-SPITZER AND KEPLER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Desert, Jean-Michel; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Latham, David W. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Knutson, Heather A. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States); Deming, Drake [Solar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Borucki, William J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Brown, Timothy M. [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Caldwell, Douglas [SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Ford, Eric B. [Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Berkeley Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Seager, Sara, E-mail: jdesert@cfa.harvard.edu [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02159 (United States)

    2011-11-01

    This paper reports the detection and the measurements of occultations of the two transiting hot giant exoplanets Kepler-5b and Kepler-6b by their parent stars. The observations are obtained in the near-infrared with Warm-Spitzer Space Telescope and at optical wavelengths by combining more than a year of Kepler photometry. The investigation consists of constraining the eccentricities of these systems and of obtaining broadband emergent photometric data for individual planets. For both targets, the occultations are detected at the 3{sigma} level at each wavelength with mid-occultation times consistent with circular orbits. The brightness temperatures of these planets are deduced from the infrared observations and reach T{sub Spitzer} = 1930 {+-} 100 K and T{sub Spitzer} = 1660 {+-} 120 K for Kepler-5b and Kepler-6b, respectively. We measure optical geometric albedos A{sub g} in the Kepler bandpass and find A{sub g} = 0.12 {+-} 0.04 for Kepler-5b and A{sub g} = 0.11 {+-} 0.04 for Kepler-6b, leading to upper an limit for the Bond albedo of A{sub B} {<=} 0.17 in both cases. The observations for both planets are best described by models for which most of the incident energy is redistributed on the dayside, with only less than 10% of the absorbed stellar flux redistributed to the nightside of these planets.

  3. Exoplanets Galore!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-05-01

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

  4. 32 New Exoplanets Found

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-01

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

  5. Scheduling Spitzer: The SIRPASS Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittman, David S.; Hawkins, Robert

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was launched on August 25, 2003 from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. Drifting in a unique Earth-trailing orbit around the Sun, Spitzer sees an optically invisible universe dominated by dust and stars. Since 1997, the Spitzer Integrated Resource Planning and Scheduling System (SIRPASS) has helped produce spacecraft activity plans for the Spitzer Space Telescope. SIRPASS is used by members of the Observatory Planning and Scheduling Team to plan, schedule and sequence the Telescope from data made available to them from the science and engineering community. Because of the volume of data that needs to be scheduled, SIRPASS offers a variety of automated assistants to aid in this task. This paper will describe the functional elements of the SIRPASS software system -- emphasizing the role that automation plays in the system -- and will highlight lessons learned for the software developer from a decade of Spitzer Space Telescope operations experience.

  6. Hunting Elusive SPRITEs with Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-05-01

    In recent years, astronomers have developed many wide-field imaging surveys in which the same targets are observed again and again. This new form of observing has allowed us to discover optical and radio transients explosive or irregular events with durations ranging from seconds to years. The dynamic infrared sky, however, has remained largely unexplored until now.Infrared ExplorationExample of a transient: SPIRITS 14ajc was visible when imaged by SPIRITS in 2014 (left) but it wasnt there during previous imaging between 2004 and 2008 (right). The bottom frame shows the difference between the two images. [Adapted from Kasliwal et al. 2017]Why hunt for infrared transients? Optical wavelengths dont allow us to observe events that are obscured, such that their own structure or their surroundings hide them from our view. Both supernovae and luminous red novae (associated with stellar mergers) are discoverable as infrared transients, and there may well be new types of transients in infrared that we havent seen before!To explore this uncharted territory, a team of scientists developed SPIRITS, the Spitzer Infrared Intensive Transients Survey. Begun in 2014, SPIRITS is a five-year long survey that uses the Spitzer Space Telescope to conduct a systematic search for mid-infrared transients in nearby galaxies.In a recent publication led by Mansi Kasliwal (Caltech and the Carnegie Institution for Science), the SPIRITS team has now detailed how their survey works and what theyve discovered in its first year.The light curves of SPRITEs (red stars) lie in the mid-infared luminosity gap between novae (orange) and supernovae (blue). [Kasliwal et al. 2017]Mystery TransientsKasliwal and collaborators used Spitzer to monitor 190 nearby galaxies. In SPIRITS first year, they found over 1958 variable stars and 43 infrared transient sources. Of these 43 transients, 21 were known supernovae, 4 were in the luminosity range of novae, and 4 had optical counterparts. The remaining 14 events

  7. Characterizing Gaint Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Observing the characteristics of giant exoplanets is possible with ground-based telescopes and modern observational methods. We are performing characterizations of multiple giant exoplanets based on 85 allotted nights of transit observations with the 2.3 m Wyoming Infrared Observatory using Sloan filters. In particular, constraints can be made on the atmospheres of our targets from the wavelength (in)dependence in the depth of the transit observations. We present early multiwavelength photometric results on the exoplanet HD 189733 b with comparison to literature sources to exemplify the methodology employed. In total, 15 exoplanets were observed across multiple wavelengths. The majority of the observing allotted to the project was completed as part of the 2017 Summer REU at the University of Wyoming. This work will significantly contribute to the growing number of observed atmospheres and influence interpretation of future WFIRST, JWST, and TESS targets. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under REU grant AST 1560461.

  8. Size and Albedo of Irregular Saturnian Satellites from Spitzer Observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; Grav, T.; Trilling, D.; Stansberry, J.; Sykes, M.

    2008-01-01

    Using MIPS onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, we observed the thermal emission (24 and, for some targets, 70 um) of eight irregular satellites of Saturn: Albiorix, Siarnaq, Paaliaq, Kiviuq, Ijiraq, Tarvos, Erriapus, and Ymir. We determined the size and albedo of all targets. An analysis of

  9. SPITZER IRAC PHOTOMETRY FOR TIME SERIES IN CROWDED FIELDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novati, S. Calchi; Beichman, C. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, MS 100-22, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Gould, A.; Fausnaugh, M.; Gaudi, B. S.; Pogge, R. W.; Wibking, B.; Zhu, W.; Poleski, R. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Yee, J. C. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Bryden, G.; Henderson, C. B.; Shvartzvald, Y. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Carey, S. [Spitzer, Science Center, MS 220-6, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Udalski, A.; Pawlak, M.; Szymański, M. K.; Skowron, J.; Mróz, P.; Kozłowski, S. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Collaboration: Spitzer team; OGLE group; and others

    2015-12-01

    We develop a new photometry algorithm that is optimized for the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) Spitzer time series in crowded fields and that is particularly adapted to faint or heavily blended targets. We apply this to the 170 targets from the 2015 Spitzer microlensing campaign and present the results of three variants of this algorithm in an online catalog. We present detailed accounts of the application of this algorithm to two difficult cases, one very faint and the other very crowded. Several of Spitzer's instrumental characteristics that drive the specific features of this algorithm are shared by Kepler and WFIRST, implying that these features may prove to be a useful starting point for algorithms designed for microlensing campaigns by these other missions.

  10. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Spectroscopically Unlocking Exoplanet Characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Nikole

    2016-05-01

    Spectroscopy plays a critical role in a number of areas of exoplanet research. The first exoplanets were detected by precisely measuring Doppler shifts in high resolution (R ~ 100,000) stellar spectra, a technique that has become known as the Radial Velocity (RV) method. The RV method provides critical constraints on exoplanet masses, but is currently limited to some degree by robust line shape predictions. Beyond the RV method, spectroscopy plays a critical role in the characterization of exoplanets beyond their mass and radius. The Hubble Space Telescope has spectroscopically observed the atmospheres of exoplanets that transit their host stars as seen from Earth giving us key insights into atmospheric abundances of key atomic and molecular species as well as cloud optical properties. Similar spectroscopic characterization of exoplanet atmospheres will be carried out at higher resolution (R ~ 100-3000) and with broader wavelength coverage with the James Webb Space Telescope. Future missions such as WFIRST that seek to the pave the way toward the detection and characterization of potentially habitable planets will have the capability of directly measuring the spectra of exoplanet atmospheres and potentially surfaces. Our ability to plan for and interpret spectra from exoplanets relies heavily on the fidelity of the spectroscopic databases available and would greatly benefit from further laboratory and theoretical work aimed at optical properties of atomic, molecular, and cloud/haze species in the pressure and temperature regimes relevant to exoplanet atmospheres.

  12. Spitzer Reveals Stellar 'Family Tree'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] High resolution poster version Generations of stars can be seen in this new infrared portrait from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. In this wispy star-forming region, called W5, the oldest stars can be seen as blue dots in the centers of the two hollow cavities (other blue dots are background and foreground stars not associated with the region). Younger stars line the rims of the cavities, and some can be seen as pink dots at the tips of the elephant-trunk-like pillars. The white knotty areas are where the youngest stars are forming. Red shows heated dust that pervades the region's cavities, while green highlights dense clouds. W5 spans an area of sky equivalent to four full moons and is about 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. The Spitzer picture was taken over a period of 24 hours. Like other massive star-forming regions, such as Orion and Carina, W5 contains large cavities that were carved out by radiation and winds from the region's most massive stars. According to the theory of triggered star-formation, the carving out of these cavities pushes gas together, causing it to ignite into successive generations of new stars. This image contains some of the best evidence yet for the triggered star-formation theory. Scientists analyzing the photo have been able to show that the ages of the stars become progressively and systematically younger with distance from the center of the cavities. This is a three-color composite showing infrared observations from two Spitzer instruments. Blue represents 3.6-micron light and green shows light of 8 microns, both captured by Spitzer's infrared array camera. Red is 24-micron light detected by Spitzer's multiband imaging photometer.

  13. Transiting Exoplanets: Discovery from the Ground, Characterization from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nutzman, Philip Andrew

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

  14. FINESSE & CASE: Two Proposed Transiting Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellem, Robert Thomas; FINESSE and CASE Science Team

    2018-01-01

    The FINESSE mission concept and the proposed CASE Mission of Opportunity, both recently selected by NASA’s Explorer program to proceed to Step 2, would conduct the first characterizations of exoplanet atmospheres for a statistically significant population. FINESSE would determine whether our Solar System is typical or exceptional, the key characteristics of the planet formation mechanism, and what establishes global planetary climate by spectroscopically surveying 500 exoplanets, ranging from terrestrials with extended atmospheres to sub-Neptunes to gas giants. FINESSE’s broad, instantaneous spectral coverage from 0.5-5 microns and capability to survey hundreds of exoplanets would enable follow-up exploration of TESS discoveries and provide a broader context for interpreting detailed JWST observations. Similarly, CASE, a NASA Mission of Opportunity contribution to ESA’s dedicated transiting exoplanet spectroscopy mission ARIEL, would observe 1000 warm transiting gas giants, Neptunes, and super-Earths, using visible to near-IR photometry and spectroscopy. CASE would quantify the occurrence rate of atmospheric aerosols (clouds and hazes) and measure the geometric albedos of the targets in the ARIEL survey. Thus, with the selection of either of these two missions, NASA would ensure access to critical data for the U.S. exoplanet science community.

  15. Exoplanet: Trans-dimentional MCMC method for exoplanet discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Brendon J.

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanet determines the posterior distribution of exoplanets by use of a trans-dimensional Markov Chain Monte Carlo method within Nested Sampling. This method finds the posterior distribution in a single run rather than requiring multiple runs with trial values.

  16. Spitzer Digs Up Galactic Fossil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 2 This false-color image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a globular cluster previously hidden in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Globular clusters are compact bundles of old stars that date back to the birth of our galaxy, 13 or so billion years ago. Astronomers use these galactic 'fossils' as tools for studying the age and formation of the Milky Way. Most clusters orbit around the center of the galaxy well above its dust-enshrouded disc, or plane, while making brief, repeated passes through the plane that each last about a million years. Spitzer, with infrared eyes that can see into the dusty galactic plane, first spotted the newfound cluster during its current pass. A visible-light image (inset of Figure 1) shows only a dark patch of sky. The red streak behind the core of the cluster is a dust cloud, which may indicate the cluster's interaction with the Milky Way. Alternatively, this cloud may lie coincidentally along Spitzer's line of sight. Follow-up observations with the University of Wyoming Infrared Observatory helped set the distance of the new cluster at about 9,000 light-years from Earth - closer than most clusters - and set the mass at the equivalent of 300,000 Suns. The cluster's apparent size, as viewed from Earth, is comparable to a grain of rice held at arm's length. It is located in the constellation Aquila. Astronomers believe that this cluster may be one of the last in our galaxy to be uncovered. This image composite was taken on April 21, 2004, by Spitzer's infrared array camera. It is composed of images obtained at four wavelengths: 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), 5.8 microns (orange) and 8 microns (red). Galactic Fossil Found Behind Curtain of Dust In Figure 2, the image mosaic shows the same patch of sky in various wavelengths of light. While the visible-light image (left) shows a dark sky speckled

  17. Exoplanets Detection, Formation, Properties, Habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, John W

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Spitzer - Hot & Colorful Student Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, D.; Rebull, L. M.; DeWolf, C.; Guastella, P.; Johnson, C. H.; Schaefers, J.; Spuck, T.; McDonald, J. G., III; DeWolf, T.; Brock, S.; Boerma, J.; Bemis, G.; Paulsen, K.; Yueh, N.; Peter, A.; Wassmer, W.; Haber, R.; Scaramucci, A.; Butchart, J.; Holcomb, A.; Karns, B.; Kennedy, S.; Siegel, R.; Weiser, S.

    2009-01-01

    In this poster, we present the results of several activities developed for the general science student to explore infrared light. The first activity involved measuring infrared radiation using an updated version of Newton's experiment of splitting white light and finding IR radiation. The second used Leslie's cube to allow students to observe different radiators, while the third used a modern infrared thermometer to measure and identify IR sources in an enclosed box. The last activity involved students making false-color images from narrow-band filter images from data sets from Spitzer Space Telescope, STScI Digitized Sky Survey and other sources. Using computer programs like Adobe Photoshop and free software such as ds9, Spot and Leopard, poster-like images were created by the students. This research is funded by the Spitzer Science Center (SSC) and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). Please see our companion poster, Johnson et al., on the science aspect of this program, and another poster on the educational aspects, Guastella et al.

  19. Spitzer Science Center within an Enterprise Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, T.

    2007-10-01

    The Spitzer Science Center's (SSC) evolutionary development approach, coupled with a flexible, scaleable hardware and software architecture has been key in Spitzer's ability to handle an explosion of data products, evolving data definitions, and changing data quality requirements. Spitzer is generating (depending on the campaign and instrument) about 10 TB of pre-archive data every 14 to 20 days. This generally reduces to between 3 TB and 6 TB of standard products, again depending on the campaign and instrument. This paper will discuss (1) the Spitzer Science Center's responses to evolving data, quality, and processing requirements and (2) how robust or not was the original architecture to allow Spitzer to accommodate on-going change.

  20. Qatar Exoplanet Survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    We report the discovery of Qatar-3b, Qatar-4b, and Qatar-5b, three new transiting planets identified by the Qatar Exoplanet Survey. The three planets belong to the hot Jupiter family, with orbital periods of PQ3b=2.50792 days, PQ4b=1.80539 days, and PQ5b=2.87923 days. Follow-up spectroscopic...

  1. The exoplanet handbook

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Perryman, M. A. C

    2011-01-01

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

  2. ON THE ORBIT OF EXOPLANET WASP-12b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campo, Christopher J.; Harrington, Joseph; Hardy, Ryan A.; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Nymeyer, Sarah; Lust, Nate B.; Blecic, Jasmina; Britt, Christopher B. T.; Bowman, William C.; Ragozzine, Darin; Anderson, David R.; Hellier, Coel; Maxted, Pierre F. L.; Collier-Cameron, Andrew; Wheatley, Peter J.; Loredo, Thomas J.; Deming, Drake; Hebb, Leslie; Pollaco, Don; West, Richard G.

    2011-01-01

    We observed two secondary eclipses of the exoplanet WASP-12b using the Infrared Array Camera on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The close proximity of WASP-12b to its G-type star results in extreme tidal forces capable of inducing apsidal precession with a period as short as a few decades. This precession would be measurable if the orbit had a significant eccentricity, leading to an estimate of the tidal Love number and an assessment of the degree of central concentration in the planetary interior. An initial ground-based secondary-eclipse phase reported by Lopez-Morales et al. (0.510 ± 0.002) implied eccentricity at the 4.5σ level. The spectroscopic orbit of Hebb et al. has eccentricity 0.049 ± 0.015, a 3σ result, implying an eclipse phase of 0.509 ± 0.007. However, there is a well-documented tendency of spectroscopic data to overestimate small eccentricities. Our eclipse phases are 0.5010 ± 0.0006 (3.6 and 5.8 μm) and 0.5006 ± 0.0007 (4.5 and 8.0 μm). An unlikely orbital precession scenario invoking an alignment of the orbit during the Spitzer observations could have explained this apparent discrepancy, but the final eclipse phase of Lopez-Morales et al. (0.510 ± +0.007 -0.006 ) is consistent with a circular orbit at better than 2σ. An orbit fit to all the available transit, eclipse, and radial-velocity data indicates precession at <1σ; a non-precessing solution fits better. We also comment on analysis and reporting for Spitzer exoplanet data in light of recent re-analyses.

  3. Atmospheric Retrievals from Exoplanet Observations and Simulations with BART

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph

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

  4. A Toolbox for Exoplanet Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca Marie

    2017-05-01

    In this thesis, I develop a new suite of tools to address two questions in exoplanet science: how common are Earth-mass planets in the habitable zones of Solar-type stars, and can we detect signs of life on other worlds? Answering the first question requires a method for detecting Earth-Sun analogs. Currently, the radial velocity (RV) method of exoplanet detection is one of the most successful tools for probing inner planetary systems. However, degeneracy between a spectrometer's wavelength calibration and the astrophysical RV shift has limited the sensitivity of today's instruments. In my thesis, I address a method for breaking this degeneracy: by combining a traditional spectrometer design with a dynamic interferometer, a fringe pattern is generated at the image plane that is highly sensitive to changes in the radial velocity of the target star. I augmented previous theoretical studies of the method, creating an end-to-end simulation to 1) introduce and recover wavelength calibration errors, and 2) investigate the effects of interferometer position errors on the RV precision. My simulation showed that using this kind of interferometric system, a 5-m class telescope could detect an Earth-Sun analog. Addressing the occurrence rate of Earth twins also requires an understanding of planet formation in multiple star systems, which encompass half of all Solar-type stars. Gravitational interactions between binary components separated by 10-100 astronomical units are predicted to truncate the outer edges of their respective disks, possibly reducing the disks' lifetimes. Consequently, the pool of material and the amount of time available for planet formation may be smaller than in single star systems. The stars' rotational periods provide a fossil record of these events: star-disk magnetic interactions initially prevent a contracting pre-main sequence star from spinning up, and hence a star with a shorter-lived disk is expected to be spinning more quickly when it reaches

  5. Exoplanet Population Distribution from Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2015-08-01

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

  6. Spectroscopy of Exoplanet Atmospheres with the FINESSE Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Kaitchuck

    2012-03-01

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

  8. Size and Albedo of Irregular Saturnian Satellites from Spitzer Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Michael; Grav, T.; Trilling, D.; Stansberry, J.; Sykes, M.

    2008-09-01

    Using MIPS onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, we observed the thermal emission (24 and, for some targets, 70 um) of eight irregular satellites of Saturn: Albiorix, Siarnaq, Paaliaq, Kiviuq, Ijiraq, Tarvos, Erriapus, and Ymir. We determined the size and albedo of all targets. An analysis of archived MIPS observations of Phoebe reproduces Cassini results very accurately, thereby validating our method. For all targets, the geometric albedo is found to be low, probably below 10% and clearly below 15%. Irregular satellites are much darker than the large regular satellites. Their albedo is, however, quite similar to that of small bodies in the outer Solar System (such as cometary nuclei, Jupiter Trojans, or TNOs). This is consistent with color measurements as well as dynamical considerations which suggest a common origin of the said populations. There appear to be significant object-to-object albedo differences. Similar albedos found for some members of dynamical clusters support the idea that they may have originated in the breakup of a parent body. For three satellites, thermal data at two wavelengths are available, enabling us to constrain their thermal properties. Sub-solar temperatures are similar to that found from Cassini's Phoebe fly-by. This suggests a rather low thermal inertia, as expected for regolith-covered objects. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by JPL under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA.

  9. Exoplanets and Multiverses (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, V.

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Lightest exoplanet yet discovered

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

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

  11. Biosignatures of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, Nancy Y.

    2017-01-01

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

  12. A New Spin to Exoplanet Habitability Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgoulis, M. K.; Patsourakos, S.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  14. Thermal Properties Of Trans-neptunian Objects And Centaurs From Combined Herschel And Spitzer Observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lellouch, Emmanuel; Santos-Sanz, P.; Mommert, M.; Fornasier, S.; Stansberry, J.; Müller, T.; Duffard, R.; Ortiz, J.; Kiss, C.; Vilenius, E.; Mueller, M.; Lacerda, P.; Harris, A.; TNOs are Cool Team, [No Value

    2012-01-01

    We present a study of the thermal properties of about 70 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs observed with Herschel Space Observatory (either PACS or PACS/SPIRE) and Spitzer (MIPS). The combined wavelength range is 24-160 μm and additionally up to 500 μm for a few targets. We apply

  15. Visible photometry of NEOs in support of a Warm Spitzer program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trilling, David E.; Jones, Sarah; Penprase, Bryan; Emery, Josh; Harris, Alan; Spahr, Tim; Delbo, Marco

    2009-08-01

    Near Earth Objects (NEOs) may act as dynamical and compositional tracers of the history of near-Earth space. However, despite their scientific importance, key characteristics of the NEO population -- such as the size distribution, mix of albedos and mineralogies, and contributions from so-called dead or dormant comets -- remain largely unexplored; some 99% of all presently known NEOs are essentially uncharacterized. We have been awarded 500 hours of Warm Spitzer time to study some 700 NEOs. The Spitzer data will allow us to measure thermal fluxes and, in combination with optical data, derive albedos and diameters for a large fraction of all known NEOs. Remarkably, the primary uncertainty in our Spitzer results will derive from a lack of good optical photometry for our targets. Fortunately, our targets are generally bright, and obtaining good V band measurements of them requires only a modest amount of time on modest aperture telescopes. We propose here for 36 hours of SMARTS 1.3-m time or 54 hours of SMARTS 0.9-m time to obtain visible photometry of the 72 southern moderately bright ``B'' semester targets in our Warm Spitzer program. These program is ideal for queue/service observing because each observation requires only ~30 minutes and our targets are all over the sky.

  16. Lyman Spitzer: Life, Times, and Science

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Lyman Spitzer was one of the major figures of twentieth centurytheoretical astrophysics. Over more than fifty years,he kept up sustained research of his own, on problems concerningthe interstellar medium, star formation, and galaxies.In addition he was a major influence on observationalprogrammes, and created a thriving ...

  17. Spitzer Parallax of OGLE-2015-BLG-0966

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Street, R. A.; Udalski, A.; Calchi Novati, S.

    2016-01-01

    We report the detection of a cold Neptune mplanet = 21 ± 2 M⊕ orbiting a 0.38 M⊙ M dwarf lying 2.5-3.3 kpc toward the Galactic center as part of a campaign combining ground-based and Spitzer observations to measure the Galactic distribution of planets. This is the first time that the complex real...

  18. Lyman Spitzer: Life, Times, and Science

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    College, Cambridge, in the academic year 1935–36. It was com- mon in those days for promising students from the United States to spend some time in England or Europe – the precise opposite of the situation today! Cambridge exposed Spitzer to the most distinguished astrophysi- cist of that time – Arthur Eddington.

  19. Observations of Hot-Jupiter occultations combining Spitzer and Kepler photometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knutson H.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We present the status of an ongoing program which aim at measuring occultations by their parent stars of transiting hot giant exoplanets discovered recently by Kepler. The observations are obtained in the near infrared with WarmSpitzer Space Telescope and at optical wavelengths by combining more than a year of Kepler photometry. The investigation consists of measuring the mid-occultation times and the relative occultation depths in each band-passes. Our measurements of occultations depths in the Kepler bandpass is turned into the determination of the optical geometric albedo Ag in this wavelength domain. The brightness temperatures of these planets are deduced from the infrared observations. We combine the optical and near infrared planetary emergent fluxes to obtain broad band emergent spectra of individual planet. We finally compare these spectra to hot Jupiter atmospheric models in order broadly distinguishing these atmospheres between different classes of models.

  20. Analyzing Exoplanet Phase Curve Information Content: Toward Optimized Observing Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    in the characterization of host stars and their planetary systems. Examples include the precise estimation of the fundamental properties of stellar hosts, the obliquity determination of planetary systems, or the orbital eccentricity determination via asterodensity profiling. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite...... and planetary populations, we investigate the asteroseismic yield of the mission, placing particular emphasis on the yield of exoplanet-host stars for which we expect to detect solar-like oscillations. This is done both for the cohort of target stars (observed at a 2-min cadence), which will mainly involve low...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Jacob

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juncher, Diana

    M-dwarfs are very attractive targets when searching for new exoplanets. Unfortunately, they are also very difficult to model since their temperatures are low enough for dust clouds to form in their atmospheres. Because the properties of an exoplanet cannot be determined without knowing...... of their clouds and found that their synthetic spectra fit the observed spectra of mid to late type M-dwarfs and early type L-dwarfs well. With additional development into even cooler regimes, they could be used to characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets and aid us in our search for the kind of chemical...... imbalances that suggest the presence of life. I have also directly performed spectroscopic and photometric observations of exoplanets to discover and/or improve our knowledge of their properties and to participate in the development of the techniques that is being used to discover and characterize exoplanets."...

  5. A TEMPERATURE AND ABUNDANCE RETRIEVAL METHOD FOR EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madhusudhan, N.; Seager, S.

    2009-01-01

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

  6. SPITZER TRANSITS OF THE SUPER-EARTH GJ1214b AND IMPLICATIONS FOR ITS ATMOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fraine, Jonathan D.; Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Gillon, Michaeel; Jehin, Emmanueel [Institute d' Astrophysique et de Geophysique, Universite de Liege, Liege (Belgium); Demory, Brice-Olivier; Benneke, Bjoern; Seager, Sara [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Lewis, Nikole K. [Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Knutson, Heather [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Desert, Jean-Michel, E-mail: jfraine@astro.umd.edu [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2013-03-10

    We observed the transiting super-Earth exoplanet GJ1214b using warm Spitzer at 4.5 {mu}m wavelength during a 20 day quasi-continuous sequence in 2011 May. The goals of our long observation were to accurately define the infrared transit radius of this nearby super-Earth, to search for the secondary eclipse, and to search for other transiting planets in the habitable zone of GJ1214. We here report results from the transit monitoring of GJ1214b, including a reanalysis of previous transit observations by Desert et al. In total, we analyze 14 transits of GJ1214b at 4.5 {mu}m, 3 transits at 3.6 {mu}m, and 7 new ground-based transits in the I+z band. Our new Spitzer data by themselves eliminate cloudless solar composition atmospheres for GJ1214b, and methane-rich models from Howe and Burrows. Using our new Spitzer measurements to anchor the observed transit radii of GJ1214b at long wavelengths, and adding new measurements in I+z, we evaluate models from Benneke and Seager and Howe and Burrows using a {chi}{sup 2} analysis. We find that the best-fit model exhibits an increase in transit radius at short wavelengths due to Rayleigh scattering. Pure water atmospheres are also possible. However, a flat line (no atmosphere detected) remains among the best of the statistically acceptable models, and better than pure water atmospheres. We explore the effect of systematic differences among results from different observational groups, and we find that the Howe and Burrows tholin-haze model remains the best fit, even when systematic differences among observers are considered.

  7. Spitzer secondary eclipses of Qatar-1b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garhart, Emily; Deming, Drake; Mandell, Avi; Knutson, Heather; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2018-02-01

    Aims: Previous secondary eclipse observations of the hot Jupiter Qatar-1b in the Ks band suggest that it may have an unusually high day side temperature, indicative of minimal heat redistribution. There have also been indications that the orbit may be slightly eccentric, possibly forced by another planet in the system. We investigate the day side temperature and orbital eccentricity using secondary eclipse observations with Spitzer. Methods: We observed the secondary eclipse with Spitzer/IRAC in subarray mode, in both 3.6 and 4.5 μm wavelengths. We used pixel-level decorrelation to correct for Spitzer's intra-pixel sensitivity variations and thereby obtain accurate eclipse depths and central phases. Results: Our 3.6 μm eclipse depth is 0.149 ± 0.051% and the 4.5 μm depth is 0.273 ± 0.049%. Fitting a blackbody planet to our data and two recent Ks band eclipse depths indicates a brightness temperature of 1506 ± 71 K. Comparison to model atmospheres for the planet indicates that its degree of longitudinal heat redistribution is intermediate between fully uniform and day-side only. The day side temperature of the planet is unlikely to be as high (1885 K) as indicated by the ground-based eclipses in the Ks band, unless the planet's emergent spectrum deviates strongly from model atmosphere predictions. The average central phase for our Spitzer eclipses is 0.4984 ± 0.0017, yielding e cos ω = -0.0028 ± 0.0027. Our results are consistent with a circular orbit, and we constrain e cos ω much more strongly than has been possible with previous observations. Tables of the lightcurve data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/610/A55

  8. Exoplanets: The Hunt Continues!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

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

  9. Efficient Mosaicking of Spitzer Space Telescope Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Joseph; Makovoz, David; Eisenhardt, Peter

    2007-01-01

    A parallel version of the MOPEX software, which generates mosaics of infrared astronomical images acquired by the Spitzer Space Telescope, extends the capabilities of the prior serial version. In the parallel version, both the input image space and the output mosaic space are divided among the available parallel processors. This is the only software that performs the point-source detection and the rejection of spurious imaging effects of cosmic rays required by Spitzer scientists. This software includes components that implement outlier-detection algorithms that can be fine-tuned for a particular set of image data by use of a number of adjustable parameters. This software has been used to construct a mosaic of the Spitzer Infrared Array Camera Shallow Survey, which comprises more than 17,000 exposures in four wavelength bands from 3.6 to 8 m and spans a solid angle of about 9 square degrees. When this software was executed on 32 nodes of the 1,024-processor Cosmos cluster computer at NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a speedup of 8.3 was achieved over the serial version of MOPEX. The performance is expected to improve dramatically once a true parallel file system is installed on Cosmos.

  10. Exoplanet's Figure and Its Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mian, Zhang; Cheng-li, Huang

    2018-01-01

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

  11. REPEATABILITY OF SPITZER/IRAC EXOPLANETARY ECLIPSES WITH INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morello, G.; Waldmann, I. P.; Tinetti, G.

    2016-01-01

    The research of effective and reliable detrending methods for Spitzer data is of paramount importance for the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres. To date, the totality of exoplanetary observations in the mid- and far-infrared, at wavelengths >3 μm, have been taken with Spitzer. In some cases, in past years, repeated observations and multiple reanalyses of the same data sets led to discrepant results, raising questions about the accuracy and reproducibility of such measurements. Morello et al. (2014, 2015) proposed a blind-source separation method based on the Independent Component Analysis of pixel time series (pixel-ICA) to analyze InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) data, obtaining coherent results when applied to repeated transit observations previously debated in the literature. Here we introduce a variant to the pixel-ICA through the use of wavelet transform, wavelet pixel-ICA, which extends its applicability to low-signal-to-noise-ratio cases. We describe the method and discuss the results obtained over 12 eclipses of the exoplanet XO3b observed during the “Warm Spitzer” era in the 4.5 μm band. The final results are reported, in part, also in Ingalls et al. (2016), together with results obtained with other detrending methods, and over 10 synthetic eclipses that were analyzed for the “IRAC Data Challenge 2015.” Our results are consistent within 1σ with the ones reported in Wong et al. (2014) and with most of the results reported in Ingalls et al. (2016), which appeared on arXiv while this paper was under review. Based on many statistical tests discussed in Ingalls et al. (2016), the wavelet pixel-ICA method performs as well as or better than other state-of-art methods recently developed by other teams to analyze Spitzer/IRAC data, and, in particular, it appears to be the most repeatable and the most reliable, while reaching the photon noise limit, at least for the particular data set analyzed. Another strength of the ICA approach is its highest

  12. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcella Iuzzolino

    2017-03-01

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

  13. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-02

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

  14. Characterizing Giant Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations: XO-1 b

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Multiwavelength observations of transiting exoplanets can reveal wavelength dependence of the observed transit depth (or a lack thereof), thereby allowing for thorough characterization of their atmospheres. In support of a larger project performing these characterizations of 12 transiting giant exoplanets through 66 nights of continuous observation at the 2.3 m Wyoming Infrared Observatory (WIRO), we report an updated ephemeris for transiting exoplanet XO- 1 b. We carried out an MCMC analysis on photometric data obtained using the standard broad bandpass Sloan filter system. Our data set for XO-1 b is the most limited of those contributing to the larger project, the target having only been successfully observed from the transit midpoint to the egress on one night with limited out-of-transit data available. Exoplanet XO-1 b is a planet transiting star XO-1 (GSC 02041-01657) of type G1 V with V = 11.19 McCullough et al. (2006). This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under REU grant AST 1560461.

  15. SPIRITS: Uncovering Unusual Infrared Transients with Spitzer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Jencson, Jacob E.; Tinyanont, Samaporn; Cao, Yi; Cook, David [Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Bally, John [Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, University of Colorado, 389 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Masci, Frank; Armus, Lee [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Cody, Ann Marie [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Bond, Howard E. [Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Contreras, Carlos [Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Observatories, Casilla 601, La Serena (Chile); Dykhoff, Devin A.; Amodeo, Samuel; Carlon, Robert L.; Cass, Alexander C.; Corgan, David T.; Faella, Joseph [Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, 116 Church Street, S. E., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (United States); Boyer, Martha [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MC 665, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Cantiello, Matteo [Center for Computational Astrophysics, Flatiron Institute, 162 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010 (United States); Fox, Ori D. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); and others

    2017-04-20

    We present an ongoing, five-year systematic search for extragalactic infrared transients, dubbed SPIRITS—SPitzer InfraRed Intensive Transients Survey. In the first year, using Spitzer /IRAC, we searched 190 nearby galaxies with cadence baselines of one month and six months. We discovered over 1958 variables and 43 transients. Here, we describe the survey design and highlight 14 unusual infrared transients with no optical counterparts to deep limits, which we refer to as SPRITEs (eSPecially Red Intermediate-luminosity Transient Events). SPRITEs are in the infrared luminosity gap between novae and supernovae, with [4.5] absolute magnitudes between −11 and −14 (Vega-mag) and [3.6]–[4.5] colors between 0.3 mag and 1.6 mag. The photometric evolution of SPRITEs is diverse, ranging from <0.1 mag yr{sup −1} to >7 mag yr{sup −1}. SPRITEs occur in star-forming galaxies. We present an in-depth study of one of them, SPIRITS 14ajc in Messier 83, which shows shock-excited molecular hydrogen emission. This shock may have been triggered by the dynamic decay of a non-hierarchical system of massive stars that led to either the formation of a binary or a protostellar merger.

  16. ExoData: A Python package to handle large exoplanet catalogue data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varley, Ryan

    2016-10-01

    Exoplanet science often involves using the system parameters of real exoplanets for tasks such as simulations, fitting routines, and target selection for proposals. Several exoplanet catalogues are already well established but often lack a version history and code friendly interfaces. Software that bridges the barrier between the catalogues and code enables users to improve the specific repeatability of results by facilitating the retrieval of exact system parameters used in articles results along with unifying the equations and software used. As exoplanet science moves towards large data, gone are the days where researchers can recall the current population from memory. An interface able to query the population now becomes invaluable for target selection and population analysis. ExoData is a Python interface and exploratory analysis tool for the Open Exoplanet Catalogue. It allows the loading of exoplanet systems into Python as objects (Planet, Star, Binary, etc.) from which common orbital and system equations can be calculated and measured parameters retrieved. This allows researchers to use tested code of the common equations they require (with units) and provides a large science input catalogue of planets for easy plotting and use in research. Advanced querying of targets is possible using the database and Python programming language. ExoData is also able to parse spectral types and fill in missing parameters according to programmable specifications and equations. Examples of use cases are integration of equations into data reduction pipelines, selecting planets for observing proposals and as an input catalogue to large scale simulation and analysis of planets.

  17. TERMS PHOTOMETRY OF KNOWN TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dragomir, Diana; Kane, Stephen R.; Ciardi, David R.; Gelino, Dawn M.; Payne, Alan; Ramirez, Solange V.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Wyatt, Pamela; Pilyavsky, Genady; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Wright, Jason T.; Zachary Gazak, J.; Rabus, Markus

    2011-01-01

    The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey conducts radial velocity and photometric monitoring of known exoplanets in order to refine planetary orbits and predictions of possible transit times. This effort is primarily directed toward planets not known to transit, but a small sample of our targets consists of known transiting systems. Here we present precision photometry for six WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) planets acquired during their transit windows. We perform a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis for each planet and combine these data with previous measurements to redetermine the period and ephemerides for these planets. These observations provide recent mid-transit times which are useful for scheduling future observations. Our results improve the ephemerides of WASP-4b, WASP-5b, and WASP-6b and reduce the uncertainties on the mid-transit time for WASP-29b. We also confirm the orbital, stellar, and planetary parameters of all six systems.

  18. Characterizing Giant Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations: HAT-P-5 b

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. Stellar magnetic activity and exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidotto A.A.

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Exoplanet Observing: From Art to Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, Dennis M.; Gleeson, Jack

    2017-06-01

    This paper will review the now well-established best practices for conducting high precision exoplanet observing with small telescopes. The paper will also review the AAVSO's activities in promoting these best practices among the amateur astronomer community through training material and online courses, as well as through the establishment of an AAVSO Exoplanet Database. This latter development will be an essential element in supporting followup exoplanet observations for upcoming space telescope missions such as TESS and JWST.

  1. Exoplanet Observing: from Art to Science (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, D. M.; Gleeson, J.

    2017-12-01

    (Abstract only) This paper will review the now well-established best practices for conducting high precision exoplanet observing with small telescopes. The paper will also review the AAVSO's activities in promoting these best practices among the amateur astronomer community through training material and online courses, as well as through the establishment of an AAVSO Exoplanet Database. This latter development will be an essential element in supporting followup exoplanet observations for upcoming space telescope missions such as TESS and JWST.

  2. Motion of the fast exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotov, Valery A.

    2018-03-01

    It is shown that a number of superfast, with periods fairly well with the period P0= 9600.606(12) s of the so-called "cosmic oscillation" (the probability that the two timescales would coincide by chance is near 3 ×10^{-4}; the P0 period was discovered first in the Sun, and later on—in other objects of Cosmos). True nature of the exoplanet P0 resonance is unknown.

  3. Abundances in stars with exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Israelian, Garik

    2003-01-01

    Extensive spectroscopic studies of stars with and without planets have concluded that stars hosting planets are significantly more metal-rich than those without planets. More subtle trends of different chemical elements begin to appear as the number of detected extrasolar planetary systems continues to grow. I review our current knowledge concerning the observed abundance trends of various chemical elements in stars with exoplanets and their possible implications.

  4. In the Search of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Luis Cuesta

    The Spanish Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial has a network of three telescopes located in some of the best places for Astronomy in Spain: the Observatory of Calar Alto, in Almería, near Calatayud, in Zaragoza, at the summit of a 1,400m high mountain, and at the campus of INTA, in Madrid. The three telescopes have diameters between 40 and 50cm, and are equipped with instrumentation very adequate to identify exoplanets.

  5. HOMES - Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — HOMES (Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy) is a space telescope that employs a double dispersion architecture, using a holographic optical element...

  6. Astrometric exoplanet detection with Gaia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perryman, Michael; Hartman, Joel; Bakos, Gáspár Á. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Lindegren, Lennart [Lund Observatory, Lund, Box 43, SE-22100 Sweden (Sweden)

    2014-12-10

    We provide a revised assessment of the number of exoplanets that should be discovered by Gaia astrometry, extending previous studies to a broader range of spectral types, distances, and magnitudes. Our assessment is based on a large representative sample of host stars from the TRILEGAL Galaxy population synthesis model, recent estimates of the exoplanet frequency distributions as a function of stellar type, and detailed simulation of the Gaia observations using the updated instrument performance and scanning law. We use two approaches to estimate detectable planetary systems: one based on the signal-to-noise ratio of the astrometric signature per field crossing, easily reproducible and allowing comparisons with previous estimates, and a new and more robust metric based on orbit fitting to the simulated satellite data. With some plausible assumptions on planet occurrences, we find that some 21,000 (±6000) high-mass (∼1-15M {sub J}) long-period planets should be discovered out to distances of ∼500 pc for the nominal 5 yr mission (including at least 1000-1500 around M dwarfs out to 100 pc), rising to some 70,000 (±20, 000) for a 10 yr mission. We indicate some of the expected features of this exoplanet population, amongst them ∼25-50 intermediate-period (P ∼ 2-3 yr) transiting systems.

  7. A Spitzer five-band analysis of the Jupiter-sized planet TrES-1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Harrington, Joseph; Foster, Andrew S. D.; Lust, Nate B.; Hardy, Ryan A.; Bowman, M. Oliver [Planetary Sciences Group, Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816-2385 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku, E-mail: pcubillos@fulbrightmail.org [Department of Physics and Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States)

    2014-12-10

    With an equilibrium temperature of 1200 K, TrES-1 is one of the coolest hot Jupiters observed by Spitzer. It was also the first planet discovered by any transit survey and one of the first exoplanets from which thermal emission was directly observed. We analyzed all Spitzer eclipse and transit data for TrES-1 and obtained its eclipse depths and brightness temperatures in the 3.6 μm (0.083% ± 0.024%, 1270 ± 110 K), 4.5 μm (0.094% ± 0.024%, 1126 ± 90 K), 5.8 μm (0.162% ± 0.042%, 1205 ± 130 K), 8.0 μm (0.213% ± 0.042%, 1190 ± 130 K), and 16 μm (0.33% ± 0.12%, 1270 ± 310 K) bands. The eclipse depths can be explained, within 1σ errors, by a standard atmospheric model with solar abundance composition in chemical equilibrium, with or without a thermal inversion. The combined analysis of the transit, eclipse, and radial-velocity ephemerides gives an eccentricity of e=0.033{sub −0.031}{sup +0.015}, consistent with a circular orbit. Since TrES-1's eclipses have low signal-to-noise ratios, we implemented optimal photometry and differential-evolution Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms in our Photometry for Orbits, Eclipses, and Transits pipeline. Benefits include higher photometric precision and ∼10 times faster MCMC convergence, with better exploration of the phase space and no manual parameter tuning.

  8. WFIRST Microlensing Exoplanet Characterization with HST Follow up

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. INFERENCE OF INHOMOGENEOUS CLOUDS IN AN EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demory, Brice-Olivier; De Wit, Julien; Lewis, Nikole; Zsom, Andras; Seager, Sara [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Knutson, Heather; Desert, Jean-Michel [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Heng, Kevin [Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012, Bern (Switzerland); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Department of Physics and Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Gillon, Michael [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août, 17, Bat. B5C, B-4000 Liège 1 (Belgium); Barclay, Thomas [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Parmentier, Vivien [Laboratoire J.-L. Lagrange, UMR 7293, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d' Azur B.P. 4229, F-06304 Nice Cedex 4 (France); Cowan, Nicolas B., E-mail: demory@mit.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, F165, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)

    2013-10-20

    We present new visible and infrared observations of the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b to determine its atmospheric properties. Our analysis allows us to (1) refine Kepler-7b's relatively large geometric albedo of Ag = 0.35 ± 0.02, (2) place upper limits on Kepler-7b thermal emission that remains undetected in both Spitzer bandpasses and (3) report a westward shift in the Kepler optical phase curve. We argue that Kepler-7b's visible flux cannot be due to thermal emission or Rayleigh scattering from H{sub 2} molecules. We therefore conclude that high altitude, optically reflective clouds located west from the substellar point are present in its atmosphere. We find that a silicate-based cloud composition is a possible candidate. Kepler-7b exhibits several properties that may make it particularly amenable to cloud formation in its upper atmosphere. These include a hot deep atmosphere that avoids a cloud cold trap, very low surface gravity to suppress cloud sedimentation, and a planetary equilibrium temperature in a range that allows for silicate clouds to potentially form in the visible atmosphere probed by Kepler. Our analysis does not only present evidence of optically thick clouds on Kepler-7b but also yields the first map of clouds in an exoplanet atmosphere.

  10. Planck, Herschel & Spitzer unveil overdense z>2 regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dole, Herve; Chary, Ranga-Ram; Chary, Ranga; Frye, Brenda; Martinache, Clement; Guery, David; Le Floc'h, Emeric; Altieri, Bruno; Flores-Cacho, Ines; Giard, Martin; Hurier, Guillaume; Lagache, Guilaine; Montier, Ludovic; Nesvadba, Nicole; Omont, Alain; Pointecouteau, Etienne; Pierini, Daniele; Puget, Jean-Loup; Scott, Douglas; Soucail, Genevieve

    2014-12-01

    At which cosmic epoch did massive galaxy clusters assemble their baryons? How does star formation occur in the most massive, most rapidly collapsing dark-matter-dense environments in the early Universe? To answer these questions, we take the completely novel approach to select the most extreme z>~2 star-forming overdensities seen over the entire sky. This selection nicely complements the other existing selections for high redshift clusters (i.e., by stellar mass, or by total mass like Sunyaev-Zeldovish (SZ) or X-ray selection). We make use of the Planck all-sky submillimetre survey to systematically identify the rarest, most luminous high-redshift sub-mm sources on the sky, either strongly gravitationally lensed galaxies, or the joint FIR/sub-mm emission from multiple intense starbursts. We observed 228 Planck sources with Herschel/SPIRE and discovered that most of them are overdensities of red galaxies with extremely high star formation rates (typically 7.e3 Msun/yr for a structure). Only Spitzer data can allow a better understanding of these promising Planck+Herschel selected sources, as is shown on a first set of IRAC data on 40 targets in GO9: (i) the good angular resolution and sensitivity of IRAC allows a proper determination of the clustered nature of each Herschel/SPIRE source; (ii) IRAC photometry (often associated with J, K) allows a good estimate of the colors and approximate photometric redshift. Note spectroscopic redshifts are available for two cluster candidates, at z=1.7 and z=2.3, confirming their high redshift nature. The successful GO9 observation of 40 fields showed that about half to be >7sigma overdensities of red IRAC sources. These observations were targeting the whole range of Herschel overdensities and significances. We need to go deeper into the Spitzer sample and acquire complete coverage of the most extreme Herschel overdensities (54 new fields). Such a unique sample has legacy value, and this is the last opportunity prior to JWST

  11. Exoplanet Community Report on Direct Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danchi, William C.; Lawson, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

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

  12. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

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

  13. Characterization of Exoplanet-Host Stars

    OpenAIRE

    Adibekyan, Vardan; Sousa, Sérgio G.; Santos, Nuno C.

    2017-01-01

    Precise and, if possible, accurate characterization of exoplanets cannot be dissociated from the characterization of their host stars. In this chapter we discuss different methods and techniques used to derive fundamental properties and atmospheric parameters of exoplanet-host stars. The main limitations, advantages and disadvantages, as well as corresponding typical measurement uncertainties of each method are presented.

  14. Ground-based observations of exoplanet atmospheres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mooij, Ernst Johan Walter de

    2011-01-01

    This thesis focuses on the properties of exoplanet atmospheres. The results for ground-based near-infrared secondary eclipse observations of three different exoplanets, TrES-3b, HAT-P-1b and WASP-33b, are presented which have been obtained with ground-based telescopes as part of the GROUSE project.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  16. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Spitzer IRS Observations of FU Orionis Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, J. D.; Hartmann, L.; Calvet, N.; Watson, D. M.; Ibrahimov, M.; Furlan, E.; Sargent, B.; Forrest, W. J.

    2006-09-01

    We present 5-35 μm spectra, taken with the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on the Spitzer Space Telescope, of five FU Orionis objects: FU Ori, V1515 Cyg, V1057 Cyg, BBW 76, and V346 Nor. All but V346 Nor reveal amorphous silicate grains in emission at 10 and 20 μm, and show water-vapor absorption bands at 5.8 and 6.8 μm and SiO or possibly methane absorption at 8 μm. These absorption features closely match these bands in model stellar photospheres-signs of the gaseous photospheres of the inner regions of these objects' accretion disks. The continuum emission at 5-8 μm is also consistent with such disks, and, for FU Orionis and BBW 76, longer wavelength emission may be fit by a model that includes moderate disk flaring. V1057 Cyg and V1515 Cyg have much more emission at longer wavelengths than the others, perhaps evidence of a substantial remnant of their natal, infalling envelopes.

  18. NEOs in the mid-infrared: from Spitzer to JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Michael; Thomas, Cristina A.

    2016-10-01

    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) account for a surprisingly large fraction of the Spitzer observing time devoted to Solar System science. As a community, we should think of ways to repeat that success with JWST. JWST is planning an open Early Release Science Program, with the expected deadline for letters of intent in early 2017. We can't wait for next year's DPS to develop ideas. The time is now!In order to stir up the discussion, we will present ideas for NEO observing programs that are well adapted to JWST's capabilities and limitations, based on our recent PASP paper (Thomas et al., 2016). Obvious measurement objectives would include* size and albedo from thermal continuum (MIRI photometry)* thermal inertia for objects with well-known shape and spin state (MIRI)* taxonomy through reflection spectroscopy and emission spectroscopy in the NIR and MIR; NIR colors for faint objects.In all cases, JWST's sensitivity will allow us to go deeper than currently possible by at least an order of magnitude. Meter-sized NEOs similar to 2009 BD or 2011 MD are easy targets for MIRI spectrophotometry!The following limitations must be kept in mind, however: JWST's large size makes it slow to move. Most problematic for NEOs is probably the resulting 'speed limit': non-sidereal tracking is supported up to a rate of 30 mas/s, NEOs can easily move faster than that (ways to relax this constraint are under discussion). The average slew to a new target is budgeted to take 30 min, effectively ruling out programs many-target programs like ExploreNEOs or NEOSurvey (see D. Trilling's paper). Additionally, JWST will only observe close to quadrature, translating to large solar phase angles for NEO observations; this is familiar from other space-based IR facilities.

  19. Enhancing the Legacy of Spitzer and Herschel with the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Naveen

    The next frontier for comprehensive galaxy surveys is the epoch at z~1.5-3.5, the peak of star formation and black hole activity. Despite the new windows that Spitzer and Herschel have opened up into the stellar and dust emission of distant galaxies and AGN during this key epoch, these studies have been limited by the lack of spectroscopic redshifts and the unknown physical conditions (e.g., metallicities, ionization) within the targeted galaxies. To realize the full potential of Spitzer and Herschel, we require a large spectroscopic survey that will: (a) efficiently assemble spectroscopic redshifts for large samples of galaxies at z=1.4-3.8; (b) yield the physical conditions, including the ionization and metallicities of these galaxies; and (c) easily obtain spectroscopic redshifts even for very dusty/confused galaxies. To this end, our team has been allocated a large program of 47 Keck nights with the multi-object near-IR spectrograph MOSFIRE to carry out the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field Survey (MOSDEF) in three of the Hubble CANDELS fields. MOSDEF will obtain rest-optical spectra of ~1500 galaxies at redshifts z=1.4-3.8, targeting many of the optical nebular emission lines and continuum features (e.g., [OII], [OIII], H-beta, H-alpha, [NII], [SII], 4000 Angstrom break, Ca H and K, and Mbg) that until now have been inaccessible for large samples of distant galaxies, but which are routinely used to measure the SFRs, dust attenuation, metal and gas content, and ionization and dynamical properties in nearby galaxies. MOSDEF spectroscopy provides a critical supporting role for the analysis of Spitzer and Herschel observations of distant galaxies. With this transformative dataset, we will perform the following analyses. First, we will use Spitzer and Herschel imaging, aided with spectroscopic redshifts from MOSDEF, to construct individual and mean dust SEDs for galaxies at redshifts 1.4formation and destruction processes. Our study will greatly enhance the scientific

  20. An Analytic Model Approach to the Frequency of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2016-10-01

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

  1. COLORS OF ELLIPTICALS FROM GALEX TO SPITZER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schombert, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Multi-color photometry is presented for a large sample of local ellipticals selected by morphology and isolation. The sample uses data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer ( GALEX ), Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS), and Spitzer to cover the filters NUV , ugri , JHK and 3.6 μ m. Various two-color diagrams, using the half-light aperture defined in the 2MASS J filter, are very coherent from color to color, meaning that galaxies defined to be red in one color are always red in other colors. Comparison to globular cluster colors demonstrates that ellipticals are not composed of a single age, single metallicity (e.g., [Fe/H]) stellar population, but require a multi-metallicity model using a chemical enrichment scenario. Such a model is sufficient to explain two-color diagrams and the color–magnitude relations for all colors using only metallicity as a variable on a solely 12 Gyr stellar population with no evidence of stars younger than 10 Gyr. The [Fe/H] values that match galaxy colors range from −0.5 to +0.4, much higher (and older) than population characteristics deduced from Lick/IDS line-strength system studies, indicating an inconsistency between galaxy colors and line indices values for reasons unknown. The NUV colors have unusual behavior, signaling the rise and fall of the UV upturn with elliptical luminosity. Models with blue horizontal branch tracks can reproduce this behavior, indicating the UV upturn is strictly a metallicity effect.

  2. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF YOUNG RED QUASARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Urrutia, Tanya; Lacy, Mark; Spoon, Henrik; Glikman, Eilat; Petric, Andreea; Schulz, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    We present mid-infrared spectra and photometry of 13 redshift 0.4 < z < 1 dust reddened quasars obtained with Spitzer IRS and MIPS. We compare properties derived from their infrared spectral energy distributions (intrinsic active galactic nucleus (AGN) luminosity and far-infrared luminosity from star formation) to the host luminosities and morphologies from Hubble Space Telescope imaging, and black hole masses estimated from optical and/or near-infrared spectroscopy. Our results are broadly consistent with models in which most dust reddened quasars are an intermediate phase between a merger-driven starburst triggering a completely obscured AGN, and a normal, unreddened quasar. We find that many of our objects have high accretion rates, close to the Eddington limit. These objects tend to fall below the black hole mass-bulge luminosity relation as defined by local galaxies, whereas most of our low accretion rate objects are slightly above the local relation, as typical for normal quasars at these redshifts. Our observations are therefore most readily interpreted in a scenario in which galaxy stellar mass growth occurs first by about a factor of three in each merger/starburst event, followed sometime later by black hole growth by a similar amount. We do not, however, see any direct evidence for quasar feedback affecting star formation in our objects, for example, in the form of a relationship between accretion rate and star formation. Five of our objects, however, do show evidence for outflows in the [O III]5007 Å emission line profile, suggesting that the quasar activity is driving thermal winds in at least some members of our sample.

  3. COLORS OF ELLIPTICALS FROM GALEX TO SPITZER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schombert, James M., E-mail: jschombe@uoregon.edu [Department of Physics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403 (United States)

    2016-12-01

    Multi-color photometry is presented for a large sample of local ellipticals selected by morphology and isolation. The sample uses data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer ( GALEX ), Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS), and Spitzer to cover the filters NUV , ugri , JHK and 3.6 μ m. Various two-color diagrams, using the half-light aperture defined in the 2MASS J filter, are very coherent from color to color, meaning that galaxies defined to be red in one color are always red in other colors. Comparison to globular cluster colors demonstrates that ellipticals are not composed of a single age, single metallicity (e.g., [Fe/H]) stellar population, but require a multi-metallicity model using a chemical enrichment scenario. Such a model is sufficient to explain two-color diagrams and the color–magnitude relations for all colors using only metallicity as a variable on a solely 12 Gyr stellar population with no evidence of stars younger than 10 Gyr. The [Fe/H] values that match galaxy colors range from −0.5 to +0.4, much higher (and older) than population characteristics deduced from Lick/IDS line-strength system studies, indicating an inconsistency between galaxy colors and line indices values for reasons unknown. The NUV colors have unusual behavior, signaling the rise and fall of the UV upturn with elliptical luminosity. Models with blue horizontal branch tracks can reproduce this behavior, indicating the UV upturn is strictly a metallicity effect.

  4. High-precision ground-based photometry of exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Mooij Ernst J.W.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available High-precision photometry of transiting exoplanet systems has contributed significantly to our understanding of the properties of their atmospheres. The best targets are the bright exoplanet systems, for which the high number of photons allow very high signal-to-noise ratios. Most of the current instruments are not optimised for these high-precision measurements, either they have a large read-out overhead to reduce the readnoise and/or their field-of-view is limited, preventing simultaneous observations of both the target and a reference star. Recently we have proposed a new wide-field imager for the Observatoir de Mont-Megantic optimised for these bright systems (PI: Jayawardhana. The instruments has a dual beam design and a field-of-view of 17' by 17'. The cameras have a read-out time of 2 seconds, significantly reducing read-out overheads. Over the past years we have obtained significant experience with how to reach the high precision required for the characterisation of exoplanet atmospheres. Based on our experience we provide the following advice: Get the best calibrations possible. In the case of bad weather, characterise the instrument (e.g. non-linearity, dome flats, bias level, this is vital for better understanding of the science data. Observe the target for as long as possible, the out-of-transit baseline is as important as the transit/eclipse itself. A short baseline can lead to improperly corrected systematic and mis-estimation of the red-noise. Keep everything (e.g. position on detector, exposure time as stable as possible. Take care that the defocus is not too strong. For a large defocus, the contribution of the total flux from the sky-background in the aperture could well exceed that of the target, resulting in very strict requirements on the precision at which the background is measured.

  5. Lightning and Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  6. Isotope Geochemistry for Comparative Planetology of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Orbital Dynamics and Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deitrick, Russell J.

    's Pleistocene ice ages. Mutual inclinations lead not only to larger variations in a planet's obliquity, but also uncover secular spin-orbit resonances, which lead to yet more dramatic behavior. I modeled the obliquity evolution of planets in this highly non-linear dynamical regime. Connecting the dynamical models to an simple climate model with ice sheets, I modeled the effects of such dynamical evolution on an Earth-like planet's climate. As expected, such "exo-Milankovitch cycles" can be rapid and dramatic, often leading to complete collapse into a snowball state. By demonstrating a handful of the many ways dynamics can influence habitability, this research provides context to observations of exoplanets and connects to one of the key goals of astrobiology, to "Determine the potential for habitable planets beyond the Solar System, and characterize those that are observable" (Des Marais et al., 2008). It provides tools and techniques that may be used to help prioritize exoplanet targets for characterization missions when very little information is known other than orbital properties. It also demonstrates how orbital evolution affects observable quantities like albedo, and will assist in the interpretation of spectra.

  8. Characterizing Exoplanet Habitability with Emission Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

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

  9. Ground Based Support for Exoplanet Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, H.; Hentunen, V.-P.; Salmi, T.; Aartolahti, H.; Juutilainen, J.; Vilokki, H.; Nissinen, M.

    2011-10-01

    Taurus Hill Observatory (THO), observatory code A95, is an amateur observatory located in Varkaus, Finland. The observatory is maintained by the local astronomical association Warkauden Kassiopeia. THO research team has observed and measured various stellar objects and phenomena. Observatory has mainly focused to asteroid [1] and exoplanet light curve measurements, observing the gamma rays burst, supernova discoveries and monitoring [2] and long term monitoring projects [3]. In the early 2011 Europlanet NA1 and NA2 organized "Coordinated Observations of Exoplanets from Ground and Space"-workshop in Graz, Austria. The workshop gathered together proam astronomers who have the equipment to measure the light curves of the exoplanets. Also there were professional scientists working in the exoplanet field who attended to the workshop. The result of the workshop was to organize coordinated observation campaign for follow-up observations of exoplanets (e.g. CoRoT planets). Also coordinated observation campaign to observe stellar CME outbreaks was planned. THO has a lot of experience in field of exoplanet light curve measurements and therefore this campaign is very supported by the research team of the observatory. In next coming observing seasons THO will concentrate its efforts for this kind of campaigns.

  10. Investigating Space Weather Events Impacting the Spitzer Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Leo Y.; Hunt, Joseph C. Jr.; Stowers, Kennis; Lowrance, Patrick; Stewart, Andrzej; Travis, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the dynamical process in the space environment has increased dramatically. A relatively new field of study called "Space Weather" has emerged in the last few decades. Fundamental to the study of space weather is an understanding of how space weather events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections impact spacecraft in varying orbits and distances around the Sun. Specialized space weather satellite monitoring systems operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) allow scientists to predict space weather events affecting critical systems on and orbiting the Earth. However, the Spitzer Space Telescope is in an orbit far outside the areas covered by those space weather monitoring systems. This poses a challenge for the Spitzer's Mission Operations Team in determining whether space weather events affect Spitzer.

  11. A Retrieval Architecture for JWST Observations of Directly Imaged Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Alex

    2017-06-01

    I present a new modeling and retrieval code for atmospheres of directly imaged exoplanets designed for use on JWST observations, extending my previous work on transiting planets. I perform example retrievals of temperature-pressure profiles, common molecular abundances, and basic cloud properties on existing lower-resolution spectra and on simulated JWST data using forward model emission spectra for planned NIRISS and NIRCam targets. From these results, I estimate the expected return on prospective JWST observations in information-theoretic terms using the mutual information metric.

  12. Analysis of Repeatability and Reliability of Warm IRAC Observations of Transiting Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Sean J.; Krick, Jessica; Ingalls, James

    2015-12-01

    Extracting information about thermal profiles and composition of the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets is extremely challenging due to the small differential signal of the atmosphere in observations of transits, secondary eclipses, and full phase curves for exoplanets. The relevant signals are often at the level of 100 ppm or smaller and require the removal of significant instrumental systematics in the two infrared instruments currently capable of providing information at this precision, WFC3 on HST and IRAC aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. For IRAC, the systematics are due to the interplay of residual telescope pointing variation with intra-pixel gain variations in the moderately undersampled camera. There is currently a debate in the community on the reliability of repeated IRAC observations of exoplanets particularly those in eclipse from which inferences about atmospheric temperature and pressure profiles can made. To assess the repeatability and reliability of post-cryogenic observations with IRAC, the Spitzer Science Center in conjunction with volunteers from the astronomical community has performed a systematic analysis of the removal of systematics and repeatability of warm IRAC observations. Recently, a data challenge consisting of the measurement of ten secondary eclipses of XO-3b (see Wong et al. 2014) and a complementary analysis of a synthetic version of the XO-3b data was undertaken. We report on the results of this data challenge. Five different techniques were applied to the data (BLISS mapping [Stevenson et al. (2012)], kernel regression using the science data [Wong et al. (2015)] and calibration data [Krick et al. (2015)], pixel-level decorrelation [Deming et al. (2015)], ICA [Morello et al. (2015)] and Gaussian Processes [Evans et al. (2015)]) and found consistent results in terms of eclipse depth and reliability in both the actual and synthetic data. In addition, each technique obtained the input eclipse depth in the simulated data within

  13. Tidal locking of habitable exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory

    2017-12-01

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

  14. Albedo Corrections for High Albedo Near Earth Objects Observed With Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafsson, Annika; Trilling, David E.; Mommert, Michael; Hora, Joseph L.

    2017-10-01

    Thermal infrared observations are the most effective way to measure asteroid diameter and albedo. Major surveys like NEOWISE and NEOSurvey return a small fraction of objects with albedo values higher than that believed to exist in the near-Earth object (NEO) population. About 10% of Spitzer-observed NEOs have nominal albedo solutions greater than 0.5. There are many possible causes for these unrealistically high albedos, including thermal lightcurves (leading to a mis-estimate of asteroid diameter) or inaccurate absolute visual magnitudes (either from poor photometry or lightcurve effects). We present here the results of a ground-based optical photometric study of 36 high albedo NEOs from NEOSurvey (Trilling et al. 2016) using measurements from the Discovery Channel Telescope. Our findings indicate that uncertainty in the diameter has the most impact on the derived albedo of our targets, while the uncertainty in the H-magnitude and slope parameter have smaller effects. We supply corrected albedos for our target list, as well as a systematic offset dependent on the solar phase angle of the object (Mommert el al. 2017). These corrected albedo values will help constrain the albedo range in the population to better reflect its physical characteristics. This work is based in part on the observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech.

  15. Earth as an Exoplanet: Spectral Monitoring of an Inhabited Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, D. A.; Marchis, F.; Batalha, N. M.; Cabrol, N. A.; Smith, J. C.

    2018-02-01

    We propose a spectrometer for the Deep Space Gateway to monitor Earth as an exoplanet. We will measure the variability with illumination phase, rotation, clouds, and season. Results will inform future searches for biomarkers on distant exoplanets.

  16. Amateur observations of exoplanets in Finland: History and recent activities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

    Exoplanet have been observed by Finnish amateur astronomers already 17 years. Recently there are two active observers, but the interest to photometric observations on exoplanet transits is increasing in Finland.

  17. ExploreNEOs: The Warm Spitzer Near Earth Object Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trilling, D. E.; Hora, J. L.; Mueller, M.; Thomas, C. A.; Harris, A. W.; Hagen, A. R.; Mommert, M.; Benner, L.; Bhattacharya, B.; Bottke, W. F.; Chesley, S.; Delbo, M.; Emery, J. P.; Fazio, G.; Kistler, J. L.; Mainzer, A.; Morbidelli, A.; Penprase, B.; Smith, H. A.; Spahr, T. B.; Stansberry, J. A.

    2012-01-01

    We have observed some 600 near Earth objects (NEOs) at 3.6 and 4.5 microns with the Warm Spitzer Space Telescope. We derive the albedo and diameter for each NEO to characterize global properties of the NEO population, among other goals.

  18. Robert Spitzer and psychiatric classification: technical challenges and ethical dilemmas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, K S

    2016-01-01

    Dr Robert Leopold Spitzer (May 22, 1932-December 25, 2015), the architect of modern psychiatric diagnostic criteria and classification, died recently at the age of 83 in Seattle. Under his leadership, the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals (DSM) became the international standard.

  19. Exoplanet Caught on the Move

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

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

  20. Spitzer Phase Curve Constraints for WASP-43b at 3.6 and 4.5 μm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Kevin B.; Line, Michael R.; Bean, Jacob L.; Désert, Jean-Michel; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Showman, Adam P.; Kataria, Tiffany; Kreidberg, Laura; Feng, Y. Katherina

    2017-02-01

    Previous measurements of heat redistribution efficiency (the ability to transport energy from a planet’s highly irradiated dayside to its eternally dark nightside) show considerable variation between exoplanets. Theoretical models predict a positive correlation between heat redistribution efficiency and temperature for tidally locked planets; however, recent Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WASP-43b spectroscopic phase curve results are inconsistent with current predictions. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, we obtained a total of three phase curve observations of WASP-43b (P = 0.813 days) at 3.6 and 4.5 μm. The first 3.6 μm visit exhibits spurious nightside emission that requires invoking unphysical conditions in our cloud-free atmospheric retrievals. The two other visits exhibit strong day-night contrasts that are consistent with the HST data. To reconcile the departure from theoretical predictions, WASP-43b would need to have a high-altitude, nightside cloud/haze layer blocking its thermal emission. Clouds/hazes could be produced within the planet’s cool, nearly retrograde mid-latitude flows before dispersing across its nightside at high altitudes. Since mid-latitude flows only materialize in fast-rotating (≲ 1 day) planets, this may explain an observed trend connecting measured day-night contrast with planet rotation rate that matches all current Spitzer phase curve results. Combining independent planetary emission measurements from multiple phases, we obtain a precise dayside hemisphere H2O abundance (2.5× {10}-5{--}1.1× {10}-4 at 1σ confidence) and, assuming chemical equilibrium and a scaled solar abundance pattern, we derive a corresponding metallicity estimate that is consistent with being solar (0.4-1.7). Using the retrieved global CO+CO2 abundance under the same assumptions, we estimate a comparable metallicity of 0.3-1.7× solar. This is the first time that precise abundance and metallicity constraints have been determined from multiple molecular

  1. Undercover Stars Among Exoplanet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

    Very Large Telescope Finds Planet-Sized Transiting Star Summary An international team of astronomers have accurately determined the radius and mass of the smallest core-burning star known until now. The observations were performed in March 2004 with the FLAMES multi-fibre spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT Kueyen telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). They are part of a large programme aimed at measuring accurate radial velocities for sixty stars for which a temporary brightness "dip" has been detected during the OGLE survey. The astronomers find that the dip seen in the light curve of the star known as OGLE-TR-122 is caused by a very small stellar companion, eclipsing this solar-like star once every 7.3 days. This companion is 96 times heavier than planet Jupiter but only 16% larger. It is the first time that direct observations demonstrate that stars less massive than 1/10th of the solar mass are of nearly the same size as giant planets. This fact will obviously have to be taken into account during the current search for transiting exoplanets. In addition, the observations with the Very Large Telescope have led to the discovery of seven new eclipsing binaries, that harbour stars with masses below one-third the mass of the Sun, a real bonanza for the astronomers. PR Photo 06a/05: Brightness "Dip" and Velocity Variations of OGLE-TR-122. PR Photo 06b/05: Properties of Low-Mass Stars and Planets. PR Photo 06c/05: Comparison Between OGLE-TR-122b, Jupiter and the Sun. The OGLE Survey When a planet happens to pass in front of its parent star (as seen from the Earth), it blocks a small fraction of the star's light from our view [1]. These "planetary transits" are of great interest as they allow astronomers to measure in a unique way the mass and the radius of exoplanets. Several surveys are therefore underway which attempt to find these faint signatures of other worlds. One of these programmes is the OGLE survey which was originally devised to detect microlensing

  2. Revisiting the Phase Curves of WASP-43b: Confronting Re-analyzed Spitzer Data with Cloudy Atmospheres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mendonça, João M.; Malik, Matej; Demory, Brice-Olivier

    2018-01-01

    and have a finite cloud-top pressure. The multi-wavelength phase curves are naturally consistent with our cloudy atmospheres, except for the 4.5 μm phase curve, which requires the presence of enhanced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of WASP-43b. Multi-phase emission spectra at higher spectral resolution......Recently acquired Hubble and Spitzer phase curves of the short-period hot Jupiter WASP-43b make it an ideal target for confronting theory with data. On the observational front, we re-analyze the 3.6 and 4.5 μm Spitzer phase curves and demonstrate that our improved analysis better removes residual...

  3. The EXoplanet Infrared Climate TElescope (EXCITE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascale, E.; Butler, N.; Kilpatrick, B.; Korotkov, A.; Lewis, N.; Mauskopf, P.; Maxted, P.; Miko, L.; Nagler, P.; Netterfield, C. B.; Parmentier, V.; Patience, J.; Sarkar, S.; Scowen, P.; Tucker, G.; Waldmann, I.; Wen, Y.

    2017-09-01

    The EXoplanet Infrared Climate TElescope (EXCITE) is a proposed low resolution 1-4 micron spectrograph that will measure emission spectra of hot Jupiters over their full orbits, providing phase resolved spectroscopy. These spectral measurements probe varying depths in exoplanets atmospheres thus contributing to our understanding into atmospheric physics, chemistry and circulation. Hot Jupiters provide an ideal laboratory for understanding atmospheric dynamics. EXCITE uses a commercially available 0.5 m diameter telescope pointed with high accuracy and stability using the successful Balloon Imaging Testbed (BIT) pointing platform. The telescope is coupled to a cooled spectrometer made from commercially available components. The combination of these elements results in a unique instrument for exoplanet atmospheric characterization. EXCITE's initial science will result from an antarctic long duration balloon flight

  4. Discovery, Characterization, and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Are we alone in the Universe? So far, the question remains unanswered, but a significant leap forward was achieved two decades ago, with the discovery of the first planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. Almost 2000 exoplanets have now been detected. They are diverse in radius, mass and orbital......, in this thesis I make use of the transit method, which is based on the observed brightness drop of a star as a planet crosses in front of it. This thesis consists of two parts. The first part focuses on the discovery of new planets and the understanding of exoplanet properties. I report the discovery...... results of this study, constraining the masses and bulk compositions of three planets. The second part of this thesis focuses on dynamics of exoplanets. All the solar system planets orbit in nearly the same plane, and that plane is also aligned with the equatorial plane of the Sun. That is not true...

  5. A global analysis of Spitzer and new HARPS data confirms the loneliness and metal-richness of GJ 436 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanotte, A. A.; Gillon, M.; Demory, B.-O.; Fortney, J. J.; Astudillo, N.; Bonfils, X.; Magain, P.; Delfosse, X.; Forveille, T.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Neves, V.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N.; Udry, S.

    2014-12-01

    Context. GJ 436b is one of the few transiting warm Neptunes for which a detailed characterisation of the atmosphere is possible, whereas its non-negligible orbital eccentricity calls for further investigation. Independent analyses of several individual datasets obtained with Spitzer have led to contradicting results attributed to the different techniques used to treat the instrumental effects. Aims: We aim at investigating these previous controversial results and developing our knowledge of the system based on the full Spitzer photometry dataset combined with new Doppler measurements obtained with the HARPS spectrograph. We also want to search for additional planets. Methods: We optimise aperture photometry techniques and the photometric deconvolution algorithm DECPHOT to improve the data reduction of the Spitzer photometry spanning wavelengths from 3-24 μm. Adding the high-precision HARPS radial velocity data, we undertake a Bayesian global analysis of the system considering both instrumental and stellar effects on the flux variation. Results: We present a refined radius estimate of RP = 4.10 ± 0.16 R⊕ , mass MP = 25.4 ± 2.1 M⊕, and eccentricity e = 0.162 ± 0.004 for GJ 436b. Our measured transit depths remain constant in time and wavelength, in disagreement with the results of previous studies. In addition, we find that the post-occultation flare-like structure at 3.6 μm that led to divergent results on the occultation depth measurement is spurious. We obtain occultation depths at 3.6, 5.8, and 8.0 μm that are shallower than in previous works, in particular at 3.6 μm. However, these depths still appear consistent with a metal-rich atmosphere depleted in methane and enhanced in CO/CO2, although perhaps less than previously thought. We could not detect a significant orbital modulation in the 8 μm phase curve. We find no evidence of a potential planetary companion, stellar activity, or a stellar spin-orbit misalignment. Conclusions: Recent theoretical

  6. Spitzer Observations of Dust Destruction in the Puppis A Supernova Remnant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, Richard G.; Dweek, Eli; Blair, William P.; Ghavamian, Parviz; Hwang, Una; Long, Knox X.; Petre, Robert; Rho, Jeonghee; Winkler, P. Frank

    2010-01-01

    The interaction of the Puppis A supernova remnant (SNR) with a neighboring molecular cloud provides a unique opportunity to measure the amount of grain destruction in an SNR shock. Spitzer Space Telescope MIPS imaging of the entire SNR at 24, 70, and 160 micrometers shows an extremely good correlation with X-ray emission, indicating that the SNR's IR radiation is dominated by the thermal emission of swept-up interstellar dust, collisionally heated by the hot shocked gas. Spitzer IRS spectral observations targeted both the Bright Eastern Knot (BEK) of the SNR where a small cloud has been engulfed by the supernova blast wave and outlying portions of the associated molecular cloud that are yet to be hit by the shock front. Modeling the spectra from both regions reveals the composition and the grain size distribution of the interstellar dust, both in front of and behind the SNR shock front. The comparison shows that the ubiquitous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons of the interstellar medium are destroyed within the BEK, along with nearly 25% of the mass of graphite and silicate dust grains.

  7. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF DUST DESTRUCTION IN THE PUPPIS A SUPERNOVA REMNANT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arendt, Richard G.; Dwek, Eli; Blair, William P.; Hwang, Una; Ghavamian, Parviz; Long, Knox S.; Petre, Robert; Rho, Jeonghee; Winkler, P. Frank

    2010-01-01

    The interaction of the Puppis A supernova remnant (SNR) with a neighboring molecular cloud provides a unique opportunity to measure the amount of grain destruction in an SNR shock. Spitzer Space Telescope MIPS imaging of the entire SNR at 24, 70, and 160 μm shows an extremely good correlation with X-ray emission, indicating that the SNR's IR radiation is dominated by the thermal emission of swept-up interstellar dust, collisionally heated by the hot shocked gas. Spitzer IRS spectral observations targeted both the Bright Eastern Knot (BEK) of the SNR where a small cloud has been engulfed by the supernova blast wave and outlying portions of the associated molecular cloud that are yet to be hit by the shock front. Modeling the spectra from both regions reveals the composition and the grain size distribution of the interstellar dust, both in front of and behind the SNR shock front. The comparison shows that the ubiquitous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons of the interstellar medium are destroyed within the BEK, along with nearly 25% of the mass of graphite and silicate dust grains.

  8. An Automated System for Citizen Searches for Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edberg, Stephen J.

    2016-05-01

    The Panoptic Astronomical Networked OPtical observatory for Transiting Exoplanets Survey (PANOPTES) is a citizen science project which aims to build low cost, automated, robotic sky patrol camera systems which can be used to detect transiting exoplanets: planets orbiting other stars. The goal is to establish a worldwide network to image the nighttime celestial hemisphere 24/7/365. PANOPTES will search for exoplanets using the reduction in starlight caused when an exoplanet transits its host star. Individuals or groups can construct a PANOPTES station, tie it in the data reporting system, and contribute to the discovery of exoplanets across the large area of the sky not yet surveyed.

  9. Long-Period Exoplanets from Photometric Transit Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborn, Hugh

    2017-10-01

    Photometric transit surveys on the ground & in space have detected thousands of transiting exoplanets, typically by analytically combining the signals from multiple transits. This technique of exoplanet detection was exploited in K2 to detect nearly 200 candidate planets, and extensive follow-up was able to confirm the planet K2-110b as a 2.6±0.1R⊕, 16.7±3.2M⊙ planet on a 14d orbit around a K-dwarf. The ability to push beyond the time limit set by transit surveys to detect long-period transiting objects from a single eclipse was also studied. This was performed by developing a search technique to search for planets around bright stars in WASP and NGTS photometry, finding NGTS to be marginally better than WASP at detecting such planets with 4.14±0.16 per year compared to 1.43±0.15, and detecting many planet candidates for which follow-up is on-going. This search was then adapted to search for deep, long-duration eclipses in all WASP targets. The results of this survey are described in this thesis, as well as detailed results for the candidate PDS-110, a young T-Tauri star which exhibited ∼20d-long, 30%-deep eclipses in 2008 and 2011. Space-based photometers such as Kepler have the precision to identify small exoplanets and eclipsing binary candidates from only a single eclipse. K2, with its 75d campaign duration and high-precision photometry, is not only ideally suited to detect significant numbers of single-eclipsing objects, but also to characterise them from a single event. The Bayesian transit-fitting tool ("Namaste: An MCMC Analysis of Single Transit Exoplanets") was developed to extract planetary and orbital information from single transits, and was applied to 71 candidate events detected in K2 photometry. The techniques developed in this thesis are highly applicable to future transit surveys such as TESS & PLATO, which will be able to discover & characterise large numbers of long period planets in this way

  10. HAT-P-26b: A Neptune-mass exoplanet with a well-constrained heavy element abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakeford, Hannah R; Sing, David K; Kataria, Tiffany; Deming, Drake; Nikolov, Nikolay; Lopez, Eric D; Tremblin, Pascal; Amundsen, David S; Lewis, Nikole K; Mandell, Avi M; Fortney, Jonathan J; Knutson, Heather; Benneke, Björn; Evans, Thomas M

    2017-05-12

    A correlation between giant-planet mass and atmospheric heavy elemental abundance was first noted in the past century from observations of planets in our own Solar System and has served as a cornerstone of planet-formation theory. Using data from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes from 0.5 to 5 micrometers, we conducted a detailed atmospheric study of the transiting Neptune-mass exoplanet HAT-P-26b. We detected prominent H 2 O absorption bands with a maximum base-to-peak amplitude of 525 parts per million in the transmission spectrum. Using the water abundance as a proxy for metallicity, we measured HAT-P-26b's atmospheric heavy element content ([Formula: see text] times solar). This likely indicates that HAT-P-26b's atmosphere is primordial and obtained its gaseous envelope late in its disk lifetime, with little contamination from metal-rich planetesimals. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  11. Exoplanet Peer-Learning Exercises for Introductory Astronomy Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisniewski, John P.; Larson, A.

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Searching for exoplanets using artificial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  13. Deformable Mirrors Capture Exoplanet Data, Reflect Lasers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    To image and characterize exoplanets, Goddard Space Flight Center turned to deformable mirrors (DMs). Berkeley, California-based Iris AO, Inc. worked with Goddard through the SBIR program to improve the company’s microelectromechanical DMs, which are now being evaluated and used for biological research, industrial applications, and could even be used by drug manufacturers.

  14. Exoplanet environments to harbour extremophile life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janot-Pacheco, Eduardo; Lage, Claudia A. S.; Lima, Ivan G. P.

    2010-02-01

    In this contribution, we estimate the temperature at the surface of known exoplanets and of their putative satellites for two albedo extreme cases (Venus and Mars) and present a selection of extremophiles living on Earth that can live under those conditions. We examine also the possibility of survival of microorganisms in planetary systems of variable stars.

  15. Protoplanetary disks and exoplanets in scattered light

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolker, T.

    2017-01-01

    High-contrast imaging facilitates the direct detection of protoplanetary disks in scattered light and self-luminous exoplanets on long-period orbits. The combined power of extreme adaptive optics and differential imaging techniques delivers high spatial resolution images of disk morphologies down to

  16. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets1, 2, it has been known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own3. Until fairly recently, we have been able to probe only the upper range of the planet size distribution4, 5, and, since last year, to detect planets that are the size of

  17. Early 2017 observations of TRAPPIST-1 with Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delrez, L.; Gillon, M.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Demory, B.-O.; de Wit, J.; Ingalls, J. G.; Agol, E.; Bolmont, E.; Burdanov, A.; Burgasser, A. J.; Carey, S. J.; Jehin, E.; Leconte, J.; Lederer, S.; Queloz, D.; Selsis, F.; Van Grootel, V.

    2018-04-01

    The recently detected TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, with its seven planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star, offers the first opportunity to perform comparative exoplanetology of temperate Earth-sized worlds. To further advance our understanding of these planets' compositions, energy budgets, and dynamics, we are carrying out an intensive photometric monitoring campaign of their transits with the Spitzer Space Telescope. In this context, we present 60 new transits of the TRAPPIST-1 planets observed with Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) in 2017 February and March. We combine these observations with previously published Spitzer transit photometry and perform a global analysis of the resulting extensive data set. This analysis refines the transit parameters and provides revised values for the planets' physical parameters, notably their radii, using updated properties for the star. As part of our study, we also measure precise transit timings that will be used in a companion paper to refine the planets' masses and compositions using the transit timing variations method. TRAPPIST-1 shows a very low level of low-frequency variability in the IRAC 4.5-μm band, with a photometric RMS of only 0.11 per cent at a 123-s cadence. We do not detect any evidence of a (quasi-)periodic signal related to stellar rotation. We also analyse the transit light curves individually, to search for possible variations in the transit parameters of each planet due to stellar variability, and find that the Spitzer transits of the planets are mostly immune to the effects of stellar variations. These results are encouraging for forthcoming transmission spectroscopy observations of the TRAPPIST-1 planets with the James Webb Space Telescope.

  18. SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE MID-IR LIGHT CURVES OF NEPTUNE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stauffer, John; Rebull, Luisa; Carey, Sean J.; Krick, Jessica; Ingalls, James G.; Lowrance, Patrick; Glaccum, William [Spitzer Science Center (SSC), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Marley, Mark S. [NASA Ames Research Center, Space Sciences and Astrobiology Division, MS245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Gizis, John E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 (United States); Kirkpatrick, J. Davy [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, MS 100-22, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Simon, Amy A. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Solar System Exploration Division (690.0), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Wong, Michael H. [University of California, Department of Astronomy, Berkeley CA 94720-3411 (United States)

    2016-11-01

    We have used the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2016 February to obtain high cadence, high signal-to-noise, 17 hr duration light curves of Neptune at 3.6 and 4.5 μ m. The light curve duration was chosen to correspond to the rotation period of Neptune. Both light curves are slowly varying with time, with full amplitudes of 1.1 mag at 3.6 μ m and 0.6 mag at 4.5 μ m. We have also extracted sparsely sampled 18 hr light curves of Neptune at W1 (3.4 μ m) and W2 (4.6 μ m) from the Wide-feld Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE )/ NEOWISE archive at six epochs in 2010–2015. These light curves all show similar shapes and amplitudes compared to the Spitzer light curves but with considerable variation from epoch to epoch. These amplitudes are much larger than those observed with Kepler / K 2 in the visible (amplitude ∼0.02 mag) or at 845 nm with the Hubble Space Telescope ( HST ) in 2015 and at 763 nm in 2016 (amplitude ∼0.2 mag). We interpret the Spitzer and WISE light curves as arising entirely from reflected solar photons, from higher levels in Neptune’s atmosphere than for K 2. Methane gas is the dominant opacity source in Neptune’s atmosphere, and methane absorption bands are present in the HST 763 and 845 nm, WISE W1, and Spitzer 3.6 μ m filters.

  19. The Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  20. High-contrast imaging search for stellar and substellar companions of exoplanet host stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugrauer, M.; Ginski, C.

    2015-07-01

    We present the results of our high-contrast imaging survey of close stellar and substellar companions of exoplanet host stars, carried out with the adaptive optics imager NACO at the ESO Paranal observatory, in Chile. In total, 33 exoplanet host stars were observed with NACO in the Ks-band. New comoving companions could be identified close to the stars HD 9578, HD 96167, and HD 142245. The newly detected companions exhibit masses between 0.21 and 0.56 M⊙ and are located at projected separations from their primaries between about 190 and 510 au. In the case of HD 142245, we found evidence that the detected companion is actually a close binary itself with a projected separation of only about 4 au, i.e. HD 142245 might be a hierarchical triple stellar system, which hosts an exoplanet, a new member in the short list of such systems, presently known. In our imaging campaign, a limiting magnitude of Ks = 18.5 mag is reached in average in the background noise limited region around our targets at projected separations beyond about 100 au, which allows the detection of substellar companions with masses down to about 60 MJup. With our NACO observations we can rule out additional stellar companions at projected separations between about 30 and 370 au around the observed exoplanet host stars.

  1. Exoplanet and brown dwarf atmosphere characterization with NIRISS SOSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafreniere, David; JWST NIRISS GTO Team

    2017-06-01

    The SOSS mode of NIRISS offers a unique combination of wide wavelength coverage (0.6-2.8 μm), medium resolving power (R=500-2000), and slit-less operation that makes it powerful for time series observations aimed at characterizing the atmosphere of exoplanets and brown dwarfs. In this talk I will present the NIRISS GTO team plan to obtain NIRISS SOSS transit and eclipse observations of a sample of 14 exoplanets that span the full available range of equilibrium temperatures (300-3000 K) and masses (1 MEarth - 10 MJup) for planets amenable to atmospheric characterization. Our observations will measure the abundance of the molecules and aerosols present in the exoplanets’ atmosphere and determine the vertical temperature structure of the hottest targets. These results will allow us to address fundamental issues such as the formation process and formation location of these close-in planets, the presence and characteristics of particulate clouds, and non-equilibrium chemistry effects that might be at play in their atmosphere. Four of our targets are rocky and for these we intend to place some of the first constraints on the mean molecular weight, and hence bulk composition, of their atmospheres. For one target, we will acquire observations continuously throughout a full orbital period to constrain its temperature-pressure profile as a function of longitude and study how heat is absorbed and redistributed in its atmosphere. Finally, we will also observe a variable early-T dwarf continuously for a complete rotation period, to study the vertical extent of its dust clouds and the upwelling processes happening in its atmosphere. I will present how we developed our plan, highlighting some important considerations specific to SOSS observations, as well as some tools that are publicly available to help potential users plan their own SOSS observations.

  2. The Spitzer search for the transits of HARPS low-mass planets. II. Null results for 19 planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, M.; Demory, B.-O.; Lovis, C.; Deming, D.; Ehrenreich, D.; Lo Curto, G.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Seager, S.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2017-05-01

    Short-period super-Earths and Neptunes are now known to be very frequent around solar-type stars. Improving our understanding of these mysterious planets requires the detection of a significant sample of objects suitable for detailed characterization. Searching for the transits of the low-mass planets detected by Doppler surveys is a straightforward way to achieve this goal. Indeed, Doppler surveys target the most nearby main-sequence stars, they regularly detect close-in low-mass planets with significant transit probability, and their radial velocity data constrain strongly the ephemeris of possible transits. In this context, we initiated in 2010 an ambitious Spitzer multi-Cycle transit search project that targeted 25 low-mass planets detected by radial velocity, focusing mainly on the shortest-period planets detected by the HARPS spectrograph. We report here null results for 19 targets of the project. For 16 planets out of 19, a transiting configuration is strongly disfavored or firmly rejected by our data for most planetary compositions. We derive a posterior probability of 83% that none of the probed 19 planets transits (for a prior probability of 22%), which still leaves a significant probability of 17% that at least one of them does transit. Globally, our Spitzer project revealed or confirmed transits for three of its 25 targeted planets, and discarded or disfavored the transiting nature of 20 of them. Our light curves demonstrate for Warm Spitzer excellent photometric precisions: for 14 targets out of 19, we were able to reach standard deviations that were better than 50 ppm per 30 min intervals. Combined with its Earth-trailing orbit, which makes it capable of pointing any star in the sky and to monitor it continuously for days, this work confirms Spitzer as an optimal instrument to detect sub-mmag-deep transits on the bright nearby stars targeted by Doppler surveys. The photometric and radial velocity time series used in this work are only available at the

  3. Physical and Chemical Toeholds for Exoplanet Bioastronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori

    2013-01-01

    If a search for exoplanet life were mounted today, the likely focus would be to detect oxygen (or ozone) in the atmosphere of a water-bearing rocky planet orbiting roughly 1AU from a G-type star. This appropriately conservative and practical default is necessary in large part because biological input on the question of where and how to look for life has progressed little beyond a purely empirical reliance on the example of terrestrial biology. However, fundamental physical and chemical considerations may impose significant yet universal constraints on biological potential. The liquid water + oxygen paradigm will be considered as an example, with a focus on the question, is liquid water a prerequisite for life? . Life requires a solvent to mediate interactions among biological molecules. A key class of these interactions is molecular recognition with high specificity, which is essential for high fidelity catalysis and (especially) information processing. For example, to correctly reproduce a string consisting of 600,000 units of information (e.g., 600 kilobases, equivalent to the genome of the smallest free living terrestrial organisms) with a 90% success rate requires specificity greater than 10(exp 7):1 for the target molecule vs. incorrect alternatives. Such specificity requires (i) that the correct molecular association is energetically stabilized by at least 40 kJ/mol relative to alternatives, and (ii) that the system is able to sample among possible states (alternative molecular associations) rapidly enough to allow the system to fall under thermodynamic control and express the energetic stabilization. We argue that electrostatic interactions are required to confer the necessary energetic stabilization vs. a large library of molecular alternatives, and that a solvent with polarity and dielectric properties comparable to water is required for the system to sample among possible states and express thermodynamic control. Electrostatic associations can be made in

  4. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF WHITE DWARFS: THE MISSING PLANETARY DEBRIS AROUND DZ STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.

    2012-01-01

    We report a Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera search for infrared excesses around white dwarfs, including 14 newly observed targets and 16 unpublished archived stars. We find a substantial infrared excess around two warm white dwarfs—J220934.84+122336.5 and WD 0843+516, the latter apparently being the hottest white dwarf known to display a close-in dust disk. Extending previous studies, we find that the fraction of white dwarfs with dust disks increases as the star's temperature increases; for stars cooler than 10,000 K, even the most heavily polluted ones do not have ∼1000 K dust. There is tentative evidence that the dust disk occurrence is correlated with the volatility of the accreted material. In the Appendix, we modify a previous analysis to clarify how Poynting-Robertson drag might play an important role in transferring materials from a dust disk into a white dwarf's atmosphere.

  5. Observations and modeling of the transiting exoplanets XO-2b, HAT-P-18b, and WASP-80b

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjurkchieva Diana P.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We present photometric observations and transit solutions of the exoplanets XO-2b, HAT-P-18b and WASP 80b. Our solution of the XO-2b transit gave system parameters whose values are close to those of the previous studies. The solutions of the new transits of HAT-P-18b and WASP 80b differ from the previous ones by bigger stellar and planet radii. We obtained new values of the target initial epochs corresponding to slightly different periods. Our investigation reaffirmed that small telescopes can be used successfully for the study of exoplanets orbiting stars brighter than 13 mag.

  6. The Radiation Environment of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey L. Linsky

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Extremophile life-form survey on rocky exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Jagadeesh, Madhu Kashyap

    2018-01-01

    Search for different life-forms elsewhere is the fascinating area of research in astrophysics and astrobiology. Nearly 3500 exoplanets are discovered according to NASA exoplanet archive database. Earth Similarity Index (ESI) is defined as the geometrical mean of radius, density, escape velocity and surface temperature, ranging from 0 (dissimilar to Earth) to 1(Earth). In this research, rocky exoplanets that are suitable for rock dependent extremophiles, such as: Chroococcidiopsis and Acarospo...

  8. WFIRST: Exoplanet Data Challenge. Atmospheric retrieval results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrandt, Sergi; Turnbull, Margaret; Exoplanet Data Challenge Team

    2018-01-01

    We present the results of the Exoplanet Data Challenge for its first 2016/17 cycle and the current cycle 2. Some input spectra for extra-solar systems are processed through the WFIRST IFS instrument model, producing simulated data representative of the flight data. Atmospheric properties are then recovered using complex atmospheric models and multidimensional optimization. The results inform about WFIRST CGI ability to characterize exo-planetray atmospheres.

  9. THEORETICAL SPECTRA OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET SURFACES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-06-10

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

  10. Model-independent Exoplanet Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, Erik; Piskunov, Nikolai

    2018-05-01

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

  11. THE SPITZER -HETDEX EXPLORATORY LARGE-AREA SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Papovich, C.; Shipley, H. V.; Mehrtens, N.; Lanham, C.; DePoy, D. L.; Kawinwanichakij, L.; Lacy, M.; Ciardullo, R.; Gronwall, C.; Finkelstein, S. L.; Drory, N.; Gebhardt, K.; Hill, G. J.; Jogee, S.; Bassett, R.; Behroozi, P.; Blanc, G. A.; Jong, R. S. de; Gawiser, E.; Hopp, U.

    2016-01-01

    We present post-cryogenic Spitzer imaging at 3.6 and 4.5 μ m with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) of the Spitzer /HETDEX Exploratory Large-Area (SHELA) survey. SHELA covers ≈24 deg 2 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey “Stripe 82” region, and falls within the footprints of the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) and the Dark Energy Survey. The HETDEX blind R ∼ 800 spectroscopy will produce ∼200,000 redshifts from the Ly α emission for galaxies in the range 1.9 <  z  < 3.5, and an additional ∼200,000 redshifts from the [O ii] emission for galaxies at z  < 0.5. When combined with deep ugriz images from the Dark Energy Camera, K -band images from NEWFIRM, and other ancillary data, the IRAC photometry from Spitzer will enable a broad range of scientific studies of the relationship between structure formation, galaxy stellar mass, halo mass, the presence of active galactic nuclei, and environment over a co-moving volume of ∼0.5 Gpc 3 at 1.9 <  z  < 3.5. Here, we discuss the properties of the SHELA IRAC data set, including the data acquisition, reduction, validation, and source catalogs. Our tests show that the images and catalogs are 80% (50%) complete to limiting magnitudes of 22.0 (22.6) AB mag in the detection image, which is constructed from the weighted sum of the IRAC 3.6 and 4.5 μ m images. The catalogs reach limiting sensitivities of 1.1  μ Jy at both 3.6 and 4.5 μ m (1 σ , for R = 2″ circular apertures). As a demonstration of the science, we present IRAC number counts, examples of highly temporally variable sources, and galaxy surface density profiles of rich galaxy clusters. In the spirit of the Spitzer Exploratory programs, we provide all of the images and catalogs as part of the publication.

  12. Measurement of the Transverse Spitzer Resistivity during Collisional Magnetic Reconnection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trintchouk, F.; Yamada, M.; Ji, H.; Kulsrud, R.M.; Carter, T.A.

    2000-01-01

    Measurement of the transverse resistivity was carried out in a reconnecting current sheet where the mean free path for the Coulomb collision is smaller than the thickness of the sheet. In a collisional neutral sheet without a guide field, the transverse resistivity is directly related to the reconnection rate. A remarkable agreement is found between the measured resistivity and the classical value derived by L. Spitzer. In his calculation the transverse resistivity for the electrons is higher than the parallel resistivity by a factor of 1.96. The measured values have verified this theory to within 30% errors

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kraus, Adam L.; Ireland, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Probing Into the Atmosphere of the Young Exoplanet K2-25b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chia Thao, Pa; Mann, Andrew

    2018-01-01

    Planets are most transformative during their early life, yet there remains little research on this developmental stage. In order to construct a more accurate picture of the diversity and evolution of planetary atmospheres, we present Spitzer infrared photometry of five transits both in 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm bands of the young exoplanet, K2-25b (650-800 Myr). To correct for the intra-pixel photometric response, we interpolated high-resolution sensitivity maps. Light curves were then created using a transit model and an MCMC framework to find the planet parameters in each wavelength. In comparison to atmospheric theoretical models, we find K2-25b unlikely to have a solar-metallicity atmosphere. However, observed through a full transmission spectrum, K2-25b is consistent with either a high-metallicity atmosphere or a cloudy/hazy layer. Further HST data would provide significantly more detail on the structure of the atmosphere. In a future project, we plan to apply this same method to a younger planet, K2-33b (11 Myr), to determine if cloudy/hazy atmospheres are primordial.

  15. Albedo and Diameter Distributions of Asteroid Families Using the Spitzer Asteroid Catalog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enga, Marie-Therese; Trilling, D.; Mueller, M.; Wasserman, L.; Sykes, M.; Blaylock, M.; Stansberry, J.; Bhattacharya, B.; Spahr, T.

    2009-01-01

    The Spitzer Asteroid Catalog contains flux measurements of asteroidsserendipitously observed in publicly available Spitzer data. At present,this catalog contains some 10,000 measurements at 24 microns only, andwill ultimately contain 100,000 measurements or more. These measurements, along with with

  16. Multiple asteroid systems : Dimensions and thermal properties from Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marchis, F.; Enriquez, J. E.; Emery, J. P.; Mueller, M.; Baek, M.; Pollock, J.; Assafin, M.; Vieira Martins, R.; Berthier, J.; Vachier, F.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Lim, L. F.; Reichart, D. E.; Ivarsen, K. M.; Haislip, J. B.; LaCluyze, A. P.

    2012-01-01

    We collected mid-IR spectra from 5.2 to 38 μm using the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph of 28 asteroids representative of all established types of binary groups. Photometric lightcurves were also obtained for 14 of them during the Spitzer observations to provide the context of the

  17. In the Crosshair: Astrometric Exoplanet Detection with WFIRST's Diffraction Spikes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchior, Peter; Spergel, David; Lanz, Arianna

    2018-02-01

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

  18. An exoplanet with a stratosphere: seeking the unknown absorber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Tom

    2017-08-01

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

  19. Hubble/WFC3 Spectroscopy of the Transiting Exoplanets WASP-19b and WASP-17b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, A.; Haynes, K.; Sinukoff, E.; Deming, D.; Wlikins, A.; Madhusudhan, N.; Agol, E.; Burrows, A.; Charbonneau, D.; Gilliland, R.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Measurements of transiting exoplanets that target extremes in parameter space offer the best chance to disentangle the structure and composition of the atmospheres of hot Jupiters. WASP-19b is one of the hottest exoplanets discovered to date, while WASP-17b has a much lower equilibrium temperature but has one of the largest atmospheric radii of known transiting planets. We discuss results from HST/WFC3 grism 1.1-1.7 micron spectroscopy of these planets during transit. We compare our integrated-light transit depths to previous IR transit photometry, and derive the 1.4-micron water absorption spectrum. We discuss implications for the atmospheric composition and structure of these hot Jupiters, and outline future observations that will further expand on these results.

  20. Quality Control of The Miniature Exoplanet Radio Velocity Array(MINERVA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera García, Kevin O.; Eastman, Jason D.

    2017-01-01

    The MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array, also known as MINERVA , is a network of four robotic 0.7 meter telescopes that is conducting a Radial Velocity survey of the nearest, brightest stars in search of small and rocky exoplanets. The robotic telescope array is located in Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Arizona. MINERVA began science operations in 2015 and we are constantly improving its observing efficiency. We will describe performance statistics that we have developed in Python to proactively identify problems before they impede observations. We have written code to monitor the pointing error for each telescope to ensure it will always be able to acquire a target in the 3 arcminute field of view of its acquisition camera, but there are still some issues that need to be identified. The end goal for this research is to automatically address any common malfunction that may cause the observation to fail and ultimately improve our observing efficiency.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. The WASP-South search for transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Queloz D.

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    gates the existence of Benford's distribution in the extrasolar world using Kepler data for exoplanets. The quantitative investigations have revealed the presence of Benford's distribution in various physical properties of these exoplanets. Further, some specific comments have been made on the possible general- izations of ...

  4. The Exoplanet Characterization ToolKit (ExoCTK)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Lightning chemistry on Earth-like exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  6. TRUE MASSES OF RADIAL-VELOCITY EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  7. Searching for Exoplanets using Artificial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  8. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bentum, Marinus Jan

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Unusual Slowly Rotating Brown Dwarfs Discovered through Precision Spitzer Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, Aren; Metchev, S.

    2014-01-01

    Many brown dwarfs exhibit low-amplitude rotationally modulated variability due to photospheric inhomogeneities caused by condensate clouds in their atmospheres. The Spitzer Space Telescope 'Weather on Other Worlds' (WoW) project has monitored 44 brown dwarfs at unprecedented photometric precision from space. We present one of several important new results from WoW: the discovery of brown dwarfs with unexpectedly slow rotation periods. While most brown dwarfs have periods of 2-12 hours, we have identified two with well-constrained periods of 13±1 and >20 hours, respectively, and 2 others that show more tentative evidence of longer than 20-hour periods. By serving as almost non-rotating standards, these objects will allow more accurate calibration of spectroscopic measurements of brown dwarfs' projected rotational velocities. The existence of such slowly-rotating objects also constrains models of brown dwarf formation and angular momentum evolution.

  12. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Infrared Astrophysics with Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudgins, Douglas M.; Allamandola, L. J.

    2004-01-01

    Over the past fifteen years, thanks to significant, parallel advancements in observational, experimental, and theoretical techniques, tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of the role that carbon-rich plays in the interstellar medium (ISM). Twenty years ago, the possible existence of an abundant population of large, carbon-rich molecules in the ISM was unthinkable. Today, the unmistakable spectroscopic signatures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - shockingly large molecules by the standards of traditional interstellar chemistry -are recognized throughout the Universe. In this presentation, we will examine the current state of the interstellar PAH model and explore how this data, in conjunction with the unparalleled observational data provided by the Spitzer Space Telescope, can be used to draw ever-deeper insights into the physical and chemical natures of a wide range of astrophysical environments.

  13. TYCHO: Simulating Exoplanets Within Stellar Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-02

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

  15. The science of exoplanets and their systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  16. ESPRESSO: The next European exoplanet hunter

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Exoplanets finding, exploring, and understanding alien worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Kitchin, Chris

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Exoplanet Searches by Future Deep Space Missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maccone C.

    2011-02-01

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

  19. MEMS and the direct detection of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Sandrine J.; Macintosh, Bruce; Belikov, Ruslan

    2014-03-01

    Deformable mirrors, and particularly MEMS, are crucial components for the direct imaging of exoplanets for both ground-based and space-based instruments. Without deformable mirrors, coronagraphs are incapable of reaching contrasts required to image Jupiter-like planets. The system performance is limited by image quality degradation resulting from wavefront error introduced from multiple effects including: atmospheric turbulence, static aberrations in the system, non-common-path aberrations, all of which vary with time. Correcting for these effects requires a deformable mirror with fast response and numerous actuators having moderate stroke. Not only do MEMS devices fulfill this requirement but their compactness permits their application in numerous space- and ground-based instruments, which are often volume- and mass-limited. In this paper, I will briefly explain how coronagraphs work and their requirements. I then will discuss the Extreme Adaptive Optics needed to compensate for the introduced wavefront error and how MEMS devices are a good choice to achieve the performance needed to produce the contrasts necessary to detect exoplanets. As examples, I will discuss a facility instrument for the Gemini Observatory, called the Gemini Planet Imager, that will detect Jupiter-like planets and present recent results from the NASA Ames Coronagraph Experiment laboratory, in the context of a proposed space- based mission called EXCEDE. EXCEDE is planned to focus on protoplanetary disks.

  20. Direct detection of hundreds of exoplanets with a space-based mid-infrared interferometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quanz, S. P.; Kammerer, J.

    2017-09-01

    One of the long-term goals of exoplanet research is the (atmospheric) characterization of a sizeable sample of small, terrestrial planets in order to assess their potential habitability. In this context it is important to quantitatively assess the scientific return of various mission concepts in order to derive robust science requirements. While transit and secondary eclipse spectroscopy may provide data on a few systems, it seems questionable whether a larger planet sample can be investigated given that most planets do not transit in front of their host stars. Hence, direct detection methods may be required. Here we predict the exoplanet yield of a space-based mid-infrared nulling interferometer (akin to the Darwin mission concept) using a catalog of nearby stars and the planet occurrence rates found by NASA's Kepler mission. We find that a mission with the technical specifications of Darwin could detect >300 exoplanets (with radii between 0.5 and 6 Earth radii). Roughly 85 planets have radii between 0.5 and 1.75 Earth radii and equilibrium temperatures between 200 and 450 K and are prime targets for spectroscopic follow-up observations in the second phase of the mission investigating their potential habitability. Higher planet yields can be realized by further optimizing the observing strategy. We also compare the baseline planet yield of a space-based mid-infrared interferometer to that of a large space-based optical/IR telescope. We conclude that a Darwin-like mission concept should be put back on the long-term agenda of the exoplanet community and related space agencies.

  1. SIMULTANEOUS EXOPLANET CHARACTERIZATION AND DEEP WIDE-FIELD IMAGING WITH A DIFFRACTIVE PUPIL TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guyon, Olivier; Eisner, Josh A.; Angel, Roger; Woolf, Neville J.; Bendek, Eduardo A.; Milster, Thomas D.; Ammons, S. Mark; Shao, Michael; Shaklan, Stuart; Levine, Marie; Nemati, Bijan; Martinache, Frantz; Pitman, Joe; Woodruff, Robert A.; Belikov, Ruslan

    2013-01-01

    High-precision astrometry can identify exoplanets and measure their orbits and masses while coronagraphic imaging enables detailed characterization of their physical properties and atmospheric compositions through spectroscopy. In a previous paper, we showed that a diffractive pupil telescope (DPT) in space can enable sub-μas accuracy astrometric measurements from wide-field images by creating faint but sharp diffraction spikes around the bright target star. The DPT allows simultaneous astrometric measurement and coronagraphic imaging, and we discuss and quantify in this paper the scientific benefits of this combination for exoplanet science investigations: identification of exoplanets with increased sensitivity and robustness, and ability to measure planetary masses to high accuracy. We show how using both measurements to identify planets and measure their masses offers greater sensitivity and provides more reliable measurements than possible with separate missions, and therefore results in a large gain in mission efficiency. The combined measurements reliably identify potentially habitable planets in multiple systems with a few observations, while astrometry or imaging alone would require many measurements over a long time baseline. In addition, the combined measurement allows direct determination of stellar masses to percent-level accuracy, using planets as test particles. We also show that the DPT maintains the full sensitivity of the telescope for deep wide-field imaging, and is therefore compatible with simultaneous scientific observations unrelated to exoplanets. We conclude that astrometry, coronagraphy, and deep wide-field imaging can be performed simultaneously on a single telescope without significant negative impact on the performance of any of the three techniques.

  2. VLT Detects First Superstorm on Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

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

  3. Revisiting the Phase Curves of WASP-43b: Confronting Re-analyzed Spitzer Data with Cloudy Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendonça, João M.; Malik, Matej; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Heng, Kevin

    2018-04-01

    Recently acquired Hubble and Spitzer phase curves of the short-period hot Jupiter WASP-43b make it an ideal target for confronting theory with data. On the observational front, we re-analyze the 3.6 and 4.5 μm Spitzer phase curves and demonstrate that our improved analysis better removes residual red noise due to intra-pixel sensitivity, which leads to greater fluxes emanating from the nightside of WASP-43b, thus reducing the tension between theory and data. On the theoretical front, we construct cloud-free and cloudy atmospheres of WASP-43b using our Global Circulation Model (GCM), THOR, which solves the non-hydrostatic Euler equations (compared to GCMs that typically solve the hydrostatic primitive equations). The cloud-free atmosphere produces a reasonable fit to the dayside emission spectrum. The multi-phase emission spectra constrain the cloud deck to be confined to the nightside and have a finite cloud-top pressure. The multi-wavelength phase curves are naturally consistent with our cloudy atmospheres, except for the 4.5 μm phase curve, which requires the presence of enhanced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of WASP-43b. Multi-phase emission spectra at higher spectral resolution, as may be obtained using the James Webb Space Telescope, and a reflected-light phase curve at visible wavelengths would further constrain the properties of clouds in WASP-43b.

  4. Spitzer IRS (8-30 micron) Spectra of Basaltic Asteroids 1459 Magnya and 956 Elisa: Mineralogy and Thermal Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Lucy F.; Emery, J. P.; Moskovitz, N. A.

    2009-01-01

    We report preliminary results from Spitzer IRS (Infrared Spectrograph) spectroscopy of 956 Elisa, 1459 Magnya, and other small basaltic asteroids with the Spitzer IRS. Program targets include members of the dynamical family of the unique large differentiated asteroid 4 Vesta ("Vestoids"), several outer-main-belt basaltic asteroids whose orbits exclude them from originating on 4 Vesta, and the basaltic near-Earth asteroid 4055 Magellan. The preliminary thermal model (STM) fit to the 5--35 micron spectrum of 956 Elisa gives a radius of 5.4 +/- 0.3 km and a subsolar- point temperature of 282.2 +/- 0.5 K. This temperature corresponds to eta approximately equals 1.06 +/- 0.02, which is substantially higher than the eta approximately equals 0.756 characteristic of large main-belt asteroids. Unlike 4 Vesta and other large asteroids, therefore, 956 Elisa has significant thermal inertia in its surface layer. The wavelength of the Christiansen feature (emissivity maximum near 9 micron), the positions and shapes of the narrow maxima (10 micron, 11 micron) within the broad 9--14 micron silicate band, and the 19--20 micron minimum are consistent with features found in the laboratory spectra of diogenites and of low-Ca pyroxenes of similar composition (Wo<5, En50-En75).

  5. SPITZER SECONDARY ECLIPSE DEPTHS WITH MULTIPLE INTRAPIXEL SENSITIVITY CORRECTION METHODS OBSERVATIONS OF WASP-13b, WASP-15b, WASP-16b, WASP-62b, AND HAT-P-22b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kilpatrick, Brian M.; Tucker, Gregory S. [Department of Physics, Box 1843, Brown University, Providence, RI 02904 (United States); Lewis, Nikole K. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Kataria, Tiffany [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Ingalls, James G.; Krick, Jessica E., E-mail: brian_kilpatrick@brown.edu, E-mail: nlewis@stsci.org, E-mail: tiffany.kataria@jpl.nasa.gov, E-mail: ddeming@astro.umd.edu, E-mail: krick@ipac.caltech.edu [Spitzer Science Center, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Mail Code 220-6, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2017-01-01

    We measure the 4.5 μ m thermal emission of five transiting hot Jupiters, WASP-13b, WASP-15b, WASP-16b, WASP-62b, and HAT-P-22b using channel 2 of the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope . Significant intrapixel sensitivity variations in Spitzer IRAC data require careful correction in order to achieve precision on the order of several hundred parts per million (ppm) for the measurement of exoplanet secondary eclipses. We determine eclipse depths by first correcting the raw data using three independent data reduction methods. The Pixel Gain Map (PMAP), Nearest Neighbors (NNBR), and Pixel Level Decorrelation (PLD) each correct for the intrapixel sensitivity effect in Spitzer photometric time-series observations. The results from each methodology are compared against each other to establish if they reach a statistically equivalent result in every case and to evaluate their ability to minimize uncertainty in the measurement. We find that all three methods produce reliable results. For every planet examined here NNBR and PLD produce results that are in statistical agreement. However, the PMAP method appears to produce results in slight disagreement in cases where the stellar centroid is not kept consistently on the most well characterized area of the detector. We evaluate the ability of each method to reduce the scatter in the residuals as well as in the correlated noise in the corrected data. The NNBR and PLD methods consistently minimize both white and red noise levels and should be considered reliable and consistent. The planets in this study span equilibrium temperatures from 1100 to 2000 K and have brightness temperatures that require either high albedo or efficient recirculation. However, it is possible that other processes such as clouds or disequilibrium chemistry may also be responsible for producing these brightness temperatures.

  6. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Spitzer photometric time series of HD 97658 (Van Grootel+, 2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Grootel, V.; Gillon, M.; Valencia, D.; Madhusudhan, N.; Dragomir, D.; Howe, A. R.; Burrows, A. S.; Demory, B.-O.; Deming, D.; Ehrenreich, D.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Scuflaire, R.; Seager, S.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2017-07-01

    We monitored HD 97658 with Spitzer's IRAC camera on 2013 August 10 from 13:01:00 to 18:27:00 UT, corresponding to a transit window as computed from the MOST transit ephemeris (Dragomir et al. 2013, J/ApJ/772/L2). These Spitzer data were acquired in the context of the Cycle 9 program 90072 (PI: M. Gillon) dedicated to the search for the transits of RV-detected low-mass planets. They consist of 2320 sets of 64 individual subarray images obtained at 4.5 μm with an integration time of 0.08 s. They are available on the Spitzer Heritage Archive database under the form of 2320 Basic Calibrated Data files calibrated by the standard Spitzer reduction pipeline (version S19.1.0). (1 data file).

  7. 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

  8. Novel Optical SETI Observations of Three Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. Photometric Exoplanet Characterization and Multimedia Astronomy Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Kimberly M. S.

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

  10. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-28

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

  11. PynPoint code for exoplanet imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. Astronomy: Ozone-like layer in an exoplanet atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heng, Kevin

    2017-08-01

    The nature of exoplanetary atmospheres is hotly debated. The thermal spectrum of an exoplanet called a hot Jupiter reveals the presence of an analogue of Earth's ozone layer, although its composition is unknown. See Letter p.58

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Habitable Exoplanet Imager: Optical Telescope Structural Design and Performance Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Spitzer identification of potentially active Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David; Hora, Joseph; Smith, Howard; Chesley, Steve; Emery, Josh; Farnocchia, Davide; Fazio, Giovanni; Harris, Alan; Mueller, Migo

    2017-04-01

    The separation between asteroids and comets has become less clear with the discovery of a small group of asteroids that display comet-like activity. While the activity is attributed to different mechanisms, some objects seem to activate close to the Sun. Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) come close to the Earth and the Sun, constituting a natural laboratory for the study of thermally induced activity. Two NEA sub-populations are especially suspected of being potentially active: dormant comets and near-Sun asteroids. We propose 12.4 hrs of Spitzer IRAC observations of 3 near-Sun asteroids and one dormant comet (3552) Don Quixote, about which we have already published. Our goals are (1) to search for activity in Don Quixote, which showed CO/CO2 activity during its previous apparition and (2) to search for activity and measure the diameters and albedos of the near-Sun asteroids. In combination with a funded ground-based observing program, our results will provide significant legacy value to the investigation of activity in near-Earth asteroids.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. Detected Timing for Exoplanet TrES-5b. Possible Existence of Exoplanet TrES-5c

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  19. HAT-P-26b: A Neptune-mass Exoplanet with Primordial Solar Heavy Element Abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakeford, Hannah R.; Sing, David K.; Kataria, Tiffany; Deming, Drake; Nikolov, Nikolay; Lopez, Eric; Tremblin, Pascal; Skalid Amundsen, David; Lewis, Nikole K.; Mandell, Avi; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Knutson, Heather; Benneke, Björn; Evans, Tom M.

    2017-01-01

    A trend in giant planet mass and atmospheric heavy elemental abundance was first noted last century from observations of planets in our own solar system. These four data points from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune have served as a corner stone of planet formation theory. Here we add another point in the mass-metallicity trend from a detailed observational study of the extrasolar planet HAT-P-26b, which inhabits the critical mass regime near Neptune and Uranus. Neptune-sized worlds are among the most common planets in our galaxy and frequently exist in orbital periods very different from that of our own solar system ice giants. Atmospheric studies are the principal window into these worlds, and thereby into their formation and evolution, beyond those of our own solar system. Using the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer, from the optical to the infrared, we conducted a detailed atmospheric study of the Neptune-mass exoplanet HAT-P-26b over 0.5 to 4.5 μm. We detect prominent H2O absorption at 1.4 μm to 525 ppm in the atmospheric transmission spectrum. We determine that HAT-P-26b’s atmosphere is not rich in heavy elements (≈1.8×solar), which goes distinctly against the solar system mass-metallicity trend. This likely indicates that HAT-P-26b’s atmosphere is primordial and obtained its gaseous envelope late in its disk lifetime with little contamination from metal-rich planetesimals.

  20. VLT Captures First Direct Spectrum of an Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  1. PULSATION FREQUENCIES AND MODES OF GIANT EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Bihan, Bastien [Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France. (France); Burrows, Adam, E-mail: bastien.le-bihan@polytechnique.edu, E-mail: burrows@astro.princeton.edu [Department of Astrophysical Science, Peyton Hall Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)

    2013-02-10

    We calculate the eigenfrequencies and eigenfunctions of the acoustic oscillations of giant exoplanets and explore the dependence of the characteristic frequency {nu}{sub 0} and the eigenfrequencies on several parameters: the planet mass, the planet radius, the core mass, and the heavy element mass fraction in the envelope. We provide the eigenvalues for degree l up to 8 and radial order n up to 12. For the selected values of l and n, we find that the pulsation eigenfrequencies depend strongly on the planet mass and radius, especially at high frequency. We quantify this dependence through the calculation of the characteristic frequency {nu}{sub 0} which gives us an estimate of the scale of the eigenvalue spectrum at high frequency. For the mass range 0.5 M{sub J} {<=} M{sub P} {<=} 15 M{sub J} , and fixing the planet radius to the Jovian value, we find that {nu}{sub 0} {approx} 164.0 Multiplication-Sign (M{sub P} /M{sub J} ){sup 0.48}{mu}Hz, where M{sub P} is the planet mass and M{sub J} is Jupiter's mass. For the radius range from 0.9 to 2.0 R{sub J} , and fixing the planet's mass to the Jovian value, we find that {nu}{sub 0} {approx} 164.0 Multiplication-Sign (R{sub P} /R{sub J} ){sup -2.09}{mu}Hz, where R{sub P} is the planet radius and R{sub J} is Jupiter's radius. We explore the influence of the presence of a dense core on the pulsation frequencies and on the characteristic frequency of giant exoplanets. We find that the presence of heavy elements in the envelope affects the eigenvalue distribution in ways similar to the presence of a dense core. Additionally, we apply our formalism to Jupiter and Saturn and find results consistent with both the observational data of Gaulme et al. and previous theoretical work.

  2. Exoplanet Classification and Yield Estimates for Direct Imaging Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  3. Spitzer Observations of Massive, Red Galaxies at High Redshift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papovich, C.; Moustakas, L. A.; Dickinson, M.; Le Floc'h, E.; Rieke, G. H.; Daddi, E.; Alexander, D. M.; Bauer, F.; Brandt, W. N.; Dahlen, T.; Egami, E.; Eisenhardt, P.; Elbaz, D.; Ferguson, H. C.; Giavalisco, M.; Lucas, R. A.; Mobasher, B.; Pérez-González, P. G.; Stutz, A.; Rieke, M. J.; Yan, H.

    2006-03-01

    We study massive galaxies at z~1-3.5 using HST optical imaging, ground-based near-IR imaging, and Spitzer observations at 3-24 μm. From Ks-selected galaxies in the ~=130 arcmin2 GOODS-S field, we identify 153 distant red galaxies (DRGs) with (J-Ks)Vega>=2.3. This sample is approximately complete in stellar mass for passively evolving galaxies above 1011 Msolar and z~4-6 mag) starbursts (at zmed~1.7). Very few DRGs (=1011 Msolar have specific star formation rates (SFRs per unit mass) including the reradiated far-IR emission that range from 0.2 to 10 Gyr-1. Based on the X-ray luminosities and rest-frame near-IR colors, roughly one-quarter of the DRGs contain AGNs, implying that the growth of supermassive black holes coincides with the formation of massive galaxies. At 1.5=1011 Msolar have an integrated specific SFR comparable to the global value of all galaxies. In contrast, galaxies at z~0.3-0.75 with M>=1011 Msolar have an integrated specific SFR less than the global value and more than an order of magnitude lower than that for massive DRGs. At zcontract 1407; on observations taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555 and on observations collected at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), National Optical Astronomical Observatory (NOAO), which is operated by AURA, Inc., under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. Observations have also been carried out using the Very Large Telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory under program ID LP168.A-0485.

  4. FAR-INFRARED PROPERTIES OF SPITZER-SELECTED LUMINOUS STARBURSTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kovacs, A.; Omont, A.; Fiolet, N.; Beelen, A.; Dole, H.; Lagache, G.; Lonsdale, C.; Polletta, M.; Greve, T. R.; Borys, C.; Dowell, C. D.; Bell, T. A.; Cox, P.; De Breuck, C.; Farrah, D.; Menten, K. M.; Owen, F.

    2010-01-01

    We present SHARC-2 350 μm data on 20 luminous z ∼ 2 starbursts with S 1.2 m m > 2 mJy from the Spitzer-selected samples of Lonsdale et al. and Fiolet et al. All the sources were detected, with S 350 μ m > 25 mJy for 18 of them. With the data, we determine precise dust temperatures and luminosities for these galaxies using both single-temperature fits and models with power-law mass-temperature distributions. We derive appropriate formulae to use when optical depths are non-negligible. Our models provide an excellent fit to the 6 μm-2 mm measurements of local starbursts. We find characteristic single-component temperatures T 1 ≅ 35.5 ± 2.2 K and integrated infrared (IR) luminosities around 10 12.9±0.1 L sun for the SWIRE-selected sources. Molecular gas masses are estimated at ≅4 x 10 10 M sun , assuming κ 850 μ m = 0.15 m 2 kg -1 and a submillimeter-selected galaxy (SMG)-like gas-to-dust mass ratio. The best-fit models imply ∼>2 kpc emission scales. We also note a tight correlation between rest-frame 1.4 GHz radio and IR luminosities confirming star formation as the predominant power source. The far-IR properties of our sample are indistinguishable from the purely submillimeter-selected populations from current surveys. We therefore conclude that our original selection criteria, based on mid-IR colors and 24 μm flux densities, provides an effective means for the study of SMGs at z ∼ 1.5-2.5.

  5. GALACTIC CEPHEIDS WITH SPITZER. II. SEARCH FOR EXTENDED INFRARED EMISSION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barmby, P.; Marengo, M.; Evans, N. R.; Huelsman, D.; Fazio, G. G.; Bono, G.; Su, K. Y. L.; Welch, D. L.

    2011-01-01

    A deep and detailed examination of 29 classical Cepheids with the Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed three stars with strong nearby extended emission detected in multiple bands which appears to be physically associated with the stars. RS Pup was already known to possess extended infrared emission, while the extended emission around the other two stars (S Mus and δ Cep) is newly discovered in our observations. Four other stars (GH Lup, l Car, T Mon, and X Cyg) show tentative evidence for extended infrared emission. An unusual elongated extended object next to SZ Tau appears to be a background or foreground object in a chance alignment with the Cepheid. The inferred mass-loss rate upper limits for S Mus and δ Cep are in the range from 10 -9 to 10 -8 M sun yr -1 , with the upper limit for RS Pup as high as 10 -6 M sun yr -1 . Mass loss during post-main-sequence evolution has been proposed as a resolution to the discrepancy between pulsational and dynamical masses of Cepheid variable stars: dust in the lost material would make itself known by the presence of an infrared bright nebula or unresolved infrared excess. The observed frequency of infrared circumstellar emission (<24%) and the mass-loss rate we estimate for our sources show that dusty mass loss can only account for part of the Cepheid mass-loss discrepancy. Nevertheless, our direct evidence that mass loss is active during the Cepheid phase is an important confirmation that these processes need to be included in evolutionary and pulsation models of these stars and should be taken into account in the calibration of the Cepheid distance scale.

  6. A Direct Imaging Survey of Spitzer-detected Debris Disks: Occurrence of Giant Planets in Dusty Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meshkat, Tiffany; Mawet, Dimitri; Bryan, Marta L.; Hinkley, Sasha; Bowler, Brendan P.; Stapelfeldt, Karl R.; Batygin, Konstantin; Padgett, Deborah; Morales, Farisa Y.; Serabyn, Eugene; Christiaens, Valentin; Brandt, Timothy D.; Wahhaj, Zahed

    2017-12-01

    We describe a joint high-contrast imaging survey for planets at the Keck and Very Large Telescope of the last large sample of debris disks identified by the Spitzer Space Telescope. No new substellar companions were discovered in our survey of 30 Spitzer-selected targets. We combine our observations with data from four published surveys to place constraints on the frequency of planets around 130 debris disk single stars, the largest sample to date. For a control sample, we assembled contrast curves from several published surveys targeting 277 stars that do not show infrared excesses. We assumed a double power-law distribution in mass and semimajor axis (SMA) of the form f(m,a)={{Cm}}α {a}β , where we adopted power-law values and logarithmically flat values for the mass and SMA of planets. We find that the frequency of giant planets with masses 5-20 M Jup and separations 10-1000 au around stars with debris disks is 6.27% (68% confidence interval 3.68%-9.76%), compared to 0.73% (68% confidence interval 0.20%-1.80%) for the control sample of stars without disks. These distributions differ at the 88% confidence level, tentatively suggesting distinctness of these samples. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

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

  8. Probing exoplanet clouds with optical phase curves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Antonio García; Isaak, Kate G

    2015-11-03

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

  9. Two Birds One Stone: Simultaneous Atmospheric Pre-Screening of Two Temperate Earth-Sized Exoplanets During Their Double Transit

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Julien

    2015-10-01

    We have detected three temperate Earth-sized planets transiting an ultra-cool dwarf star only 12 pc away, TRAPPIST-1. This discovery sparks the era of detailed characterization and habitability assessment of Earth-sized exoplanets. It also opens a new chapter for exoplanetology: comparative planetology in the realm of temperate terrestrial planets. TRAPPIST-1's system is currently the subject of an intense, worldwide follow-up effort that spans the electromagnetic spectrum from the UV to radio. Being uniquely suited for NIR and UV high-precision observations, HST has a key role to play in this follow-up effort. Updated ephemerids resulting from two Spitzer DDTs show that TRAPPIST-1 b and c will transit simultaneously on May 4th, 2016 at 9h10 UT providing a unique and rare opportunity to study for the first time, and simultaneously, the atmospheres of temperate Earth-sized planets outside of the Solar System. We propose a 4-orbit pre-screening program with WFC3 to definitely test the H/He-dominated atmospheric scenario for these planets and determine the relative inclination of both planets, bringing invaluable constraints on the dynamical history of the system.

  10. Worlds Beyond: A Strategy for the Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lunine, J; Fischer, D; Hammel, H; Hillenbrand, L; Kasting, J; Laughlin, G; Macintosh, B; Marley, M; Melnick, G; Monet, D; Noecker, C; Peale, S; Quirrenbach, A; Seager, S; Winn, J

    2008-06-02

    This report is a comprehensive study of the search for and study of planets around other stars (exoplanets). The young but maturing field of exoplanets is perhaps one of the most compelling fields of study in science today--both because of the discoveries made to date on giant planets around other stars, and because the detection of planets just like our Earth ('Earth analogs') is at last within reach technologically. In the Report we outline the need for a vigorous research program in exoplanets to understand our place in the cosmos: whether planets like our home Earth are a common or rare outcome of cosmic evolution. The strategy we developed is intended to address the following fundamental questions, in priority order, within three distinct 5-yr long phases, over a 15 year period: (1) What are the physical characteristics of planets in the habitable zones around bright, nearby stars? (2) What is the architecture of planetary systems? (3) When, how and in what environments are planets formed? The Report recommends a two-pronged strategy for the detection and characterization of planets the size of the Earth. For stars much less massive and cooler than our Sun (M-dwarfs), existing ground-based techniques including radial velocity and transit searches, and space-based facilities both existing and under development such as Spitzer and JWST, are adequate for finding and studying planets close to the mass and size of the Earth. Conducted in parallel with the M-dwarf strategy is one for the more challenging observations of the hotter and brighter F, G, and K stars, some of which are very close in properties to our Sun, in which the frequency of Earth-sized planets is assessed with Corot and Kepler, but new space missions are required for detection and study of specific Earth-mass and Earth-sized objects. Our Task Force concludes that the development of a space-based astrometric mission, narrowly-focused to identify specific nearby stars with Earth

  11. The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mennesson, B.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  13. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Speckle Imaging for Exoplanet Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Using Final Kepler Catalog Completeness and Reliability Products in Exoplanet Occurrence Rate Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryson, Steve; Burke, Christopher; Batalha, Natalie Marie; Thompson, Susan E.; Coughlin, Jeffrey; Christiansen, Jessie; Mullally, Fergal; Shabram, Megan; Kepler Team

    2018-01-01

    Burke et. al. 2015 presented an exoplanet occurrence rate estimate based on the Q1-Q16 Kepler Planet Candidate catalog. That catalog featured uniform planet candidate vetting and analytic approximations to the detection completeness (the fraction of true planets that would be detected) for each target star. We present an extension of that occurrence rate work using the final DR25 Kepler Planet Candidate catalog products, which uses higher-accuracy detection completeness data for each target star, and adds estimates of vetting completeness (the fraction of detected true planets correctly identified as planet candidates) and vetting reliability (the fraction of planet candidates that are true planets). These completeness and reliability products are based on synthetic manipulations of Kepler data, including transit injection, data scrambling, and inversion. We describe how each component is incorporated into the occurrence rate estimate, and how they impact the occurrence rate estimate both individually and in combination. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the completeness and reliability products and how they impact our confidence in the occurrence rate values uncertainties. This work is an example of how the community can use the DR25 completeness and reliability products, which are publicly available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive (http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu) and the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (http://archive.stsci.edu/kepler).

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karalidi, Theodora

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Analysis of Spitzer-IRS spectra of hyperluminous infrared galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, A.; Risaliti, G.; Nardini, E.; Panessa, F.; Carrera, F. J.

    2013-01-01

    Context. Hyperluminous infrared galaxies (HLIRG) are the most luminous persistent objects in the Universe. They exhibit extremely high star formation rates, and most of them seem to harbour an active galactic nucleus (AGN). They are unique laboratories for investigating the most extreme star formation and its connection to super-massive black hole growth. Aims: The relative AGN and starburst (SB) contributions to the total output in these objects is still debated. Our aim is to disentangle the AGN and SB emission of a sample of thirteen HLIRG. Methods: We studied the MIR low-resolution spectra of a sample of thirteen HLIRG obtained with the Infrared Spectrograph on board Spitzer. The 5-8 μm range is an optimal window for detecting AGN activity even in a heavily obscured environment. We performed an SB/AGN decomposition of the continuum using templates, which has been successfully applied for ULIRG in previous works. Results: The MIR spectra of all sources is largely dominated by AGN emission. By converting the 6 μm luminosity into IR luminosity, we found that ~80% of the sample shows an IR output dominated by the AGN emission. However, the SB activity is significant in all sources (mean SB contribution ~30%), showing star formation rates ~300-3000 M⊙ yr-1. With X-ray and MIR data we estimated the dust covering factor (CF) of these HLIRG, finding that a significant fraction presents a CF consistent with unity. Along with the high X-ray absorption shown by these sources, this suggests that large amounts of dust and gas enshroud the nucleus of these HLIRG, as also observed in ULIRG. Conclusions: Our results agree with previous studies of the IR SED of HLIRG using radiative transfer models, and we find strong evidence that all HLIRG harbour an AGN. Moreover, this work provides further support for the idea that AGN and SB are both crucial to understanding the properties of HLIRG. Our study of the CF supports the hypothesis that HLIRG can be divided into two

  17. Parallel MOPEX: Computing Mosaics of Large-Area Spitzer Surveys on a Cluster Computer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph C. Jacob

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The Spitzer Science Center's MOPEX software is a part of the Spitzer Space Telescope's operational pipeline that enables detection of cosmic ray collisions with the detector array, masking of the corrupted pixels due to these collisions, subsequent mosaicking of image fields, and extraction of point sources to create catalogs of celestial objects. This paper reports on our experiences in parallelizing the parts of MOPEX related to cosmic ray rejection and mosaicking on a 1,024-processor cluster computer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The architecture and performance of the new Parallel MOPEX software are described. This work was done in order to rapidly mosaic the IRAC shallow survey data, covering a region of the sky observed with one of Spitzer's infrared instruments for the study of galaxy clusters, large-scale structure, and brown dwarfs.

  18. The Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanets Large-survey (ARIEL) payload electronic subsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Focardi, M.; Pace, E.; Colomé, J.; Ribas, I.; Rataj, M.; Ottensamer, R.; Farina, M.; Di Giorgio, A. M.; Wawer, P.; Pancrazzi, M.; Noce, V.; Pezzuto, S.; Morgante, G.; Artigues, B.; Sierra-Roig, C.; Gesa, L.; Eccleston, P.; Crook, M.; Micela, G.

    2016-07-01

    The ARIEL mission has been proposed to ESA by an European Consortium as the first space mission to extensively perform remote sensing on the atmospheres of a well defined set of warm and hot transiting gas giant exoplanets, whose temperature range between ~600 K and 3000 K. ARIEL will observe a large number (~500) of warm and hot transiting gas giants, Neptunes and super-Earths around a range of host star types using transit spectroscopy in the ~2-8 μm spectral range and broad-band photometry in the NIR and optical. ARIEL will target planets hotter than 600 K to take advantage of their well-mixed atmospheres, which should show minimal condensation and sequestration of high-Z materials and thus reveal their bulk and elemental composition. One of the major motivations for exoplanet characterisation is to understand the probability of occurrence of habitable worlds, i.e. suitable for surface liquid water. While ARIEL will not study habitable planets, its major contribution to this topic will results from its capability to detect the presence of atmospheres on many terrestrial planets outside the habitable zone and, in many cases, characterise them. This represents a fundamental breakthrough in understanding the physical and chemical processes of a large sample of exoplanets atmospheres as well as their bulk properties and to probe in-space technology. The ARIEL infrared spectrometer (AIRS) provides data on the atmospheric composition; these data are acquired and processed by an On-Board Data Handling (OBDH) system including the Cold Front End Electronics (CFEE) and the Instrument Control Unit (ICU). The Telescope Control Unit (TCU) is also included inside the ICU. The latter is directly connected to the Control and Data Management Unit (CDMU) on board the Service Module (SVM). The general hardware architecture and the application software of the ICU are described. The Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) electronics and the Cooler Control Electronics are also presented.

  19. TWINKLE - A Low Earth Orbit Visible and Infrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessenyi, M.; Savini, G.; Tinetti, G.; Tennyson, J.; Dhesi, M.; Joshua, M.

    2017-07-01

    Twinkle is a space mission designed for visible and near-IR spectroscopic observations of extrasolar planets. Twinkle's highly stable instrument will allow the photometric and spectroscopic observation of a wide range of planetary classes around different types of stars, with a focus on bright sources close to the ecliptic. The planets will be observed through transit and eclipse photometry and spectroscopy, as well as phase curves, eclipse mapping and multiple narrow-band time-series. The targets observed by Twinkle will be composed of known exoplanets mainly discovered by existing and upcoming ground surveys in our galaxy and will also feature new discoveries by space observatories (K2, GAIA, Cheops, TESS). Twinkle is a small satellite with a payload designed to perform high-quality astrophysical observations while adapting to the design of an existing Low Earth Orbit commercial satellite platform. The SSTL-300 bus, to be launched into a low-Earth sun-synchronous polar orbit by 2019, will carry a half-meter class telescope with two instruments (visible and near-IR spectrographs - between 0.4 and 4.5μm - with resolving power R˜300 at the lower end of the wavelength scale) using mostly flight proven spacecraft systems designed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and a combination of high TRL instrumentation and a few lower TRL elements built by a consortium of UK institutes. The Twinkle design will enable the observation of the chemical composition and weather of at least 100 exoplanets in the Milky Way, including super-Earths (rocky planets 1-10 times the mass of Earth), Neptunes, sub-Neptunes and gas giants like Jupiter. It will also allow the follow-up photometric observations of 1000+ exoplanets in the visible and infrared, as well as observations of Solar system objects, bright stars and disks.

  20. Predicted Exoplanet Yields for the HabEx Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Christopher; Mennesson, Bertrand; HabEx STDT

    2018-01-01

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

  1. The future of spectroscopic life detection on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara

    2014-01-01

    The discovery and characterization of exoplanets have the potential to offer the world one of the most impactful findings ever in the history of astronomy—the identification of life beyond Earth. Life can be inferred by the presence of atmospheric biosignature gases—gases produced by life that can accumulate to detectable levels in an exoplanet atmosphere. Detection will be made by remote sensing by sophisticated space telescopes. The conviction that biosignature gases will actually be detected in the future is moderated by lessons learned from the dozens of exoplanet atmospheres studied in last decade, namely the difficulty in robustly identifying molecules, the possible interference of clouds, and the permanent limitations from a spectrum of spatially unresolved and globally mixed gases without direct surface observations. The vision for the path to assess the presence of life beyond Earth is being established. PMID:25092345

  2. Illusion and reality in the atmospheres of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake; Seager, Sara

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Tidal Heating in Multilayered Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Tide, Ocean and Climate on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Y.; Yang, J.

    2017-12-01

    On Earth, tide is a main part of the driving force for the deep ocean overturning circulation. For habitable planets around low-mass stars, the tidal force is expected to be much stronger than that on Earth, due to the fact that the habitable zone is very close to the host stars and that tide force is inversely proportional to the orbital distance cubed. The deep ocean overturning circulation on this type of planets is therefore expected to be much stronger than that on Earth, if all else being equal. We test this hypothesis using a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean model, the Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3). Our results show that the intensity of oceanic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is approximately proportional to κ1/3, where κ is the mixing coefficient across density interfaces and it is mainly determined by the strength of the tidal force. As a result of the enhanced MOC, more heat is transported to dark regions and sea ice melts completely there, and meanwhile more heat is mixed from the surface to the deep ocean and thereby the entire ocean becomes much warmer (Fig. 1). A positive cloud feedback further warms the global ocean and atmosphere. These results imply that one planet with a stronger tidal force will likely enter a globally ice-covered snowball state at a lower stellar flux and enter a moist greenhouse or runaway greenhouse state at also a lower stellar flux, meaning that the tidal force acts to push the habitable zone outward. This study significantly improves our understanding of the possible coupling between planetary orbit, ocean, climate, and habitability on exoplanets.

  5. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry

    2014-01-01

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

  6. CHARACTERIZING TRANSITING EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES WITH JWST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-20

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

  7. THERMODYNAMIC LIMITS ON MAGNETODYNAMOS IN ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. THE SPITZER INFRARED SPECTROGRAPH SURVEY OF PROTOPLANETARY DISKS IN ORION A. I. DISK PROPERTIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, K. H. [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), 776, Daedeokdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-348 (Korea, Republic of); Watson, Dan M.; Manoj, P.; Forrest, W. J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627 (United States); Furlan, Elise [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, Caltech, 770 S. Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Najita, Joan [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Sargent, Benjamin [Center for Imaging Science and Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY 14623 (United States); Hernández, Jesús [Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomía, Apdo. Postal 264, Mérida 5101-A (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of); Calvet, Nuria [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 830 Dennison Building, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Adame, Lucía [Facultad de Ciencias Físico-Matemáticas, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Av. Universidad S/N, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, C.P. 66451, México (Mexico); Espaillat, Catherine [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Megeath, S. T. [Ritter Astrophysical Research Center, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo, 2801 W. Bancroft St., Toledo, OH 43606 (United States); Muzerolle, James, E-mail: quarkosmos@kasi.re.kr [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); and others

    2016-09-01

    We present our investigation of 319 Class II objects in Orion A observed by Spitzer /IRS. We also present the follow-up observations of 120 of these Class II objects in Orion A from the Infrared Telescope Facility/SpeX. We measure continuum spectral indices, equivalent widths, and integrated fluxes that pertain to disk structure and dust composition from IRS spectra of Class II objects in Orion A. We estimate mass accretion rates using hydrogen recombination lines in the SpeX spectra of our targets. Utilizing these properties, we compare the distributions of the disk and dust properties of Orion A disks with those of Taurus disks with respect to position within Orion A (Orion Nebular Cluster [ONC] and L1641) and with the subgroups by the inferred radial structures, such as transitional disks (TDs) versus radially continuous full disks (FDs). Our main findings are as follows. (1) Inner disks evolve faster than the outer disks. (2) The mass accretion rates of TDs and those of radially continuous FDs are statistically significantly displaced from each other. The median mass accretion rate of radially continuous disks in the ONC and L1641 is not very different from that in Taurus. (3) Less grain processing has occurred in the disks in the ONC compared to those in Taurus, based on analysis of the shape index of the 10 μ m silicate feature ( F {sub 11.3}/ F {sub 9.8}). (4) The 20–31 μ m continuum spectral index tracks the projected distance from the most luminous Trapezium star, θ {sup 1} Ori C. A possible explanation is UV ablation of the outer parts of disks.

  9. THE SPITZER INFRARED SPECTROGRAPH SURVEY OF T TAURI STARS IN TAURUS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Furlan, E.; Luhman, K. L.; Espaillat, C.

    2011-01-01

    We present 161 Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) spectra of T Tauri stars and young brown dwarfs in the Taurus star-forming region. All of the targets were selected based on their infrared excess and are therefore surrounded by protoplanetary disks; they form the complete sample of all available IRS spectra of T Tauri stars with infrared excesses in Taurus. We also present the IRS spectra of seven Class 0/I objects in Taurus to complete the sample of available IRS spectra of protostars in Taurus. We use spectral indices that are not significantly affected by extinction to distinguish between envelope- and disk-dominated objects. Together with data from the literature, we construct spectral energy distributions for all objects in our sample. With spectral indices derived from the IRS spectra we infer disk properties such as dust settling and the presence of inner disk holes and gaps. We find a transitional disk frequency, which is based on objects with unusually large 13-31 μm spectral indices indicative of a wall surrounding an inner disk hole, of about 3%, and a frequency of about 20% for objects with unusually large 10 μm features, which could indicate disk gaps. The shape and strength of the 10 μm silicate emission feature suggests weaker 10 μm emission and more processed dust for very low mass objects and brown dwarfs (spectral types M6-M9). These objects also display weaker infrared excess emission from their disks, but do not appear to have more settled disks than their higher-mass counterparts. We find no difference for the spectral indices and properties of the dust between single and multiple systems.

  10. A Spitzer search for transits of radial velocity detected super-Earths

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kammer, J. A.; Knutson, H. A.; Desert, J.-M.; Howard, A. W.; Laughlin, G. P.; Fortney, J. J.; Deming, D.; Todorov, K. O.; Agol, E.; Burrows, A.; Showman, A. P.; Lewis, N. K.

    2014-01-01

    Unlike hot Jupiters or other gas giants, super-Earths are expected to have a wide variety of compositions, ranging from terrestrial bodies like our own to more gaseous planets like Neptune. Observations of transiting systems, which allow us to directly measure planet masses and radii and constrain atmospheric properties, are key to understanding the compositional diversity of the planets in this mass range. Although Kepler has discovered hundreds of transiting super-Earth candidates over the past 4 yr, the majority of these planets orbit stars that are too far away and too faint to allow for detailed atmospheric characterization and reliable mass estimates. Ground-based transit surveys focus on much brighter stars, but most lack the sensitivity to detect planets in this size range. One way to get around the difficulty of finding these smaller planets in transit is to start by choosing targets that are already known to host super-Earth sized bodies detected using the radial velocity (RV) technique. Here we present results from a Spitzer program to observe six of the most favorable RV-detected super-Earth systems, including HD 1461, HD 7924, HD 156668, HIP 57274, and GJ 876. We find no evidence for transits in any of their 4.5 μm flux light curves, and place limits on the allowed transit depths and corresponding planet radii that rule out even the most dense and iron-rich compositions for these objects. We also observed HD 97658, but the observation window was based on a possible ground-based transit detection that was later ruled out; thus the window did not include the predicted time for the transit detection recently made by the Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars space telescope.

  11. Asteroid (16) Psyche: Evidence for a silicate regolith from spitzer space telescope spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landsman, Zoe A.; Emery, Joshua P.; Campins, Humberto; Hanuš, Josef; Lim, Lucy F.; Cruikshank, Dale P.

    2018-04-01

    Asteroid (16) Psyche is a unique, metal-rich object belonging to the "M" taxonomic class. It may be a remnant protoplanet that has been stripped of most silicates by a hit-and-run collision. Because Psyche offers insight into the planetary formation process, it is the target of NASA's Psyche mission, set to launch in 2023. In order to constrain Psyche's surface properties, we have carried out a mid-infrared (5-14 μm) spectroscopic study using data collected with the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Spectrograph. Our study includes two observations covering different rotational phases. Using thermophysical modeling, we find that Psyche's surface is smooth and likely has a thermal inertia Γ = 5-25 J/m2/K/s1/2 and bolometric emissivity ɛ = 0.9, although a scenario with ɛ = 0.7 and thermal inertia up to 95 J/m2/K/s1/2 is possible if Psyche is somewhat larger than previously determined. The smooth surface is consistent with the presence of a metallic bedrock, which would be more ductile than silicate bedrock, and thus may not readily form boulders upon impact events. From comparisons with laboratory spectra of silicate and meteorite powders, Psyche's 7-14 μm emissivity spectrum is consistent with the presence of fine-grained (< 75 μm) silicates on Psyche's surface. We conclude that Psyche is likely covered in a fine silicate regolith, which may also contain iron grains, overlying an iron-rich bedrock.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hébrard G.

    2011-02-01

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

  14. Habitable Exoplanet Imager Optical-Mechanical Design and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskins, Jonathan; Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Physical Characterization of Warm Spitzer-observed Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina A.; Emery, Joshua P.; Trilling, David E.; Delbo, Marco; Hora, Joseph L.; Mueller, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Near-infrared spectroscopy of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) connects diagnostic spectral features to specific surface mineralogies. The combination of spectroscopy with albedos and diameters derived from thermal infrared observations can increase the scientific return beyond that of the individual datasets. For instance, some taxonomic classes can be separated into distinct compositional groupings with albedo and different mineralogies with similar albedos can be distinguished with spectroscopy. To that end, we have completed a spectroscopic observing campaign to complement the ExploreNEOs Warm Spitzer program that obtained albedos and diameters of nearly 600 NEOs (Trilling et al., 2010). The spectroscopy campaign included visible and near-infrared observations of ExploreNEOs targets from various observatories. Here we present the results of observations using the low-resolution prism mode (approx. 0.7-2.5 microns) of the SpeX instrument on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). We also include near-infrared observations of Explore-NEOs targets from the MIT-UH-IRTF Joint Campaign for Spectral Reconnaissance. Our dataset includes near-infrared spectra of 187 ExploreNEOs targets (125 observations of 92 objects from our survey and 213 observations of 154 objects from the MIT survey). We identify a taxonomic class for each spectrum and use band parameter analysis to investigate the mineralogies for the S-, Q-, and V-complex objects. Our analysis suggests that for spectra that contain near-infrared data but lack the visible wavelength region, the Bus-DeMeo system misidentifies some S-types as Q-types. We find no correlation between spectral band parameters and ExploreNEOs albedos and diameters. We investigate the correlations of phase angle with band area ratio and near-infrared spectral slope. We find slightly negative Band Area Ratio (BAR) correlations with phase angle for Eros and Ivar, but a positive BAR correlation with phase angle for Ganymed.The results of our

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  17. CLIMATE INSTABILITY ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kite, Edwin S.; Manga, Michael; Gaidos, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Feedbacks that can destabilize the climates of synchronously rotating rocky planets may arise on planets with strong day-night surface temperature contrasts. Earth-like habitable planets maintain stable surface liquid water over geologic time. This requires equilibrium between the temperature-dependent rate of greenhouse-gas consumption by weathering, and greenhouse-gas resupply by other processes. Detected small-radius exoplanets, and anticipated M-dwarf habitable-zone rocky planets, are expected to be in synchronous rotation (tidally locked). In this paper, we investigate two hypothetical feedbacks that can destabilize climate on planets in synchronous rotation. (1) If small changes in pressure alter the temperature distribution across a planet's surface such that the weathering rate goes up when the pressure goes down, a runaway positive feedback occurs involving increasing weathering rate near the substellar point, decreasing pressure, and increasing substellar surface temperature. We call this feedback enhanced substellar weathering instability (ESWI). (2) When decreases in pressure increase the fraction of surface area above the melting point (through reduced advective cooling of the substellar point), and the corresponding increase in volume of liquid causes net dissolution of the atmosphere, a further decrease in pressure will occur. This substellar dissolution feedback can also cause a runaway climate shift. We use an idealized energy balance model to map out the conditions under which these instabilities may occur. In this simplified model, the weathering runaway can shrink the habitable zone and cause geologically rapid 10 3 -fold atmospheric pressure shifts within the habitable zone. Mars may have undergone a weathering runaway in the past. Substellar dissolution is usually a negative feedback or weak positive feedback on changes in atmospheric pressure. It can only cause runaway changes for small, deep oceans and highly soluble atmospheric gases. Both

  18. Exoplanet properties from Lick, Keck and AAT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marcy, G W; Wright, J T; Upadhyay, S; Butler, R P; Vogt, S S; Fischer, D A; Johnson, J A; Tinney, C G; Jones, H R A; Carter, B D; Bailey, J; O'Toole, S J

    2008-01-01

    Doppler-shift measurements with a remarkable precision of Δλ/λ=3x10 -9 , corresponding to velocities of 1 m s -1 , have been made repeatedly of 2500 stars located within 300 light years. The observed gravitational perturbations of the stars have revealed 250 orbiting planets, with 27 that cross in front of the host star, blocking a fraction of the starlight to allow measurement of the planet's mass, radius and density. Two new discoveries are the first good analog of Jupiter (HD 154345b) and the first system of five planets (55 Cancri). The predominantly eccentric orbits of exoplanets probably result from planet-planet gravitational interactions or angular momentum exchange by mean-motion resonances. The planet mass distribution ranges from ∼15 M JUP to as low as ∼5 M Earth and rises toward lower masses as dN/dM∼M -1.1 . The distribution with orbital distance, a, rises (in logarithmic intervals) as dN/d log a∼a +0.4 . Extrapolation and integration suggests that 19% of all Sun-like stars harbor a gas-giant planet within 20 AU, but there remains considerable incompleteness for large orbits. Beyond 20 AU, the occurrence of gas-giant planets may be less than a few per cent as protoplanetary disk material there has lower densities and is vulnerable to destruction. Jupiter-mass planets occur more commonly around more massive stars than low mass stars. The transit of the Neptune-mass planet, Gliese 436b, yields a density of 1.55 g cm -3 suggesting that its interior has an iron-silicate core surrounded by an envelope of water-ice and an outer H-He shell. Planets with masses as low as five Earth-masses may be commonly composed of iron-nickel, rock and water along with significant amounts of H and He, making the term 'super-Earth' misleading. The transiting planet HD147506b has high orbital eccentricity but no significant orbital inclination to the line of sight, presenting a puzzle about its history. Its orbit together with the mean motion resonances of 4 of the

  19. CLIMATE INSTABILITY ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kite, Edwin S.; Manga, Michael [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California at Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Gaidos, Eric, E-mail: edwin.kite@gmail.com [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2011-12-10

    Feedbacks that can destabilize the climates of synchronously rotating rocky planets may arise on planets with strong day-night surface temperature contrasts. Earth-like habitable planets maintain stable surface liquid water over geologic time. This requires equilibrium between the temperature-dependent rate of greenhouse-gas consumption by weathering, and greenhouse-gas resupply by other processes. Detected small-radius exoplanets, and anticipated M-dwarf habitable-zone rocky planets, are expected to be in synchronous rotation (tidally locked). In this paper, we investigate two hypothetical feedbacks that can destabilize climate on planets in synchronous rotation. (1) If small changes in pressure alter the temperature distribution across a planet's surface such that the weathering rate goes up when the pressure goes down, a runaway positive feedback occurs involving increasing weathering rate near the substellar point, decreasing pressure, and increasing substellar surface temperature. We call this feedback enhanced substellar weathering instability (ESWI). (2) When decreases in pressure increase the fraction of surface area above the melting point (through reduced advective cooling of the substellar point), and the corresponding increase in volume of liquid causes net dissolution of the atmosphere, a further decrease in pressure will occur. This substellar dissolution feedback can also cause a runaway climate shift. We use an idealized energy balance model to map out the conditions under which these instabilities may occur. In this simplified model, the weathering runaway can shrink the habitable zone and cause geologically rapid 10{sup 3}-fold atmospheric pressure shifts within the habitable zone. Mars may have undergone a weathering runaway in the past. Substellar dissolution is usually a negative feedback or weak positive feedback on changes in atmospheric pressure. It can only cause runaway changes for small, deep oceans and highly soluble atmospheric

  20. Climate destabilization on tidally locked exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kite, E. S.; Gaidos, E.; Manga, M.

    2011-12-01

    We show that strong day-night surface temperature contrasts on planets with surfaces allow positive feedbacks that can potentially destabilize planetary climate. Geologically rapid 10^3 - fold atmospheric pressure shifts may be possible. Habitable-zone planets maintain stable surface liquid water over geological time through equilibrium between greenhouse-gas consumption by weathering, and resupply by other processes. All reported small-radius exoplanets, and anticipated M-dwarf habitable-zone rocky planets, should be tidally locked. We will discuss two different feedbacks that can destabilize climate equilibrium on planets in 1:1 spin-orbit resonance. (1) If small changes in pressure alter the temperature distribution across a planet's surface such that the weathering rate goes up when the pressure goes down, a runway positive feedback between pressure, surface temperature, and weathering rate near the substellar point takes place - enhanced substellar weathering instability (ESWI). (2) When decreases in pressure increase the fraction of surface area above the melting point (through reduced advective cooling of the substellar point), and the corresponding increase in volume of liquid causes net dissolution of the atmosphere, further decreases in pressure can occur. This substellar dissolution feedback (SDF) can also cause a runaway climate shift. We use an idealized energy balance model to illustrate the scope of these instabilities. In this simplified model, the weathering runaway can shrink the habitable zone. Mars may have undergone a weathering runaway in the past. Substellar dissolution is usually a negative feedback or weak positive feedback on changes in atmospheric pressure, and can only cause runaway changes for small, deep oceans and highly soluble atmospheric gases. Both instabilities are suppressed if the atmosphere has a high radiative efficiency. Our results are most relevant for atmospheres that are thin, have low greenhouse-gas radiative efficiency

  1. DETECTING EXOMOONS AROUND SELF-LUMINOUS GIANT EXOPLANETS THROUGH POLARIZATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sengupta, Sujan [Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala 2nd Block, Bangalore 560 034 (India); Marley, Mark S., E-mail: sujan@iiap.res.in, E-mail: Mark.S.Marley@NASA.gov [NASA Ames Research Center, MS-245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2016-06-20

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

  2. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    OpenAIRE

    Faedi, Francesca; Barros, S. C. C.; Pollacco, Don; Simpson, E. K.; McCormac, J. J.; Moulds, V.; Watson, C.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planinsic, Gorazd; Marshall, Rick

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Flux and polarisation spectra of water clouds on exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    Context. A crucial factor for a planet’s habitability is its climate. Clouds play an important role in planetary climates. Detecting and characterising clouds on an exoplanet is therefore crucial when addressing this planet’s habitability. Aims. We present calculated flux and polarisation spectra of

  5. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keenan F.

    2011-02-01

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

  6. Flux and polarization signals of spatially inhomogeneous gaseous exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karalidi, T.; Stam, D.M.; Guirado, D.

    2013-01-01

    Aims. We present numerically calculated, disk-integrated, spectropolarimetric signals of starlight that is reflected by vertically and horizontally inhomogeneous gaseous exoplanets. We include various spatial features that are present on Solar System’s gaseous planets: belts and zones, cyclonic

  7. DETECTING EXOMOONS AROUND SELF-LUMINOUS GIANT EXOPLANETS THROUGH POLARIZATION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Sujan; Marley, Mark S

    2016-01-01

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

  8. NAHUAL: and Infrared Spectrograph for Exoplanet Research at the GTC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Eduardo

    2007-08-01

    NAHUAL is a high-resolution, near-infrared, echelle spectrograph designed for high-precision radial velocity measurements using the Gran Telescopio Canarias in La Palma. The current status of NAHUAL will be presented, as well as the prospects for the parameter space in exoplanet research that it could cover.

  9. Stellar Companions of Exoplanet Host Stars in K2

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  10. THE TAURUS SPITZER SURVEY: NEW CANDIDATE TAURUS MEMBERS SELECTED USING SENSITIVE MID-INFRARED PHOTOMETRY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rebull, L. M.; Padgett, D. L.; McCabe, C.-E.; Noriega-Crespo, A.; Carey, S. J.; Brooke, T.; Hillenbrand, L. A.; Stapelfeldt, K. R.; Angione, J. R.; Huard, T.; Terebey, S.; Audard, M.; Baldovin-Saavedra, C.; Monin, J.-L.; Menard, F.; Bouvier, J.; Fukagawa, M.; Guedel, M.; Knapp, G. R.; Allen, L. E.

    2010-01-01

    We report on the properties of pre-main-sequence objects in the Taurus molecular clouds as observed in seven mid- and far-infrared bands with the Spitzer Space Telescope. There are 215 previously identified members of the Taurus star-forming region in our ∼44 deg 2 map; these members exhibit a range of Spitzer colors that we take to define young stars still surrounded by circumstellar dust (noting that ∼20% of the bona fide Taurus members exhibit no detectable dust excesses). We looked for new objects in the survey field with similar Spitzer properties, aided by extensive optical, X-ray, and ultraviolet imaging, and found 148 new candidate members of Taurus. We have obtained follow-up spectroscopy for about half the candidate sample, thus far confirming 34 new members, three probable new members, and 10 possible new members, an increase of 15%-20% in Taurus members. Of the objects for which we have spectroscopy, seven are now confirmed extragalactic objects, and one is a background Be star. The remaining 93 candidate objects await additional analysis and/or data to be confirmed or rejected as Taurus members. Most of the new members are Class II M stars and are located along the same cloud filaments as the previously identified Taurus members. Among non-members with Spitzer colors similar to young, dusty stars are evolved Be stars, planetary nebulae, carbon stars, galaxies, and active galactic nuclei.

  11. The Accuracy of the Warm Spitzer Near-Earth Object Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harris, Alan W.; Mommert, M.; Hora, J. L.; Mueller, M.; Trilling, D. E.; Bhattacharya, B.; Bottke, W. F.; Chesley, S.; Delbo', M.; Emery, J. P.; Fazio, G. G.; Mainzer, A.; Penprase, B.; Smith, H. A.; Spahr, T. B.; Stansberry, J. A.; Thomas, C. A.

    2010-01-01

    We report on observations of near-Earth objects (NEOs) performed with IRAC as part of our on-going (2009-2011) Warm Spitzer NEO survey ("ExploreNEOs"), the primary aim of which is to provide sizes and albedos of some 700 NEOs. The emphasis of the work described here is an assessment of the overall

  12. Spitzer Observations of OGLE-2015-BLG-1212 Reveal a New Path toward Breaking Strong Microlens Degeneracies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bozza, V.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Udalski, A.

    2016-01-01

    Spitzer microlensing parallax observations of OGLE-2015-BLG-1212 decisively break a degeneracy between planetary and binary solutions that is somewhat ambiguous when only ground-based data are considered. Only eight viable models survive out of an initial set of 32 local minima in the parameter s...

  13. HST and Spitzer point source and dust lane detection in powerful narrow-line radio galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, E. A.; Tadhunter, C. N.; Dicken, D.; Rose, M.; Axon, D. J.; Sparks, W.

    2014-10-01

    We present the analysis of infrared HST and Spitzer data for a sample of 13 FRII powerful radio galaxies at 0.03 scale toroidal structure when this is viewed edge-on (Barthel 1989, Antonucci 1993). Our high resolution infrared observations provide new information about the optical extinction, orientation, and direct AGN detection of the inner kpc-scale region of the AGN.

  14. Random walks, Brownian motion, and interacting particle systems: a festschrift in honor of Frank Spitzer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Durrett, Richard; Kesten, Harry; Spitzer, Frank

    1991-01-01

    ..., made the transparency used in the printing process. STUDENTS OF FRANK SPITZERSTUDENTS OF FRANK SPITZER 1957 J. W. Lamperti, On the asymptotic behavior of recurrent and almostrecurrent events. 1964 W. W. Whitman, Some strong laws for random walks and Brownian motion. 1965 J. C. Mineka, The existence and uniqueness of positive solutions to the Wien...

  15. Thermal properties of Trans-Neptunian objects and Centaurs from combined Herschel and Spitzer observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santos-Sanz, P.; Lellouch, E.; Mommert, M.; Fornasier, S.; Stansberry, J.; Mueller, Th.; Kiss, C.; Vilenius, E.; Mueller, M.; Harris, A. W.; Delsanti, A.; Groussin, O.

    2012-01-01

    We present a study of the thermal properties of about 70 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs observed with Herschel Space Observatory [8] (either PACS or PACS and SPIRE) and Spitzer Space Telescope [12] (MIPS). We apply radiometric modeling techniques (NEATM [2]) to the measured fluxes to

  16. Dust evolution in protoplanetary disks around Herbig Ae/Be stars—the Spitzer view

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Juhász, A.; Bouwman, J.; Henning, T.; Acke, B.; van den Ancker, M.E.; Meeus, G.; Dominik, C.; Min, M.; Tielens, A.G.G.M.; Waters, L.B.F.M.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we present mid-infrared spectra of a comprehensive set of Herbig Ae/Be stars observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The signal-to-noise ratio of these spectra is very high, ranging between about a hundred and several hundreds. During the analysis of these data we tested the

  17. Waters, dust evolution in protoplanetary disks around herbig ae/be stars—the spitzer view

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Juhász, A.; Bouwman, J.; Henning, Th.; Acke, B.; Van Den Ancker, M.; Meeus, G.; Dominik, C.; Min, M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/277318416; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Waters, L.B.F.M.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we present mid-infrared spectra of a comprehensive set of Herbig Ae/Be stars observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The signal-to-noise ratio of these spectra is very high, ranging between about a hundred and several hundreds. During the analysis of these data we tested the

  18. Dust Evolution in Protoplanetary Disks Around Herbig Ae/Be Stars—the Spitzer View

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Juhasz, A.; Bouwman, J.; Henning, Th.; Acke, B.; van den Ancker, M. E.; Meeus, G.; Dominik, C.; Min, M.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Waters, L. B. F. M.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we present mid-infrared spectra of a comprehensive set of Herbig Ae/Be stars observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The signal-to-noise ratio of these spectra is very high, ranging between about a hundred and several hundreds. During the analysis of these data we tested the

  19. The Spitzer IRS infrared spectrum and abundances of the planetary nebula IC 2448

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guiles, S.; Bernard-Salas, J.; Pottasch, S. R.; Roellig, T. L.

    2007-01-01

    We present the mid-infrared spectrum of the planetary nebula IC 2448. In order to determine the chemical composition of the nebula, we use the infrared line fluxes from the Spitzer spectrum along with optical line fluxes from the literature and ultraviolet line fluxes from archival IUE spectra. We

  20. Bulk Densities of Binary Asteroids from the Warm Spitzer NEO Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kistler, John; Trilling, D. E.; Mueller, M.; Hora, J. L.; Harris, A. W.; Bhattacharya, B.; Bottke, W. F.; Chesley, S.; Emery, J. P.; Fazo, G.; Mainzer, A.; Penprase, B.; Smith, H. A.; Spahr, T. B.; Stansberry, J. A.; Thomas, C. A.

    2010-01-01

    The Warm Spitzer NEO survey, ExploreNEOs, will observe approximately 700 Near Earth Asteroids. Several of these objects are known to be binary asteroid systems. Binary systems are interesting due to the unique opportunity they present for determining the masses and densities of their constituent

  1. Thermal Lightcurves of 1999 JU3, Target of Hayabusa 2, Using Warm Spitzer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Michael; Emery, J.; Rivkin, A.; Trilling, D.; Hora, J.; Delbo', M.; Sugita, S.; Hasegawa, S.; Ishiguro, M.; Choi, Y.; Mommert, M.

    2013-01-01

    The JAXA mission Hayabusa 2, scheduled for launch in 2014 or 2015, will rendez-vous with 1999 JU3 and will return samples of surface regolith to Earth. Mission planning benefits greatly from accurate pre-encounter determinations of physical properties such as size, albedo, and thermal inertia

  2. Spitzer Photometry of WISE-selected Brown Dwarf and Hyper-luminous Infrared Galaxy Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Roger L.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Eisenhardt, Peter R. M.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Cushing, Michael C.; Benford, Dominic; Blain, Andrew; Bridge, Carrie R.; Cohen, Martin; Cutri, Roc M.; Donoso, Emilio; Jarrett, Thomas H.; Lonsdale, Carol; Mace, Gregory; Mainzer, A.; Marsh, Ken; Padgett, Deborah; Petty, Sara; Ressler, Michael E.; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Stanford, Spencer A.; Stern, Daniel; Tsai, Chao-Wei; Wright, Edward L.; Wu, Jingwen; Yan, Lin

    2012-11-01

    We present Spitzer 3.6 and 4.5 μm photometry and positions for a sample of 1510 brown dwarf candidates identified by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky survey. Of these, 166 have been spectroscopically classified as objects with spectral types M(1), L(7), T(146), and Y(12). Sixteen other objects are non-(sub)stellar in nature. The remainder are most likely distant L and T dwarfs lacking spectroscopic verification, other Y dwarf candidates still awaiting follow-up, and assorted other objects whose Spitzer photometry reveals them to be background sources. We present a catalog of Spitzer photometry for all astrophysical sources identified in these fields and use this catalog to identify seven fainter (4.5 μm ~ 17.0 mag) brown dwarf candidates, which are possibly wide-field companions to the original WISE sources. To test this hypothesis, we use a sample of 919 Spitzer observations around WISE-selected high-redshift hyper-luminous infrared galaxy candidates. For this control sample, we find another six brown dwarf candidates, suggesting that the seven companion candidates are not physically associated. In fact, only one of these seven Spitzer brown dwarf candidates has a photometric distance estimate consistent with being a companion to the WISE brown dwarf candidate. Other than this, there is no evidence for any widely separated (>20 AU) ultra-cool binaries. As an adjunct to this paper, we make available a source catalog of ~7.33 × 105 objects detected in all of these Spitzer follow-up fields for use by the astronomical community. The complete catalog includes the Spitzer 3.6 and 4.5 μm photometry, along with positionally matched B and R photometry from USNO-B; J, H, and Ks photometry from Two Micron All-Sky Survey; and W1, W2, W3, and W4 photometry from the WISE all-sky catalog.

  3. Spitzer Photometry of WISE-Selected Brown Dwarf and Hyper-Lumninous Infrared Galaxy Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Roger L.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Eisenhardt, Peter R. M.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Cushing, Michael C.; Benford, Dominic; Blain, Andrew; Bridge, Carrie R.; Cohen, Martin; Cutri, Roc M.; hide

    2012-01-01

    We present Spitzer 3.6 and 4.5 micrometer photometry and positions for a sample of 1510 brown dwarf candidates identified by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky survey. Of these, 166 have been spectroscopically classified as objects with spectral types M(1), L(7), T(146), and Y(12). Sixteen other objects are non-(sub)stellar in nature. The remainder are most likely distant L and T dwarfs lacking spectroscopic verification, other Y dwarf candidates still awaiting follow-up, and assorted other objects whose Spitzer photometry reveals them to be background sources. We present a catalog of Spitzer photometry for all astrophysical sources identified in these fields and use this catalog to identify seven fainter (4.5 m to approximately 17.0 mag) brown dwarf candidates, which are possibly wide-field companions to the original WISE sources. To test this hypothesis, we use a sample of 919 Spitzer observations around WISE-selected high-redshift hyper-luminous infrared galaxy candidates. For this control sample, we find another six brown dwarf candidates, suggesting that the seven companion candidates are not physically associated. In fact, only one of these seven Spitzer brown dwarf candidates has a photometric distance estimate consistent with being a companion to the WISE brown dwarf candidate. Other than this, there is no evidence for any widely separated (greater than 20 AU) ultra-cool binaries. As an adjunct to this paper, we make available a source catalog of 7.33 x 10(exp 5) objects detected in all of these Spitzer follow-up fields for use by the astronomical community. The complete catalog includes the Spitzer 3.6 and 4.5 m photometry, along with positionally matched B and R photometry from USNO-B; J, H, and Ks photometry from Two Micron All-Sky Survey; and W1, W2, W3, and W4 photometry from the WISE all-sky catalog.

  4. Test of multi-object exoplanet search spectral interferometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Kai; Wang, Liang; Jiang, Haijiao; Zhu, Yongtian; Hou, Yonghui; Dai, Songxin; Tang, Jin; Tang, Zhen; Zeng, Yizhong; Chen, Yi; Wang, Lei; Hu, Zhongwen

    2014-07-01

    Exoplanet detection, a highlight in the current astronomy, will be part of puzzle in astronomical and astrophysical future, which contains dark energy, dark matter, early universe, black hole, galactic evolution and so on. At present, most of the detected Exoplanets are confirmed through methods of radial velocity and transit. Guo shoujing Telescope well known as LAMOST is an advanced multi-object spectral survey telescope equipped with 4000 fibers and 16 low resolution fiber spectrographs. To explore its potential in different astronomical activities, a new radial velocity method named Externally Dispersed Interferometry (EDI) is applied to serve Exoplanet detection through combining a fixed-delay interferometer with the existing spectrograph in medium spectral resolution mode (R=5,000-10,000). This new technology has an impressive feature to enhance radial velocity measuring accuracy of the existing spectrograph through installing a fixed-delay interferometer in front of spectrograph. This way produces an interference spectrum with higher sensitivity to Doppler Effect by interference phase and fixed delay. This relative system named Multi-object Exoplanet Search Spectral Interferometer (MESSI) is composed of a few parts, including a pair of multi-fiber coupling sockets, a remote control iodine subsystem, a multi-object fixed delay interferometer and the existing spectrograph. It covers from 500 to 550 nm and simultaneously observes up to 21 stars. Even if it's an experimental instrument at present, it's still well demonstrated in paper that how MESSI does explore an effective way to build its own system under the existing condition of LAMOST and get its expected performance for multi-object Exoplanet detection, especially instrument stability and its special data reduction. As a result of test at lab, inside temperature of its instrumental chamber is stable in a range of +/-0.5degree Celsius within 12 hours, and the direct instrumental stability without further

  5. Effect of Orbital Distance on the Atmospheric Escape of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Yang; Jian-heng, Guo

    2018-01-01

    Atmospheric escape is an important sector in the evolution of planetary atmosphere, and its energy is mainly originated from the radiation of the host star at the high energy band. The radiation flux drops dramatically with the increase of orbital distance, there is a large difference of planetary atmospheric escape in different orbits, so it is necessary to study the impact of orbital distance on the atmospheric escape of an exoplanet. We consider the radiation transfer and the photochemical reactions of multiple kinds of particles to study the variation of planetary atmospheric escape with the orbital distance by using a 1-D hydrodynamic model. Due to the large differences of the spectra of host stars in different evolution stages, the Astrophysical Plasma Emission Code (APEC) in the X-Ray Spectral Fitting Package (XSPEC) is used to obtain the spectra of solar-type stars with different ages as the input spectra of the model. The results indicate that the escape rates of the exoplanets in different orbits are different significantly, and the escape mechanism is converted from the drastic hydrodynamic escape into the moderate Jeans escape as the orbital distance increases, the smaller the planetary gravitational potential, the younger the star-planet system, the larger the distance of this conversion. The correlation between the escape rate and the radiation flux decreases for the short-period exoplanets in a younger star-planet system. It is shown that the classical energy-limited escape theory is not suitable for this kind of exoplanets. These results have enriched the studies on the atmospheric escape of exoplanets, especially, extended the studies on the escape mechanism and energy conversion under different orbital distances and stellar ages.

  6. Plate Tectonics and Planetary Evolution: Implications for Understanding Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2015-12-01

    A primary purpose in our study of exoplanets is the search for life. In hypothesizing how we might detect life, we start by examining life on Earth; it is our only example. How do we understand the meaning of habitability when there is only one example? All clues seem significant: the common need for the existence of water, the range of temperatures over which life on Earth is found, and the chemical cycles that maintain the surface and near-surface of the Earth within that range. A common assertion is that plate tectonics is necessary for the carbon cycle that keeps the Earth at habitable temperatures by sequestering carbon in limetone in oceans, and parceling it back into the atmosphere through volcanoes. This is an unproven hypothesis. There are other tectonic processes that cycle carbon into a planetary interior and back to the atmosphere; one possibility is small-scale convection that returns lithospheric material to the mantle and produces small-scale volcanism. Whether this process is sufficient to stabilize climate on one-plate planets or planets with sluggish convection remains to be demonstrated. Before we can discuss the criticality of plate tectonics on other planets we need to understand its criticality on Earth, and its apparent lack on Venus. And before we can predict whether plate tectonics should exist on a given exoplanet, we need to understand why it exists on Earth, and apparently not on Venus, and we need to know more about that exoplanet than can currently be detected. In this talk I will compare the predictions for exoplanetary conditions conducive to plate tectonics, walk through possible pathways in planetary evolution that lead to plate tectonics, and discuss whether any aspect of plate tectonics on an exoplanet is detectable from Earth. Predicting and hoping to detect plate tectonics on exoplanets is walking out a shaky limb; making cautious incremental advances in understanding terrestrial plate tectonics is critical before extending

  7. The Search for Radio Emission from Exoplanets Using LOFAR Low-Frequency Beam-Formed Observations: Preliminary Results on the 55 CNC System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Jake; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Zarka, Philippe; Vasylieva, Iana

    2017-05-01

    Detection of radio emission from exoplanets can provide information on the star-planet system that is very difficult or impossible to study otherwise, such as the planet's magnetic field, magnetosphere, rotation period, orbit inclination, and star-planet interactions. Such a detection in the radio domain would open up a whole new field in the study of exoplanets, however, currently there are no confirmed detections of an exoplanet at radio frequencies. In this study, we search for non-thermal radio emission from 55 Cnc, an exoplanetary system with 5 planets. 55 Cnc is among the best targets for this search according to theoretical predictions. We observed for 18 hours with the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) in the frequency range 26-73 MHz with full-polarization and and covered 85% of the orbital phase of the innermost planet. During the observations four beams were recorded simultaneously on 55 Cnc, a patch of nearby “empty” sky, the nearby pulsar B0823+26, and a bright radio source in the field. The extra beams make this setup unique since they can be used for control of the telescope gain and to verify that a detection in the exoplanet beam is not a false-positive detection (e.g. ionospheric fluctuations). An automatic pipeline was created to automatically find Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and to search for emission in the exoplanet beam. Conclusions reached at the time of the meeting, about detection of or upper limit to the planetary signal, will be presented. In the near future, we will apply this observational technique and pipeline to some moreplanetary targets, which were selected on the basis of theoretical predictions.

  8. New Results from Spitzer's Journey Through The Earth's Resonant Ring: 2004-2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaraman, Sumita; Grogan, K.; Bhattacharya, B.; Reach, W. T.

    2006-09-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope, in its solar orbit, has been drifting away from the Earth - enabling it to trace a path through the Earth's Resonant Ring, specifically, traverse through the resonant dust cloud that follows the Earth. The dust cloud causes the mid-infrared flux in the sky to be higher in the trailing direction when viewed from the Earth. After launch, Spitzer has slowly entered into the dust cloud and has crossed over the peak dust density of the trailing dust cloud. This causes a change in the trailing/leading asymmetry in the background flux. Eventually the leading flux will be higher as Spitzer views the cloud from the opposite side at the end of the mission. We have designed a zodiacal background monitoring program for the ecliptic and north and south ecliptic poles to obtain absolutely calibrated data in the MIPS total power mode. This program includes observations from 2004 to 2006 and will continue into the next observation cycle. We present new results measuring the change in the zodiacal background radiation at 24 microns in combination with science calibration observation observations from IRAC during this period. Further comparison of the multi-wavelength measurements to models shows the detailed ring structure and the provide estimates of the ring dust density in the Resonant Ring. We would like to thank NASA/JPL for funding this program through the Spitzer GO Cycle. We would also like to thank the Spitzer Science Center for helping us to schedule the individual solar system observations after the MIPS campaign dates are fixed and contributing the IRAC calibration observations.

  9. LOWLID FORMATION AND PLATE TECTONICS ON EXOPLANETS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

    The last years of astronomical observation have opened the doors to a universe filled with extrasolar planets. Detection techniques still only offer the possibility to detect mainly Super-Earths above five Earth masses. But detection techniques do steadily improve and are offering the possibility to detect even smaller planets. The observations show that planets seem to exist in many possible sizes just as the planets and moons of our own solar system do. It is only a natural question to ask if planetary mass has an influence on some key habitability factors such as on plate tectonics, allowing us to test which exoplanets might be more likely habitable than others, and allowing us to understand if plate tectonics on Earth is a stable or a critical, instable process that could easily be perturbed. Here we present results derived from 1D parameterized thermal evolution and 2D/3D computer models, showing how planetary mass influences the propensity of plate tectonics for planets with masses ranging from 0.1 to 10 Earth masses. Lately [2, 3] studied the effect of planetary mass on the ability to break plates and hence initiate plate tectonics - but both derived results contradictory to the other. We think that one of the reasons why both studies [2, 3] are not acceptable in their current form is partly due to an oversimplification. Both treated viscosity only temperature-dependent but neglected the effect pressure has on enlarging the viscosity in the deep mantle. More massive planets have therefore a stronger pressure-viscosity-coupling making convection at high pressures sluggish or even impossible. For planets larger than two Earth masses we observe that a conductive lid (termed low-lid) forms above the core-mantle boundary and thus reduces the effective convective part of the mantle when including a pressure-dependent term into the viscosity laws as shown in [1]. Moreover [2, 3] use time independent steady state models neglecting the fact that plate tectonics is a

  10. NEOSURVEY 1: INITIAL RESULTS FROM THE WARM SPITZER EXPLORATION SCIENCE SURVEY OF NEAR-EARTH OBJECT PROPERTIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trilling, David E.; Mommert, Michael [Department of Physics and Astronomy, PO Box 6010, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 (United States); Hora, Joseph; Fazio, Giovanni; Smith, Howard [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS-65, Cambridge, MA 02138-1516 (United States); Chesley, Steve [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Emery, Joshua [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tennessee, 306 EPS Building, 1412 Circle Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996 (United States); Harris, Alan [German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489, Berlin (Germany); Mueller, Michael [SRON, Netherlands Institute for Space Research, PO Box 800, 9700AV Groningen (Netherlands)

    2016-12-01

    Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits bring them close to the Earth’s orbit. We are carrying out a Warm Spitzer Cycle 11 Exploration Science program entitled NEOSurvey—a fast and efficient flux-limited survey of 597 known NEOs in which we derive a diameter and albedo for each target. The vast majority of our targets are too faint to be observed by NEOWISE, though a small sample has been or will be observed by both observatories, which allows for a cross-check of our mutual results. Our primary goal is to create a large and uniform catalog of NEO properties. We present here the first results from this new program: fluxes and derived diameters and albedos for 80 NEOs, together with a description of the overall program and approach, including several updates to our thermal model. The largest source of error in our diameter and albedo solutions, which derive from our single-band thermal emission measurements, is uncertainty in η , the beaming parameter used in our thermal modeling; for albedos, improvements in solar system absolute magnitudes would also help significantly. All data and derived diameters and albedos from this entire program are being posted on a publicly accessible Web page at nearearthobjects.nau.edu.

  11. The SAGE-Spec Spitzer Legacy program: the life-cycle of dust and gas in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Point source classification - III

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, O. C.; Woods, P. M.; Kemper, F.; Kraemer, K. E.; Sloan, G. C.; Srinivasan, S.; Oliveira, J. M.; van Loon, J. Th.; Boyer, M. L.; Sargent, B. A.; McDonald, I.; Meixner, M.; Zijlstra, A. A.; Ruffle, P. M. E.; Lagadec, E.; Pauly, T.; Sewiło, M.; Clayton, G. C.; Volk, K.

    2017-09-01

    The Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on the Spitzer Space Telescope observed nearly 800 point sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), taking over 1000 spectra. 197 of these targets were observed as part of the SAGE-Spec Spitzer Legacy program; the remainder are from a variety of different calibration, guaranteed time and open time projects. We classify these point sources into types according to their infrared spectral features, continuum and spectral energy distribution shape, bolometric luminosity, cluster membership and variability information, using a decision-tree classification method. We then refine the classification using supplementary information from the astrophysical literature. We find that our IRS sample is comprised substantially of YSO and H II regions, post-main-sequence low-mass stars: (post-)asymptotic giant branch stars and planetary nebulae and massive stars including several rare evolutionary types. Two supernova remnants, a nova and several background galaxies were also observed. We use these classifications to improve our understanding of the stellar populations in the LMC, study the composition and characteristics of dust species in a variety of LMC objects, and to verify the photometric classification methods used by mid-IR surveys. We discover that some widely used catalogues of objects contain considerable contamination and others are missing sources in our sample.

  12. Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres - From Earth to Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. THE LOW DENSITY TRANSITING EXOPLANET WASP-15b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    West, R. G.; Anderson, D. R.; Hellier, C.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Smalley, B.; Wilson, D. M.; Bentley, S. J.; Gillon, M.; Queloz, D.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Hebb, L.; Collier Cameron, A.; Enoch, B.; Horne, K.; Parley, N.; Irwin, J.; Lister, T. A.; Pollacco, D.

    2009-01-01

    We report the discovery of a low-density exoplanet transiting an 11th magnitude star in the Southern hemisphere. WASP-15b, which orbits its host star with a period P = 3.7520656 ± 0.0000028 d, has a mass M p = 0.542 ± 0.050 M J and radius R p = 1.428 ± 0.077 R J , and is therefore one of the least dense transiting exoplanets so far discovered (ρ p = 0.247 ± 0.035 g cm -3 ). An analysis of the spectrum of the host star shows it to be of spectral type around F5, with an effective temperature T eff = 6300 ± 100 K and [Fe/H] = -0.17 ± 0.11.

  14. Scalable Gaussian Processes and the search for exoplanets

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Characterizing Rosetta Stone Exoplanets with JWST Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  16. Three body dynamics and its applications to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Musielak, Zdzislaw

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Exoplanets Clue to Sun's Curious Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    A ground-breaking census of 500 stars, 70 of which are known to host planets, has successfully linked the long-standing "lithium mystery" observed in the Sun to the presence of planetary systems. Using ESO's successful HARPS spectrograph, a team of astronomers has found that Sun-like stars that host planets have destroyed their lithium much more efficiently than "planet-free" stars. This finding does not only shed light on the lack of lithium in our star, but also provides astronomers with a very efficient way of finding stars with planetary systems. "For almost 10 years we have tried to find out what distinguishes stars with planetary systems from their barren cousins," says Garik Israelian, lead author of a paper appearing this week in the journal Nature. "We have now found that the amount of lithium in Sun-like stars depends on whether or not they have planets." Low levels of this chemical element have been noticed for decades in the Sun, as compared to other solar-like stars, and astronomers have been unable to explain the anomaly. The discovery of a trend among planet-bearing stars provides a natural explanation to this long-standing mystery. "The explanation of this 60 year-long puzzle is for us rather simple," adds Israelian. "The Sun lacks lithium because it has planets." This conclusion is based on the analysis of 500 stars, including 70 planet-hosting stars. Most of these stars were monitored for several years with ESO's High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher. This spectrograph, better known as HARPS, is attached to ESO's 3.6-metre telescope and is the world's foremost exoplanet hunter. "This is the best possible sample available to date to understand what makes planet-bearing stars unique," says co-author Michel Mayor. The astronomers looked in particular at Sun-like stars, almost a quarter of the whole sample. They found that the majority of stars hosting planets possess less than 1% of the amount of lithium shown by most of the other stars

  18. Atmosphere-interior exchange on hot rocky exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Kite, Edwin S.; Fegley Jr., Bruce; Schaefer, Laura; Gaidos, Eric

    2016-01-01

    We provide estimates of atmospheric pressure and surface composition on short-period rocky exoplanets with dayside magma pools and silicate vapor atmospheres. Atmospheric pressure tends toward vapor-pressure equilibrium with surface magma, and magma-surface composition is set by the competing effects of fractional vaporization and surface-interior exchange. We use basic models to show how surface-interior exchange is controlled by the planet's temperature, mass, and initial composition. We as...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    In the coming years and decades, advanced space- and ground-based observatories will allow an unprecedented opportunity to probe the atmospheres and surfaces of potentially habitable exoplanets for signatures of life. Life on Earth, through its gaseous products and reflectance and scattering properties, has left its fingerprint on the spectrum of our planet. Aided by the universality of the laws of physics and chemistry, we turn to Earth's biosphere, both in the present and through geologic t...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. A Theory of Exoplanet Transits with Light Scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-20

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

  2. Earth Similarity Index and Habitability Studies of Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Kashyap, Jagadeesh Madhu

    2018-01-01

    Study of exoplanets has been of considerable interest for Astronomers, Planetary Scientists and Astrobiologists. Analysis of huge planetary data from space missions such as CoRoT and Kepler is directed ultimately at finding a planet similar to Earth- the Earth's twin, and looking for potential habitability. The Earth Similarity Index (ESI) is defined to find the similarity with Earth, which ranges from 1 (Earth) to 0 (totally dissimilar to Earth). ESI can be computed using four physical param...

  3. Earth-like and Tardigrade survey of exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Jagadeesh, MadhuKashyap; Roszkowska, Milena; Kaczmarek, Lukasz

    2018-01-01

    Finding life on other worlds is a fascinating area of astrobiology and planetary sciences. Presently, over 3500 exoplanets, representing a very wide range of physical and chemical environments, are known. Tardigrades (water bears) are microscopic invertebrates that inhabit almost all terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats, from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans. Thanks to their ability to live in a state of cryptobiosis, which is known to be an adaptation to unpredictably fluct...

  4. Searching for exoplanets with the K2 mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bristow, Makennah; Schlieder, Joshua

    2018-01-01

    K2 is the second mission of the Kepler telescope, which uses transit photometry to observe the sky in the hopes of finding exoplanets. To date, Kepler and K2 have discovered and confirmed thousands of exoplanets. This project aimed to discover new planets from Campaign 13 of the K2 mission. Approximately 1000 transit events were chosen because of their high signal-to-noise ratios (SNR), ranging from SNR = 1088.3 to SNR = 12.0, meaning the candidate transits are more likely to be actual objects rather than noise. The high SNR events were then vetted and identified as either noise, variable stars, possible eclipsing binary candidates, or possible planetary candidates. 71 potential exoplanets were found through this method. 430 transits were found to be possible eclipsing binary systems, numerous others were out of the ordinary; revealing rapidly rotating stars, strong flares, and other events. Scatter plots and histograms were created to represent the spread of planetary radii, temperature, and spectral types. These plots showed that the majority of the candidates identified fall within the 1-6 Earth radii range and orbit G-M type stars in the 4000-6000K temperature range. One of the vetted candidates, EPIC247589423.01, has now been confirmed as the exoplanet K2-136A c. It orbits the primary component of a binary system with a 17.3 day period and has a radius of 3 Earth radii (Ciardi et al. 2017). Being the first to identify these planet candidates is a huge step towards increasing the number of known planets in the Galaxy and allows for others to perform additional detailed studies to confirm and characterize more of the systems.

  5. The Impact of Gaia and LSST on Binaries and Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eyer, L.; Dubath, P.; Mowlavi, N.

    2012-01-01

    Two upcoming large scale surveys, the ESA Gaia and LSST projects, will bring a new era in astronomy. The number of binary systems that will be observed and detected by these projects is enormous, estimations range from millions for Gaia to several tens of millions for LSST. We review some tools t...... that should be developed and also what can be gained from these missions on the subject of binaries and exoplanets from the astrometry, photometry, radial velocity and their alert systems....

  6. Formation and evolution of exoplanets in different environments

    OpenAIRE

    Adibekyan, Vardan

    2017-01-01

    The ultimate goal of exoplanetologists is to discover life outside our Earth and to fully understand our place in the Universe. Even though we have never been closer to attaining this goal, we still need to understand how and where the planets (efficiently) form. In this manuscript I briefly discuss the important role of stellar metallicity and chemistry on the formation and evolution of exoplanets.

  7. The CoRoT Exoplanet program: status & results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moutou C.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The CoRoT satellite is the first instrument hunting for planets from space. We will review the status of the CoRoT/Exoplanet program. We will then present the CoRoT exoplanetary systems and how they widen the range of properties of the close-in population and contribute to our understanding of the properties of planets.

  8. Habitable zone lifetimes of exoplanets around main sequence stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  9. New Software for Ensemble Creation in the Spitzer-Space-Telescope Operations Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laher, Russ; Rector, John

    2004-01-01

    Some of the computer pipelines used to process digital astronomical images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope require multiple input images, in order to generate high-level science and calibration products. The images are grouped into ensembles according to well documented ensemble-creation rules by making explicit associations in the operations Informix database at the Spitzer Science Center (SSC). The advantage of this approach is that a simple database query can retrieve the required ensemble of pipeline input images. New and improved software for ensemble creation has been developed. The new software is much faster than the existing software because it uses pre-compiled database stored-procedures written in Informix SPL (SQL programming language). The new software is also more flexible because the ensemble creation rules are now stored in and read from newly defined database tables. This table-driven approach was implemented so that ensemble rules can be inserted, updated, or deleted without modifying software.

  10. SPITZER PARALLAX OF OGLE-2015-BLG-0966: A COLD NEPTUNE IN THE GALACTIC DISK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Street, R. A.; Bachelet, E. [LCOGT, 6740 Cortona Drive, Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Udalski, A. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Novati, S. Calchi [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, MS 100-22, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Hundertmark, M. P. G.; Jørgensen, U. G. [Niels Bohr Institute and Centre for Star and Planet Formation, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5, DK-1350—Copenhagen K (Denmark); Zhu, W.; Gould, A. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Yee, J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Tsapras, Y. [Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg (ZAH), D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Bennett, D. P. [Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); Dominik, M. [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Andersen, M. I. [Niels Bohr Institute and Dark Cosmology Centre, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Mariesvej 30, DK-2100—Copenhagen Ø (Denmark); Bozza, V. [Dipartimento di Fisica “E.R. Caianiello,” Università di Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II 132, I-84084, Fisciano (Italy); Bramich, D. M. [Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Qatar Foundation, P.O. Box 5825, Doha (Qatar); Collaboration: RoboNet Project and MiNDSTEp Consortium; OGLE Project; Spitzer Team; MOA Collaboration; KMTNet Modeling Team; and others

    2016-03-10

    We report the detection of a cold Neptune m{sub planet} = 21 ± 2 M{sub ⊕} orbiting a 0.38 M{sub ⊙} M dwarf lying 2.5–3.3 kpc toward the Galactic center as part of a campaign combining ground-based and Spitzer observations to measure the Galactic distribution of planets. This is the first time that the complex real-time protocols described by Yee et al., which aim to maximize planet sensitivity while maintaining sample integrity, have been carried out in practice. Multiple survey and follow up teams successfully combined their efforts within the framework of these protocols to detect this planet. This is the second planet in the Spitzer Galactic distribution sample. Both are in the near to mid-disk and are clearly not in the Galactic bulge.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Pintr

    2013-05-01

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

  12. Progress on multi-object exoplanet search spectral interferometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Kai; Zhu, Yongtian; Wang, Lei; Yue, Zhongyu; Chen, Yi; Tang, Jin; Hu, Zhongwen

    2012-09-01

    It's a very important point that fully open up power of Gou Shoujing telescope (LAMOST) in exoplanet detection field by developing a multi-exoplanet survey system. But it's an indisputable truth in the present astronomy that a traditional type of multi-object high resolution spectrograph is almost impossible to be developed. External Dispersed Interferometry is an effective way to improve the radial velocity measuring accuracy of medium resolution spectrograph. With the using of this technique, Multi-object Exoplanet Search Spectral Interferometer (MESSI) is an exploratory system with medium measuring accuracy based on LAMOST low resolution spectrograph works in medium-resolution mode (R=5,000 - 10,000). And it's believed that will bring some feasible way in the future development of multi-object medium/high resolution spectrograph. After prototype experiment in 2010, a complete configuration is under the development, including a multi-object fixed-delay Michelson interferometer, an iodine cell with multi-fiber optical coupling system and a multi-terminal switching system in an efficient fiber physical coupling way. By some effective improvement, the interferometer has smaller cross section and more stable interference component. Moreover, based on physical and optical fiber coupling technique, it's possible for the iodine cell and the switching system to simultaneously and identically coupling 25 pairs of fibers. In paper, all of the progress is given in detail.

  13. The Effect of Starspots on Detectability of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Ryan; Berta-Thompson, Zachory

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Catalogue of Exoplanets in Multiple-Star-Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  16. Thermal-Infrared Surveys of Near-Earth Object Diameters and Albedos with Spitzer and IRTF/MIRSI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David; Hora, Joseph L.; Chesley, Steven; Emery, Josh; Fazio, Giovanni; Harris, Alan W.; Moskovitz, Nick; Mueller, Michael; Smith, Howard

    2015-08-01

    More than 12000 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) have been discovered over the past few decades and current discovery surveys find on average 4 new NEOs every night. In comparison to asteroid discovery, the physical characterization of NEOs lags far behind: measured diameters and albedos exist only for roughly 10% of all known NEOs. We describe a current and a future observing program that provide diameter and albedo measurements of a large number of NEOs.In our Spitzer Space Telescope Exploration Science program 'NEOSurvey', we are performing a fast and efficient flux-limited survey in which we measure the diameters and albedos of ~600 NEOs in a total of 710 hrs of observing time. We measure the thermal emission of our targets at 4.5 micron and combine these measurements with optical data in a thermal model. Our diameters and albedos come with highly realistic uncertainties that account for a wide range of potential asteroid properties. Our primary goal is to create a large and uniform catalog of NEO properties, including diameters, albedos, and flux density data. This catalog is publicly accessible and provides the latest results usually within 2 weeks after the observation.Starting in 2016, we will also make use of the refurbished and recommissioned MIRSI mid-infrared imaging camera on NASA's InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) to derive the diameters and albedos of up to 750 NEOs over a period of 3 yrs. MIRSI will be equipped with an optical camera that will allow for simultaneous optical imaging, which will improve our thermal modeling results. With MIRSI, we will focus on newly discovered NEOs that are close to Earth and hence relatively bright.The results from both programs, together with already exisiting diameter and albedo results from the literature, will form the largest database of NEO physical properties available to date. With this data set, we will be able to refine the size distribution of small NEOs and the corresponding impact frequency, and compare the

  17. SPITZER INFRARED SPECTROMETER 16 μm OBSERVATIONS OF THE GOODS FIELDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teplitz, Harry I.; Chary, Ranga; Elbaz, David; Le Floc'h, Emeric; Dickinson, Mark; Bridge, Carrie; Howell, Justin H.; Siana, Brian; Colbert, James; Scarlata, Claudia; Frayer, David T.; Koo, David C.; Phillips, Andrew; Papovich, Casey; Spinrad, Hyron; Stern, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    We present Spitzer 16 μm imaging of the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) fields. We survey 150 arcmin 2 in each of the two GOODS fields (North and South), to an average 3σ depth of 40 and 65 μJy, respectively. We detect ∼1300 sources in both fields combined. We validate the photometry using the 3-24 μm spectral energy distribution of stars in the fields compared to Spitzer spectroscopic templates. Comparison with ISOCAM and AKARI observations in the same fields shows reasonable agreement, though the uncertainties are large. We provide a catalog of photometry, with sources cross-correlated with available Spitzer, Chandra, and Hubble Space Telescope data. Galaxy number counts show good agreement with previous results from ISOCAM and AKARI with improved uncertainties. We examine the 16-24 μm flux ratio and find that for most sources it lies within the expected locus for starbursts and infrared luminous galaxies. A color cut of S 16 /S 24 >1.4 selects mostly sources which lie at 1.1 -2 sr -1 .

  18. MEASURING ORGANIC MOLECULAR EMISSION IN DISKS WITH LOW-RESOLUTION SPITZER SPECTROSCOPY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teske, Johanna K.; Najita, Joan R.; Carr, John S.; Pascucci, Ilaria; Apai, Daniel; Henning, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    We explore the extent to which Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) spectra taken at low spectral resolution can be used in quantitative studies of organic molecular emission from disks surrounding low-mass young stars. We use Spitzer IRS spectra taken in both the high- and low-resolution modules for the same sources to investigate whether it is possible to define line indices that can measure trends in the strength of the molecular features in low-resolution data. We find that trends in the HCN emission strength seen in the high-resolution data can be recovered in low-resolution data. In examining the factors that influence the HCN emission strength, we find that the low-resolution HCN flux is modestly correlated with stellar accretion rate and X-ray luminosity. Correlations of this kind are perhaps expected based on recent observational and theoretical studies of inner disk atmospheres. Our results demonstrate the potential of using the large number of low-resolution disk spectra that reside in the Spitzer archive to study the factors that influence the strength of molecular emission from disks. Such studies would complement results for the much smaller number of circumstellar disks that have been observed at high resolution with IRS.

  19. Spitzer and Variable Young Stars: Shining a Spotlight on Circumstellar Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cody, Ann Marie; CSI 2264 Team

    2014-01-01

    Since its launch in 2003, the Spitzer Space Telescope has helped to uncover hundreds of disk bearing young stars in clusters by detecting their infrared excesses. Study of the spectral energy distributions of these objects has shed light on disk evolution, dispersal, and the relationship to planet formation. With the start of the Warm Spitzer Mission, mid-infrared time series observations have opened up a new window into the dynamic nature of these systems. Not only are young stellar objects (YSOs) highly variable, but so are their disks! I will review recent findings on mid-infrared variability in young stars, highlighting the Young Stellar Object Variability project and the joint Spitzer/CoRoT Coordinated Synoptic Investigation of NGC 2264. These efforts have resulted in a comprehensive census and categorization of YSO flux behavior at 0.5 through 4.5 microns, on timescales from hours to months. We now have evidence for multiple simultaneous variability mechanisms, supporting the picture of a highly dynamic star-disk system.

  20. SPITZER IRS SPECTRA OF DEBRIS DISKS IN THE SCORPIUS–CENTAURUS OB ASSOCIATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jang-Condell, Hannah [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071 (United States); Chen, Christine H.; Mittal, Tushar; Lisse, Carey M. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Manoj, P. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Rd., Mumbai 400005 (India); Watson, Dan [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627 (United States); Nesvold, Erika; Kuchner, Marc [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)

    2015-08-01

    We analyze spectra obtained with the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) of 110 B-, A-, F-, and G-type stars with optically thin infrared excess in the Scorpius–Centaurus OB association. The ages of these stars range from 11 to 17 Myr. We fit the infrared excesses observed in these sources by Spitzer IRS and the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) to simple dust models according to Mie theory. We find that nearly all of the objects in our study can be fit by one or two belts of dust. Dust around lower mass stars appears to be closer in than around higher mass stars, particularly for the warm dust component in the two-belt systems, suggesting a mass-dependent evolution of debris disks around young stars. For those objects with stellar companions, all dust distances are consistent with truncation of the debris disk by the binary companion. The gaps between several of the two-belt systems can place limits on the planets that might lie between the belts, potentially constraining the mass and locations of planets that may be forming around these stars.

  1. EXTRASOLAR STORMS: PRESSURE-DEPENDENT CHANGES IN LIGHT-CURVE PHASE IN BROWN DWARFS FROM SIMULTANEOUS HST AND SPITZER OBSERVATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Hao; Apai, Dániel; Karalidi, Theodora [Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Marley, Mark S. [NASA Ames Research Center, Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA 94035 (United States); Flateau, Davin [Department of Planetary Sciences, 1629 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Showman, Adam P. [Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, 1629 University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Metchev, Stanimir [The University of Western Ontario, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, 1151 Richmond St., London, ON N6A 3K7 (Canada); Buenzli, Esther [Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27, 8093 Zürich (Switzerland); Radigan, Jacqueline [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Artigau, Étienne [Département de Physique, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128 Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada); Lowrance, Patrick J. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, MS 100-22, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Burgasser, Adam J., E-mail: haoyang@email.arizona.edu, E-mail: apai@arizona.edu [Center for Astrophysics and Space Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States)

    2016-07-20

    We present Spitzer /Infrared Array Camera Ch1 and Ch2 monitoring of six brown dwarfs during eight different epochs over the course of 20 months. For four brown dwarfs, we also obtained simulataneous Hubble Space Telescope ( HST )/WFC3 G141 grism spectra during two epochs and derived light curves in five narrowband filters. Probing different pressure levels in the atmospheres, the multiwavelength light curves of our six targets all exhibit variations, and the shape of the light curves evolves over the timescale of a rotation period, ranging from 1.4 to 13 hr. We compare the shapes of the light curves and estimate the phase shifts between the light curves observed at different wavelengths by comparing the phase of the primary Fourier components. We use state-of-the-art atmosphere models to determine the flux contribution of different pressure layers to the observed flux in each filter. We find that the light curves that probe higher pressures are similar and in phase, but are offset and often different from the light curves that probe lower pressures. The phase differences between the two groups of light curves suggest that the modulations seen at lower and higher pressures may be introduced by different cloud layers.

  2. On the mid-infrared variability of candidate eruptive variables (exors): A comparison between Spitzer and WISE data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antoniucci, S.; Giannini, T.; Li Causi, G.; Lorenzetti, D., E-mail: simone.antoniucci@oa-roma.inaf.it, E-mail: teresa.giannini@oa-roma.inaf.it, E-mail: gianluca.licausi@oa-roma.inaf.it, E-mail: dario.lorenzetti@oa-roma.inaf.it [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, I-00040 Monte Porzio (Italy)

    2014-02-10

    Aiming to statistically study the variability in the mid-IR of young stellar objects, we have compared the 3.6, 4.5, and 24 μm Spitzer fluxes of 1478 sources belonging to the C2D (Cores to Disks) legacy program with the WISE fluxes at 3.4, 4.6, and 22 μm. From this comparison, we have selected a robust sample of 34 variable sources. Their variations were classified per spectral Class (according to the widely accepted scheme of Class I/flat/II/III protostars), and per star forming region. On average, the number of variable sources decreases with increasing Class and is definitely higher in Perseus and Ophiuchus than in Chamaeleon and Lupus. According to the paradigm Class ≡ Evolution, the photometric variability can be considered to be a feature more pronounced in less evolved protostars, and, as such, related to accretion processes. Moreover, our statistical findings agree with the current knowledge of star formation activity in different regions. The 34 selected variables were further investigated for similarities with known young eruptive variables, namely the EXors. In particular, we analyzed (1) the shape of the spectral energy distribution, (2) the IR excess over the stellar photosphere, (3) magnitude versus color variations, and (4) output parameters of model fitting. This first systematic search for EXors ends up with 11 bona fide candidates that can be considered as suitable targets for monitoring or future investigations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    The CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) is a joint ESA-Switzerland space mission dedicated to search for exoplanet transits by means of ultra-high precision photometry whose launch readiness is expected end 2017. The CHEOPS instrument will be the first space telescope dedicated to search for transits on bright stars already known to host planets. By being able to point at nearly any location on the sky, it will provide the unique capability of determining accurate radii for a subset of those planets for which the mass has already been estimated from ground-based spectroscopic surveys. CHEOPS will also provide precision radii for new planets discovered by the next generation ground-based transits surveys (Neptune-size and smaller). The main science goals of the CHEOPS mission will be to study the structure of exoplanets with radii typically ranging from 1 to 6 Earth radii orbiting bright stars. With an accurate knowledge of masses and radii for an unprecedented sample of planets, CHEOPS will set new constraints on the structure and hence on the formation and evolution of planets in this mass range. To reach its goals CHEOPS will measure photometric signals with a precision of 20 ppm in 6 hours of integration time for a 9th magnitude star. This corresponds to a signal to noise of 5 for a transit of an Earth-sized planet orbiting a solar-sized star (0.9 solar radii). This precision will be achieved by using a single frame-transfer backside illuminated CCD detector cool down at 233K and stabilized within {10 mK . The CHEOPS optical design is based on a Ritchey-Chretien style telescope with 300 mm effective aperture diameter, which provides a defocussed image of the target star while minimizing straylight using a dedicated field stop and baffle system. As CHEOPS will be in a LEO orbit, straylight suppression is a key point to allow the observation of faint stars. The telescope will be the only payload on a spacecraft platform providing pointing stability of < 8

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. THE LEECH EXOPLANET IMAGING SURVEY: CHARACTERIZATION OF THE COLDEST DIRECTLY IMAGED EXOPLANET, GJ 504 b, AND EVIDENCE FOR SUPERSTELLAR METALLICITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Leisenring, Jarron; Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip; Defrére, Denis; Apai, Dániel; Close, Laird; Eisner, Josh [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Ave. Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Morley, Caroline V.; Fortney, Jonathan [University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High St. Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Zimmerman, Neil T.; Buenzli, Esther; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Biller, Beth; Brandner, Wolfgang [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Skrutskie, Michael F. [University of Virginia, 530 McCormick Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Esposito, Simone [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica-Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125, Florence (Italy); Crepp, Justin R. [Notre Dame University, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); De Rosa, Robert J. [Arizona State University, 781 South Terrace Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281 (United States); Desidera, Silvano [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica-Padova Astronomical Observatory, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova (Italy); and others

    2016-02-01

    As gas giant planets and brown dwarfs radiate away the residual heat from their formation, they cool through a spectral type transition from L to T, which encompasses the dissipation of cloud opacity and the appearance of strong methane absorption. While there are hundreds of known T-type brown dwarfs, the first generation of directly imaged exoplanets were all L type. Recently, Kuzuhara et al. announced the discovery of GJ 504 b, the first T dwarf exoplanet. GJ 504 b provides a unique opportunity to study the atmosphere of a new type of exoplanet with a ∼500 K temperature that bridges the gap between the first directly imaged planets (∼1000 K) and our own solar system's Jupiter (∼130 K). We observed GJ 504 b in three narrow L-band filters (3.71, 3.88, and 4.00 μm), spanning the red end of the broad methane fundamental absorption feature (3.3 μm) as part of the LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) exoplanet imaging survey. By comparing our new photometry and literature photometry with a grid of custom model atmospheres, we were able to fit GJ 504 b's unusual spectral energy distribution for the first time. We find that GJ 504 b is well fit by models with the following parameters: T{sub eff} = 544 ± 10 K, g < 600 m s{sup −2}, [M/H] = 0.60 ± 0.12, cloud opacity parameter of f{sub sed} = 2–5, R = 0.96 ± 0.07 R{sub Jup}, and log(L) = −6.13 ± 0.03 L{sub ⊙}, implying a hot start mass of 3–30 M{sub jup} for a conservative age range of 0.1–6.5 Gyr. Of particular interest, our model fits suggest that GJ 504 b has a superstellar metallicity. Since planet formation can create objects with nonstellar metallicities, while binary star formation cannot, this result suggests that GJ 504 b formed like a planet, not like a binary companion.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinyard, Bruce; Tinetti, Giovanna; Tennyson, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

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

  7. The exoplanet population revealed by K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barentsen, Geert; Dotson, Jessie; Colon, Knicole; Hedges, Christina; Team K2

    2018-01-01

    NASA's K2 survey has expanded the legacy of the Kepler mission by using the repurposed spacecraft to probe short-period planets around a more diverse population of stars: probing nearby dwarfs through distant giants; young pre-main sequence stars through evolved white dwarfs; halo stars through bulge members. I will review the star and planet population sampled by K2 across 16 fields so far, highlighting several characteristics, caveats, and unexplored uses of the public data set along the way. With fuel expected to run out in 2018, I will discuss the closing Campaigns, highlight the final target selection opportunities, and explain the data archive and TESS-compatible software tools the K2 mission intends to leave behind for posterity.

  8. Exoplanet Science in the Classroom: Learning Activities for an Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della-Rose, Devin; Carlson, Randall; de La Harpe, Kimberly; Novotny, Steven; Polsgrove, Daniel

    2018-03-01

    Discovery of planets outside our solar system, known as extra-solar planets or exoplanets for short, has been at the forefront of astronomical research for over 25 years. Reports of new discoveries have almost become routine; however, the excitement surrounding them has not. Amazingly, as groundbreaking as exoplanet science is, the basic physics is quite accessible to first-year physics students, as discussed in previous TPT articles. To further illustrate this point, we developed an iOS application that generates synthetic exoplanet data to provide students and teachers with interactive learning activities. Using introductory physics concepts, we demonstrate how to estimate exoplanet mass, radius, and density from the app output. These calculations form the basis for a diverse range of classroom activities. We conclude with a summary of exoplanet science resources for teachers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  10. #AltPlanets: Exploring the Exoplanet Catalogue with Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laneuville, M.; Tasker, E. J.; Guttenberg, N.

    2017-12-01

    The launch of Kepler in 2009 brought the number of known exoplanets into the thousands, in a growth explosion that shows no sign of abating. While the data available for individual planets is presently typically restricted to orbital and bulk properties, the quantity of data points allows the potential for meaningful statistical analysis. It is not clear how planet mass, radius, orbital path, stellar properties and neighbouring planets influence one another, therefore it seems inevitable that patterns will be missed simply due to the difficulty of including so many dimensions. Even simple trends may be overlooked if they fall outside our expectation of planet formation; a strong risk in a field where new discoveries have destroyed theories from the first observations of hot Jupiters. A possible way forward is to take advantage of the capabilities of neural network autoencoders. The idea of such algorithms is to learn a representation (encoding) of the data in a lower dimension space, without a priori knowledge about links between the elements. This encoding space can then be used to discover the strongest correlations in the original dataset.The key point is that trends identified by a neural network are independent of any previous analysis and pre-conceived ideas about physical processes. Results can reveal new relationships between planet properties and verify existing trends. We applied this concept to study data from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and while we have begun to explore the potential use of neural networks for exoplanet data, there are many possible extensions. For example, the network can produce a large number of 'alternative planets' whose statistics should match the current distribution. This larger dataset could highlight gaps in the parameter space or indicate observations are missing particular regimes. This could guide instrument proposals towards objects liable to yield the most information.

  11. BIOSIGNATURE GASES IN H2-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seager, S.; Bains, W.; Hu, R.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Characterizing Giant Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations: KELT-9b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Cristilyn N.; Cole, Jackson L.; Garver, Bethany R.; Jarka, Kyla L.; Kar, Aman; McGough, Aylin M.; PeQueen, David J.; Rivera, Daniel I.; Kasper, David; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Kobulnicky, Henry A.; Dale, Daniel A.

    2018-01-01

    Multiwavelength observations of host stellar light scattered through an exoplanet's atmosphere during a transit characterizes exoplanetary parameters. Using the Wyoming Infrared Observatory 2.3-meter telescope, we observed primary transits of KELT-9b in the ugriz Sloan filters. We present an analysis of the phase-folded transit observations of KELT-9b using a Bayesian statistical approach. By plotting the transit depth as a function of wavelength, our preliminary results are indicative of scattering in the atmosphere surrounding KELT-9b. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under REU grant AST 1560461 and PAARE grant AST 1559559.

  13. Stellar Variability of the Exoplanet Hosting Star HD 63454

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Hunting for Exoplanets at Florida Gulf Coast University

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Exoplanet Science from NASA’s Kepler Mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steffen, Jason [Northwestern University

    2012-09-12

    NASA's exoplanet mission is the world's premier instrument for the discovery and study of planets orbiting distant stars. As the nominal mission comes to a close, Kepler has discovered nearly 2500 planet candidates, confirmed dozens of multi-planet systems, provided important insights into the orbital architectures of planetary systems, identified specific systems that challenge theories of planet formation and dynamical evolution, has revolutionized our understanding of stellar interiors, and is gearing to measure the frequency of Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars in its extended mission phase. I present the most recent results from the Kepler mission.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gladysz S.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Post-processing of images delivered by the eXtreme Adaptive Optics (XAO instrumentation is a crucial step which can increase achievable contrast even by two orders of magnitude. In this communication I present a new class of algorithms for detection of extrasolar planets from a sequence of adaptive-optics-corrected images. In general, the methods discriminate between real sources and stellar PSF features based on statistics of recorded intensity. The methods are particularly useful in dealing with static speckles which are the greatest obstacle in detecting exoplanets.

  17. New tools and improvements in the Exoplanet Transit Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pejcha O.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Comprehensive collection of the available light curves, prediction possibilities and the online model fitting procedure, that are available via Exoplanet Transit Database became very popular in the community. In this paper we summarized the changes, that we made in the ETD during last year (including the Kepler candidates into the prediction section, modeling of an unknown planet in the model-fit section and some other small improvements. All this new tools cannot be found in the main ETD paper.

  18. A Population Study of Gaseous Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsiaras, A.; Waldmann, I. P.; Zingales, T.; Rocchetto, M.; Morello, G.; Damiano, M.; Karpouzas, K.; Tinetti, G.; McKemmish, L. K.; Tennyson, J.; Yurchenko, S. N.

    2018-04-01

    We present here the analysis of 30 gaseous extrasolar planets, with temperatures between 600 and 2400 K and radii between 0.35 and 1.9 R Jup. The quality of the HST/WFC3 spatially scanned data combined with our specialized analysis tools allow us to study the largest and most self-consistent sample of exoplanetary transmission spectra to date and examine the collective behavior of warm and hot gaseous planets rather than isolated case studies. We define a new metric, the Atmospheric Detectability Index (ADI) to evaluate the statistical significance of an atmospheric detection and find statistically significant atmospheres in around 16 planets out of the 30 analyzed. For most of the Jupiters in our sample, we find the detectability of their atmospheres to be dependent on the planetary radius but not on the planetary mass. This indicates that planetary gravity plays a secondary role in the state of gaseous planetary atmospheres. We detect the presence of water vapour in all of the statistically detectable atmospheres, and we cannot rule out its presence in the atmospheres of the others. In addition, TiO and/or VO signatures are detected with 4σ confidence in WASP-76 b, and they are most likely present in WASP-121 b. We find no correlation between expected signal-to-noise and atmospheric detectability for most targets. This has important implications for future large-scale surveys.

  19. Spitzer/IRS Observations Of Multiple Main-Belt And Binary Near-Earth Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez, J. Emilio; Marchis, F.; Emery, J. P.; Im, S.

    2010-10-01

    Since the discovery of Ida's companion in 1993, 195 companions of asteroids have been discovered. To understand the formation process of these interesting bodies, their physical properties such as their bulk density, size, shape, and surface roughness need to be determined. During the Spitzer Cycle-4, we obtained IRS thermal emission spectra (5-42 um) of 23 known binary systems. The majority of asteroids are from the main-belt (16), while the rest are NEOs (7). After extracting the thermal spectra, we used a modified Standard Thermal Model (STM) to calculate their equivalent diameter (from 0.8 km to 237 km), their albedo (from 0.04 for C-type to 0.394 for a V-type) and their beaming factor related to the surface roughness and thermal inertia. We derive their emissivity spectra, which is useful to detect silicate features. Combining these measurements with 3D-models of these multiple asteroid systems obtained by lightcurve inversion, we should be able to derive an accurate estimate of their bulk-density and contrast them with their taxonomic classes. Preliminary studies by Marchis et al. (2008)1, suggested a relationship between bulk density and the taxonomic class of asteroids, which varies from 0.9 g/cc for C-complex to 2.4 g/cc for S-complex asteroids. The National Science Foundation supported this research under award number AAG-0807468. It was conducted with the Spitzer space telescope, which is operated by JPL under a contract with NASA. 1 Marchis et al. , 2008, "Mid-infrared Spectra of Binary Asteroids With Spitzer/IRS", 40th DPS Meeting, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 40, 508

  20. Multiple Asteroid Systems: Dimensions and Thermal Properties from Spitzer Space Telescope and Ground-based Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchis, F.; Enriquez, J. E.; Emery, J. P.; Mueller, M.; Baek, M.; Pollock, J.; Assafin, M.; Matins, R. Vieira; Berthier, J.; Vachier, F.; hide

    2012-01-01

    We collected mid-IR spectra from 5.2 to 38 microns using the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph of 28 asteroids representative of all established types of binary groups. Photometric light curves were also obtained for 14 of them during the Spitzer observations to provide the context of the observations and reliable estimates of their absolute magnitudes. The extracted mid-IR spectra were analyzed using a modified standard thermal model (STM) and a thermophysical model (TPM) that takes into account the shape and geometry of the large primary at the time of the Spitzer observation. We derived a reliable estimate of the size, albedo, and beaming factor for each of these asteroids, representing three main taxonomic groups: C, S, and X. For large (volume-equivalent system diameter Deq > 130 km) binary asteroids, the TPM analysis indicates a low thermal inertia (Lambda thermally insulating regolith. The smaller (surface-equivalent system diameter Deff < 17 km) asteroids also show some emission lines of minerals, but they are significantly weaker, consistent with regoliths with coarser grains, than those of the large binary asteroids. The average bulk densities of these multiple asteroids vary from 0.7-1.7 g/cu cm (P-, C-type) to approx. 2 g/cu cm (S-type). The highest density is estimated for the M-type (22) Kalliope (3.2 +/- 0.9 g/cu cm). The spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and emissivity spectra, made available as a supplement document, could help to constrain the surface compositions of these asteroids.

  1. Observations of V592 Cassiopeiae with the Spitzer Space Telescope - Dust in the Mid-Infrared

    OpenAIRE

    Hoard, D. W.; Kafka, Stella; Wachter, Stefanie; Howell, Steve B.; Brinkworth, Carolyn S.; Ciardi, David R.; Szkody, Paula; Belle, Kunegunda; Froning, Cynthia; van Belle, Gerard

    2008-01-01

    We present the ultraviolet-optical-infrared spectral energy distribution of the low inclination novalike cataclysmic variable (CV) V592 Cassiopeiae, including new mid-infrared observations from 3.5 to 24 μm obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope. At wavelengths shortward of 8 μm, the spectral energy distribution of V592 Cas is dominated by the steady state accretion disk, but there is flux density in excess of the summed stellar components and accretion disk at longer wavelengths. Reproduc...

  2. Spitzer 3.6 and 5.8 micron Monitoring of the Seyfert 1 NGC 4051

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorjian, Varoujan; Adkins, J.; Borders, K.; Kelly, S.; Martin, C.; Mendez, B.; Paradis, J.; Perreira, V.; Pittman, P.; Sepulveda, B.; NGC 4051 Monitoring Group

    2009-01-01

    We used the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) to monitor the Seyfert 1 active galactic nucleus NGC 4051. We took data at 3.6 and 5.8 microns every day for 10 days in June 2008. We also observed in the optical at B, V, and R bands starting a month before the IRAC observations with various ground based observatories, though we were unable to achieve daily coverage. We will present the IR and optical light curves and will search for correlated variability that may be evidence of dust reverberation. For the education and public outreach component of this program please see Sepulveda et al.

  3. Gaussian Processes: the Next Step in Exoplanet Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aigrain, Suzanne; Gibson, N.; Roberts, S.; Evans, T.; McQuillan, A.; Reece, S.; Osborne, M.

    2011-09-01

    When searching for or characterising exoplanets, we typically need to isolate a deterministic signal from stochastic processes - astrophysical or instrumental "noise" - in time-series data. Gaussian processes (GPs) enable us to construct distributions over random functions, and to infer the properties of "signal" and "noise" in a way that is both flexible and robust. I will give a brief overview of the principles of GPs and show two example applications which are both interesting in their own right, and highlight some specific strengths of the technique. The first is a new re-analysis of the controversial HST/NICMOS transmission spectrum of HD189733b. The second is the measurement of stellar rotation periods from light curves, when the spot distribution evolves over the duration of the dataset. NB: I could also present another topic: stellar variability studies in Kepler data, based on a new systematics correction which preserves stellar variability. I opted for the GPs because I think it's important to alert the exoplanet community to the potential of this technique, but I'm happy to talk about either.

  4. Mapping the Pressure-radius Relationship of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Fossati, Luca; Kubyshkina, Darya

    2017-10-01

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

  5. Detecting magnetic fields on brown dwarfs and exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdyugina, Svetlana

    2017-05-01

    There is growing evidence that brown dwarfs may possess rather strong magnetic fields, similar to active, early M-type red dwarf stars. Strong clues come from extremely energetic flares detected in UV, X-ray and optical line emission as well as quiescent and transient radio emission and bursts. Our recent spectropolarimetric study of one such active brown dwarf has revealed a 5 kG magnetic spot on its surface. The emitting region topology recovered using spectral line profile inversions indicates the presence of a hot plasma large-scale loop of at least 7000 K with a vertical stratification of the sources producing both optical and radio emission. This loop rotates with the dwarf in and out of view causing the emission bursts. The 5 kG magnetic field is detected at the base of the loop. This result provides the first direct observational constraint for a magnetically driven non-thermal emission mechanism and for generation of magnetic fields in fully convective brown dwarfs. It also paves a path towards magnetic studies of hot Jupiters of similar temperatures. We model relevant atomic lines and molecular bands in order to predict spectropolarimetric signals due to magnetic fields on brown dwarfs, hot Jupiters and other types of exoplanets. This exercise helps to determine instrumental requirements for magnetic surveys of brown dwarfs and exoplanets.

  6. Dynamical Mass of the Exoplanet Host Star HR 8799

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepulveda, Aldo; Bowler, Brendan

    2018-01-01

    HR 8799 is a young A5 star hosting four giant planets at wide separations (15-70 AU) which are undergoing orbital motion and have been continuously monitored with adaptive optics imaging since their discovery nearly a decade ago. Despite intensive searches for similar systems, this remains the only known star with multiple directly imaged exoplanets and is among the most extensively studied systems in the exoplanet community. Many mass estimates of the host star exist in the literature; however, currently no dynamical mass of HR 8799 has been measured. A dynamical mass of the host star is advantageous because it is independent of models and assumes only Kepler's laws of orbital motion. Furthermore, a dynamical mass can help to break degeneracies in the age and bulk metallicity of the host star. We fit Keplerian orbits to existing astrometry and new unpublished adaptive optics observations of this system from Keck Observatory, treating the orbiting planets as massless test particles. Each planet produces an independent mass constraint, together resulting in a cumulative dynamical mass using a Bayesian framework. This result is twice as precise as previous mass estimates based on spectroscopy and is an important step to clarify the fundamental properties of this peculiar A star.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseman, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

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

  8. An ultrahot gas-giant exoplanet with a stratosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  9. Interactions between exoplanets and the winds of young stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidotto A. A.

    2014-01-01

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

  10. SETI OBSERVATIONS OF EXOPLANETS WITH THE ALLEN TELESCOPE ARRAY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Connecting HL Tau to the observed exoplanet sample

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  12. The automated data processing architecture for the GPI Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jason J.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Savransky, Dmitry; Arriaga, Pauline; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Marois, Christian; Rameau, Julien; Wolff, Schuyler G.; Shapiro, Jacob; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Graham, James R.; Macintosh, Bruce

    2017-09-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) is a multi-year direct imaging survey of 600 stars to discover and characterize young Jovian exoplanets and their environments. We have developed an automated data architecture to process and index all data related to the survey uniformly. An automated and flexible data processing framework, which we term the GPIES Data Cruncher, combines multiple data reduction pipelines together to intelligently process all spectroscopic, polarimetric, and calibration data taken with GPIES. With no human intervention, fully reduced and calibrated data products are available less than an hour after the data are taken to expedite follow-up on potential objects of interest. The Data Cruncher can run on a supercomputer to reprocess all GPIES data in a single day as improvements are made to our data reduction pipelines. A backend MySQL database indexes all files, which are synced to the cloud, and a front-end web server allows for easy browsing of all files associated with GPIES. To help observers, quicklook displays show reduced data as they are processed in real-time, and chatbots on Slack post observing information as well as reduced data products. Together, the GPIES automated data processing architecture reduces our workload, provides real-time data reduction, optimizes our observing strategy, and maintains a homogeneously reduced dataset to study planet occurrence and instrument performance.

  13. MAGNETIC SCALING LAWS FOR THE ATMOSPHERES OF HOT GIANT EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menou, Kristen

    2012-01-01

    We present scaling laws for advection, radiation, magnetic drag, and ohmic dissipation in the atmospheres of hot giant exoplanets. In the limit of weak thermal ionization, ohmic dissipation increases with the planetary equilibrium temperature (T eq ∼> 1000 K) faster than the insolation power does, eventually reaching values ∼> 1% of the insolation power, which may be sufficient to inflate the radii of hot Jupiters. At higher T eq values still magnetic drag rapidly brakes the atmospheric winds, which reduces the associated ohmic dissipation power. For example, for a planetary field strength B = 10 G, the fiducial scaling laws indicate that ohmic dissipation exceeds 1% of the insolation power over the equilibrium temperature range T eq ∼ 1300-2000 K, with a peak contribution at T eq ∼ 1600 K. Evidence for magnetically dragged winds at the planetary thermal photosphere could emerge in the form of reduced longitudinal offsets for the dayside infrared hotspot. This suggests the possibility of an anticorrelation between the amount of hotspot offset and the degree of radius inflation, linking the atmospheric and interior properties of hot giant exoplanets in an observationally testable way. While providing a useful framework to explore the magnetic scenario, the scaling laws also reveal strong parameter dependencies, in particular with respect to the unknown planetary magnetic field strength.

  14. The impact of endorsing Spitzer's proposed criteria for PTSD in the forthcoming DSM-V on male and female Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Lyndsey N; Chard, Kathleen M; Schumm, Jeremiah A; O'Brien, Carol

    2011-06-01

    This study explored differences between Spitzer's proposed model of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the current DSM-IV diagnostic classification scheme in 353 Veterans. The majority of Veterans (89%) diagnosed with PTSD as specified in the DSM-IV also met Spitzer's proposed criteria. Veterans who met both DSM-IV and Spitzer's proposed criteria had significantly higher Clinician Administered PTSD Scale severity scores than Veterans only meeting DSM-IV criteria. Logistic regression indicated that being African American and having no comorbid diagnosis of major depressive disorder or history of a substance use disorder were found to predict those Veterans who met current, but not proposed criteria. These findings have important implications regarding proposed changes to the diagnostic classification criteria for PTSD in the forthcoming DSM-V. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Gaussian Process Kalman Filter for Focal Plane Wavefront Correction and Exoplanet Signal Extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, He; Kasdin, N. Jeremy

    2018-01-01

    Currently, the ultimate limitation of space-based coronagraphy is the ability to subtract the residual PSF after wavefront correction to reveal the planet. Called reference difference imaging (RDI), the technique consists of conducting wavefront control to collect the reference point spread function (PSF) by observing a bright star, and then extracting target planet signals by subtracting a weighted sum of reference PSFs. Unfortunately, this technique is inherently inefficient because it spends a significant fraction of the observing time on the reference star rather than the target star with the planet. Recent progress in model based wavefront estimation suggests an alternative approach. A Kalman filter can be used to estimate the stellar PSF for correction by the wavefront control system while simultaneously estimating the planet signal. Without observing the reference star, the (extended) Kalman filter directly utilizes the wavefront correction data and combines the time series observations and model predictions to estimate the stellar PSF and planet signals. Because wavefront correction is used during the entire observation with no slewing, the system has inherently better stability. In this poster we show our results aimed at further improving our Kalman filter estimation accuracy by including not only temporal correlations but also spatial correlations among neighboring pixels in the images. This technique is known as a Gaussian process Kalman filter (GPKF). We also demonstrate the advantages of using a Kalman filter rather than RDI by simulating a real space exoplanet detection mission.

  16. The search for radio emission from exoplanets using LOFAR low-frequency beam-formed observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Jake D.; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Zarka, Philippe

    2018-01-01

    Detection of radio emission from exoplanets can provide information on the star-planet system that is very difficult or impossible to study otherwise, such as the planet’s magnetic field, magnetosphere, rotation period, orbit inclination, and star-planet interactions. Such a detection in the radio domain would open up a whole new field in the study of exoplanets, however, currently there are no confirmed detections of an exoplanet at radio frequencies. In this study, we discuss our ongoing observational campaign searching for exoplanetary radio emissions using beam-formed observations within the Low Band of the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR). To date we have observed three exoplanets: 55 Cnc, Upsilon Andromedae, and Tau Boötis. These planets were selected according to theoretical predictions, which indicated them as among the best candidates for an observation. During the observations we usually recorded three beams simultaneously, one on the exoplanet and two on patches of nearby “empty” sky. An automatic pipeline was created to automatically find RFI, calibrate the data due to instrumental effects, and to search for emission in the exoplanet beam. Additionally, we observed Jupiter with LOFAR with the same exact observational setup as the exoplanet observations. The main goals of the Jupiter observations are to train the detection algorithm and to calculate upper limits in the case of a non-detection. Data analysis is currently ongoing. Conclusions reached at the time of the meeting, about detection of or upper limit to the planetary signal, will be presented.

  17. PLANETARY NEBULAE DETECTED IN THE SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE GLIMPSE II LEGACY SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Yong; Sun Kwok

    2009-01-01

    We report the result of a search for the infrared counterparts of 37 planetary nebulae (PNs) and PN candidates in the Spitzer Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire II (GLIMPSE II) survey. The photometry and images of these PNs at 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0, and 24 μm, taken through the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) and the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS), are presented. Most of these nebulae are very red and compact in the IRAC bands, and are found to be bright and extended in the 24 μm band. The infrared morphology of these objects are compared with Hα images of the Macquarie-AAO-Strasbourg (MASH) and MASH II PNs. The implications for morphological difference in different wavelengths are discussed. The IRAC data allow us to differentiate between PNs and H II regions and be able to reject non-PNs from the optical catalog (e.g., PNG 352.1 - 00.0). Spectral energy distributions are constructed by combing the IRAC and MIPS data with existing near-, mid-, and far-IR photometry measurements. The anomalous colors of some objects allow us to infer the presence of aromatic emission bands. These multi-wavelength data provide useful insights into the nature of different nebular components contributing to the infrared emission of PNs.

  18. Spitzer IRAC mid-infrared photometry of 500-750 brown dwarf

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saumon, Didier [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Leggett, Sandy K [GEMINI OBSERVATORY; Albert, Loic [CFH TELESCOPE; Artigau, Etienne [U OF MONTREAL; Burningham, Ben [HERTFORDSHIRE U; Delfosse, Xavier [OBS. GRENOBLE; Delorme, Philippe [ST. ANDREWS U.; Forveille, Thierry [OBS. GRENOBLE; Lucas, Philip W [HERTFORDSHIRE U; Marley, Mark S [NASA AMES; Pinfield, David J [HERTFORDSHIRE U.; Reyle, Celine [OBS. BESANCON; Smart, Richard L [OSS. ASTRON, TORINO; Warren, Stephen J [IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON

    2010-10-26

    Mid-infrared data, including Spitzer warm-IRAC [3.6] and [4.5] photometry, is critical for understanding the cold population of brown dwarfs now being found, objects which have more in common with planets than stars. As effective temperature (T{sub eff}) drops from 800K to 400K, the fraction of flux emitted beyond 3 {mu}m increases rapidly, from about 40% to > 75%. This rapid increase makes a color like H-[4.5] a very sensitive temperature indicator, and it can be combined with a gravity- and metallicity-sensitive color like H-K to constrain all three of these fundamental properties, which in turn gives us mass and age for these slowly cooling objects. Determination of mid-infrared color trends also allows better exploitation of the WISE mission by the community. We use new Spitzer Cycle 6 IRAC photometry, together with published data, to present trends of color with type for L0 to T10 dwarfs. We also use the atmospheric and evolutionary models of Saumon and Marley to investigate the masses and ages of 13 very late-type T dwarfs, which have H-[4.5] > 3.2 and T{sub eff} {approx} 500K to 750K.

  19. SPITZER MICROLENS MEASUREMENT OF A MASSIVE REMNANT IN A WELL-SEPARATED BINARY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shvartzvald, Y.; Bryden, G.; Henderson, C. B. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Udalski, A. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Gould, A.; Fausnaugh, M.; Gaudi, B. S.; Pogge, R. W.; Wibking, B.; Zhu, W. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Han, C. [Department of Physics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763 (Korea, Republic of); Bozza, V.; Novati, S. Calchi [Dipartimento di Fisica “E. R. Caianiello,” Università di Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, I-84084 Fisciano (Italy); Friedmann, M. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978 (Israel); Hundertmark, M. [Niels Bohr Institute and Centre for Star and Planet Formation, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5, DK-1350 Copenhagen K (Denmark); Beichman, C. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, MS 100-22, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Carey, S. [Spitzer, Science Center, MS 220-6, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Kerr, T.; Varricatt, W. [UKIRT, 660 N. Aohoku Place, University Park, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Yee, J. C. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Collaboration: and; Spitzer team; OGLE group; KMTNet group; Wise group; RoboNet; MiNDSTEp; and others

    2015-12-01

    We report the detection and mass measurement of a binary lens OGLE-2015-BLG-1285La,b, with the more massive component having M{sub 1} > 1.35 M{sub ⊙} (80% probability). A main-sequence star in this mass range is ruled out by limits on blue light, meaning that a primary in this mass range must be a neutron star (NS) or black hole (BH). The system has a projected separation r{sub ⊥} = 6.1 ± 0.4 AU and lies in the Galactic bulge. These measurements are based on the “microlens parallax” effect, i.e., comparing the microlensing light curve as seen from Spitzer, which lay at 1.25 AU projected from Earth, to the light curves from four ground-based surveys, three in the optical and one in the near-infrared. Future adaptive optics imaging of the companion by 30 m class telescopes will yield a much more accurate measurement of the primary mass. This discovery both opens the path and defines the challenges to detecting and characterizing BHs and NSs in wide binaries, with either dark or luminous companions. In particular, we discuss lessons that can be applied to future Spitzer and Kepler K2 microlensing parallax observations.

  20. DUST EVOLUTION IN PROTOPLANETARY DISKS AROUND HERBIG Ae/Be STARS-THE SPITZER VIEW

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Juhasz, A.; Bouwman, J.; Henning, Th.; Acke, B.; Waters, L. B. F. M.; Van den Ancker, M. E.; Meeus, G.; Min, M.; Dominik, C.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we present mid-infrared spectra of a comprehensive set of Herbig Ae/Be stars observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The signal-to-noise ratio of these spectra is very high, ranging between about a hundred and several hundreds. During the analysis of these data we tested the validity of standardized protoplanetary dust models and studied grain growth and crystal formation. On the basis of the analyzed spectra, the major constituents of protoplanetary dust around Herbig Ae/Be stars are amorphous silicates with olivine and pyroxene stoichiometry, crystalline forsterite, and enstatite and silica. No other solid-state features, indicating other abundant dust species, are present in the Spitzer spectra. Deviations of the synthetic spectra from the observations are most likely related to grain shape effects and uncertainties in the iron content of the dust grains. Our analysis revealed that larger grains are more abundant in the disk atmosphere of flatter disks than in that of flared disks, indicating that grain growth and sedimentation decrease the disk flaring. We did not find, however, correlations between the value of crystallinity and any of the investigated system parameters. Our analysis shows that enstatite is more concentrated toward the warm inner disk than forsterite, in contrast to predictions of equilibrium condensation models. None of the three crystal formation mechanisms proposed so far can alone explain all our findings. It is very likely that all three play at least some role in the formation of crystalline silicates.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Spitzer observations of Taurus members (Luhman+, 2010)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luhman, K. L.; Allen, P. R.; Espaillat, C.; Hartmann, L.; Calvet, N.

    2016-03-01

    For our census of the disk population in Taurus, we use images at 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0um obtained with Spitzer's Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) and images at 24um obtained with the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). The cameras produced images with FWHM=1.6"-1.9" from 3.6 to 8.0um and FWHM=5.9" at 24um. The available data were obtained through Guaranteed Time Observations for PID = 6, 36, 37 (G. Fazio), 53 (G. Rieke), 94 (C. Lawrence), 30540 (G. Fazio, J. Houck), and 40302 (J. Houck), Director's Discretionary Time for PID = 462 (L. Rebull), Legacy programs for PID = 139, 173 (N. Evans), and 30816 (D. Padgett), and General Observer programs for PID = 3584 (D. Padgett), 20302 (P. Andre), 20386 (P. Myers), 20762 (J. Swift), 30384 (T. Bourke), 40844 (C. McCabe), and 50584 (D. Padgett). The IRAC and MIPS observations were performed through 180 and 137 Astronomical Observation Requests (AORs), respectively. The characteristics of the resulting images are summarized in Tables 1 and 2. (6 data files).

  3. Sensitive Spitzer Photometry of Supermassive Black Holes at the Final Stage of Adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shemmer, Ohad; Netzer, Hagai; Mor, Rivay; Trakhtenbrot, Benny

    2011-05-01

    We propose to obtain sensitive Spitzer snapshot observations of a unique sample of 35 Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasars at redshift 4.8 for which we obtained reliable, Mg II-based determinations of the supermassive black hole (SMBH) mass and normalized accretion rate (L/L_Edd). These quasars appear to mark the final stage of SMBH `adolescence' in the history of the Universe as their SMBHs are significantly less massive and their L/L_Edd values are significantly higher with respect to their counterparts at lower redshifts. Our observations will provide both 1) deep coverage of the fields around these quasars which will be utilized as crucial priors for our approved Herschel/SPIRE observations of these sources, and 2) coverage of the rest-frame optical SEDs of these fast accreting quasars. The results will maximize our ability to measure the star-formation rate in the host galaxies of these quasars using Herschel. We will thus be able to investigate correlations between SMBH growth and star-forming activity in the early Universe. The Spitzer photometry will also provide invaluable information about the shape of the rest-frame optical continuum in these quasars which will be used to search for extreme disk properties that may be signatures of the remarkably high accretion rates in these sources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. What can land water availability tell us about exoplanet habitability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Way, M.; Del Genio, A. D.; Kiang, N. Y.; Aleinov, I. D.; Puma, M. J.; Cook, B. I.; Kelley, M.; Clune, T.

    2016-12-01

    Exoplanet habitability has been explored for a wide range of parameters, including stellar temperature, planet size/mass and distance from its star, atmospheric pressure and composition, land-ocean distribution, and rotation rate. Most of these studies have concentrated on the habitable zone and thus whether surface liquid water might be possible. Eventually, transit transmission spectra may reveal the existence of water vapor, and direct imaging may even infer the presence of a surface ocean and continents, for a subset of observed exoplanets. The focus will then shift to the detection of possible biosignatures that imply the presence of life. Given the challenges in detecting biosignatures, it is natural to ask which planetary properties are conducive to habitable conditions over the broadest region of a planet's surface and thus might produce the strongest biosignatures. Terrestrial biogeochemical models and satellite observations confirm that the availability of surface water is the strongest control on continental biomass. Water availability is often measured by an aridity index that captures the competition between the atmosphere's water supply to the surface (from precipitation) and its demand of water from the surface (from potential evapotranspiration). The aridity index depends only on the atmospheric general circulation and associated hydrological cycle, but it is well correlated with the extent of the subsurface water reservoir and thus the presence of lush vegetation, wetlands, etc. that are associated with the production of biosignatures. We have conducted a suite of simulations of hypothetical exoplanets with the NASA GISS ROCKE-3D coupled ocean-atmosphere planetary general circulation model to illustrate the perspective provided by the aridity index. For planets with zero obliquity but otherwise generally Earth-like parameter settings, we vary the rotation period and stellar flux incident on the planet to explore how changes in general circulation

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Two Years of Hunting Exoplanets at Florida Gulf Coast University

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    2018-01-01

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

  9. Dynamical measurements of the interior structure of exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, Juliette C.; Batygin, Konstantin

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Characterizing exoplanets atmospheres with space photometry at optical wavelengths

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parmentier Vivien

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Space photometry such as performed by Kepler and CoRoT provides exoplanets radius and phase curves with an exquisite precision. The phase curve constrains the longitudinal variation of the albedo and shed light on the horizontal distribution of clouds. The planet radius constraints thermal evolution of the planet, potentially unveiling its atmospheric composition. We present how the atmospheric circulation can affect the cloud distribution of three different planets, HD209458b, Kepler-7b and HD189733b based on three-dimensional models and analytical calculations. Then we use an analytical atmospheric model coupled to a state-of-the-art interior evolution code to study the role of TiO in shaping the thermal evolution and final radius of the planet.

  11. SIOUX project: a simultaneous multiband camera for exoplanet atmospheres studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christille, Jean Marc; Bonomo, Aldo Stefano; Borsa, Francesco; Busonero, Deborah; Calcidese, Paolo; Claudi, Riccardo; Damasso, Mario; Giacobbe, Paolo; Molinari, Emilio; Pace, Emanuele; Riva, Alberto; Sozzetti, Alesandro; Toso, Giorgio; Tresoldi, Daniela

    2016-08-01

    The exoplanet revolution is well underway. The last decade has seen order-of-magnitude increases in the number of known planets beyond the Solar system. Detailed characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres provide the best means for distinguishing the makeup of their outer layers, and the only hope for understanding the interplay between initial composition chemistry, temperature-pressure atmospheric profiles, dynamics and circulation. While pioneering work on the observational side has produced the first important detections of atmospheric molecules for the class of transiting exoplanets, important limitations are still present due to the lack of systematic, repeated measurements with optimized instrumentation at both visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. It is thus of fundamental importance to explore quantitatively possible avenues for improvements. In this paper we report initial results of a feasibility study for the prototype of a versatile multi-band imaging system for very high-precision differential photometry that exploits the choice of specifically selected narrow-band filters and novel ideas for the execution of simultaneous VIS and NIR measurements. Starting from the fundamental system requirements driven by the science case at hand, we describe a set of three opto-mechanical solutions for the instrument prototype: 1) a radial distribution of the optical flux using dichroic filters for the wavelength separation and narrow-band filters or liquid crystal filters for the observations; 2) a tree distribution of the optical flux (implying 2 separate foci), with the same technique used for the beam separation and filtering; 3) an 'exotic' solution consisting of the study of a complete optical system (i.e. a brand new telescope) that exploits the chromatic errors of a reflecting surface for directing the different wavelengths at different foci. In this paper we present the first results of the study phase for the three solutions, as well as the

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Exoplanet orbital eccentricity: multiplicity relation and the Solar System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin L

    2015-01-06

    The known population of exoplanets exhibits a much wider range of orbital eccentricities than Solar System planets and has a much higher average eccentricity. These facts have been widely interpreted to indicate that the Solar System is an atypical member of the overall population of planetary systems. We report here on a strong anticorrelation of orbital eccentricity with multiplicity (number of planets in the system) among cataloged radial velocity (RV) systems. The mean, median, and rough distribution of eccentricities of Solar System planets fits an extrapolation of this anticorrelation to the eight-planet case rather precisely despite the fact that no more than two Solar System planets would be detectable with RV data comparable to that in the exoplanet sample. Moreover, even if regarded as a single or double planetary system, the Solar System lies in a reasonably heavily populated region of eccentricity-multiplicity space. Thus, the Solar System is not anomalous among known exoplanetary systems with respect to eccentricities when its multiplicity is taken into account. Specifically, as the multiplicity of a system increases, the eccentricity decreases roughly as a power law of index -1.20. A simple and plausible but ad hoc and model-dependent interpretation of this relationship implies that ∼ 80% of the one-planet and 25% of the two-planet systems in our sample have additional, as yet undiscovered, members but that systems of higher observed multiplicity are largely complete (i.e., relatively rarely contain additional undiscovered planets). If low eccentricities indeed favor high multiplicities, habitability may be more common in systems with a larger number of planets.

  15. A Novel Approach to Atmospheric Retrieval for Small Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob; Meadows, Victoria; Line, Michael; Crisp, David

    2015-11-01

    Retrieval of environmental parameters from the spectra of sub-Neptune and terrestrial extrasolar planets is extremely challenging due to the observational difficulty, the inherent complexity of planetary processes, and the likely diversity of environments for these small objects. The best retrieval techniques will use observations of the star-planet system along with knowledge of planetary processes gleaned from objects in the Solar System to constrain retrieved environmental parameters.We present ongoing work of the Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) to develop a versatile terrestrial atmosphere retrieval suite capable of capturing a wide range of terrestrial planet processes while employing robust statistics. Our novel approach is to produce fits to observed spectra that discriminate between degenerate solutions by considering limitations on planetary environments derived from known physics and chemistry. The forward model leverages the SMART 1-D line-by-line, fully multiple-scattering and widely validated radiative transfer model (Meadows & Crisp 1996) as the primary workhorse for computing transit transmission, thermal emission, and reflectance spectroscopy. Following the approach of the CHIMERA code (Line et al 2013; 2014), we employ a variety of inverse models for the problem of parameter estimation. Here we present preliminary results using optimal estimation for terrestrial and sub-Neptune planets. The model is being validated against synthetic, Solar System, and existing exoplanet observations.This model will be used to explore the capabilities of key telescope architectures, to understand information loss when planets are viewed as a point source, and to provide a data analysis framework for future sub-Neptune, super-Earth, and Earth analog exoplanet observations.

  16. Developing Tighter Constraints on Exoplanet Biosignatures by Modeling Atmospheric Haze

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    As we increase our capacity to resolve the atmospheric composition of exoplanets, we must continue to refine our ability to distinguish true biosignatures from false positives in order to ultimately distinguish a life-bearing from a lifeless planet. Of the possible true and false biosignatures, methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are of interest, because on Earth geological and biological processes can produce them on large scales. To identify a biotic, Earth-like exoplanet, we must understand how these biosignatures shape their atmospheres. High atmospheric abundances of CH4 produce photochemical organic haze, which dramatically alters the photochemistry, climate, and spectrum of a planet. Arney et al. (2017) have suggested that haze-bearing atmospheres rich in CO2 may be a type of biosignature because the CH4 flux required to produce the haze is similar to the amount of biogenic CH4 on modern Earth. Atmospheric CH4 and CO2 both affect haze-formation photochemistry, and the potential for hazes to form in Earth-like atmospheres at abiotic concentrations of these gases has not been well studied. We will explore a wide range of parameter space of abiotic concentration levels of these gases to determine what spectral signatures are possible from abiotic environments and look for measurable differences between abiotic and biotic atmospheres. We use a 1D photochemical model with an upgraded haze production mechanism to compare Archean and modern Earth atmospheres to abiotic versions while varying atmospheric CH4 and CO2 levels and atmospheric pressure. We will vary CO2 from a trace gas to an amount such that it dominates atmospheric chemistry. For CH4, there is uncertainty regarding the amount of abiotic CH4 that comes from serpentinizing systems. To address this uncertainty, we will model three cases: 1) assume all CH4 comes from photochemistry; 2) use estimates of modern-day serpentinizing fluxes, assuming they are purely abiotic; and 3) assume serpentinizing

  17. Exploring Habitable Worlds: Science Questions for Future Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apai, D.

    2017-11-01

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

  18. The Habitable Zone Gallery 2.0: The Online Exoplanet System Visualization Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, C. O.; Kane, S. R.; Gelino, D. M.

    2017-11-01

    The Habitable Zone Gallery 2.0 provides new and improved visualization and data analysis tools to the exoplanet habitability community and beyond. Modules include interactive habitable zone plotting and downloadable 3D animations.

  19. WFIRST: The Exoplanet Microlensing Survey Tells Us Where We Can Find the Cool Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, David; Gaudi, B. Scott; WFIRST Microlensing Science Investigation Team

    2018-01-01

    The WFIRST Exoplanet microlensing survey will complete a demographic survey of all types of planets ranging from ~0.5 AU to planets that have become unbound from the stellar systems of their birth. WFIRST's sensitivity extends down below the mass of Mars (or 0.1 Earth masses,and it is sensitive to analogs of all the planets in the Solar System, except for Mercury. When combined with Kepler's statistical census of hot and warm planets in short period orbits, WFIRST's exoplanet microlensing survey will give us a complete picture the mass and separation distribution of all types of planets. The current plans for this survey are presented, and recent developments relating to the WFIRST exoplanet microlensing survey will be presented, including recent ground-based microlensing results that challenge current theories of planet formation. Opportunities for community involvement in the WFIRST exoplanet microlensing survey will be mentioned.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  1. Chasing Small Exoplanets with Ground-Based Near-Infrared Transit Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colon, K. D.; Barentsen, G.; Vinicius, Z.; Vanderburg, A.; Coughlin, J.; Thompson, S.; Mullally, F.; Barclay, T.; Quintana, E.

    2017-11-01

    I will present results from a ground-based survey to measure the infrared radius and other properties of small K2 exoplanets and candidates. The survey is preparation for upcoming discoveries from TESS and characterization with JWST.

  2. c2d Spitzer IRS spectra of embedded low-mass young stars : gas-phase emission lines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lahuis, F.; van Dishoeck, E. F.; Jorgensen, J. K.; Blake, G. A.; Evans, N. J.

    Context. A survey of mid-infrared gas-phase emission lines of H(2), H(2)O and various atoms toward a sample of 43 embedded low-mass young stars in nearby star-forming regions is presented. The sources are selected from the Spitzer "Cores to Disks" (c2d) legacy program. Aims. The environment of

  3. A SPITZER SURVEY OF PROTOPLANETARY DISK DUST IN THE YOUNG SERPENS CLOUD : HOW DO DUST CHARACTERISTICS EVOLVE WITH TIME?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveira, Isa; Pontoppidan, Klaus M.; Merin, Bruno; van Dishoeck, Ewine F.; Lahuis, Fred; Geers, Vincent C.; Jorgensen, Jes K.; Olofsson, Johan; Augereau, Jean-Charles; Brown, Joanna M.

    2010-01-01

    We present Spitzer InfraRed Spectrograph (IRS) mid-infrared (5-35 mu m) spectra of a complete flux-limited sample (>= 3 mJy at 8 mu m) of young stellar object (YSO) candidates selected on the basis of their infrared colors in the Serpens Molecular Cloud. Spectra of 147 sources are presented and

  4. Direct exoplanet detection and characterization using the ANDROMEDA method: Performance on VLT/NaCo data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantalloube, F.; Mouillet, D.; Mugnier, L. M.; Milli, J.; Absil, O.; Gomez Gonzalez, C. A.; Chauvin, G.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Cornia, A.

    2015-10-01

    Context. The direct detection of exoplanets with high-contrast imaging requires advanced data processing methods to disentangle potential planetary signals from bright quasi-static speckles. Among them, angular differential imaging (ADI) permits potential planetary signals with a known rotation rate to be separated from instrumental speckles that are either statics or slowly variable. The method presented in this paper, called ANDROMEDA for ANgular Differential OptiMal Exoplanet Detection Algorithm, is based on a maximum likelihood approach to ADI and is used to estimate the position and the flux of any point source present in the field of view. Aims: In order to optimize and experimentally validate this previously proposed method, we applied ANDROMEDA to real VLT/NaCo data. In addition to its pure detection capability, we investigated the possibility of defining simple and efficient criteria for automatic point source extraction able to support the processing of large surveys. Methods: To assess the performance of the method, we applied ANDROMEDA on VLT/NaCo data of TYC-8979-1683-1 which is surrounded by numerous bright stars and on which we added synthetic planets of known position and flux in the field. In order to accommodate the real data properties, it was necessary to develop additional pre-processing and post-processing steps to the initially proposed algorithm. We then investigated its skill in the challenging case of a well-known target, β Pictoris, whose companion is close to the detection limit and we compared our results to those obtained by another method based on principal component analysis (PCA). Results: Application on VLT/NaCo data demonstrates the ability of ANDROMEDA to automatically detect and characterize point sources present in the image field. We end up with a robust method bringing consistent results with a sensitivity similar to the recently published algorithms, with only two parameters to be fine tuned. Moreover, the companion flux

  5. New National Telescope at La Silla - TRAPPIST to Scout the Sky and Uncover Exoplanets and Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    A new robotic telescope has had first light at ESO's La Silla Observatory, in Chile. TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is devoted to the study of planetary systems through two approaches: the detection and characterisation of planets located outside the Solar System (exoplanets) and the study of comets orbiting around the Sun. The 60-cm telescope is operated from a control room in Liège, Belgium, 12 000 km away. "The two themes of the TRAPPIST project are important parts of an emerging interdisciplinary field of research - astrobiology - that aims at studying the origin and distribution of life in the Universe," explains Michaël Gillon, who is in charge of the exoplanet studies. "Terrestrial planets similar to our Earth are obvious targets for the search for life outside the Solar System, while comets are suspected to have played an important role in the appearance and development of life on our planet," adds his colleague Emmanuël Jehin, who leads the cometary part of the project. TRAPPIST will detect and characterise exoplanets by making high precision measurements of "brightness dips" that might possibly be caused by exoplanet transits. During such a transit, the observed brightness of the star decreases slightly because the planet blocks a part of the starlight. The larger the planet, the more of the light is blocked and the more the brightness of the star will decrease [1]. "ESO's La Silla Observatory on the outskirts of the Atacama Desert is certainly one of the best astronomical sites in the world," says Gillon. "And because it is already home to two superb exoplanet hunters, we couldn't have found a better place to install our robotic telescope." The astronomers behind the TRAPPIST initiative will work very closely with the teams using HARPS on the 3.6-metre telescope and CORALIE attached to the Swiss 1.2-metre Leonhard Euler Telescope, both at La Silla. TRAPPIST is a collaboration between the University of Liège and the

  6. Processing and Managing the Kepler Mission's Treasure Trove of Stellar and Exoplanet Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.

    2016-01-01

    The Kepler telescope launched into orbit in March 2009, initiating NASAs first mission to discover Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars. Kepler simultaneously collected data for 160,000 target stars at a time over its four-year mission, identifying over 4700 planet candidates, 2300 confirmed or validated planets, and over 2100 eclipsing binaries. While Kepler was designed to discover exoplanets, the long term, ultra- high photometric precision measurements it achieved made it a premier observational facility for stellar astrophysics, especially in the field of asteroseismology, and for variable stars, such as RR Lyraes. The Kepler Science Operations Center (SOC) was developed at NASA Ames Research Center to process the data acquired by Kepler from pixel-level calibrations all the way to identifying transiting planet signatures and subjecting them to a suite of diagnostic tests to establish or break confidence in their planetary nature. Detecting small, rocky planets transiting Sun-like stars presents a variety of daunting challenges, from achieving an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) on 6.5-hour timescales, supporting the science operations, management, processing, and repeated reprocessing of the accumulating data stream. This paper describes how the design of the SOC meets these varied challenges, discusses the architecture of the SOC and how the SOC pipeline is operated and is run on the NAS Pleiades supercomputer, and summarizes the most important pipeline features addressing the multiple computational, image and signal processing challenges posed by Kepler.

  7. Discovery of hyperluminous infrared galaxies using Spitzer and SHARC-II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borys, C.; Barnard, V.; Bian, C.; Blain, A. W.; Brown, M. J. I.; Dey, A.; Dowell, C. D.; Frayer, D. T.; Higdon, J.; Higdon, S.; Jannuzi, B.; Le Floch, E.; Soifer, B. T.; Phillips, T. G.

    2005-01-01

    We have used observations taken as part of the Bootes Spitzer GTO program to pre-select high redshift luminous star-forming galaxy candidates. Subsequent ground-based sub-millimeter imaging with SHARC-II at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory detected several objects, including one particularly exotic one: An extremely bright infrared galaxy with an apparent luminosity in excess of 1013.5Lsolar. It has a spectral energy distribution similar to that of Arp 220, though appears to be at a much higher redshift. Although lensing is one possible explanation, this object has helped refine the selection method, and hints at a way to pre-select similar objects using mid-IR silicate absorption features.

  8. Spitzer ’s View of the Candidate Cluster and Protocluster Catalog (CCPC)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franck, J. R.; McGaugh, S. S. [Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106 (United States)

    2017-02-10

    The Candidate Cluster and Protocluster Catalog contains 218 galaxy overdensities composed of more than 2000 galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts spanning the first few Gyr after the Big Bang (2.0 ≤ z < 6.6). We use Spitzer archival data to track the underlying stellar mass of these overdense regions in various temporal cross sections by building rest-frame near-infrared luminosity functions (LFs) across the span of redshifts. This exercise maps the stellar growth of protocluster galaxies, as halos in the densest environments should be the most massive from hierarchical accretion. The characteristic apparent magnitude, m *( z ), is relatively flat from 2.0 ≤ z < 6.6, consistent with a passive evolution of an old stellar population. This trend maps smoothly to lower redshift results of cluster galaxies from other works. We find no difference in the LFs of galaxies in the field versus protoclusters at a given redshift apart from their density.

  9. Spitzer/JWST Cross Calibration: IRAC Observations of Potential Calibrators for JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Sean J.; Gordon, Karl D.; Lowrance, Patrick; Ingalls, James G.; Glaccum, William J.; Grillmair, Carl J.; E Krick, Jessica; Laine, Seppo J.; Fazio, Giovanni G.; Hora, Joseph L.; Bohlin, Ralph

    2017-06-01

    We present observations at 3.6 and 4.5 microns using IRAC on the Spitzer Space Telescope of a set of main sequence A stars and white dwarfs that are potential calibrators across the JWST instrument suite. The stars range from brightnesses of 4.4 to 15 mag in K band. The calibration observations use a similar redundancy to the observing strategy for the IRAC primary calibrators (Reach et al. 2005) and the photometry is obtained using identical methods and instrumental photometric corrections as those applied to the IRAC primary calibrators (Carey et al. 2009). The resulting photometry is then compared to the predictions based on spectra from the CALSPEC Calibration Database (http://www.stsci.edu/hst/observatory/crds/calspec.html) and the IRAC bandpasses. These observations are part of an ongoing collaboration between IPAC and STScI investigating absolute calibration in the infrared.

  10. Spitzer spectral line mapping of the HH211 outflow

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dionatos, Odyssefs; Nisini, Brunella; Cabrit, Sylvie

    2010-01-01

    of emission line diagnostics and an existing grid of molecular shock models. The physical properties of the warm gas are compared against other molecular jet tracers and to the results of a similar study towards the L1448-C outflow. Results: We have detected and mapped the v=0-0 S(0) - S(7) H2 lines and fine...... compared to solar abundances by a factor ~10-50. Conclusions: Spitzer spectral mapping observations reveal for the first time a cool H$_2$ component towards the CO jet of HH211 consistent with the CO material being fully molecular and warm at ~ 300 K. The maps also reveal for the first time the existence...... uncertainties on jet speed and shock conditions are too large for a definite conclusion....

  11. A MID-INFRARED IMAGING SURVEY OF SUBMILLIMETER-SELECTED GALAXIES WITH THE SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hainline, Laura J.; Blain, A. W.; Smail, Ian; Frayer, D. T.; Chapman, S. C.; Ivison, R. J.; Alexander, D. M.

    2009-01-01

    We present Spitzer-IRAC and MIPS mid-IR observations of a sample of 73 radio-detected submillimeter-selected galaxies (SMGs) with spectroscopic redshifts, the largest such sample published to date. From our data, we find that IRAC colors of SMGs are much more uniform as compared with rest-frame UV and optical colors, and z>1.5 SMGs tend to be redder in their mid-IR colors than both field galaxies and lower-z SMGs. However, the IRAC colors of the SMGs overlap those of field galaxies sufficiently that color-magnitude and color-color selection criteria suggested in the literature to identify SMG counterparts produce ambiguous counterparts within an 8'' radius in 20%-35% of cases. We use a rest-frame J-H versus H-K color-color diagram and a S 24 /S 8.0 versus S 8.0 /S 4.5 color-color diagram to determine that 13%-19% of our sample are likely to contain active galactic nuclei which dominate their mid-IR emission. We observe in the rest-frame JHK colors of our sample that the rest-frame near-IR emission of SMGs does not resemble that of the compact nuclear starburst observed in local ultraluminous IR galaxies and is consistent with more widely distributed star formation. We take advantage of the fact that many high-z galaxy populations selected at different wavelengths are detected by Spitzer to carry out a brief comparison of mid-IR properties of SMGs to UV-selected high-z galaxies, 24 μm-selected galaxies, and high-z radio galaxies, and find that SMGs have mid-IR fluxes and colors which are consistent with being more massive and more reddened than UV-selected galaxies, while the IRAC colors of SMGs are most similar to powerful high-z radio galaxies.

  12. Brown dwarf distances and atmospheres: Spitzer Parallaxes and the Keck/NIRSPEC upgrade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Emily C.

    2018-01-01

    Advances in infrared technology have been essential towards improving our understanding of the solar neighborhood, revealing a large population of brown dwarfs, which span the mass regime between planets and stars. My thesis combines near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic and astrometric analysis of nearby low-mass stars and brown dwarfs with instrumentation work to upgrade the NIRSPEC instrument for the Keck II Telescope. I will present results from a program using Spitzer/IRAC data to measure precise locations and distances to 22 of the coldest and closest brown dwarfs. These distances allow us to constrain absolute physical properties, such as mass, radius, and age, of free-floating planetary-mass objects through comparison to atmospheric and evolutionary models. NIR spectroscopy combined with the Spitzer photometry reveals a detailed look into the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and gaseous extrasolar planets. Additionally, I will discuss the improvements we are making to the NIRSPEC instrument at Keck. NIRSPEC is a NIR echelle spectrograph, capable of R~2000 and R~25,000 observations in the 1-5 μm range. As part of the upgrade, I performed detector characterization, optical design of a new slit-viewing camera, mechanical testing, and electronics design. NIRSPEC’s increased efficiency will allow us to obtain moderate- and high-resolution NIR spectra of objects up to a magnitude fainter than the current NIRSPEC design. Finally, I will demonstrate the utility of a NIR laser frequency comb as a high-resolution calibrator. This new technology will revolutionize precision radial velocity measurements in the coming decade.

  13. SHARC-II Mapping of Spitzer c2d Small Clouds and Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jingwen; Dunham, Michael M.; Evans, Neal J., II; Bourke, Tyler L.; Young, Chadwick H.

    2007-04-01

    We present the results of a submillimeter survey of 53 low-mass dense cores with the Submillimeter High Angular Resolution Camera II (SHARC-II). The survey is a follow-up project to the Spitzer Legacy Program "From Molecular Cores to Planet-Forming Disks," with the purpose of creating a complete data set of nearby low-mass dense cores from the infrared to the millimeter. We present maps of 52 cores at 350 μm and three cores at 450 μm, two of which were observed at both wavelengths. Of these 52 cores, 41 were detected by SHARC-II; 32 contained one submillimeter source, while 9 contained multiple sources. For each submillimeter source detected, we report various source properties including source position, fluxes in various apertures, size, aspect ratio, and position angle. For the 12 cores that were not detected we present upper limits. The sources detected by SHARC-II have, on average, smaller sizes at the 2 σ contours than those derived from longer wavelength bolometer observations. We conclude that this is not caused by a failure to integrate long enough to detect the full extent of the core; instead it arises primarily from the fact that the observations presented in this survey are insensitive to smoothly varying extended emission. We find that SHARC-II observations of low-mass cores are much better suited to distinguishing between starless and protostellar cores than observations at longer wavelengths. Very low luminosity objects, a new class of objects being discovered by the Spitzer Space Telescope in cores previously classified as starless, look very similar at 350 μm to other cores with more luminous protostars.

  14. SPATIAL VARIATIONS OF PAH PROPERTIES IN M17SW REVEALED BY SPITZER /IRS SPECTRAL MAPPING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamagishi, M. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara 252-5210 (Japan); Kaneda, H.; Ishihara, D.; Oyabu, S.; Suzuki, T.; Nishimura, A.; Kohno, M. [Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602 (Japan); Onaka, T.; Ohashi, S. [Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Nagayama, T.; Matsuo, M. [Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Kagoshima University, 1-21-35 Korimoto, Kagoshima 890-0065 (Japan); Umemoto, T.; Minamidani, T.; Fujita, S. [Nobeyama Radio Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS), 462-2, Nobeyama, Minamimaki, Minamisaku, Nagano 384-1305 (Japan); Tsuda, Y., E-mail: yamagish@ir.isas.jaxa.jp [Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Meisei University, 2-1-1 Hodokubo, Hino, Tokyo 191-0042 (Japan)

    2016-12-20

    We present Spitzer /IRS mid-infrared spectral maps of the Galactic star-forming region M17 as well as IRSF/SIRIUS Br γ and Nobeyama 45 m/FOREST {sup 13}CO ( J = 1–0) maps. The spectra show prominent features due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at wavelengths of 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, 11.3, 12.0, 12.7, 13.5, and 14.2  μ m. We find that the PAH emission features are bright in the region between the H ii region traced by Br γ and the molecular cloud traced by {sup 13}CO, supporting that the PAH emission originates mostly from photo-dissociation regions. Based on the spatially resolved Spitzer /IRS maps, we examine spatial variations of the PAH properties in detail. As a result, we find that the interband ratio of PAH 7.7  μ m/PAH 11.3  μ m varies locally near M17SW, but rather independently of the distance from the OB stars in M17, suggesting that the degree of PAH ionization is mainly controlled by local conditions rather than the global UV environments determined by the OB stars in M17. We also find that the interband ratios of the PAH 12.0  μ m, 12.7  μ m, 13.5  μ m, and 14.2  μ m features to the PAH 11.3  μ m feature are high near the M17 center, which suggests structural changes of PAHs through processing due to intense UV radiation, producing abundant edgy irregular PAHs near the M17 center.

  15. Spitzer and Chandra Observations of the Deep Impact Encounter with Comet 9P/Tempel 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, C. M.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Belton, M. J. S.; Bodewits, D.; Christian, D. J.; VanCleve, J.; Combi, M.; Dennerl, K.; Farnham, T. L.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Groussin, O.; Hoekstra, R.; Makinen, T.; McFadden, L. A.; Meech, K. J.; Schultz, P.; Weaver, H.; Wolk, S.

    2005-12-01

    On July 4, 2005 NASA's discovery mission Deep Impact (hereafter DI) sent a 375 kg impactor into the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel 1 at 10.2 km/s relative velocity (A'Hearn et al. 2005). In the IR, Spitzer observed the comet in the unique 5-38 μm spectral range provided by the IRS instrument, allowing direct determination of silicaceous dust, PAHs, carbonates, and aluminum and iron oxides/sulfides in the subsurface material. The Spitzer observations contrasted well with the 1-5 μm spectra obtained by the DI High Resolution Instrument's IR spectrometer and ground based measurements at 1-5 um from the Keck and IRTF observatories (Meech et al. 2005), enabling us to obtain full coverage of the comet's IR spectrum from 1.0 to 38 μm. In the x-ray, the DI experiment allowed for a controlled test of the charge exchange (CXE) emission mechanism that drives cometary x-ray emission (Lisse et al. 2001, Kharchenko and Dalgarno 2001, Krasnopolsky et al. 2002) using observations with the Chandra ACIS-S CCD. The Chandra spectra show a fresh amount of neutral material was injected into a finite volume of the extended atmosphere, or coma, of the comet. In the matter of minutes, this new material directly increased the emission measure for the comet by 30 production from other measurements. Additional contemporaneous measurements by the XMM and SWIFT low energy x-ray imagers provided complimentary lightcurve data points, providing a good long term estimate of the comet's gas emission before, during, and after the Deep Impact encounter. Over the longer term, the combined lightcurves showed evidence of multiple natural outbursts of neutral gas emission from the comet.

  16. Spitzer Observations of MAMBO Galaxies: Weeding Out Active Nuclei in Starbursting Protoellipticals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivison, R. J.; Greve, T. R.; Serjeant, S.; Bertoldi, F.; Egami, E.; Mortier, A. M. J.; Alonso-Herrero, A.; Barmby, P.; Bei, L.; Dole, H.; Engelbracht, C. W.; Fazio, G. G.; Frayer, D. T.; Gordon, K. D.; Hines, D. C.; Huang, J.-S.; Le Floc'h, E.; Misselt, K. A.; Miyazaki, S.; Morrison, J. E.; Papovich, C.; Pérez-González, P. G.; Rieke, M. J.; Rieke, G. H.; Rigby, J.; Rigopoulou, D.; Smail, I.; Wilson, G.; Willner, S. P.

    2004-09-01

    We present 3.6-24 μm Spitzer observations of an unbiased sample of nine luminous, dusty galaxies selected at 1200 μm by MAMBO on the IRAM 30 m telescope, a population akin to the well-known submillimeter or SCUBA galaxies (hereafter SMGs). Owing to the coarse resolution of submillimeter/millimeter cameras, SMGs have traditionally been difficult to identify at other wavelengths. We compare our multiwavelength catalogs to show that the overlap between 24 and 1200 μm must be close to complete at these flux levels. We find that all (4/4) of the most secure >=4 σ SMGs have >=4 σ counterparts at 1.4 GHz, while the fraction drops to 7/9 using all >=3 σ SMGs. We show that combining mid-infrared (MIR) and marginal (>=3 σ) radio detections provides plausible identifications in the remaining cases, enabling us to identify the complete sample. Accretion onto an obscured central engine is betrayed by the shape of the MIR continuum emission for several sources, confirming Spitzer's potential to weed out active galaxies. We demonstrate the power of an S24μm/S8μm versus S8μm/S4.5μm color-color plot as a diagnostic for this purpose. However, we conclude that the majority (~75%) of SMGs have rest-frame mid/far-IR spectral energy distributions commensurate with obscured starbursts. Sensitive 24 μm observations are clearly a useful route to identify and characterize reliable counterparts to high-redshift far-IR-bright galaxies, complementing what is possible via deep radio imaging.

  17. FINDING η CAR ANALOGS IN NEARBY GALAXIES USING SPITZER. I. CANDIDATE SELECTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Rubab; Stanek, K. Z.; Kochanek, C. S.

    2013-01-01

    The late-stage evolution of the most massive stars such as η Carinae is controlled by the effects of mass loss, which may be dominated by poorly understood eruptive mass ejections. Understanding this population is challenging because no true analogs of η Car have been clearly identified in the Milky Way or other galaxies. We utilize Spitzer IRAC images of seven nearby (∼ 10 5 L ☉ in the IRAC bands (3.6 to 8.0 μm) and are not known to be background sources. Based on our estimates for the expected number of background sources, we expect that follow-up observations will show that most of these candidates are not dust enshrouded massive stars, with an expectation of only 6 ± 6 surviving candidates. Since we would detect true analogs of η Car for roughly 200 years post-eruption, this implies that the rate of eruptions like η Car is less than the core-collapse supernova rate. It is possible, however, that every M > 40 M ☉ star undergoes such eruptions given our initial results. In Paper II we will characterize the candidates through further analysis and follow-up observations, and there is no barrier to increasing the galaxy sample by an order of magnitude. The primary limitation of the present search is that Spitzer's resolution limits us to the shorter wavelength IRAC bands. With the James Webb Space Telescope, such surveys can be carried out at the far more optimal wavelengths of 10-30 μm, allowing identification of η Car analogs for millennia rather than centuries post-eruption.

  18. A deep Spitzer survey of circumstellar disks in the young double cluster, h and χ Persei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cloutier, Ryan; Currie, Thayne; Jayawardhana, Ray [University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2J7 (Canada); Rieke, George H. [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721-0065 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 (United States); Balog, Zoltan, E-mail: cloutier@cita.utoronto.ca, E-mail: currie@astro.utoronto.ca, E-mail: grieke@as.arizona.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2014-12-01

    We analyze very deep Infrared Array Camera and Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) photometry of ∼12, 500 members of the 14 Myr old Double Cluster, h and χ Persei, building upon our earlier, shallower Spitzer Cycle 1 studies. Numerous likely members show infrared (IR) excesses at 8 μm and 24 μm, indicative of circumstellar dust. The frequency of stars with 8 μm excess is at least 2% for our entire sample, slightly lower (higher) for B/A stars (later type, lower mass stars). Optical spectroscopy also identifies gas in about 2% of systems, but with no clear trend between the presence of dust and gas. Spectral energy distribution modeling of 18 sources with detections at optical wavelengths through MIPS 24 μm reveals a diverse set of disk evolutionary states, including a high fraction of transitional disks, though similar data for all disk-bearing members would provide constraints. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we combine our results with those for other young clusters to study the global evolution of dust/gas disks. For nominal cluster ages, the e-folding times (τ{sub 0}) for the frequency of warm dust and gas are 2.75 Myr and 1.75 Myr, respectively. Assuming a revised set of ages for some clusters, these timescales increase to 5.75 and 3.75 Myr, respectively, implying a significantly longer typical protoplanetary disk lifetime than previously thought. In both cases, the transitional disk duration, averaged over multiple evolutionary pathways, is ≈1 Myr. Finally, 24 μm excess frequencies for 4-6 M {sub ☉} stars appear lower than for 1-2.5 M {sub ☉} stars in other 10-30 Myr old clusters.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-20

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

  20. Characterizing Giant Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations: HAT-P-14 b & TrES-1 b

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Much current work focuses on characterizing exoplanets. We observed several known exoplanets using the 2.3 meter Wyoming Infrared Observatory over the course of ten weeks using the ugriz Sloan filters. Our goal was to quantify planet-to-star radius ratio, a ratio that is potentially wavelength dependent due to exoplanet atmospherics. We present the results for exoplanets HAT-P 14 b and TrES-1 b. Complementary data from the literature are utilized to supplement our analysis. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under REU grant AST 1560461 and PAARE grant AST 1559559.

  1. 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

  2. KEPLER EXOPLANET CANDIDATE HOST STARS ARE PREFERENTIALLY METAL RICH

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.; Laughlin, Gregory

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Stern

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Laboratory Simulations on Haze Formation in Cool Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

    The Kepler mission has shown that the most abundant types of planets are super-Earths and mini-Neptunes among ~3500 confirmed exoplanets, and these types of exoplanets are expected to exhibit a wide variety of atmospheric compositions. Recent transit spectra have demonstrated that clouds and/or hazes could play a significant role in these planetary atmospheres (Deming et al. 2013, Knutson et al. 2014, Kreidberg et al. 2014, Pont, et al. 2013). However, very little laboratory work has been done to understand the formation of haze over a broad range of atmospheric compositions. Here we conducted a series of laboratory simulations to investigate haze formation in a range of planetary atmospheres using our newly built Planetary HAZE Research (PHAZER) chamber (He et al. 2017). We ran experimental simulations for nine different atmospheres: three temperatures (300 K, 400 K, and 600 K) and three metallicities (100, 1000, and 10000 times solar metallicity) using AC glow discharge as an energy source to irradiate gas mixtures. We found that haze particles are formed in all nine experiments, but the haze production rates are dramatically different for different cases. We investigated the particle sizes of the haze particles deposited on quartz discs using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The AFM images show that the particle size varies from 30 nm to 200 nm. The haze particles are more uniform for 100x solar metallicity experiments (30 nm to 40 nm) while the particles sizes for 1000x and 10000x solar metallicity experiments have wider distributions (30 nm to 200 nm). The particle size affects the scattering of light, and thus the temperature structure of planetary atmospheres. The haze production rates and particle size distributions obtained here can serve as critical inputs to atmospheric physical and chemical tools to understand the exoplanetary atmospheres and help guide future TESS and JWST observations of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.Ref:Deming, D., et al. 2013, Ap

  5. Confirmation of an exoplanet using the transit color signature: Kepler-418b, a blended giant planet in a multiplanet system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingley, B.; Parviainen, H.; Gandolfi, D.; Deeg, H. J.; Palle, E.; Montañés Rodriguez, P.; Murgas, F.; Alonso, R.; Bruntt, H.; Fridlund, M.

    2014-07-01

    Aims: We announce confirmation of Kepler-418b, one of two proposed planets in this system. This is the first confirmation of an exoplanet based primarily on the transit color signature technique. Methods: We used the Kepler public data archive combined with multicolor photometry from the Gran Telescopio de Canarias and radial velocity follow-up using FIES at the Nordic Optical Telescope for confirmation. Results: We report a confident detection of a transit color signature that can only be explained by a compact occulting body, entirely ruling out a contaminating eclipsing binary, a hierarchical triple, or a grazing eclipsing binary. Those findings are corroborated by our radial velocity measurements, which put an upper limit of ~1 MJup on the mass of Kepler-418b. We also report that the host star is significantly blended, confirming the ~10% light contamination suspected from the crowding metric in the Kepler light curve measured by the Kepler team. We report detection of an unresolved light source that contributes an additional ~30% to the target star, which would not have been detected without multicolor photometric analysis. The resulting planet-star radius ratio is 0.110 ± 0.0025, more than 25% more than the 0.087 measured by Kepler leading to a radius of 1.20 ± 0.16 RJup instead of the 0.94 RJup measured by the Kepler team. Conclusions: This is the first confirmation of an exoplanet candidate based primarily on the transit color signature, demonstrating that this technique is viable from ground for giant planets. It is particularly useful for planets with long periods such as Kepler-418b, which tend to have long transit durations. While this technique is limited to candidates with deep transits from the ground, it may be possible to confirm earth-like exoplanet candidates with a few hours of observing time with an instrument like the James Webb Space Telescope. Additionally, multicolor photometric analysis of transits can reveal unknown stellar neighbors

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  7. Trajectory Design for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dichmann, Donald J.; Parker, Joel J. K.; Williams, Trevor W.; Mendelsohn, Chad R.

    2014-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission, scheduled to be launched in 2017. TESS will travel in a highly eccentric orbit around Earth, with initial perigee radius near 17 Earth radii (Re) and apogee radius near 59 Re. The orbit period is near 2:1 resonance with the Moon, with apogee nearly 90 degrees out-of-phase with the Moon, in a configuration that has been shown to be operationally stable. TESS will execute phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby, with a final maneuver to achieve 2:1 resonance with the Moon. The goals of a resonant orbit with long-term stability, short eclipses and limited oscillations of perigee present significant challenges to the trajectory design. To rapidly assess launch opportunities, we adapted the Schematics Window Methodology (SWM76) launch window analysis tool to assess the TESS mission constraints. To understand the long-term dynamics of such a resonant orbit in the Earth-Moon system we employed Dynamical Systems Theory in the Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem (CR3BP). For precise trajectory analysis we use a high-fidelity model and multiple shooting in the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) to optimize the maneuver delta-V and meet mission constraints. Finally we describe how the techniques we have developed can be applied to missions with similar requirements. Keywords: resonant orbit, stability, lunar flyby, phasing loops, trajectory optimization

  8. Analytic Scattering and Refraction Models for Exoplanet Transit Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Hubbard, William B.

    2017-12-01

    Observations of exoplanet transit spectra are essential to understanding the physics and chemistry of distant worlds. The effects of opacity sources and many physical processes combine to set the shape of a transit spectrum. Two such key processes—refraction and cloud and/or haze forward-scattering—have seen substantial recent study. However, models of these processes are typically complex, which prevents their incorporation into observational analyses and standard transit spectrum tools. In this work, we develop analytic expressions that allow for the efficient parameterization of forward-scattering and refraction effects in transit spectra. We derive an effective slant optical depth that includes a correction for forward-scattered light, and present an analytic form of this correction. We validate our correction against a full-physics transit spectrum model that includes scattering, and we explore the extent to which the omission of forward-scattering effects may bias models. Also, we verify a common analytic expression for the location of a refractive boundary, which we express in terms of the maximum pressure probed in a transit spectrum. This expression is designed to be easily incorporated into existing tools, and we discuss how the detection of a refractive boundary could help indicate the background atmospheric composition by constraining the bulk refractivity of the atmosphere. Finally, we show that opacity from Rayleigh scattering and collision-induced absorption will outweigh the effects of refraction for Jupiter-like atmospheres whose equilibrium temperatures are above 400-500 K.

  9. Unpacking Exoplanet Detection Using Pedagogical Discipline Representations (PDRs)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. HIDING IN THE SHADOWS. II. COLLISIONAL DUST AS EXOPLANET MARKERS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-03-20

    Observations of the youngest planets (∼1–10 Myr for a transitional disk) will increase the accuracy of our planet formation models. Unfortunately, observations of such planets are challenging and time-consuming to undertake, even in ideal circumstances. Therefore, we propose the determination of a set of markers that can preselect promising exoplanet-hosting candidate disks. To this end, N-body simulations were conducted to investigate the effect of an embedded Jupiter-mass planet on the dynamics of the surrounding planetesimal disk and the resulting creation of second-generation collisional dust. We use a new collision model that allows fragmentation and erosion of planetesimals, and dust-sized fragments are simulated in a post-process step including non-gravitational forces due to stellar radiation and a gaseous protoplanetary disk. Synthetic images from our numerical simulations show a bright double ring at 850 μm for a low-eccentricity planet, whereas a high-eccentricity planet would produce a characteristic inner ring with asymmetries in the disk. In the presence of first-generation primordial dust these markers would be difficult to detect far from the orbit of the embedded planet, but would be detectable inside a gap of planetary origin in a transitional disk.

  11. Achromatic Focal Plane Mask for Exoplanet Imaging Coronagraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Kevin Edward; Belikov, Ruslan; Guyon, Olivier; Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham; Wilson, Dan

    2013-01-01

    Recent advances in coronagraph technologies for exoplanet imaging have achieved contrasts close to 1e10 at 4 lambda/D and 1e-9 at 2 lambda/D in monochromatic light. A remaining technological challenge is to achieve high contrast in broadband light; a challenge that is largely limited by chromaticity of the focal plane mask. The size of a star image scales linearly with wavelength. Focal plane masks are typically the same size at all wavelengths, and must be sized for the longest wavelength in the observational band to avoid starlight leakage. However, this oversized mask blocks useful discovery space from the shorter wavelengths. We present here the design, development, and testing of an achromatic focal plane mask based on the concept of optical filtering by a diffractive optical element (DOE). The mask consists of an array of DOE cells, the combination of which functions as a wavelength filter with any desired amplitude and phase transmission. The effective size of the mask scales nearly linearly with wavelength, and allows significant improvement in the inner working angle of the coronagraph at shorter wavelengths. The design is applicable to almost any coronagraph configuration, and enables operation in a wider band of wavelengths than would otherwise be possible. We include initial results from a laboratory demonstration of the mask with the Phase Induced Amplitude Apodization coronagraph.

  12. Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres : A Complete Line List for Phosphine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa-Silva, C.; Yurchenko, S. N.; Tennyson, J.

    2013-09-01

    The ability to characterise the atmospheres of cool stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets requires fundamental data for all species contributing significantly to their opacity. However, with notable exceptions such as water and ammonia, existing molecular line lists are not sufficiently accurate or complete to allow for a full spectroscopic analysis of these bodies. ExoMol (www.exomol.com [1]) is a project that aims to rectify this by generating comprehensive line lists for all molecules likely to be detected in the atmospheres of cool astrophysical objects in the foreseeable future. The spectral data is generated by employing ab initio quantum mechanical methods, performing empirical refinement based on experimental spectroscopic data and harnessing high performance computing. Here we present our work on phosphine, (PH3), an equilateral pyramidal molecule (the phosphorus analogue to ammonia). Phosphine is known to be important for the atmospheres of giant-planets, cool stars and many other astronomical bodies. Rotational transition features of phosphine have been found in the far- infrared spectra of Saturn and Jupiter [2, 3], where it is a marker for vertical convection zones. A computed room temperature line list of phosphine is presented here [4], illustrated in the accompanying figure 1. This line list is a precursor to a high temperature equivalent to be produced in the near future, necessary for the analysis of cool stars and brown dwarfs. All the transitions' energy levels and Einstein A-coefficients were computed using the program TROVE [5].

  13. Searching for Strange Quark Matter Objects in Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-10-20

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

  14. Challenges to Constraining Exoplanet Masses via Transmission Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-10

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

  15. The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, B. Scott; Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission Science and Technology Definition Team

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is a candidate flagship mission being studied by NASA and the astrophysics community in preparation of the 2020 Decadal Survey. The HabEx mission concept is a large (~4 to 6.5m) diffraction-limited optical space telescope, providing unprecedented resolution and contrast in the optical, with likely extensions into the near UV and near infrared domains. We discuss the primary science goals of HabEx. First, HabEx will survey a large sample of stars to search for planets potentially habitable planets: roughly Earth-sized planets with separations consistent with being in the habitable zones of their parent stars. Promising candidates will be followed up in detail, in order to characterize their orbits and atmospheres, and so confirm that they are indeed terrestrial-sized planets in the habitable zones of their parent stars, and search for signatures of habitability and potentially biosignatures. Second, HabEx will perform a ‘deep dive’ survey of roughly a dozen of the nearest and most promising stellar systems, providing the first complete “family portraits” of planets around our nearest Sun-like neighbors, and placing the solar system in the context of a diverse set of these planetary systems. Additionally, HabEx will enable a wide range of other astrophysical investigations, including detailed characterization of the properties of nearby stars and galaxies.

  16. MASSIVE SATELLITES OF CLOSE-IN GAS GIANT EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cassidy, Timothy A.; Johnson, Robert E.; Mendez, Rolando; Arras, Phil; Skrutskie, Michael F.

    2009-01-01

    We study the orbits, tidal heating and mass loss from satellites around close-in gas giant exoplanets. The focus is on large satellites which are potentially observable by their transit signature. We argue that even Earth-size satellites around hot Jupiters can be immune to destruction by orbital decay; detection of such a massive satellite would strongly constrain theories of tidal dissipation in gas giants, in a manner complementary to orbital circularization. The star's gravity induces significant periodic eccentricity in the satellite's orbit. The resulting tidal heating rates, per unit mass, are far in excess of Io's and dominate radioactive heating out to planet orbital periods of months for reasonable satellite tidal Q. Inside planet orbital periods of about a week, tidal heating can completely melt the satellite. Lastly, we compute an upper limit to the satellite mass loss rate due to thermal evaporation from the surface, valid if the satellite's atmosphere is thin and vapor pressure is negligible. Using this upper limit, we find that although rocky satellites around hot Jupiters with orbital periods less than a few days can be significantly evaporated in their lifetimes, detectable satellites suffer negligible mass loss at longer orbital periods.

  17. Challenges to Constraining Exoplanet Masses via Transmission Spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Design, fabrication, and testing of stellar coronagraphs for exoplanet imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Justin M.; Brewer, John; Hamilton, Ryan; Ward, Karen; Milster, Tom D.; Guyon, Olivier

    2017-09-01

    Complex-mask coronagraphs destructively interfere unwanted starlight with itself to enable direct imaging of exoplanets. This is accomplished using a focal plane mask (FPM); a FPM can be a simple occulter mask, or in the case of a complex-mask, is a multi-zoned device designed to phase-shift starlight over multiple wavelengths to create a deep achromatic null in the stellar point spread function. Creating these masks requires microfabrication techniques, yet many such methods remain largely unexplored in this context. We explore methods of fabrication of complex FPMs for a Phased-Induced Amplitude Apodization Complex-Mask Coronagraph (PIAACMC). Previous FPM fabrication efforts for PIAACMC have concentrated on mask manufacturability while modeling science yield, as well as assessing broadband wavelength operation. Moreover current fabrication efforts are concentrated on assessing coronagraph performance given a single approach. We present FPMs fabricated using several process paths, including deep reactive ion etching and focused ion beam etching using a silicon substrate. The characteristic size of the mask features is 5μm with depths ranging over 1μm. The masks are characterized for manufacturing quality using an optical interferometer and a scanning electron microscope. Initial testing is performed at the Subaru Extreme Adaptive Optics testbed, providing a baseline for future experiments to determine and improve coronagraph performance within fabrication tolerances.

  19. Trajectory Design for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dichmann, Donald J.; Parker, Joel; Williams, Trevor; Mendelsohn, Chad

    2014-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission launching in 2017. TESS will travel in a highly eccentric orbit around Earth, with initial perigee radius near 17 Earth radii (Re) and apogee radius near 59 Re. The orbit period is near 2:1 resonance with the Moon, with apogee nearly 90 degrees out-of-phase with the Moon, in a configuration that has been shown to be operationally stable. TESS will execute phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby, with a final maneuver to achieve 2:1 resonance with the Moon. The goals of a resonant orbit with long-term stability, short eclipses and limited oscillations of perigee present significant challenges to the trajectory design. To rapidly assess launch opportunities, we adapted the SWM76 launch window tool to assess the TESS mission constraints. To understand the long-term dynamics of such a resonant orbit in the Earth-Moon system we employed Dynamical Systems Theory in the Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem (CR3BP). For precise trajectory analysis we use a high-fidelity model and multiple shooting in the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) to optimize the maneuver delta-V and meet mission constraints. Finally we describe how the techniques we have developed can be applied to missions with similar requirements.

  20. The O2 A-Band in the Fluxes and Polarization of Starlight Reflected by Earth-Like Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauchez, Thomas; Rossi, Loic; Stam, Daphne M.

    2017-06-01

    Earth-like, potentially habitable exoplanets are prime targets in the search for extraterrestrial life. Information about their atmospheres and surfaces can be derived by analyzing the light of the parent star reflected by the planet. We investigate the influence of the surface albedo A s, the optical thickness b cloud, the altitude of water clouds, and the mixing ratio of biosignature O2 on the strength of the O2 A-band (around 760 nm) in the flux and polarization spectra of starlight reflected by Earth-like exoplanets. Our computations for horizontally homogeneous planets show that small mixing ratios (η < 0.4) will yield moderately deep bands in flux and moderate-to-small band strengths in polarization, and that clouds will usually decrease the band depth in flux and the band strength in polarization. However, cloud influence will be strongly dependent on properties such as optical thickness, top altitude, particle phase, coverage fraction, and horizontal distribution. Depending on the surface albedo and cloud properties, different O2 mixing ratios η can give similar absorption-band depths in flux and band strengths in polarization, especially if the clouds have moderate-to-high optical thicknesses. Measuring both the flux and the polarization is essential to reduce the degeneracies, although it will not solve them, especially not for horizontally inhomogeneous planets. Observations at a wide range of phase angles and with a high temporal resolution could help to derive cloud properties and, once those are known, the mixing ratio of O2 or any other absorbing gas.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  2. LUMINOSITY FUNCTIONS OF SPITZER-IDENTIFIED PROTOSTARS IN NINE NEARBY MOLECULAR CLOUDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kryukova, E.; Megeath, S. T.; Allen, T. S.; Gutermuth, R. A.; Pipher, J.; Allen, L. E.; Myers, P. C.; Muzerolle, J.

    2012-01-01

    We identify protostars in Spitzer surveys of nine star-forming (SF) molecular clouds within 1 kpc: Serpens, Perseus, Ophiuchus, Chamaeleon, Lupus, Taurus, Orion, Cep OB3, and Mon R2, which combined host over 700 protostar candidates. These clouds encompass a variety of SF environments, including both low-mass and high-mass SF regions, as well as dense clusters and regions of sparsely distributed star formation. Our diverse cloud sample allows us to compare protostar luminosity functions in these varied environments. We combine near- and mid-infrared photometry from the Two Micron All Sky Survey and Spitzer to create 1-24 μm spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Using protostars from the c2d survey with well-determined bolometric luminosities, we derive a relationship between bolometric luminosity, mid-IR luminosity (integrated from 1-24 μm), and SED slope. Estimations of the bolometric luminosities for protostar candidates are combined to create luminosity functions for each cloud. Contamination due to edge-on disks, reddened Class II sources, and galaxies is estimated and removed from the luminosity functions. We find that luminosity functions for high-mass SF clouds (Orion, Mon R2, and Cep OB3) peak near 1 L ☉ and show a tail extending toward luminosities above 100 L ☉ . The luminosity functions of the low-mass SF clouds (Serpens, Perseus, Ophiuchus, Taurus, Lupus, and Chamaeleon) do not exhibit a common peak, however the combined luminosity function of these regions peaks below 1 L ☉ . Finally, we examine the luminosity functions as a function of the local surface density of young stellar objects. In the Orion molecular clouds, we find a significant difference between the luminosity functions of protostars in regions of high and low stellar density, the former of which is biased toward more luminous sources. This may be the result of primordial mass segregation, although this interpretation is not unique. We compare our luminosity functions to those

  3. IPHAS A-TYPE STARS WITH MID-INFRARED EXCESSES IN SPITZER SURVEYS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hales, Antonio S.; Barlow, Michael J.; Drew, Janet E.; Unruh, Yvonne C.; Greimel, Robert; Irwin, Michael J.; Gonzalez-Solares, Eduardo

    2009-01-01

    We have identified 17 A-type stars in the Galactic Plane that have mid-infrared (mid-IR) excesses at 8 μm. From observed colors in the (r' - Hα) - (r' - i') plane, we first identified 23,050 early A-type main-sequence (MS) star candidates in the Isaac Newton Photometric H-Alpha Survey (IPHAS) point source database that are located in Spitzer Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire Galactic plane fields. Imposing the requirement that they be detected in all seven Two Micron All Sky Survey and Infrared Astronomical Satellite bands led to a sample of 2692 candidate A-type stars with fully sampled 0.6 to 8 μm spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Optical classification spectra of 18 of the IPHAS candidate A-type MS stars showed that all but one could be well fitted using MS A-type templates, with the other being an A-type supergiant. Out of the 2692 A-type candidates 17 (0.6%) were found to have 8 μm excesses above the expected photospheric values. Taking into account non-A-Type contamination estimates, the 8 μm excess fraction is adjusted to ∼0.7%. The distances to these sources range from 0.7 to 2.5 kpc. Only 10 out of the 17 excess stars had been covered by Spitzer MIPSGAL survey fields, of which five had detectable excesses at 24 μm. For sources with excesses detected in at least two mid-IR wavelength bands, blackbody fits to the excess SEDs yielded temperatures ranging from 270 to 650 K, and bolometric luminosity ratios L IR /L * from 2.2 x 10 -3 - 1.9 x 10 -2 , with a mean value of 7.9 x 10 -3 (these bolometric luminosities are lower limits as cold dust is not detectable by this survey). Both the presence of mid-IR excesses and the derived bolometric luminosity ratios are consistent with many of these systems being in the planet-building transition phase between the early protoplanetary disk phase and the later debris disk phase.

  4. LUMINOSITY FUNCTIONS OF SPITZER-IDENTIFIED PROTOSTARS IN NINE NEARBY MOLECULAR CLOUDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kryukova, E.; Megeath, S. T.; Allen, T. S. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH (United States); Gutermuth, R. A. [Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States); Pipher, J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (United States); Allen, L. E. [National Optical Astronomy Observatories, Tucson, AZ (United States); Myers, P. C. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States); Muzerolle, J. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD (United States)

    2012-08-15

    We identify protostars in Spitzer surveys of nine star-forming (SF) molecular clouds within 1 kpc: Serpens, Perseus, Ophiuchus, Chamaeleon, Lupus, Taurus, Orion, Cep OB3, and Mon R2, which combined host over 700 protostar candidates. These clouds encompass a variety of SF environments, including both low-mass and high-mass SF regions, as well as dense clusters and regions of sparsely distributed star formation. Our diverse cloud sample allows us to compare protostar luminosity functions in these varied environments. We combine near- and mid-infrared photometry from the Two Micron All Sky Survey and Spitzer to create 1-24 {mu}m spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Using protostars from the c2d survey with well-determined bolometric luminosities, we derive a relationship between bolometric luminosity, mid-IR luminosity (integrated from 1-24 {mu}m), and SED slope. Estimations of the bolometric luminosities for protostar candidates are combined to create luminosity functions for each cloud. Contamination due to edge-on disks, reddened Class II sources, and galaxies is estimated and removed from the luminosity functions. We find that luminosity functions for high-mass SF clouds (Orion, Mon R2, and Cep OB3) peak near 1 L{sub Sun} and show a tail extending toward luminosities above 100 L{sub Sun }. The luminosity functions of the low-mass SF clouds (Serpens, Perseus, Ophiuchus, Taurus, Lupus, and Chamaeleon) do not exhibit a common peak, however the combined luminosity function of these regions peaks below 1 L{sub Sun }. Finally, we examine the luminosity functions as a function of the local surface density of young stellar objects. In the Orion molecular clouds, we find a significant difference between the luminosity functions of protostars in regions of high and low stellar density, the former of which is biased toward more luminous sources. This may be the result of primordial mass segregation, although this interpretation is not unique. We compare our luminosity

  5. A New Window into Escaping Exoplanet Atmospheres: 10830 Å Line of Helium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oklopčić, Antonija; Hirata, Christopher M.

    2018-03-01

    Observational evidence for escaping exoplanet atmospheres has been obtained for a few exoplanets to date. It comes from strong transit signals detected in the ultraviolet, most notably in the wings of the hydrogen Lyα (Lyα) line. However, the core of the Lyα line is often heavily affected by interstellar absorption and geocoronal emission, limiting the information about the atmosphere that can be extracted from that part of the spectrum. Transit observations in atomic lines that are (a) sensitive enough to trace the rarefied gas in the planetary wind and (b) do not suffer from significant extinction by the interstellar medium could enable more detailed observations, and thus provide better constraints on theoretical models of escaping atmospheres. The absorption line of a metastable state of helium at 10830 Å could satisfy both of these conditions for some exoplanets. We develop a simple 1D model of escaping planetary atmospheres containing hydrogen and helium. We use it to calculate the density profile of helium in the 23S metastable excited state and the expected in-transit absorption at 10830 Å for two exoplanets known to have escaping atmospheres. Our results indicate that exoplanets similar to GJ 436b and HD 209458b should exhibit enhanced transit depths at 10830 Å, with ∼8% and ∼2% excess absorption in the line core, respectively.

  6. A Research-Informed Approach to Teaching About Exoplanet Detection in STEM Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brissenden, Gina; Wallace, C. S.; Prather, E. E.; Traub, W. A.; Greene, W. M.; Biferno, A. A.

    2014-01-01

    JPL’s NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program’s (ExEP) Public Engagement Program, in collaboration with the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE), is engaged in a research and curriculum development program to bring the science of exoplanet detection into STEM classrooms. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of astronomers pursuing research related to exoplanets, along with a significant increase in interest amongst students and the general public regarding the topic of exoplanets. CAE has previously developed a curriculum unit (including Think-Pair-Share questions and a Lecture-Tutorial) to help students develop a deeper understanding of the Doppler method for detecting extrasolar planets. To date, there is a nearly nonexistent research base on students’ conceptual and reasoning difficulties related to the science of the transit and gravitational microlensing methods for detecting extrasolar planets. Appropriate for physical science classrooms from middle school to the introductory college level, the learner-centered active engagement activities we are developing are going through an iterative research and assessment process to ensure that they enable students to achieve increased conceptual understandings and reasoning skills in these areas. In this talk, we will report on our development process for two new Lecture-Tutorials that help students learn about the transit and gravitational microlensing methods for finding exoplanets.

  7. Atmospheric Beacons of Life from Exoplanets Around G and K Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airapetian, Vladimir S.; Jackman, Charles H.; Mlynczak, Martin; Danchi, William; Hunt, Linda

    2017-01-01

    The current explosion in detection and characterization of thousands of extrasolar planets from the Kepler mission, the Hubble Space Telescope, and large ground-based telescopes opens a new era in searches for Earth-analog exoplanets with conditions suitable for sustaining life. As more Earth-sized exoplanets are detected in the near future, we will soon have an opportunity to identify habitale worlds. Which atmospheric biosignature gases from habitable planets can be detected with our current capabilities? The detection of the common biosignatures from nitrogen-oxygen rich terrestrial-type exoplanets including molecular oxygen (O2), ozone (O3), water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) requires days of integration time with largest space telescopes, and thus are very challenging for current instruments. In this paper we propose to use the powerful emission from rotational-vibrational bands of nitric oxide, hydroxyl and molecular oxygen as signatures of nitrogen, oxygen, and water rich atmospheres of terrestrial type exoplanets "highlighted" by the magnetic activity from young G and K main-sequence stars. The signals from these fundamental chemical prerequisites of life we call atmospheric "beacons of life" create a unique opportunity to perform direct imaging observations of Earth-sized exoplanets with high signal-to-noise and low spectral resolution with the upcoming NASA missions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. CRYSTALLINE SILICATES IN EVOLVED STARS. I. SPITZER/INFRARED SPECTROGRAPH SPECTROSCOPY OF IRAS 16456-3542, 18354-0638, AND 23239+5754

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang, B. W.; Zhang, Ke [Department of Astronomy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Li, Aigen [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Lisse, C. M., E-mail: bjiang@bnu.edu.cn, E-mail: kzhang@caltech.edu, E-mail: lia@missouri.edu, E-mail: carey.lisse@jhuapl.edu [Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States)

    2013-03-01

    We report the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) observations of three evolved stars: IRAS 16456-3542, 18354-0638, and 23239+5754. The 9.9-37.2 {mu}m Spitzer/IRS high-resolution spectra of these three sources exhibit rich sets of enstatite-dominated crystalline silicate emission features. IRAS 16456-3542 is extremely rich in crystalline silicates, with >90% of its silicate mass in crystalline form, the highest to date ever reported for crystalline silicate sources.

  10. SPITZER IRS SPECTRA OF LUMINOUS 8 μm SOURCES IN THE LARGE MAGELLANIC CLOUD: TESTING COLOR-BASED CLASSIFICATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchanan, Catherine L.; Kastner, Joel H.; Hrivnak, Bruce J.; Sahai, Raghvendra

    2009-01-01

    We present archival Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) spectra of 19 luminous 8 μm selected sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The object classes derived from these spectra and from an additional 24 spectra in the literature are compared with classifications based on Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)/MSX (J, H, K, and 8 μm) colors in order to test the 'JHK8' (Kastner et al.) classification scheme. The IRS spectra confirm the classifications of 22 of the 31 sources that can be classified under the JHK8 system. The spectroscopic classification of 12 objects that were unclassifiable in the JHK8 scheme allow us to characterize regions of the color-color diagrams that previously lacked spectroscopic verification, enabling refinements to the JHK8 classification system. The results of these new classifications are consistent with previous results concerning the identification of the most infrared-luminous objects in the LMC. In particular, while the IRS spectra reveal several new examples of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars with O-rich envelopes, such objects are still far outnumbered by carbon stars (C-rich AGB stars). We show that Spitzer IRAC/MIPS color-color diagrams provide improved discrimination between red supergiants and oxygen-rich and carbon-rich AGB stars relative to those based on 2MASS/MSX colors. These diagrams will enable the most luminous IR sources in Local Group galaxies to be classified with high confidence based on their Spitzer colors. Such characterizations of stellar populations will continue to be possible during Spitzer's warm mission through the use of IRAC [3.6]-[4.5] and 2MASS colors.

  11. The impact of Spitzer infrared data on stellar mass estimates - and a revised galaxy stellar mass function at 0 < z < 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsner, F.; Feulner, G.; Hopp, U.

    2008-01-01

    Aims:We estimate stellar masses of galaxies in the high redshift universe with the intention of determining the influence of newly available Spitzer/IRAC infrared data on the analysis. Based on the results, we probe the mass assembly history of the universe. Methods: We use the GOODS-MUSIC catalog, which provides multiband photometry from the U-filter to the 8 μm Spitzer band for almost 15 000 galaxies with either spectroscopic (for ≈7% of the sample) or photometric redshifts, and apply a standard model fitting technique to estimate stellar masses. We than repeat our calculations with fixed photometric redshifts excluding Spitzer photometry and directly compare the outcomes to look for systematic deviations. Finally we use our results to compute stellar mass functions and mass densities up to redshift z = 5. Results: We find that stellar masses tend to be overestimated on average if further constraining Spitzer data are not included into the analysis. Whilst this trend is small up to intermediate redshifts z ⪉ 2.5 and falls within the typical error in mass, the deviation increases strongly for higher redshifts and reaches a maximum of a factor of three at redshift z ≈ 3.5. Thus, up to intermediate redshifts, results for stellar mass density are in good agreement with values taken from literature calculated without additional Spitzer photometry. At higher redshifts, however, we find a systematic trend towards lower mass densities if Spitzer/IRAC data are included.

  12. Serendipity Observations of Far Infrared Cirrus Emission in the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey: Analysis of Far-Infrared Correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bot, Caroline; Helou, George; Boulanger, François; Lagache, Guilaine; Miville-Deschenes, Marc-Antoine; Draine, Bruce; Martin, Peter

    2009-04-01

    We present an analysis of far-infrared (FIR) dust emission from diffuse cirrus clouds. This study is based on serendipitous observations at 160 μm at high-galactic latitude with the Multiband Imaging Photometer onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope by the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey. These observations are complemented with IRIS data at 100 and 60 μm and constitute one of the most sensitive and unbiased samples of FIR observations at a small scale of diffuse interstellar clouds. Outside regions dominated by the cosmic infrared background fluctuations, we observe a substantial scatter in the 160/100 colors from cirrus emission. We compared the 160/100 color variations to 60/100 colors in the same fields and find a trend of decreasing 60/100 with increasing 160/100. This trend cannot be accounted for by current dust models by changing solely the interstellar radiation field. It requires a significant change of dust properties such as grain size distribution or emissivity or a mixing of clouds in different physical conditions along the line of sight. These variations are important as a potential confusing foreground for extragalactic studies. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

  13. A Computational Tool to Interpret the Bulk Composition of Solid Exoplanets based on Mass and Radius Measurements

    OpenAIRE

    Zeng, Li; Seager, Sara

    2008-01-01

    The prospects for finding transiting exoplanets in the range of a few to 20 Earth masses is growing rapidly with both ground-based and spaced-based efforts. We describe a publicly available computer code to compute and quantify the compositional ambiguities for differentiated solid exoplanets with a measured mass and radius, including the mass and radius uncertainties.

  14. Properties of the Irregular Satellite System around Uranus Inferred from K2 , Herschel , and Spitzer Observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farkas-Takács, A.; Kiss, Cs.; Pál, A.; Molnár, L.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Hanyecz, O.; Sárneczky, K.; Szabó, R.; Marton, G.; Szakáts, R.; Kiss, L. L. [Konkoly Observatory, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Konkoly Thege Miklós út 15-17, H-1121 Budapest (Hungary); Mommert, M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, P.O. Box 6010, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 (United States); Müller, T., E-mail: farkas.aniko@csfk.mta.hu [Max-Plank-Institut für extraterrestrsiche Pyhsik, Garching (Germany)

    2017-09-01

    In this paper, we present visible-range light curves of the irregular Uranian satellites Sycorax, Caliban, Prospero, Ferdinand, and Setebos taken with the Kepler Space Telescope over the course of the K2 mission. Thermal emission measurements obtained with the Herschel /PACS and Spitzer /MIPS instruments of Sycorax and Caliban were also analyzed and used to determine size, albedo, and surface characteristics of these bodies. We compare these properties with the rotational and surface characteristics of irregular satellites in other giant planet systems and also with those of main belt and Trojan asteroids and trans-Neptunian objects. Our results indicate that the Uranian irregular satellite system likely went through a more intense collisional evolution than the irregular satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. Surface characteristics of Uranian irregular satellites seem to resemble the Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects more than irregular satellites around other giant planets, suggesting the existence of a compositional discontinuity in the young solar system inside the orbit of Uranus.

  15. NEWLY IDENTIFIED EXTENDED GREEN OBJECTS (EGOs) FROM THE SPITZER GLIMPSE II SURVEY. I. CATALOG

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Xi; Gan, Cong-Gui; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Ellingsen, Simon P.; Titmarsh, Anita; He, Jin-Hua

    2013-01-01

    We have produced a catalog containing 98 newly identified massive young stellar object (MYSO) candidates associated with ongoing outflows (known as extended green objects, or EGOs). These have been identified from the Spitzer Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) II data set and our new identifications increase the number of known EGOs to ∼400 in our Galaxy, adding to the ∼300 previously identified EGOs reported by Cyganowski et al. from the GLIMPSE I survey. The high detection rate (∼70%) of 95 GHz class I methanol masers achieved in a survey toward 57 of these new EGOs with the Mopra 22 m radio telescope demonstrates that the new EGOs are associated with outflows. Investigations of the mid-infrared properties and physical associations with other star formation tracers (e.g., infrared dark clouds, class I and II methanol masers, and millimeter Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey sources) reveal that the newly identified EGOs are very similar in nature to those in the sample of Cyganowski et al. All of the observational evidence supports the hypothesis that EGOs correspond to MYSOs at the earliest evolutionary stage, with ongoing outflow activity, and active rapid accretion.

  16. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF EXTENDED LYMAN-α CLOUDS IN THE SSA22 FIELD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Webb, T. M. A.; Gonzalez, M.; Yamada, T.; Huang, J.-S.; Ashby, M. L. N; Matsuda, Y.; Egami, E.; Hayashimo, T.

    2009-01-01

    We present the results of a Spitzer IRAC and MIPS 24 μm study of extended Lyman-α clouds (or Lyman-α Blobs, LABs) within the SSA22 filamentary structure at z = 3.09. We detect 6/26 LABs in all IRAC filters, four of which are also detected at 24 μm, and find good correspondence with the 850 μm measurements of Geach et al. An analysis of the rest-frame ultraviolet, optical, near- and mid-infrared colors reveals that these six systems exhibit signs of nuclear activity (active galactic nucleus (AGN)) and/or extreme star formation. Notably, they have properties that bridge galaxies dominated by star formation (Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs)) and those with AGNs (LBGs classified as QSOs). The LAB systems not detected in all four IRAC bands, on the other hand, are, as a group, consistent with pure star-forming systems, similar to the majority of the LBGs within the filament. These results indicate that the galaxies within LABs do not comprise a homogeneous population, though they are also consistent with scenarios in which the gas halos are ionized through a common mechanism such as galaxy-scale winds driven by the galaxies within them, or gravitational heating of the collapsing cloud itself.

  17. SPITZER OBSERVATIONS OF LONG-TERM INFRARED VARIABILITY AMONG YOUNG STELLAR OBJECTS IN CHAMAELEON I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flaherty, Kevin M.; Herbst, William [Van Vleck Observatory, Astronomy Department, Wesleyan University, 96 Foss Hill Drive, Middletown, CT 06459 (United States); DeMarchi, Lindsay [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346 (United States); Muzerolle, James [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Balog, Zoltan [Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie, Konigstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Megeath, S. Thomas [Ritter Astrophysical Research Center, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States); Furlan, Elise [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, 770 S. Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Gutermuth, Robert [Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States)

    2016-12-10

    Infrared variability is common among young stellar objects, with surveys finding daily to weekly fluctuations of a few tenths of a magnitude. Space-based observations can produce highly sampled infrared light curves, but are often limited to total baselines of about 1 month due to the orientation of the spacecraft. Here we present observations of the Chameleon I cluster, whose low declination makes it observable by the Spitzer Space Telescope over a 200-day period. We observe 30 young stellar objects with a daily cadence to better sample variability on timescales of months. We find that such variability is common, occurring in ∼80% of the detected cluster members. The change in [3.6]–[4.5] color over 200 days for many of the sources falls between that expected for extinction and fluctuations in disk emission. With our high cadence and long baseline we can derive power spectral density curves covering two orders of magnitude in frequency and find significant power at low frequencies, up to the boundaries of our 200-day survey. Such long timescales are difficult to explain with variations driven by the interaction between the disk and stellar magnetic field, which has a dynamical timescale of days to weeks. The most likely explanation is either structural or temperature fluctuations spread throughout the inner ∼0.5 au of the disk, suggesting that the intrinsic dust structure is highly dynamic.

  18. Stellar mass estimation based on IRAC photometry for Spitzer SWIRE-field galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Yinan; Wu Hong; Li Haining; Cao Chen

    2010-01-01

    We analyze the feasibility of estimating the stellar mass of galaxies by mid-infrared luminosities based on a large sample of galaxies cross-identified from Spitzer SWIRE fields and the SDSS spectrographic survey. We derived the formulae to calculate the stellar mass by using IRAC 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm luminosities. The mass-to-luminosity ratios of IRAC 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm luminosities are more sensitive to the star formation history of galaxies than to other factors, such as the intrinsic extinction, metallicity and star formation rate. To remove the effect of star formation history, we used g - r color to recalibrate the formulae and obtain a better result. Researchers must be more careful when estimating the stellar mass of low metallicity galaxies using our formulae. Due to the emission from dust heated by the hottest young stars, luminous infrared galaxies present higher IRAC 4.5 μm luminosities compared to IRAC 3.6 μm luminosities. For most of type-II AGNs, the nuclear activity cannot enhance 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm luminosities compared with normal galaxies. Star formation in our AGN-hosting galaxies is also very weak, almost all of which are early-type galaxies.

  19. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Spitzer h and {chi} Persei candidate members (Cloutier+, 2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloutier, R.; Currie, T.; Rieke, G. H.; Kenyon, S. J.; Balog, Z.; Jayawardhana, R.

    2017-08-01

    The IRAC (Fazio et al. 2004ApJS..154...39F) observed h and {chi} Persei on October 30, 2008 (AOR IDs 2182740, 21828608, 21828096, 21828864, 21828352, and 2182912). Solar activity was normal to below average. Zodical emission ranged between ~0.02 and 2 MJy/sr from 3.6 um to 8 um. Image processing and photometry were performed separately for the short-exposure and long-exposure frames. The MIPS (Rieke et al. 2004ApJS..154...25R) imaged h and {chi} Persei on 2008 March 15-16, 2008 October 25-26, and 2009 March 26 and 29 as a part of General Observation Programs 40690 and 50664 (PI: Scott Kenyon). To identify and characterize disks surrounding h and {chi} Persei stars, we combine Spitzer data with optical/near-IR data for likely cluster members, updating the list from Currie et al. (2010, J/ApJS/186/191) with a more accurate one of 13956 stars (Table 1). (3 data files).

  20. Direct imaging discovery of a Jovian exoplanet within a triple-star system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Kevin; Apai, Dániel; Kasper, Markus; Kratter, Kaitlin; McClure, Melissa; Robberto, Massimo; Beuzit, Jean-Luc

    2016-08-12

    Direct imaging allows for the detection and characterization of exoplanets via their thermal emission. We report the discovery via imaging of a young Jovian planet in a triple-star system and characterize its atmospheric properties through near-infrared spectroscopy. The semimajor axis of the planet is closer relative to that of its hierarchical triple-star system than for any known exoplanet within a stellar binary or triple, making HD 131399 dynamically unlike any other known system. The location of HD 131399Ab on a wide orbit in a triple system demonstrates that massive planets may be found on long and possibly unstable orbits in multistar systems. HD 131399Ab is one of the lowest mass (4 ± 1 Jupiter masses) and coldest (850 ± 50 kelvin) exoplanets to have been directly imaged. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. An introduction to planets ours and others : from Earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-01-01

    What is a planet? The answer seems obvious, but nonetheless the definition of a planet has continuously evolved over the centuries, and their number has changed following successive discoveries. The decision endorsed by the International Astronomical Union to remove Pluto from the list of planets in 2006 well illustrates the difficulty associated with their definition. The recent discovery of hundreds of exoplanets around nearby stars of our Galaxy opens a new and spectacular dimension to astrophysics. We presently know very little about the physical nature of exoplanets. In contrast, our knowledge of Solar System planets has made huge progress over the past decades, thanks, especially, to space planetary exploration. The purpose of this book is first to characterize what planets are, in their global properties and in their diversity. Then, this knowledge is used to try to imagine the physical nature of exoplanets, starting from the few parameters we know about them. Throughout this book, as we explore the su...

  2. Surface Variability of Short-wavelength Radiation and Temperature on Exoplanets around M Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xin; Tian, Feng [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Wang, Yuwei [Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0B9 (Canada); Dudhia, Jimy; Chen, Ming, E-mail: tianfengco@tsinghua.edu.cn [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)

    2017-03-10

    It is a common practice to use 3D General Circulation Models (GCM) with spatial resolution of a few hundred kilometers to simulate the climate of Earth-like exoplanets. The enhanced albedo effect of clouds is especially important for exoplanets in the habitable zones around M dwarfs that likely have fixed substellar regions and substantial cloud coverage. Here, we carry out mesoscale model simulations with 3 km spatial resolution driven by the initial and boundary conditions in a 3D GCM and find that it could significantly underestimate the spatial variability of both the incident short-wavelength radiation and the temperature at planet surface. Our findings suggest that mesoscale models with cloud-resolving capability be considered for future studies of exoplanet climate.

  3. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Potential exoplanet targets with Palomar/TripleSpec (Zellem+, 2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

    We observed HD 209458b's emission with the 3.0 m NASA IRTF at the Mauna Kea Observatory and SpeX (Rayner et al. 2003PASP..115..362R), a near-IR spectrometer with a wavelength coverage of 2.0-4.2 um (K and L bands) and a resolution of R=2500, and with the 200 inch (5.08 m) Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory and TripleSpec, a near-IR spectrometer with a wavelength coverage of 1.0-2.4 um (J, H, and K bands) and a resolution of R=2500-2700. While low-resolution spectroscopic observations are incapable of observing the fine-scale structure of the spectral lines, the SpeX and TripleSpec spectral channels can be binned to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). We observed HD 209458b's 2011 September 9 (UT) secondary eclipse for ~8 hr, resulting in 1210 exposures of 10 s each in an ABBA nodding sequence. (1 data file).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cash, Webster C.; New Worlds Study Team

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. 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; Désert, Jean-Michel; Mauas, Pablo; Vieytes, Mariela; Walkowicz, Lucianne M.

    2013-02-01

    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 Lyα emission lines are reconstructed, and we find that the Lyα line fluxes comprise ~37%-75% of the total 1150-3100 Å flux from most M dwarfs; gsim103 times the solar value. We develop an empirical scaling relation between Lyα and Mg II emission, to be used when interstellar H I attenuation precludes the direct observation of Lyα. The intrinsic unreddened flux ratio is F(Lyα)/F(Mg II) = 10 ± 3. The F(FUV)/F(NUV) flux ratio, a driver for abiotic production of the suggested biomarkers O2 and O3, is shown to be ~0.5-3 for all M dwarfs in our sample, >103 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 102-103 s timescales. This effect should be taken into account in future UV transiting planet studies, including searches for O3 on Earth-like planets. Finally, we

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  9. Retrieval of exoplanet emission spectra with HyDRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Siddharth; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2018-02-01

    Thermal emission spectra of exoplanets provide constraints on the chemical compositions, pressure-temperature (P-T) profiles, and energy transport in exoplanetary atmospheres. Accurate inferences of these properties rely on the robustness of the atmospheric retrieval methods employed. While extant retrieval codes have provided significant constraints on molecular abundances and temperature profiles in several exoplanetary atmospheres, the constraints on their deviations from thermal and chemical equilibria have yet to be fully explored. Our present work is a step in this direction. We report HyDRA, a disequilibrium retrieval framework for thermal emission spectra of exoplanetary atmospheres. The retrieval code uses the standard architecture of a parametric atmospheric model coupled with Bayesian statistical inference using the Nested Sampling algorithm. For a given dataset, the retrieved compositions and P-T profiles are used in tandem with the GENESIS self-consistent atmospheric model to constrain layer-by-layer deviations from chemical and radiative-convective equilibrium in the observable atmosphere. We demonstrate HyDRA on the Hot Jupiter WASP-43b with a high-precision emission spectrum. We retrieve an H2O mixing ratio of log(H2O) = -3.54^{+0.82}_{-0.52}, consistent with previous studies. We detect H2O and a combined CO/CO2 at 8-sigma significance. We find the dayside P-T profile to be consistent with radiative-convective equilibrium within the 1-sigma limits and with low day-night redistribution, consistent with previous studies. The derived compositions are also consistent with thermochemical equilibrium for the corresponding distribution of P-T profiles. In the era of high precision and high resolution emission spectroscopy, HyDRA provides a path to retrieve disequilibrium phenomena in exoplanetary atmospheres.

  10. UNDERSTANDING TRENDS ASSOCIATED WITH CLOUDS IN IRRADIATED EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heng, Kevin [University of Bern, Center for Space and Habitability, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland); Demory, Brice-Olivier, E-mail: kevin.heng@csh.unibe.ch, E-mail: demory@mit.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2013-11-10

    Unlike previously explored relationships between the properties of hot Jovian atmospheres, the geometric albedo and the incident stellar flux do not exhibit a clear correlation, as revealed by our re-analysis of Q0-Q14 Kepler data. If the albedo is primarily associated with the presence of clouds in these irradiated atmospheres, a holistic modeling approach needs to relate the following properties: the strength of stellar irradiation (and hence the strength and depth of atmospheric circulation), the geometric albedo (which controls both the fraction of starlight absorbed and the pressure level at which it is predominantly absorbed), and the properties of the embedded cloud particles (which determine the albedo). The anticipated diversity in cloud properties renders any correlation between the geometric albedo and the stellar flux weak and characterized by considerable scatter. In the limit of vertically uniform populations of scatterers and absorbers, we use an analytical model and scaling relations to relate the temperature-pressure profile of an irradiated atmosphere and the photon deposition layer and to estimate whether a cloud particle will be lofted by atmospheric circulation. We derive an analytical formula for computing the albedo spectrum in terms of the cloud properties, which we compare to the measured albedo spectrum of HD 189733b by Evans et al. Furthermore, we show that whether an optical phase curve is flat or sinusoidal depends on whether the particles are small or large as defined by the Knudsen number. This may be an explanation for why Kepler-7b exhibits evidence for the longitudinal variation in abundance of condensates, while Kepler-12b shows no evidence for the presence of condensates despite the incident stellar flux being similar for both exoplanets. We include an 'observer's cookbook' for deciphering various scenarios associated with the optical phase curve, the peak offset of the infrared phase curve, and the geometric

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  12. Evo-SETI SCALE to measure Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccone, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    that the GBM exponential may be regarded as the geometric locus of all the peaks of a one-parameter (i.e. the peak time p) family of b-lognormals. Since b-lognormals are pdf-s, the area under each of them always equals 1 (normalization condition) and so, going from left to right on the time axis, the b-lognormals become more and more ;peaky;, and so they last less and less in time. This is precisely what happened in human history: civilizations that lasted millennia (like Ancient Greece and Rome) lasted just centuries (like the Italian Renaissance and Portuguese, Spanish, French, British and USA Empires) but they were more and more advanced in the ;level of civilization;. This ;level of civilization; is what physicists call ENTROPY. Also, in refs. Maccone [3] and [4], this author proved that, for all GBMs, the (Shannon) Entropy of the b-lognormals in his Peak-Locus Theorem grows LINEARLY in time. The Molecular Clock, well known to geneticists since 50 years, shows that the DNA base-substitutions occur LINEARLY in time since they are neutral with respect to Darwinian selection. In simple words: DNA evolved by obeying the laws of quantum physics only (microscopic laws) and not by obeying assumed ;Darwinian selection laws; (macroscopic laws). This is Kimura's neutral theory of molecular evolution. The conclusion is that the Molecular Clock and the b-lognormal Entropy are the same thing. At last, we reach the new, original result justifying the publication of this paper. On exoplanets, molecular evolution is proceeding at about the same rate as it did proceed on Earth: rather independently of the physical conditions of the exoplanet, if the DNA had the possibility to evolve in water initially. Thus, Evo-Entropy, i.e. the (Shannon) Entropy of the generic b-lognormal of the Peak-Locus Theorem, provides the Evo-SETI SCALE to measure the evolution of life on exoplanets.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.

    2011-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    by accumulation of dust and ice particles. Recent ground-based surveys suggest that this correlation is weakened for Neptunian-sized planets. However, how the relationship between size and metallicity extends into the regime of terrestrial-sized exoplanets is unknown. Here we report spectroscopic metallicities...... of the host stars of 226 small exoplanet candidates discovered by NASAs Kepler mission, including objects that are comparable in size to the terrestrial planets in the Solar System. We find that planets with radii less than four Earth radii form around host stars with a wide range of metallicities (but...

  15. SPITZER SAGE-SMC INFRARED PHOTOMETRY OF MASSIVE STARS IN THE SMALL MAGELLANIC CLOUD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonanos, A. Z.; Lennon, D. J.; Massa, D. L.

    2010-01-01

    We present a catalog of 5324 massive stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), with accurate spectral types compiled from the literature, and a photometric catalog for a subset of 3654 of these stars, with the goal of exploring their infrared properties. The photometric catalog consists of stars with infrared counterparts in the Spitzer SAGE-SMC survey database, for which we present uniform photometry from 0.3to24 μm in the UBVIJHK s +IRAC+MIPS24 bands. We compare the color-magnitude diagrams and color-color diagrams to those of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), finding that the brightest infrared sources in the SMC are also the red supergiants, supergiant B[e] (sgB[e]) stars, luminous blue variables, and Wolf-Rayet stars, with the latter exhibiting less infrared excess, the red supergiants being less dusty and the sgB[e] stars being on average less luminous. Among the objects detected at 24 μm in the SMC are a few very luminous hypergiants, four B-type stars with peculiar, flat spectral energy distributions, and all three known luminous blue variables. We detect a distinct Be star sequence, displaced to the red, and suggest a novel method of confirming Be star candidates photometrically. We find a higher fraction of Oe and Be stars among O and early-B stars in our SMC catalog, respectively, when compared to the LMC catalog, and that the SMC Be stars occur at higher luminosities. We estimate mass-loss rates for the red supergiants, confirming the correlation with luminosity even at the metallicity of the SMC. Finally, we confirm the new class of stars displaying composite A and F type spectra, the sgB[e] nature of 2dFS1804 and find the F0 supergiant 2dFS3528 to be a candidate luminous blue variable with cold dust.

  16. MODELS OF THE η CORVI DEBRIS DISK FROM THE KECK INTERFEROMETER, SPITZER, AND HERSCHEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lebreton, J.; Beichman, C.; Millan-Gabet, R. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Bryden, G.; Mennesson, B. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91107 (United States); Defrère, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 993 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ, 85721 (United States); Boccaletti, A., E-mail: lebretoj@gmail.com [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, University Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6 and University Denis Diderot Paris 7, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon (France)

    2016-02-01

    Debris disks are signposts of analogs to small-body populations of the solar system, often, however, with much higher masses and dust production rates. The disk associated with the nearby star η Crv is especially striking, as it shows strong mid- and far-infrared excesses despite an age of ∼1.4 Gyr. We undertake constructing a consistent model of the system that can explain a diverse collection of spatial and spectral data. We analyze Keck Interferometer Nuller measurements and revisit Spitzer and additional spectrophotometric data, as well as resolved Herschel images, to determine the dust spatial distribution in the inner exozodi and in the outer belt. We model in detail the two-component disk and the dust properties from the sub-AU scale to the outermost regions by fitting simultaneously all measurements against a large parameter space. The properties of the cold belt are consistent with a collisional cascade in a reservoir of ice-free planetesimals at 133 AU. It shows marginal evidence for asymmetries along the major axis. KIN enables us to establish that the warm dust consists of a ring that peaks between 0.2 and 0.8 AU. To reconcile this location with the ∼400 K dust temperature, very high albedo dust must be invoked, and a distribution of forsterite grains starting from micron sizes satisfies this criterion, while providing an excellent fit to the spectrum. We discuss additional constraints from the LBTI and near-infrared spectra, and we present predictions of what James Webb Space Telescope can unveil about this unusual object and whether it can detect unseen planets.

  17. DEEP JHKs AND SPITZER IMAGING OF FOUR ISOLATED MOLECULAR CLOUD CORES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chapman, Nicholas L.; Mundy, Lee G.

    2009-01-01

    We present observations in eight wavebands from 1.25 to 24 μm of four dense cores: L204C-2, L1152, L1155C-2, and L1228. Our goals are to study the young stellar object (YSO) population of these cores and to measure the mid-infrared extinction law. With our combined near-infrared and Spitzer photometry, we classify each source in the cores as, among other things, background stars, galaxies, or embedded YSOs. L1152 contains three YSOs and L1228 has seven, but neither L204C-2 nor L1155C-2 appear to contain any YSOs. We estimate an upper limit of 7 x 10 -5 to 5 x 10 -4 L sun for any undiscovered YSOs in our cores. We also compute the line-of-sight extinction law toward each background star. These measurements are averaged spatially, to create χ 2 maps of the changes in the mid-infrared extinction law throughout our cores, and also in different ranges of extinction. From the χ 2 maps, we identify two small regions in L1152 and L1228 where the outflows in those cores appear to be destroying the larger dust grains, thus altering the extinction law in those regions. On average, however, our extinction law is relatively flat from 3.6 to 24 μm for all ranges of extinction and in all four cores. From 3.6 to 8 μm, this law is consistent with a dust model that includes larger dust grains than the diffuse interstellar medium, which suggests grain growth has occurred in our cores. At 24 μm, our extinction law is two to four times higher than predicted by dust models. However, it is similar to other empirical measurements.

  18. THE LUMINOSITIES OF PROTOSTARS IN THE SPITZER c2d AND GOULD BELT LEGACY CLOUDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunham, Michael M.; Arce, Hector G. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, P.O. Box 208101, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Allen, Lori E. [National Optical Astronomy Observatories, Tucson, AZ (United States); Evans II, Neal J.; Harvey, Paul M. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, 2515 Speedway, Stop C1400, Austin, TX 78712-1205 (United States); Broekhoven-Fiene, Hannah; Matthews, Brenda C. [Herzberg Institute, National Research Council of Canada, 5071 W. Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7 (Canada); Chapman, Nicholas L. [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Department of Physics and Astronomy, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Cieza, Lucas A. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Gutermuth, Robert A. [Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States); Hatchell, Jennifer [Astrophysics Group, Physics, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom); Huard, Tracy L.; Miller, Jennifer F. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Kirk, Jason M. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Queens Buildings, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA (United Kingdom); Merin, Bruno [Herschel Science Centre, ESAC-ESA, P.O. Box 78, E-28691 Villanueva de la Canada, Madrid (Spain); Peterson, Dawn E. [Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut Street, Suite 205, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Spezzi, Loredana, E-mail: michael.dunham@yale.edu [European Southern Observatory (ESO), Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, D-85748 Garching bei Muenchen (Germany)

    2013-04-15

    Motivated by the long-standing 'luminosity problem' in low-mass star formation whereby protostars are underluminous compared to theoretical expectations, we identify 230 protostars in 18 molecular clouds observed by two Spitzer Space Telescope Legacy surveys of nearby star-forming regions. We compile complete spectral energy distributions, calculate L{sub bol} for each source, and study the protostellar luminosity distribution. This distribution extends over three orders of magnitude, from 0.01 L{sub Sun} to 69 L{sub Sun }, and has a mean and median of 4.3 L{sub Sun} and 1.3 L{sub Sun }, respectively. The distributions are very similar for Class 0 and Class I sources except for an excess of low luminosity (L{sub bol} {approx}< 0.5 L{sub Sun }) Class I sources compared to Class 0. 100 out of the 230 protostars (43%) lack any available data in the far-infrared and submillimeter (70 {mu}m <{lambda} < 850 {mu}m) and have L{sub bol} underestimated by factors of 2.5 on average, and up to factors of 8-10 in extreme cases. Correcting these underestimates for each source individually once additional data becomes available will likely increase both the mean and median of the sample by 35%-40%. We discuss and compare our results to several recent theoretical studies of protostellar luminosities and show that our new results do not invalidate the conclusions of any of these studies. As these studies demonstrate that there is more than one plausible accretion scenario that can match observations, future attention is clearly needed. The better statistics provided by our increased data set should aid such future work.

  19. Dust in a Type Ia Supernova Progenitor: Spitzer Spectroscopy of Kepler's Supernova Remnant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Brian J.; Borkowski, Kazimierz; Reynolds, Stephen P.; Ghavamian, Parviz; Blair, William P.; Long, Knox S.; Sankrit, Ravi

    2012-01-01

    Characterization of the relatively poorly-understood progenitor systems of Type Ia supernovae is of great importance in astrophysics, particularly given the important cosmological role that these supernovae play. Kepler's Supernova Remnant, the result of a Type Ia supernova, shows evidence for an interaction with a dense circumstellar medium (CSM), suggesting a single-degenerate progenitor system. We present 7.5-38 micron IR spectra of the remnant, obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope, dominated by emission from warm dust. Broad spectral features at 10 and 18 micron, consistent with various silicate particles, are seen throughout. These silicates were likely formed in the stellar outflow from the progenitor system during the AGB stage of evolution, and imply an oxygen-rich chemistry. In addition to silicate dust, a second component, possibly carbonaceous dust, is necessary to account for the short-wavelength IRS and IRAC data. This could imply a mixed chemistry in the atmosphere of the progenitor system. However, non-spherical metallic iron inclusions within silicate grains provide an alternative solution. Models of collisionally-heated dust emission from fast shocks (> 1000 km/s) propagating into the CSM can reproduce the majority of the emission associated with non-radiative filaments, where dust temperatures are approx 80-100 K, but fail to account for the highest temperatures detected, in excess of 150 K. We find that slower shocks (a few hundred km/s) into moderate density material (n(sub o) approx 50-100 / cubic cm) are the only viable source of heating for this hottest dust. We confirm the finding of an overall density gradient, with densities in the north being an order of magnitude greater than those in the south.

  20. SEDS: THE SPITZER EXTENDED DEEP SURVEY. SURVEY DESIGN, PHOTOMETRY, AND DEEP IRAC SOURCE COUNTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashby, M. L. N.; Willner, S. P.; Fazio, G. G.; Huang, J.-S.; Hernquist, L.; Hora, J. L. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Arendt, R. [Observational Cosmology Laboratory, Code 665, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Barmby, P. [University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 3K7 (Canada); Barro, G.; Faber, S.; Guhathakurta, P. [University of California Observatories/Lick Observatory and Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics University of California Santa Cruz, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Bell, E. F. [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Bouwens, R. [Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, NL-2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands); Cattaneo, A. [Aix Marseille Universite, CNRS, Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille, UMR 7326, F-13388, Marseille (France); Croton, D. [Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, P.O. Box 218 Hawthorn, VIC 3122 (Australia); Dave, R. [Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Dunlop, J. S. [Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ (United Kingdom); Egami, E. [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Finlator, K. [Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, CK-2100 Copenhagen O (Denmark); Grogin, N. A., E-mail: mashby@cfa.harvard.edu [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); and others

    2013-05-20

    The Spitzer Extended Deep Survey (SEDS) is a very deep infrared survey within five well-known extragalactic science fields: the UKIDSS Ultra-Deep Survey, the Extended Chandra Deep Field South, COSMOS, the Hubble Deep Field North, and the Extended Groth Strip. SEDS covers a total area of 1.46 deg{sup 2} to a depth of 26 AB mag (3{sigma}) in both of the warm Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) bands at 3.6 and 4.5 {mu}m. Because of its uniform depth of coverage in so many widely-separated fields, SEDS is subject to roughly 25% smaller errors due to cosmic variance than a single-field survey of the same size. SEDS was designed to detect and characterize galaxies from intermediate to high redshifts (z = 2-7) with a built-in means of assessing the impact of cosmic variance on the individual fields. Because the full SEDS depth was accumulated in at least three separate visits to each field, typically with six-month intervals between visits, SEDS also furnishes an opportunity to assess the infrared variability of faint objects. This paper describes the SEDS survey design, processing, and publicly-available data products. Deep IRAC counts for the more than 300,000 galaxies detected by SEDS are consistent with models based on known galaxy populations. Discrete IRAC sources contribute 5.6 {+-} 1.0 and 4.4 {+-} 0.8 nW m{sup -2} sr{sup -1} at 3.6 and 4.5 {mu}m to the diffuse cosmic infrared background (CIB). IRAC sources cannot contribute more than half of the total CIB flux estimated from DIRBE data. Barring an unexpected error in the DIRBE flux estimates, half the CIB flux must therefore come from a diffuse component.

  1. Dust Processing in Supernova Remnants: Spitzer MIPS SED and IRS Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, John W.; Petre, Robert; Katsuda Satoru; Andersen, M.; Rho, J.; Reach, W. T.; Bernard, J. P.

    2011-01-01

    We present Spitzer MIPS SED and IRS observations of 14 Galactic Supernova Remnants previously identified in the GLIMPSE survey. We find evidence for SNR/molecular cloud interaction through detection of [OI] emission, ionic lines, and emission from molecular hydrogen. Through black-body fitting of the MIPS SEDs we find the large grains to be warm, 29-66 K. The dust emission is modeled using the DUSTEM code and a three component dust model composed of populations of big grains, very small grains, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. We find the dust to be moderately heated, typically by 30-100 times the interstellar radiation field. The source of the radiation is likely hydrogen recombination, where the excitation of hydrogen occurred in the shock front. The ratio of very small grains to big grains is found for most of the molecular interacting SNRs to be higher than that found in the plane of the Milky Way, typically by a factor of 2--3. We suggest that dust shattering is responsible for the relative over-abundance of small grains, in agreement with prediction from dust destruction models. However, two of the SNRs are best fit with a very low abundance of carbon grains to silicate grains and with a very high radiation field. A likely reason for the low abundance of small carbon grains is sputtering. We find evidence for silicate emission at 20 $\\mu$m in their SEDs, indicating that they are young SNRs based on the strong radiation field necessary to reproduce the observed SEDs.

  2. PHOTOMETRIC MONITORING OF THE COLDEST KNOWN BROWN DWARF WITH THE SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esplin, T. L.; Luhman, K. L. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Cushing, M. C.; Hardegree-Ullman, K. K.; Trucks, J. L.; Schneider, A. C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Toledo, OH 43606 (United States); Burgasser, A. J., E-mail: taran.esplin@psu.edu [Center for Astrophysics and Space Science, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States)

    2016-11-20

    Because WISE J085510.83-071442.5 (hereafter WISE 0855-0714) is the coldest known brown dwarf (∼250 K) and one of the Sun’s closest neighbors (2.2 pc), it offers a unique opportunity to study a planet-like atmosphere in an unexplored regime of temperature. To detect and characterize inhomogeneities in its atmosphere (e.g., patchy clouds, hot spots), we have performed time-series photometric monitoring of WISE 0855-0714 at 3.6 and 4.5 μ m with the Spitzer Space Telescope during two 23 hr periods that were separated by several months. For both bands, we have detected variability with peak-to-peak amplitudes of 4%–5% and 3%–4% in the first and second epochs, respectively. The light curves are semiperiodic in the first epoch for both bands, but they are more irregular in the second epoch. Models of patchy clouds have predicted a large increase in mid-infrared (mid-IR) variability amplitudes (for a given cloud covering fraction) with the appearance of water ice clouds at T {sub eff} < 375 K, so if such clouds are responsible for the variability of WISE 0855-0714, then its small amplitudes of variability indicate a very small deviation in cloud coverage between hemispheres. Alternatively, the similarity in mid-IR variability amplitudes between WISE 0855-0714 and somewhat warmer T and Y dwarfs may suggest that they share a common origin for their variability (i.e., not water clouds). In addition to our variability data, we have examined other constraints on the presence of water ice clouds in the atmosphere of WISE 0855-0714, including the recent mid-IR spectrum from Skemer et al. (2016). We find that robust evidence of such clouds is not yet available.

  3. Red-edge position of habitable exoplanets around M-dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takizawa, Kenji; Minagawa, Jun; Tamura, Motohide; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Narita, Norio

    2017-08-08

    One of the possible signs of life on distant habitable exoplanets is the red-edge, which is a rise in the reflectivity of planets between visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Previous studies suggested the possibility that the red-edge position for habitable exoplanets around M-dwarfs may be shifted to a longer wavelength than that for Earth. We investigated plausible red-edge position in terms of the light environment during the course of the evolution of phototrophs. We show that phototrophs on M-dwarf habitable exoplanets may use visible light when they first evolve in the ocean and when they first colonize the land. The adaptive evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may eventually also use NIR radiation, by one of two photochemical reaction centers, with the other center continuing to use visible light. These "two-color" reaction centers can absorb more photons, but they will encounter difficulty in adapting to drastically changing light conditions at the boundary between land and water. NIR photosynthesis can be more productive on land, though its evolution would be preceded by the Earth-type vegetation. Thus, the red-edge position caused by photosynthetic organisms on habitable M-dwarf exoplanets could initially be similar to that on Earth and later move to a longer wavelength.

  4. Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx): Architecture of the 4m Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuan, Gary M.; Warfield, Keith R.; Mennesson, Bertrand; Kiessling, Alina; Stahl, H. Philip; Martin, Stefan; Shaklan, Stuart B.; amini, rashied

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) study is tasked by NASA to develop a scientifically compelling and technologically feasible exoplanet direct imaging mission concept, with extensive general astrophysics capabilities, for the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astrophysics. The baseline architecture of this space-based observatory concept encompasses an unobscured 4m diameter aperture telescope flying in formation with a 72-meter diameter starshade occulter. This large aperture, ultra-stable observatory concept extends and enhances upon the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope by allowing us to probe even fainter objects and peer deeper into the Universe in the same ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared wavelengths, and gives us the capability, for the first time, to image and characterize potentially habitable, Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. Revolutionary direct imaging of exoplanets will be undertaken using a high-contrast coronagraph and a starshade imager. General astrophysics science will be undertaken with two world-class instruments – a wide-field workhorse camera for imaging and multi-object grism spectroscopy, and a multi-object, multi-resolution ultraviolet spectrograph. This poster outlines the baseline architecture of the HabEx flagship mission concept.

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Hinkel, Natalie R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (United States); Howell, Steve B. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Horch, Elliott P. [Department of Physics, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515 (United States); Feng, Ying; Wright, Jason T. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, MS 100-22, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Everett, Mark E. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Howard, Andrew W., E-mail: skane@sfsu.edu [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2014-04-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yongyun; Yang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    The distinctive feature of tidally locked exoplanets is the very uneven heating by stellar radiation between the dayside and nightside. Previous work has focused on the role of atmospheric heat transport in preventing atmospheric collapse on the nightside for terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone around M dwarfs. In the present paper, we carry out simulations with a fully coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model to investigate the role of ocean heat transport in climate states of tidally locked habitable exoplanets around M dwarfs. Our simulation results demonstrate that ocean heat transport substantially extends the area of open water along the equator, showing a lobster-like spatial pattern of open water, instead of an “eyeball.” For sufficiently high-level greenhouse gases or strong stellar radiation, ocean heat transport can even lead to complete deglaciation of the nightside. Our simulations also suggest that ocean heat transport likely narrows the width of M dwarfs’ habitable zone. This study provides a demonstration of the importance of exooceanography in determining climate states and habitability of exoplanets. PMID:24379386

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Geometric effects on the flux and polarization signals of Jupiter-sized exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palmer (student TUDelft), Chris; Rossi, L.C.G.; Stam, D.M.

    2017-01-01

    The direct detection of reflected starlight from exoplanets marks the beginning of a new era in the characterization of extrasolar planetary atmospheres. The flux and in particular the linear polarization signals from such planets are sensitive to atmospheric structure and composition, but other

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Observations conducted with the Fine Guidance Sensor on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) providing high cadence and precision time-series photometry were obtained over 10 consecutive days in 2008 December on the host star of the transiting exoplanet HD 17156b. During this time, 1.0 × 1012 photons...

  13. Dusty tails of evaporating exoplanets. I. Constraints on the dust composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Lieshout, R.; Min, M.; Dominik, C.

    2014-01-01

    Context. Recently, two exoplanet candidates have been discovered, KIC 12557548b and KOI-2700b, whose transit profiles show evidence of a comet-like tail of dust trailing the planet, thought to be fed by the evaporation of the planet’s surface. Aims. We aim to put constraints on the composition of

  14. Imaging polarimetry for the characterisation of exoplanets and protoplanetary discs : scientific and technical challenges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Juan Ovelar, Maria de

    2013-01-01

    The study of exoplanets and the protoplanetary discs in which they form is a very challenging task. In this thesis we present several studies in which we investigate the potential of imaging polarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths to reveal the characteristics of these objects and

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Traces of exomoons in flux and polarization signals of starlight reflected by exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berzosa Molina (student TUDelft), Javier; Stam, D.M.; Rossi, L.C.G.

    2017-01-01

    The detection of moons around extrasolar planets is one of the main focuses of current and future observatories. These silent companions contribute to the planets' observed signals but are barely detectable with current methods. Numerous gaseous exoplanets are known to orbit in the habitable zones

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yongyun; Yang, Jun

    2014-01-14

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

  18. How to restore the fiduciary relationship. An interview with Eliot Spitzer. Interview by Louise O'Brien.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzer, Eliot

    2004-05-01

    Eliot Spitzer's investigations into the mutual fund and investment-banking industries have made the New York State attorney general the de facto flag bearer of corporate reform. His exposure of conflicts of interest between investment bankers and research analyst in Wall Street firms led to the $1.4 billion global settlement between regulators and banking houses in 2003. In this interview, Spitzer describes the challenge of protecting public markets from conflicts of interest, paying particular attention to how such conflicts get institutionalized in an industry. "The cases that have gotten me and my fellow regulators most upset are the ones where we've seen senior management being tolerant of rank abuses," he says. "Because then you know that the entire structure is rotten." He also points the finger squarely at boards, maintaining that board members are drawn from pools of company and industry insiders. He cites "a void in values in a lot of boardrooms," holding up executive compensation as a powerful example. "Board compensation committees ... are self-selected and interwoven--it's a rigged marketplace." He continues, "It would be interesting to see what the world would look like if CEO pay packages had to be submitted to shareholder votes." Spitzer suggests that what's really needed is for all business leaders to reinstill throughout their organizations the critical notion of a fiduciary duty--whether it is to the shareholder or to the customer. Using the mutual fund industry as an example, he also contrasts the value of enforcement with that of regulation and articulates an important--and surprisingly limited--role for government in protecting free markets.

  19. The Demographics and Properties of Wide-Orbit, Planetary-Mass Companions from PSF Fitting of Spitzer/IRAC Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Raquel; Kraus, Adam L.

    2017-06-01

    Over the past decade, a growing population of planetary-mass companions ( 100 AU) from their host stars, challenging existing models of both star and planet formation. It is unclear whether these systems represent the low-mass extreme of stellar binary formation or the high-mass and wide-orbit extreme of planet formation theories, as various proposed formation pathways inadequately explain the physical and orbital aspects of these systems. Even so, determining which scenario best reproduces the observed characteristics of the PMCs will come once a statistically robust sample of directly-imaged PMCs are found and studied.We are developing an automated pipeline to search for wide-orbit PMCs to young stars in Spitzer/IRAC images. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm is the backbone of our novel point spread function (PSF) subtraction routine that efficiently creates and subtracts χ2-minimizing instrumental PSFs, simultaneously measuring astrometry and infrared photometry of these systems across the four IRAC channels (3.6 μm, 4.5 μm, 5.8 μm, and 8 μm). In this work, we present the results of a Spitzer/IRAC archival imaging study of 11 young, low-mass (0.044-0.88 M⊙ K3.5-M7.5) stars known to have faint, low-mass companions in 3 nearby star-forming regions (Chameleon, Taurus, and Upper Scorpius). We characterize the systems found to have low-mass companions with non-zero [I1] - [I4] colors, potentially signifying the presence of a circum(sub?)stellar disk. Plans for future pipeline improvements and paths forward will also be discussed. Once this computational foundation is optimized, the stage is set to quickly scour the nearby star-forming regions already imaged by Spitzer, identify potential candidates for further characterization with ground- or space-based telescopes, and increase the number of widely-separated PMCs known.

  20. Spitzer Observations of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 During Deep Impact : Water and Dust Production and Spatial Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gicquel, Adeline; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Kelley, M. S.; Woodward, C. E.

    2009-09-01

    The Deep Impact (DI) spacecraft encountered comet 9P/Tempel 1 on July 4th, 2005 (rh = 1.506 AU). Spectral maps covering 20'' x 67'' (1.85''/pixel) were acquired with the IRS instrument on the Spitzer Space Telescope (ΔSpitzer = 0.72 AU) at different times around the Deep Impact event: twice before impact (TI-41.3hrs and TI-22.9hrs) and twelve times after impact (between TI+0.67hrs and TI+1027hrs). These IRS observations (Lisse et al 2006, Sciences 313, 635) were taken from the Spitzer data archive. We present the interpretation of 5.2-7.6 µm spectra obtained in the second order of the short-wavelength module (SL2). To reduce the contribution of artifacts in the spectra, 5x5 pixel extraction apertures (9.25''x9.25'') were used. On the first stage we studied the water ν2 vibrational band emission at 6.4µm, which is present in most spectra. The water production rate before impact is deduced ( 4.25e27 molecules/sec). In order to study both the amount and origin of the water molecules released after impact, we used extractions centered on the nucleus and along the length of the slit. We analyzed the spatial distribution of water and its time evolution with a time-dependent model which describes the evolution of the water cloud after impact. The underlying continuum in the spectra provides information on the evolution and color temperature of the dust ejecta. The dust mass and dust/gas ratio in the ejecta cloud are derived and compared with other values published in the literature.

  1. A Model for Astrometric Detection and Characterization of Multi-Exoplanet Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    April Thompson, Maggie; Spergel, David N.

    2017-01-01

    In this thesis, we develop an approximate linear model of stellar motion in multi- planet systems as an aid to observers using the astrometric method to detect and characterize exoplanets. Recent and near-term advances in satellite and ground-based instruments are on the threshold of achieving sufficient (~10 micro-arcsecond) angular accuracies to allow astronomers to measure and analyze the transverse mo- tion of stars about the common barycenter in single- and multi-planet systems due to the gravitational influence of companion planets. Given the emerging statistics of extrasolar planetary systems and the long observation periods required to assess exoplanet influences, astronomers should find an approximate technique for preliminary estimates of multiple planet numbers, masses and orbital parameters useful in determining the most likely stellar systems for follow-up studies. In this paper, we briefly review the history of astrometry and discuss its advantages and limitations in exoplanet research. In addition, we define the principal astrometric signature and describe the main variables affecting it, highlighting astrometry’s complementary role to radial velocity and photometric transit exoplanet detection techniques. We develop and test a Python computer code using actual data and projections of the Sun’s motion due to the influence of the four gas giants in the solar system. We then apply this model to over 50 hypothetical massive two- and three-exoplanet systems to discover useful general patterns by employing a heuristic examination of key aspects of the host star’s motion over long observation intervals. Finally, we modify the code by incorporating an inverse least-squares fit program to assess its efficiency in identifying the main characteristics of multi-planet systems based on observational records over 5-, 10- and 20-year periods for a variety of actual and hypothetical exoplanetary systems. We also explore the method’s sensitivity to

  2. The Spitzer survey of interstellar clouds in the Gould Belt. III. A multi-wavelength view of Corona Australis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peterson, Dawn E.; Caratti o Garatti, Alessio; Bourke, Tyler L.

    2011-01-01

    retrieved from the literature are also added to the list, and a total of 116 candidate YSOs in CrA are compiled. Based on these YSO candidates, the star formation rate is computed to be 12 M sun Myr-1, similar to that of the Lupus clouds. A clustering analysis was also performed, finding that the main....... Using the Spitzer data, we identify 51 young stellar objects (YSOs) in CrA which include sources in the well-studied Coronet cluster as well as sources distributed throughout the molecular cloud. Twelve of the YSOs discussed are new candidates, one of which is located in the Coronet. Known YSOs...

  3. LOW FALSE POSITIVE RATE OF KEPLER CANDIDATES ESTIMATED FROM A COMBINATION OF SPITZER AND FOLLOW-UP OBSERVATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Désert, Jean-Michel; Brown, Timothy M. [CASA, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado, 389-UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Charbonneau, David; Torres, Guillermo; Fressin, François; Ballard, Sarah; Latham, David W. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Bryson, Stephen T.; Borucki, William J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Knutson, Heather A. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M. [San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States); Ford, Eric B. [University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Seager, Sara, E-mail: desert@colorado.edu [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02159 (United States)

    2015-05-01

    NASA’s Kepler mission has provided several thousand transiting planet candidates during the 4 yr of its nominal mission, yet only a small subset of these candidates have been confirmed as true planets. Therefore, the most fundamental question about these candidates is the fraction of bona fide planets. Estimating the rate of false positives of the overall Kepler sample is necessary to derive the planet occurrence rate. We present the results from two large observational campaigns that were conducted with the Spitzer Space Telescope during the the Kepler mission. These observations are dedicated to estimating the false positive rate (FPR) among the Kepler candidates. We select a sub-sample of 51 candidates, spanning wide ranges in stellar, orbital, and planetary parameter space, and we observe their transits with Spitzer at 4.5 μm. We use these observations to measures the candidate’s transit depths and infrared magnitudes. An authentic planet produces an achromatic transit depth (neglecting the modest effect of limb darkening). Conversely a bandpass-dependent depth alerts us to the potential presence of a blending star that could be the source of the observed eclipse: a false positive scenario. For most of the candidates (85%), the transit depths measured with Kepler are consistent with the transit depths measured with Spitzer as expected for planetary objects, while we find that the most discrepant measurements are due to the presence of unresolved stars that dilute the photometry. The Spitzer constraints on their own yield FPRs between 5% and depending on the Kepler Objects of Interest. By considering the population of the Kepler field stars, and by combining follow-up observations (imaging) when available, we find that the overall FPR of our sample is low. The measured upper limit on the FPR of our sample is 8.8% at a confidence level of 3σ. This observational result, which uses the achromatic property of planetary transit signals that is not investigated

  4. THE LAST GASP OF GAS GIANT PLANET FORMATION: A SPITZER STUDY OF THE 5 Myr OLD CLUSTER NGC 2362

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Currie, Thayne; Lada, Charles J.; Robitaille, Thomas P.; Irwin, Jonathan; Kenyon, Scott J.; Plavchan, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Expanding upon the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) survey from Dahm and Hillenbrand, we describe Spitzer IRAC and Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer observations of the populous, 5 Myr old open cluster NGC 2362. We analyze the mid-IR colors of cluster members and compared their spectral energy distributions (SEDs) to star+circumstellar disk models to constrain the disk morphologies and evolutionary states. Early/intermediate-type confirmed/candidate cluster members either have photospheric mid-IR emission or weak, optically thin IR excess emission at λ ≥ 24 μm consistent with debris disks. Few late-type, solar/subsolar-mass stars have primordial disks. The disk population around late-type stars is dominated by disks with inner holes (canonical 'transition disks') and 'homologously depleted' disks. Both types of disks represent an intermediate stage between primordial disks and debris disks. Thus, in agreement with previous results, we find that multiple paths for the primordial-to-debris disk transition exist. Because these 'evolved primordial disks' greatly outnumber primordial disks, our results undermine standard arguments in favor of a ∼ 5 yr timescale for the transition based on data from Taurus-Auriga. Because the typical transition timescale is far longer than 10 5 yr, these data also appear to rule out standard ultraviolet photoevaporation scenarios as the primary mechanism to explain the transition. Combining our data with other Spitzer surveys, we investigate the evolution of debris disks around high/intermediate-mass stars and investigate timescales for giant planet formation. Consistent with Currie et al., the luminosity of 24 μm emission in debris disks due to planet formation peaks at ∼10-20 Myr. If the gas and dust in disks evolve on similar timescales, the formation timescale for gas giant planets surrounding early-type, high/intermediate-mass (∼>1.4 M sun ) stars is likely 1-5 Myr. Most solar/subsolar-mass stars detected by Spitzer

  5. SPARC: MASS MODELS FOR 175 DISK GALAXIES WITH SPITZER PHOTOMETRY AND ACCURATE ROTATION CURVES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lelli, Federico; McGaugh, Stacy S. [Department of Astronomy, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106 (United States); Schombert, James M., E-mail: federico.lelli@case.edu [Department of Physics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403 (United States)

    2016-12-01

    We introduce SPARC ( Spitzer Photometry and Accurate Rotation Curves): a sample of 175 nearby galaxies with new surface photometry at 3.6  μ m and high-quality rotation curves from previous H i/H α studies. SPARC spans a broad range of morphologies (S0 to Irr), luminosities (∼5 dex), and surface brightnesses (∼4 dex). We derive [3.6] surface photometry and study structural relations of stellar and gas disks. We find that both the stellar mass–H i mass relation and the stellar radius–H i radius relation have significant intrinsic scatter, while the H i   mass–radius relation is extremely tight. We build detailed mass models and quantify the ratio of baryonic to observed velocity ( V {sub bar}/ V {sub obs}) for different characteristic radii and values of the stellar mass-to-light ratio (ϒ{sub ⋆}) at [3.6]. Assuming ϒ{sub ⋆} ≃ 0.5 M {sub ⊙}/ L {sub ⊙} (as suggested by stellar population models), we find that (i) the gas fraction linearly correlates with total luminosity; (ii) the transition from star-dominated to gas-dominated galaxies roughly corresponds to the transition from spiral galaxies to dwarf irregulars, in line with density wave theory; and (iii)  V {sub bar}/ V {sub obs} varies with luminosity and surface brightness: high-mass, high-surface-brightness galaxies are nearly maximal, while low-mass, low-surface-brightness galaxies are submaximal. These basic properties are lost for low values of ϒ{sub ⋆} ≃ 0.2 M {sub ⊙}/ L {sub ⊙} as suggested by the DiskMass survey. The mean maximum-disk limit in bright galaxies is ϒ{sub ⋆} ≃ 0.7 M {sub ⊙}/ L {sub ⊙} at [3.6]. The SPARC data are publicly available and represent an ideal test bed for models of galaxy formation.

  6. COSMIC INFRARED BACKGROUND FLUCTUATIONS IN DEEP SPITZER INFRARED ARRAY CAMERA IMAGES: DATA PROCESSING AND ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arendt, Richard G.; Kashlinsky, A.; Moseley, S. H.; Mather, J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides a detailed description of the data reduction and analysis procedures that have been employed in our previous studies of spatial fluctuation of the cosmic infrared background (CIB) using deep Spitzer Infrared Array Camera observations. The self-calibration we apply removes a strong instrumental signal from the fluctuations that would otherwise corrupt the results. The procedures and results for masking bright sources and modeling faint sources down to levels set by the instrumental noise are presented. Various tests are performed to demonstrate that the resulting power spectra of these fields are not dominated by instrumental or procedural effects. These tests indicate that the large-scale (∼>30') fluctuations that remain in the deepest fields are not directly related to the galaxies that are bright enough to be individually detected. We provide the parameterization of these power spectra in terms of separate instrument noise, shot noise, and power-law components. We discuss the relationship between fluctuations measured at different wavelengths and depths, and the relations between constraints on the mean intensity of the CIB and its fluctuation spectrum. Consistent with growing evidence that the ∼1-5 μm mean intensity of the CIB may not be as far above the integrated emission of resolved galaxies as has been reported in some analyses of DIRBE and IRTS observations, our measurements of spatial fluctuations of the CIB intensity indicate the mean emission from the objects producing the fluctuations is quite low (∼>1 nW m -2 sr -1 at 3-5 μm), and thus consistent with current γ-ray absorption constraints. The source of the fluctuations may be high-z Population III objects, or a more local component of very low luminosity objects with clustering properties that differ from the resolved galaxies. Finally, we discuss the prospects of the upcoming space-based surveys to directly measure the epochs inhabited by the populations producing these

  7. INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY OF COMET 73P/SCHWASSMANN-WACHMANN 3 USING THE SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sitko, Michael L.; Whitney, Barbara A.; Wolff, Michael J.; Lisse, Carey M.; Kelley, Michael S.; Polomski, Elisha F.; Lynch, David K.; Russell, Ray W.; Kimes, Robin L.; Harker, David E.

    2011-01-01

    We have used the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) to observe the 5-37 μm thermal emission of comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (SW3), components B and C. We obtained low spectral resolution (R ∼ 100) data over the entire wavelength interval, along with images at 16 and 22 μm. These observations provided an unprecedented opportunity to study nearly pristine material from the surface and what was until recently the interior of an ecliptic comet-the cometary surface having experienced only two prior perihelion passages, and including material that was totally fresh. The spectra were modeled using a variety of mineral types including both amorphous and crystalline components. We find that the degree of silicate crystallinity, ∼35%, is somewhat lower than most other comets with strong emission features, while its abundance of amorphous carbon is higher. Both suggest that SW3 is among the most chemically primitive solar system objects yet studied in detail, and that it formed earlier or farther from the Sun than the bulk of the comets studied so far. The similar dust compositions of the two fragments suggest that these are not mineralogically heterogeneous, but rather uniform throughout their volumes. The best-fit particle size distribution for SW3B has a form dn/da ∼ a -3.5 , close to that expected for dust in collisional equilibrium, while that for SW3C has dn/da ∼ a -4.0 , as seen mostly in active comets with strong directed jets, such as C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp. The total mass of dust in the comae plus nearby tail, extrapolated from the field of view of the IRS peak-up image arrays, is (3-5) x 10 8 kg for B and (7-9) x 10 8 kg for C. Atomic abundances derived from the spectral models indicate a depletion of O compared to solar photospheric values, despite the inclusion of water ice and gas in the models. Atomic C may be solar or slightly sub-solar, but its abundance is complicated by the potential contribution of spectrally featureless mineral

  8. SPITZER SPECTROSCOPY OF CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS IN THE 5 Myr OLD UPPER SCORPIUS OB ASSOCIATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dahm, S. E.; Carpenter, John M.

    2009-01-01

    We present mid-infrared spectra between 5.2 and 38 μm for 26 disk-bearing members of the ∼5 Myr old Upper Scorpius OB association obtained with the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. We find clear evidence for changes in the spectral characteristics of dust emission between the early-type (B+A) and late-type (K+M) infrared excess stars. The early-type members exhibit featureless continuum excesses that become apparent redward of ∼8 μm. In contrast, 10 and 20 μm silicate features or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission are present in all but one of the late-type excess members of Upper Scorpius. The strength of silicate emission among late-type Upper Scorpius members is spectral-type dependent, with the most prominent features being associated with K5-M2-type stars. By fitting the spectral energy distributions (SED) of a representative sample of low-mass stars with accretion disk models, we find that the SEDs are consistent with models having inner disk radii ranging from ∼0.2 to 1.2 AU. Complementary high-resolution (R ∼ 33, 000) optical (λλ4800-9200) spectra for the Upper Scorpius excess stars were examined for signatures of gaseous accretion. Of the 35 infrared excess stars identified in Upper Scorpius, only seven (all late-type) exhibit definitive signatures of accretion. Mass-accretion rates for these stars were estimated to range from 10 -11 to 10 -8.9 M sun yr -1 . Compared to Class II sources in Taurus-Auriga, the disk population in Upper Scorpius exhibits reduced levels of near- and mid-infrared excess emission and an order of magnitude lower mass-accretion rates. These results suggest that the disk structure has changed significantly over the 2-4 Myr in age separating these two stellar populations. The ubiquity of depleted inner disks in the Upper Scorpius excess sample implies that such disks are a common evolutionary pathway that persists for some time.

  9. Electron Energy Distribution in Hotspots of Cygnus A:Filling the Gap with Spitzer Space Telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stawarz, L.; Cheung, C.C.; Harris, D.E.; Ostrowski, M.

    2007-03-06

    Here we present Spitzer Space Telescope imaging of Cyg A with the Infrared Array Camera at 4.5 {micro}m and 8.0 {micro}m, resulting in the detection of the high-energy tails or cut-offs in the synchrotron spectra for all four hotspots of this archetype radio galaxy. When combined with the other data collected (and re-analyzed) from the literature, our observations allow for detailed modeling of the broad-band (radio-to-X-ray) emission for the brightest spots A and D. We confirm that the X-ray flux detected previously from these features is consistent with the synchrotron self-Compton radiation for the magnetic field intensity B {approx} 170 {micro}G in spot A, and B {approx} 270 {micro}G in spot D. We also find that the energy density of the emitting electrons is most likely larger by a factor of a few than the energy density of the hotspots magnetic field. We construct energy spectra of the radiating ultrarelativistic electrons. We find that for both hotspots A and D these spectra are consistent with a broken power-law extending from at least 100MeV up to {approx} 100GeV, and that the spectral break corresponds almost exactly to the proton rest energy of {approx} 1GeV. We argue that the shape of the electron continuum most likely reflects two different regimes of the electron acceleration process taking place at mildly relativistic shocks, rather than resulting from radiative cooling and/or absorption e.ects. In this picture the protons inertia defines the critical energy for the hotspot electrons above which Fermi-type acceleration processes may play a major role, but below which the operating acceleration mechanism has to be of a different type. At energies {approx}> 100 GeV, the electron spectra cut-off/steepen again, most likely as a result of spectral aging due to radiative loss effects. We discuss several implications of the presented analysis for the physics of extragalactic jets.

  10. Electron Energy Distribution in Hotspots of Cygnus A:Filling the Gap with Spitzer Space Telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stawarz, L.; Cheung, C.C.; Harris, D.E.; Ostrowski, M.

    2007-01-01

    Here we present Spitzer Space Telescope imaging of Cyg A with the Infrared Array Camera at 4.5 (micro)m and 8.0 (micro)m, resulting in the detection of the high-energy tails or cut-offs in the synchrotron spectra for all four hotspots of this archetype radio galaxy. When combined with the other data collected (and re-analyzed) from the literature, our observations allow for detailed modeling of the broad-band (radio-to-X-ray) emission for the brightest spots A and D. We confirm that the X-ray flux detected previously from these features is consistent with the synchrotron self-Compton radiation for the magnetic field intensity B ∼ 170 (micro)G in spot A, and B ∼ 270 (micro)G in spot D. We also find that the energy density of the emitting electrons is most likely larger by a factor of a few than the energy density of the hotspots magnetic field. We construct energy spectra of the radiating ultrarelativistic electrons. We find that for both hotspots A and D these spectra are consistent with a broken power-law extending from at least 100MeV up to ∼ 100GeV, and that the spectral break corresponds almost exactly to the proton rest energy of ∼ 1GeV. We argue that the shape of the electron continuum most likely reflects two different regimes of the electron acceleration process taking place at mildly relativistic shocks, rather than resulting from radiative cooling and/or absorption e.ects. In this picture the protons inertia defines the critical energy for the hotspot electrons above which Fermi-type acceleration processes may play a major role, but below which the operating acceleration mechanism has to be of a different type. At energies ∼> 100 GeV, the electron spectra cut-off/steepen again, most likely as a result of spectral aging due to radiative loss effects. We discuss several implications of the presented analysis for the physics of extragalactic jets

  11. Cosmic Infrared Background Fluctuations in Deep Spitzer Infrared Array Camera Images: Data Processing and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, Richard G.; Kashlinsky, A.; Moseley, S. H.; Mather, J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides a detailed description of the data reduction and analysis procedures that have been employed in our previous studies of spatial fluctuation of the cosmic infrared background (CIB) using deep Spitzer Infrared Array Camera observations. The self-calibration we apply removes a strong instrumental signal from the fluctuations that would otherwise corrupt the results. The procedures and results for masking bright sources and modeling faint sources down to levels set by the instrumental noise are presented. Various tests are performed to demonstrate that the resulting power spectra of these fields are not dominated by instrumental or procedural effects. These tests indicate that the large-scale (gsim30') fluctuations that remain in the deepest fields are not directly related to the galaxies that are bright enough to be individually detected. We provide the parameterization of these power spectra in terms of separate instrument noise, shot noise, and power-law components. We discuss the relationship between fluctuations measured at different wavelengths and depths, and the relations between constraints on the mean intensity of the CIB and its fluctuation spectrum. Consistent with growing evidence that the ~1-5 μm mean intensity of the CIB may not be as far above the integrated emission of resolved galaxies as has been reported in some analyses of DIRBE and IRTS observations, our measurements of spatial fluctuations of the CIB intensity indicate the mean emission from the objects producing the fluctuations is quite low (gsim1 nW m-2 sr-1 at 3-5 μm), and thus consistent with current γ-ray absorption constraints. The source of the fluctuations may be high-z Population III objects, or a more local component of very low luminosity objects with clustering properties that differ from the resolved galaxies. Finally, we discuss the prospects of the upcoming space-based surveys to directly measure the epochs inhabited by the populations producing these source

  12. POPULATION PROPERTIES OF BROWN DWARF ANALOGS TO EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Gagne, Jonathan; Weinberger, Alycia [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015 (United States); Riedel, Adric R.; Cruz, Kelle L.; Filippazzo, Joseph C.; Lambrides, Erini; Fica, Haley; Baldassare, Vivienne; Lemonier, Emily; Rice, Emily L. [Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10034 (United States); Thorstensen, John R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH 03755 (United States); Tinney, C. G., E-mail: jfaherty@carnegiescience.edu, E-mail: jfaherty@amnh.org [School of Physics,UNSW Australia, 2052 (Australia)

    2016-07-01

    to lower temperatures, which logically extends into the lowest-mass, directly imaged exoplanets. Furthermore, there is an indication on color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs; such as M{sub 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.

  13. Analysis of the exoplanet containing system Kepler-13

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  14. SERENDIPITY OBSERVATIONS OF FAR INFRARED CIRRUS EMISSION IN THE SPITZER INFRARED NEARBY GALAXIES SURVEY: ANALYSIS OF FAR-INFRARED CORRELATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bot, Caroline; Helou, George; Boulanger, Francois; Lagache, Guilaine; Miville-Deschenes, Marc-Antoine; Draine, Bruce; Martin, Peter

    2009-01-01

    We present an analysis of far-infrared (FIR) dust emission from diffuse cirrus clouds. This study is based on serendipitous observations at 160 μm at high-galactic latitude with the Multiband Imaging Photometer onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope by the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey. These observations are complemented with IRIS data at 100 and 60 μm and constitute one of the most sensitive and unbiased samples of FIR observations at a small scale of diffuse interstellar clouds. Outside regions dominated by the cosmic infrared background fluctuations, we observe a substantial scatter in the 160/100 colors from cirrus emission. We compared the 160/100 color variations to 60/100 colors in the same fields and find a trend of decreasing 60/100 with increasing 160/100. This trend cannot be accounted for by current dust models by changing solely the interstellar radiation field. It requires a significant change of dust properties such as grain size distribution or emissivity or a mixing of clouds in different physical conditions along the line of sight. These variations are important as a potential confusing foreground for extragalactic studies.

  15. Probing Large-scale Coherence between Spitzer IR and Chandra X-Ray Source-subtracted Cosmic Backgrounds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cappelluti, N.; Urry, M. [Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, P.O. Box 208120, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Arendt, R. [University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 (United States); Kashlinsky, A. [Observational Cosmology Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 665, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Li, Y.; Hasinger, G. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Helgason, K. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, P.O. Box 208101, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Natarajan, P. [Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Finoguenov, A. [Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Postfach 1312, D-85741, Garching bei München (Germany)

    2017-09-20

    We present new measurements of the large-scale clustering component of the cross-power spectra of the source-subtracted Spitzer -IRAC cosmic infrared background and Chandra -ACIS cosmic X-ray background surface brightness fluctuations Our investigation uses data from the Chandra Deep Field South, Hubble Deep Field North, Extended Groth Strip/AEGIS field, and UDS/SXDF surveys, comprising 1160 Spitzer hours and ∼12 Ms of Chandra data collected over a total area of 0.3 deg{sup 2}. We report the first (>5 σ ) detection of a cross-power signal on large angular scales >20″ between [0.5–2] keV and the 3.6 and 4.5 μ m bands, at ∼5 σ and 6.3 σ significance, respectively. The correlation with harder X-ray bands is marginally significant. Comparing the new observations with existing models for the contribution of the known unmasked source population at z < 7, we find an excess of about an order of magnitude at 5 σ confidence. We discuss possible interpretations for the origin of this excess in terms of the contribution from accreting early black holes (BHs), including both direct collapse BHs and primordial BHs, as well as from scattering in the interstellar medium and intra-halo light.

  16. OBSERVATIONAL 5-20 μm INTERSTELLAR EXTINCTION CURVES TOWARD STAR-FORMING REGIONS DERIVED FROM SPITZER IRS SPECTRA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McClure, M.

    2009-01-01

    Using Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph observations of G0-M4 III stars behind dark clouds, I construct 5-20 μm empirical extinction curves for 0.3 ≤ A K V between ∼3 and 50. For A K K > 1, the curve exhibits lower contrast between the silicate and absorption continuum, develops ice absorption, and lies closer to the Weingartner and Draine R V = 5.5 Case B curve, a result which is consistent with that of Flaherty et al. and Chiar et al. Recently, work using Spitzer Infrared Array Camera data by Chapman et al. independently reaches a similar conclusion that the shape of the extinction curve changes as a function of increasing A K . By calculating the optical depths of the 9.7 μm silicate and 6.0, 6.8, and 15.2 μm ice features, I determine that a process involving ice is responsible for the changing shape of the extinction curve and speculate that this process is a coagulation of ice-mantled grains rather than ice-mantled grains alone.

  17. Probing Large-scale Coherence between Spitzer IR and Chandra X-Ray Source-subtracted Cosmic Backgrounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappelluti, N.; Arendt, R.; Kashlinsky, A.; Li, Y.; Hasinger, G.; Helgason, K.; Urry, M.; Natarajan, P.; Finoguenov, A.

    2017-09-01

    We present new measurements of the large-scale clustering component of the cross-power spectra of the source-subtracted Spitzer-IRAC cosmic infrared background and Chandra-ACIS cosmic X-ray background surface brightness fluctuations Our investigation uses data from the Chandra Deep Field South, Hubble Deep Field North, Extended Groth Strip/AEGIS field, and UDS/SXDF surveys, comprising 1160 Spitzer hours and ˜12 Ms of Chandra data collected over a total area of 0.3 deg2. We report the first (>5σ) detection of a cross-power signal on large angular scales >20″ between [0.5-2] keV and the 3.6 and 4.5 μm bands, at ˜5σ and 6.3σ significance, respectively. The correlation with harder X-ray bands is marginally significant. Comparing the new observations with existing models for the contribution of the known unmasked source population at z < 7, we find an excess of about an order of magnitude at 5σ confidence. We discuss possible interpretations for the origin of this excess in terms of the contribution from accreting early black holes (BHs), including both direct collapse BHs and primordial BHs, as well as from scattering in the interstellar medium and intra-halo light.

  18. SPITZER AS A MICROLENS PARALLAX SATELLITE: MASS MEASUREMENT FOR THE OGLE-2014-BLG-0124L PLANET AND ITS HOST STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Udalski, A.; Skowron, J.; Kozłowski, S.; Poleski, R.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Pietrzyński, G.; Szymański, M. K.; Mróz, P.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Yee, J. C. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Gould, A.; Zhu, W.; Pogge, R. W. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Carey, S. [Spitzer Science Center, MS 220-6, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Han, C. [Department of Physics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 371-763 (Korea, Republic of); Calchi Novati, S. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, MS 100-22, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2015-02-01

    We combine Spitzer and ground-based observations to measure the microlens parallax vector π{sub E}, and thus the mass and distance of OGLE-2014-BLG-0124L, making it the first microlensing planetary system with a space-based parallax measurement. The planet and star have masses of m ∼ 0.5 M {sub jup} and M ∼ 0.7 M {sub ☉} and are separated by a ∼ 3.1 AU in projection. The main source of uncertainty in all of these numbers (approximately 30%, 30%, and 20%) is the relatively poor measurement of the Einstein radius θ{sub E}, rather than uncertainty in π{sub E}, which is measured with 2.5% precision. This compares to 22% based on OGLE data alone, implying that the Spitzer data provide not only a substantial improvement in the precision of the π{sub E} measurement, but also the first independent test of a ground-based π{sub E} measurement.

  19. A Search to Uncover the Infrared Excess (IRXS) Sources in the Spitzer Enhanced Imaging Products (SEIP) Catalog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Jamie Lynn; Duranko, Gary; Gorjian, Varoujan; Lineberger, Howard; Orr, Lau