WorldWideScience

Sample records for terrestrial exoplanet microlensing

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  5. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade Garrett

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

  6. Synthesizing exoplanet demographics from radial velocity and microlensing surveys. I. Methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clanton, Christian; Gaudi, B. Scott

    2014-01-01

    Motivated by the order of magnitude difference in the frequency of giant planets orbiting M dwarfs inferred by microlensing and radial velocity (RV) surveys, we present a method for comparing the statistical constraints on exoplanet demographics inferred from these methods. We first derive the mapping from the observable parameters of a microlensing-detected planet to those of an analogous planet orbiting an RV-monitored star. Using this mapping, we predict the distribution of RV observables for the planet population inferred from microlensing surveys, taking care to adopt reasonable priors for, and properly marginalize over, the unknown physical parameters of microlensing-detected systems. Finally, we use simple estimates of the detection limits for a fiducial RV survey to predict the number and properties of analogs of the microlensing planet population such an RV survey should detect. We find that RV and microlensing surveys have some overlap, specifically for super-Jupiter mass planets (m p ≳ 1 M Jup ) with periods between ∼3-10 yr. However, the steeply falling planetary mass function inferred from microlensing implies that, in this region of overlap, RV surveys should infer a much smaller frequency than the overall giant planet frequency (m p ≳ 0.1 M Jup ) inferred by microlensing. Our analysis demonstrates that it is possible to statistically compare and synthesize data sets from multiple exoplanet detection techniques in order to infer exoplanet demographics over wider regions of parameter space than are accessible to individual methods. In a companion paper, we apply our methodology to several representative microlensing and RV surveys to derive the frequency of planets around M dwarfs with orbits of ≲ 30 yr.

  7. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Alistair; Albrow, Michael D.

    2016-02-01

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

  9. Terrestrial Zone Exoplanets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Brenda

    2018-01-01

    One of the most exciting results from ALMA has been the detection of significant substructure within protoplanetary disks that can be linked to planet formation processes. For the first time, we are able to observe the process of assembly of material into larger bodies within such disks. It is not possible, however, for ALMA to probe the growth of planets in protoplanetary disks at small radii, i.e., in the terrestrial zone, where we expect rocky terrestrial planets to form. In this regime, the optical depths prohibit observation at the high frequencies observed by ALMA. To probe the effects of planet building processes and detect telltale gaps and signatures of planetary mass bodies at such small separations from the parent star, we require a facility of superior resolution and sensitivity at lower frequencies. The ngVLA is just such a facility. We will present the fundamental science that will be enabled by the ngVLA in protoplanetary disk structure and the formation of planets. In addition, we will discuss the potential for an ngVLA facility to detect the molecules that are the building blocks of life, reaching limits well beyond those reachable with the current generation of telescopes, and also to determine whether such planets will be habitable based on studies of the impact of stars on their nearest planetary neighbours.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joergensen, Uffe Graae

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. TERRESTRIAL, HABITABLE-ZONE EXOPLANET FREQUENCY FROM KEPLER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Optimal Strategies for Probing Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Line, Michael

    2018-01-01

    It is imperative that the exoplanet community determines the feasibility and the resources needed to yield high fidelity atmospheric compositions from terrestrial exoplanets. In particular, LHS 1140b and the TRAPPIST-1 system, already slated for observations by JWST’s Guaranteed Time Observers, will be the first two terrestrial planets observed by JWST. I will discuss optimal observing strategies for observing these two systems, focusing on the NIRSpec Prism (1-5μm) and the combination of NIRISS SOSS (1-2.7μm) and NIRSpec G395H (3-5μm). I will also introduce currently unsupported JWST readmodes that have the potential to greatly increase the precision on our atmospheric spectra. Lastly, I will use information content theory to compute the expected confidence interval on the retrieved abundances of key molecular species and temperature profiles as a function of JWST observing cycles.

  16. TIDALLY HEATED TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANETS: VISCOELASTIC RESPONSE MODELS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  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. Gravitational microlensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zakharov, Aleksandr F [Russian Federation State Scientific Center ' A.I. Alikhanov Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics' , Moscow (Russian Federation); Sazhin, Mikhail V [P.K. Shternberg State Astronomical Institute at the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    1998-10-31

    The foundations of standard microlensing theory are discussed as applied to stars in the Galactic bulge, Magellanic Clouds or other nearby galaxies and gravitational microlenses assumed to lie in-between these stars and the terrestrial observer. In contrast to the review article by Gurevich et al. [48], microlensing by compact objects is mainly considered. Criteria for the identification of microlensing events are discussed as also are microlensing events not satisfying these criteria, such as non-symmetrical light curves and chromatic and polarization effects. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and Galactic bulge microlensing data of the MACHO group are discussed in detail and also the LMC data of EROS and the Galactic bulge data of OGLE are presented. A detailed comparison of theoretical predictions and observations is given. (reviews of topical problems)

  19. Gravitational microlensing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zakharov, Aleksandr F; Sazhin, Mikhail V

    1998-01-01

    The foundations of standard microlensing theory are discussed as applied to stars in the Galactic bulge, Magellanic Clouds or other nearby galaxies and gravitational microlenses assumed to lie in-between these stars and the terrestrial observer. In contrast to the review article by Gurevich et al. [48], microlensing by compact objects is mainly considered. Criteria for the identification of microlensing events are discussed as also are microlensing events not satisfying these criteria, such as non-symmetrical light curves and chromatic and polarization effects. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and Galactic bulge microlensing data of the MACHO group are discussed in detail and also the LMC data of EROS and the Galactic bulge data of OGLE are presented. A detailed comparison of theoretical predictions and observations is given. (reviews of topical problems)

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  2. Assessing Ozone Detectability on Weakly Oxygenated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  3. Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, S.

    2010-12-01

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

  4. The Palaeoclimate and Terrestrial Exoplanet Radiative Transfer Model Intercomparison Project (PALAEOTRIP: experimental design and protocols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Goldblatt

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Accurate radiative transfer calculation is fundamental to all climate modelling. For deep palaeoclimate, and increasingly terrestrial exoplanet climate science, this brings both the joy and the challenge of exotic atmospheric compositions. The challenge here is that most standard radiation codes for climate modelling have been developed for modern atmospheric conditions and may perform poorly away from these. The palaeoclimate or exoclimate modeller must either rely on these or use bespoke radiation codes, and in both cases rely on either blind faith or ad hoc testing of the code. In this paper, we describe the protocols for the Palaeoclimate and Terrestrial Exoplanet Radiative Transfer Model Intercomparison Project (PALAEOTRIP to systematically address this. This will compare as many radiation codes used for palaeoclimate or exoplanets as possible, with the aim of identifying the ranges of far-from-modern atmospheric compositions in which the codes perform well. This paper describes the experimental protocol and invites community participation in the project through 2017–2018.

  5. PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES. I. PHOTOCHEMISTRY MODEL AND BENCHMARK CASES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara; Bains, William, E-mail: hury@mit.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2012-12-20

    We present a comprehensive photochemistry model for exploration of the chemical composition of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. The photochemistry model is designed from the ground up to have the capacity to treat all types of terrestrial planet atmospheres, ranging from oxidizing through reducing, which makes the code suitable for applications for the wide range of anticipated terrestrial exoplanet compositions. The one-dimensional chemical transport model treats up to 800 chemical reactions, photochemical processes, dry and wet deposition, surface emission, and thermal escape of O, H, C, N, and S bearing species, as well as formation and deposition of elemental sulfur and sulfuric acid aerosols. We validate the model by computing the atmospheric composition of current Earth and Mars and find agreement with observations of major trace gases in Earth's and Mars' atmospheres. We simulate several plausible atmospheric scenarios of terrestrial exoplanets and choose three benchmark cases for atmospheres from reducing to oxidizing. The most interesting finding is that atomic hydrogen is always a more abundant reactive radical than the hydroxyl radical in anoxic atmospheres. Whether atomic hydrogen is the most important removal path for a molecule of interest also depends on the relevant reaction rates. We also find that volcanic carbon compounds (i.e., CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2}) are chemically long-lived and tend to be well mixed in both reducing and oxidizing atmospheres, and their dry deposition velocities to the surface control the atmospheric oxidation states. Furthermore, we revisit whether photochemically produced oxygen can cause false positives for detecting oxygenic photosynthesis, and find that in 1 bar CO{sub 2}-rich atmospheres oxygen and ozone may build up to levels that have conventionally been accepted as signatures of life, if there is no surface emission of reducing gases. The atmospheric scenarios presented in this paper can serve as the

  6. Project Blue: Optical Coronagraphic Imaging Search for Terrestrial-class Exoplanets in Alpha Centauri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, Jon; Project Blue team

    2018-01-01

    Project Blue is a coronagraphic imaging space telescope mission designed to search for habitable worlds orbiting the nearest Sun-like stars in the Alpha Centauri system. With a 45-50 cm baseline primary mirror size, Project Blue will perform a reconnaissance of the habitable zones of Alpha Centauri A and B in blue light and one or two longer wavelength bands to determine the hue of any planets discovered. Light passing through the off-axis telescope feeds into a coronagraphic instrument that forms the heart of the mission. Various coronagraph designs are being considered, such as phase induced amplitude apodization (PIAA), vector vortex, etc. Differential orbital image processing techniques will be employed to analyze the data for faint planets embedded in the residual glare of the parent star. Project Blue will advance our knowledge about the presence or absence of terrestrial-class exoplanets in the habitable zones and measure the brightness of zodiacal dust around each star, which will aid future missions in planning their observational surveys of exoplanets. It also provides on-orbit demonstration of high-contrast coronagraphic imaging technologies and techniques that will be useful for planning and implementing future space missions by NASA and other space agencies. We present an overview of the science goals, mission concept and development schedule. As part of our cooperative agreement with NASA, the Project Blue team intends to make the data available in a publicly accessible archive.

  7. OGLE‐2008‐BLG‐510: first automated real‐time detection of a weak microlensing anomaly – brown dwarf or stellar binary?★

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bozza, V.; Dominik, M.; Rattenbury, N. J.

    2012-01-01

    , efficient and sensitive, (2) rather common weak features intrinsically come with ambiguities that are not easily resolved from photometric light curves, (3) a modelling approach that finds all features of parameter space rather than just the ‘favourite model’ is required and (4) the data quality is most......The microlensing event OGLE‐2008‐BLG‐510 is characterized by an evident asymmetric shape of the peak, promptly detected by the Automated Robotic Terrestrial Exoplanet Microlensing Search (ARTEMiS) system in real time. The skewness of the light curve appears to be compatible both with binary...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.

    2018-01-01

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

  9. ATMOSPHERIC DYNAMICS OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF ORBITAL AND ATMOSPHERIC PARAMETERS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaspi, Yohai [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, 234 Herzl st., 76100, Rehovot (Israel); Showman, Adam P., E-mail: yohai.kaspi@weizmann.ac.il [Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona, 1629 University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2015-05-01

    The recent discoveries of terrestrial exoplanets and super-Earths extending over a broad range of orbital and physical parameters suggest that these planets will span a wide range of climatic regimes. Characterization of the atmospheres of warm super-Earths has already begun and will be extended to smaller and more distant planets over the coming decade. The habitability of these worlds may be strongly affected by their three-dimensional atmospheric circulation regimes, since the global climate feedbacks that control the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone—including transitions to Snowball-like states and runaway-greenhouse feedbacks—depend on the equator-to-pole temperature differences, patterns of relative humidity, and other aspects of the dynamics. Here, using an idealized moist atmospheric general circulation model including a hydrological cycle, we study the dynamical principles governing the atmospheric dynamics on such planets. We show how the planetary rotation rate, stellar flux, atmospheric mass, surface gravity, optical thickness, and planetary radius affect the atmospheric circulation and temperature distribution on such planets. Our simulations demonstrate that equator-to-pole temperature differences, meridional heat transport rates, structure and strength of the winds, and the hydrological cycle vary strongly with these parameters, implying that the sensitivity of the planet to global climate feedbacks will depend significantly on the atmospheric circulation. We elucidate the possible climatic regimes and diagnose the mechanisms controlling the formation of atmospheric jet streams, Hadley and Ferrel cells, and latitudinal temperature differences. Finally, we discuss the implications for understanding how the atmospheric circulation influences the global climate.

  10. ATMOSPHERIC DYNAMICS OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF ORBITAL AND ATMOSPHERIC PARAMETERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaspi, Yohai; Showman, Adam P.

    2015-01-01

    The recent discoveries of terrestrial exoplanets and super-Earths extending over a broad range of orbital and physical parameters suggest that these planets will span a wide range of climatic regimes. Characterization of the atmospheres of warm super-Earths has already begun and will be extended to smaller and more distant planets over the coming decade. The habitability of these worlds may be strongly affected by their three-dimensional atmospheric circulation regimes, since the global climate feedbacks that control the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone—including transitions to Snowball-like states and runaway-greenhouse feedbacks—depend on the equator-to-pole temperature differences, patterns of relative humidity, and other aspects of the dynamics. Here, using an idealized moist atmospheric general circulation model including a hydrological cycle, we study the dynamical principles governing the atmospheric dynamics on such planets. We show how the planetary rotation rate, stellar flux, atmospheric mass, surface gravity, optical thickness, and planetary radius affect the atmospheric circulation and temperature distribution on such planets. Our simulations demonstrate that equator-to-pole temperature differences, meridional heat transport rates, structure and strength of the winds, and the hydrological cycle vary strongly with these parameters, implying that the sensitivity of the planet to global climate feedbacks will depend significantly on the atmospheric circulation. We elucidate the possible climatic regimes and diagnose the mechanisms controlling the formation of atmospheric jet streams, Hadley and Ferrel cells, and latitudinal temperature differences. Finally, we discuss the implications for understanding how the atmospheric circulation influences the global climate

  11. RED NOISE VERSUS PLANETARY INTERPRETATIONS IN THE MICROLENSING EVENT OGLE-2013-BLG-446

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachelet, E.; Bramich, D. M.; AlSubai, K. [Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Qatar Foundation, P.O. Box 5825, Doha (Qatar); Han, C. [Department of Physics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763 (Korea, Republic of); Greenhill, J. [School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 37, Hobart, TAS 7001 (Australia); Street, R. A.; Tsapras, Y. [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, 6740 Cortona Drive, Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Gould, A.; Batista, V. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); D’Ago, G. [Dipartimento di Fisica “E.R. Caianiello,” Università di Salerno, Via Ponte Don Melillo, I-84084-Fisciano (Italy); Dominik, M.; Jaimes, R. Figuera; Horne, K.; Hundertmark, M. [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Kains, N. [European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, D-85748 Garching bei München (Germany); Snodgrass, C. [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, D-37077 Gttingen (Germany); Steele, I. A. [Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool CH41 1LD (United Kingdom); Albrow, M. D. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8020 (New Zealand); Beaulieu, J.-P. [UPMC-CNRS, UMR 7095, Institut dAstrophysique de Paris, 98bis boulevard Arago, F-75014 Paris (France); Bennett, D. P., E-mail: c.botzler@auckland.ac.nz, E-mail: p.yock@auckland.ac.nz, E-mail: bennett@nd.edu, E-mail: abe@stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp, E-mail: furusawa@stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp, E-mail: itow@stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp [Department of Physics, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); Collaboration: RoboNet collaboration; PLANET collaboration; μFUN collaboration; MOA collaboration; MiNDSTEp collaboration; and others

    2015-10-20

    For all exoplanet candidates, the reliability of a claimed detection needs to be assessed through a careful study of systematic errors in the data to minimize the false positives rate. We present a method to investigate such systematics in microlensing data sets using the microlensing event OGLE-2013-BLG-0446 as a case study. The event was observed from multiple sites around the world and its high magnification (A{sub max} ∼ 3000) allowed us to investigate the effects of terrestrial and annual parallax. Real-time modeling of the event while it was still ongoing suggested the presence of an extremely low-mass companion (∼3M{sub ⨁}) to the lensing star, leading to substantial follow-up coverage of the light curve. We test and compare different models for the light curve and conclude that the data do not favor the planetary interpretation when systematic errors are taken into account.

  12. PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES. II. H{sub 2}S AND SO{sub 2} PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN ANOXIC ATMOSPHERES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara; Bains, William, E-mail: hury@mit.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2013-05-20

    Sulfur gases are common components in the volcanic and biological emission on Earth, and are expected to be important input gases for atmospheres on terrestrial exoplanets. We study the atmospheric composition and the spectra of terrestrial exoplanets with sulfur compounds (i.e., H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2}) emitted from their surfaces. We use a comprehensive one-dimensional photochemistry model and radiative transfer model to investigate the sulfur chemistry in atmospheres ranging from reducing to oxidizing. The most important finding is that both H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2} are chemically short-lived in virtually all types of atmospheres on terrestrial exoplanets, based on models of H{sub 2}, N{sub 2}, and CO{sub 2} atmospheres. This implies that direct detection of surface sulfur emission is unlikely, as their surface emission rates need to be extremely high (>1000 times Earth's volcanic sulfur emission) for these gases to build up to a detectable level. We also find that sulfur compounds emitted from the surface lead to photochemical formation of elemental sulfur and sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, which would condense to form aerosols if saturated. For terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars or M stars, Earth-like sulfur emission rates result in optically thick haze composed of elemental sulfur in reducing H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres for a wide range of particle diameters (0.1-1 {mu}m), which is assumed as a free parameter in our simulations. In oxidized atmospheres composed of N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2}, optically thick haze, composed of elemental sulfur aerosols (S{sub 8}) or sulfuric acid aerosols (H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}), will form if the surface sulfur emission is two orders of magnitude more than the volcanic sulfur emission of Earth. Although direct detection of H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2} by their spectral features is unlikely, their emission might be inferred by observing aerosol-related features in reflected light with future generation

  13. Space based microlensing planet searches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisserand Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: “Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes”. They also add: “This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters”. We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020–2025.

  14. Microlensing and Its Degeneracy Breakers: Parallax, Finite Source, High-Resolution Imaging, and Astrometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chien-Hsiu Lee

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available First proposed by Paczynski in 1986, microlensing has been instrumental in the search for compact dark matter as well as discovery and characterization of exoplanets. In this article, we provide a brief history of microlensing, especially on the discoveries of compact objects and exoplanets. We then review the basics of microlensing and how astrometry can help break the degeneracy, providing a more robust determination of the nature of the microlensing events. We also outline prospects that will be made by on-going and forth-coming experiments/observatories.

  15. Faint-Source-Star Planetary Microlensing: The Discovery of the Cold Gas-Giant Planet OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattenbury, N. J.; Bennett, D. P.; Sumi, T.; Koshimoto, N.; Bond, I. A.; Udalski, A.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Maoz, D.; Jorgensen, U. G.; Barry, R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of a planet OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb via gravitational microlensing. Observations for the lensing event were made by the following groups: Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics; Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment; Wise Observatory; RoboNETLas Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope; Microlensing Network for the Detection of Small Terrestrial Exoplanets; and -FUN. All analyses of the light-curve data favoura lens system comprising a planetary mass orbiting a host star. The most-favoured binary lens model has a mass ratio between the two lens masses of (4.78 +/- 0.13) 10(exp -3). Subject to some important assumptions, a Bayesian probability density analysis suggests the lens system comprises a 3.09(+1.02/-1.12) MJ planet orbiting a 0.62(+0.20/-0.22) solar mass host star at a deprojected orbital separation of 4.40(+2.16/-1.46) au. The distance to the lens system is 2.22(+0.96/-0.83) kpc. Planet OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb provides additional data to the growing number of cool planets discover redusing gravitational microlensing against which planetary formation theories may be tested. Most of the light in the baseline of this event is expected to come from the lens and thus high-resolution imaging observations could confirm our planetary model interpretation.

  16. Application of Compressive Sensing to Gravitational Microlensing Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korde-Patel, Asmita; Barry, Richard K.; Mohsenin, Tinoosh

    2016-01-01

    Compressive Sensing is an emerging technology for data compression and simultaneous data acquisition. This is an enabling technique for significant reduction in data bandwidth, and transmission power and hence, can greatly benefit spaceflight instruments. We apply this process to detect exoplanets via gravitational microlensing. We experiment with various impact parameters that describe microlensing curves to determine the effectiveness and uncertainty caused by Compressive Sensing. Finally, we describe implications for spaceflight missions.

  17. GLIESE 581D IS THE FIRST DISCOVERED TERRESTRIAL-MASS EXOPLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, Robin D.; Forget, Francois; Millour, Ehouarn; Charnay, Benjamin; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Selsis, Franck

    2011-01-01

    It has been suggested that the recently discovered exoplanet GJ581d might be able to support liquid water due to its relatively low mass and orbital distance. However, GJ581d receives 35% less stellar energy than Mars and is probably locked in tidal resonance, with extremely low insolation at the poles and possibly a permanent night side. Under such conditions, it is unknown whether any habitable climate on the planet would be able to withstand global glaciation and/or atmospheric collapse. Here we present three-dimensional climate simulations which demonstrate that GJ581d will have a stable atmosphere and surface liquid water for a wide range of plausible cases, making it the first confirmed super-Earth (exoplanet of 2-10 Earth masses) in the habitable zone. We find that atmospheres with over 10 bar CO 2 and varying amounts of background gas (e.g., N 2 ) yield global mean temperatures above 0 0 C for both land and ocean-covered surfaces. Based on the emitted IR radiation calculated by the model, we propose observational tests that will allow these cases to be distinguished from other possible scenarios in the future.

  18. Using dimers to measure biosignatures and atmospheric pressure for terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Amit; Meadows, Victoria; Claire, Mark; Crisp, Dave

    2014-02-01

    We present a new method to probe atmospheric pressure on Earth-like planets using (O2-O2) dimers in the near-infrared. We also show that dimer features could be the most readily detectable biosignatures for Earth-like atmospheres and may even be detectable in transit transmission with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The absorption by dimers changes more rapidly with pressure and density than that of monomers and can therefore provide additional information about atmospheric pressures. By comparing the absorption strengths of rotational and vibrational features to the absorption strengths of dimer features, we show that in some cases it may be possible to estimate the pressure at the reflecting surface of a planet. This method is demonstrated by using the O2 A band and the 1.06 μm dimer feature, either in transmission or reflected spectra. It works best for planets around M dwarfs with atmospheric pressures between 0.1 and 10 bar and for O2 volume mixing ratios above 50% of Earth's present-day level. Furthermore, unlike observations of Rayleigh scattering, this method can be used at wavelengths longer than 0.6 μm and is therefore potentially applicable, although challenging, to near-term planet characterization missions such as JWST. We also performed detectability studies for JWST transit transmission spectroscopy and found that the 1.06 and 1.27 μm dimer features could be detectable (SNR>3) for an Earth analogue orbiting an M5V star at a distance of 5 pc. The detection of these features could provide a constraint on the atmospheric pressure of an exoplanet and serve as biosignatures for oxygenic photosynthesis. We calculated the required signal-to-noise ratios to detect and characterize O2 monomer and dimer features in direct imaging-reflected spectra and found that signal-to-noise ratios greater than 10 at a spectral resolving power of R=100 would be required.

  19. NIR-driven Moist Upper Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujii, Yuka; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Amundsen, David S.

    2017-01-01

    H 2 O is a key molecule in characterizing atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets, and observations of transmission spectra are expected to play a primary role in detecting its signatures in the near future. The detectability of H 2 O absorption features in transmission spectra depends on the abundance of water vapor in the upper part of the atmosphere. We study the three-dimensional distribution of atmospheric H 2 O for synchronously rotating Earth-sized aquaplanets using the general circulation model (GCM) ROCKE-3D, and examine the effects of total incident flux and stellar spectral type. We observe a more gentle increase of the water vapor mixing ratio in response to increased incident flux than one-dimensional models suggest, in qualitative agreement with the climate-stabilizing effect of clouds around the substellar point previously observed in GCMs applied to synchronously rotating planets. However, the water vapor mixing ratio in the upper atmosphere starts to increase while the surface temperature is still moderate. This is explained by the circulation in the upper atmosphere being driven by the radiative heating due to absorption by water vapor and cloud particles, causing efficient vertical transport of water vapor. Consistently, the water vapor mixing ratio is found to be well-correlated with the near-infrared portion of the incident flux. We also simulate transmission spectra based on the GCM outputs, and show that for the more highly irradiated planets, the H 2 O signatures may be strengthened by a factor of a few, loosening the observational demands for a H 2 O detection.

  20. NIR-driven Moist Upper Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujii, Yuka; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Amundsen, David S. [NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY (United States)

    2017-10-20

    H{sub 2}O is a key molecule in characterizing atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets, and observations of transmission spectra are expected to play a primary role in detecting its signatures in the near future. The detectability of H{sub 2}O absorption features in transmission spectra depends on the abundance of water vapor in the upper part of the atmosphere. We study the three-dimensional distribution of atmospheric H{sub 2}O for synchronously rotating Earth-sized aquaplanets using the general circulation model (GCM) ROCKE-3D, and examine the effects of total incident flux and stellar spectral type. We observe a more gentle increase of the water vapor mixing ratio in response to increased incident flux than one-dimensional models suggest, in qualitative agreement with the climate-stabilizing effect of clouds around the substellar point previously observed in GCMs applied to synchronously rotating planets. However, the water vapor mixing ratio in the upper atmosphere starts to increase while the surface temperature is still moderate. This is explained by the circulation in the upper atmosphere being driven by the radiative heating due to absorption by water vapor and cloud particles, causing efficient vertical transport of water vapor. Consistently, the water vapor mixing ratio is found to be well-correlated with the near-infrared portion of the incident flux. We also simulate transmission spectra based on the GCM outputs, and show that for the more highly irradiated planets, the H{sub 2}O signatures may be strengthened by a factor of a few, loosening the observational demands for a H{sub 2}O detection.

  1. Free-floating planets from microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumi, Takahiro

    2014-06-01

    Gravitational microlensing has an unique sensitivity to exoplanets at outside of the snow-line and even exoplanets unbound to any host stars because the technique does not rely on any light from the host but the gravity of the lens. MOA and OGLE collaborations reported the discovery of a population of unbound or distant Jupiter-mass objects, which are almost twice (1.8_{-0.8}^{+1.7}) as common as main-sequence stars, based on two years of gravitational microlensing survey observations toward the Galactic Bulge. These planetary-mass objects have no host stars that can be detected within about ten astronomical units by gravitational microlensing. However a comparison with constraints from direct imaging suggests that most of these planetary-mass objects are not bound to any host star. The such short-timescale unbound planetary candidates have been detected with the similar rate in on-going observations and these groups are working to update the analysis with larger statistics. Recently, there are also discoveries of free-floating planetary mass objects by the direct imaging in young star-forming regions and in the moving groups, but these objects are limited to massive objects of 3 to 15 Jupiter masses.They are more massive than the population found by microlensing. So they may be a different population with the different formation process, either similar with that of stars and brown dwarfs, or formed in proto-planetary disks and subsequently scattered into unbound or very distant orbits. It is important to fill the gap of these mass ranges to fully understand these populations. The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is the highest ranked recommendation for a large space mission in the recent New Worlds, New Horizons (NWNH) in Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 Decadal Survey. Exoplanet microlensing program is one of the primary science of WFIRST. WFIRST will find about 3000 bound planets and 2000 unbound planets by the high precision continuous survey 15 min

  2. PLANETESIMAL DISK MICROLENSING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heng, Kevin; Keeton, Charles R.

    2009-01-01

    Motivated by debris disk studies, we investigate the gravitational microlensing of background starlight by a planetesimal disk around a foreground star. We use dynamical survival models to construct a plausible example of a planetesimal disk and study its microlensing properties using established ideas of microlensing by small bodies. When a solar-type source star passes behind a planetesimal disk, the microlensing light curve may exhibit short-term, low-amplitude residuals caused by planetesimals several orders of magnitude below Earth mass. The minimum planetesimal mass probed depends on the photometric sensitivity and the size of the source star, and is lower when the planetesimal lens is located closer to us. Planetesimal lenses may be found more nearby than stellar lenses because the steepness of the planetesimal mass distribution changes how the microlensing signal depends on the lens/source distance ratio. Microlensing searches for planetesimals require essentially continuous monitoring programs that are already feasible and can potentially set constraints on models of debris disks, the progeny of the supposed extrasolar analogues of Kuiper Belts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Theory of dispersive microlenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, B.; Gal, George

    1993-01-01

    A dispersive microlens is a miniature optical element which simultaneously focuses and disperses light. Arrays of dispersive mircolenses have potential applications in multicolor focal planes. They have a 100 percent optical fill factor and can focus light down to detectors of diffraction spot size, freeing up areas on the focal plane for on-chip analog signal processing. Use of dispersive microlenses allows inband color separation within a pixel and perfect scene registration. A dual-color separation has the potential for temperature discrimination. We discuss the design of dispersive microlenses and present sample results for efficient designs.

  5. Partitioning of water between surface and mantle on terrestrial exoplanets: effect of surface-mantle water exchange parameterizations on ocean depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komacek, T. D.; Abbot, D. S.

    2016-12-01

    Terrestrial exoplanets in the canonical habitable zone may have a variety of initial water fractions due to their volatile delivery rate via planetesimals. If the total planetary water complement is high, the entire surface may be covered in water, forming a "waterworld". The habitable zone for waterworlds is likely smaller than that for planets with partial land coverage because waterworlds lack the stabilizing silicate-weathering feedback. On a planet with active tectonics, competing mechanisms act to regulate the abundance of water on the surface by determining the partitioning of water between interior and surface. We have explored how the incorporation of different mechanisms for the outgassing and regassing of water changes the volatile evolution of a planet. Specifically, we have examined three models for volatile cycling: a model with degassing and regassing both determined by the seafloor pressure, one with mantle temperature-dependent degassing and regassing rates, and a hybrid model that has the degassing rate driven by seafloor pressure and the regassing rate determined by the mantle temperature. We find that the volatile cycling in all three of these scenarios reaches a steady-state after a few billion years. Using these steady-states, we can make predictions from each model for how much water is needed to flood the surface and make a waterworld. We find that if volatile cycling is either solely temperature-dependent or pressure-dependent, exoplanets require a high abundance (more than 0.3% by mass) of water to have fully inundated surfaces. This is because the waterworld boundary for these models is regulated by how much water can be stuffed into the mantle. However, if degassing is more dependent on the seafloor pressure and regassing mainly dependent on mantle temperature, super-Earth mass planets with a total water fraction similar to that of the Earth (approximately 0.05% by mass) can become waterworlds. As a result, further understanding of the

  6. Astrometric vs. photometric microlensing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dominik, M; Brainerd, TG; Kochanek, CS

    2001-01-01

    I discuss the differences between the properties of astrometric and photometric microlensing and between the arising prospects for survey and follow-up experiments based on these two different signatures. In particular, the prospects for binary stars and extra-solar planets are considered.

  7. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation. II. Dependence of exoplanet architectures on giant planet and disk properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2012-05-01

    We present models for the formation of terrestrial planets, and the collisional evolution of debris disks, in planetary systems that contain multiple marginally unstable gas giants. We previously showed that in such systems, the dynamics of the giant planets introduces a correlation between the presence of terrestrial planets and cold dust, i.e., debris disks, which is particularly pronounced at λ ~ 70 μm. Here we present new simulations that show that this connection is qualitatively robust to a range of parameters: the mass distribution of the giant planets, the width and mass distribution of the outer planetesimal disk, and the presence of gas in the disk when the giant planets become unstable. We discuss how variations in these parameters affect the evolution. We find that systems with equal-mass giant planets undergo the most violent instabilities, and that these destroy both terrestrial planets and the outer planetesimal disks that produce debris disks. In contrast, systems with low-mass giant planets efficiently produce both terrestrial planets and debris disks. A large fraction of systems with low-mass (M ≲ 30 M⊕) outermost giant planets have final planetary separations that, scaled to the planets' masses, are as large or larger than the Saturn-Uranus and Uranus-Neptune separations in the solar system. We find that the gaps between these planets are not only dynamically stable to test particles, but are frequently populated by planetesimals. The possibility of planetesimal belts between outer giant planets should be taken into account when interpreting debris disk SEDs. In addition, the presence of ~ Earth-mass "seeds" in outer planetesimal disks causes the disks to radially spread to colder temperatures, and leads to a slow depletion of the outer planetesimal disk from the inside out. We argue that this may explain the very low frequency of >1 Gyr-old solar-type stars with observed 24 μm excesses. Our simulations do not sample the full range of

  8. Difference Image Analysis of Galactic Microlensing. II. Microlensing Events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alcock, C.; Allsman, R. A.; Alves, D.; Axelrod, T. S.; Becker, A. C.; Bennett, D. P.; Cook, K. H.; Drake, A. J.; Freeman, K. C.; Griest, K. (and others)

    1999-09-01

    The MACHO collaboration has been carrying out difference image analysis (DIA) since 1996 with the aim of increasing the sensitivity to the detection of gravitational microlensing. This is a preliminary report on the application of DIA to galactic bulge images in one field. We show how the DIA technique significantly increases the number of detected lensing events, by removing the positional dependence of traditional photometry schemes and lowering the microlensing event detection threshold. This technique, unlike PSF photometry, gives the unblended colors and positions of the microlensing source stars. We present a set of criteria for selecting microlensing events from objects discovered with this technique. The 16 pixel and classical microlensing events discovered with the DIA technique are presented. (c) (c) 1999. The American Astronomical Society.

  9. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Observational Prospects

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Results from the EROS microlensing survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaulieu, JP; Lamers, HJGLM; Chu, YH; Suntzeff, NB; Hesser, JE; Bohlender, DA

    1999-01-01

    We present a status report of the original EROS and the on-going EROS-2 microlensing surveys, which were created to search for dark matter in the Galactic halo via microlensing effects on LMC/SMC stars. Microlensing surveys provide long-term systematic observations of millions of stars in both

  12. 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.

  13. Gravitational Microlensing of Earth-mass Planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harpsøe, Kennet Bomann West

    It was only 17 years ago that the first planet outside of our own solar system was detected in the form of 51 Pegasi b. This planet is unlike anything in our own solar system. In fact, this planet was the first representative of a class of planets later known as “hot Jupiters”– gas giants......, i.e. it is much easier to detect high mass planets in close orbits. With these two methods it is hard to detect planets in an exo-solar system with a structure similar to our own solar system; specifically, it is hard to detect Earth-like planets in Earth-like orbits. It is presently unknown how...... common such planets are in our galaxy. There are a few other known methods for detecting exoplanets which have very different bias patterns. This thesis has been divided into two parts, treating two of these other methods. Part I is dedicated to the method of gravitational microlensing, a method...

  14. WFIRST: Microlensing Analysis Data Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Rachel; WFIRST Microlensing Science Investigation Team

    2018-01-01

    WFIRST will produce thousands of high cadence, high photometric precision lightcurves of microlensing events, from which a wealth of planetary and stellar systems will be discovered. However, the analysis of such lightcurves has historically been very time consuming and expensive in both labor and computing facilities. This poses a potential bottleneck to deriving the full science potential of the WFIRST mission. To address this problem, the WFIRST Microlensing Science Investigation Team designing a series of data challenges to stimulate research to address outstanding problems of microlensing analysis. These range from the classification and modeling of triple lens events to methods to efficiently yet thoroughly search a high-dimensional parameter space for the best fitting models.

  15. Measuring the Microlensing Parallax from Various Space Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachelet, E.; Hinse, T. C.; Street, R.

    2018-05-01

    A few observational methods allow the measurement of the mass and distance of the lens-star for a microlensing event. A first estimate can be obtained by measuring the microlensing parallax effect produced by either the motion of the Earth (annual parallax) or the contemporaneous observation of the lensing event from two (or more) observatories (space or terrestrial parallax) sufficiently separated from each other. Further developing ideas originally outlined by Gould as well as Mogavero & Beaulieu, we review the possibility of measuring systematically the microlensing parallax using a telescope based on the Moon surface and other space-based observing platforms, including the upcoming WFIRST space-telescope. We first generalize the Fisher matrix formulation and present results demonstrating the advantage for each observing scenario. We conclude by outlining the limitation of the Fisher matrix analysis when submitted to a practical data modeling process. By considering a lunar-based parallax observation, we find that parameter correlations introduce a significant loss in detection efficiency of the probed lunar parallax effect.

  16. Fast, inexpensive, diffraction limited cylindrical microlenses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Synder, J.J.; Reichert, P.

    1991-01-01

    We have developed a technique for fabricating fast, well corrected cylindrical microlenses. With this technique we have made a number of different microlenses with dimensions and focal lengths in the range of few hundred μm, and diffraction limited numerical apertures as high as 0.9. The microlenses are specifically designed for applications where they can increase the radiance or otherwise enhance the optical characteristics of laser diode light. The fabrication method we use is very versatile, and the microlenses produced this way would be very inexpensive in production quantities. 6 refs., 4 figs

  17. Geoengineering on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockley, Andrew

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Astrometric Observation of MACHO Gravitational Microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boden, A. F.; Shao, M.; Van Buren, D.

    1997-01-01

    This paper discusses the prospects for astrometric observation of MACHO gravitational microlensing events. We derive the expected astrometric observables for a simple microlensing event assuming a dark MACHO, and demonstrate that accurate astrometry can determine the lens mass, distance, and proper motion in a very general fashion.

  19. 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

  20. Application of Compressive Sensing to Gravitational Microlensing Data and Implications for Miniaturized Space Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korde-Patel, Asmita (Inventor); Barry, Richard K.; Mohsenin, Tinoosh

    2016-01-01

    Compressive Sensing is a technique for simultaneous acquisition and compression of data that is sparse or can be made sparse in some domain. It is currently under intense development and has been profitably employed for industrial and medical applications. We here describe the use of this technique for the processing of astronomical data. We outline the procedure as applied to exoplanet gravitational microlensing and analyze measurement results and uncertainty values. We describe implications for on-spacecraft data processing for space observatories. Our findings suggest that application of these techniques may yield significant, enabling benefits especially for power and volume-limited space applications such as miniaturized or micro-constellation satellites.

  1. Statistical searches for microlensing events in large, non-uniformly sampled time-domain surveys: A test using palomar transient factory data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Price-Whelan, Adrian M.; Agüeros, Marcel A. [Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 550 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Fournier, Amanda P. [Department of Physics, Broida Hall, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (United States); Street, Rachel [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Inc., 6740 Cortona Drive, Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 (United States); Ofek, Eran O. [Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot (Israel); Covey, Kevin R. [Lowell Observatory, 1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Levitan, David; Sesar, Branimir [Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Laher, Russ R.; Surace, Jason, E-mail: adrn@astro.columbia.edu [Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Mail Stop 314-6, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2014-01-20

    Many photometric time-domain surveys are driven by specific goals, such as searches for supernovae or transiting exoplanets, which set the cadence with which fields are re-imaged. In the case of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), several sub-surveys are conducted in parallel, leading to non-uniform sampling over its ∼20,000 deg{sup 2} footprint. While the median 7.26 deg{sup 2} PTF field has been imaged ∼40 times in the R band, ∼2300 deg{sup 2} have been observed >100 times. We use PTF data to study the trade off between searching for microlensing events in a survey whose footprint is much larger than that of typical microlensing searches, but with far-from-optimal time sampling. To examine the probability that microlensing events can be recovered in these data, we test statistics used on uniformly sampled data to identify variables and transients. We find that the von Neumann ratio performs best for identifying simulated microlensing events in our data. We develop a selection method using this statistic and apply it to data from fields with >10 R-band observations, 1.1 × 10{sup 9} light curves, uncovering three candidate microlensing events. We lack simultaneous, multi-color photometry to confirm these as microlensing events. However, their number is consistent with predictions for the event rate in the PTF footprint over the survey's three years of operations, as estimated from near-field microlensing models. This work can help constrain all-sky event rate predictions and tests microlensing signal recovery in large data sets, which will be useful to future time-domain surveys, such as that planned with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

  2. Exoplanets: A New Era of Comparative Planetology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria

    2014-11-01

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

  3. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Observational Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-11

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

  5. 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.

  6. Influence of chemical processing on the imaging properties of microlenses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasiljevic, Darko; Muric, Branka; Pantelic, Dejan; Panic, Bratimir

    2009-01-01

    Microlenses are produced by irradiation of a layer of tot'hema and eosin sensitized gelatin (TESG) by using a laser beam (Nd:YAG 2nd harmonic; 532 nm). All the microlenses obtained are concave with a parabolic profile. After the production, the microlenses are chemically processed with various concentrations of alum. The following imaging properties of microlenses were calculated and analyzed: the root mean square (rms) wavefront aberration, the geometric encircled energy and the spot diagram. The microlenses with higher concentrations of alum in solution had a greater effective focal length and better image quality. The microlenses chemically processed with 10% alum solution had near-diffraction-limited performance.

  7. Optimal survey strategies and predicted planet yields for the Korean microlensing telescope network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    The Korean Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) will consist of three 1.6 m telescopes each with a 4 deg 2 field of view (FoV) and will be dedicated to monitoring the Galactic Bulge to detect exoplanets via gravitational microlensing. KMTNet's combination of aperture size, FoV, cadence, and longitudinal coverage will provide a unique opportunity to probe exoplanet demographics in an unbiased way. Here we present simulations that optimize the observing strategy for and predict the planetary yields of KMTNet. We find preferences for four target fields located in the central Bulge and an exposure time of t exp = 120 s, leading to the detection of ∼2200 microlensing events per year. We estimate the planet detection rates for planets with mass and separation across the ranges 0.1 ≤ M p /M ⊕ ≤ 1000 and 0.4 ≤ a/AU ≤ 16, respectively. Normalizing these rates to the cool-planet mass function of Cassan et al., we predict KMTNet will be approximately uniformly sensitive to planets with mass 5 ≤ M p /M ⊕ ≤ 1000 and will detect ∼20 planets per year per dex in mass across that range. For lower-mass planets with mass 0.1 ≤ M p /M ⊕ < 5, we predict KMTNet will detect ∼10 planets per year. We also compute the yields KMTNet will obtain for free-floating planets (FFPs) and predict KMTNet will detect ∼1 Earth-mass FFP per year, assuming an underlying population of one such planet per star in the Galaxy. Lastly, we investigate the dependence of these detection rates on the number of observatories, the photometric precision limit, and optimistic assumptions regarding seeing, throughput, and flux measurement uncertainties.

  8. 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.

  9. Binary catalogue of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. Korea Microlensing Telescope Network Microlensing Events from 2015: Event-finding Algorithm, Vetting, and Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, D.-J.; Kim, H.-W.; Hwang, K.-H.; Albrow, M. D.; Chung, S.-J.; Gould, A.; Han, C.; Jung, Y. K.; Ryu, Y.-H.; Shin, I.-G.; Yee, J. C.; Zhu, W.; Cha, S.-M.; Kim, S.-L.; Lee, C.-U.; Lee, D.-J.; Lee, Y.; Park, B.-G.; Pogge, R. W.; The KMTNet Collaboration

    2018-02-01

    We present microlensing events in the 2015 Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) data and our procedure for identifying these events. In particular, candidates were detected with a novel “completed-event” microlensing event-finder algorithm. The algorithm works by making linear fits to a ({t}0,{t}{eff},{u}0) grid of point-lens microlensing models. This approach is rendered computationally efficient by restricting u 0 to just two values (0 and 1), which we show is quite adequate. The implementation presented here is specifically tailored to the commission-year character of the 2015 data, but the algorithm is quite general and has already been applied to a completely different (non-KMTNet) data set. We outline expected improvements for 2016 and future KMTNet data. The light curves of the 660 “clear microlensing” and 182 “possible microlensing” events that were found in 2015 are presented along with our policy for their public release.

  11. 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.

  12. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Gravitational microlensing in Verlinde's emergent gravity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Leihua; Prokopec, Tom

    2017-01-01

    We propose gravitational microlensing as a way of testing the emergent gravity theory recently proposed by Eric Verlinde [1]. We consider two limiting cases: the dark mass of maximally anisotropic pressures (Case I) and of isotropic pressures (Case II). Our analysis of perihelion advancement of a

  14. Microlensing and the physics of stellar atmospheres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sackett, PD; Menzies, JW; Sackett, PD

    2001-01-01

    The simple physics of microlensing provides a well understood tool with which to probe the atmospheres of distant stars in the Galaxy and Local Group with high magnification and resolution. Recent results in measuring stellar surface structure through broad band photometry and spectroscopy of high

  15. Structure formation and microlensing with axion miniclusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairbairn, Malcolm; Marsh, David J. E.; Quevillon, Jérémie; Rozier, Simon

    2018-04-01

    If the symmetry breaking responsible for axion dark matter production occurs during the radiation-dominated epoch in the early Universe, then this produces large amplitude perturbations that collapse into dense objects known as axion miniclusters. The characteristic minicluster mass, M0, is set by the mass inside the horizon when axion oscillations begin. For the QCD axion M0˜10-10 M⊙, however, for an axionlike particle, M0 can approach M⊙ or higher. Using the Press-Schechter formalism we compute the mass function of halos formed by hierarchical structure formation from these seeds. We compute the concentrations and collapse times of these halos and show that they can grow to be as massive as 1 06M0. Within the halos, miniclusters likely remain tightly bound, and we compute their gravitational microlensing signal taking the fraction of axion dark matter collapsed into miniclusters, fMC, as a free parameter. A large value of fMC severely weakens constraints on axion scenarios from direct detection experiments. We take into account the non-Gaussian distribution of sizes of miniclusters and determine how this affects the number of microlensing events. We develop the tools to consider microlensing by an extended mass function of nonpointlike objects, and we use microlensing data to place the first observational constraints on fMC. This opens a new window for the potential discovery of the axion.

  16. 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.

  17. pyLIMA: An Open-source Package for Microlensing Modeling. I. Presentation of the Software and Analysis of Single-lens Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachelet, E.; Norbury, M.; Bozza, V.; Street, R.

    2017-11-01

    Microlensing is a unique tool, capable of detecting the “cold” planets between ˜1 and 10 au from their host stars and even unbound “free-floating” planets. This regime has been poorly sampled to date owing to the limitations of alternative planet-finding methods, but a watershed in discoveries is anticipated in the near future thanks to the planned microlensing surveys of WFIRST-AFTA and Euclid's Extended Mission. Of the many challenges inherent in these missions, the modeling of microlensing events will be of primary importance, yet it is often time-consuming, complex, and perceived as a daunting barrier to participation in the field. The large scale of future survey data products will require thorough but efficient modeling software, but, unlike other areas of exoplanet research, microlensing currently lacks a publicly available, well-documented package to conduct this type of analysis. We present version 1.0 of the python Lightcurve Identification and Microlensing Analysis (pyLIMA). This software is written in Python and uses existing packages as much as possible to make it widely accessible. In this paper, we describe the overall architecture of the software and the core modules for modeling single-lens events. To verify the performance of this software, we use it to model both real data sets from events published in the literature and generated test data produced using pyLIMA's simulation module. The results demonstrate that pyLIMA is an efficient tool for microlensing modeling. We will expand pyLIMA to consider more complex phenomena in the following papers.

  18. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Future Directions

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Microlensing of quasar ultraviolet iron emission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guerras, E.; Mediavilla, E. [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Vía Láctea S/N, La Laguna 38200, Tenerife (Spain); Jimenez-Vicente, J. [Departamento de Física Teórica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, 18071 Granada (Spain); Kochanek, C. S. [Department of Astronomy and the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, The Ohio State University, 4055 McPherson Lab, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43221 (United States); Muñoz, J. A. [Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Universidad de Valencia, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia (Spain); Falco, E. [Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Motta, V.; Rojas, K. [Departamento de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Valparaíso, Avda. Gran Bretaña 1111, Valparaíso (Chile)

    2013-12-01

    We measure the differential microlensing of the UV Fe II and Fe III emission line blends between 14 quasar image pairs in 13 gravitational lenses. We find that the UV iron emission is strongly microlensed in four cases with amplitudes comparable to that of the continuum. Statistically modeling the magnifications, we infer a typical size of r{sub s}∼4√(M/M{sub ⊙}) light-days for the Fe line-emitting regions, which is comparable to the size of the region generating the UV continuum (∼3-7 light-days). This may indicate that a significant part of the UV Fe II and Fe III emission originates in the quasar accretion disk.

  20. Probing Extragalactic Planets Using Quasar Microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Xinyu; Guerras, Eduardo

    2018-02-01

    Previously, planets have been detected only in the Milky Way galaxy. Here, we show that quasar microlensing provides a means to probe extragalactic planets in the lens galaxy, by studying the microlensing properties of emission close to the event horizon of the supermassive black hole of the background quasar, using the current generation telescopes. We show that a population of unbound planets between stars with masses ranging from Moon to Jupiter masses is needed to explain the frequent Fe Kα line energy shifts observed in the gravitationally lensed quasar RXJ 1131–1231 at a lens redshift of z = 0.295 or 3.8 billion lt-yr away. We constrain the planet mass-fraction to be larger than 0.0001 of the halo mass, which is equivalent to 2000 objects ranging from Moon to Jupiter mass per main-sequence star.

  1. Microlensing Binaries with Candidate Brown Dwarf Companions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shin, I.-G; Han, C.; Gould, A.

    2012-01-01

    masses of the brown dwarf companions are 0.02 ± 0.01 M⊙ and 0.019 ± 0.002 M⊙ for MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149, respectively, and both companions are orbiting low-mass M dwarf host stars. More microlensing brown dwarfs are expected to be detected as the number of lensing events...

  2. Microlensing Signature of Binary Black Holes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnittman, Jeremy; Sahu, Kailash; Littenberg, Tyson

    2012-01-01

    We calculate the light curves of galactic bulge stars magnified via microlensing by stellar-mass binary black holes along the line-of-sight. We show the sensitivity to measuring various lens parameters for a range of survey cadences and photometric precision. Using public data from the OGLE collaboration, we identify two candidates for massive binary systems, and discuss implications for theories of star formation and binary evolution.

  3. Primordial black hole detection through diffractive microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naderi, T.; Mehrabi, A.; Rahvar, S.

    2018-05-01

    Recent observations of gravitational waves motivate investigations for the existence of primordial black holes (PBHs). We propose the observation of gravitational microlensing of distant quasars for the range of infrared to the submillimeter wavelengths by sublunar PBHs as lenses. The advantage of observations in the longer wavelengths, comparable to the Schwarzschild radius of the lens (i.e., Rsch≃λ ) is the detection of the wave optics features of the gravitational microlensing. The observation of diffraction pattern in the microlensing light curve of a quasar can break the degeneracy between the lens parameters and determine directly the lens mass as well as the distance of the lens from the observer. We estimate the wave optics optical-depth, also calculate the rate of ˜0.1 to ˜0.3 event per year per a quasar, assuming that hundred percent of dark matter is made of sublunar PBHs. Also, we propose a long-term survey of quasars with the cadence of almost one hour to few days to resolve the wave optics features of the light curves to discover PBHs and determine the fraction of dark matter made of sublunar PBHs as well as their mass function.

  4. Liquid Crystal Microlenses for Autostereoscopic Displays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Francisco Algorri

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional vision has acquired great importance in the audiovisual industry in the past ten years. Despite this, the first generation of autostereoscopic displays failed to generate enough consumer excitement. Some reasons are little 3D content and performance issues. For this reason, an exponential increase in three-dimensional vision research has occurred in the last few years. In this review, a study of the historical impact of the most important technologies has been performed. This study is carried out in terms of research manuscripts per year. The results reveal that research on spatial multiplexing technique is increasing considerably and today is the most studied. For this reason, the state of the art of this technique is presented. The use of microlenses seems to be the most successful method to obtain autostereoscopic vision. When they are fabricated with liquid crystal materials, extended capabilities are produced. Among the numerous techniques for manufacturing liquid crystal microlenses, this review covers the most viable designs for its use in autostereoscopic displays. For this reason, some of the most important topologies and their relation with autostereoscopic displays are presented. Finally, the challenges in some recent applications, such as portable devices, and the future of three-dimensional displays based on liquid crystal microlenses are outlined.

  5. 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.

  6. Blending in gravitational microlensing experiments : source confusion and related systematics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, Martin C.; Wozniak, Przemyslaw; Mao, Shude; Sumi, Takahiro

    2007-01-01

    Gravitational microlensing surveys target very dense stellar fields in the local group. As a consequence, the microlensed source stars are often blended with nearby unresolved stars. The presence of 'blending' is a cause of major uncertainty when determining the lensing properties of events towards

  7. The nature of parallax microlensing events towards the Galactic bulge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, MC; Belokurov, [No Value; Evans, NW; Mao, SD; An, JH

    2005-01-01

    Perhaps as many as 30 parallax microlensing events are known, thanks to the efforts of the Massive Compact Halo Object (MACHO), Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE), Experience pour la Recherche d'Objets Sombres (EROS) and Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA) experiments

  8. Microlensing by multiple planets in high-magnification events

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaudi, BS; Sackett, PD

    1998-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. Atmospheric Seasonality as an Exoplanet Biosignature

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

    Current investigations of exoplanet biosignatures have focused on static evidence of life, such as the presence of biogenic gases like O2 or CH4. However, the expected diversity of terrestrial planet atmospheres and the likelihood of both “false positives” and “false negatives” for conventional biosignatures motivate exploration of additional life detection strategies, including time-varying signals. Seasonal variation in atmospheric composition is a biologically modulated phenomenon on Earth that may occur elsewhere because it arises naturally from the interplay between the biosphere and time-variable insolation. The search for seasonality as a biosignature would avoid many assumptions about specific metabolisms and provide an opportunity to directly quantify biological fluxes—allowing us to characterize, rather than simply recognize, biospheres on exoplanets. Despite this potential, there have been no comprehensive studies of seasonality as an exoplanet biosignature. Here, we provide a foundation for further studies by reviewing both biological and abiological controls on the magnitude and detectability of seasonality of atmospheric CO2, CH4, O2, and O3 on Earth. We also consider an example of an inhabited world for which atmospheric seasonality may be the most notable expression of its biosphere. We show that life on a low O2 planet like the weakly oxygenated mid-Proterozoic Earth could be fingerprinted by seasonal variation in O3 as revealed in its UV Hartley–Huggins bands. This example highlights the need for UV capabilities in future direct-imaging telescope missions (e.g., LUVOIR/HabEx) and illustrates the diagnostic importance of studying temporal biosignatures for exoplanet life detection/characterization.

  11. GRAVITATIONAL MICROLENSING EVENTS AS A TARGET FOR THE SETI PROJECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahvar, Sohrab, E-mail: rahvar@sharif.edu [Department of Physics, Sharif University of Technology, P.O. Box 11365–9161, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2016-09-01

    The detection of signals from a possible extrasolar technological civilization is one of the most challenging efforts of science. In this work, we propose using natural telescopes made of single or binary gravitational lensing systems to magnify leakage of electromagnetic signals from a remote planet that harbors Extraterrestrial Intelligent (ETI) technology. Currently, gravitational microlensing surveys are monitoring a large area of the Galactic bulge to search for microlensing events, finding more than 2000 events per year. These lenses are capable of playing the role of natural telescopes, and, in some instances, they can magnify radio band signals from planets orbiting around the source stars in gravitational microlensing systems. Assuming that the frequency of electromagnetic waves used for telecommunication in ETIs is similar to ours, we propose follow-up observation of microlensing events with radio telescopes such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the Low Frequency Demonstrators, and the Mileura Wide-Field Array. Amplifying signals from the leakage of broadcasting by an Earth-like civilization will allow us to detect them as far as the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Our analysis shows that in binary microlensing systems, the probability of amplification of signals from ETIs is more than that in single microlensing events. Finally, we propose the use of the target of opportunity mode for follow-up observations of binary microlensing events with SKA as a new observational program for searching ETIs. Using optimistic values for the factors of the Drake equation provides detection of about one event per year.

  12. PERIODIC SIGNALS IN BINARY MICROLENSING EVENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, Xinyi; Stefano, Rosanne Di; Esin, Ann; Taylor, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Gravitational microlensing events are powerful tools for the study of stellar populations. In particular, they can be used to discover and study a variety of binary systems. A large number of binary lenses have already been found through microlensing surveys and a few of these systems show strong evidence of orbital motion on the timescale of the lensing event. We expect that more binary lenses of this kind will be detected in the future. For binaries whose orbital period is comparable to the event duration, the orbital motion can cause the lensing signal to deviate drastically from that of a static binary lens. The most striking property of such light curves is the presence of quasi-periodic features, which are produced as the source traverses the same regions in the rotating lens plane. These repeating features contain information about the orbital period of the lens. If this period can be extracted, then much can be learned about the lensing system even without performing time-consuming, detailed light-curve modeling. However, the relative transverse motion between the source and the lens significantly complicates the problem of period extraction. To resolve this difficulty, we present a modification of the standard Lomb–Scargle periodogram analysis. We test our method for four representative binary lens systems and demonstrate its efficiency in correctly extracting binary orbital periods

  13. 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.

  14. Exoplanet atmospheres physical processes

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, Sara

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 32 New Exoplanets Found

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-01

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

  16. Campaign 9 of the K2 Mission: Observational Parameters, Scientific Drivers, and Community Involvement for a Simultaneous Space- and Ground-based Microlensing Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Calen B.; Poleski, Radoslaw; Penny, Matthew; Street, Rachel A.; Bennett, David P.; Hogg, David W.; Gaudi, B. Scott; Zhu, W.; Barclay, T.; Barentsen, G.; hide

    2016-01-01

    K2's Campaign 9 (K2C9) will conduct a approximately 3.7 sq. deg survey toward the Galactic bulge from 2016 April 22 through July 2 that will leverage the spatial separation between K2 and the Earth to facilitate measurement of the microlens parallax Pi(sub E) for approximately greater than 170 microlensing events. These will include several that are planetary in nature as well as many short-timescale microlensing events, which are potentially indicative of free-floating planets (FFPs). These satellite parallax measurements will in turn allow for the direct measurement of the masses of and distances to the lensing systems. In this article we provide an overview of the K2C9 space- and ground-based microlensing survey. Specifically, we detail the demographic questions that can be addressed by this program, including the frequency of FFPs and the Galactic distribution of exoplanets, the observational parameters of K2C9, and the array of resources dedicated to concurrent observations. Finally, we outline the avenues through which the larger community can become involved, and generally encourage participation in K2C9, which constitutes an important pathfinding mission and community exercise in anticipation of WFIRST.

  17. THE MICROLENSING PROPERTIES OF A SAMPLE OF 87 LENSED QUASARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosquera, A. M.; Kochanek, C. S.

    2011-01-01

    Gravitational microlensing is a powerful tool for probing the physical properties of quasar accretion disks and properties of the lens galaxy such as its dark matter fraction and mean stellar mass. Unfortunately, the number of lensed quasars (∼90) exceeds our monitoring capabilities. Thus, estimating their microlensing properties is important for identifying good microlensing candidates as well as for the expectations of future surveys. In this work, we estimate the microlensing properties of a sample of 87 lensed quasars. While the median Einstein radius crossing timescale is 20.6 years, the median source crossing timescale is 7.3 months. Broadly speaking, this means that on ∼10 year timescales roughly half the lenses will be quiescent, with the source in a broad demagnified valley, and roughly half will be active with the source lying in the caustic ridges. We also found that the location of the lens system relative to the cosmic microwave background dipole has a modest effect on microlensing timescales, and in theory microlensing could be used to confirm the kinematic origin of the dipole. As a corollary of our study we analyzed the accretion rate parameters in a sub-sample of 32 lensed quasars. At fixed black hole mass, it is possible to sample a broad range of luminosities (i.e., Eddington factors) if it becomes feasible to monitor fainter lenses.

  18. Difference Image Analysis of Galactic Microlensing. I. Data Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alcock, C.; Allsman, R. A.; Alves, D.; Axelrod, T. S.; Becker, A. C.; Bennett, D. P.; Cook, K. H.; Drake, A. J.; Freeman, K. C.; Griest, K. (and others)

    1999-08-20

    This is a preliminary report on the application of Difference Image Analysis (DIA) to Galactic bulge images. The aim of this analysis is to increase the sensitivity to the detection of gravitational microlensing. We discuss how the DIA technique simplifies the process of discovering microlensing events by detecting only objects that have variable flux. We illustrate how the DIA technique is not limited to detection of so-called ''pixel lensing'' events but can also be used to improve photometry for classical microlensing events by removing the effects of blending. We will present a method whereby DIA can be used to reveal the true unblended colors, positions, and light curves of microlensing events. We discuss the need for a technique to obtain the accurate microlensing timescales from blended sources and present a possible solution to this problem using the existing Hubble Space Telescope color-magnitude diagrams of the Galactic bulge and LMC. The use of such a solution with both classical and pixel microlensing searches is discussed. We show that one of the major causes of systematic noise in DIA is differential refraction. A technique for removing this systematic by effectively registering images to a common air mass is presented. Improvements to commonly used image differencing techniques are discussed. (c) 1999 The American Astronomical Society.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Gravitational microlensing in Verlinde's emergent gravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei-Hua Liu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We propose gravitational microlensing as a way of testing the emergent gravity theory recently proposed by Eric Verlinde [1]. We consider two limiting cases: the dark mass of maximally anisotropic pressures (Case I and of isotropic pressures (Case II. Our analysis of perihelion advancement of a planet shows that only Case I yields a viable theory. In this case the metric outside a star of mass M⁎ can be modeled by that of a point-like global monopole whose mass is M⁎ and a deficit angle Δ=(2GH0M⁎/(3c3, where H0 is the Hubble rate and G the Newton constant. This deficit angle can be used to test the theory since light exhibits additional bending around stars given by, αD≈−πΔ/2. This angle is independent on the distance from the star and it affects equally light and massive particles. The effect is too small to be measurable today, but should be within reach of the next generation of high resolution telescopes. Finally we note that the advancement of periastron of a planet orbiting around a star or black hole, which equals πΔ per period, can be also used to test the theory.

  2. A Cloudy View of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

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

  3. AGAPEROS Searches for microlensing in the LMC with the Pixel Method; 2, Selection of possible microlensing events

    CERN Document Server

    Melchior, A.L.; Ansari, R; Aubourg, E.; Baillon, P.; Bareyre, P.; Bauer, F.; Beaulieu, J.-Ph.; Bouquet, A.; Brehin, S.; Cavalier, F.; Char, S.; Couchot, F.; Coutures, C.; Ferlet, R.; Fernandez, J.; Gaucherel, C.; Giraud-Heraud, Y.; Glicenstein, J.-F.; Goldman, B.; Gondolo, P.; Gros, M.; Guibert, J.; Hardin, D.; Kaplan, J.; de Kat, J.; Lachieze-Rey, M.; Laurent, B; Lesquoy, E; Magneville, Ch.; Mansoux, B.; Marquette, J.-B.; Maurice, E.; Milsztajn, A.; Moniez, M.; Moreau, O.; Moscoso, L.; Palanque-Delabrouille, N.; Perdereau. O.; Prevot, L.; Renault, C.; Queinnec, F.; Rich, J.; Spiro, M.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Vigroux, L.; Zylberajch, S.; Magneville, Ch.

    1998-01-01

    We apply the pixel method of analysis (sometimes called ``pixel lensing'') to a small subset of the EROS-1 microlensing observations of the bar of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The pixel method is designed to find microlensing events of unresolved source stars and had heretofore been applied only to M31 where essentially all sources are unresolved. With our analysis optimised for the detection of long-duration microlensing events due to 0.01-1 Mo Machos, we detect no microlensing events and compute the corresponding detection efficiencies. We show that the pixel method should detect 10 to 20 times more microlensing events for M>0.05 Mo Machos compared to a classical analysis of the same data which latter monitors only resolved stars. In particular, we show that for a full halo of Machos in the mass range 0.1 -- 0.5 Mo, a pixel analysis of the three-year EROS-1 data set covering 0.39 deg^2 would yield 4 events.

  4. Microlensing Binaries Discovered through High-magnification Channel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shin, I.-G.; Choi, J.-Y.; Park, S.-Y.

    2012-01-01

    Microlensing can provide a useful tool to probe binary distributions down to low-mass limits of binary companions. In this paper, we analyze the light curves of eight binary-lensing events detected through the channel of high-magnification events during the seasons from 2007 to 2010. The perturba......Microlensing can provide a useful tool to probe binary distributions down to low-mass limits of binary companions. In this paper, we analyze the light curves of eight binary-lensing events detected through the channel of high-magnification events during the seasons from 2007 to 2010...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Qatar Exoplanet Survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Elemental abundances in the Galactic bulge from microlensed dwarf stars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bensby, T.; Feltzing, S.; Johnson, J.A.; Gould, A.; Sana, H.; Gal-Yam, A.; Asplund, M.; Lucatello, S.; Melendez, J.; Udalski, A.; Kubas, D.; James, G.; Adén, D.; Simmerer, J.

    2010-01-01

    We present elemental abundances of 13 microlensed dwarf and subgiant stars in the Galactic bulge, which constitute the largest sample to date. We show that these stars span the full range of metallicity from Fe/H= −0.8 to +0.4, and that they follow well-defined abundance trends, coincident with

  8. The First Simultaneous Microlensing Observations by Two Space telescopes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shvartzvald, Y.; Li, Z.; Udalski, A.

    2016-01-01

    study the region of microlensing parameter space to which Swift is sensitive, finding that though Swift could not measure the microlens parallax with respect to ground-based observations for this event, it can be important for other events. Specifically, it is important for detecting nearby brown dwarfs...

  9. Fabrication of polymer-based reflowed microlenses on optical fibre ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. Thermal reflow of polymer to generate spherical profile has been used to fabricate microlenses in this paper. A simple model based on the volume conservation (before and after reflow) and geometrical consideration of lens profile, shows that the focal length of the microlens produced by reflow technique is a.

  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. Matching microlensing events with X-ray sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartore, N.; Treves, A.

    2012-03-01

    Aims: The detection of old neutron stars and stellar mass black holes in isolation is one of the most sought after goals of compact object astrophysics. Microlensing surveys may help in achieving this aim because the lensing mechanism is independent of the emission properties of the lens. Several black hole candidates have indeed been detected by means of microlensing observations have been reported in the literature. The identification of counterparts, especially in the X-rays, would be a strong argument in favor of the compact nature of these lenses. Methods: We perform a cross-correlation between the catalogs of microlensing events produced by the OGLE, MACHO, and MOA teams, and those of X-rays sources from the data acquired by the XMM-Newton and Chandra satellites. On the basis of our previous work, we select only microlensing events with durations longer than one hundred days, which should contain a large fraction of lenses as compact objects. Our matching criterion takes into account the positional coincidence on the sky. Results: We find a single match between a microlensing event, OGLE-2004-BLG-081 (tE ~ 103 days), and the X-ray source 2XMM J180540.5-273427. The angular separation is ~0.5 arcsec, i.e. well within the 90% error box of the X-ray source. The hardness ratios reported in the 2XMM catalog imply that it has a hard spectrum with a peak between 2 keV and 4.5 keV or it has a softer but highly absorbed spectrum. Moreover, the microlensing event is not fully constrained, and other authors propose a possible association of the source star with either a flaring cataclysmic variable or a RS Canum Venaticorum-like star. Conclusions: The very small angular separation (within uncertainties) is a strong indicator that 2XMM J180540.5-273427 is the X-ray counterpart of the OGLE event. However, the uncertainties in the nature of both the lensed system and the lens itself challenge the interpretation of 2XMM J180540.5-273427 as the first confirmed isolated black

  12. [1012.5676] The Exoplanet Orbit Database

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. 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

  14. 1st Advanced School on Exoplanetary Science : Methods of Detecting Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Mancini, Luigi; Sozzetti, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    In this book, renowned scientists describe the various techniques used to detect and characterize extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, with a view to unveiling the “tricks of the trade” of planet detection to a wider community. The radial velocity method, transit method, microlensing method, and direct imaging method are all clearly explained, drawing attention to their advantages and limitations and highlighting the complementary roles that they can play in improving the characterization of exoplanets’ physical and orbital properties. By probing the planetary frequency at different distances and in different conditions, these techniques are helping astrophysicists to reconstruct the scenarios of planetary formation and to give robust scientific answers to questions regarding the frequency of potentially habitable worlds. Twenty years have passed since the discovery of a Jupiter-mass companion to a main sequence star other than the Sun, heralding the birth of extrasolar planetary research; this book fully...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. EQUATORIAL SUPERROTATION ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Showman, Adam P.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Observing the ExoEarth: Simulating the Retrieval of Exoplanet Parameters Using DSCOVR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, S.; Cowan, N. B.; Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Herman, J. R.; Robinson, T.; Stine, A.

    2017-12-01

    The field of exoplanets has rapidly expanded from detection to include exoplanet characterization. This has been enabled by developments such as the detection of terrestrial-sized planets and the use of transit spectroscopy to study exoplanet atmospheres. Studies of rocky planets are leading towards the direct imaging of exoplanets and the development of techniques to extract their intrinsic properties. The importance of properties such as rotation, albedo, and obliquity are significant since they inform planet formation theories and are key input parameters for Global Circulation Models used to determine surface conditions, including habitability. Thus, a complete characterization of exoplanets for understanding habitable climates requires the ability to measure these key planetary parameters. The retrieval of planetary rotation rates, albedos, and obliquities from highly undersampled imaging data can be honed using satellites designed to study the Earth's atmosphere. In this talk I will describe how the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) provides a unique opportunity to test such retrieval methods using data for the sunlit hemisphere of the Earth. Our methods use the high-resolution DSCOVR-EPIC images to simulate the Earth as an exoplanet, by deconvolving the images to match a variety of expected exoplanet mission requirements, and by comparing EPIC data with the cavity radiometer data from DSCOVR-NISTAR that views the Earth as a single pixel. Through this methodology, we are creating a grid of retrieval states as a function of image resolution, observing cadence, passband, etc. Our modeling of the DSCOVR data will provide an effective baseline from which to develop tools that can be applied to a variety of exoplanet imaging data.

  18. A Spectroscopic and Photometric Study of Gravitational Microlensing Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Stephen R.

    2000-08-01

    Gravitational microlensing has generated a great deal of scientific interest over recent years. This has been largely due to the realization of its wide-reaching applications, such as the search for dark matter, the detection of planets, and the study of Galactic structure. A significant observational advance has been that most microlensing events can be identified in real-time while the source is still being lensed. More than 400 microlensing events have now been detected towards the Galactic bulge and Magellanic Clouds by the microlensing survey teams EROS, MACHO, OGLE, DUO, and MOA. The real-time detection of these events allows detailed follow-up observations with much denser sampling, both photometrically and spectroscopically. The research undertaken in this project on photometric studies of gravitational microlensing events has been performed as a member of the PLANET (Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) collaboration. This is a worldwide collaboration formed in the early part of 1995 to study microlensing anomalies - departures from an achromatic point source, point lens light curve - through rapidly-sampled, multi-band, photometry. PLANET has demonstrated that it can achieve 1% photometry under ideal circumstances, making PLANET observations sensitive to detection of Earth-mass planets which require characterization of 1%--2% deviations from a standard microlensing light curve. The photometric work in this project involved over 5 months using the 1.0 m telescope at Canopus Observatory in Australia, and 3 separate observing runs using the 0.9 m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. Methods were developed to reduce the vast amount of photometric data using the image analysis software MIDAS and the photometry package DoPHOT. Modelling routines were then written to analyse a selection of the resulting light curves in order to detect any deviation from an achromatic point source - point lens light curve. The photometric

  19. Application of tot’hema eosin sensitized gelatin film for adaptive microlenses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murić Branka D.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we showed that tot’hema eosin sensitized gelatin (TESG film can be used for adaptive microlenses fabriacation. The mechanical properties of a pure gelatin film were improved by adding tot’hema solution. We found that the elasticity of TESG film depend on the tot’hema concentration. By stretching the film, the microlenses were deformed uniaxially, and microlenses focal length can be tuned. The achieved microlenses focal lengths range from 0.05 to 0.2 mm.

  20. Thermal Structure and Mantle Dynamics of Rocky Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, F. W.; Tosi, N.; Hussmann, H.; Sohl, F.

    2011-12-01

    The confirmed detections of CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b reveal that rocky exoplanets exist. Moreover, recent theoretical studies suggest that small planets beyond the Solar System are indeed common and many of them will be discovered by increasingly precise observational surveys in the years ahead. The knowledge about the interior structure and thermal state of exoplanet interiors provides crucial theoretical input not only for classification and characterization of individual planetary bodies, but also to better understand the origin and evolution of the Solar System and the Earth in general. These developments and considerations have motivated us to address several questions concerning thermal structure and interior dynamics of terrestrial exoplanets. In the present study, depth-dependent structural models of solid exoplanet interiors have been constructed in conjunction with a mixing length approach to calculate self-consistently the radial distribution of temperature and heat flux. Furthermore, 2-D convection simulations using the compressible anelastic approximation have been carried through to examine the effect of thermodynamic quantities (e.g., thermal expansivity) on mantle convection pattern within rocky planets more massive than the Earth. In comparison to parameterized convection models, our calculated results predict generally hotter planetary interiors, which are mainly attributed to a viscosity-regulating feedback mechanism involving temperature and pressure. We find that density and thermal conductivity increase with depth by a factor of two to three, however, thermal expansivity decreases by more than an order of magnitude across the mantle for planets as massive as CoRoT-7b or Kepler-10b. The specific heat capacity is observed to stay almost constant over an extended region of the lower mantle. The planform of mantle convection is strongly modified in the presence of depth-dependent thermodynamic quantities with hot upwellings (plumes) rising across

  1. Fabrication and characterization of InP fresnel microlenses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diadiuk, V.; Walpole, J.N.; Liau, Z.L.

    1987-01-01

    Since diode lasers typically have a beam divergence of a few tens of degrees, collimating the laser outputs leads to greatly far-field patterns, which, in turn translates into more power in the main lobe of the combined output. Achieving this collimation in the case of a diode laser array, with its small device-to-device distance, requires an array of similarly spaced microlenses with very short focal length, small diameter and small F number. In this paper, the authors describe the fabrication and performance of a Fresnel microlens array etched directly in InP wafers; these microlenses have been used successfully to collimate the output of GainAsP/InP buried-heterostructure (BH) diode lasers

  2. Polarimetry Microlensing of Close-in Planetary Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sajadian, Sedighe [Department of Physics, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111 (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Hundertmark, Markus, E-mail: s.sajadian@cc.iut.ac.ir [Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg (ZAH), D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2017-04-01

    A close-in giant planetary (CGP) system has a net polarization signal whose value varies depending on the orbital phase of the planet. This polarization signal is either caused by the stellar occultation or by reflected starlight from the surface of the orbiting planet. When the CGP system is located in the Galactic bulge, its polarization signal becomes too weak to be measured directly. One method for detecting and characterizing these weak polarization signatures due to distant CGP systems is gravitational microlensing. In this work, we focus on potential polarimetric observations of highly magnified microlensing events of CGP systems. When the lens is passing directly in front of the source star with its planetary companion, the polarimetric signature caused by the transiting planet is magnified. As a result, some distinct features in the polarimetry and light curves are produced. In the same way, microlensing amplifies the reflection-induced polarization signal. While the planet-induced perturbations are magnified whenever these polarimetric or photometric deviations vanish for a moment, the corresponding magnification factor of the polarization component(s) is related to the planet itself. Finding these exact times in the planet-induced perturbations helps us to characterize the planet. In order to evaluate the observability of such systems through polarimetric or photometric observations of high-magnification microlensing events, we simulate these events by considering confirmed CGP systems as their source stars and conclude that the efficiency for detecting the planet-induced signal with the state-of-the-art polarimetric instrument (FORS2/VLT) is less than 0.1%. Consequently, these planet-induced polarimetry perturbations can likely be detected under favorable conditions by the high-resolution and short-cadence polarimeters of the next generation.

  3. Polarimetry Microlensing of Close-in Planetary Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sajadian, Sedighe; Hundertmark, Markus

    2017-01-01

    A close-in giant planetary (CGP) system has a net polarization signal whose value varies depending on the orbital phase of the planet. This polarization signal is either caused by the stellar occultation or by reflected starlight from the surface of the orbiting planet. When the CGP system is located in the Galactic bulge, its polarization signal becomes too weak to be measured directly. One method for detecting and characterizing these weak polarization signatures due to distant CGP systems is gravitational microlensing. In this work, we focus on potential polarimetric observations of highly magnified microlensing events of CGP systems. When the lens is passing directly in front of the source star with its planetary companion, the polarimetric signature caused by the transiting planet is magnified. As a result, some distinct features in the polarimetry and light curves are produced. In the same way, microlensing amplifies the reflection-induced polarization signal. While the planet-induced perturbations are magnified whenever these polarimetric or photometric deviations vanish for a moment, the corresponding magnification factor of the polarization component(s) is related to the planet itself. Finding these exact times in the planet-induced perturbations helps us to characterize the planet. In order to evaluate the observability of such systems through polarimetric or photometric observations of high-magnification microlensing events, we simulate these events by considering confirmed CGP systems as their source stars and conclude that the efficiency for detecting the planet-induced signal with the state-of-the-art polarimetric instrument (FORS2/VLT) is less than 0.1%. Consequently, these planet-induced polarimetry perturbations can likely be detected under favorable conditions by the high-resolution and short-cadence polarimeters of the next generation.

  4. RoboTAP: Target priorities for robotic microlensing observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hundertmark, M.; Street, R. A.; Tsapras, Y.; Bachelet, E.; Dominik, M.; Horne, K.; Bozza, V.; Bramich, D. M.; Cassan, A.; D'Ago, G.; Figuera Jaimes, R.; Kains, N.; Ranc, C.; Schmidt, R. W.; Snodgrass, C.; Wambsganss, J.; Steele, I. A.; Mao, S.; Ment, K.; Menzies, J.; Li, Z.; Cross, S.; Maoz, D.; Shvartzvald, Y.

    2018-01-01

    Context. The ability to automatically select scientifically-important transient events from an alert stream of many such events, and to conduct follow-up observations in response, will become increasingly important in astronomy. With wide-angle time domain surveys pushing to fainter limiting magnitudes, the capability to follow-up on transient alerts far exceeds our follow-up telescope resources, and effective target prioritization becomes essential. The RoboNet-II microlensing program is a pathfinder project, which has developed an automated target selection process (RoboTAP) for gravitational microlensing events, which are observed in real time using the Las Cumbres Observatory telescope network. Aims: Follow-up telescopes typically have a much smaller field of view compared to surveys, therefore the most promising microlensing events must be automatically selected at any given time from an annual sample exceeding 2000 events. The main challenge is to select between events with a high planet detection sensitivity, with the aim of detecting many planets and characterizing planetary anomalies. Methods: Our target selection algorithm is a hybrid system based on estimates of the planet detection zones around a microlens. It follows automatic anomaly alerts and respects the expected survey coverage of specific events. Results: We introduce the RoboTAP algorithm, whose purpose is to select and prioritize microlensing events with high sensitivity to planetary companions. In this work, we determine the planet sensitivity of the RoboNet follow-up program and provide a working example of how a broker can be designed for a real-life transient science program conducting follow-up observations in response to alerts; we explore the issues that will confront similar programs being developed for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and other time domain surveys.

  5. Integration of polystyrene microlenses with both convex and concave profiles in a polymer-based microfluidic system

    KAUST Repository

    Fan, Yiqiang; Li, Huawei; Foulds, Ian G.

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports a new technique of fabricating polystyrene microlenses with both convex and concave profiles that are integrated in polymer-based microfluidic system. The polystyrene microlenses, or microlens array, are fabricated using the free

  6. Predictions for microlensing planetary events from core accretion theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu, Wei; Mao, Shude [National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100012 (China); Penny, Matthew; Gould, Andrew [Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Gendron, Rieul, E-mail: weizhu@astronomy.ohio-state.edu [Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, Alan Turing Building, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom)

    2014-06-10

    We conduct the first microlensing simulation in the context of a planet formation model. The planet population is taken from the Ida and Lin core accretion model for 0.3 M {sub ☉} stars. With 6690 microlensing events, we find that for a simplified Korea Microlensing Telescopes Network (KMTNet), the fraction of planetary events is 2.9%, out of which 5.5% show multiple-planet signatures. The numbers of super-Earths, super-Neptunes, and super-Jupiters detected are expected to be almost equal. Our simulation shows that high-magnification events and massive planets are favored by planet detections, which is consistent with previous expectation. However, we notice that extremely high-magnification events are less sensitive to planets, which is possibly because the 10 minute sampling of KMTNet is not intensive enough to capture the subtle anomalies that occur near the peak. This suggests that while KMTNet observations can be systematically analyzed without reference to any follow-up data, follow-up observations will be essential in extracting the full science potential of very high magnification events. The uniformly high-cadence observations expected for KMTNet also result in ∼55% of all detected planets not being caustic crossing, and more low-mass planets even down to Mars mass being detected via planetary caustics. We also find that the distributions of orbital inclinations and planet mass ratios in multiple-planet events agree with the intrinsic distributions.

  7. Predictions for microlensing planetary events from core accretion theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, Wei; Mao, Shude; Penny, Matthew; Gould, Andrew; Gendron, Rieul

    2014-01-01

    We conduct the first microlensing simulation in the context of a planet formation model. The planet population is taken from the Ida and Lin core accretion model for 0.3 M ☉ stars. With 6690 microlensing events, we find that for a simplified Korea Microlensing Telescopes Network (KMTNet), the fraction of planetary events is 2.9%, out of which 5.5% show multiple-planet signatures. The numbers of super-Earths, super-Neptunes, and super-Jupiters detected are expected to be almost equal. Our simulation shows that high-magnification events and massive planets are favored by planet detections, which is consistent with previous expectation. However, we notice that extremely high-magnification events are less sensitive to planets, which is possibly because the 10 minute sampling of KMTNet is not intensive enough to capture the subtle anomalies that occur near the peak. This suggests that while KMTNet observations can be systematically analyzed without reference to any follow-up data, follow-up observations will be essential in extracting the full science potential of very high magnification events. The uniformly high-cadence observations expected for KMTNet also result in ∼55% of all detected planets not being caustic crossing, and more low-mass planets even down to Mars mass being detected via planetary caustics. We also find that the distributions of orbital inclinations and planet mass ratios in multiple-planet events agree with the intrinsic distributions.

  8. Microlensing planets in M 22: Free-floating or bound?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Fuente Marcos, R.; de la Fuente Marcos, C.

    2001-12-01

    We use detailed numerical simulations and theoretical estimates to show that, if confirmed, the unusually brief microlensing events observed by Sahu et al. (\\cite{Sahu01}) in the field of the globular cluster M 22 might be explained as a result of microlensing by a population of clustered MACHOs, a dark cluster or RAMBO, not associated with the globular cluster. If real, this dark cluster would be located between M 22 and the Galactic bulge and could include at least 106 substellar members with a typical size of 1-3 pc. Bound planets in wide or/and eccentric orbits are also able to reproduce the observed microlensing behaviour, but only if multiplanet systems (including large Kuiper-belt-like objects) are abundant, although, our calculations argue against the latter scenario as the ionization rate in M 22 is very high. Dynamically ejected or lone planets are, in principle, incompatible with the observational findings as they either escape their parent cluster in a relatively short time-scale after ejection or segregate toward the outskirts of the cluster. We discuss additional implications of the dark cluster scenario, including the existence of a population of RAMBOs toward the Galactic bulge.

  9. Discovery of a Jupiter/Saturn analog with gravitational microlensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, B S; Bennett, D P; Udalski, A; Gould, A; Christie, G W; Maoz, D; Dong, S; McCormick, J; Szymanski, M K; Tristram, P J; Nikolaev, S; Paczynski, B; Kubiak, M; Pietrzynski, G; Soszynski, I; Szewczyk, O; Ulaczyk, K; Wyrzykowski, L; Depoy, D L; Han, C; Kaspi, S; Lee, C-U; Mallia, F; Natusch, T; Pogge, R W; Park, B-G; Abe, F; Bond, I A; Botzler, C S; Fukui, A; Hearnshaw, J B; Itow, Y; Kamiya, K; Korpela, A V; Kilmartin, P M; Lin, W; Masuda, K; Matsubara, Y; Motomura, M; Muraki, Y; Nakamura, S; Okumura, T; Ohnishi, K; Rattenbury, N J; Sako, T; Saito, To; Sato, S; Skuljan, L; Sullivan, D J; Sumi, T; Sweatman, W L; Yock, P C M; Albrow, M D; Allan, A; Beaulieu, J-P; Burgdorf, M J; Cook, K H; Coutures, C; Dominik, M; Dieters, S; Fouqué, P; Greenhill, J; Horne, K; Steele, I; Tsapras, Y; Chaboyer, B; Crocker, A; Frank, S; Macintosh, B

    2008-02-15

    Searches for extrasolar planets have uncovered an astonishing diversity of planetary systems, yet the frequency of solar system analogs remains unknown. The gravitational microlensing planet search method is potentially sensitive to multiple-planet systems containing analogs of all the solar system planets except Mercury. We report the detection of a multiple-planet system with microlensing. We identify two planets with masses of approximately 0.71 and approximately 0.27 times the mass of Jupiter and orbital separations of approximately 2.3 and approximately 4.6 astronomical units orbiting a primary star of mass approximately 0.50 solar mass at a distance of approximately 1.5 kiloparsecs. This system resembles a scaled version of our solar system in that the mass ratio, separation ratio, and equilibrium temperatures of the planets are similar to those of Jupiter and Saturn. These planets could not have been detected with other techniques; their discovery from only six confirmed microlensing planet detections suggests that solar system analogs may be common.

  10. Atmospheric constraints for the CO2 partial pressure on terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    von Paris, P.; Grenfell, J. L.; Hedelt, P.; Rauer, H.; Selsis, F.; Stracke, B.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, several potentially habitable, probably terrestrial exoplanets and exoplanet candidates have been discovered. The amount of CO2 in their atmosphere is of great importance for surface conditions and habitability. In the absence of detailed information on the geochemistry of the planet, this amount could be considered as a free parameter. Up to now, CO2 partial pressures for terrestrial planets have been obtained assuming an available volatile reservoir and outgassing scenarios...

  11. Orbital Dynamics and Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deitrick, Russell J.

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

  12. Earth as an Exoplanet: Lessons in Recognizing Planetary Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria; Robinson, Tyler; Misra, Amit; Ennico, Kimberly; Sparks, William B.; Claire, Mark; Crisp, David; Schwieterman, Edward; Bussey, D. Ben J.; Breiner, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Earth will always be our best-studied example of a habitable world. While extrasolar planets are unlikely to look exactly like Earth, they may share key characteristics, such as oceans, clouds and surface inhomogeneity. Earth's globally-averaged characteristics can therefore help us to recognize planetary habitability in data-limited exoplanet observations. One of the most straightforward ways to detect habitability will be via detection of 'glint', specular reflectance from an ocean (Robinson et al., 2010). Other methods include undertaking a census of atmospheric greenhouse gases, or attempting to measure planetary surface temperature and pressure, to determine if liquid water would be feasible on the planetary surface. Here we present recent research on detecting planetary habitability, led by the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team. This work includes a collaboration with the NASA Lunar Science Institute on the detection of ocean glint and ozone absorption using Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Earth observations (Robinson et al., 2014). This data/model comparison provides the first observational test of a technique that could be used to determine exoplanet habitability from disk-integrated observations at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. We find that the VPL spectral Earth model is in excellent agreement with the LCROSS Earth data, and can be used to reliably predict Earth's appearance at a range of phases relevant to exoplanet observations. Determining atmospheric surface pressure and temperature directly for a potentially habitable planet will be challenging due to the lack of spatial-resolution, presence of clouds, and difficulty in spectrally detecting many bulk constituents of terrestrial atmospheres. Additionally, Rayleigh scattering can be masked by absorbing gases and absorption from the underlying surface. However, new techniques using molecular dimers of oxygen (Misra et al., 2014) and nitrogen

  13. 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}.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Analytic Reflected Lightcurves for Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haggard, Hal M.; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2018-04-01

    The disk-integrated reflected brightness of an exoplanet changes as a function of time due to orbital and rotational motion coupled with an inhomogeneous albedo map. We have previously derived analytic reflected lightcurves for spherical harmonic albedo maps in the special case of a synchronously-rotating planet on an edge-on orbit (Cowan, Fuentes & Haggard 2013). In this letter, we present analytic reflected lightcurves for the general case of a planet on an inclined orbit, with arbitrary spin period and non-zero obliquity. We do so for two different albedo basis maps: bright points (δ-maps), and spherical harmonics (Y_l^m-maps). In particular, we use Wigner D-matrices to express an harmonic lightcurve for an arbitrary viewing geometry as a non-linear combination of harmonic lightcurves for the simpler edge-on, synchronously rotating geometry. These solutions will enable future exploration of the degeneracies and information content of reflected lightcurves, as well as fast calculation of lightcurves for mapping exoplanets based on time-resolved photometry. To these ends we make available Exoplanet Analytic Reflected Lightcurves (EARL), a simple open-source code that allows rapid computation of reflected lightcurves.

  19. 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.

  20. A giant planet beyond the snow line in microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kains, N.; Street, R.A.; Choi, J.-Y.

    2013-01-01

    Aims. We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing observations towards the Galactic bulge. Methods. Based on detailed modelling of the observed light cu...

  1. The MACHO Project HST Follow-Up: The Large Magellanic Cloud Microlensing Source Stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, C.A.; /LLNL, Livermore /UC, Berkeley; Drake, A.J.; /Caltech; Cook, K.H.; /LLNL, Livermore /UC, Berkeley; Bennett, D.P.; /Caltech /Notre Dame U.; Popowski, P.; /Garching, Max Planck Inst.; Dalal, N.; /Toronto U.; Nikolaev, S.; /LLNL, Livermore; Alcock, C.; /Caltech /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Axelrod, T.S.; /Arizona U.; Becker, A.C. /Washington U., Seattle; Freeman, K.C.; /Res. Sch. Astron. Astrophys., Weston Creek; Geha, M.; /Yale U.; Griest, K.; /UC, San Diego; Keller, S.C.; /LLNL, Livermore; Lehner, M.J.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys. /Taipei, Inst. Astron. Astrophys.; Marshall, S.L.; /SLAC; Minniti, D.; /Rio de Janeiro, Pont. U. Catol. /Vatican Astron. Observ.; Pratt, M.R.; /Aradigm, Hayward; Quinn, P.J.; /Western Australia U.; Stubbs, C.W.; /UC, Berkeley /Harvard U.; Sutherland, W.; /Oxford U. /Oran, Sci. Tech. U. /Garching, Max Planck Inst. /McMaster U.

    2009-06-25

    We present Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFPC2 photometry of 13 microlensed source stars from the 5.7 year Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) survey conducted by the MACHO Project. The microlensing source stars are identified by deriving accurate centroids in the ground-based MACHO images using difference image analysis (DIA) and then transforming the DIA coordinates to the HST frame. None of these sources is coincident with a background galaxy, which rules out the possibility that the MACHO LMC microlensing sample is contaminated with misidentified supernovae or AGN in galaxies behind the LMC. This supports the conclusion that the MACHO LMC microlensing sample has only a small amount of contamination due to non-microlensing forms of variability. We compare the WFPC2 source star magnitudes with the lensed flux predictions derived from microlensing fits to the light curve data. In most cases the source star brightness is accurately predicted. Finally, we develop a statistic which constrains the location of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) microlensing source stars with respect to the distributions of stars and dust in the LMC and compare this to the predictions of various models of LMC microlensing. This test excludes at {approx}> 90% confidence level models where more than 80% of the source stars lie behind the LMC. Exotic models that attempt to explain the excess LMC microlensing optical depth seen by MACHO with a population of background sources are disfavored or excluded by this test. Models in which most of the lenses reside in a halo or spheroid distribution associated with either the Milky Way or the LMC are consistent which these data, but LMC halo or spheroid models are favored by the combined MACHO and EROS microlensing results.

  2. Glowing Hot Transiting Exoplanet Discovered

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Microlensing of unresolved stars as a brown dwarf detection method

    CERN Document Server

    Bouquet, Alain; Melchior, Anne-Laure; Giraud-Heraud, Yannick; Baillon, Paul

    1993-01-01

    We describe a project of brown dwarf detection in the dark halo of a galaxy using the microlensing effect. We argue that monitoring pixels instead of stars could provide an enhancement in the number of detectable events. We estimate the detection efficiency with a Monte-Carlo simulation. We expect a ten-fold increase with respect to current experiments. To assess the feasibility of this method we have determined the photometric precision of a pixel by comparing several pictures of a same field in the LMC. To be published in the Proceeding of the workshop 'The dark side of the universe...', Roma, Juin 1993,

  7. MASS MEASUREMENTS OF ISOLATED OBJECTS FROM SPACE-BASED MICROLENSING

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhu, Wei; Novati, S. Calchi; Gould, A.

    2016-01-01

    lies behind the same amount of dust as the Bulge red clump, we find the lens is a 45 ± 7 {M}{{J}} BD at 5.9 ± 1.0 kpc. The lens of of the second event, OGLE-2015-BLG-0763, is a 0.50 ± 0.04 {M}⊙ star at 6.9 ± 1.0 kpc. We show that the probability to definitively measure the mass of isolated microlenses...... is dramatically increased once simultaneous ground- and space-based observations are conducted....

  8. M-dwarf exoplanet surface density distribution. A log-normal fit from 0.07 to 400 AU

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Michael R.; Amara, Adam; Reggiani, Maddalena; Quanz, Sascha P.

    2018-04-01

    Aims: We fit a log-normal function to the M-dwarf orbital surface density distribution of gas giant planets, over the mass range 1-10 times that of Jupiter, from 0.07 to 400 AU. Methods: We used a Markov chain Monte Carlo approach to explore the likelihoods of various parameter values consistent with point estimates of the data given our assumed functional form. Results: This fit is consistent with radial velocity, microlensing, and direct-imaging observations, is well-motivated from theoretical and phenomenological points of view, and predicts results of future surveys. We present probability distributions for each parameter and a maximum likelihood estimate solution. Conclusions: We suggest that this function makes more physical sense than other widely used functions, and we explore the implications of our results on the design of future exoplanet surveys.

  9. Thermal Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apai, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    High-contrast imaging remains the only way to search for and study weakly-irradiated giant exoplanets. We review here in brief a new high-contrast imaging technique that operates in the 3-5 μm window and show the exquisite sensitivity that can be reached using this technique. The two key advantages of the L-band high-contrast imaging are the superior image quality and the 2-to 4-magnitude gain in sensitivity provided by the red color of giant planets. Most excitingly, this method can be applied to constrain the yet-unexplored giant planet population at radii between 3 and 30 AU.

  10. Atmospheric Retrievals from Exoplanet Observations and Simulations with BART

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph

    the planet has uniform composition and the same temperature profile everywhere. We do not know this assumption's impact. While Spitzer and HST have few exoplanet observing modes, JWST will have over 20. Given the signal challenges and the complexity of retrieval, modeling the observations and data analysis is the best way to optimize an observing plan. Our project solves all of these problems. Using only open-source codes, with tools available to the community for their immediate application in JWST and HST proposals and analyses, we will produce a faithful simulator of 2D spectral and photometric frames from each JWST exoplanet mode (WFC3 spatial scan mode works already), including jitter and intrapixel effects. We will extract and calibrate data, analyzing them with BART. Given planetary input spectra for terrestrial, super-Earth, Neptune, and Jupiterclass planets, and a variety of stellar spectra, we will determine the best combination of observations to recover each atmosphere, and the limits where low SNR or spectral coverage produce deceptive results. To facilitate these analyses, we will adapt an existing cloud model to BART, add condensate code now being written to its thermochemical model, include scattering, add a 3D atmosphere module (for dayside occultation mapping and the 1D vs. 3D question), and improve performance and documentation, among other improvements. We will host a web site and community discussions online and at conferences about retrieval issues. We will develop validation tests for radiative-transfer and BART-style retrieval codes, and provide examples to validate others' codes. We will engage the retrieval community in data challenges. We will provide web-enabled tools to specify planets easily for modeling. We will make all of these tools, tests, and comparisons available online so everyone can use them to maximize NASA's investment in high-end observing capabilities to characterize exoplanets.

  11. 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

  12. The nature of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  13. False Positives in Exoplanet Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  14. Exoplanets: Past, Present, and Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chien-Hsiu Lee

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of extra-solar planet systems is highly driven by advances in observations in the past decade. Thanks to high precision spectrographs, we are able to reveal unseen companions to stars with the radial velocity method. High precision photometry from the space, especially with the Kepler mission, enables us to detect planets when they transit their stars and dim the stellar light by merely one percent or smaller. Ultra wide-field, high cadence, continuous monitoring of the Galactic bulge from different sites around the southern hemisphere provides us the opportunity to observe microlensing effects caused by planetary systems from the solar neighborhood, all the way to the Milky Way center. The exquisite AO imaging from ground-based large telescopes, coupled with high-contrast coronagraph, captured the photons directly emitted by planets around other stars. In this article, I present a concise review of the extra-solar planet discoveries, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the major planetary detection methods, providing an overview of our current understanding of planetary formation and evolution given the tremendous observations delivered by various methods, as well as on-going and planned observation endeavors to provide a clear picture of extra-solar planetary systems.

  15. Beyond Kepler: Direct Imaging of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belikov, Ruslan

    2018-01-01

    The exoplanets field has been revolutionizing astronomy over the past 20+ years and shows no signs of stopping. The next big wave of exoplanet science may come from direct imaging of exoplanets. Several (non-habitable) exoplanets have already been imaged from the ground and NASA is planning an instrument for its 2020s flagship mission (WFIRST) to directly image large exoplanets. One of the key goals of the field is the detection and characterization of "Earth 2.0", i.e. a rocky planet with an atmosphere capable of supporting life. This appears possible with several potential instruments in the late 2020s such as WFIRST with a starshade, Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) from the ground, or one of NASA possible flagship missions in the 2030s (HabEx or LUVOIR). Also, if an Earth-like planet exists around Alpha Centauri (A or B), it may be possible to directly image it in the next approx. 5 years with a small space mission such as the Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite (ACESat). I will describe the current challenges and opportunities in this exciting field, as well as the work we are doing at the Exoplanet Technologies group to enable this exciting science.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Chemical evolution of the Galactic bulge as traced by microlensed dwarf and subgiant stars

    OpenAIRE

    Bensby, T.; Johnson, J. A.; Cohen, J.; Feltzing, S.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Huang, W.; Thompson, I.; Simmerer, J.; Adén, D.

    2009-01-01

    Aims. Our aims are twofold. First we aim to evaluate the robustness and accuracy of stellar parameters and detailed elemental abundances that can be derived from high-resolution spectroscopic observations of microlensed dwarf and subgiant stars. We then aim to use microlensed dwarf and subgiant stars to investigate the abundance structure and chemical evolution of the Milky Way Bulge. Contrary to the cool giant stars, with their extremely crowded spectra, the dwarf stars are hotter, their spe...

  20. Limits on compact halo objects as dark matter from gravitational microlensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jetzer Philippe

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Microlensing started with the seminal paper by Paczyński in 1986 [1], first with observations towards the Large Magellanic Cloud and the galactic bulge. Since then many other targets have been observed and new applications have been found. In particular, it turned out to be a powerful method to detect planets in our galaxy and even in the nearby M31. Here, we will present some results obtained so far by microlensing without being, however, exhaustive.

  1. 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.

  2. Walking on Exoplanets: Is Star Wars Right?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballesteros, Fernando J.; Luque, B.

    2016-05-01

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

  3. A Predicted Astrometric Microlensing Event by a Nearby White Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGill, Peter; Smith, Leigh C.; Wyn Evans, N.; Belokurov, Vasily; Smart, R. L.

    2018-04-01

    We used the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution catalogue, part of Gaia Data Release 1, to search for candidate astrometric microlensing events expected to occur within the remaining lifetime of the Gaia satellite. Our search yielded one promising candidate. We predict that the nearby DQ type white dwarf LAWD 37 (WD 1142-645) will lens a background star and will reach closest approach on November 11th 2019 (± 4 days) with impact parameter 380 ± 10 mas. This will produce an apparent maximum deviation of the source position of 2.8 ± 0.1 mas. In the most propitious circumstance, Gaia will be able to determine the mass of LAWD 37 to ˜3%. This mass determination will provide an independent check on atmospheric models of white dwarfs with helium rich atmospheres, as well as tests of white dwarf mass radius relationships and evolutionary theory.

  4. Simulations of the Fe K α Energy Spectra from Gravitationally Microlensed Quasars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krawczynski, H. [Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, 1 Brookings Drive, CB 1105, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Chartas, G., E-mail: krawcz@wustl.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424 (United States)

    2017-07-10

    The analysis of the Chandra X-ray observations of the gravitationally lensed quasar RX J1131−1231 revealed the detection of multiple and energy-variable spectral peaks. The spectral variability is thought to result from the microlensing of the Fe K α emission, selectively amplifying the emission from certain regions of the accretion disk with certain effective frequency shifts of the Fe K α line emission. In this paper, we combine detailed simulations of the emission of Fe K α photons from the accretion disk of a Kerr black hole with calculations of the effect of gravitational microlensing on the observed energy spectra. The simulations show that microlensing can indeed produce multiply peaked energy spectra. We explore the dependence of the spectral characteristics on black hole spin, accretion disk inclination, corona height, and microlensing amplification factor and show that the measurements can be used to constrain these parameters. We find that the range of observed spectral peak energies of QSO RX J1131−1231 can only be reproduced for black hole inclinations exceeding 70° and for lamppost corona heights of less than 30 gravitational radii above the black hole. We conclude by emphasizing the scientific potential of studies of the microlensed Fe K α quasar emission and the need for more detailed modeling that explores how the results change for more realistic accretion disk and corona geometries and microlensing magnification patterns. A full analysis should furthermore model the signal-to-noise ratio of the observations and the resulting detection biases.

  5. Candidate gravitational microlensing events for future direct lens imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henderson, C. B.; Gould, A.; Gaudi, B. S. [Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Park, H.; Han, C. [Department of Physics, Institute for Astrophysics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 371-763 (Korea, Republic of); Sumi, T.; Koshimoto, N. [Department of Earth and Space Science, Osaka University, Osaka 560-0043 (Japan); Udalski, A. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Tsapras, Y. [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, 6740 Cortona Drive, Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Bozza, V. [Department of Physics, University of Salerno, I-84084 Fisciano (Italy); Abe, F.; Fukunaga, D.; Itow, Y.; Masuda, K. [Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601 (Japan); Bennett, D. P. [Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556-5670 (United States); Bond, I. A.; Ling, C. H. [Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 102-904, North Shore Mail Centre, Auckland 0745 (New Zealand); Botzler, C. S.; Freeman, M. [Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92-019, Auckland 1001 (New Zealand); Fukui, A. [School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University, Wellington 6140 (New Zealand); Collaboration: MOA Collaboration; OGLE Collaboration; μFUN Collaboration; RoboNet Collaboration; and others

    2014-10-10

    The mass of the lenses giving rise to Galactic microlensing events can be constrained by measuring the relative lens-source proper motion and lens flux. The flux of the lens can be separated from that of the source, companions to the source, and unrelated nearby stars with high-resolution images taken when the lens and source are spatially resolved. For typical ground-based adaptive optics (AO) or space-based observations, this requires either inordinately long time baselines or high relative proper motions. We provide a list of microlensing events toward the Galactic bulge with high relative lens-source proper motion that are therefore good candidates for constraining the lens mass with future high-resolution imaging. We investigate all events from 2004 to 2013 that display detectable finite-source effects, a feature that allows us to measure the proper motion. In total, we present 20 events with μ ≳ 8 mas yr{sup –1}. Of these, 14 were culled from previous analyses while 6 are new, including OGLE-2004-BLG-368, MOA-2005-BLG-36, OGLE-2012-BLG-0211, OGLE-2012-BLG-0456, MOA-2012-BLG-532, and MOA-2013-BLG-029. In ≲12 yr from the time of each event the lens and source of each event will be sufficiently separated for ground-based telescopes with AO systems or space telescopes to resolve each component and further characterize the lens system. Furthermore, for the most recent events, comparison of the lens flux estimates from images taken immediately to those estimated from images taken when the lens and source are resolved can be used to empirically check the robustness of the single-epoch method currently being used to estimate lens masses for many events.

  6. Candidate gravitational microlensing events for future direct lens imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henderson, C. B.; Gould, A.; Gaudi, B. S.; Park, H.; Han, C.; Sumi, T.; Koshimoto, N.; Udalski, A.; Tsapras, Y.; Bozza, V.; Abe, F.; Fukunaga, D.; Itow, Y.; Masuda, K.; Bennett, D. P.; Bond, I. A.; Ling, C. H.; Botzler, C. S.; Freeman, M.; Fukui, A.

    2014-01-01

    The mass of the lenses giving rise to Galactic microlensing events can be constrained by measuring the relative lens-source proper motion and lens flux. The flux of the lens can be separated from that of the source, companions to the source, and unrelated nearby stars with high-resolution images taken when the lens and source are spatially resolved. For typical ground-based adaptive optics (AO) or space-based observations, this requires either inordinately long time baselines or high relative proper motions. We provide a list of microlensing events toward the Galactic bulge with high relative lens-source proper motion that are therefore good candidates for constraining the lens mass with future high-resolution imaging. We investigate all events from 2004 to 2013 that display detectable finite-source effects, a feature that allows us to measure the proper motion. In total, we present 20 events with μ ≳ 8 mas yr –1 . Of these, 14 were culled from previous analyses while 6 are new, including OGLE-2004-BLG-368, MOA-2005-BLG-36, OGLE-2012-BLG-0211, OGLE-2012-BLG-0456, MOA-2012-BLG-532, and MOA-2013-BLG-029. In ≲12 yr from the time of each event the lens and source of each event will be sufficiently separated for ground-based telescopes with AO systems or space telescopes to resolve each component and further characterize the lens system. Furthermore, for the most recent events, comparison of the lens flux estimates from images taken immediately to those estimated from images taken when the lens and source are resolved can be used to empirically check the robustness of the single-epoch method currently being used to estimate lens masses for many events.

  7. Augmenting WFIRST Microlensing with a Ground-Based Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Gould, Andrew

    2016-06-01

    Augmenting the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) microlensing campaigns with intensive observations from a ground-based network of wide-field survey telescopes would have several major advantages. First, it would enable full two-dimensional (2-D) vector microlens parallax measurements for a substantial fraction of low-mass lenses as well as planetary and binary events that show caustic crossing features. For a significant fraction of the free-floating planet (FFP) events and all caustic-crossing planetary/binary events, these 2-D parallax measurements directly lead to complete solutions (mass, distance, transverse velocity) of the lens object (or lens system). For even more events, the complementary ground-based observations will yield 1-D parallax measurements. Together with the 1-D parallaxes from WFIRST alone, they can probe the entire mass range M > M_Earth. For luminous lenses, such 1-D parallax measurements can be promoted to complete solutions (mass, distance, transverse velocity) by high-resolution imaging. This would provide crucial information not only about the hosts of planets and other lenses, but also enable a much more precise Galactic model. Other benefits of such a survey include improved understanding of binaries (particularly with low mass primaries), and sensitivity to distant ice-giant and gas-giant companions of WFIRST lenses that cannot be detected by WFIRST itself due to its restricted observing windows. Existing ground-based microlensing surveys can be employed if WFIRST is pointed at lower-extinction fields than is currently envisaged. This would come at some cost to the event rate. Therefore the benefits of improved characterization of lenses must be weighed against these costs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. The early evolution of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    CERN Document Server

    Raulin, François; Muller, Christian; Nixon, Conor; Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings : Volume 35

    2013-01-01

    “The Early Evolution of the Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets” presents the main processes participating in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. A group of experts in the different fields provide an update of our current knowledge on this topic. Several papers in this book discuss the key role of nitrogen in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. The earliest setting and evolution of planetary atmospheres of terrestrial planets is directly associated with accretion, chemical differentiation, outgassing, stochastic impacts, and extremely high energy fluxes from their host stars. This book provides an overview of the present knowledge of the initial atmospheric composition of the terrestrial planets. Additionally it includes some papers about the current exoplanet discoveries and provides additional clues to our understanding of Earth’s transition from a hot accretionary phase into a habitable world. All papers included were reviewed by experts in their respective fields. We are ...

  12. 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

  13. Spectroscopic Characterisation of Microlensing Events: Towards a New Interpretation of OGLE-2011-BLG-0417

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santerne, A.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Rojas Ayala, B.; Boisse, I.; Schlawin, E.; Almenara, J.-M.; Batista, V.; Bennett, D.; Diaz, R. F.; Figueira, P.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0417 is an exceptionally bright lens binary that was predicted to present radial velocity variation at the level of several km s1. Pioneer radial velocity follow-up observations with the UVES spectrograph at the ESOVLT of this system clearly ruled out the large radial velocity variation, leaving a discrepancy between the observation and the prediction. In this paper, we further characterise the microlensing system by analysing its spectral energy distribution (SED) derived using the UVES spectrum and new observations with the ARCoIRIS (CTIO) near-infrared spectrograph and the Keck adaptive optics instrumentNIRC2 in the J, H, and Ks-bands. We determine the mass and distance of the stars independently from the microlensing modelling. We find that the SED is compatible with a giant star in the Galactic bulge and a foreground star with a mass of 0.94 +/- 0.09 M solar mass at a distance of 1.07 +/- 0.24 kpc. We find that this foreground star is likely the lens. Its parameters are not compatible with the onespreviously reported in the literature (0.52 +/- 0.04 M solar mass at 0.95 +/- 0.06 kpc), based on the microlensing light curve. A thoughtful reanalysis of the microlensing event is mandatory to fully understand the reason of this new discrepancy. More importantly, this paper demonstrates that spectroscopic follow-up observations of microlensing events are possible and provide independent constraints on the parameters of the lens and source stars, hence breaking some degeneracies in the analysis. UV-to-NIR low-resolution spectrographs like X-shooter (ESOVLT) could substantially contribute to this follow-up efforts, with magnitude limits above all microlensing events detected so far.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Space missions to the exoplanets: Will they ever be possible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genta, Giancarlo

    There is no doubt that the discovery of exoplanets has made interstellar space mission much more interesting than they were in the past. The possible discovery of a terrestrial type plane at a reasonable distance will give a strong impulse in this direction. However, there are doubts that such long range space mission will ever become feasible at all and, in case they will be, it is impossible to forecast a timeframe for them. At present, precursor interstellar missions are planned, but they fall way short from yielding interesting information about exoplanets, except perhaps in the case of missions to the focal line of the Sun’s gravitational lens, whose usefulness in this context is still to be demonstrated. They are anyway an essential step in the roadmap toward interstellar missions. Often the difficulties linked with interstellar missions are considered as related with the huge quantity of energy required for reaching the target star system within a reasonable timeframe. While this may well be a showstopper, it is not the only problem to be solved to make them possible. Two other issues are those linked with the probe’s autonomy and the telecommunications required to transmit large quantities of information at those distances. Missions to the exoplanets may be subdivided in the following categories: 1) robotic missions to the destination system, including flybys; 2) robotic missions including landing on an exoplanet; 3) robotic sample return missions; 4) human missions. The main problem to be solved for missions of type 1 is linked with propulsion and with energy availability, while autonomy (artificial intelligence) and telecommunication problems are more or less manageable with predictable technologies. Missions of type 2 are more demanding for what propulsion is concerned, but above all require a much larger artificial intelligence and also will generate a large amount of data, whose transmission back to Earth may become a problem. The suggestion of

  18. Terrestrial magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pande, D.C.; Agarwal, D.C.

    1982-01-01

    This paper presents a review about terrestrial magnetosphere. During the last few years considerable investigation have been carried out about the properties of Solar Wind and its interaction with planetary magnetic fields. It is therefore of high importance to accumulate all the investigations in a comprehensive form. The paper reviews the property of earth's magnetosphere, magnetosheath, magneto pause, polar cusps, bow shook and plasma sheath. (author)

  19. GERLUMPH DATA RELEASE 1: HIGH-RESOLUTION COSMOLOGICAL MICROLENSING MAGNIFICATION MAPS AND eResearch TOOLS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vernardos, G.; Fluke, C. J.; Croton, D.; Bate, N. F.

    2014-01-01

    As synoptic all-sky surveys begin to discover new multiply lensed quasars, the flow of data will enable statistical cosmological microlensing studies of sufficient size to constrain quasar accretion disk and supermassive black hole properties. In preparation for this new era, we are undertaking the GPU-Enabled, High Resolution cosmological MicroLensing parameter survey (GERLUMPH). We present here the GERLUMPH Data Release 1, which consists of 12,342 high resolution cosmological microlensing magnification maps and provides the first uniform coverage of the convergence, shear, and smooth matter fraction parameter space. We use these maps to perform a comprehensive numerical investigation of the mass-sheet degeneracy, finding excellent agreement with its predictions. We study the effect of smooth matter on microlensing induced magnification fluctuations. In particular, in the minima and saddle-point regions, fluctuations are enhanced only along the critical line, while in the maxima region they are always enhanced for high smooth matter fractions (≈0.9). We describe our approach to data management, including the use of an SQL database with a Web interface for data access and online analysis, obviating the need for individuals to download large volumes of data. In combination with existing observational databases and online applications, the GERLUMPH archive represents a fundamental component of a new microlensing eResearch cloud. Our maps and tools are publicly available at http://gerlumph.swin.edu.au/

  20. GERLUMPH DATA RELEASE 1: HIGH-RESOLUTION COSMOLOGICAL MICROLENSING MAGNIFICATION MAPS AND eResearch TOOLS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vernardos, G.; Fluke, C. J.; Croton, D. [Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, P.O. Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122 (Australia); Bate, N. F. [Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, A28, University of Sydney, NSW, 2006 (Australia)

    2014-03-01

    As synoptic all-sky surveys begin to discover new multiply lensed quasars, the flow of data will enable statistical cosmological microlensing studies of sufficient size to constrain quasar accretion disk and supermassive black hole properties. In preparation for this new era, we are undertaking the GPU-Enabled, High Resolution cosmological MicroLensing parameter survey (GERLUMPH). We present here the GERLUMPH Data Release 1, which consists of 12,342 high resolution cosmological microlensing magnification maps and provides the first uniform coverage of the convergence, shear, and smooth matter fraction parameter space. We use these maps to perform a comprehensive numerical investigation of the mass-sheet degeneracy, finding excellent agreement with its predictions. We study the effect of smooth matter on microlensing induced magnification fluctuations. In particular, in the minima and saddle-point regions, fluctuations are enhanced only along the critical line, while in the maxima region they are always enhanced for high smooth matter fractions (≈0.9). We describe our approach to data management, including the use of an SQL database with a Web interface for data access and online analysis, obviating the need for individuals to download large volumes of data. In combination with existing observational databases and online applications, the GERLUMPH archive represents a fundamental component of a new microlensing eResearch cloud. Our maps and tools are publicly available at http://gerlumph.swin.edu.au/.

  1. New Constraints on Quasar Broad Absorption and Emission Line Regions from Gravitational Microlensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damien Hutsemékers

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Gravitational microlensing is a powerful tool allowing one to probe the structure of quasars on sub-parsec scale. We report recent results, focusing on the broad absorption and emission line regions. In particular microlensing reveals the intrinsic absorption hidden in the P Cygni-type line profiles observed in the broad absorption line quasar H1413+117, as well as the existence of an extended continuum source. In addition, polarization microlensing provides constraints on the scattering region. In the quasar Q2237+030, microlensing differently distorts the Hα and CIV broad emission line profiles, indicating that the low- and high-ionization broad emission lines must originate from regions with distinct kinematical properties. We also present simulations of the effect of microlensing on line profiles considering simple but representative models of the broad emission line region. Comparison of observations to simulations allows us to conclude that the Hα emitting region in Q2237+030 is best represented by a Keplerian disk.

  2. New Constraints on Quasar Broad Absorption and Emission Line Regions from Gravitational Microlensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutsemékers, Damien; Braibant, Lorraine; Sluse, Dominique [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Liège (Belgium); Anguita, Timo [Departamento de Ciencias Fisicas, Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago (Chile); Goosmann, René, E-mail: hutsemekers@astro.ulg.ac.be [Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg (France)

    2017-09-29

    Gravitational microlensing is a powerful tool allowing one to probe the structure of quasars on sub-parsec scale. We report recent results, focusing on the broad absorption and emission line regions. In particular microlensing reveals the intrinsic absorption hidden in the P Cygni-type line profiles observed in the broad absorption line quasar H1413+117, as well as the existence of an extended continuum source. In addition, polarization microlensing provides constraints on the scattering region. In the quasar Q2237+030, microlensing differently distorts the Hα and CIV broad emission line profiles, indicating that the low- and high-ionization broad emission lines must originate from regions with distinct kinematical properties. We also present simulations of the effect of microlensing on line profiles considering simple but representative models of the broad emission line region. Comparison of observations to simulations allows us to conclude that the Hα emitting region in Q2237+030 is best represented by a Keplerian disk.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The detectability of radio emission from exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  6. Development of a model to compute the extension of life supporting zones for Earth-like exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, David; Vrtala, Aron; Leitner, Johannes J; Firneis, Maria G; Hitzenberger, Regina

    2011-12-01

    A radiative convective model to calculate the width and the location of the life supporting zone (LSZ) for different, alternative solvents (i.e. other than water) is presented. This model can be applied to the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets in the solar system as well as (hypothetical, Earth-like) terrestrial exoplanets. Cloud droplet formation and growth are investigated using a cloud parcel model. Clouds can be incorporated into the radiative transfer calculations. Test runs for Earth, Mars and Titan show a good agreement of model results with observations.

  7. The Hollywood Strategy for Microlensing Detection of Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, A.

    Follow the big stars! I review the theory of detection and parameter measurement of planetary systems by follow-up observations of ongoing microlensing events. Two parameters can generically be measured from the event itself: the planet/star mass ratio, $q$, and the planet/star separation in units of the Einstein ring. I emphasize the advantages of monitoring events with giant-star sources which are brighter (thus easier to monitor) and bigger (thus offering the prospect of measuring an additional parameter from finite-source effects: the proper motion $\\mu$). There is potentially a strong degeneracy between $q$ and $\\mu$. I present a simple analytic representation of this degeneracy. I then describe how it can be broken using accurate single-band photometry from observatories around the world, or optical/infrared photometry from a single site, or preferably both. Both types of observations are underway or will be soon. Monitoring of giant-star events seen toward the bulge is also the best way to determine the content and structure of the inner Galaxy.

  8. Fluorescent sensing with Fresnel microlenses for optofluidic systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siudzińska, Anna; Miszczuk, Andrzej; Marczak, Jacek; Komorowska, Katarzyna

    2017-05-01

    The concept of fluorescent sensing in a microchannel equipped with focusing light Fresnel lenses has been demonstrated. The concept employs a line or array of Fresnel lenses generating a line or array of focused light spots within a microfluidic channel, to increase the sensitivity of fluorescent signal detection in the system. We have presented efficient methods of master mold fabrication based on the lithography method and focused ion beam milling. The flexible microchannel was fabricated by an imprint process with new thiolene-epoxy resin with a good ability to replicate even submicron-size features. For final imprinted lenses, the measured background to peak signal level shows more than nine times the increase in brightness at the center of the focal spot for the green part of the spectrum (532 nm). The effectiveness of the microlenses in fluorescent-marked Escherichia coli bacteria was confirmed in a basic fluoroscope experiment, showing the increase of the sensitivity of the detection by the order of magnitude.

  9. MICROLENSING BINARIES DISCOVERED THROUGH HIGH-MAGNIFICATION CHANNEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shin, I.-G.; Choi, J.-Y.; Park, S.-Y.; Han, C. [Department of Physics, Institute for Astrophysics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 371-763 (Korea, Republic of); Gould, A.; Gaudi, B. S. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Sumi, T. [Department of Earth and Space Science, Osaka University, Osaka 560-0043 (Japan); Udalski, A. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Beaulieu, J.-P. [Institut d' Astrophysique de Paris, UMR7095 CNRS-Universite Pierre and Marie Curie, 98 bis Boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris (France); Dominik, M. [School of Physics and Astronomy, SUPA, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews, KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Allen, W. [Vintage Lane Observatory, Blenheim (New Zealand); Bos, M. [Molehill Astronomical Observatory, North Shore (New Zealand); Christie, G. W. [Auckland Observatory, P.O. Box 24-180, Auckland (New Zealand); Depoy, D. L. [Department of Physics, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX (United States); Dong, S. [Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540 (United States); Drummond, J. [Possum Observatory, Patutahi (New Zealand); Gal-Yam, A. [Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics, the Weizmann Institute (Israel); Hung, L.-W. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Janczak, J. [Department of Physics, Ohio State University, 191 W. Woodruff, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Kaspi, S. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel); Collaboration: muFUN Collaboration; MOA Collaboration; OGLE Collaboration; PLANET Collaboration; RoboNet Collaboration; MiNDSTEp Consortium; and others

    2012-02-20

    Microlensing can provide a useful tool to probe binary distributions down to low-mass limits of binary companions. In this paper, we analyze the light curves of eight binary-lensing events detected through the channel of high-magnification events during the seasons from 2007 to 2010. The perturbations, which are confined near the peak of the light curves, can be easily distinguished from the central perturbations caused by planets. However, the degeneracy between close and wide binary solutions cannot be resolved with a 3{sigma} confidence level for three events, implying that the degeneracy would be an important obstacle in studying binary distributions. The dependence of the degeneracy on the lensing parameters is consistent with a theoretical prediction that the degeneracy becomes severe as the binary separation and the mass ratio deviate from the values of resonant caustics. The measured mass ratio of the event OGLE-2008-BLG-510/MOA-2008-BLG-369 is q {approx} 0.1, making the companion of the lens a strong brown dwarf candidate.

  10. Natural and artificial spectral edges in exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham

    2017-09-01

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

  11. Integration of polystyrene microlenses with both convex and concave profiles in a polymer-based microfluidic system

    KAUST Repository

    Fan, Yiqiang

    2013-12-20

    This paper reports a new technique of fabricating polystyrene microlenses with both convex and concave profiles that are integrated in polymer-based microfluidic system. The polystyrene microlenses, or microlens array, are fabricated using the free-surface thermal compression molding method. The laser fabricated poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) sheet is used as the mold for the thermal compression molding process. With different surface treatment methods of the PMMA mold, microlenses with either convex or concave profiles could be achieved during the thermal molding process. By integrating the microlenses in the microfluidic systems, observing the flow inside the microchannels is easier. This new technique is rapid, low cost, and it does not require cleanroom facilities. Microlenses with both convex and concave profiles can be easily fabricated and integrated in microfluidic system with this technique. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  12. The chemical evolution of the Galactic Bulge seen through micro-lensing events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucatello S.

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Galactic bulges are central to understanding galaxy formation and evolution. Here we report on recent studies using micro-lensing events to obtain spectra of high resolution and moderately high signal-to-noise ratios of dwarf stars in the Galactic bulge. Normally this is not feasible for the faint turn-off stars in the Galactic bulge, but micro-lensing offers this possibility. Elemental abundance trends in the Galactic bulge as traced by dwarf stars are very similar to those seen for dwarf stars in the solar neighbourhood. We discuss the implications of the ages and metallicity distribution function derived for the micro-lensed dwarf stars in the Galactic bulge.

  13. Probing the gravitational Faraday rotation using quasar X-ray microlensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bin

    2015-11-17

    The effect of gravitational Faraday rotation was predicted in the 1950s, but there is currently no practical method for measuring this effect. Measuring this effect is important because it will provide new evidence for correctness of general relativity, in particular, in the strong field limit. We predict that the observed degree and angle of the X-ray polarization of a cosmologically distant quasar microlensed by the random star field in a foreground galaxy or cluster lens vary rapidly and concurrently with flux during caustic-crossing events using the first simulation of quasar X-ray microlensing polarization light curves. Therefore, it is possible to detect gravitational Faraday rotation by monitoring the X-ray polarization of gravitationally microlensed quasars. Detecting this effect will also confirm the strong gravity nature of quasar X-ray emission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki

    2018-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Magnetic fields in Earth-like exoplanets and implications for habitability around M-dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Morales, Mercedes; Gómez-Pérez, Natalia; Ruedas, Thomas

    2011-12-01

    We present estimations of dipolar magnetic moments for terrestrial exoplanets using the Olson & Christiansen (EPS Lett 250:561-571, 2006) scaling law and assuming their interior structure is similar to Earth. We find that the dipolar moment of fast rotating planets (where the Coriolis force dominates convection in the core), may amount up to ~80 times the magnetic moment of Earth, M ⊕, for at least part of the planets' lifetime. For slow rotating planets (where the force of inertia dominates), the dipolar magnetic moment only reaches up to ~1.5 M [symbol in text]. Applying our calculations to confirmed rocky exoplanets, we find that CoRoT-7b, Kepler-10b and 55 Cnc e can sustain dynamos up to ~18, 15 and 13 M [symbol in text], respectively. Our results also indicate that the magnetic moment of rocky exoplanets not only depends on rotation rate, but also on their formation history, thermal state, age, composition, and the geometry of the field. These results apply to all rocky planets, but have important implications for the particular case of planets in the Habitable Zone of M-dwarfs.

  17. Science Parametrics for Missions to Search for Earth-like Exoplanets by Direct Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    We use Nt , the number of exoplanets observed in time t, as a science metric to study direct-search missions like Terrestrial Planet Finder. In our model, N has 27 parameters, divided into three categories: 2 astronomical, 7 instrumental, and 18 science-operational. For various "27-vectors" of those parameters chosen to explore parameter space, we compute design reference missions to estimate Nt . Our treatment includes the recovery of completeness c after a search observation, for revisits, solar and antisolar avoidance, observational overhead, and follow-on spectroscopy. Our baseline 27-vector has aperture D = 16 m, inner working angle IWA = 0.039'', mission time t = 0-5 yr, occurrence probability for Earth-like exoplanets η = 0.2, and typical values for the remaining 23 parameters. For the baseline case, a typical five-year design reference mission has an input catalog of ~4700 stars with nonzero completeness, ~1300 unique stars observed in ~2600 observations, of which ~1300 are revisits, and it produces N 1 ~ 50 exoplanets after one year and N 5 ~ 130 after five years. We explore offsets from the baseline for 10 parameters. We find that N depends strongly on IWA and only weakly on D. It also depends only weakly on zodiacal light for Z end-to-end efficiency for h > 0.2, and scattered starlight for ζ revisits, solar and antisolar avoidance, and follow-on spectroscopy are all important factors in estimating N.

  18. Microlensing discovery of a population of very tight, very low mass binary brown dwarfs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, J.-Y.; Han, C.; Udalski, A.

    2013-01-01

    the discovery via gravitational microlensing of two very low mass, very tight binary systems. These binaries have directly and precisely measured total system masses of 0.025 M ☉ and 0.034 M ☉, and projected separations of 0.31 AU and 0.19 AU, making them the lowest-mass and tightest field BD binaries known....... The discovery of a population of such binaries indicates that BD binaries can robustly form at least down to masses of ~0.02 M ☉. Future microlensing surveys will measure a mass-selected sample of BD binary systems, which can then be directly compared to similar samples of stellar binaries....

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Constraining Exoplanet Habitability with HabEx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2011-06-01

    scaling our systems to match the observed semimajor axis distribution of giant exoplanets, we predict that terrestrial exoplanets in the same systems should be a few times more abundant at ~0.5 AU than giant or terrestrial exoplanets at 1 AU; 3) the Solar System appears to be unusual in terms of its combination of a rich terrestrial planet system and a low dust content. This may be explained by the weak, outward-directed instability that is thought to have caused the late heavy bombardment. The movie associated to Fig. 2 is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  4. The Galactic Distribution of Planets via Spitzer Microlensing Parallax

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  6. Refractive microlenses produced by excimer laser machining of poly(methyl methacrylate)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Martin Frøhling; Krühne, Ulrich; H., L.

    2005-01-01

    A method has been developed whereby refractive microlenses can be produced in poly (methyl methacrylate) by excimer laser irradiation at λ = 248 nm. The lenses are formed by a combined photochemical and thermal process. The lenses are formed as depressions in the substrate material (negative foca...

  7. The Impact of Microlensing on the Standardisation of Strongly Lensed Type Ia Supernovae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foxley-Marrable, Max; Collett, Thomas E.; Vernardos, Georgios; Goldstein, Daniel A.; Bacon, David

    2018-05-01

    We investigate the effect of microlensing on the standardisation of strongly lensed Type Ia supernovae (GLSNe Ia). We present predictions for the amount of scatter induced by microlensing across a range of plausible strong lens macromodels. We find that lensed images in regions of low convergence, shear and stellar density are standardisable, where the microlensing scatter is ≲ 0.15 magnitudes, comparable to the intrinsic dispersion of for a typical SN Ia. These standardisable configurations correspond to asymmetric lenses with an image located far outside the Einstein radius of the lens. Symmetric and small Einstein radius lenses (≲ 0.5 arcsec) are not standardisable. We apply our model to the recently discovered GLSN Ia iPTF16geu and find that the large discrepancy between the observed flux and the macromodel predictions from More et al. (2017) cannot be explained by microlensing alone. Using the mock GLSNe Ia catalogue of Goldstein et al. (2017), we predict that ˜ 22% of GLSNe Ia discovered by LSST will be standardisable, with a median Einstein radius of 0.9 arcseconds and a median time-delay of 41 days. By breaking the mass-sheet degeneracy the full LSST GLSNe Ia sample will be able to detect systematics in H0 at the 0.5% level.

  8. Gaia16aye binary microlensing event is rising for the 5th time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrzykowski, L.; Mroz, P.; Rybicki, K.; Altavilla, G.; Bakis, V.; Bendjoya, P.; Birenbaum, G.; Blagorodnova, N.; Blanco-Cuaresma, S.; Bonanos, A.; Bozza, V.; Britavskiy, N.; Burgaz, U.; Butterley, T.; Capuozzo, P.; Carrasco, J. M.; Chruslinska, M.; Damljanovic, G.; Dapergolas, T.; Dennefeld, M.; Dhillon, V. S.; Dominik, M.; Esenoglu, H.; Fossey, S.; Gomboc, A.; Hallokoun, N.; Hamanowicz, A.; Hardy, L. K.; Hudec, R.; Khamitov, I.; Klencki, J.; Kolaczkowski, Z.; Kolb, U.; Leonini, S.; Leto, G.; Lewis, F.; Liakos, A.; Littlefair, S. P.; Maoz, D.; Maund, J. R.; Mikolajczyk, P.; Palaversa, L.; Pawlak, M.; Penny, M.; Piascik, A.; Reig, P.; Rhodes, L.; Russell, D.; Sanchez, R. Z.; Shappee, B.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Sitek, M.; Sniegowska, M.; Sokolovsky, K.; Steele, I.; Street, R.; Tomasella, L.; Trascinelli, L.; Wiersema, K.; Wilson, R. W.; Zharkov, I.; Zola, S.; Zubareva, A.

    2017-05-01

    Gaia16aye, nicknamed Ayers Rock (19:40:01.13 +30:07:53.4, J2000) was detected in August 2016 and continue on-going, becoming the longest microlensing event found in the Galactic Disk (ATEL #9376, #9507).

  9. Predicting the 4th caustic crossing in Gaia16aye binary microlensing event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mroz, P.; Wyrzykowski, L.; Rybicki, K.; Altavilla, G.; Bakis, V.; Bendjoya, P.; Birenbaum, G.; Blagorodnova, N.; Blanco-Cuaresma, S.; Bonanos, A.; Bozza, V.; Britavskiy, N.; Burgaz, U.; Butterley, T.; Capuozzo, P.; Carrasco, J. M.; Chruslinska, M.; Damljanovic, G.; Dennefeld, M.; Dhillon, V. S.; Dominik, M.; Esenoglu, H.; Fossey, S.; Gomboc, A.; Hallokoun, N.; Hamanowicz, A.; Hardy, L. K.; Hudec, R.; Khamitov, I.; Klencki, J.; Kolaczkowski, Z.; Kolb, U.; Leonini, S.; Leto, G.; Lewis, F.; Liakos, A.; Littlefair, S. P.; Maoz, D.; Maund, J. R.; Mikolajczyk, P.; Palaversa, L.; Pawlak, M.; Penny, M.; Piascik, A.; Reig, P.; Rhodes, L.; Russell, D.; Sanchez, R. Z.; Shappee, B.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Sitek, M.; Sniegowska, M.; Sokolovsky, K.; Steele, I.; Street, R.; Tomasella, L.; Trascinelli, L.; Wiersema, K.; Wilson, R. W.; Zharkov, I.; Zola, S.; Zubareva, A.

    2016-11-01

    Gaia16aye, nicknamed Ayers Rock (19:40:01.13 +30:07:53.4, J2000) is a spectacular binary microlensing event in the Northern Galactic Plane. The event has been observed by Gaia, ASAS-SN survey and a network of follow-up telescopes, coordinated by the Time Domain WP of the EC's OPTICON grant.

  10. MICROLENSING OF QUASAR BROAD EMISSION LINES: CONSTRAINTS ON BROAD LINE REGION SIZE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guerras, E.; Mediavilla, E. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Via Lactea S/N, La Laguna E-38200, Tenerife (Spain); Jimenez-Vicente, J. [Departamento de Fisica Teorica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, E-18071 Granada (Spain); Kochanek, C. S. [Department of Astronomy and the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, The Ohio State University, 4055 McPherson Lab, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43221 (United States); Munoz, J. A. [Departamento de Astronomia y Astrofisica, Universidad de Valencia, E-46100 Burjassot, Valencia (Spain); Falco, E. [Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Motta, V. [Departamento de Fisica y Astronomia, Universidad de Valparaiso, Avda. Gran Bretana 1111, Valparaiso (Chile)

    2013-02-20

    We measure the differential microlensing of the broad emission lines between 18 quasar image pairs in 16 gravitational lenses. We find that the broad emission lines are in general weakly microlensed. The results show, at a modest level of confidence (1.8{sigma}), that high ionization lines such as C IV are more strongly microlensed than low ionization lines such as H{beta}, indicating that the high ionization line emission regions are more compact. If we statistically model the distribution of microlensing magnifications, we obtain estimates for the broad line region size of r{sub s} = 24{sup +22} {sub -15} and r{sub s} = 55{sup +150} {sub -35} lt-day (90% confidence) for the high and low ionization lines, respectively. When the samples are divided into higher and lower luminosity quasars, we find that the line emission regions of more luminous quasars are larger, with a slope consistent with the expected scaling from photoionization models. Our estimates also agree well with the results from local reveberation mapping studies.

  11. Search for black matter through the detection of gravitational micro-lenses in differential photometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Guillou, L.

    2003-09-01

    The nature of dark matter is an open question. The search for gravitational microlensing effects is an interesting tool because this effect is strongly dependent on the mass of objects whether they are luminous or not, however this detection method is only sensitive to compact forms of dark matter (MACHOS - massive astronomical halo compact objects), and as a consequence no-baryonic matter like neutrinos or WIMPS (weakly interacting massive particles) can not be detected this way. In the first chapter the author reviews the plausible candidates to black matter. The use of the microlensing effect as a probe of the galactic halo is presented in the second chapter. The third chapter is dedicated to the series of experiments worldwide that focus on the detection of MACHOS. In the fourth chapter the author shows how the DIA (difference image analysis) method may be promising in the study of gravitational microlensing effects. The main part of this work has been the use of the DIA method to process five-year data set collected by the Eros experiment in the small Magellanic cloud (SMC). The data processing line and the results are presented in the fifth and sixth chapters. The results are consistent with previous results given by Eros and they confirm the disparity of the durations of micro-lenses detected in the large and small Magellanic clouds. (A.C.)

  12. Limits on the Mass and Abundance of Primordial Black Holes from Quasar Gravitational Microlensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mediavilla, E. [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Vía Láctea S/N, La Laguna E-38200, Tenerife (Spain); Jiménez-Vicente, J.; Calderón-Infante, J. [Departamento de Física Teórica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, E-18071 Granada (Spain); Muñoz, J. A.; Vives-Arias, H. [Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Universidad de Valencia, E-46100 Burjassot, Valencia (Spain)

    2017-02-20

    The idea that dark matter can be made of intermediate-mass primordial black holes (PBHs) in the 10 M {sub ⊙} ≲ M ≲ 200 M {sub ⊙} range has recently been reconsidered, particularly in the light of the detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO experiment. The existence of even a small fraction of dark matter in black holes should nevertheless result in noticeable quasar gravitational microlensing. Quasar microlensing is sensitive to any type of compact objects in the lens galaxy, to their abundance, and to their mass. We have analyzed optical and X-ray microlensing data from 24 gravitationally lensed quasars to estimate the abundance of compact objects in a very wide range of masses. We conclude that the fraction of mass in black holes or any type of compact objects is negligible outside of the 0.05 M {sub ⊙} ≲ M ≲ 0.45 M {sub ⊙} mass range and that it amounts to 20% ± 5% of the total matter, in agreement with the expected masses and abundances of the stellar component. Consequently, the existence of a significant population of intermediate-mass PBHs appears to be inconsistent with current microlensing observations. Therefore, primordial massive black holes are a very unlikely source of the gravitational radiation detected by LIGO.

  13. Fabrication of Polydimethylsiloxane Microlenses Utilizing Hydrogel Shrinkage and a Single Molding Step

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bader Aldalali

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available We report on polydimethlysiloxane (PDMS microlenses and microlens arrays on flat and curved substrates fabricated via a relatively simple process combining liquid-phase photopolymerization and a single molding step. The mold for the formation of the PDMS lenses is fabricated by photopolymerizing a polyacrylamide (PAAm pre-hydrogel. The shrinkage of PAAm after its polymerization forms concave lenses. The lenses are then transferred to PDMS by a single step molding to form PDMS microlens array on a flat substrate. The PAAm concave lenses are also transferred to PDMS and another flexible polymer, Solaris, to realize artificial compound eyes. The resultant microlenses and microlens arrays possess good uniformity and optical properties. The focal length of the lenses is inversely proportional to the shrinkage time. The microlens mold can also be rehydrated to change the focal length of the ultimate PDMS microlenses. The spherical aberration is 2.85 μm and the surface roughness is on the order of 204 nm. The microlenses can resolve 10.10 line pairs per mm (lp/mm and have an f-number range between f/2.9 and f/56.5. For the compound eye, the field of view is 113°.

  14. The POINT-AGAPE Survey: Comparing Automated Searches of Microlensing Events toward M31

    CERN Document Server

    Tsapras, Y; Weston, M J; Kerins, E; Baillon, P; Gould, A; Paulin-Henriksson, S

    2010-01-01

    Searching for microlensing in M31 using automated superpixel surveys raises a number of difficulties which are not present in more conventional techniques. Here we focus on the problem that the list of microlensing candidates is sensitive to the selection criteria or "cuts" imposed and some subjectivity is involved in this. Weakening the cuts will generate a longer list of microlensing candidates but with a greater fraction of spurious ones; strengthening the cuts will produce a shorter list but may exclude some genuine events. We illustrate this by comparing three analyses of the same data-set obtained from a 3-year observing run on the INT in La Palma. The results of two of these analyses have been already reported: Belokurov et al. (2005) obtained between 3 and 22 candidates, depending on the strength of their cuts, while Calchi Novati et al. (2005) obtained 6 candidates. The third analysis is presented here for the first time and reports 10 microlensing candidates, 7 of which are new. Only two of the cand...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Geology and photometric variation of solar system bodies with minor atmospheres: implications for solid exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Yuka; Kimura, Jun; Dohm, James; Ohtake, Makiko

    2014-09-01

    A reasonable basis for future astronomical investigations of exoplanets lies in our best knowledge of the planets and satellites in the Solar System. Solar System bodies exhibit a wide variety of surface environments, even including potential habitable conditions beyond Earth, and it is essential to know how they can be characterized from outside the Solar System. In this study, we provide an overview of geological features of major Solar System solid bodies with minor atmospheres (i.e., the terrestrial Moon, Mercury, the Galilean moons, and Mars) that affect surface albedo at local to global scale, and we survey how they influence point-source photometry in the UV/visible/near IR (i.e., the reflection-dominant range). We simulate them based on recent mapping products and also compile observed light curves where available. We show a 5-50% peak-to-trough variation amplitude in one spin rotation associated with various geological processes including heterogeneous surface compositions due to igneous activities, interaction with surrounding energetic particles, and distribution of grained materials. Some indications of these processes are provided by the amplitude and wavelength dependence of variation in combinations of the time-averaged spectra. We also estimate the photometric precision needed to detect their spin rotation rates through periodogram analysis. Our survey illustrates realistic possibilities for inferring the detailed properties of solid exoplanets with future direct imaging observations. Key Words: Planetary environments-Planetary geology-Solar System-Extrasolar terrestrial planets.

  17. Effect of Surface-mantle Water Exchange Parameterizations on Exoplanet Ocean Depths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komacek, Thaddeus D.; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2016-11-01

    Terrestrial exoplanets in the canonical habitable zone may have a variety of initial water fractions due to random volatile delivery by planetesimals. If the total planetary water complement is high, the entire surface may be covered in water, forming a “waterworld.” On a planet with active tectonics, competing mechanisms act to regulate the abundance of water on the surface by determining the partitioning of water between interior and surface. Here we explore how the incorporation of different mechanisms for the degassing and regassing of water changes the volatile evolution of a planet. For all of the models considered, volatile cycling reaches an approximate steady state after ∼ 2 {Gyr}. Using these steady states, we find that if volatile cycling is either solely dependent on temperature or seafloor pressure, exoplanets require a high abundance (≳ 0.3 % of total mass) of water to have fully inundated surfaces. However, if degassing is more dependent on seafloor pressure and regassing mainly dependent on mantle temperature, the degassing rate is relatively large at late times and a steady state between degassing and regassing is reached with a substantial surface water fraction. If this hybrid model is physical, super-Earths with a total water fraction similar to that of the Earth can become waterworlds. As a result, further understanding of the processes that drive volatile cycling on terrestrial planets is needed to determine the water fraction at which they are likely to become waterworlds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. STABILITY OF CO2 ATMOSPHERES ON DESICCATED M DWARF EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. DECIPHERING THERMAL PHASE CURVES OF DRY, TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koll, Daniel D. B.; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: dkoll@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2015-03-20

    Next-generation space telescopes will allow us to characterize terrestrial exoplanets. To do so effectively it will be crucial to make use of all available data. We investigate which atmospheric properties can, and cannot, be inferred from the broadband thermal phase curve of a dry and tidally locked terrestrial planet. First, we use dimensional analysis to show that phase curves are controlled by six nondimensional parameters. Second, we use an idealized general circulation model to explore the relative sensitivity of phase curves to these parameters. We find that the feature of phase curves most sensitive to atmospheric parameters is the peak-to-trough amplitude. Moreover, except for hot and rapidly rotating planets, the phase amplitude is primarily sensitive to only two nondimensional parameters: (1) the ratio of dynamical to radiative timescales and (2) the longwave optical depth at the surface. As an application of this technique, we show how phase curve measurements can be combined with transit or emission spectroscopy to yield a new constraint for the surface pressure and atmospheric mass of terrestrial planets. We estimate that a single broadband phase curve, measured over half an orbit with the James Webb Space Telescope, could meaningfully constrain the atmospheric mass of a nearby super-Earth. Such constraints will be important for studying the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial exoplanets as well as characterizing the surface conditions on potentially habitable planets.

  2. Origin and evolution of life on terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, A; Horneck, G; Cockell, C S; Bérces, A; Belisheva, N K; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Liseau, Réne; Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The ultimate goal of terrestrial planet-finding missions is not only to discover terrestrial exoplanets inside the habitable zone (HZ) of their host stars but also to address the major question as to whether life may have evolved on a habitable Earth-like exoplanet outside our Solar System. We note that the chemical evolution that finally led to the origin of life on Earth must be studied if we hope to understand the principles of how life might evolve on other terrestrial planets in the Universe. This is not just an anthropocentric point of view: the basic ingredients of terrestrial life, that is, reduced carbon-based molecules and liquid H(2)O, have very specific properties. We discuss the origin of life from the chemical evolution of its precursors to the earliest life-forms and the biological implications of the stellar radiation and energetic particle environments. Likewise, the study of the biological evolution that has generated the various life-forms on Earth provides clues toward the understanding of the interconnectedness of life with its environment.

  3. Atmospheres of partially differentiated super-Earth exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Laura; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Terrestrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems

  5. 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.

  6. ASTRO 850: Teaching Teachers about Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barringer, Daniel; Palma, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    The Earth and Space Science Partnership (ESSP) is a collaboration among Penn State scientists, science educators and seven school districts across Pennsylvania. Penn State also offers through its fully online World Campus the opportunity for In-Service science teachers to earn an M.Ed. degree in Earth Science, and we currently offer a required online astronomy course for that program. We have previously presented descriptions of how have incorporated research-based pedagogical practices into ESSP-sponsored workshops for in-service teachers (Palma et al. 2013), a pilot section of introductory astronomy for non-science majors (Palma et al. 2014), and into the design of an online elective course on exoplanets for the M.Ed. in Earth Science (Barringer and Palma, 2016). Here, we present the finished version of that exoplanet course, ASTRO 850. We gratefully acknowledge support from the NSF MSP program award DUE#0962792.

  7. 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.

  8. Exoplanet Transits of Stellar Active Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. THE FREQUENCY OF LOW-MASS EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. TWO EXOPLANETS DISCOVERED AT KECK OBSERVATORY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Archaeology and direct imaging of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, John B.

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

  12. 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.

  13. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. The Frequency of Low-Mass Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Standardizing Exoplanet Analysis with the Exoplanet Characterization Tool Kit (ExoCTK)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Julia; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Fraine, Jonathan D.; Pueyo, Laurent; Bruno, Giovanni; Filippazzo, Joe; Hill, Matthew; Batalha, Natasha; Wakeford, Hannah; Bushra, Rafia

    2018-06-01

    Exoplanet characterization depends critically on analysis tools, models, and spectral libraries that are constantly under development and have no single source nor sense of unified style or methods. The complexity of spectroscopic analysis and initial time commitment required to become competitive is prohibitive to new researchers entering the field, as well as a remaining obstacle for established groups hoping to contribute in a comparable manner to their peers. As a solution, we are developing an open-source, modular data analysis package in Python and a publicly facing web interface including tools that address atmospheric characterization, transit observation planning with JWST, JWST corongraphy simulations, limb darkening, forward modeling, and data reduction, as well as libraries of stellar, planet, and opacity models. The foundation of these software tools and libraries exist within pockets of the exoplanet community, but our project will gather these seedling tools and grow a robust, uniform, and well-maintained exoplanet characterization toolkit.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breckinridge, James Bernard

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  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. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macintosh, Bruce

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

  4. 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. 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

  6. Designing Fresnel microlenses for focusing astigmatic multi-Gaussian beams by using fractional order Fourier transforms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patino, A; Durand, P-E; Fogret, E; Pellat-Finet, P

    2011-01-01

    According to a scalar theory of diffraction, light propagation can be expressed by two-dimensional fractional order Fourier transforms. Since the fractional Fourier transform of a chirp function is a Dirac distribution, focusing a light beam is optically achieved by using a diffractive screen whose transmission function is a two-dimensional chirp function. This property is applied to designing Fresnel microlenses, and the orders of the involved Fourier fractional transforms depend on diffraction distances as well as on emitter and receiver radii of curvature. If the emitter is astigmatic (with two principal radii of curvature), the diffraction phenomenon involves two one-dimensional fractional Fourier transforms whose orders are different. This degree of freedom allows us to design microlenses that can focus astigmatic Gaussian beams, as produced by a line-shaped laser diode source.

  7. A ROBUST DETERMINATION OF THE SIZE OF QUASAR ACCRETION DISKS USING GRAVITATIONAL MICROLENSING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiménez-Vicente, J.; Mediavilla, E.; Muñoz, J. A.; Kochanek, C. S.

    2012-01-01

    Using microlensing measurements for a sample of 27 image pairs of 19 lensed quasars we determine a maximum likelihood estimate for the accretion disk size of an average quasar of r s = 4.0 +2.4 –3.1 lt-day at rest frame (λ) = 1736 Å for microlenses with a mean mass of (M) = 0.3 M ☉ . This value, in good agreement with previous results from smaller samples, is roughly a factor of five greater than the predictions of the standard thin disk model. The individual size estimates for the 19 quasars in our sample are also in excellent agreement with the results of the joint maximum likelihood analysis.

  8. 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.

  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. 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...

  11. CAN THE MASSES OF ISOLATED PLANETARY-MASS GRAVITATIONAL LENSES BE MEASURED BY TERRESTRIAL PARALLAX?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, M.; Botzler, C. S.; Bray, J. C.; Cherrie, J. M.; Rattenbury, N. J. [Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142 (New Zealand); Philpott, L. C. [Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4 (Canada); Abe, F.; Muraki, Y. [Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601 (Japan); Albrow, M. D. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Canterbury, P.O. Box 4800, Christchurch 8020 (New Zealand); Bennett, D. P. [Department of Physics, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); Bond, I. A. [Institute for Information and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 102-904, Auckland 1330 (New Zealand); Christie, G. W.; Natusch, T. [Auckland Observatory, PO Box 180, Royal Oak, Auckland 1345 (New Zealand); Dionnet, Z. [Université d' Orsay, bat 470, F-91400 Orsay (France); Gould, A. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Han, C. [Department of Physics, Chungbuk National University, 410 Seongbong-Rho, Hungduk-Gu, Chongju 371-763 (Korea, Republic of); Heyrovský, D. [Institute of Theoretical Physics, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, V Holesovickach 2, 18000 Prague (Czech Republic); McCormick, J. M. [Farm Cove Observatory, 2/24 Rapallo Place, Pakuranga, Auckland 2012 (New Zealand); Moorhouse, D. M. [Kumeu Observatory, Kumeu (New Zealand); Skowron, J., E-mail: mfre070@aucklanduni.ac.nz [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478, Warszawa (Poland); and others

    2015-02-01

    Recently Sumi et al. reported evidence for a large population of planetary-mass objects (PMOs) that are either unbound or orbit host stars in orbits ≥10 AU. Their result was deduced from the statistical distribution of durations of gravitational microlensing events observed by the MOA collaboration during 2006 and 2007. Here we study the feasibility of measuring the mass of an individual PMO through microlensing by examining a particular event, MOA-2011-BLG-274. This event was unusual as the duration was short, the magnification high, the source-size effect large, and the angular Einstein radius small. Also, it was intensively monitored from widely separated locations under clear skies at low air masses. Choi et al. concluded that the lens of the event may have been a PMO but they did not attempt a measurement of its mass. We report here a re-analysis of the event using re-reduced data. We confirm the results of Choi et al. and attempt a measurement of the mass and distance of the lens using the terrestrial parallax effect. Evidence for terrestrial parallax is found at a 3σ level of confidence. The best fit to the data yields the mass and distance of the lens as 0.80 ± 0.30 M {sub J} and 0.80 ± 0.25 kpc respectively. We exclude a host star to the lens out to a separation ∼40 AU. Drawing on our analysis of MOA-2011-BLG-274 we propose observational strategies for future microlensing surveys to yield sharper results on PMOs including those down to super-Earth mass.

  12. A Neptune-mass Free-floating Planet Candidate Discovered by Microlensing Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mróz, Przemek; Ryu, Y.-H.; Skowron, J.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Szymański, M. K.; Soszyński, I.; Poleski, R.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Kozłowski, S.; Pawlak, M.; Ulaczyk, K.; OGLE Collaboration; Albrow, M. D.; Chung, S.-J.; Jung, Y. K.; Han, C.; Hwang, K.-H.; Shin, I.-G.; Yee, J. C.; Zhu, W.; Cha, S.-M.; Kim, D.-J.; Kim, H.-W.; Kim, S.-L.; Lee, C.-U.; Lee, D.-J.; Lee, Y.; Park, B.-G.; Pogge, R. W.; KMTNet Collaboration

    2018-03-01

    Current microlensing surveys are sensitive to free-floating planets down to Earth-mass objects. All published microlensing events attributed to unbound planets were identified based on their short timescale (below two days), but lacked an angular Einstein radius measurement (and hence lacked a significant constraint on the lens mass). Here, we present the discovery of a Neptune-mass free-floating planet candidate in the ultrashort (t E = 0.320 ± 0.003 days) microlensing event OGLE-2016-BLG-1540. The event exhibited strong finite-source effects, which allowed us to measure its angular Einstein radius of θ E = 9.2 ± 0.5 μas. There remains, however, a degeneracy between the lens mass and distance. The combination of the source proper motion and source-lens relative proper motion measurements favors a Neptune-mass lens located in the Galactic disk. However, we cannot rule out that the lens is a Saturn-mass object belonging to the bulge population. We exclude stellar companions up to ∼15 au.

  13. Gravitational microlensing by low-mass objects in the globular cluster M22.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, K C; Casertano, S; Livio, M; Gilliland, R L; Panagia, N; Albrow, M D; Potter, M

    2001-06-28

    Gravitational microlensing offers a means of determining directly the masses of objects ranging from planets to stars, provided that the distances and motions of the lenses and sources can be determined. A globular cluster observed against the dense stellar field of the Galactic bulge presents ideal conditions for such observations because the probability of lensing is high and the distances and kinematics of the lenses and sources are well constrained. The abundance of low-mass objects in a globular cluster is of particular interest, because it may be representative of the very early stages of star formation in the Universe, and therefore indicative of the amount of dark baryonic matter in such clusters. Here we report a microlensing event associated with the globular cluster M22. We determine the mass of the lens to be 0.13(+0.03)(-0.02) solar masses. We have also detected six events that are unresolved in time. If these are also microlensing events, they imply that a non-negligible fraction of the cluster mass resides in the form of free-floating planetary-mass objects.

  14. Bright Single-Photon Sources Based on Anti-Reflection Coated Deterministic Quantum Dot Microlenses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Schnauber

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We report on enhancing the photon-extraction efficiency (PEE of deterministic quantum dot (QD microlenses via anti-reflection (AR coating. The AR-coating deposited on top of the curved microlens surface is composed of a thin layer of Ta2O5, and is found to effectively reduce back-reflection of light at the semiconductor-vacuum interface. A statistical analysis of spectroscopic data reveals, that the AR-coating improves the light out-coupling of respective microlenses by a factor of 1.57 ± 0.71, in quantitative agreement with numerical calculations. Taking the enhancement factor into account, we predict improved out-coupling of light with a PEE of up to 50%. The quantum nature of emission from QDs integrated into AR-coated microlenses is demonstrated via photon auto-correlation measurements revealing strong suppression of two-photon emission events with g(2(0 = 0.05 ± 0.02. As such, these bright non-classical light sources are highly attractive with respect to applications in the field of quantum cryptography.

  15. OGLE-III MICROLENSING EVENTS AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE GALACTIC BULGE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wyrzykowski, Łukasz; Rynkiewicz, Alicja E.; Skowron, Jan; Kozłowski, Szymon; Udalski, Andrzej; Szymański, Michał K.; Kubiak, Marcin; Soszyński, Igor; Pietrzyński, Grzegorz; Poleski, Radosław; Pietrukowicz, Paweł; Pawlak, Michał, E-mail: lw@astrouw.edu.pl [Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland)

    2015-01-01

    We present and study the largest and most comprehensive catalog of microlensing events ever constructed. The sample of standard microlensing events comprises 3718 unique events from 2001-2009 with 1409 events that had not been detected before in real-time by the Early Warning System of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. The search pipeline uses machine learning algorithms to help find rare phenomena among 150 million objects and to derive the detection efficiency. Applications of the catalog can be numerous, from analyzing individual events to large statistical studies of the Galactic mass, kinematics distributions, and planetary abundances. We derive maps of the mean Einstein ring crossing time of events spanning 31 deg{sup 2} toward the Galactic center and compare the observed distributions with the most recent models. We find good agreement within the observed region and we see the signature of the tilt of the bar in the microlensing data. However, the asymmetry of the mean timescales seems to rise more steeply than predicted, indicating either a somewhat different orientation of the bar or a larger bar width. The map of events with sources in the Galactic bulge shows a dependence of the mean timescale on the Galactic latitude, signaling an increasing contribution from disk lenses closer to the plane relative to the height of the disk. Our data present a perfect set for comparing and enhancing new models of the central parts of the Milky Way and creating a three-dimensional picture of the Galaxy.

  16. 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

  17. Direct Detection of Polarized, Scattered Light from Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Gregory

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    We use N t , the number of exoplanets observed in time t, as a science metric to study direct-search missions like Terrestrial Planet Finder. In our model, N has 27 parameters, divided into three categories: 2 astronomical, 7 instrumental, and 18 science-operational. For various ''27-vectors'' of those parameters chosen to explore parameter space, we compute design reference missions to estimate N t . Our treatment includes the recovery of completeness c after a search observation, for revisits, solar and antisolar avoidance, observational overhead, and follow-on spectroscopy. Our baseline 27-vector has aperture D = 16 m, inner working angle IWA = 0.039'', mission time t = 0-5 yr, occurrence probability for Earth-like exoplanets η = 0.2, and typical values for the remaining 23 parameters. For the baseline case, a typical five-year design reference mission has an input catalog of ∼4700 stars with nonzero completeness, ∼1300 unique stars observed in ∼2600 observations, of which ∼1300 are revisits, and it produces N 1 ∼ 50 exoplanets after one year and N 5 ∼ 130 after five years. We explore offsets from the baseline for 10 parameters. We find that N depends strongly on IWA and only weakly on D. It also depends only weakly on zodiacal light for Z < 50 zodis, end-to-end efficiency for h > 0.2, and scattered starlight for ζ < 10 –10 . We find that observational overheads, completeness recovery and revisits, solar and antisolar avoidance, and follow-on spectroscopy are all important factors in estimating N

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. The potential feasibility of chlorinic photosynthesis on exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Johnson R

    2010-11-01

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

  1. DETERMINING REFLECTANCE SPECTRA OF SURFACES AND CLOUDS ON EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. LIGHT SCATTERING FROM EXOPLANET OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Light from Exoplanets: Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Leo

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcella Iuzzolino

    2017-03-01

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

  9. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  10. COLORS OF A SECOND EARTH: ESTIMATING THE FRACTIONAL AREAS OF OCEAN, LAND, AND VEGETATION OF EARTH-LIKE EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujii, Yuka; Kawahara, Hajime; Suto, Yasushi; Taruya, Atsushi; Fukuda, Satoru; Nakajima, Teruyuki; Turner, Edwin L.

    2010-01-01

    Characterizing the surfaces of rocky exoplanets via their scattered light will be an essential challenge in investigating their habitability and the possible existence of life on their surfaces. We present a reconstruction method for fractional areas of different surface types from the colors of an Earth-like exoplanet. We create mock light curves for Earth without clouds using empirical data. These light curves are fitted to an isotropic scattering model consisting of four surface types: ocean, soil, snow, and vegetation. In an idealized situation where the photometric errors are only photon shot noise, we are able to reproduce the fractional areas of those components fairly well. The results offer some hope for detection of vegetation via the distinct spectral feature of photosynthesis on Earth, known as the red edge. In our reconstruction method, Rayleigh scattering due to the atmosphere plays an important role, and for terrestrial exoplanets with an atmosphere similar to our Earth, it is possible to estimate the presence of oceans and an atmosphere simultaneously.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  12. Equation of state of iron under core conditions of large rocky exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Raymond F.; Fratanduono, Dayne E.; Braun, David G.; Duffy, Thomas S.; Wicks, June K.; Celliers, Peter M.; Ali, Suzanne J.; Fernandez-Pañella, Amalia; Kraus, Richard G.; Swift, Damian C.; Collins, Gilbert W.; Eggert, Jon H.

    2018-06-01

    The recent discovery of thousands of planets outside our Solar System raises fundamental questions about the variety of planetary types and their corresponding interior structures and dynamics. To better understand these objects, there is a strong need to constrain material properties at the extreme pressures found within planetary interiors1,2. Here we used high-powered lasers at the National Ignition Facility to ramp compress iron over nanosecond timescales to 1.4 TPa (14 million atmospheres)—a pressure four times higher than for previous static compression data. A Lagrangian sound-speed analysis was used to determine pressure, density and sound speed along a continuous isentropic compression path. Our peak pressures are comparable to those predicted at the centre of a terrestrial-type exoplanet of three to four Earth masses3, representing the first absolute equation of state measurements for iron at such conditions. These results provide an experiment-based mass-radius relationship for a hypothetical pure iron planet that can be used to evaluate plausible compositional space for large, rocky exoplanets.

  13. 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

  14. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Renyu

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Investigating nearby exoplanets via interstellar radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffer, Louis K.

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. TWO STARS TWO WAYS: CONFIRMING A MICROLENSING BINARY LENS SOLUTION WITH A SPECTROSCOPIC MEASUREMENT OF THE ORBIT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yee, Jennifer C.; Johnson, John Asher; Eastman, Jason; Vanderburg, Andrew [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Skowron, Jan [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Gould, Andrew [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Pineda, J. Sebastian [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Howard, Andrew, E-mail: jyee@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: jjohnson@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: jason.eastman@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: avanderburg@cfa.harvard.edu [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822-1839 (United States)

    2016-04-20

    Light curves of microlensing events involving stellar binaries and planetary systems can provide information about the orbital elements of the system due to orbital modulations of the caustic structure. Accurately measuring the orbit in either the stellar or planetary case requires detailed modeling of subtle deviations in the light curve. At the same time, the natural, Cartesian parameterization of a microlensing binary is partially degenerate with the microlens parallax. Hence, it is desirable to perform independent tests of the predictions of microlens orbit models using radial velocity (RV) time series of the lens binary system. To this end, we present 3.5 years of RV monitoring of the binary lens system OGLE-2009-BLG-020 L, for which Skowron et al. constrained all internal parameters of the 200–700 day orbit. Our RV measurements reveal an orbit that is consistent with the predictions of the microlens light curve analysis, thereby providing the first confirmation of orbital elements inferred from microlensing events.

  1. Records of Migration in the Exoplanet Configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. Helium discovered in the tail of an exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2018-05-01

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

  4. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Norio Narita; Takafumi Enomoto; Shigeyuki Masaoka; Nobuhiko Kusakabe

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Preparing for the WFIRST Microlensing Survey: Simulations, Requirements, Survey Strategies, and Precursor Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, Bernard

    As one of the four primary investigations of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission, the microlensing survey will monitor several square degrees of the Galactic bulge for a total of roughly one year. Its primary science goal is to "Complete the statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, from the outer habitable zone to free floating planets, including analogs of all of the planets in our Solar System with the mass of Mars or greater.'' WFIRST will therefore (a) measure the mass function of cold bound planets with masses greater than that of roughly twice the mass of the moon, including providing an estimate of the frequency of sub-Mars-mass embryos, (b) determine the frequency of free-floating planets with masses down to the Earth and below, (c) inform the frequency and habitability of potentially habitable worlds, and (d) revolutionize our understanding of the demographics of cold planets with its exquisite sensitivity to, and large expected yield of, planets in a broad and unexplored region of parameter space. In order for the microlensing survey to be successful, we must develop a plan to go from actual survey observations obtained by the WFIRST telescope and hardware to the final science products. This plan will involve many steps, the development of software, data reduction, and analysis tools at each step, and a list of requirements for each of these components. The overarching goal of this proposal is thus to develop a complete flowdown from the science goals of the microlensing survey to the mission design and hardware components. We have assembled a team of scientists with the breadth of expertise to achieve this primary goal. Our specific subgoals are as follows. Goal 1: We will refine the input Galactic models in order to provide improved microlensing event rates in the WFIRST fields. Goal 2: We will use the improved event rate estimates, along with improvements in our simulation methodology, to provide higher

  6. 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.

  7. Development of 3D out-of-plane SU-8 microlenses using modified micromolding in capillaries (MIMIC) technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llobera, A.; Wilke, R.; Johnson, D. W.; Büttgenbach, S.

    2006-04-01

    This paper describes a modification of the standard MIMIC technology, solving its main drawbacks, to define arrays of spherical or ellipsoidal microlenses. Perfectly symmetrical meniscuses have been obtained by using a XP SU-8 NO-2 layer beneath the PDMS mold. Moreover, the photostructurable properties of this polymer allow obtaining self-alignment structures for adequate fiber optics positioning. Microchannels ended with these meniscuses have been filled with standard SU-8 to obtain 3D microlenses. Agreement between theory and experimental results allows confirming the validity of the proposed technology.

  8. Searching gravitational microlensing events in the galaxy spiral arms by EROS II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Derue, Frederic

    1999-01-01

    The EROS II experiment is searching for microlensing events due to compact massive objects passing through the line-of-sight of luminous stars. These objects are candidates to explain the baryonic component of Dark Matter in our Galaxy. EROS II was dedicated to different lines-of-sight: Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, Galactic Centre and 4 directions towards the Spiral Arms of the Galaxy. This thesis presents the first search for microlensing towards these last lines-of-sight (about 9 million stars). Simple criteria based on the search for significant fluctuations allowed one to discover a low noise sample of 7 candidates to the microlensing effect, with an average timescale of 50 days. A detailed analysis of the light curve of one candidate allows us to give a confidence interval on its mass 2.7 x 10 -3 0 0 = 50 ± 3 days. To improve the knowledge of the distance of the target stars, we have combined observations of EROS II with bibliographic sources on associations of stars linked with the spiral arm features, and we have developed a program to find variable stars. Ten cepheids have thus been found. Distances obtained with different methods are in rough agreement with each other. The average optical depth measured towards the four directions is τ-bar = 0.45 0.11 +0.23 x 10 -6 . It is compatible with expectations from simple galactic models. The long duration of most events favours interpretation of lensing by objects belonging to the disk instead of the halo. It also seems that some events due to bulge lenses have influenced measurements towards the line-of-sight which is closest to the Galactic Centre. Observation continue towards spiral arms. More accurate measurements should be obtained with increase of statistics, allowing one to estimate the disk contribution to the optical depth towards the bulge and the Magellanic Clouds. (author)

  9. Statistical improvement in detection level of gravitational microlensing events from their light curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Ichsan; Malasan, Hakim L.; Kunjaya, Chatief; Timur Jaelani, Anton; Puannandra Putri, Gerhana; Djamal, Mitra

    2018-04-01

    In astronomy, the brightness of a source is typically expressed in terms of magnitude. Conventionally, the magnitude is defined by the logarithm of received flux. This relationship is known as the Pogson formula. For received flux with a small signal to noise ratio (S/N), however, the formula gives a large magnitude error. We investigate whether the use of Inverse Hyperbolic Sine function (hereafter referred to as the Asinh magnitude) in the modified formulae could allow for an alternative calculation of magnitudes for small S/N flux, and whether the new approach is better for representing the brightness of that region. We study the possibility of increasing the detection level of gravitational microlensing using 40 selected microlensing light curves from the 2013 and 2014 seasons and by using the Asinh magnitude. Photometric data of the selected events are obtained from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE). We found that utilization of the Asinh magnitude makes the events brighter compared to using the logarithmic magnitude, with an average of about 3.42 × 10‑2 magnitude and an average in the difference of error between the logarithmic and the Asinh magnitude of about 2.21 × 10‑2 magnitude. The microlensing events OB140847 and OB140885 are found to have the largest difference values among the selected events. Using a Gaussian fit to find the peak for OB140847 and OB140885, we conclude statistically that the Asinh magnitude gives better mean squared values of the regression and narrower residual histograms than the Pogson magnitude. Based on these results, we also attempt to propose a limit in magnitude value for which use of the Asinh magnitude is optimal with small S/N data.

  10. Strong chromatic microlensing in HE0047–1756 and SDSS1155+6346

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rojas, K.; Motta, V. [Instituto de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Valparaíso, Avda. Gran Bretaña 1111, Playa Ancha, Valparaíso 2360102 (Chile); Mediavilla, E. [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Avda. Vía Lactea s/n, La Laguna, E-38200 Tenerife (Spain); Falco, E. [Whipple Observatory, Smithsonian Institution, 670 Mt. Hopkins Road, PO Box 6369, Amado, AZ 85645 (United States); Jiménez-Vicente, J. [Departamento de Física Teórica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, E-18071 Granada (Spain); Muñoz, J. A., E-mail: karina.rojas@uv.cl, E-mail: veronica.motta@uv.cl, E-mail: emg@iac.es, E-mail: falco@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: jjimenez@ugr.es, E-mail: jmunoz@uv.es [Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Universidad de Valencia, Burjassot, E-46100 Valencia (Spain)

    2014-12-10

    We use spectra of the double-lensed quasars HE0047–1756 and SDSS1155+6346 to study their unresolved structure through the impact of microlensing. There is no significant evidence of microlensing in the emission line profiles except for the Lyα line of SDSS1155+6346, which shows strong differences in the shapes for images A and B. However, the continuum of the B image spectrum in SDSS1155+6346 is strongly contaminated by the lens galaxy, and these differences should be considered with caution. Using the flux ratios of the emission lines for image pairs as a baseline to remove macro-magnification and extinction, we have detected strong chromatic microlensing in the continuum measured by CASTLES (www.cfa.harvard.edu/castles/) in both lens systems, with amplitudes 0.09(λ16000) ≲ |Δm| ≲ 0.8(λ5439) for HE0047–1756, and 0.2(λ16000) ≲ |Δm| ≲ 0.8(λ5439) for SDSS1155+6346. Using magnification maps to simulate microlensing and modeling the accretion disk as a Gaussian source (I ∝ exp(–R {sup 2}/2r {sub s}{sup 2})) of size r {sub s} ∝ λ {sup p}, we find r {sub s} = 2.5{sub −1.4}{sup +3.0} √(M/0.3M{sub ⊙}) lt-day and p = 2.3 ± 0.8 at the rest frame for λ = 2045 for HE0047–1756 (log prior) and r {sub s} = 5.5{sub −3.3}{sup +8.2} √(M/0.3M{sub ⊙}) lt-day and p = 1.5 ± 0.6 at the rest frame of λ = 1398 for SDSS1155+6346 (log prior). Contrary to other studied lens systems, the chromaticity detected in HE0047–1756 and SDSS1155+6346 is large enough to fulfill the thin disk prediction. The inferred sizes, however, are very large compared to the predictions of this model, especially in the case of SDSS1155+6346.

  11. Studying the microlenses mass function from statistical analysis of the caustic concentration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mediavilla, T; Ariza, O [Departamento de Estadistica e Investigacion Operativa, Universidad de Cadiz, Avda de Ramon Puyol, s/n 11202 Algeciras (Spain); Mediavilla, E [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Avda Via Lactea s/n, La Laguna (Spain); Munoz, J A, E-mail: teresa.mediavilla@ca.uca.es, E-mail: octavio.ariza@uca.es, E-mail: emg@iac.es [Departamento de Astrofisica y Astronomia, Universidad de Valencia, Burjassot, Valencia (Spain)

    2011-09-22

    The statistical distribution of caustic crossings by the images of a lensed quasar depends on the properties of the distribution of microlenses in the lens galaxy. We use a procedure based in Inverse Polygon Mapping to easily identify the critical and caustic curves generated by a distribution of stars in the lens galaxy. We analyze the statistical distributions of the number of caustic crossings by a pixel size source for several projected mass densities and different mass distributions. We compare the results of simulations with theoretical binomial distributions. Finally we apply this method to the study of the stellar mass distribution in the lens galaxy of QSO 2237+0305.

  12. Enhancing the photon-extraction efficiency of site-controlled quantum dots by deterministically fabricated microlenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaganskiy, Arsenty; Fischbach, Sarah; Strittmatter, André; Rodt, Sven; Heindel, Tobias; Reitzenstein, Stephan

    2018-04-01

    We report on the realization of scalable single-photon sources (SPSs) based on single site-controlled quantum dots (SCQDs) and deterministically fabricated microlenses. The fabrication process comprises the buried-stressor growth technique complemented with low-temperature in-situ electron-beam lithography for the integration of SCQDs into microlens structures with high yield and high alignment accuracy. The microlens-approach leads to a broadband enhancement of the photon-extraction efficiency of up to (21 ± 2)% and a high suppression of multi-photon events with g (2)(τ = 0) SPSs which, can be applied in photonic quantum circuits and advanced quantum computation schemes.

  13. A closer look at the quadruply lensed quasar PSOJ0147: spectroscopic redshifts and microlensing effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chien-Hsiu

    2018-04-01

    I present a timely spectroscopic follow-up of the newly discovered, quadruply lensed quasar PSOJ0147 from the Pan-STARRS 1 survey. The newly acquired optical spectra with GMOS onboard the Gemini North Telescope allow us to pin down the redshifts of both the foreground lensing galaxy and the background lensed quasar to be z = 0.572 and 2.341, providing a firm basis for cosmography with future high-cadence photometric monitoring. I also inspect difference spectra from two of the quasar images, revealing the microlensing effect. Long-term spectroscopic follow-ups will shed lights on the structure of the active galactic nucleus and its environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, Angelle

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

  15. 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.

  16. SIZES AND TEMPERATURE PROFILES OF QUASAR ACCRETION DISKS FROM CHROMATIC MICROLENSING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blackburne, Jeffrey A.; Pooley, David; Rappaport, Saul; Schechter, Paul L.

    2011-01-01

    Microlensing perturbations to the flux ratios of gravitationally lensed quasar images can vary with wavelength because of the chromatic dependence of the accretion disk's apparent size. Multiwavelength observations of microlensed quasars can thus constrain the temperature profiles of their accretion disks, a fundamental test of an important astrophysical process which is not currently possible using any other method. We present single-epoch broadband flux ratios for 12 quadruply lensed quasars in 8 bands ranging from 0.36 to 2.2 μm, as well as Chandra 0.5-8 keV flux ratios for five of them. We combine the optical/IR and X-ray ratios, together with X-ray ratios from the literature, using a Bayesian approach to constrain the half-light radii of the quasars in each filter. Comparing the overall disk sizes and wavelength slopes to those predicted by the standard thin accretion disk model, we find that on average the disks are larger than predicted by nearly an order of magnitude, with sizes that grow with wavelength with an average slope of ∼0.2 rather than the slope of 4/3 predicted by the standard thin disk theory. Though the error bars on the slope are large for individual quasars, the large sample size lends weight to the overall result. Our results present severe difficulties for a standard thin accretion disk as the main source of UV/optical radiation from quasars.

  17. Accessing the dark exciton spin in deterministic quantum-dot microlenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heindel, Tobias; Thoma, Alexander; Schwartz, Ido; Schmidgall, Emma R.; Gantz, Liron; Cogan, Dan; Strauß, Max; Schnauber, Peter; Gschrey, Manuel; Schulze, Jan-Hindrik; Strittmatter, Andre; Rodt, Sven; Gershoni, David; Reitzenstein, Stephan

    2017-12-01

    The dark exciton state in semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) constitutes a long-lived solid-state qubit which has the potential to play an important role in implementations of solid-state-based quantum information architectures. In this work, we exploit deterministically fabricated QD microlenses which promise enhanced photon extraction, to optically prepare and read out the dark exciton spin and observe its coherent precession. The optical access to the dark exciton is provided via spin-blockaded metastable biexciton states acting as heralding states, which are identified by deploying polarization-sensitive spectroscopy as well as time-resolved photon cross-correlation experiments. Our experiments reveal a spin-precession period of the dark exciton of (0.82 ± 0.01) ns corresponding to a fine-structure splitting of (5.0 ± 0.7) μeV between its eigenstates |↑ ⇑ ±↓ ⇓ ⟩. By exploiting microlenses deterministically fabricated above pre-selected QDs, our work demonstrates the possibility to scale up implementations of quantum information processing schemes using the QD-confined dark exciton spin qubit, such as the generation of photonic cluster states or the realization of a solid-state-based quantum memory.

  18. Speeding up low-mass planetary microlensing simulations and modeling: The caustic region of influence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Penny, Matthew T.

    2014-01-01

    Extensive simulations of planetary microlensing are necessary both before and after a survey is conducted: before to design and optimize the survey and after to understand its detection efficiency. The major bottleneck in such computations is the computation of light curves. However, for low-mass planets, most of these computations are wasteful, as most light curves do not contain detectable planetary signatures. In this paper, I develop a parameterization of the binary microlens that is conducive to avoiding light curve computations. I empirically find analytic expressions describing the limits of the parameter space that contain the vast majority of low-mass planet detections. Through a large-scale simulation, I measure the (in)completeness of the parameterization and the speed-up it is possible to achieve. For Earth-mass planets in a wide range of orbits, it is possible to speed up simulations by a factor of ∼30-125 (depending on the survey's annual duty-cycle) at the cost of missing ∼1% of detections (which is actually a smaller loss than for the arbitrary parameter limits typically applied in microlensing simulations). The benefits of the parameterization probably outweigh the costs for planets below 100 M ⊕ . For planets at the sensitivity limit of AFTA-WFIRST, simulation speed-ups of a factor ∼1000 or more are possible.

  19. Fabrication of high performance microlenses for an integrated capillary channel electrochromatograph with fluorescence detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wendt, J. R.; Warren, M. E.; Sweatt, W. C.; Bailey, C. G.; Matzke, C. M.; Arnold, D. W.; Allerman, A. A.; Carter, T. R.; Asbill, R. E.; Samora, S.

    1999-01-01

    We describe the microfabrication of an extremely compact optical system as a key element in an integrated capillary channel electrochromatograph with fluorescence detection. The optical system consists of a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), two high performance microlenses, and a commercial photodetector. The microlenses are multilevel diffractive optics patterned by electron beam lithography and etched by reactive ion etching in fused silica. The design uses substrate-mode propagation within the fused silica substrate. Two generations of optical subsystems are described. The first generation design has a 6 mm optical length and is integrated directly onto the capillary channel-containing substrate. The second generation design separates the optical system onto its own substrate module and the optical path length is further compressed to 3.5 mm. The first generation design has been tested using direct fluorescence detection with a 750 nm VCSEL pumping a 10 -4 M solution of CY-7 dye. The observed signal-to-noise ratio of better than 100:1 demonstrates that the background signal from scattered pump light is low despite the compact size of the optical system and is adequate for system sensitivity requirements. (c) 1999 American Vacuum Society

  20. AGAPE a search for dark matter towards M31 by microlensing effects on unresolved stars

    CERN Document Server

    Ansari, R; Baillon, Paul; Bouquet, A; Coupinot, G; Coutures, C; Ghesquière, C; Gondolo, P; Hecquet, J; Kaplan, J; Le Du, Y; Melchior, A L; Moniez, M; Picat, J P; Soucail, G

    1996-01-01

    M31 is a very tempting target for a microlensing search of compact objects in galactic haloes. It is the nearest large galaxy, it probably has its own dark halo, and its tilted position with respect to the line of sight provides an unmistakable signature of microlensing. However most stars of M31 are not resolved and one has to use the ``pixel method'': monitor the pixels of the image rather than the stars. AGAPE is the implementation of this idea. Data have been collected and treated during two autumns of observation at the 2 metre telescope of Pic du Midi. The process of geometric and photometric alignment, which must be performed before constructing pixel light curves, is described. Seeing variations are minimised by working with large super-pixels (2.1 ") compared with the average seeing. A high level of stability of pixel fluxes, crucial to the approach, is reached. Fluctuations of super-pixels do not exceed 1.7 times the photon noise which is 0.1\\% of the intensity for the brightest ones. With such stab...

  1. V. Terrestrial vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Pearson; Deborah Finch

    2011-01-01

    Within the Interior West, terrestrial vertebrates do not represent a large number of invasive species relative to invasive weeds, aquatic vertebrates, and invertebrates. However, several invasive terrestrial vertebrate species do cause substantial economic and ecological damage in the U.S. and in this region (Pimental 2000, 2007; Bergman and others 2002; Finch and...

  2. Search for brown dwarfs by gravitational microlensing effect with the pixels method. Analysis of AGAPE and EROS collaborations data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melchior, Anne-Laure

    1995-01-01

    This work is involved in baryonic dark matter search in galactic halos. An important collect of observational data has been initiated to test the hypothesis that this dark mass is made of compact objects such as brown dwarfs or small mass stars. The gravitational microlensing effect allows to probe this distribution of this mass type along the line of sight of nearby galaxies such as the Large Magellanic Cloud. A new way to detect these microlensing events has been proposed by P. Baillon et al.: the pixel method. The aim is to detect the amplification of stars which are unresolved or too faint to be seen by classical analysis. First, we present this method and the simulations which allow to establish its feasibility. Then, we describe the pixel analysis of the 91-92 EROS data on the Large Magellanic Cloud. The selection of luminosity variations with a shape compatible with microlensing events allows us to study the sensitivity of this analysis. We see how these results allow us to validate the pixel method applied on a large volume of data. This also shows the possibility to find luminosity variations which escape classical analysis research. Strengthened by these results, we finally describe the analysis of the AGAPE 94 data on the Andromeda galaxy which uses the same pixel method. Being ten times farther away than the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Andromeda galaxy has very few resolved stars, making the pixel method the only way of looking for microlensing events. (author) [fr

  3. OGLE-2016-BLG-0168 Binary Microlensing Event: Prediction and Confirmation of the Microlens Parallax Effect from Space-based Observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shin, I.-G.; Yee, J. C.; Jung, Y. K. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Udalski, A.; Skowron, J.; Mróz, P.; Soszyński, I.; Poleski, R.; Szymański, M. K.; Kozłowski, S.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pawlak, M. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4,00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Novati, S. Calchi [IPAC, Mail Code 100-22, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Han, C. [Department of Physics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 371-763 (Korea, Republic of); Albrow, M. D. [University of Canterbury, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8020 (New Zealand); Gould, A. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Chung, S.-J.; Hwang, K.-H.; Ryu, Y.-H. [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, 776 Daedeokdae-ro, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 34055 (Korea, Republic of); Collaboration: OGLE Collaboration; KMTNet Group; Spitzer Team; and others

    2017-11-01

    The microlens parallax is a crucial observable for conclusively identifying the nature of lens systems in microlensing events containing or composed of faint (even dark) astronomical objects such as planets, neutron stars, brown dwarfs, and black holes. With the commencement of a new era of microlensing in collaboration with space-based observations, the microlens parallax can be routinely measured. In addition, space-based observations can provide opportunities to verify the microlens parallax measured from ground-only observations and to find a unique solution to the lensing light-curve analysis. Furthermore, since most space-based observations cannot cover the full light curves of lensing events, it is also necessary to verify the reliability of the information extracted from fragmentary space-based light curves. We conduct a test based on the microlensing event OGLE-2016-BLG-0168, created by a binary lens system consisting of almost equal mass M-dwarf stars, to demonstrate that it is possible to verify the microlens parallax and to resolve degeneracies using the space-based light curve even though the observations are fragmentary. Since space-based observatories will frequently produce fragmentary light curves due to their short observing windows, the methodology of this test will be useful for next-generation microlensing experiments that combine space-based and ground-based collaboration.

  4. Characterizing low-mass binaries from observation of long-timescale caustic-crossing gravitational microlensing events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shin, I.-G; Han, C.; Choi, J.-Y

    2012-01-01

    solution by follow-up radial-velocity observation. For both events, the caustic-crossing parts of the light curves, which are critical for determining the physical lens parameters, were resolved by high-cadence survey observations and thus it is expected that the number of microlensing binaries...

  5. Sesquinaries, Magnetics and Atmospheres: Studies of the Terrestrial Moons and Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    All streamlines are 12 ejected at a constant angle of 35.4° from the horizontal, set according to the relation [Maxwell, 1977]: !" =   tan ...magnetic field [Purucker and Nicholas , 2010] provide a further test of consistency. We will show that the source body magnetization directions offer a...and Nicholas , 2010], which can be seen by comparing Figure 4.1b and 1c. Anomalies that were not consistent with this model or showed artifacts of

  6. Evo-SETI SCALE to measure Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccone, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    Darwinian Evolution over the last 3.5 billion years was an increase in the number of living species from 1 (RNA?) to the current 50 million. This increasing trend in time looks like being exponential, but one may not assume an exactly exponential curve since many species went extinct in the past, even in mass extinctions. Thus, the simple exponential curve must be replaced by a stochastic process having an exponential mean value. Borrowing from financial mathematics (;Black-Scholes models;), this ;exponential; stochastic process is called Geometric Brownian Motion (GBM), and its probability density function (pdf) is a lognormal (not a Gaussian) (Proof: see ref. Maccone [3], Chapter 30, and ref. Maccone [4]). Lognormal also is the pdf of the statistical number of communicating ExtraTerrestrial (ET) civilizations in the Galaxy at a certain fixed time, like a snapshot: this result was found in 2008 by this author as his solution to the Statistical Drake Equation of SETI (Proof: see ref. Maccone [1]). Thus, the GBM of Darwinian Evolution may also be regarded as the extension in time of the Statistical Drake equation (Proof: see ref. Maccone [4]). But the key step ahead made by this author in his Evo-SETI (Evolution and SETI) mathematical model was to realize that LIFE also is just a b-lognormal in time: every living organism (a cell, a human, a civilization, even an ET civilization) is born at a certain time b (;birth;), grows up to a peak p (with an ascending inflexion point in between, a for adolescence), then declines from p to s (senility, i.e. descending inflexion point) and finally declines linearly and dies at a final instant d (death). In other words, the infinite tail of the b-lognormal was cut away and replaced by just a straight line between s and d, leading to simple mathematical formulae (;History Formulae;) allowing one to find this ;finite b-lognormal; when the three instants b, s, and d are assigned. Next the crucial Peak-Locus Theorem comes. It means

  7. Habitable Exoplanet Imager Optical Telescope Concept Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H Philip

    2017-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is one of four missions under study for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Its goal is to directly image and spectroscopically characterize planetary systems in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Additionally, HabEx will perform a broad range of general astrophysics science enabled by 100 to 2500 nm spectral range and 3 x 3 arc-minute FOV. Critical to achieving the HabEx science goals is a large, ultra-stable UV/Optical/Near-IR (UVOIR) telescope. The baseline HabEx telescope is a 4-meter off-axis unobscured three-mirror-anastigmatic, diffraction limited at 400 nm with wavefront stability on the order of a few 10s of picometers. This paper summarizes the opto-mechanical design of the HabEx baseline optical telescope assembly, including a discussion of how science requirements drive the telescope's specifications, and presents analysis that the baseline telescope structure meets its specified tolerances.

  8. Starshades for Exoplanet Imaging and Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    An external occulter is a satellite employing a large screen, or starshade, that flies in formation with a spaceborne telescope to provide the starlight suppression needed for detecting and characterizing exoplanets. Among the advantages of using an occulter are the broadband allowed for characterization and the removal of light before entering the observatory, greatly relaxing the requirements on the telescope and instrument. In this presentation I will explain how star shades achieve high contrast through precise design and control of their shape and how we develop an error budget to establish requirements on the manufacturing and control. Raising the technology readiness level of starshades requires a sequence of activities to verify approaches to manufacturing, deployment, test, and analysis. The SAT-TDEM program has been instrumental in raising the readiness level of the most critical technology. In particular, I will show the results of our first TDEM in 2010-2012 that verified a full scale petal could be built and measured to the needed accuracy for 10 orders of magnitude of contrast. Our second TDEM in 2012-2014 verified that a starshade could be deployed and the petals could be placed to the required position to better than 1 mm. Finally, laboratory experiments have verified the optical modeling used to predict starshade performance to better than 1e-10.

  9. Habitable exoplanet imager optical telescope concept design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-09-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is one of four missions under study for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Its goal is to directly image and spectroscopically characterize planetary systems in the habitable zone of Sunlike stars. Additionally, HabEx will perform a broad range of general astrophysics science enabled by 100 to 2500 nm spectral range and 3 x 3 arc-minute FOV. Critical to achieving the HabEx science goals is a large, ultra-stable UV/Optical/Near-IR (UVOIR) telescope. The baseline HabEx telescope is a 4-meter off-axis unobscured three-mirroranastigmatic, diffraction limited at 400 nm with wavefront stability on the order of a few 10s of picometers. This paper summarizes the opto-mechanical design of the HabEx baseline optical telescope assembly, including a discussion of how science requirements drive the telescope's specifications, and presents analysis that the baseline telescope structure meets its specified tolerances.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  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. The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program for JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-10

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gould, Andrew; Yee, Jennifer C.

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. M Dwarf Exoplanet Survey by the Falcon Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Randall E.

    2016-10-01

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

  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. Preferred Hosts for Short-Period Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

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

  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. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. Discovery and Characterization of a Caustic Crossing Microlensing Event in the Small Magellanic Cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alcock, C.; Allsman, R.A.; Alves, D.; Axelrod, T.S.; Becker, A.C.; Bennett, D.P.; Cook, K.H.; Drake, A.J.; Freeman, K.C.; Griest, K.; King, L.J.; Lehner, M.J.; Marshall, S.L.

    1999-01-01

    We present photometric observations and analysis of the second microlensing event detected toward the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), MACHO Alert 98-SMC-1. This event was detected early enough to allow intensive observation of the light curve. These observations revealed 98-SMC-1 to be the first caustic crossing binary microlensing event toward the Magellanic Clouds to be discovered in progress. Frequent coverage of the evolving light curve allowed an accurate prediction for the date of the source crossing out of the lens caustic structure. The caustic crossing temporal width, along with the angular size of the source star, measures the proper motion of the lens with respect to the source and thus allows an estimate of the location of the lens. Lenses located in the Galactic halo would have a velocity projected to the SMC of v∼1500 kms -1 , while an SMC lens would typically have v∼60 kms -1 . The event light curve allows us to obtain a unique fit to the parameters of the binary lens and to estimate the proper motion of the lensing system. We have performed a joint fit to the MACHO/GMAN data presented here, including recent EROS data of this event from Afonso and collaborators. These joint data are sufficient to constrain the time t * for the lens to move an angle equal to the source angular radius: t * =0.116±0.010 days. We estimate a radius for the lensed source of R * =1.1±0.1 R circle-dot from its unblended color and magnitude. This yields a projected velocity of v=76±10 kms -1 . Only 0.12% of halo lenses would be expected to have a v value at least as small as this, while 38% of SMC lenses would be expected to have v as large as this. This implies that the lensing system is more likely to reside in the SMC than in the Galactic halo. Similar observations of future Magellanic Cloud microlensing events will help to determine the contribution of MACHOS to the Galaxy's dark halo. copyright copyright 1999. The American Astronomical Society

  6. 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.

  7. Open-source Software for Exoplanet Atmospheric Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Blecic, Jasmina; Harrington, Joseph

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreland, Kimberly D.

    2018-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Chemical evolution of the Galactic bulge as traced by microlensed dwarf and subgiant stars. Detailed abundance analysis of OGLE-2008-BLG-209S

    OpenAIRE

    Bensby, T.; Johnson, J. A.; Cohen, J.; Feltzing, S.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Huang, W.; Thompson, I.; Simmerer, J.; Adén, D.

    2009-01-01

    AIMS. Our aims are twofold. First we aim to evaluate the robustness and accuracy of stellar parameters and detailed elemental abundances that can be derived from high-resolution spectroscopic observations of microlensed dwarf and subgiant stars. We then aim to use microlensed dwarf and subgiant stars to investigate the abundance structure and chemical evolution of the Milky Way Bulge. [ABRIDGED] METHODS. We present a detailed elemental abundance analysis of OGLE-2008-BLG-209S, the source star...

  12. Introduced Terrestrial Species (Future)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted future potential distributions of terrestrial plants, animals, and pathogens non-native to the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are...

  13. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  14. Microlensing as a Possible Probe of Event-Horizon Structure in Quasars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tomozeiu, Mihai [Zurich U.; Mohammed, Irshad [Fermilab; Rabold, Manuel [Zurich U.; Saha, Prasenjit [Zurich U.; Wambsganss, Joachim [Heidelberg U.

    2016-04-06

    In quasars which are lensed by galaxies, the point-like images sometimes show sharp and uncorrelated brightness variations (microlensing). These brightness changes are associated with the innermost region of the quasar passing through a complicated pattern of caustics produced by the stars in the lensing galaxy. In this paper, we study whether the universal properties of optical caustics could enable extraction of shape information about the central engine of quasars. We present a toy model with a crescent-shaped source crossing a fold caustic. The silhouette of a black hole over an accretion disk tends to produce roughly crescent sources. When a crescent-shaped source crosses a fold caustic, the resulting light curve is noticeably different from the case of a circular luminosity profile or Gaussian source. With good enough monitoring data, the crescent parameters, apart from one degeneracy, can be recovered.

  15. Microlensing as a possible probe of event-horizon structure in quasars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomozeiu, Mihai; Mohammed, Irshad; Rabold, Manuel; Saha, Prasenjit; Wambsganss, Joachim

    2018-04-01

    In quasars which are lensed by galaxies, the point-like images sometimes show sharp and uncorrelated brightness variations (microlensing). These brightness changes are associated with the innermost region of the quasar passing through a complicated pattern of caustics produced by the stars in the lensing galaxy. In this paper, we study whether the universal properties of optical caustics could enable extraction of shape information about the central engine of quasars. We present a toy model with a crescent-shaped source crossing a fold caustic. The silhouette of a black hole over an accretion disc tends to produce roughly crescent sources. When a crescent-shaped source crosses a fold caustic, the resulting light curve is noticeably different from the case of a circular luminosity profile or Gaussian source. With good enough monitoring data, the crescent parameters, apart from one degeneracy, can be recovered.

  16. Surface smoothening of the inherent roughness of micro-lenses fabricated with 2-photon lithography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schift, Helmut; Kirchner, Robert; Chidambaram, Nachiappan; Altana, Mirco

    2018-01-01

    Two-photon polymerization by direct laser writing enables to write refractive micro-optical elements with sub-μm precision. The trajectories and layering during the direct writing process often result in roughness in the range of the writing increment, which has adverse effects for optical applications. Instead of increasing overlap between adjacent voxels, roughness in the range of 100 nm can be smoothed out by post-processing. For this a method known as TASTE was developed, which allows polishing of surfaces without changing the structural details or the overall shape. It works particularly well with thermoplastic polymers and enables sub-10 nm roughness. The optical quality was confirmed for an array with several 100 microlenses.

  17. The First Circumbinary Planet Found by Microlensing: OGLE-2007-BLG-349L(AB)c

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, D. P.; Rhie, S. H.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Tsapras, Y.; Kubas, D.; Bond, I. A.; Greenhill, J.; Cassan, A.; Rattenbury, N. J.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present the analysis of the first circumbinary planet microlensing event, OGLE-2007-BLG-349. This event has a strong planetary signal that is best fit with a mass ratio of q approx. = 3.4×10(exp -4), but there is an additional signal due to an additional lens mass, either another planet or another star. We find acceptable light-curve fits with two classes of models: two-planet models (with a single host star) and circumbinary planet models. The light curve also reveals a significant microlensing parallax effect, which constrains the mass of the lens system to be M(sub L) approx. = 0.7 Stellar Mass. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images resolve the lens and source stars from their neighbors and indicate excess flux due to the star(s) in the lens system. This is consistent with the predicted flux from the circumbinary models, where the lens mass is shared between two stars, but there is not enough flux to be consistent with the two-planet, one-star models. So, only the circumbinary models are consistent with the HST data. They indicate a planet of mass m(sub c) = 80 +/- 13 Stellar Mass, orbiting a pair of M dwarfs with masses of M(sub A) = 0.41+/- 0.07 and M(sub B) = 0.30 +/- 0.07, which makes this the lowest-mass circumbinary planet system known. The ratio of the separation between the planet and the center of mass to the separation of the two stars is approx.40, so unlike most of the circumbinary planets found by Kepler, the planet does not orbit near the stability limit.

  18. Imprints of the quasar structure in time-delay light curves: Microlensing-aided reverberation mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sluse, D.; Tewes, M.

    2014-11-01

    The advent of large area photometric surveys has raised a great deal of interest in the possibility of using broadband photometric data, instead of spectra, to measure the size of the broad line region of active galactic nuclei. We describe here a new method that uses time-delay lensed quasars where one or several images are affected by microlensing due to stars in the lensing galaxy. Because microlensing decreases (or increases) the flux of the continuum compared to the broad line region, it changes the contrast between these two emission components. We show that this effect can be used to effectively disentangle the intrinsic variability of those two regions, offering the opportunity to perform reverberation mapping based on single-band photometric data. Based on simulated light curves generated using a damped random walk model of quasar variability, we show that measurement of the size of the broad line region can be achieved using this method, provided one spectrum has been obtained independently during the monitoring. This method is complementary to photometric reverberation mapping and could also be extended to multi-band data. Because the effect described above produces a variability pattern in difference light curves between pairs of lensed images that is correlated with the time-lagged continuum variability, it can potentially produce systematic errors in measurement of time delays between pairs of lensed images. Simple simulations indicate that time-delay measurement techniques that use a sufficiently flexible model for the extrinsic variability are not affected by this effect and produce accurate time delays.

  19. Rates for parallax-shifted microlensing events from ground-based observations of the galactic bulge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchalter, A.; Kamionkowski, M.

    1997-01-01

    The parallax effect in ground-based microlensing (ML) observations consists of a distortion to the standard ML light curve arising from the Earth's orbital motion. This can be used to partially remove the degeneracy among the system parameters in the event timescale, t 0 . In most cases, the resolution in current ML surveys is not accurate enough to observe this effect, but parallax could conceivably be detected with frequent follow-up observations of ML events in progress, providing the photometric errors are small enough. We calculate the expected fraction of ML events where the shape distortions will be observable by such follow-up observations, adopting Galactic models for the lens and source distributions that are consistent with observed microlensing timescale distributions. We study the dependence of the rates for parallax-shifted events on the frequency of follow-up observations and on the precision of the photometry. For example, we find that for hourly observations with typical photometric errors of 0.01 mag, 6% of events where the lens is in the bulge, and 31% of events where the lens is in the disk (or ∼10% of events overall), will give rise to a measurable parallax shift at the 95% confidence level. These fractions may be increased by improved photometric accuracy and increased sampling frequency. While long-duration events are favored, the surveys would be effective in picking out such distortions in events with timescales as low as t 0 ∼20 days. We study the dependence of these fractions on the assumed disk mass function and find that a higher parallax incidence is favored by mass functions with higher mean masses. Parallax measurements yield the reduced transverse speed, v, which gives both the relative transverse speed and lens mass as a function of distance. We give examples of the accuracies with which v may be measured in typical parallax events. (Abstract Truncated)

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. Exoplanet Yield Estimation for Decadal Study Concepts using EXOSIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R. W.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N. G.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; Bulmer, M.; Carsey, F.; Clifford, S. M.; Craddock, R. A.; Dickerson, P. W.; Duxbury, N.; Galford, G. L.; Garvin, J.; Grant, J.; Green, J. R.; Gregg, T. K. P.; Guinness, E.; Hansen, V. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Holt, J.; Howard, A.; Keszthelyi, L. P.; Lee, P.; Lanagan, P. D.; Lentz, R. C. F.; Leverington, D. W.; Marinangeli, L.; Moersch, J. E.; Morris-Smith, P. A.; Mouginis-Mark, P.; Olhoeft, G. R.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Reilly, J. F., II; Rice, J. W., Jr.; Robinson, C. A.; Sheridan, M.; Snook, K.; Thomson, B. J.; Watson, K.; Williams, K.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2002-08-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of Martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the Mars Exploration Payload Assessment Group science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel has considered the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-04

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

  10. About microlensing optical depth and rates for free-floating planets towards the Kepler's field of view

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hafizi, M; Hamolli, L

    2012-01-01

    In this work we examine the possibility of observing microlensing events in the Kepler space observatory field of view, caused by brown dwarfs or free-floating planets. We calculate the optical depth towards the field of view of the Kepler satellite and the rate of these events based on latest results about mass distribution of astrophysical objects from brown dwarf down to Earth mass order. With the current data, the probability of such events is insignificant, due to the small number of stars observed by this instrument compared to other experiments devoted to the microlensing method. Nevertheless, this probability may increase significantly in the case of a higher presence of free-floating planets, whose number is poorly defined so far.

  11. STRESS - STEREO TRansiting Exoplanet and Stellar Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangaralingam, Vinothini; Stevens, Ian R.; Spreckley, Steve; Debosscher, Jonas

    2010-02-01

    The Heliospheric Imager (HI) instruments on board the two STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) spacecraft provides an excellent opportunity for space based stellar photometry. The HI instruments provide a wide area coverage (20° × 20° for the two HI-1 instruments and 70° × 70° for the two HI-2 instruments) and long continuous periods of observations (20 days and 70 days respectively). Using HI-1A which has a pass band of 6500Å to 7500Å and a cadence of 40 minutes, we have gathered photometric information for more than a million stars brighter than 12th magnitude for a period of two years. Here we present some early results from this study on a range of variable stars and the future prospects for the data.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  14. Quasar Microlensing at High Magnification and the Role of Dark Matter: Enhanced Fluctuations and Suppressed Saddle Points

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schechter, Paul L.; Wambsganss, Joachim

    2002-12-01

    Contrary to naive expectation, diluting the stellar component of the lensing galaxy in a highly magnified system with smoothly distributed ``dark'' matter increases rather than decreases the microlensing fluctuations caused by the remaining stars. For a bright pair of images straddling a critical curve, the saddle point (of the arrival time surface) is much more strongly affected than the associated minimum. With a mass ratio of smooth matter to microlensing matter of 4:1, a saddle point with a macromagnification of μ=9.5 will spend half of its time more than a magnitude fainter than predicted. The anomalous flux ratio observed for the close pair of images in MG 0414+0534 is a factor of 5 more likely than computed by Witt, Mao, & Schechter, if the smooth matter fraction is as high as 93%. The magnification probability histograms for macroimages exhibit a distinctly different structure that varies with the smooth matter content, providing a handle on the smooth matter fraction. Enhanced fluctuations can manifest themselves either in the temporal variations of a light curve or as flux ratio anomalies in a single epoch snapshot of a multiply imaged system. While the millilensing simulations of Metcalf & Madau also give larger anomalies for saddle points than for minima, the effect appears to be less dramatic for extended subhalos than for point masses. Moreover, microlensing is distinguishable from millilensing because it will produce noticeable changes in the magnification on a timescale of a decade or less.

  15. Interpreting the Strongly Lensed Supernova iPTF16geu: Time Delay Predictions, Microlensing, and Lensing Rates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    More, Anupreeta; Oguri, Masamune; More, Surhud [Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU, WPI), University of Tokyo, Chiba 277-8583 (Japan); Suyu, Sherry H. [Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Lee, Chien-Hsiu, E-mail: anupreeta.more@ipmu.jp [Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 650 North Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)

    2017-02-01

    We present predictions for time delays between multiple images of the gravitationally lensed supernova, iPTF16geu, which was recently discovered from the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF). As the supernova is of Type Ia where the intrinsic luminosity is usually well known, accurately measured time delays of the multiple images could provide tight constraints on the Hubble constant. According to our lens mass models constrained by the Hubble Space Telescope F814W image, we expect the maximum relative time delay to be less than a day, which is consistent with the maximum of 100 hr reported by Goobar et al. but places a stringent upper limit. Furthermore, the fluxes of most of the supernova images depart from expected values suggesting that they are affected by microlensing. The microlensing timescales are small enough that they may pose significant problems to measure the time delays reliably. Our lensing rate calculation indicates that the occurrence of a lensed SN in iPTF is likely. However, the observed total magnification of iPTF16geu is larger than expected, given its redshift. This may be a further indication of ongoing microlensing in this system.

  16. Estimating Finite Source Effects in Microlensing Events due to Free-Floating Planets with the Euclid Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindita Hamolli

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years free-floating planets (FFPs have drawn a great interest among astrophysicists. Gravitational microlensing is a unique and exclusive method for their investigation which may allow obtaining precious information about their mass and spatial distribution. The planned Euclid space-based observatory will be able to detect a substantial number of microlensing events caused by FFPs towards the Galactic bulge. Making use of a synthetic population algorithm, we investigate the possibility of detecting finite source effects in simulated microlensing events due to FFPs. We find a significant efficiency for finite source effect detection that turns out to be between 20% and 40% for a FFP power law mass function index in the range [0.9, 1.6]. For many of such events it will also be possible to measure the angular Einstein radius and therefore constrain the lens physical parameters. These kinds of observations will also offer a unique possibility to investigate the photosphere and atmosphere of Galactic bulge stars.

  17. Terrestrial and extraterrestrial fullerenes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heymann, D.; Jenneskens, L.W.; Jehlicka, J; Koper, C.; Vlietstra, E. [Rice Univ, Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Earth Science

    2003-07-01

    This paper reviews reports of occurrences of fullerenes in circumstellar media, interstellar media, meteorites, interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), lunar rocks, hard terrestrial rocks from Shunga (Russia), Sudbury (Canada) and Mitov (Czech Republic), coal, terrestrial sediments from the Cretaceous-Tertiary-Boundary and Pennian-Triassic-Boundary, fulgurite, ink sticks, dinosaur eggs, and a tree char. The occurrences are discussed in the context of known and postulated processes of fullerene formation, including the suggestion that some natural fullerenes might have formed from biological (algal) remains.

  18. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey: Characterization of the Coldest Directly Imaged Exoplanet, GJ 504 b, and Evidence for Superstellar Metallicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Morley, Caroline V.; Zimmerman, Neil T.; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Leisenring, Jarron; Buenzli, Esther; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip; Defrére, Denis; Esposito, Simone; Apai, Dániel; Biller, Beth; Brandner, Wolfgang; Close, Laird; Crepp, Justin R.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Desidera, Silvano; Eisner, Josh; Fortney, Jonathan; Freedman, Richard; Henning, Thomas; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Kopytova, Taisiya; Lupu, Roxana; Maire, Anne-Lise; Males, Jared R.; Marley, Mark; Morzinski, Katie; Oza, Apurva; Patience, Jenny; Rajan, Abhijith; Rieke, George; Schertl, Dieter; Schlieder, Joshua; Stone, Jordan; Su, Kate; Vaz, Amali; Visscher, Channon; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E.

    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: Teff = 544 ± 10 K, g Germany. LBT Corporation partners are the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrophisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and the Research Corporation, on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.

  19. 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

  20. Habitability constraints on water-rich exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

    The uneven historical development of terrestrial planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars - is probably due to the differences in their size, weight and rotational dynamics in association with the internal planet structure, their distance from the Sun, etc. A systematic study of extraterrestrial planets showed that the time span of internal activity was not the same for all bodies. It is assumed that the initial history of all terrestrial planets was marked with catastrophic events connected with the overall dynamic development of the solar system. In view of the fact that the cores of small terrestrial bodies cooled quicker, their geological development almost stagnated after two or three thousand million years. This is what probably happened to the Mercury and the Moon as well as the Mars. Therefore, traces of previous catastrophic events were preserved on the surface of the planets. On the other hand, the Earth is the most metamorphosed terrestrial planet and compared to the other planets appears to be atypical. Its biosphere is significantly developed as well as the other shell components, its hydrosphere and atmosphere, and its crust is considerably differentiated. (J.P.)

  3. Terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  4. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

    This report summarizes information on the distribution and movement of radionuclides in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems in north-west England with particular emphasis on inputs to, and outputs from ecosystems; on plant and soil aspects; and on radionuclides in fallout and in discharges by the nuclear industry. (author)

  5. Rotational Spectral Unmixing of Exoplanets: Degeneracies between Surface Colors and Geography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujii, Yuka [NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025 (United States); Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob [Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Box 951580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Cowan, Nicolas B., E-mail: yuka.fujii.ebihara@gmail.com [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0E8 (Canada)

    2017-11-01

    Unmixing the disk-integrated spectra of exoplanets provides hints about heterogeneous surfaces that we cannot directly resolve in the foreseeable future. It is particularly important for terrestrial planets with diverse surface compositions like Earth. Although previous work on unmixing the spectra of Earth from disk-integrated multi-band light curves appeared successful, we point out a mathematical degeneracy between the surface colors and their spatial distributions. Nevertheless, useful constraints on the spectral shape of individual surface types may be obtained from the premise that albedo is everywhere between 0 and 1. We demonstrate the degeneracy and the possible constraints using both mock data based on a toy model of Earth, as well as real observations of Earth. Despite the severe degeneracy, we are still able to recover an approximate albedo spectrum for an ocean. In general, we find that surfaces are easier to identify when they cover a large fraction of the planet and when their spectra approach zero or unity in certain bands.

  6. Rotational Spectral Unmixing of Exoplanets: Degeneracies Between Surface Colors and Geography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Yuka; Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2017-01-01

    Unmixing the disk-integrated spectra of exoplanets provides hints about heterogeneous surfaces that we cannot directly resolve in the foreseeable future. It is particularly important for terrestrial planets with diverse surface compositions like Earth. Although previous work on unmixing the spectra of Earth from disk-integrated multi-band light curves appeared successful, we point out a mathematical degeneracy between the surface colors and their spatial distributions. Nevertheless, useful constraints on the spectral shape of individual surface types may be obtained from the premise that albedo is everywhere between 0 and 1. We demonstrate the degeneracy and the possible constraints using both mock data based on a toy model of Earth, as well as real observations of Earth. Despite the severe degeneracy, we are still able to recover an approximate albedo spectrum for an ocean. In general, we find that surfaces are easier to identify when they cover a large fraction of the planet and when their spectra approach zero or unity in certain bands.

  7. GLOBAL MAPPING OF EARTH-LIKE EXOPLANETS FROM SCATTERED LIGHT CURVES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawahara, Hajime; Fujii, Yuka

    2010-01-01

    Scattered lights from terrestrial exoplanets provide valuable information about their planetary surface. Applying the surface reconstruction method proposed by Fujii et al. to both diurnal and annual variations of scattered light, we develop a reconstruction method of land distribution with both longitudinal and latitudinal resolutions. We find that one can recover a global map of an idealized Earth-like planet on the following assumptions: (1) cloudlessness, (2) a face-on circular orbit, (3) known surface types and their reflectance spectra, (4) lack of atmospheric absorption, (5) known rotation rate, (6) a static map, and (7) the absence of a moon. Using the dependence of light curves on planetary obliquity, we also show that the obliquity can be measured by adopting the χ 2 minimization or the extended information criterion. We demonstrate the feasibility of our methodology by applying it to a multi-band photometry of a cloudless model Earth with future space missions such as the occulting ozone observatory (O3). We conclude that future space missions can estimate both the surface distribution and the obliquity at least for cloudless Earth-like planets within 5 pc.

  8. 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.

  9. Three body dynamics and its applications to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Musielak, Zdzislaw

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Physical constraints on the likelihood of life on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham

    2018-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Misra, Amit K.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  14. Emergent Exoplanet Flux: Review of the Spitzer Results

    OpenAIRE

    Deming, Drake

    2008-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. Requirements and limits for life in the context of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2014-09-01

    The requirements for life on Earth, its elemental composition, and its environmental limits provide a way to assess the habitability of exoplanets. Temperature is key both because of its influence on liquid water and because it can be directly estimated from orbital and climate models of exoplanetary systems. Life can grow and reproduce at temperatures as low as -15 °C, and as high as 122 °C. Studies of life in extreme deserts show that on a dry world, even a small amount of rain, fog, snow, and even atmospheric humidity can be adequate for photosynthetic production producing a small but detectable microbial community. Life is able to use light at levels less than 10-5 of the solar flux at Earth. UV or ionizing radiation can be tolerated by many microorganisms at very high levels and is unlikely to be life limiting on an exoplanet. Biologically available nitrogen may limit habitability. Levels of O2 over a few percent on an exoplanet would be consistent with the presence of multicellular organisms and high levels of O2 on Earth-like worlds indicate oxygenic photosynthesis. Other factors such as pH and salinity are likely to vary and not limit life over an entire planet or moon.

  3. 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.

  4. Observational Evidence for the Effect of Amplification Bias in Gravitational Microlensing Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Cheongho; Jeong, Youngjin; Kim, Ho-Il

    1998-11-01

    Recently Alard, Mao, & Guibert and Alard proposed to detect the shift of a star's image centroid, δx, as a method to identify the lensed source among blended stars. Goldberg & Woźniak actually applied this method to the OGLE-1 database and found that seven of 15 events showed significant centroid shifts of δx >~ 0.2". The amount of centroid shift has been estimated theoretically by Goldberg; however, he treated the problem in general and did not apply it to a particular survey or field and therefore based his estimate on simple toy model luminosity functions (i.e., power laws). In this paper, we construct the expected distribution of δx for Galactic bulge events based on the precise stellar luminosity function observed by Holtzman et al. using the Hubble Space Telescope. Their luminosity function is complete up to MI ~ 9.0 (MV ~ 12), which corresponds to faint M-type stars. In our analysis we find that regular blending cannot produce a large fraction of events with measurable centroid shifts. By contrast, a significant fraction of events would have measurable centroid shifts if they are affected by amplification-bias blending. Therefore, the measurements of large centroid shifts for an important fraction of microlensing events of Goldberg & Woźniak confirm the prediction of Han & Alard that a large fraction of Galactic bulge events are affected by amplification-bias blending.

  5. Gravitational microlensing - Powerful combination of ray-shooting and parametric representation of caustics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wambsganss, J.; Witt, H. J.; Schneider, P.

    1992-01-01

    We present a combination of two very different methods for numerically calculating the effects of gravitational microlensing: the backward-ray-tracing that results in two-dimensional magnification patterns, and the parametric representation of caustic lines; they are in a way complementary to each other. The combination of these methods is much more powerful than the sum of its parts. It allows to determine the total magnification and the number of microimages as a function of source position. The mean number of microimages is calculated analytically and compared to the numerical results. The peaks in the lightcurves, as obtained from one-dimensional tracks through the magnification pattern, can now be divided into two groups: those which correspond to a source crossing a caustic, and those which are due to sources passing outside cusps. We determine the frequencies of those two types of events as a function of the surface mass density, and the probability distributions of their magnitudes. We find that for low surface mass density as many as 40 percent of all events in a lightcurve are not due to caustic crossings, but rather due to passings outside cusps.

  6. On the accuracy of mass measurement for microlensing black holes as seen by Gaia and OGLE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybicki, Krzysztof A.; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz; Klencki, Jakub; de Bruijne, Jos; Belczyński, Krzysztof; Chruślińska, Martyna

    2018-05-01

    We investigate the impact of combining Gaia astrometry from space with precise, high cadence OGLE photometry from the ground. For the archival event OGLE3-ULENS-PAR-02, which is likely a black hole, we simulate a realistic astrometric time series of Gaia measurements and combine it with the real photometric data collected by the OGLE project. We predict that at the end of the nominal 5 yr of the Gaia mission, for the events brighter than G ≈ 15.5 mag at the baseline, caused by objects heavier than 10 M⊙, it will be possible to unambiguously derive masses of the lenses, with accuracy between a few and 15 per cent. We find that fainter events (G < 17.5) can still have their lens masses determined, provided that they are heavier than 30 M⊙. We estimate that the rate of astrometric microlensing events caused by the stellar-origin black holes is ≈ 4 × 10- 7 yr- 1, which implies, that after 5 yr of Gaia operation and ≈5 × 106 bright sources in Gaia, it will be possible to identify few such events in the Gaia final catalogues.

  7. Fabrication of polymer microlenses on single mode optical fibers for light coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaboub, Monsef; Guessoum, Assia; Demagh, Nacer-Eddine; Guermat, Abdelhak

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we present a technique for producing fibers optics micro-collimators composed of polydimethylsiloxane PDMS microlenses of different radii of curvature. The waist and working distance values obtained enable the optimization of optical coupling between optical fibers, fibers and optical sources, and fibers and detectors. The principal is based on the injection of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) into a conical micro-cavity chemically etched at the end of optical fibers. A spherical microlens is then formed that is self-centered with respect to the axis of the fiber. Typically, an optimal radius of curvature of 10.08 μm is obtained. This optimized micro-collimator is characterized by a working distance of 19.27 μm and a waist equal to 2.28 μm for an SMF 9/125 μm fiber. The simulation and experimental results reveal an optical coupling efficiency that can reach a value of 99.75%.

  8. A NEW APPLICATION OF THE ASTROMETRIC METHOD TO BREAK SEVERE DEGENERACIES IN BINARY MICROLENSING EVENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chung, Sun-Ju; Park, Byeong-Gon; Humphrey, Andrew; Ryu, Yoon-Hyun

    2009-01-01

    When a source star is microlensed by one stellar component of widely separated binary stellar components, after finishing the lensing event, the event induced by the other binary star can be additionally detected. In this paper, we investigate whether the close/wide degeneracies in binary lensing events can be resolved by detecting the additional centroid shift of the source images induced by the secondary binary star in wide binary lensing events. From this investigation, we find that if the source star passes close to the Einstein ring of the secondary companion, the degeneracy can be easily resolved by using future astrometric follow-up observations with high astrometric precision. We determine the probability of detecting the additional centroid shift in binary lensing events with high magnification. From this, we find that the degeneracy of binary lensing events with a separation of ∼<20.0 AU can be resolved with a significant efficiency. We also estimate the waiting time for the detection of the additional centroid shift in wide binary lensing events. We find that for typical Galactic lensing events with a separation of ∼<20.0 AU, the additional centroid shift can be detected within 100 days, and thus the degeneracy of those events can be sufficiently broken within a year.

  9. A NEW NONPLANETARY INTERPRETATION OF THE MICROLENSING EVENT OGLE-2013-BLG-0723

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Cheongho; Jung, Youn Kil [Department of Physics, Institute for Astrophysics, Chungbuk National University, 371-763 Cheongju (Korea, Republic of); Bennett, David P. [Code 667, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Udalski, Andrzej [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland)

    2016-07-01

    Recently, the discovery of a Venus-mass planet orbiting a brown-dwarf host in a binary system was reported from the analysis of the microlensing event OGLE-2013-BLG-0723. We reanalyze the event considering the possibility of other interpretations. From this, we find a new solution where the lens is composed of two bodies, in contrast to the three-body solution of the previous analysis. The new solution better explains the observed light curve than the previous solution with Δ χ {sup 2} ∼ 202, suggesting that the new solution is a correct model for the event. From the estimation of the physical parameters based on the new interpretation, we find that the lens system is composed of two low-mass stars with ∼0.2 M {sub ⊙} and ∼0.1 M {sub ⊙} and located at a distance of ∼3 kpc. The fact that the physical parameters correspond to those of the most common lens population located at a distance with a large lensing probability further supports the likelihood of the new interpretation. Considering that two dramatically different solutions can approximately explain the observed light curve, the event suggests the need for carefully testing all possible lens-system geometries.

  10. Working group 4: Terrestrial

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    A working group at a Canada/USA symposium on climate change and the Arctic identified major concerns and issues related to terrestrial resources. The group examined the need for, and the means of, involving resource managers and users at local and territorial levels in the process of identifying and examining the impacts and consequences of climatic change. Climatic change will be important to the Arctic because of the magnitude of the change projected for northern latitudes; the apparent sensitivity of its terrestrial ecosystems, natural resources, and human support systems; and the dependence of the social, cultural, and economic welfare of Arctic communities, businesses, and industries on the health and quality of their environment. Impacts of climatic change on the physical, biological, and associated socio-economic environment are outlined. Gaps in knowledge needed to quantify these impacts are listed along with their relationships with resource management. Finally, potential actions for response and adaptation are presented

  11. Phytopharmacology of Tribulus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahid, M; Riaz, M; Talpur, M M A; Pirzada, T

    2016-01-01

    Tribulus terrestris is an annual herb which belongs to the Zygophyllaceae family. This plant has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases for hundreds of decades. The main active phytoconstituents of this plant include flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, lignin, amides, and glycosides. The plant parts have different pharmacological activities including aphrodisiac, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant potential. T. terrestris is most often used for infertility and loss of libido. It has potential application as immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, anthelmintic and anticarcinogenic activities. The aim of the present article is to create a database for further investigation of the phytopharmacological properties of this plant to promote research. This study will definitely help to confirm its traditional use along with its value-added utility, eventually leading to higher revenues from the plant.

  12. Terrestrial plant methane production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Bruhn, Dan; Møller, Ian M.

    We evaluate all experimental work published on the phenomenon of aerobic methane (CH4) generation in terrestrial plants. We conclude that the phenomenon is true. Four stimulating factors have been observed to induce aerobic plant CH4 production, i.e. cutting injuries, increasing temperature...... the aerobic methane emission in plants. Future work is needed for establishing the relative contribution of several proven potential CH4 precursors in plant material....

  13. Low-cost, high-precision micro-lensed optical fiber providing deep-micrometer to deep-nanometer-level light focusing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Sy-Bor; Sundaram, Vijay M; McBride, Daniel; Yang, Yu

    2016-04-15

    A new type of micro-lensed optical fiber through stacking appropriate high-refractive microspheres at designed locations with respect to the cleaved end of an optical fiber is numerically and experimentally demonstrated. This new type of micro-lensed optical fiber can be precisely constructed with low cost and high speed. Deep micrometer-scale and submicrometer-scale far-field light spots can be achieved when the optical fibers are multimode and single mode, respectively. By placing an appropriate teardrop dielectric nanoscale scatterer at the far-field spot of this new type of micro-lensed optical fiber, a deep-nanometer near-field spot can also be generated with high intensity and minimum joule heating, which is valuable in high-speed, high-resolution, and high-power nanoscale detection compared with traditional near-field optical fibers containing a significant portion of metallic material.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2018-01-01

    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…

  16. 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.

  17. Discovery of a Gas Giant Planet in Microlensing Event Ogle-2014-BLG-1760

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, A.; Bennett, D. P.; Bond, I. A.; Sumi, T.; Udalski, A.; Street, R.; Tsapras, Y.; Abe, F.; Freeman, M.; Fukui, A.

    2016-01-01

    We present the analysis of the planetary microlensing event OGLE-2014-BLG-1760, which shows a strong light-curve signal due to the presence of a Jupiter mass ratio planet. One unusual feature of this event is that the source star is quite blue, with V-I = 1.48 +/- 0.08. This is marginally consistent with a source star in the Galactic bulge, but it could possibly indicate a young source star on the far side of the disk. Assuming a bulge source, we perform a Bayesian analysis assuming a standard Galactic model, and this indicates that the planetary system resides in or near the Galactic bulge at D(sub L) = 6.9 +/- 1.1 kpc. It also indicates a host-star mass of M(sub *) = 0.51(sup + 0.44/sub -0.28) M(sub theta), a planet mass of m(sub p ) = 0.56(sup +0.34/sub -0.26) M(sub J), and a projected star-planet separation of a(perpendicular) = 1.75(sup +0.33/sub -0.34) au. The lens-source relative proper motion is micro(sub rel) = 6.5 +/- 1.1mas per yr. The lens (and stellar host star) is estimated to be very faint compared to the source star, so it is most likely that it can be detected only when the lens and source stars start to separate. Due to the relatively high relative proper motion, the lens and source will be resolved to about approximately 46 mas in 6-8 yr after the peak magnification. So, by 2020-2022, we can hope to detect the lens star with deep, high-resolution images.

  18. Accurate Mass Measurements for Planetary Microlensing Events Using High Angular Resolution Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Philippe Beaulieu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The microlensing technique is a unique method to hunt for cold planets over a range of mass and separation, orbiting all varieties of host stars in the disk of our galaxy. It provides precise mass-ratio and projected separations in units of the Einstein ring radius. In order to obtain the physical parameters (mass, distance, orbital separation of the system, it is necessary to combine the result of light curve modeling with lens mass-distance relations and/or perform a Bayesian analysis with a galactic model. A first mass-distance relation could be obtained from a constraint on the Einstein ring radius if the crossing time of the source over the caustic is measured. It could then be supplemented by secondary constraints such as parallax measurements, ideally by using coinciding ground and space-born observations. These are still subject to degeneracies, like the orbital motion of the lens. A third mass-distance relation can be obtained thanks to constraints on the lens luminosity using high angular resolution observations with 8 m class telescopes or the Hubble Space Telescope. The latter route, although quite inexpensive in telescope time is very effective. If we have to rely heavily on Bayesian analysis and limited constraints on mass-distance relations, the physical parameters are determined to 30–40% typically. In a handful of cases, ground-space parallax is a powerful route to get stronger constraint on masses. High angular resolution observations will be able to constrain the luminosity of the lenses in the majority of the cases, and in favorable circumstances it is possible to derive physical parameters to 10% or better. Moreover, these constraints will be obtained in most of the planets to be discovered by the Euclid and WFIRST satellites. We describe here the state-of-the-art approaches to measure lens masses and distances with an emphasis on high angular resolution observations. We will discuss the challenges, recent results and

  19. A SEARCH FOR STELLAR-MASS BLACK HOLES VIA ASTROMETRIC MICROLENSING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, J. R. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Sinukoff, E. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Ofek, E. O. [Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100 (Israel); Udalski, A.; Kozlowski, S. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland)

    2016-10-10

    While dozens of stellar-mass black holes (BHs) have been discovered in binary systems, isolated BHs have eluded detection. Their presence can be inferred when they lens light from a background star. We attempt to detect the astrometric lensing signatures of three photometrically identified microlensing events, OGLE-2011-BLG-0022, OGLE-2011-BLG-0125, and OGLE-2012-BLG-0169 (OB110022, OB110125, and OB120169), located toward the Galactic Bulge. These events were selected because of their long durations, which statistically favors more massive lenses. Astrometric measurements were made over one to two years using laser-guided adaptive optics observations from the W. M. Keck Observatory. Lens model parameters were first constrained by the photometric light curves. The OB120169 light curve is well fit by a single-lens model, while both OB110022 and OB110125 light curves favor binary lens models. Using the photometric fits as prior information, no significant astrometric lensing signal was detected and all targets were consistent with linear motion. The significant lack of astrometric signal constrains the lens mass of OB110022 to 0.05–1.79 M {sub ⊙} in a 99.7% confidence interval, which disfavors a BH lens. Fits to OB110125 yielded a reduced Einstein crossing time and insufficient observations during the peak, so no mass limits were obtained. Two degenerate solutions exist for OB120169, which have a lens mass between 0.2–38.8 M {sub ⊙} and 0.4–39.8 M {sub ⊙} for a 99.7% confidence interval. Follow-up observations of OB120169 will further constrain the lens mass. Based on our experience, we use simulations to design optimal astrometric observing strategies and show that with more typical observing conditions the detection of BHs is feasible.

  20. 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.

  1. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, established the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) to address the need for coordinated and standardized monitoring of Arctic environments. The CBMP includes an international...... on developing and implementing long-term plans for monitoring the integrity of Arctic biomes: terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and coastal (under development) environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group (CBMP-TEMG) has developed the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (CBMP......-Terrestrial Plan/the Plan) as the framework for coordinated, long-term Arctic terrestrial biodiversity monitoring. The goal of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long...

  2. Design Considerations: Falcon M Dwarf Habitable Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polsgrove, Daniel; Novotny, Steven; Della-Rose, Devin J.; Chun, Francis; Tippets, Roger; O'Shea, Patrick; Miller, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is an assemblage of twelve automated 20-inch telescopes positioned around the globe, controlled from the Cadet Space Operations Center (CSOC) at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Five of the 12 sites are currently installed, with full operational capability expected by the end of 2016. Though optimized for studying near-earth objects to accomplish its primary mission of Space Situational Awareness (SSA), the Falcon telescopes are in many ways similar to those used by ongoing and planned exoplanet transit surveys targeting individual M dwarf stars (e.g., MEarth, APACHE, SPECULOOS). The network's worldwide geographic distribution provides additional potential advantages. We have performed analytical and empirical studies exploring the viability of employing the FTN for a future survey of nearby late-type M dwarfs tailored to detect transits of 1-2REarth exoplanets in habitable-zone orbits . We present empirical results on photometric precision derived from data collected with multiple Falcon telescopes on a set of nearby (survey design parameters is also described, including an analysis of site-specific weather data, anticipated telescope time allocation and the percentage of nearby M dwarfs with sufficient check stars within the Falcons' 11' x 11' field-of-view required to perform effective differential photometry. The results of this ongoing effort will inform the likelihood of discovering one (or more) habitable-zone exoplanets given current occurrence rate estimates over a nominal five-year campaign, and will dictate specific survey design features in preparation for initiating project execution when the FTN begins full-scale automated operations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, E.

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

  4. #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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkley, Sasha

    2012-04-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Contaminant exposure in terrestrial vertebrates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Philip N.; Cobb, George P.; Godard-Codding, Celine; Hoff, Dale; McMurry, Scott T.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Reynolds, Kevin D.

    2007-01-01

    Here we review mechanisms and factors influencing contaminant exposure among terrestrial vertebrate wildlife. There exists a complex mixture of biotic and abiotic factors that dictate potential for contaminant exposure among terrestrial and semi-terrestrial vertebrates. Chemical fate and transport in the environment determine contaminant bioaccessibility. Species-specific natural history characteristics and behavioral traits then play significant roles in the likelihood that exposure pathways, from source to receptor, are complete. Detailed knowledge of natural history traits of receptors considered in conjunction with the knowledge of contaminant behavior and distribution on a site are critical when assessing and quantifying exposure. We review limitations in our understanding of elements of exposure and the unique aspects of exposure associated with terrestrial and semi-terrestrial taxa. We provide insight on taxa-specific traits that contribute, or limit exposure to, transport phenomenon that influence exposure throughout terrestrial systems, novel contaminants, bioavailability, exposure data analysis, and uncertainty associated with exposure in wildlife risk assessments. Lastly, we identify areas related to exposure among terrestrial and semi-terrestrial organisms that warrant additional research. - Both biotic and abiotic factors determine chemical exposure for terrestrial vertebrates

  13. Spitzer Opens New Path to Break Classic Degeneracy for Jupiter-mass Microlensing Planet OGLE-2017-BLG-1140Lb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calchi Novati, S.; Skowron, J.; Jung, Y. K.; Beichman, C.; Bryden, G.; Carey, S.; Gaudi, B. S.; Henderson, C. B.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Yee, J. C.; Zhu, W.; Spitzer Team; Udalski, A.; Szymański, M. K.; Mróz, P.; Poleski, R.; Soszyński, I.; Kozłowski, S.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pawlak, M.; Rybicki, K.; Iwanek, P.; OGLE Collaboration; Albrow, M. D.; Chung, S.-J.; Gould, A.; Han, C.; Hwang, K.-H.; Ryu, Y.-H.; Shin, I.-G.; Zang, W.; Cha, S.-M.; Kim, D.-J.; Kim, H.-W.; Kim, S.-L.; Lee, C.-U.; Lee, D.-J.; Lee, Y.; Park, B.-G.; Pogge, R. W.; KMTNet Collaboration

    2018-06-01

    We analyze the combined Spitzer and ground-based data for OGLE-2017-BLG-1140 and show that the event was generated by a Jupiter-class ({m}p≃ 1.6 {M}{{J}{{u}}{{p}}}) planet orbiting a mid-late M dwarf (M≃ 0.2 {M}ȯ ) that lies {D}LS}≃ 1.0 {kpc} in the foreground of the microlensed Galactic-bar source star. The planet–host projected separation is {a}\\perp ≃ 1.0 {au}, i.e., well beyond the snow line. By measuring the source proper motion {{\\boldsymbol{μ }}}s from ongoing long-term OGLE imaging and combining this with the lens-source relative proper motion {{\\boldsymbol{μ }}}rel} derived from the microlensing solution, we show that the lens proper motion {{\\boldsymbol{μ }}}l={{\\boldsymbol{μ }}}rel}+{{\\boldsymbol{μ }}}s is consistent with the lens lying in the Galactic disk, although a bulge lens is not ruled out. We show that while the Spitzer and ground-based data are comparably well fitted by planetary (i.e., binary-lens (2L1S)) and binary-source (1L2S) models, the combination of Spitzer and ground-based data decisively favors the planetary model. This is a new channel to resolve the 2L1S/1L2S degeneracy, which can be difficult to break in some cases.

  14. Search for macroscopic dark matter in the halo of the milky way through microlensing. A feasibility study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moniez, M.

    1990-05-01

    The possibility of searching for non-visible massive compact objects in the galactic halo is discussed here. The discovery of such objects would solve the problem of the missing mass in the galaxies, and the experiments which investigate for weakly interacting particles assuming a diffuse cloud of dark matter would have to revise their limits. The non-discovery of these objects would exclude the last possibility left for baryonic dark matter, providing good evidence that the galactic halo has to be made of new particles. The description of the general-relativistic microlensing effect and its application to the search of massive compact objects are given here. A feasibility study shows that it is possible to monitor the luminosity of several million stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud with the required precision, in order to detect a possible microlensing phenomenon induced by heavy compact objects (10 -4 - 10 -1 solar mass units). A CCD-based experimental setup is described, which would make it possible to search for compact objects in the 10 -6 - 10 -4 solar mass unit domain

  15. Constraint on Additional Planets in Planetary Systems Discovered Through the Channel of High-magnification Gravitational Microlensing Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Choi, J.-Y.; Hwang, K.-H.; Jung, Y.-K.; Park, H.

    2015-04-01

    High-magnification gravitational microlensing events provide an important channel of detecting planetary systems with multiple giants located at their birth places. In order to investigate the potential existence of additional planets, we reanalyze the light curves of the eight high-magnification microlensing events, for each of which a single planet was previously detected. The analyzed events include OGLE-2005-BLG-071, OGLE-2005-BLG-169, MOA-2007-BLG-400, MOA-2008-BLG-310, MOA-2009-BLG-319, MOA-2009-BLG-387, MOA-2010-BLG-477, and MOA-2011-BLG-293. We find that including an additional planet improves fits with {Δ }{{χ }2}\\lt 80 for seven out of eight analyzed events. For MOA-2009-BLG-319, the improvement is relatively big with {Δ }{{χ }2}∼ 143. From inspection of the fits, we find that the improvement of the fits is attributed to systematics in data. Although no clear evidence of additional planets is found, it is still possible to constrain the existence of additional planets in the parameter space. For this purpose, we construct exclusion diagrams showing the confidence levels excluding the existence of an additional planet as a function of its separation and mass ratio. We also present the exclusion ranges of additional planets with 90% confidence level for Jupiter-, Saturn-, and Uranus-mass planets.

  16. AGAPEROS Searches for microlensing in the LMC with the Pixel Method; 1, Data treatment and pixel light curves production

    CERN Document Server

    Melchior, A.-L.; Ansari, R.; Aubourg, E.; Baillon, P.; Bareyre, P.; Bauer, F.; Beaulieu, J.-Ph.; Bouquet, A.; Brehin, S.; Cavalier, F.; Char, S.; Couchot, F.; Coutures, C.; Ferlet, R.; Fernandez, J.; Gaucherel, C.; Giraud-Heraud, Y.; Glicenstein, J.-F.; Goldman, B.; Gondolo, P.; Gros, M.; Guibert, J.; Gry, C.; Hardin, D.; Kaplan, J.; de Kat, J.; Lachieze-Rey, M.; Laurent, B.; Lesquoy, E.; Magneville, Ch.; Mansoux, B.; Marquette, J.-B.; Maurice, E.; Milsztajn, A.; Moniez, M.; Moreau, O.; Moscoso, L.; Palanque-Delabrouille, N.; Perdereau, O.; Prevot, L.; Renault, C.; Queinnec, F.; Rich, J.; Spiro, M.; Vigroux, L.; Zylberajch, S.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Magneville, Ch.

    1999-01-01

    The presence and abundance of MAssive Compact Halo Objects (MACHOs) towards the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) can be studied with microlensing searches. The 10 events detected by the EROS and MACHO groups suggest that objects with 0.5 Mo could fill 50% of the dark halo. This preferred mass is quite surprising, and increasing the presently small statistics is a crucial issue. Additional microlensing of stars too dim to be resolved in crowded fields should be detectable using the Pixel Method. We present here an application of this method to the EROS 91-92 data (one tenth of the whole existing data set). We emphasize the data treatment required for monitoring pixel fluxes. Geometric and photometric alignments are performed on each image. Seeing correction and error estimates are discussed. 3.6" x 3.6" super-pixel light curves, thus produced, are very stable over the 120 days time-span. Fluctuations at a level of 1.8% of the flux in blue and 1.3% in red are measured on the pixel light curves. This level of stabil...

  17. Light-focusing human micro-lenses generated from pluripotent stem cells model lens development and drug-induced cataract in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Patricia; Kabir, Md Humayun; Srivastava, Tarini; Mason, Michele E; Dewi, Chitra U; Lim, Seakcheng; Yang, Andrian; Djordjevic, Djordje; Killingsworth, Murray C; Ho, Joshua W K; Harman, David G; O'Connor, Michael D

    2018-01-09

    Cataracts cause vision loss and blindness by impairing the ability of the ocular lens to focus light onto the retina. Various cataract risk factors have been identified, including drug treatments, age, smoking and diabetes. However, the molecular events responsible for these different forms of cataract are ill-defined, and the advent of modern cataract surgery in the 1960s virtually eliminated access to human lenses for research. Here, we demonstrate large-scale production of light-focusing human micro-lenses from spheroidal masses of human lens epithelial cells purified from differentiating pluripotent stem cells. The purified lens cells and micro-lenses display similar morphology, cellular arrangement, mRNA expression and protein expression to human lens cells and lenses. Exposing the micro-lenses to the emergent cystic fibrosis drug Vx-770 reduces micro-lens transparency and focusing ability. These human micro-lenses provide a powerful and large-scale platform for defining molecular disease mechanisms caused by cataract risk factors, for anti-cataract drug screening and for clinically relevant toxicity assays. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. The First Simultaneous Microlensing Observations by Two Space Telescopes: Spitzer and Swift Reveal a Brown Dwarf in Event OGLE-2015-BLG-1319

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shvartzvald, Y.; Li, Z.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Sumi, T.; Street, R. A.; Calchi Novati, S.; Hundertmark, M.; Bozza, V.; Beichman, C.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Simultaneous observations of microlensing events from multiple locations allow for the breaking of degeneracies between the physical properties of the lensing system, specifically by exploring different regions of the lens plane and by directly measuring the "microlens parallax". We report the discovery of a 30-65M J brown dwarf orbiting a K dwarf in the microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-1319. The system is located at a distance of approximately 5 kpc toward the Galactic Bulge. The event was observed by several ground-based groups as well as by Spitzer and Swift, allowing a measurement of the physical properties. However, the event is still subject to an eight-fold degeneracy, in particular the well-known close-wide degeneracy, and thus the projected separation between the two lens components is either approximately 0.25 au or approximately 45 au. This is the first microlensing event observed by Swift, with the UVOT camera. We study the region of microlensing parameter space to which Swift is sensitive, finding that though Swift could not measure the microlens parallax with respect to ground-based observations for this event, it can be important for other events. Specifically, it is important for detecting nearby brown dwarfs and free-floating planets in high magnification events.

  19. Search for black matter through the detection of gravitational micro-lenses in differential photometry; Recherche de matiere noire galactique par detection de microlentilles gravitationnelles en photometrie differentielle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Guillou, L

    2003-09-01

    The nature of dark matter is an open question. The search for gravitational microlensing effects is an interesting tool because this effect is strongly dependent on the mass of objects whether they are luminous or not, however this detection method is only sensitive to compact forms of dark matter (MACHOS - massive astronomical halo compact objects), and as a consequence no-baryonic matter like neutrinos or WIMPS (weakly interacting massive particles) can not be detected this way. In the first chapter the author reviews the plausible candidates to black matter. The use of the microlensing effect as a probe of the galactic halo is presented in the second chapter. The third chapter is dedicated to the series of experiments worldwide that focus on the detection of MACHOS. In the fourth chapter the author shows how the DIA (difference image analysis) method may be promising in the study of gravitational microlensing effects. The main part of this work has been the use of the DIA method to process five-year data set collected by the Eros experiment in the small Magellanic cloud (SMC). The data processing line and the results are presented in the fifth and sixth chapters. The results are consistent with previous results given by Eros and they confirm the disparity of the durations of micro-lenses detected in the large and small Magellanic clouds. (A.C.)

  20. Terrestrial Water Storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodell, M.; Chambers, D. P.; Famiglietti, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    During 2014 dryness continued in the Northern Hemisphere and relative wetness continued in the Southern Hemisphere (Fig. 2.21; Plate 2.1g). These largely canceled out such that the global land surface began and ended the year with a terrestrial water storage (TWS) anomaly slightly below 0 cm (equivalent height of water; Fig. 2.22). TWS is the sum of groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow, and ice. Groundwater responds more slowly to meteorological phenomena than the other components because the overlying soil acts as a low pass filter, but often it has a larger range of variability on multiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti 2001; Alley et al. 2002).In situ groundwater data are only archived and made and Tanzania. The rest of the continent experienced mixed to dry conditions. Significant reductions in TWS in Greenland, Antarctica, and southern coastal Alaska reflect ongoing ice sheet and glacier ablation, not groundwater depletion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-02

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

  2. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA’s Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Technology demonstration of starshade manufacturing for NASA's Exoplanet mission program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Lisman, D.; Shaklan, S.; Thomson, M.; Cady, E.; Martin, S.; Marchen, L.; Vanderbei, R. J.; Macintosh, B.; Rudd, R. E.; Savransky, D.; Mikula, J.; Lynch, D.

    2012-09-01

    It is likely that the coming decade will see the development of a large visible light telescope with enabling technology for imaging exosolar Earthlike planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars. One such technology utilizes an external occulter, a satellite flying far from the telescope and employing a large screen, or starshade, to suppress the incoming starlight suffciently for detecting and characterizing exoplanets. This trades the added complexity of building the precisely shaped starshade and flying it in formation against simplifications in the telescope since extremely precise wavefront control is no longer necessary. In this paper we present the results of our project to design, manufacture, and measure a prototype occulter petal as part of NASA's first Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions program. We describe the mechanical design of the starshade and petal, the precision manufacturing tolerances, and the metrology approach. We demonstrate that the prototype petal meets the requirements and is consistent with a full-size occulter achieving better than 10-10 contrast.

  6. Visible nulling coronagraphy testbed development for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseman, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Emergence of two types of terrestrial planet on solidification of magma ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamano, Keiko; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori

    2013-05-30

    Understanding the origins of the diversity in terrestrial planets is a fundamental goal in Earth and planetary sciences. In the Solar System, Venus has a similar size and bulk composition to those of Earth, but it lacks water. Because a richer variety of exoplanets is expected to be discovered, prediction of their atmospheres and surface environments requires a general framework for planetary evolution. Here we show that terrestrial planets can be divided into two distinct types on the basis of their evolutionary history during solidification from the initially hot molten state expected from the standard formation model. Even if, apart from their orbits, they were identical just after formation, the solidified planets can have different characteristics. A type I planet, which is formed beyond a certain critical distance from the host star, solidifies within several million years. If the planet acquires water during formation, most of this water is retained and forms the earliest oceans. In contrast, on a type II planet, which is formed inside the critical distance, a magma ocean can be sustained for longer, even with a larger initial amount of water. Its duration could be as long as 100 million years if the planet is formed together with a mass of water comparable to the total inventory of the modern Earth. Hydrodynamic escape desiccates type II planets during the slow solidification process. Although Earth is categorized as type I, it is not clear which type Venus is because its orbital distance is close to the critical distance. However, because the dryness of the surface and mantle predicted for type II planets is consistent with the characteristics of Venus, it may be representative of type II planets. Also, future observations may have a chance to detect not only terrestrial exoplanets covered with water ocean but also those covered with magma ocean around a young star.

  12. 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

  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. Ecological transfer mechanisms - Terrestrial

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, W.E.; Raines, Gilbert E.; Bloom, S.G.; Levin, A.A.

    1969-01-01

    Radionuclides produced by nuclear excavation detonations and released to the environment may enter a variety of biogeochemical cycles and follow essentially the same transfer pathways as their stable-element counterparts. Estimation of potential internal radiation doses to individuals and/or populations living in or near fallout-contaminated areas requires analysis of the food-chain and other ecological pathways by which radionuclides released to the environment may be returned to man. A generalized materials transfer diagram, applicable to the forest, agricultural, freshwater and marine ecosystems providing food and water to the indigenous population of Panama and Colombia in regions that could be affected by nuclear excavation of a sea-level canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is presented. Transfer mechanisms effecting the movement of stable elements and radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems are discussed, and methods used to simulate these processes by means of mathematical models are described to show how intake values are calculated for different radionuclides in the major ecological pathways leading to man. These data provide a basis for estimating potential internal radiation doses for comparison with the radiation protection criteria established by recognized authorities; and this, in turn, provides a basis for recommending measures to insure the radiological safety of the nuclear operation plan. (author)

  15. Solar-terrestrial physics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, V.L.

    1977-01-01

    The Glossary is designed to be a technical dictionary that will provide solar workers of various specialties, students, other astronomers and theoreticians with concise information on the nature and the properties of phenomena of solar and solar-terrestrial physics. Each term, or group of related terms, is given a concise phenomenological and quantitative description, including the relationship to other phenomena and an interpretation in terms of physical processes. The references are intended to lead the non-specialist reader into the literature. This section deals with: geomagnetic field; coordinate systems; geomagnetic indices; Dst index; auroral electrojet index AE; daily, 27-day and semi-annual variations of geomagnetic field; micropulsation; geomagnetic storms; storm sudden commencement (SSC) or sudden commencement (SC); initial phase; ring current; sudden impulses; ionosphere; D region; polar cap absorption; sudden ionospheric disturbance; E region; sporadic E; equatorial electrojet; solar flare effect; F 1 and F 2 regions; spread F; travelling ionospheric disturbances; magnetosphere; magnetospheric coordinate systems; plasmasphere; magnetosheath; magnetospheric tail; substorm; radiation belts or Van Allen belts; whistlers; VLF emissions; aurora; auroral forms; auroral oval and auroral zones; auroral intensity; stable auroral red arcs; pulsing aurora; polar glow aurora; and airglow. (B.R.H.)

  16. Ecological transfer mechanisms - Terrestrial

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, W E; Raines, Gilbert E; Bloom, S G; Levin, A A [Battelle Memorial Institute, CoIumbus, OH (United States)

    1969-07-01

    Radionuclides produced by nuclear excavation detonations and released to the environment may enter a variety of biogeochemical cycles and follow essentially the same transfer pathways as their stable-element counterparts. Estimation of potential internal radiation doses to individuals and/or populations living in or near fallout-contaminated areas requires analysis of the food-chain and other ecological pathways by which radionuclides released to the environment may be returned to man. A generalized materials transfer diagram, applicable to the forest, agricultural, freshwater and marine ecosystems providing food and water to the indigenous population of Panama and Colombia in regions that could be affected by nuclear excavation of a sea-level canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is presented. Transfer mechanisms effecting the movement of stable elements and radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems are discussed, and methods used to simulate these processes by means of mathematical models are described to show how intake values are calculated for different radionuclides in the major ecological pathways leading to man. These data provide a basis for estimating potential internal radiation doses for comparison with the radiation protection criteria established by recognized authorities; and this, in turn, provides a basis for recommending measures to insure the radiological safety of the nuclear operation plan. (author)

  17. Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment 2004

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, J. M.; Boutrup, S.; Bijl, L. van der

    This report presents the 2004 results of the Danish National Monitoring and Assess-ment Programme for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments (NOVANA). 2004 was the first year in which terrestrial nature was included in the monitoring pro-gramme. The report reviews the state of the groundwater......, watercourses, lakes and marine waters and the pressures upon them and reviews the monitoring of terrestrial natural habitats and selected plants and animals. The report is based on the annual reports prepared for each subprogramme by the Topic Centres. The latter reports are mainly based on data collected...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Gaia and exoplanets: a revolution in the making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sozzetti, Alessandro

    2017-09-01

    The Gaia global astrometry mission is now entering its fourth year of routine science operations. With the publication of the first data release in September 2016, it has begun to fulfil its promise for revolutionary science in countless aspects of Galactic astronomy and astrophysics. I briefly review the Gaia mission status of operations and the scenario for the upcoming intermediate data releases, focusing on important lessons learned. Then, I illustrate the Gaia exoplanet science case, and discuss how the field will be revolutionized by the power of microarcsecond (μas) astrometry that is about to be unleashed. I conclude by touching upon some of the synergy elements that will call for combination of Gaia data with other indirect and direct detection and characterization techniques, for much improved understanding of exoplanetary systems.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Supervised detection of exoplanets in high-contrast imaging sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez Gonzalez, C. A.; Absil, O.; Van Droogenbroeck, M.

    2018-06-01

    Context. Post-processing algorithms play a key role in pushing the detection limits of high-contrast imaging (HCI) instruments. State-of-the-art image processing approaches for HCI enable the production of science-ready images relying on unsupervised learning techniques, such as low-rank approximations, for generating a model point spread function (PSF) and subtracting the residual starlight and speckle noise. Aims: In order to maximize the detection rate of HCI instruments and survey campaigns, advanced algorithms with higher sensitivities to faint companions are needed, especially for the speckle-dominated innermost region of the images. Methods: We propose a reformulation of the exoplanet detection task (for ADI sequences) that builds on well-established machine learning techniques to take HCI post-processing from an unsupervised to a supervised learning context. In this new framework, we present algorithmic solutions using two different discriminative models: SODIRF (random forests) and SODINN (neural networks). We test these algorithms on real ADI datasets from VLT/NACO and VLT/SPHERE HCI instruments. We then assess their performances by injecting fake companions and using receiver operating characteristic analysis. This is done in comparison with state-of-the-art ADI algorithms, such as ADI principal component analysis (ADI-PCA). Results: This study shows the improved sensitivity versus specificity trade-off of the proposed supervised detection approach. At the diffraction limit, SODINN improves the true positive rate by a factor ranging from 2 to 10 (depending on the dataset and angular separation) with respect to ADI-PCA when working at the same false-positive level. Conclusions: The proposed supervised detection framework outperforms state-of-the-art techniques in the task of discriminating planet signal from speckles. In addition, it offers the possibility of re-processing existing HCI databases to maximize their scientific return and potentially improve

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  8. External occulter edge scattering control using metamaterials for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendek, Eduardo A.; Sirbu, Dan; Liu, Zhaowei; Martin, Stefan; Lu, Dylan

    2015-09-01

    Direct imaging of earth-like exoplanets in the Habitable Zone of sun-like stars requires image contrast of ~10^10 at angular separations of around a hundred milliarcseconds. One approach for achieving this performance is to fly a starshade at a long distance in front of the telescope, shading the telescope from the direct starlight, but allowing planets around the star to be seen. The starshade is positioned so that sunlight falls on the surface away from the telescope, so the sun does not directly illuminate it. However, sunlight scattered from the starshade edge can enter the telescope, raising the background light level and potentially preventing the starshade from delivering the required contrast. As a result, starshade edge design has been identified as one of the highest priority technology gaps for external occulter missions in the NASAs Exoplanet Exploration Program Technology Plan 2013. To reduce the sunlight edge scatter to an acceptable level, the edge Radius Of Curvature (ROC) should be 1μm or less (commercial razor blades have ROC of a few hundred nanometer). This poses a challenging manufacturing requirement and may make the occulter difficult to handle. In this paper we propose an alternative approach to controlling the edge scattering by applying a flexible metamaterial to the occulter edge. Metamaterials are artificially structured materials, which have been designed to display properties not found in natural materials. Metamaterials can be designed to direct the scatter at planned incident angles away from the space telescope, thereby directly decreasing the contaminating background light. Reduction of the background light translates into shorter integration time to characterize a target planet and therefore improves the efficiency of the observations. As an additional benefit, metamaterials also have potential to produce increased tolerance to edge defects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  10. Discovery of a bright microlensing event with planetary features towards the Taurus region: a super-Earth planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nucita, A. A.; Licchelli, D.; De Paolis, F.; Ingrosso, G.; Strafella, F.; Katysheva, N.; Shugarov, S.

    2018-05-01

    The transient event labelled as TCP J05074264+2447555 recently discovered towards the Taurus region was quickly recognized to be an ongoing microlensing event on a source located at distance of only 700-800 pc from Earth. Here, we show that observations with high sampling rate close to the time of maximum magnification revealed features that imply the presence of a binary lens system with very low-mass ratio components. We present a complete description of the binary lens system, which host an Earth-like planet with most likely mass of 9.2 ± 6.6 M⊕. Furthermore, the source estimated location and detailed Monte Carlo simulations allowed us to classify the event as due to the closest lens system, being at a distance of ≃380 pc and mass ≃0.25 M⊙.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. CLIMATE PATTERNS OF HABITABLE EXOPLANETS IN ECCENTRIC ORBITS AROUND M DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yuwei; Hu, Yongyun [Laboratory for Climate and Ocean-Atmosphere Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 China (China); Tian, Feng, E-mail: yyhu@pku.edu.cn [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China)

    2014-08-10

    Previous studies show that synchronous rotating habitable exoplanets around M dwarfs should have an ''eyeball'' climate pattern—a limited region of open water on the day side and ice on the rest of the planet. However, exoplanets with nonzero eccentricities could have spin-orbit resonance states different from the synchronous rotation state. Here, we show that a striped-ball climate pattern, with a global belt of open water at low and middle latitudes and ice over both polar regions, should be common on habitable exoplanets in eccentric orbits around M dwarfs. We further show that these different climate patterns can be observed by future exoplanet detection missions.

  13. 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.

  14. Leveraging Ensemble Dynamical Properties to Prioritize Exoplanet Follow-Up Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Sarah

    2017-01-01

    The number of transiting exoplanets now exceeds several thousand, enabling ensemble studies of the dynamical properties of exoplanetary systems. We require a mixture model of dynamical conditions (whether frozen in from formation or sculpted by planet-planet interactions) to recover Kepler's yield of transiting planets. Around M dwarfs, which will be predominate sites of exoplanet follow-up atmospheric study in the next decade, even a modest orbital eccentricity can sterilize a planet. I will describe efforts to link cheap observables, such as number of transiting planets and presence of transit timing variations, to eccentricity and mutual inclination in exoplanet systems. The addition of a second transiting planet, for example, halves the expected orbital eccentricity. For the vast majority of TESS targets, the light curve alone will furnish the sum total of data about the exoplanet. Extracting information about orbital properties from these light curves will help prioritize precious follow-up resources.

  15. 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.

  16. OGLE-2017-BLG-0329L: A Microlensing Binary Characterized with Dramatically Enhanced Precision Using Data from Space-based Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, C.; Calchi Novati, S.; Udalski, A.; Lee, C.-U.; Gould, A.; Bozza, V.; Mróz, P.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Skowron, J.; Szymański, M. K.; Poleski, R.; Soszyński, I.; Kozłowski, S.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pawlak, M.; Rybicki, K.; Iwanek, P.; The OGLE Collaboration; Albrow, M. D.; Chung, S.-J.; Hwang, K.-H.; Jung, Y. K.; Ryu, Y.-H.; Shin, I.-G.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Yee, J. C.; Zang, W.; Zhu, W.; Cha, S.-M.; Kim, D.-J.; Kim, H.-W.; Kim, S.-L.; Lee, D.-J.; Lee, Y.; Park, B.-G.; Pogge, R. W.; Kim, W.-T.; The KMTNet Collaboration; Beichman, C.; Bryden, G.; Carey, S.; Gaudi, B. S.; Henderson, C. B.; The Spitzer Team; Dominik, M.; Helling, C.; Hundertmark, M.; Jørgensen, U. G.; Longa-Peña, P.; Lowry, S.; Sajadian, S.; Burgdorf, M. J.; Campbell-White, J.; Ciceri, S.; Evans, D. F.; Haikala, L. K.; Hinse, T. C.; Rahvar, S.; Rabus, M.; Snodgrass, C.; The MiNDSTEp Collaboration

    2018-06-01

    Mass measurements of gravitational microlenses require one to determine the microlens parallax π E, but precise π E measurement, in many cases, is hampered due to the subtlety of the microlens-parallax signal combined with the difficulty of distinguishing the signal from those induced by other higher-order effects. In this work, we present the analysis of the binary-lens event OGLE-2017-BLG-0329, for which π E is measured with a dramatically improved precision using additional data from space-based Spitzer observations. We find that while the parallax model based on the ground-based data cannot be distinguished from a zero-π E model at the 2σ level, the addition of the Spitzer data enables us to identify two classes of solutions, each composed of a pair of solutions according to the well-known ecliptic degeneracy. It is found that the space-based data reduce the measurement uncertainties of the north and east components of the microlens-parallax vector {{\\boldsymbol{π }}}{{E}} by factors ∼18 and ∼4, respectively. With the measured microlens parallax combined with the angular Einstein radius measured from the resolved caustic crossings, we find that the lens is composed of a binary with component masses of either (M 1, M 2) ∼ (1.1, 0.8) M ⊙ or ∼(0.4, 0.3) M ⊙ according to the two solution classes. The first solution is significantly favored but the second cannot be securely ruled out based on the microlensing data alone. However, the degeneracy can be resolved from adaptive optics observations taken ∼10 years after the event.

  17. Microlensing events by Proxima Centauri in 2014 and 2016: Opportunities for mass determination and possible planet detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sahu, Kailash C.; Bond, Howard E.; Anderson, Jay [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Dominik, Martin, E-mail: ksahu@stsci.edu, E-mail: jayander@stsci.edu, E-mail: heb11@psu.edu, E-mail: md35@st-andrews.ac.uk [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)

    2014-02-20

    We have found that Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our Sun, will pass close to a pair of faint background stars in the next few years. Using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images obtained in 2012 October, we determine that the passage close to a mag 20 star will occur in 2014 October (impact parameter 1.''6), and to a mag 19.5 star in 2016 February (impact parameter 0.''5). As Proxima passes in front of these stars, the relativistic deflection of light will cause shifts in the positions of the background stars of ∼0.5 and 1.5 mas, respectively, readily detectable by HST imaging, and possibly by Gaia and ground-based facilities such as the Very Large Telescope. Measurement of these astrometric shifts offers a unique and direct method to measure the mass of Proxima. Moreover, if Proxima has a planetary system, the planets may be detectable through their additional microlensing signals, although the probability of such detections is small. With astrometric accuracies of 0.03 mas (achievable with HST spatial scanning), centroid shifts caused by Jovian planets are detectable at separations of up to 2.''0 (corresponding to 2.6 AU at the distance of Proxima), and centroid shifts by Earth-mass planets are detectable within a small band of 8 mas (corresponding to 0.01 AU) around the source trajectories. Jovian planets within a band of about 28 mas (corresponding to 0.036 AU) around the source trajectories would produce a brightening of the source by >0.01 mag and could hence be detectable. Estimated timescales of the astrometric and photometric microlensing events due to a planet range from a few hours to a few days, and both methods would provide direct measurements of the planetary mass.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. New Developments At The Science Archives Of The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berriman, G. Bruce

    2018-06-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech/IPAC is the science center for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program and as such, NExScI operates three scientific archives: the NASA Exoplanet Archive (NEA) and Exoplanet Follow-up Observation Program Website (ExoFOP), and the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA).The NASA Exoplanet Archive supports research and mission planning by the exoplanet community by operating a service that provides confirmed and candidate planets, numerous project and contributed data sets and integrated analysis tools. The ExoFOP provides an environment for exoplanet observers to share and exchange data, observing notes, and information regarding the Kepler, K2, and TESS candidates. KOA serves all raw science and calibration observations acquired by all active and decommissioned instruments at the W. M. Keck Observatory, as well as reduced data sets contributed by Keck observers.In the coming years, the NExScI archives will support a series of major endeavours allowing flexible, interactive analysis of the data available at the archives. These endeavours exploit a common infrastructure based upon modern interfaces such as JuypterLab and Python. The first service will enable reduction and analysis of precision radial velocity data from the HIRES Keck instrument. The Exoplanet Archive is developing a JuypterLab environment based on the HIRES PRV interactive environment. Additionally, KOA is supporting an Observatory initiative to develop modern, Python based pipelines, and as part of this work, it has delivered a NIRSPEC reduction pipeline. The ensemble of pipelines will be accessible through the same environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Water loss from terrestrial planets with CO2-rich atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Pierrehumbert, R. T.

    2013-01-01

    Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a range of calculations we performed to study the dependence of water loss rates from terrestrial planets on a range of atmospheric and external parameters. We show that CO 2 can only cause significant water loss by increasing surface temperatures over a narrow range of conditions, with cooling of the middle and upper atmosphere acting as a bottleneck on escape in other circumstances. Around G-stars, efficient loss only occurs on planets with intermediate CO 2 atmospheric partial pressures (0.1-1 bar) that receive a net flux close to the critical runaway greenhouse limit. Because G-star total luminosity increases with time but X-ray and ultraviolet/ultravoilet luminosity decreases, this places strong limits on water loss for planets like Earth. In contrast, for a CO 2 -rich early Venus, diffusion limits on water loss are only important if clouds caused strong cooling, implying that scenarios where the planet never had surface liquid water are indeed plausible. Around M-stars, water loss is primarily a function of orbital distance, with planets that absorb less flux than ∼270 W m –2 (global mean) unlikely to lose more than one Earth ocean of H 2 O over their lifetimes unless they lose all their atmospheric N 2 /CO 2 early on. Because of the variability of H 2 O delivery during accretion, our results suggest that many 'Earth-like' exoplanets in the habitable zone may have ocean-covered surfaces, stable CO 2 /H 2 O-rich atmospheres, and high mean surface temperatures.

  2. CONSTRUCTION OF AN EARTH MODEL: ANALYSIS OF EXOPLANET LIGHT CURVES AND MAPPING THE NEXT EARTH WITH THE NEW WORLDS OBSERVER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oakley, P. H. H.; Cash, W.

    2009-01-01

    The orbital light curve of a terrestrial exoplanet will likely contain valuable information about the surface and atmospheric features of the planet, both in its overall shape and hourly variations. We have constructed an empirically based code capable of simulating observations of the Earth from any orientation, at any time of year with continuously updated cloud and snow coverage with a New Worlds Observatory. By simulating these observations over a full orbital revolution at a distance of 10 pc we determine that the detection of an obliquity or seasonal terrain change is possible at low inclinations. In agreement with other studies, a 4 m New Worlds Observer can accurately determine the rotation rate of the planet at a success rate from ∼30% to 80% with only 5 days of observations depending on the signal to noise of the observations. We also attempt simple inversions of these diurnal light curves to sketch a map of the reflecting planet's surface features. This mapping technique is only successful with highly favorable systems and in particular requires that the cloud coverage must be lower than the Earth's average. Our test case of a 2 M + planet at 7 pc distance with low exo-zodiacal light and 25% cloud coverage produced crude, but successful results. Additionally, with these highly favorable systems NWO may be able to discern the presence of liquid surface water (or other smooth surfaces) though it requires a complex detection available only at crescent phases in high inclination systems.

  3. The OGLE view of microlensing towards the Magellanic Clouds - I. A trickle of events in the OGLE-II LMC data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrzykowski, Ł.; Kozłowski, S.; Skowron, J.; Belokurov, V.; Smith, M. C.; Udalski, A.; Szymański, M. K.; Kubiak, M.; Pietrzyński, G.; Soszyński, I.; Szewczyk, O.; Żebruń, K.

    2009-08-01

    We present the results from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment II (OGLE-II) survey (1996-2000) towards the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which has the aim of detecting the microlensing phenomena caused by dark matter compact objects in the Galactic halo [massive compact halo objects (MACHOs)]. We use high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope images of the OGLE fields and derive the correction for the number of monitored stars in each field. This also yields blending distributions which we use in `catalogue-level' Monte Carlo simulations of the microlensing events in order to calculate the detection efficiency of the events. We detect two candidates for microlensing events in the All Stars Sample, which translates into an optical depth of 0.43 +/- 0.33 × 10-7. If both events were due to MACHO, the fraction of mass of compact dark matter objects in the Galactic halo would be 8 +/- 6 per cent. This optical depth, however, along with the characteristics of the events seems to be consistent with the self-lensing scenario, i.e. self-lensing alone is sufficient to explain the observed microlensing signal. Our results indicate the non-detection of MACHOs lensing towards the LMC with an upper limit on their abundance in the Galactic halo of 19 per cent for M = 0.4Msolar and 10 per cent for masses between 0.01 and 0.2Msolar. Based on observations obtained with the 1.3-m Warsaw Telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. E-mail: wyrzykow@ast.cam.ac.uk ‡ Name pronunciation: Woocash Vizhikovsky.

  4. Spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets : from LOUPE to SINFONI

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoeijmakers, H.J.

    2017-01-01

    Over the past years it has been discovered that the population of extra-solar planets is large and diverse. This fact feeds expectations for finding habitable Earth-like planets and potentially extra-terrestrial life. However without a reliable characterization, the fundamental nature of

  5. Strategies for Constraining the Atmospheres of Temperate Terrestrial Planets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Line, Michael R.; Valenti, Jeff; Stevenson, Kevin

    2018-04-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is expected to discover dozens of temperate terrestrial planets orbiting M-dwarfs with atmospheres that could be followed up with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Currently, the TRAPPIST-1 system serves as a benchmark for determining the feasibility and resources required to yield atmospheric constraints. We assess these questions and leverage an information content analysis to determine observing strategies for yielding high-precision spectroscopy in transmission and emission. Our goal is to guide observing strategies of temperate terrestrial planets in preparation for the early JWST cycles. First, we explore JWST’s current capabilities and expected spectral precision for targets near the saturation limits of specific modes. In doing so, we highlight the enhanced capabilities of high-efficiency readout patterns that are being considered for implementation in Cycle 2. We propose a partial saturation strategy to increase the achievable precision of JWST's NIRSpec Prism. We show that JWST has the potential to detect the dominant absorbing gas in the atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets by the 10th transit using transmission spectroscopy techniques in the near-infrared (NIR). We also show that stacking ⪆10 transmission spectroscopy observations is unlikely to yield significant improvements in determining atmospheric composition. For emission spectroscopy, we show that the MIRI Low Resolution Spectroscopy (LRS) is unlikely to provide robust constraints on the atmospheric composition of temperate terrestrial planets. Higher-precision emission spectroscopy at wavelengths longward of those accessible to MIRI LRS, as proposed in the Origins Space Telescope concept, could help improve the constraints on molecular abundances of temperate terrestrial planets orbiting M-dwarfs.

  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; 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-15

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Effects of Bulk Composition on the Atmospheric Dynamics on Close-in Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X.; Showman, A. P.

    2015-12-01

    Depending on the metallicity of the protoplanetary disk, the details of gas accretion during planetary formation, and atmospheric loss during planetary evolution, the atmospheres of sub-Jupiter-sized planets could exhibit a variety of bulk compositions. Examples include hydrogen-dominated atmospheres like Jupiter, more metal-rich atmospheres like Neptune, evaporated atmospheres dominated by helium, or of course carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen, and other heavy molecules as exhibited by terrestrial planets in the solar system. Here we systematically investigate the effects of atmospheric bulk compositions on temperature and wind distributions for tidally locked sub-Jupiter-sized planets using an idealized three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM). Composition—in particular, the molecular mass and specific heat—affect the sound speed, gravity wave speeds, atmospheric scale height, and Rossby deformation radius, and therefore in principle can exert significant controls on the atmospheric circulation, including the day-night temperature difference and other observables. We performed numerous simulations exploring a wide range of molecular masses and molar specific heats. The effect of molecular weight dominates. We found that a higher-molecular-weight atmosphere tends to have a larger day-night temperature contrast, a smaller eastward phase shift in the thermal light curve, and a narrower equatorial super-rotating jet that occurs in a deeper atmosphere. The zonal-mean zonal wind is smaller and more prone to exhibit a latitudinally alternating pattern in a higher-molecular-weight atmosphere. If the vertical temperature profile is close to adiabatic, molar specific heat will play a significant role in controlling the transition from a divergent flow in the upper atmosphere to a jet-dominated flow in the lower atmosphere. We are also working on analytical theories to explain aspects of the simulations relevant for possible observables on tidally locked

  12. Utilization of the terrestrial cyanobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katoh, Hiroshi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Furukawa, Jun; Kimura, Shunta; Yokoshima, Mika; Yamaguchi, Yuji; Takenaka, Hiroyuki

    The terrestrial, N _{2}-fixing cyanobacterium, Nostoc commune has expected to utilize for agriculture, food and terraforming cause of its extracellular polysaccharide, desiccation tolerance and nitrogen fixation. Previously, the first author indicated that desiccation related genes were analyzed and the suggested that the genes were related to nitrogen fixation and metabolisms. In this report, we suggest possibility of agriculture, using the cyanobacterium. Further, we also found radioactive compounds accumulated N. commune (cyanobacterium) in Fukushima, Japan after nuclear accident. Thus, it is investigated to decontaminate radioactive compounds from the surface soil by the cyanobacterium and showed to accumulate radioactive compounds using the cyanobacterium. We will discuss utilization of terrestrial cyanobacteria under closed environment. Keyword: Desiccation, terrestrial cyanobacteria, bioremediation, agriculture

  13. On the Interior of Carbon-Rich Exoplanets: New Insight from Si-C System at Ultra High Pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miozzi Ferrini, F.; Morard, G.; Antonangeli, D.; Clark, A. N.; Edmund, E.; Fiquet, G.; Mezouar, M.

    2017-12-01

    The variability in the mass/radius ratio of the more than 3200 exoplanets discovered so far, is a direct consequence of the large diversity of their internal composition. Exoplanets with a mass between 1 and 10 times the mass of the Earth are typically referred to as super-Earths, and their mineralogical composition depends on that of the protoplanetary disk. The key variable in determining the chemical makeup of such planets is the C/O ratio. Values of C/O ratio smaller than 0.8 correspond to an interior dominated by silicates (e.g. terrestrial planets), whereas for C/O ratios > 0.8 the interior is enriched in carbon. In these C-rich planets, Si may form carbides instead of silicates (Duffy et al., 2015). The detection of planet 55 Cancri e, with a particularly high C/O ratio, has increased the interest in carbon-rich planets. 55 Cancri e has been modelled as a layered structure made by different assemblages of carbon, silicon and iron (Madhusudan et al., 2012). However, the accuracy of such type of models suffers the lack of experimental data on the Si - C system at extreme conditions of pressure and temperature. Experimental equations of state are limited to 80 GPa (Nisr et al., 2017) and little is known about subsolidus relation, with only one theoretical study from Wilson and Militzer (2004) at multi-megabar pressures. Here we present experiments on SiC samples by synchrotron X-ray diffraction, in laser heated diamond anvil cell between 30-200 GPa and 300-3500 K. The results show evidences of coexistence of SiC with Si or C, without the appearance of intermediate compounds. Moreover, between 60 and 75 GPa, SiC undergoes a phase transition from the zinc blend structure (B3), to the rock salt structure (B1). This phase transition, also reported in previous literature work (e.g. Daviau and Lee, 2017), corresponds to a change in the atoms coordination, and is accompanied by an important volume reduction. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the ERC Planet

  14. Soil and terrestrial biology studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

    Soil and terrestrial biology studies focused on developing an understanding of the uptake of gaseous substances from the atmosphere by plants, biodegradation of oil, and the movement of Pu in the terrestrial ecosystems of the southeastern United States. Mathematical models were developed for SO 2 and tritium uptake from the atmosphere by plants; the uptake of tritium by soil microorganisms was measured; and the relationships among the Pu content of soil, plants, and animals of the Savannah River Plant area were studied. Preliminary results are reported for studies on the biodegradation of waste oil on soil surfaces

  15. Structure of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyttleton, R.A.

    1977-01-01

    Recent reviews (cf. Runcorn, 1968; or Cook, 1972, 1975) on the structure of the planets omit reference to the phase-change hypothesis for the nature of the terrestrial core, despite that numerous prior predictions of the theory based on this hypothesis have subsequently been borne out as correct. These reviews also ignore the existence of theoretical calculations of the internal structure of Venus which can be computed with high accuracy by use of the terrestrial seismic data. Several examples of numerous mistakes committed in these reviews are pointed out. (Auth.)

  16. Priapism caused by 'Tribulus terrestris'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campanelli, M; De Thomasis, R; Tenaglia, R L

    2016-01-01

    A 36-year-old Caucasian man was diagnosed with a 72-h-lasting priapism that occurred after the assumption of a Herbal supplement based on Tribulus terrestris, which is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. The patient underwent a cavernoglandular shunt (Ebbehoj shunt) in order to obtain complete detumescence, from which derived negative post-episode outcomes on sexual function. All patients consuming non-FDA-approved alternative supplements such as Tribulus terrestris should be warned about the possible serious side effects.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Toward the detection of exoplanet transits with polarimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiktorowicz, Sloane J. [NASA Sagan Fellow. (United States); Laughlin, Gregory P., E-mail: sloanew@ucolick.org [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2014-11-01

    In contrast to photometric transits, whose peak signal occurs at mid-transit due to occultation of the brightest region of the disk, polarimetric transits provide a signal upon ingress and egress due to occultation of the polarized stellar limb. Limb polarization, the bright corollary to limb darkening, arises from the 90° scattering angle and low optical depth experienced by photons at the limb. In addition to the ratio R {sub p}/R {sub *}, the amplitude of a polarimetric transit is expected to be controlled by the strength and width of the stellar limb polarization profile, which depend on the scattering-to-total opacity ratio at the stellar limb. We present a short list of the systems providing the highest expected signal-to-noise ratio for detection of this effect, and we draw particular attention to HD 80606b. This planet is spin/orbit misaligned, has a three-hour ingress, and has a bright parent star, which make it an attractive target. We report on test observations of an HD 80606b ingress with the POLISH2 polarimeter at the Lick Observatory Shane 3 m telescope. We conclude that unmodeled telescope systematic effects prevented polarimetric detection of this event. We outline a roadmap for further refinements of exoplanet polarimetry, whose eventual success will require a further factor of ten reduction in systematic noise.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Finding Exoplanets Using Point Spread Function Photometry on Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaro, Rachael Christina; Scolnic, Daniel; Montet, Ben

    2018-01-01

    The Kepler Mission has been able to identify over 5,000 exoplanet candidates using mostly aperture photometry. Despite the impressive number of discoveries, a large portion of Kepler’s data set is neglected due to limitations using aperture photometry on faint sources in crowded fields. We present an alternate method that overcomes those restrictions — Point Spread Function (PSF) photometry. This powerful tool, which is already used in supernova astronomy, was used for the first time on Kepler Full Frame Images, rather than just looking at the standard light curves. We present light curves for stars in our data set and demonstrate that PSF photometry can at least get down to the same photometric precision as aperture photometry. As a check for the robustness of this method, we change small variables (stamp size, interpolation amount, and noise correction) and show that the PSF light curves maintain the same repeatability across all combinations for one of our models. We also present our progress in the next steps of this project, including the creation of a PSF model from the data itself and applying the model across the entire data set at once.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. DISCERNING EXOPLANET MIGRATION MODELS USING SPIN-ORBIT MEASUREMENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morton, Timothy D.; Johnson, John Asher

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the current sample of exoplanet spin-orbit measurements to determine whether a dominant planet migration channel can be identified, and at what confidence. We use the predictions of Kozai migration plus tidal friction and planet-planet scattering as our misalignment models, and we allow for a fraction of intrinsically aligned systems, explainable by disk migration. Bayesian model comparison demonstrates that the current sample of 32 spin-orbit measurements strongly favors a two-mode migration scenario combining planet-planet scattering and disk migration over a single-mode Kozai migration scenario. Our analysis indicates that between 34% and 76% of close-in planets (95% confidence) migrated via planet-planet scattering. Separately analyzing the subsample of 12 stars with T eff >6250 K-which Winn et al. predict to be the only type of stars to maintain their primordial misalignments-we find that the data favor a single-mode scattering model over Kozai with 85% confidence. We also assess the number of additional hot star spin-orbit measurements that will likely be necessary to provide a more confident model selection, finding that an additional 20-30 measurement has a >50% chance of resulting in a 95% confident model selection, if the current model selection is correct. While we test only the predictions of particular Kozai and scattering migration models in this work, our methods may be used to test the predictions of any other spin-orbit misaligning mechanism.

  7. HIDING IN THE SHADOWS. II. COLLISIONAL DUST AS EXOPLANET MARKERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Lines, Stefan; Carter, Philip J.; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.; Teanby, Nick A.

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ef