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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. New Self-lensing Models of the Small Magellanic Cloud: Can Gravitational Microlensing Detect Extragalactic Exoplanets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mróz, Przemek; Poleski, Radosław

    2018-04-01

    We use three-dimensional distributions of classical Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) to model the stellar density distribution of a young and old stellar population in that galaxy. We use these models to estimate the microlensing self-lensing optical depth to the SMC, which is in excellent agreement with the observations. Our models are consistent with the total stellar mass of the SMC of about 1.0× {10}9 {M}ȯ under the assumption that all microlensing events toward this galaxy are caused by self-lensing. We also calculate the expected event rates and estimate that future large-scale surveys, like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), will be able to detect up to a few dozen microlensing events in the SMC annually. If the planet frequency in the SMC is similar to that in the Milky Way, a few extragalactic planets can be detected over the course of the LSST survey, provided significant changes in the SMC observing strategy are devised. A relatively small investment of LSST resources can give us a unique probe of the population of extragalactic exoplanets.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. THEORETICAL SPECTRA OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET SURFACES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-06-10

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Synthesizing exoplanet demographics from radial velocity and microlensing surveys. II. The frequency of planets orbiting M dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clanton, Christian; Gaudi, B. Scott, E-mail: clanton@astronomy.ohio-state.edu [Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)

    2014-08-20

    In contrast to radial velocity (RV) surveys, results from microlensing surveys indicate that giant planets with masses greater than the critical mass for core accretion (∼0.1 M {sub Jup}) are relatively common around low-mass stars. Using the methodology developed in the first paper, we predict the sensitivity of M-dwarf RV surveys to analogs of the population of planets inferred by microlensing. We find that RV surveys should detect a handful of super-Jovian (>M {sub Jup}) planets at the longest periods being probed. These planets are indeed found by RV surveys, implying that the demographic constraints inferred from these two methods are consistent. Finally, we combine the results from both methods to estimate planet frequencies spanning wide regions of parameter space. We find that the frequency of Jupiters and super-Jupiters (1 ≲ m{sub p} sin i/M {sub Jup} ≲ 13) with periods 1 ≤ P/days ≤ 10{sup 4} is f{sub J}=0.029{sub −0.015}{sup +0.013}, a median factor of 4.3 (1.5-14 at 95% confidence) smaller than the inferred frequency of such planets around FGK stars of 0.11 ± 0.02. However, we find the frequency of all giant planets with 30 ≲ m{sub p} sin i/M {sub ⊕} ≲ 10{sup 4} and 1 ≤ P/days ≤ 10{sup 4} to be f{sub G}=0.15{sub −0.07}{sup +0.06}, only a median factor of 2.2 (0.73-5.9 at 95% confidence) smaller than the inferred frequency of such planets orbiting FGK stars of 0.31 ± 0.07. For a more conservative definition of giant planets (50 ≲ m{sub p} sin i/M {sub ⊕} ≲ 10{sup 4}), we find f{sub G{sup ′}}=0.11±0.05, a median factor of 2.2 (0.73-6.7 at 95% confidence) smaller than that inferred for FGK stars of 0.25 ± 0.05. Finally, we find the frequency of all planets with 1 ≤ m{sub p} sin i/M {sub ⊕} ≤ 10{sup 4} and 1 ≤ P/days ≤ 10{sup 4} to be f{sub p} = 1.9 ± 0.5.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, Jon; Project Blue team

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Buildup of Abiotic Oxygen and Ozone in Atmospheres of Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinboehl, Armin; Willacy, Karen; Friedson, Andrew James; Swain, Mark R.

    2015-12-01

    The last two decades have seen a rapid increase in the detection and characterization of exoplanets. A focus of future missions will be on the subset of transiting, terrestrial, temperate exoplanets as they are the strongest candidates to harbor life as we know it.An important bioindicator for life as we know it is the existence of significant amounts of oxygen, and its photochemical byproduct ozone, in the exoplanet’s atmosphere. However, abiotic processes also produce oxygen and ozone, and the amount of oxygen abiotically produced in an atmosphere will largely depend on other atmospheric parameters. Constraining this parameter space will be essential to avoid ‘false positive’ detections of life, that is the interpretation of oxygen or ozone as a bioindicator despite being produced abiotically.Based on 1D radiative-convective model calculations, Wordsworth and Pierrehumbert (ApJL, 2014) recently pointed out that the formation and buildup of abiotic oxygen on water-rich planets largely depends on the amount of non-condensable gases in the atmosphere. The amount of non-condensable gases determines whether an atmosphere will develop a 'cold-trap' (similar to the tropopause on Earth) that contains most of the water in the lower atmosphere and dries out the upper atmosphere. If water vapor is a major constituent of the atmosphere, this cold-trapping is inhibited, leading to a much moister upper atmosphere. Water vapor in the upper atmosphere is photolyzed due to the availability of hard UV radiation, yielding oxygen.We use a photochemical model coupled to a 1D radiative-convective climate model to self-consistently study this effect in atmospheres with N2, CO2 and H2O as the main constituents. These are typical constituents for secondary, oxidized atmospheres, and they can exist in a wide range of ratios. We calculate the amounts of abiotically produced oxygen and ozone and determine the vertical structure of temperature and constituent mixing ratios for various

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The First Planetary Microlensing Event with Two Microlensed Source Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, D. P.; Udalski, A.; Han, C.; Bond, I. A.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Skowron, J.; Gaudi, B. S.; Koshimoto, N.; Abe, F.; Asakura, Y.; Barry, R. K.; Bhattacharya, A.; Donachie, M.; Evans, P.; Fukui, A.; Hirao, Y.; Itow, Y.; Li, M. C. A.; Ling, C. H.; Masuda, K.; Matsubara, Y.; Muraki, Y.; Nagakane, M.; Ohnishi, K.; Oyokawa, H.; Ranc, C.; Rattenbury, N. J.; Rosenthal, M. M.; Saito, To.; Sharan, A.; Sullivan, D. J.; Sumi, T.; Suzuki, D.; Tristram, P. J.; Yonehara, A.; The MOA Collaboration; Szymański, M. K.; Poleski, R.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; The OGLE Collaboration; DePoy, D.; Gould, A.; Pogge, R. W.; Yee, J. C.; The μFUN Collaboration; Albrow, M. D.; Bachelet, E.; Batista, V.; Bowens-Rubin, R.; Brillant, S.; Caldwell, J. A. R.; Cole, A.; Coutures, C.; Dieters, S.; Dominis Prester, D.; Donatowicz, J.; Fouqué, P.; Horne, K.; Hundertmark, M.; Kains, N.; Kane, S. R.; Marquette, J.-B.; Menzies, J.; Pollard, K. R.; Ranc, C.; Sahu, K. C.; Wambsganss, J.; Williams, A.; Zub, M.; The PLANET Collaboration

    2018-03-01

    We present the analysis of the microlensing event MOA-2010-BLG-117, and show that the light curve can only be explained by the gravitational lensing of a binary source star system by a star with a Jupiter-mass ratio planet. It was necessary to modify standard microlensing modeling methods to find the correct light curve solution for this binary source, binary-lens event. We are able to measure a strong microlensing parallax signal, which yields the masses of the host star, M * = 0.58 ± 0.11 M ⊙, and planet, m p = 0.54 ± 0.10M Jup, at a projected star–planet separation of a ⊥ = 2.42 ± 0.26 au, corresponding to a semimajor axis of a=2.9≥nfrac{}{}{0em}{}{+1.6}{-0.6} au. Thus, the system resembles a half-scale model of the Sun–Jupiter system with a half-Jupiter0mass planet orbiting a half-solar-mass star at very roughly half of Jupiter’s orbital distance from the Sun. The source stars are slightly evolved, and by requiring them to lie on the same isochrone, we can constrain the source to lie in the near side of the bulge at a distance of D S = 6.9 ± 0.7 kpc, which implies a distance to the planetary lens system of D L = 3.5 ± 0.4 kpc. The ability to model unusual planetary microlensing events, like this one, will be necessary to extract precise statistical information from the planned large exoplanet microlensing surveys, such as the WFIRST microlensing survey.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Microlensing Discovery of an Earth-Mass Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-04-01

    What do we know about planet formation around stars that are so light that they cant fuse hydrogen in their cores? The new discovery of an Earth-mass planet orbiting what is likely a brown dwarf may help us better understand this process.Planets Around Brown Dwarfs?Comparison of the sizes of the Sun, a low-mass star, a brown dwarf, Jupiter, and Earth. [NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCB]Planets are thought to form from the material inprotoplanetary disks around their stellar hosts. But the lowest-mass end of the stellar spectrum brown dwarfs, substellar objects so light that they straddle the boundary between planet and star will have correspondingly light disks. Do brown dwarfs disks typically have enough mass to form Earth-mass planets?To answer this question, scientists have searched for planets around brown dwarfs with marginal success. Thus far, only four such planets have been found and these systems may not be typical, since they were discovered via direct imaging. To build a more representative sample, wed like to discover exoplanets around brown dwarfs via a method that doesnt rely on imaging the faint light of the system.A diagram of how planets are detected via gravitational microlensing. The detectable planet is in orbit around the foreground lens star. [NASA]Lensed Light as a GiveawayConveniently, such a method exists and its recently been used to make a major discovery! The planet OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb was detected as a result of a gravitational microlensing event that was observed both from the ground and from space.The discovery of a planet via microlensing occurs when the light of a distant source star is magnified by a passing foreground star hosting a planet. The light curve of the source shows a distinctive magnification signature as a result of the gravitational lensing from the foreground star, and the gravitational field of the lensing stars planet can add its own detectable blip to the curve.OGLE-2016-BLG-1195LbThe magnification curve of OGLE-2016-BLG-1195

  7. Discovering Extrasolar Planets with Microlensing Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wambsganss, J.

    2016-06-01

    An astronomical survey is commonly understood as a mapping of a large region of the sky, either photometrically (possibly in various filters/wavelength ranges) or spectroscopically. Often, catalogs of objects are produced/provided as the main product or a by-product. However, with the advent of large CCD cameras and dedicated telescopes with wide-field imaging capabilities, it became possible in the early 1990s, to map the same region of the sky over and over again. In principle, such data sets could be combined to get very deep stacked images of the regions of interest. However, I will report on a completely different use of such repeated maps: Exploring the time domain for particular kinds of stellar variability, namely microlens-induced magnifications in search of exoplanets. Such a time-domain microlensing survey was originally proposed by Bohdan Paczynski in 1986 in order to search for dark matter objects in the Galactic halo. Only a few years later three teams started this endeavour. I will report on the history and current state of gravitational microlensing surveys. By now, routinely 100 million stars in the Galactic Bulge are monitored a few times per week by so-called survey teams. All stars with constant apparent brightness and those following known variability patterns are filtered out in order to detect the roughly 2000 microlensing events per year which are produced by stellar lenses. These microlensing events are identified "online" while still in their early phases and then monitored with much higher cadence by so-called follow-up teams. The most interesting of such events are those produced by a star-plus-planet lens. By now of order 30 exoplanets have been discovered by these combined microlensing surveys. Microlensing searches for extrasolar planets are complementary to other exoplanet search techniques. There are two particular advantages: The microlensing method is sensitive down to Earth-mass planets even with ground-based telecopes, and it

  8. The Role of Hydrogen in Determining the Stability of CO2 Atmospheres of Terrestrial Exoplanets Around M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

    The recent discovery of terrestrial worlds in the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs necessitates a more intensive investigation of the properties of these planets. One major feature of certain M Dwarfs is their high fluxes of EUV radiation, which photolyzes CO2, an important greenhouse gas that should be abundant on rocky worlds. This photolytic destruction of CO2 can be countered by HOx chemistry: photolysis of HOx species by NUV radiation generates OH, which reacts with CO to regenerate CO2. These processes are balanced around Sun-like stars such that Venus and Mars can maintain CO2-dominated atmospheres. However, M Dwarfs tend to have much lower NUV/EUV flux ratios, which could prevent the formation of significant CO2 atmospheres on any planets they may host. In this study, we evaluate the properties of CO2 atmospheres surrounding an Earth-massed, Earth-sized exoplanet in orbit of an M Dwarf using a 1D photochemical kinetics model. We consider an atmosphere similar in composition to that of Mars, but scaled to have a surface pressure of 1 bar. We choose to focus on Mars-like atmospheres rather than Earth-like ones, as Earth's atmosphere has been altered through biological sources and sinks and the presence of a large liquid water ocean, which are not necessarily present on terrestrial exoplanets. Our preliminary results show that the hydrogen content of the atmosphere is crucial in determining the ratio of CO2 to CO and O2. In particular, for a H2 mixing ratio identical to that of Mars 20-30 ppm), a steady state atmosphere is reached after 10 Gyr consisting of ~85% CO2, ~10% CO, and ~5% O2, with an ozone mixing ratio of ~0.01 ppm. In the extreme case where all hydrogen is lost to space, an atmosphere consisting of ~64% CO2, ~24% CO, and 12% O2 results, while ozone levels reach ~10 ppm. Finally, for H2 mixing ratios similar to that of Earth 0.5 ppm) and no atmospheric escape, a 49% CO2, 34% CO, 17% O2, and 0.1 ppm O3 atmosphere is possible. This not only points to the

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. NIR-Driven Moist Upper Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    H2O 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 H2O 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 H2O 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 H2O signatures may be strengthened by a factor of a few, loosening the observational demands for a H2O detection.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Gravitational lensing and microlensing

    CERN Document Server

    Mollerach, Silvia

    2002-01-01

    This book provides a comprehensive and self-contained exposition of gravitational lensing phenomena. It presents the up-to-date status of gravitational lensing and microlensing, covering the cosmological applications of the observed lensing by galaxies, clusters and the large scale structures, as well as the microlensing searches in the Local Group and its applications to unveil the nature of the galactic dark matter, the search for planetary objects and the distribution of faint stars in our galaxy. Gravitational Lensing and Microlensing is pitched at the level of the graduate student interes

  15. 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.

  16. Astrometric microlensing of stars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dominik, M; Sahu, KC

    2000-01-01

    Because of dramatic improvements in the precision of astrometric measurements, the observation of light centroid shifts in observed stars due to intervening massive compact objects ("astrometric microlensing") will become possible in the near future. Upcoming space missions, such as SIM and GAIA,

  17. WFIRST: A Simple Approach for the Recovery of Planetary Parameters From Microlensing Light Curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khakpash, Somayeh; Penny, Matthew; Pepper, Joshua

    2018-01-01

    Microlensing is a powerful tool for discovering cold exoplanets, and WFIRST's microlensing survey will discover about 1000 such planets. Fully modeling each planetary microlensing event often requires significant investment of human and computing resources. However, in a fraction of microlensing events it may be possible to determine approximate planetary parameters from a simple analytical parameterization of the light curve. In the first part of this project, we simulate thousands of WFIRST light curves and examine for what fraction of the events we can recover planetary parameters using this simple approach. In the second part of the project, we fit a simple binary lens model to all light curves and extract the planetary parameters. Comparing our results with the input parameters (projected angular separation and planet/star mass ratio), we show how well we are able to recover each of these parameters, what the limitations of our method are, and how this approach can be improved.

  18. Photochemistry in terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. III. Photochemistry and thermochemistry in thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Renyu; Seager, Sara

    2014-01-01

    Some super Earths and mini Neptunes will likely have thick atmospheres that are not H 2 -dominated. We have developed a photochemistry-thermochemistry kinetic-transport model for exploring the compositions of thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes, applicable for both H 2 -dominated atmospheres and non-H 2 -dominated atmospheres. Using this model to study thick atmospheres for wide ranges of temperatures and elemental abundances, we classify them into hydrogen-rich atmospheres, water-rich atmospheres, oxygen-rich atmospheres, and hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres. We find that carbon has to be in the form of CO 2 rather than CH 4 or CO in a H 2 -depleted water-dominated thick atmosphere and that the preferred loss of light elements from an oxygen-poor carbon-rich atmosphere leads to the formation of unsaturated hydrocarbons (C 2 H 2 and C 2 H 4 ). We apply our self-consistent atmosphere models to compute spectra and diagnostic features for known transiting low-mass exoplanets GJ 1214 b, HD 97658 b, and 55 Cnc e. For GJ 1214 b, we find that (1) C 2 H 2 features at 1.0 and 1.5 μm in transmission and C 2 H 2 and C 2 H 4 features at 9-14 μm in thermal emission are diagnostic for hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres; (2) a detection of water-vapor features and a confirmation of the nonexistence of methane features would provide sufficient evidence for a water-dominated atmosphere. In general, our simulations show that chemical stability has to be taken into account when interpreting the spectrum of a super Earth/mini Neptune. Water-dominated atmospheres only exist for carbon to oxygen ratios much lower than the solar ratio, suggesting that this kind of atmospheres could be rare.

  19. Photochemistry in terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. III. Photochemistry and thermochemistry in thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-03-20

    Some super Earths and mini Neptunes will likely have thick atmospheres that are not H{sub 2}-dominated. We have developed a photochemistry-thermochemistry kinetic-transport model for exploring the compositions of thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes, applicable for both H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres and non-H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres. Using this model to study thick atmospheres for wide ranges of temperatures and elemental abundances, we classify them into hydrogen-rich atmospheres, water-rich atmospheres, oxygen-rich atmospheres, and hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres. We find that carbon has to be in the form of CO{sub 2} rather than CH{sub 4} or CO in a H{sub 2}-depleted water-dominated thick atmosphere and that the preferred loss of light elements from an oxygen-poor carbon-rich atmosphere leads to the formation of unsaturated hydrocarbons (C{sub 2}H{sub 2} and C{sub 2}H{sub 4}). We apply our self-consistent atmosphere models to compute spectra and diagnostic features for known transiting low-mass exoplanets GJ 1214 b, HD 97658 b, and 55 Cnc e. For GJ 1214 b, we find that (1) C{sub 2}H{sub 2} features at 1.0 and 1.5 μm in transmission and C{sub 2}H{sub 2} and C{sub 2}H{sub 4} features at 9-14 μm in thermal emission are diagnostic for hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres; (2) a detection of water-vapor features and a confirmation of the nonexistence of methane features would provide sufficient evidence for a water-dominated atmosphere. In general, our simulations show that chemical stability has to be taken into account when interpreting the spectrum of a super Earth/mini Neptune. Water-dominated atmospheres only exist for carbon to oxygen ratios much lower than the solar ratio, suggesting that this kind of atmospheres could be rare.

  20. Polarimetric microlensing of circumstellar discs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajadian, Sedighe; Rahvar, Sohrab

    2015-12-01

    We study the benefits of polarimetry observations of microlensing events to detect and characterize circumstellar discs around the microlensed stars located at the Galactic bulge. These discs which are unresolvable from their host stars make a net polarization effect due to their projected elliptical shapes. Gravitational microlensing can magnify these signals and make them be resolved. The main aim of this work is to determine what extra information about these discs can be extracted from polarimetry observations of microlensing events in addition to those given by photometry ones. Hot discs which are closer to their host stars are more likely to be detected by microlensing, owing to more contributions in the total flux. By considering this kind of discs, we show that although the polarimetric efficiency for detecting discs is similar to the photometric observation, but polarimetry observations can help to constraint the disc geometrical parameters e.g. the disc inner radius and the lens trajectory with respect to the disc semimajor axis. On the other hand, the time-scale of polarimetric curves of these microlensing events generally increases while their photometric time-scale does not change. By performing a Monte Carlo simulation, we show that almost four optically thin discs around the Galactic bulge sources are detected (or even characterized) through photometry (or polarimetry) observations of high-magnification microlensing events during 10-yr monitoring of 150 million objects.

  1. BINARY ASTROMETRIC MICROLENSING WITH GAIA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sajadian, Sedighe, E-mail: sajadian@ipm.ir [School of Astronomy, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), P.O. Box 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Physics, Sharif University of Technology, P.O. Box 11155-9161, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2015-04-15

    We investigate whether or not Gaia can specify the binary fractions of massive stellar populations in the Galactic disk through astrometric microlensing. Furthermore, we study whether or not some information about their mass distributions can be inferred via this method. In this regard, we simulate the binary astrometric microlensing events due to massive stellar populations according to the Gaia observing strategy by considering (i) stellar-mass black holes, (ii) neutron stars, (iii) white dwarfs, and (iv) main-sequence stars as microlenses. The Gaia efficiency for detecting the binary signatures in binary astrometric microlensing events is ∼10%–20%. By calculating the optical depth due to the mentioned stellar populations, the numbers of the binary astrometric microlensing events being observed with Gaia with detectable binary signatures, for the binary fraction of about 0.1, are estimated to be 6, 11, 77, and 1316, respectively. Consequently, Gaia can potentially specify the binary fractions of these massive stellar populations. However, the binary fraction of black holes measured with this method has a large uncertainty owing to a low number of the estimated events. Knowing the binary fractions in massive stellar populations helps with studying the gravitational waves. Moreover, we investigate the number of massive microlenses for which Gaia specifies masses through astrometric microlensing of single lenses toward the Galactic bulge. The resulting efficiencies of measuring the mass of mentioned populations are 9.8%, 2.9%, 1.2%, and 0.8%, respectively. The numbers of their astrometric microlensing events being observed in the Gaia era in which the lens mass can be inferred with the relative error less than 0.5 toward the Galactic bulge are estimated as 45, 34, 76, and 786, respectively. Hence, Gaia potentially gives us some information about the mass distribution of these massive stellar populations.

  2. MulensModel: Microlensing light curves modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poleski, Radoslaw; Yee, Jennifer

    2018-03-01

    MulensModel calculates light curves of microlensing events. Both single and binary lens events are modeled and various higher-order effects can be included: extended source (with limb-darkening), annual microlensing parallax, and satellite microlensing parallax. The code is object-oriented and written in Python3, and requires AstroPy (ascl:1304.002).

  3. 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.

  4. Liquid Tunable Microlenses based on MEMS techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xuefeng; Jiang, Hongrui

    2013-01-01

    The recent rapid development in microlens technology has provided many opportunities for miniaturized optical systems, and has found a wide range of applications. Of these microlenses, tunable-focus microlenses are of special interest as their focal lengths can be tuned using micro-scale actuators integrated with the lens structure. Realization of such tunable microlens generally relies on the microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technologies. Here, we review the recent progress in tunable liquid microlenses. The underlying physics relevant to these microlenses are first discussed, followed by description of three main categories of tunable microlenses involving MEMS techniques, mechanically driven, electrically driven, and those integrated within microfluidic systems. PMID:24163480

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The 24-hour night shift : Astronomy from microlensing monitoring networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sackett, PD; Brainerd, TG; Kochanek, CS

    2001-01-01

    Scores of on-going microlensing events are now announced yearly by the microlensing discovery teams OGLE, MACHO and EROS. These early warning systems have allowed other international microlensing networks to focus considerable resources on intense photometric and occasionally spectroscopic -

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Microlenses for optical microsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Rui Pedro Leitao da Silva

    Lenses have been used by mankind for thousands of years for innumerous different reasons and applications. More recently, lenses in the micro scale dimension, so called microlenses (MLs), have been designed and fabricated using semiconductor technology. These new lenses are used for collimation, focusing or imaging and are an appealing alternative for applications where miniaturization and alignment simplicity are important requirements. Moreover, they also opened a large number of new applications for optical structures and, at the same time, reducing the mechanical and electrical complexity of the existing systems. In this context, the presented thesis has as main purposes, the design and development of a process that allows the fabrication of different sized plano-convex MLs with minor intervention on the process parameters. The MLs were fabricated using a photoresist, the AZ4562, through classical photolithography and the thermal reflow process. Another achievement was the fabrication of MLs directly on the surface of a silicon die containing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) photodiodes (PDs) for quantifying the differences in their photocurrents generation capacity. The MLs' optimum fabrication process was achieved when a 128k dots per inch (dpi) super high-resolution chrome on soda lime glass 3x3-0.060" photomask was employed. This photomask allows the design pattern to be transferred into the photoresist with very high precision. Nevertheless, for actually obtaining the desired lens profile, it is necessary to apply a thermal treatment to the fabricated microstructures. When the photoresist is submitted to a temperature higher than its glass transition temperature, it softens allowing the shape change to occur. For MLs, the major external force acting during this process is the surface tension. The fabricated MLs were structurally characterized using a profilometer and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images. For measuring the focal length

  11. Results from microlensing searches for extrasolar planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sackett, PD; Penny, A; Artymowicz, P; Lagrance, AM; Russell, S

    2004-01-01

    Specially-designed microlensing searches, some of which have been underway for several years, are sensitive to extrasolar planets orbiting the most common stars in our Galaxy. Microlensing is particularly well-suited to the detection of Jupiter-mass planets orbiting their parent stars at several AU.

  12. Microlensing searches of dark matter

    CERN Document Server

    Roulet, Esteban

    2000-01-01

    The evolution of the observational results of microlensing towards the LMC and some of the suggested interpretations to account for them are discussed. It is emphasized that the results at present are indicative of a lensing population of white dwarfs, possibly in the spheroid (not dark halo) of the Galaxy, together with the more standard backgrounds of stellar populations in the Magellanic Clouds and in the Galaxy. This is also hinted by dynamical estimates of the spheroid mass and by recent direct searches of old white dwarfs.

  13. 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

  14. Microlensing search towards M31

    CERN Document Server

    Calchi Novati, S.; Marino, A.A.; Auriere, M.; Baillon, P.; Bouquet, A.; Bozza, V.; Capaccioli, M.; Capozziello, S.; Cardone, V.; Covone, G.; De Paolis, F.; de Ritis, R.; Giraud-Heraud, Y.; Gould, A.; Ingrosso, G.; Jetzer, Ph.; Kaplan, J.; Lambiase, G.; Le Du, Y.; Mancini, L.; Piedipalumbo, E.; Re, V.; Roncadelli, M.; Rubano, C.; Scarpetta, G.; Scudellaro, P.; Sereno, M.; Strafella, F.; Jetzer, Ph.

    2002-01-01

    We present the first results of the analysis of data collected during the 1998-99 observational campaign at the 1.3 meter McGraw-Hill Telescope, towards the Andromeda galaxy (M31), aimed to the detection of gravitational microlensing effects as a probe of the presence of dark matter in our and in M31 halo. The analysis is performed using the pixel lensing technique, which consists in the study of flux variations of unresolved sources and has been proposed and implemented by the AGAPE collaboration. We carry out a shape analysis by demanding that the detected flux variations be achromatic and compatible with a Paczynski light curve. We apply the Durbin-Watson hypothesis test to the residuals. Furthermore, we consider the background of variables sources. Finally five candidate microlensing events emerge from our selection. Comparing with the predictions of a Monte Carlo simulation, assuming a standard spherical model for the M31 and Galactic haloes, and typical values for the MACHO mass, we find that our events...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Gravitational microlensing of gamma-ray blazars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    F. Torres, Diego; E. Romero, Gustavo; F. Eiroa, Ernesto

    2003-01-01

    We present a detailed study of the effects of gravitational microlensing on compact and distant $\\gamma$-ray blazars. These objects have $\\gamma$-ray emitting regions which are small enough as to be affected by microlensing effects produced by stars lying in intermediate galaxies. We analyze...... galactic latitude whose gamma-ray statistical properties are very similar to detected $\\gamma$-ray blazars) are indeed the result of gravitational lensing magnification of background undetected Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs)....

  18. Orbital motion effects in astrometric microlensing

    OpenAIRE

    Sajadian, Sedighe

    2014-01-01

    We investigate lens orbital motion in astrometric microlensing and its detectability. In microlensing events, the light centroid shift in the source trajectory (the astrometric trajectory) falls off much more slowly than the light amplification as the source distance from the lens position increases. As a result, perturbations developed with time such as lens orbital motion can make considerable deviations in astrometric trajectories. The rotation of the source trajectory due to lens orbital ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henderson, Calen B.; Gaudi, B. Scott; Skowron, Jan; Penny, Matthew T.; Gould, Andrew P. [Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Han, Cheongho [Department of Physics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763 (Korea, Republic of); Nataf, David, E-mail: henderson@astronomy.ohio-state.edu [Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2611 (Australia)

    2014-10-10

    The Korean Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) will consist of three 1.6 m telescopes each with a 4 deg{sup 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 {sub 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{sub p} /M {sub ⊕} ≤ 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{sub p} /M {sub ⊕} ≤ 1000 and will detect ∼20 planets per year per dex in mass across that range. For lower-mass planets with mass 0.1 ≤ M{sub p} /M {sub ⊕} < 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Using graphical and pictorial representations to teach introductory astronomy students about the detection of extrasolar planets via gravitational microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Colin S.; Chambers, Timothy G.; Prather, Edward E.; Brissenden, Gina

    2016-05-01

    The detection and study of extrasolar planets is an exciting and thriving field in modern astrophysics and an increasingly popular topic in introductory astronomy courses. One detection method relies on searching for stars whose light has been gravitationally microlensed by an extrasolar planet. In order to facilitate instructors' abilities to bring this interesting mix of general relativity and extrasolar planet detection into the introductory astronomy classroom, we have developed a new Lecture-Tutorial called "Detecting Exoplanets with Gravitational Microlensing." In this paper, we describe how this new Lecture-Tutorial's representations of astrophysical phenomena, which we selected and created based on theoretically motivated considerations of their pedagogical affordances, are used to help introductory astronomy students develop more expert-like reasoning abilities.

  3. The LBTI Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Systems (HOSTS) Survey: a Key NASA Science Program on the Road to Exoplanet Imaging Missions (SPIE Proceedings 2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danchi, William C.; Bailey, V.; Defrere, D.; Haniff, C.; Hinz, P.; Kennedy, G.; Mennesson, B.; Millan-Gabet, R.; Rieke, G.; Roberge, Aki; hide

    2014-01-01

    Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) will survey nearby stars for faint exozodiacal dust (exozodi). This warm circumstellar dust, analogous to the interplanetary dust found in the vicinity of the Earth in our own system, is produced in comet breakups and asteroid collisions. Emission and or scattered light from the exozodi will be the major source of astrophysical noise for a future space telescope aimed at direct imaging and spectroscopy of terrestrial planets (exo- Earths) around nearby stars. About 20 of nearby field stars have cold dust coming from planetesimals at large distances from the stars (Eiroa et al. 2013, AA, 555, A11; Siercho et al. 2014, ApJ, 785, 33). Much less is known about exozodi; current detection limits for individual stars are at best 500 times our solar system's level (aka. 500 zodi). LBTI-HOSTS will be the first survey capable of measuring exozodi at the 10 zodi level (3). Detections of warm dust will also reveal new information about planetary system architectures and evolution. We will describe the motivation for the survey and progress on target selection, not only the actual stars likely to be observed by such a mission but also those whose observation will enable sensible extrapolations for stars that will not be observed with LBTI. We briefly describe the detection of the debris disk around Crv, which is the first scientific result from the LBTI coming from the commissioning of the instrument in December 2013, shortly after the first time the fringes were stabilized.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Spectroscopically Unlocking Exoplanet Characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Nikole

    2016-05-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Microlensing Binaries with Candidate Brown Dwarf Companions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the candidate binaries with brown dwarf companions that are found by analyzing binary microlensing...... with well-covered light curves increases with new-generation searches....

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Stellar Variability Background in OGLE-I Microlensing Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, Przemyslaw; Szymanski, Michal

    1998-04-01

    We search OGLE-I photometric database for stars which, as defined by formal criteria adopted by OGLE-I microlensing search, showed variability during only one out of 3 or 4 observing seasons. The results include 17 previously reported microlensing events, 2 newly discovered candidate events and 15 intrinsically variable stars that have a potential of contaminating samples of microlensing events. Based on photometry obtained in 1992 and 1993 OGLE#10 was tentatively included in the list of microlensing candidates, however its light curve in 1994 and 1995 shows many characteristics of the variable stars found in our search, and most likely it is not a microlensing event. For all stars which passed our tests, we provide 44 times 44 arcsec (101 times 101 pixel) centered subframes from each OGLE-I frame in the I-band. It is the first time when images used to derive photometry of microlensing events are available in convenient format to astronomical community.

  12. 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.

  13. Microlensing of quasar ultraviolet iron emission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guerras, E.; Mediavilla, E.; Jimenez-Vicente, J.; Kochanek, C. S.; Muñoz, J. A.; Falco, E.; Motta, V.; Rojas, K.

    2013-01-01

    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 s ∼4√(M/M ⊙ ) 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.

  14. Whither do the microlensing Brown Dwarfs rove?

    CERN Document Server

    De Rújula, Alvaro; Mollerach, S; Roulet, Esteban; de Rujula, A; Giudice, G; Mollerach, S; Roulet, E

    1995-01-01

    The EROS and MACHO collaborations have reported observations of light curves of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud that are compatible with gravitational microlensing by intervening massive objects, presumably Brown-Dwarf stars. The OGLE and MACHO teams have also seen similar events in the direction of the galactic Bulge. Current data are insufficient to decide whether the Brown-Dwarfs are dark-matter constituents of the non-luminous galactic Halo, or belong to a more conventional population, such as that of faint stars in the galactic Spheroid, in its Thin or Thick Disks, or in their possible LMC counterparts. We discuss in detail how further observations of microlensing rates and of the moments of the distribution of event durations, can help resolve the issue of the Brown-Dwarf location, and eventually provide information on the mass function of the dark objects.

  15. 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.

  16. Detection Rates for Close Binaries via Microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, B. Scott; Gould, Andrew

    1997-06-01

    Microlensing is one of the most promising methods of reconstructing the stellar mass function down to masses even below the hydrogen-burning limit. The fundamental limit to this technique is the presence of unresolved binaries, which can, in principle, significantly alter the inferred mass function. Here we quantify the fraction of binaries that can be detected using microlensing, considering specifically the mass ratio and separation of the binary. We find that almost all binary systems with separations greater than b ~ 0.4 of their combined Einstein ring radius are detectable assuming a detection threshold of 3%. For two M dwarfs, this corresponds to a limiting separation of >~1 AU. Since very few observed M dwarfs have companions at separations corrupt the measurements of the mass function. We find that the detectability depends only weakly on the mass ratio. For those events for which individual masses can be determined, we find that binaries can be detected down to b ~ 0.2.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Brendon J.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Probing Planets in Extragalactic Galaxies Using Quasar Microlensing

    OpenAIRE

    Dai, Xinyu; Guerras, Eduardo

    2018-01-01

    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 Fek...

  10. 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

  11. Earth-like and Tardigrade survey of exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Jagadeesh, MadhuKashyap; Roszkowska, Milena; Kaczmarek, Lukasz

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Undercover Stars Among Exoplanet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

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

  13. Fast computation of quadrupole and hexadecapole approximations in microlensing with a single point-source evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassan, Arnaud

    2017-07-01

    The exoplanet detection rate from gravitational microlensing has grown significantly in recent years thanks to a great enhancement of resources and improved observational strategy. Current observatories include ground-based wide-field and/or robotic world-wide networks of telescopes, as well as space-based observatories such as satellites Spitzer or Kepler/K2. This results in a large quantity of data to be processed and analysed, which is a challenge for modelling codes because of the complexity of the parameter space to be explored and the intensive computations required to evaluate the models. In this work, I present a method that allows to compute the quadrupole and hexadecapole approximations of the finite-source magnification with more efficiency than previously available codes, with routines about six times and four times faster, respectively. The quadrupole takes just about twice the time of a point-source evaluation, which advocates for generalizing its use to large portions of the light curves. The corresponding routines are available as open-source python codes.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    by accumulation of dust and ice particles. Recent ground-based surveys suggest that this correlation is weakened for Neptunian-sized planets. However, how the relationship between size and metallicity extends into the regime of terrestrial-sized exoplanets is unknown. Here we report spectroscopic metallicities...... of the host stars of 226 small exoplanet candidates discovered by NASAs Kepler mission, including objects that are comparable in size to the terrestrial planets in the Solar System. We find that planets with radii less than four Earth radii form around host stars with a wide range of metallicities (but...

  17. Discovery of a Jupiter/Saturn Analog with Gravitational Microlensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-11-08

    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 first detection of a multiple-planet system with microlensing. We identify two planets with masses of {approx} 0.71 and {approx} 0.27 times the mass of Jupiter and orbital separations of {approx} 2.3 and {approx} 4.6 astronomical units orbiting a primary of mass {approx} 0.50 solar masses. 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 6 confirmed microlensing planet detections suggests that solar system analogs may be common.

  18. 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.

  19. Lightest exoplanet yet discovered

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

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

  20. Biosignatures of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, Nancy Y.

    2017-01-01

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

  1. VVV Survey Microlensing Events in the Galactic Center Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, María Gabriela; Minniti, Dante; Contreras Ramos, Rodrigo

    2017-12-01

    We search for microlensing events in the highly reddened areas surrounding the Galactic center using the near-IR observations with the VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea Survey (VVV). We report the discovery of 182 new microlensing events, based on observations acquired between 2010 and 2015. We present the color-magnitude diagrams of the microlensing sources for the VVV tiles b332, b333, and b334, which were independently analyzed, and show good qualitative agreement among themselves. We detect an excess of microlensing events in the central tile b333 in comparison with the other two tiles, suggesting that the microlensing optical depth keeps rising all the way to the Galactic center. We derive the Einstein radius crossing time for all of the observed events. The observed event timescales range from t E = 5 to 200 days. The resulting timescale distribution shows a mean timescale of =30.91 days for the complete sample (N = 182 events), and =29.93 days if restricted only for the red clump (RC) giant sources (N = 96 RC events). There are 20 long timescale events ({t}{{E}}≥slant 100 days) that suggest the presence of massive lenses (black holes) or disk-disk event. This work demonstrates that the VVV Survey is a powerful tool to detect intermediate/long timescale microlensing events in highly reddened areas, and it enables a number of future applications, from analyzing individual events to computing the statistics for the inner Galactic mass and kinematic distributions, in aid of future ground- and space-based experiments.

  2. 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.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/sadh/034/04/0607-0613. Keywords. Microlens; thermal reflow; optical fibre; focal length control; differential coating, polymer optical MEMS. Abstract. Thermal reflow of polymer to generate spherical profile has been used to fabricate microlenses in this paper. A simple model ...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A biomedical application of such combination of microlenses is endoscopy where the lenses of varying diameter and equal focal length are needed on top of optical fibre bundles to provide independent function of illumination and imaging. This paper incorporates the differential thickness technique to show a micro ...

  5. HST imaging of MEGA microlensing candidates in M31

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cseresnjes, P; Crotts, APS; de Jong, JTA; Bergier, A; Baltz, EA; Gyuk, G; Kuijken, K; Widrow, LM

    2005-01-01

    We investigate HST/ACS and WFPC2 images at the positions of five candidate microlensing events from a large survey of variability in M31 (MEGA). Three closely match unresolved sources, and two produce only flux upper limits. All are confined to regions of the color-magnitude diagram where stellar

  6. The First Simultaneous Microlensing Observations by Two Space telescopes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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 di...

  7. Is the halo responsible for the microlensing events?

    CERN Document Server

    Roulet, E.; Giudice, G.F.

    1994-01-01

    Abstract: We discuss whether the astrophysical objects responsible for the recently reported microlensing events of sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud can be identified as the brown dwarf components of the spheroid of our galaxy, rather than the constituents of a dark baryonic halo.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2015-12-01

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

  11. 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...... that orbit very close to their parent star. Since then several hundreds of exoplanets have been discovered – the vast majority using the radial velocity method, as with 51 Pegasi b, or the transit methods, for instance in the form of the Kepler mission. Both of these two methods have very significant biases...... hampered by biases and degeneracies in the detections, but the method is in fact most sensitive to planets in the so-called lensing zone located approximately one AU from the parent star in the typical lensing configuration. To first order, the mass of a detected planet with this method is translated...

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Atmospheric Beacons of Life from Exoplanets Around G and K Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airapetian, Vladimir S.; Jackman, Charles H.; Mlynczak, Martin; Danchi, William; Hunt, Linda

    2017-01-01

    The current explosion in detection and characterization of thousands of extrasolar planets from the Kepler mission, the Hubble Space Telescope, and large ground-based telescopes opens a new era in searches for Earth-analog exoplanets with conditions suitable for sustaining life. As more Earth-sized exoplanets are detected in the near future, we will soon have an opportunity to identify habitale worlds. Which atmospheric biosignature gases from habitable planets can be detected with our current capabilities? The detection of the common biosignatures from nitrogen-oxygen rich terrestrial-type exoplanets including molecular oxygen (O2), ozone (O3), water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) requires days of integration time with largest space telescopes, and thus are very challenging for current instruments. In this paper we propose to use the powerful emission from rotational-vibrational bands of nitric oxide, hydroxyl and molecular oxygen as signatures of nitrogen, oxygen, and water rich atmospheres of terrestrial type exoplanets "highlighted" by the magnetic activity from young G and K main-sequence stars. The signals from these fundamental chemical prerequisites of life we call atmospheric "beacons of life" create a unique opportunity to perform direct imaging observations of Earth-sized exoplanets with high signal-to-noise and low spectral resolution with the upcoming NASA missions.

  16. 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......We report on the mass and distance measurements of two single-lens events from the 2015 Spitzer microlensing campaign. With both finite-source effect and microlens parallax measurements, we find that the lens of OGLE-2015-BLG-1268 is very likely a brown dwarf (BD). Assuming that the source star...

  17. A systematic fitting scheme for caustic-crossing microlensing events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kains ...[et al], N.; Jørgensen, Uffe Gråe

    2009-01-01

    We outline a method for fitting binary-lens caustic-crossing microlensing events based on the alternative model parametrization proposed and detailed by Cassan. As an illustration of our methodology, we present an analysis of OGLE-2007-BLG-472, a double-peaked Galactic microlensing event...... with a source crossing the whole caustic structure in less than three days. In order to identify all possible models we conduct an extensive search of the parameter space, followed by a refinement of the parameters with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm. We find a number of low-chi(2) regions...... in the parameter space, which lead to several distinct competitive best models. We examine the parameters for each of them, and estimate their physical properties. We find that our fitting strategy locates several minima that are difficult to find with other modelling strategies and is therefore a more appropriate...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Precise Time Delays from Strongly Gravitationally Lensed Type Ia Supernovae with Chromatically Microlensed Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Daniel A.; Nugent, Peter E.; Kasen, Daniel N.; Collett, Thomas E.

    2018-03-01

    Time delays between the multiple images of strongly gravitationally lensed Type Ia supernovae (glSNe Ia) have the potential to deliver precise cosmological constraints, but the effects of microlensing on time delay extraction have not been studied in detail. Here we quantify the effect of microlensing on the glSN Ia yield of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the effect of microlensing on the precision and accuracy of time delays that can be extracted from LSST glSNe Ia. Microlensing has a negligible effect on the LSST glSN Ia yield, but it can be increased by a factor of ∼2 over previous predictions to 930 systems using a novel photometric identification technique based on spectral template fitting. Crucially, the microlensing of glSNe Ia is achromatic until three rest-frame weeks after the explosion, making the early-time color curves microlensing-insensitive time delay indicators. By fitting simulated flux and color observations of microlensed glSNe Ia with their underlying, unlensed spectral templates, we forecast the distribution of absolute time delay error due to microlensing for LSST, which is unbiased at the sub-percent level and peaked at 1% for color curve observations in the achromatic phase, while for light-curve observations it is comparable to state-of-the-art mass modeling uncertainties (4%). About 70% of LSST glSN Ia images should be discovered during the achromatic phase, indicating that microlensing time delay uncertainties can be minimized if prompt multicolor follow-up observations are obtained. Accounting for microlensing, the 1–2 day time delay on the recently discovered glSN Ia iPTF16geu can be measured to 40% precision, limiting its cosmological utility.

  6. 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

  7. A Novel Approach to Atmospheric Retrieval for Small Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. 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}.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Motion of the fast exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotov, Valery A.

    2018-03-01

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

  13. Abundances in stars with exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Israelian, Garik

    2003-01-01

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

  14. In the Search of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Luis Cuesta

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Bouquet, A; Melchior, A L; Giraud-Héraud, 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,

  16. 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...

  17. Astrometric exoplanet detection with Gaia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-12-10

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

  18. 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.

  19. Constraints from microlensing experiments on clustered primordial black holes

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Bellido, Juan; Clesse, Sébastien

    2018-03-01

    It has recently been proposed that massive primordial black holes (PBH) could constitute all of the dark matter, providing a novel scenario of structure formation, with early reionization and a rapid growth of the massive black holes at the center of galaxies and dark matter halos. The scenario arises from broad peaks in the primordial power spectrum that give both a spatially clustered and an extended mass distribution of PBH. The constraints from the observed microlensing events on the extended mass function have already been addressed. Here we study the impact of spatial clustering on the microlensing constraints. We find that the bounds can be relaxed significantly for relatively broad mass distributions if the number of primordial black holes within each cluster is typically above one hundred. On the other hand, even if they arise from individual black holes within the cluster, the bounds from CMB anisotropies are less stringent due to the enhanced black hole velocity in such dense clusters. This way, the window between a few and ten solar masses has opened up for PBH to comprise the totality of the dark matter.

  20. Empirical study of simulated two-planet microlensing events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    We undertake the first study of two-planet microlensing models recovered from simulations of microlensing events generated by realistic multiplanet systems in which 292 planetary events, including 16 two-planet events, were detected from 6690 simulated light curves. We find that when two planets are recovered, their parameters are usually close to those of the two planets in the system most responsible for the perturbations. However, in 1 of the 16 examples, the apparent mass of both detected planets was more than doubled by the unmodeled influence of a third, massive planet. This fraction is larger than but statistically consistent with the roughly 1.5% rate of serious mass errors due to unmodeled planetary companions for the 274 cases from the same simulation in which a single planet is recovered. We conjecture that an analogous effect due to unmodeled stellar companions may occur more frequently. For 7 out of 23 cases in which two planets in the system would have been detected separately, only one planet was recovered because the perturbations due to the two planets had similar forms. This is a small fraction (7/274) of all recovered single-planet models, but almost a third of all events that might plausibly have led to two-planet models. Still, in these cases, the recovered planet tends to have parameters similar to one of the two real planets most responsible for the anomaly.

  1. First Orbital Parameters of a Planet Found by Microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, David P.; MicroFUN Collaboration; OGLE Collaboration; MOA Collaboration; PLANET/RoboNet Collaboration

    2009-01-01

    The Jupiter/Saturn analog planetary system OGLE-2006-BLG-109Lb,c (Gaudi et al. 2008, Science, 319, 927) provides the first case of a planetary system found by microlensing in which there are constraints on the planetary orbital parameters besides the separation in the plane of the sky. The orbital motion of the "saturn" is constrained by the light curve, and we are able to measure the relative star-planet velocity with reasonably high precision. We also have a weak measure of the orbital acceleration, which constrains the separation along the line of sight. Since the light curve constrains the mass of the star through the microlensing parallax and finite source effects, the orbit is described by 6 parameters. We measure 4 of these with high precision (the separations and velocities in the plane of the sky), while the 5th parameter (the orbital acceleration) is weakly constrained. We explore the bound, stable orbits that are consistent with these measured parameters, and find the range of orbital parameters that are consistent with these measurements. We find that the orbital inclination is close to 60 degrees and the eccentricity is likely to be small.

  2. Exoplanet Community Report on Direct Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danchi, William C.; Lawson, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

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

  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. Characterization of Exoplanet-Host Stars

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Resovled Images of LMC Microlensing Events Observed by a Telescope at 2 AU from Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, David

    2005-07-01

    The identity of the lens objects for most of the LMC microlensing events seen by the MACHO Project is unknown. The most popular explanations include a previously unknown population of old, cool white dwarfs in the Galactic halo or in a very thick disk, or a variation standard LMC models that would allow most events to be caused by faint LMC stars. This uncertainty exists because it is usually impossible to determine the lens distance from the observable features of a microlensing event. Distance estimates can be obtained by measuring the microlensing parallax effect with simultaneous observations of the events from Earth and from a small { 30cm} telescope located 1-2 AU from the Earth. Such a telescope has just been launched: the High Resolution Instrument on the flyby spacecraft of the Deep Impact {DI} Mission. This telescope has been placed in an ideal orbit for LMC microlensing parallax measurements, and the telescope will be at a distance of >1 AU from Earth when the DI prime mission ends this August. Our group plans to take advantage of this fortuitous circumstance and propose a "new science" extended mission for the DI flyby spacecraft to resolve the LMC microlensing puzzle with microlensing parallax observaions. This project is compatible with the DI Science Teams extended mission plans to visit a 2nd comet, and our extended mission proposal to NASA will be written in collaboration with the Deep Impact Science team. A crucial feature of these proposed microlensing parallax measurements is the determination of the absolute brightness of the source stars, which can only be resolved with HST images. The source star brightness must be measured over the entire sensitivity range of the Deep Impact High Resolution Instrument clear filter: 300-1000nm. We therefore request UBVriz HST images to resolve the blending of the microlensed LMC source stars observed by the Deep Impact 30cm telescope.

  9. 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.

  10. Can microlensing fold caustics reveal a second stellar limb-darkening coefficient?

    OpenAIRE

    Dominik, M.

    2004-01-01

    Dense high-precision photometry of microlensed stars during a fold-caustic passage can be used to reveal their intensity profiles from which the temperature of the stellar atmosphere as function of fractional radius can be derived. While the capabilities of current microlensing follow-up campaigns such as PLANET allow a precise measurement of linear limb-darkening coefficients, the residual signal of a second coefficient characterizing square-root limb darkening is ~ 25 times smaller which pr...

  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. 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.

  13. A Toolbox for Exoplanet Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca Marie

    2017-05-01

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

  14. Oil droplets of bird eyes: microlenses acting as spectral filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavenga, Doekele G; Wilts, Bodo D

    2014-01-01

    An important component of the cone photoreceptors of bird eyes is the oil droplets located in front of the visual-pigment-containing outer segments. The droplets vary in colour and are transparent, clear, pale or rather intensely yellow or red owing to various concentrations of carotenoid pigments. Quantitative modelling of the filter characteristics using known carotenoid pigment spectra indicates that the pigments' absorption spectra are modified by the high concentrations that are present in the yellow and red droplets. The high carotenoid concentrations not only cause strong spectral filtering but also a distinctly increased refractive index at longer wavelengths. The oil droplets therefore act as powerful spherical microlenses, effectively channelling the spectrally filtered light into the photoreceptor's outer segment, possibly thereby compensating for the light loss caused by the spectral filtering. The spectral filtering causes narrow-band photoreceptor spectral sensitivities, which are well suited for spectral discrimination, especially in birds that have feathers coloured by carotenoid pigments.

  15. Gravitational microlensing of high-redshift supernovae by compact objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, Kevin P.

    1991-01-01

    An analysis of the effect of microlensing by a cosmologically dominant density of compact objects is performed, using high-redshift Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia's) as probes. The compact objects are modeled as a three-dimensional distribution of point masses, and Monte Carlo simulations are done to calculate the resulting amplification probability distributions for several column densities and cosmologies. By combining these distributions with the intrinsic SN Ia luminosity function and comparing with the results for a perfectly smooth universe, estimates are made of the number of supernovae that would need to be observed to confirm or rule out this lensing scenario. It is found that about 1000 SN Ia's with redshifts of z = 1 would be needed to perform this test, which is beyond what current searches can hope to accomplish. Observations of many fewer high-redshift supernovae, used merely as standard candles, appears a promising way of distinguishing between different cosmological models.

  16. Membrane-based aberration-corrected tunable micro-lenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waibel, Philipp; Ermantraut, Eugen; Mader, Daniel; Zappe, Hans; Seifert, Andreas

    2010-05-01

    We present measurements and simulations of membrane-based micro-lens stacks, tunable in focal length in the range of 10mm to 50mm without chromatic aberration. The pressure-actuated, liquid-filled, membrane-based micro-lenses are fabricated by an all-silicone molding approach and consist of three chambers separated by two highly flexible silicone-membranes. Based on the idea of the classical achromatic Fraunhofer doublet, two different liquids with suitable optical properties are used. Pressure-dependent surface topologies are measured by profilometry for determining the correlation between refraction and applied pressure. The profiles are fit to polynomials; the coefficients of the polynomials are pressure-dependent and fit to empirically determined functions which are then used as an input for optical ray-tracing. Using this approach, the focal length is tunable while compensating for chromatic aberration by suitably applied pressures.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Role of ocean heat transport in climates of tidally locked exoplanets around M dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yongyun; Yang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    The distinctive feature of tidally locked exoplanets is the very uneven heating by stellar radiation between the dayside and nightside. Previous work has focused on the role of atmospheric heat transport in preventing atmospheric collapse on the nightside for terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone around M dwarfs. In the present paper, we carry out simulations with a fully coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model to investigate the role of ocean heat transport in climate states of tidally locked habitable exoplanets around M dwarfs. Our simulation results demonstrate that ocean heat transport substantially extends the area of open water along the equator, showing a lobster-like spatial pattern of open water, instead of an “eyeball.” For sufficiently high-level greenhouse gases or strong stellar radiation, ocean heat transport can even lead to complete deglaciation of the nightside. Our simulations also suggest that ocean heat transport likely narrows the width of M dwarfs’ habitable zone. This study provides a demonstration of the importance of exooceanography in determining climate states and habitability of exoplanets. PMID:24379386

  2. 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.

  3. Isotope Geochemistry for Comparative Planetology of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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/.

  9. The POINT-AGAPE survey II: An Unrestricted Search for Microlensing Events towards M31

    CERN Document Server

    Belokurov, V; Evans, N W; Hewett, P C; Baillon, Paul; Novati, S C; Carr, B J; Creze, M; Giraud-Héraud, Yannick; Gould, A; Jetzer, P; Kaplan, J; Kerins, E; Paulin-Henriksson, S; Smartt, S J; Stalin, C S; Tsapras, Y; Weston, M J; Jetzer, Ph.

    2005-01-01

    An automated search is carried out for microlensing events using a catalogue of 44554 variable superpixel lightcurves derived from our three-year monitoring program of M31. Each step of our candidate selection is objective and reproducible by a computer. Our search is unrestricted, in the sense that it has no explicit timescale cut. So, it must overcome the awkward problem of distinguishing long-timescale microlensing events from long-period stellar variables. The basis of the selection algorithm is the fitting of the superpixel lightcurves to two different theoretical models, using variable star and blended microlensing templates. Only if microlensing is preferred is an event retained as a possible candidate. Further cuts are made with regard to (i) sampling, (ii) goodness of fit of the peak to a Paczynski curve, (iii) consistency of the microlensing hypothesis with the absence of a resolved source, (iv) achromaticity, (v) position in the colour-magnitude diagram and (vi) signal-to-noise ratio. Our results a...

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  17. 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

  18. The EXoplanet Infrared Climate TElescope (EXCITE)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  19. Discovery, Characterization, and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent

    2015-01-01

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

  20. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Eylen Vincent

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhave, Lars A; Latham, David W; Johansen, Anders; Bizzarro, Martin; Torres, Guillermo; Rowe, Jason F; Batalha, Natalie M; Borucki, William J; Brugamyer, Erik; Caldwell, Caroline; Bryson, Stephen T; Ciardi, David R; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Esquerdo, Gilbert A; Ford, Eric B; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald L; Hansen, Terese; Isaacson, Howard; Laird, John B; Lucas, Philip W; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Morse, Jon A; Robertson, Paul; Shporer, Avi; Stefanik, Robert P; Still, Martin; Quinn, Samuel N

    2012-06-13

    The abundance of heavy elements (metallicity) in the photospheres of stars similar to the Sun provides a 'fossil' record of the chemical composition of the initial protoplanetary disk. Metal-rich stars are much more likely to harbour gas giant planets, supporting the model that planets form by accumulation of dust and ice particles. Recent ground-based surveys suggest that this correlation is weakened for Neptunian-sized planets. However, how the relationship between size and metallicity extends into the regime of terrestrial-sized exoplanets is unknown. Here we report spectroscopic metallicities of the host stars of 226 small exoplanet candidates discovered by NASA's 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 on average a metallicity close to that of the Sun), whereas large planets preferentially form around stars with higher metallicities. This observation suggests that terrestrial planets may be widespread in the disk of the Galaxy, with no special requirement of enhanced metallicity for their formation.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. An Automated System for Citizen Searches for Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edberg, Stephen J.

    2016-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. ASAS-SN Confirmation of the Bright Microlensing Event TCP J05074264+2447555

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayasinghe, T.; Dong, Subo; Stanek, K. Z.; Kochanek, C. S.; Thompson, T. A.; Prieto, J. L.; Shappee, B. J.; Holoien, T. W.-S.

    2017-11-01

    The transient TCP J05074264+2447555 was first discovered by T. Kojima on UT 2017-10-25.688. The ASAS-SN Sky Patrol light curve (Shappee et al. 2014; Kochanek et al. 2017) and follow-up spectroscopy (ATel #10919) suggested this to be a probable microlensing event.

  13. 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.)

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Deformable Mirrors Capture Exoplanet Data, Reflect Lasers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Exoplanet environments to harbour extremophile life

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quanz, S. P.; Kammerer, J.

    2017-09-01

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

  2. Terrestrial radioecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohmomo, Yoichiro

    1992-01-01

    Environmental radioecology is a science of studying radionuclide transfer and distribution in the environmental ecosystem and the effects of radiation of the ecosystem. This review highlights radionuclide transfer to crops. There is, however, limited data available on this field in Japan. Therefore, a history of environmental radioecological study in Japan is briefly mentioned: radioecological study has been reflected by social backgrounds, including nuclear explosion and peaceful application of radionuclides. In view of the relationship between siting of nuclear installations and dietary habits for Japanese, research on hydrological radioecology has actually preceded that of terrestrial radioecology. Transfer parameters are discussed in terms of deposition velosity, interception fraction, environmental halftimes, and transfer coefficients from soils to crops. (N.K.) 50 refs

  3. The Frequency of Snowline-Region Planets from Four Years of OGLE-MOA-Wise Second-Generation Microlensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shvartzvald, Y.; Maoz, D.; Udalski, A.; Sumi, T.; Friedmann, M.; Kaspi, S.; Poleski, R.; Szymanski, M. K.; Skowron, J.; Kozlowski, S.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present a statistical analysis of the first four seasons from a second-generation microlensing survey for extrasolar planets, consisting of near-continuous time coverage of 8 deg to the 2nd power of the Galactic bulge by the Optical Gravitational Lens Experiment (OGLE), Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA), and Wise microlensing surveys. During this period, 224 microlensing events were observed by all three groups. Over 12% of the events showed a deviation from single-lens microlensing, and for approx. 1/3 of those the anomaly is likely caused by a planetary companion. For each of the 224 events, we have performed numerical ray-tracing simulations to calculate the detection efficiency of possible companions as a function of companion-to-host mass ratio and separation. Accounting for the detection efficiency, we find that 55 +34 -22%of microlensed stars host a snowline planet. Moreover, we find that Neptune-mass planets are approx.10 times more common than Jupiter-mass planets. The companion-to-host mass-ratio distribution shows a deficit at q approx. 10 (exp -2), separating the distribution into two companion populations, analogous to the stellar-companion and planet populations, seen in radial-velocity surveys around solar-like stars. Our survey, however, which probes mainly lower mass stars, suggests a minimum in the distribution in the super-Jupiter mass range, and a relatively high occurrence of brown-dwarf companions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, B. Scott; Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission Science and Technology Definition Team

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is a candidate flagship mission being studied by NASA and the astrophysics community in preparation of the 2020 Decadal Survey. The HabEx mission concept is a large (~4 to 6.5m) diffraction-limited optical space telescope, providing unprecedented resolution and contrast in the optical, with likely extensions into the near UV and near infrared domains. We discuss the primary science goals of HabEx. First, HabEx will survey a large sample of stars to search for planets potentially habitable planets: roughly Earth-sized planets with separations consistent with being in the habitable zones of their parent stars. Promising candidates will be followed up in detail, in order to characterize their orbits and atmospheres, and so confirm that they are indeed terrestrial-sized planets in the habitable zones of their parent stars, and search for signatures of habitability and potentially biosignatures. Second, HabEx will perform a ‘deep dive’ survey of roughly a dozen of the nearest and most promising stellar systems, providing the first complete “family portraits” of planets around our nearest Sun-like neighbors, and placing the solar system in the context of a diverse set of these planetary systems. Additionally, HabEx will enable a wide range of other astrophysical investigations, including detailed characterization of the properties of nearby stars and galaxies.

  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

    ‐lens and binary‐source models, including the possibility that the lens system consists of an M dwarf orbited by a brown dwarf. The detection of this microlensing anomaly and our analysis demonstrate that: (1) automated real‐time detection of weak microlensing anomalies with immediate feedback is feasible...... of both brown‐dwarf companions and binary‐source microlensing events might hide here....

  8. 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.

  9. Extremophile life-form survey on rocky exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Jagadeesh, Madhu Kashyap

    2018-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. ASASSN-18fb: Discovery of a Bright Candidate Microlensing Event Located Away from the Galactic Bulge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanek, K. Z.; Dong, Subo; Chen, P.; Prieto, J. L.; Kochanek, C. S.; Shields, J. V.; Thompson, T. A.; Shappee, B. J.; Holoien, T. W.-S.; Stritzinger, M.

    2018-03-01

    During the ongoing All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN, Shappee et al. 2014), using data from the quadruple 14-cm "Cassius" telescope in CTIO, Chile, we detect a new transient source, most likely a bright microlensing event, located near the Galactic plane, but more than 60 degrees away from the Galactic center Object RA (J2000) DEC (J2000) Gal l (deg) Gal b (deg) Disc.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Lightning chemistry on Earth-like exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  10. TRUE MASSES OF RADIAL-VELOCITY EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. Searching for Exoplanets using Artificial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bentum, Marinus Jan

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Indexing of exoplanets in search for potential habitability: application to Mars-like worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashyap Jagadeesh, Madhu; Gudennavar, Shivappa B.; Doshi, Urmi; Safonova, Margarita

    2017-08-01

    Study of exoplanets is one of the main goals of present research in planetary sciences and astrobiology. Analysis of huge planetary data from space missions such as CoRoT and Kepler is directed ultimately at finding a planet similar to Earth—the Earth's twin, and answering the question of potential exo-habitability. The Earth Similarity Index (ESI) is a first step in this quest, ranging from 1 (Earth) to 0 (totally dissimilar to Earth). It was defined for the four physical parameters of a planet: radius, density, escape velocity and surface temperature. The ESI is further sub-divided into interior ESI (geometrical mean of radius and density) and surface ESI (geometrical mean of escape velocity and surface temperature). The challenge here is to determine which exoplanet parameter(s) is important in finding this similarity; how exactly the individual parameters entering the interior ESI and surface ESI are contributing to the global ESI. Since the surface temperature entering surface ESI is a non-observable quantity, it is difficult to determine its value. Using the known data for the Solar System objects, we established the calibration relation between surface and equilibrium temperatures to devise an effective way to estimate the value of the surface temperature of exoplanets. ESI is a first step in determining potential exo-habitability that may not be very similar to a terrestrial life. A new approach, called Mars Similarity Index (MSI), is introduced to identify planets that may be habitable to the extreme forms of life. MSI is defined in the range between 1 (present Mars) and 0 (dissimilar to present Mars) and uses the same physical parameters as ESI. We are interested in Mars-like planets to search for planets that may host the extreme life forms, such as the ones living in extreme environments on Earth; for example, methane on Mars may be a product of the methane-specific extremophile life form metabolism.

  16. On Mapping Exoplanet Atmospheres with High-dispersion Spectro-polarimetry: Some Model Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Muñoz, A.

    2018-02-01

    Planets reflect and linearly polarize the radiation that they receive from their host stars. The emergent polarization is sensitive to aspects of the planet’s atmosphere such as the gas composition and the occurrence of condensates and their optical properties. Extracting this information will represent a major step in the characterization of exoplanets. The numerical simulations presented here show that the polarization of a spatially unresolved exoplanet may be detected by cross-correlating high-dispersion linear polarization and intensity (brightness) spectra of the planet–star system. The Doppler shift of the planet-reflected starlight facilitates the separation of this signal from the polarization introduced by the interstellar medium and the terrestrial atmosphere. The selection of the orbital phases and wavelengths at which to study the planet is critical. An optimal choice, however, will partly depend on information about the atmosphere that is a priori unknown. We elaborate on the cases of close-in giant exoplanets with non-uniform cloud coverage, an outcome of recent surveys of brightness phase curves from space, and for which the hemispheres east and west of the substellar point will produce different polarizations. With integration times of the order of hours at a 10 m telescope, the technique might distinguish among some proposed asymmetric cloud scenarios with fractional polarizations of 10 parts per million for one such planet orbiting a V-mag = 5.5 host star. Future 30–40 m telescopes equipped with high-dispersion spectro-polarimeters will be able to investigate the linear polarization of smaller planets orbiting fainter stars and look for molecular features in their polarization spectra.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Robert A., E-mail: rbrown@stsci.edu [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2015-01-20

    We use N{sub 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{sub 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 {sub 1} ∼ 50 exoplanets after one year and N {sub 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{sup –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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The science of exoplanets and their systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Exoplanets finding, exploring, and understanding alien worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Kitchin, Chris

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  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. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-02

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

  8. MEMS and the direct detection of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-06-02

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

  11. A Statistical Comparative Planetology Approach to the Hunt for Habitable Exoplanets and Life Beyond the Solar Syste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbot, D. S.; Bean, J. L.; Kempton, E.

    2017-12-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets and life beyond the solar system is one of the most compelling scientific opportunities of our time. Nevertheless, the high cost of building facilities that can address this topic and the keen public interest in the results of such research requires rigorous development of experiments that can deliver a definitive advancement in our understanding. Most work to date in this area has focused on a "systems science" approach of obtaining and interpreting comprehensive data for individual planets to make statements about their habitability and the possibility that they harbor life. This strategy is challenging because of the diversity of exoplanets, both observed and expected, and the limited information that can be obtained with astronomical instruments. Here, we propose a complementary approach that is based on performing surveys of key planetary characteristics and using statistical marginalization to answer broader questions than can be addressed with a small sample of objects. The fundamental principle of this comparative planetology approach is maximizing what can be learned from each type of measurement by applying it widely rather than requiring that multiple kinds of observations be brought to bear on a single object. As a proof of concept, we outline a survey of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheric water and carbon dioxide abundances that would test the habitable zone hypothesis and lead to a deeper understanding of the frequency of habitable planets. We also discuss ideas for additional surveys that could be developed to test other foundational hypotheses is this area.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Follow-up Photometry of the Microlensing Event TCP J05074264+2447555

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konyves-Toth, R.; Pal, A.; Ordasi, A.; Vinko, J.

    2017-11-01

    We report photometric observations of TCP J05074264+2447555 (R.A. = 05:08:43, Dec=+24:47:56), a proposed microlensing event at peak magnitude of V 11.5, discovered by T.Kojima UT 2017-10-25.688, and later confirmed by ASAS-SN (ATel #10923) Our data were taken with the 60/90 cm Schmidt telescope and the 1-meter RCC Telescope through Bessell B,V,R,I filters at Konkoly Observatory, Piszkesteto, Hungary between UT 2017-11-03.9 and 2017-11-04.9.

  20. 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.

  1. Detecting Industrial Pollution in the Atmospheres of Earth-like Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Henry W.; Gonzalez Abad, Gonzalo; Loeb, Abraham

    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 (CF4) and trichlorofluoromethane (CCl3F), 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 CCl3F (CF4) to ~10 times the current terrestrial level.

  2. Visible and Infrared Telescopes in Detection of Earth-Like Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yegorov, A. D.; Yegorov, V. A.; Yegorov, S. A.; Yelenskaya, L. I.; Sinel'nikov, I. Ye.

    2016-03-01

    Object and purpose: The study examines the balance of resolving and light-harvesting (penetrating) abilities of filled and sparse aperture telescopes in direct detection of terrestrial exoplanets. We assess the role of quantum fluctuations of luminous flux in optical and infrared bands. Studied are the ways to deal with diffraction spreading of sparse aperture under conditions of high luminosity contrast between a star and a planet. Methods and methodology: Resolution problem is considered in the Fraunhofer approximation. In the one- dimensional version, we present the method of synthesis of an apodizing function of a sparse aperture telescope by means of the “hill climbing” algorithm. We also investigate the effectiveness of a recursive approach in forming an apodizing function for the partial subapertures. Findings: Our study offers estimations of the maximum range in the direct detection of terrestrial exoplanets, which were obtained through observations in visible and infrared bands, and its dependence on wavelength and aperture size. They indicate the lack of balance in the light- harvesting and resolving abilities of telescopes with filled aperture in different spectral bands, taking into account the quantum fluctuations of luminous flux. The proposed solution is to implement a balanced resolving and lightcollecting ability of telescopes with sparse aperture. Optical schemes which allow to eliminate chromatic effect during interferometric observations in survey mode are suggested. Conclusions: Switch-over to the infrared range while using sparse aperture improves the balance and reduces the contrast of the central star and the planet. To reduce the diffraction spreading of a telescope with sparse aperture we offer apodization with a recursive use of the binomial coefficients not only for the lens as a whole but for the partial sub-apertures as well. The advantages of a long-focus and low optical power scheme are also specified.

  3. Novel Optical SETI Observations of Three Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. TERMS PHOTOMETRY OF KNOWN TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. PynPoint code for exoplanet imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heng, Kevin

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Classical novae from the POINT-AGAPE microlensing survey of M31 -- I. The nova catalogue

    CERN Document Server

    Darnley, Matt J.; Kerins, E.; Newsam, A.M.; An, J.; Baillon, P.; Calchi Novati, S.; Carr, Bernard J.; Creze, M.; Evans, N.W.; Giraud-Heraud, Y.; Gould, A.; Hewett, Paul C.; Jetzer, Ph.; Kaplan, J.; Paulin-Henriksson, S.; Smartt, S.J.; Stalin, C.S.; Tsapras, Y.

    2004-01-01

    The POINT-AGAPE survey is an optical search for gravitational microlensing events towards the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). As well as microlensing, the survey is sensitive to many different classes of variable stars and transients. Here we describe the automated detection and selection pipeline used to identify M31 classical novae (CNe) and we present the resulting catalogue of 20 CN candidates observed over three seasons. CNe are observed both in the bulge region as well as over a wide area of the M31 disk. Nine of the CNe are caught during the final rise phase and all are well sampled in at least two colours. The excellent light-curve coverage has allowed us to detect and classify CNe over a wide range of speed class, from very fast to very slow. Among the light-curves is a moderately fast CN exhibiting entry into a deep transition minimum, followed by its final decline. We have also observed in detail a very slow CN which faded by only 0.01 mag day$^{-1}$ over a 150 day period. We detect other interesting varia...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Heindel

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. H alpha equivalent width variations across the face of a microlensed K giant in the galactic bulge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrow, M; Beaulieu, JP; Caldwell, JAR; Dominik, M; Greenhill, J; Hill, K; Kane, S; Martin, R; Menzies, J; Pollard, K; Sackett, PD; Sahu, KC; Vermaak, P; Watson, R; Williams, A; Hauschildt, PH

    2001-01-01

    We present Very Large Telescope FORS1 spectroscopy that temporally resolves the second caustic crossing of the Galactic bulge K giant source of microlensing event EROS 2000-BLG-5, the first time this has been accomplished for several phases of a caustic transit. The similar to1 Angstrom H alpha

  18. Planet observations of microlensing event OGLE-1999-BUL-23 : Limb-darkening measurement of the source star

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrow, MD; An, J; Beaulieu, JP; Caldwell, JAR; DePoy, DL; Dominik, M; Gaudi, BS; Gould, A; Greenhill, J; Hill, K; Kane, S; Martin, R; Menzies, J; Pogge, RW; Pollard, KR; Sackett, PD; Sahu, KC; Vermaak, P; Watson, R; Williams, A

    2001-01-01

    We present PLANET observations of OGLE-1999-BUL-23, a binary-lens microlensing event toward the Galactic bulge. PLANET observations in the I and V bands cover the event from just before the first caustic crossing until the end of the event. In particular, a densely sampled second caustic crossing

  19. The 1995 pilot campaign of planet : Searching for microlensing anomalies through precise, rapid, round-the-clock monitoring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrow, M; Beaulieu, JP; Birch, P; Caldwell, JAR; Kane, S; Martin, R; Menzies, J; Pel, JW; Pollard, K; Sackett, PD; Sahu, KC; Williams, A; Zwaan, MA

    1998-01-01

    PLANET (the Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) is a worldwide collaboration of astronomers whose primary goal is to monitor microlensing events densely and precisely in order to detect and study anomalies that contain information about Galactic lenses and sources that would otherwise be

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  2. Constraining the geometry and kinematics of the quasar broad emission line region using gravitational microlensing. I. Models and simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braibant, L.; Hutsemékers, D.; Sluse, D.; Goosmann, R.

    2017-11-01

    Recent studies have shown that line profile distortions are commonly observed in gravitationally lensed quasar spectra. Often attributed to microlensing differential magnification, line profile distortions can provide information on the geometry and kinematics of the broad emission line region (BLR) in quasars. We investigate the effect of gravitational microlensing on quasar broad emission line profiles and their underlying continuum, combining the emission from simple representative BLR models with generic microlensing magnification maps. Specifically, we considered Keplerian disk, polar, and equatorial wind BLR models of various sizes. The effect of microlensing has been quantified with four observables: μBLR, the total magnification of the broad emission line; μcont, the magnification of the underlying continuum; as well as red/blue, RBI and wings/core, WCI, indices that characterize the line profile distortions. The simulations showed that distortions of line profiles, such as those recently observed in lensed quasars, can indeed be reproduced and attributed to the differential effect of microlensing on spatially separated regions of the BLR. While the magnification of the emission line μBLR sets an upper limit on the BLR size and, similarly, the magnification of the continuum μcont sets an upper limit on the size of the continuum source, the line profile distortions mainly depend on the BLR geometry and kinematics. We thus built (WCI,RBI) diagrams that can serve as diagnostic diagrams to discriminate between the various BLR models on the basis of quantitative measurements. It appears that a strong microlensing effect puts important constraints on the size of the BLR and on its distance to the high-magnification caustic. In that case, BLR models with different geometries and kinematics are more prone to produce distinctive line profile distortions for a limited number of caustic configurations, which facilitates their discrimination. When the microlensing

  3. PULSATION FREQUENCIES AND MODES OF GIANT EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-02-10

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. Probing exoplanet clouds with optical phase curves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Antonio García; Isaak, Kate G

    2015-11-03

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    Soter (1996), The Contamination of Iapetus by Phoebe Dust , Physics, Chem. Dyn. Interplanet. Dust , 104(ASP Conference Series). 183 26. Burrows...only mystery. Though both moons are heavily cratered, with saturated surfaces and fine -grained regolith from impact debris accumulation [Thomas, 1979...2015, 2016]. The methods applied in this work are further applicable to understanding regolith development and dust belts on small bodies within

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. MOA-2011-BLG-293LB: First microlensing planet possibly in the habitable zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batista, V.; Gould, A.; Yee, J. C.; Gaudi, B. S. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Beaulieu, J.-P. [Institut d' Astrophysique de Paris, 98 Bis Boulevard Arago, F-75014 Paris (France); Bennett, D. P. [Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556-5670 (United States); Fukui, A. [Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Asakuchi, Okayama 719-0232 (Japan); Sumi, T. [Department of Earth and Space Science, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043 (Japan); Udalski, A., E-mail: virginie@astronomy.ohio-state.edu, E-mail: gould@astronomy.ohio-state.edu, E-mail: jyee@astronomy.ohio-state.edu, E-mail: beaulieu@iap.fr, E-mail: bennett@nd.edu, E-mail: afukui@oao.nao.ac.jp, E-mail: sumi@ess.sci.osaka-u.ac.jp, E-mail: udalski@astrouw.edu.pl [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland)

    2014-01-01

    We used Keck adaptive optics observations to identify the first planet discovered by microlensing to lie in or near the habitable zone, i.e., at projected separation r = 1.1 ± 0.1 AU from its M{sub L} = 0.86 ± 0.06 M {sub ☉} host, being the highest microlensing mass definitely identified. The planet has a mass m{sub p} = 4.8 ± 0.3 M {sub Jup}, and could in principle have habitable moons. This is also the first planet to be identified as being in the Galactic bulge with good confidence: D{sub L} = 7.72 ± 0.44 kpc. The planet/host masses and distance were previously not known, but only estimated using Bayesian priors based on a Galactic model. These estimates had suggested that the planet might be a super-Jupiter orbiting an M dwarf, a very rare class of planets. We obtained high-resolution JHK images using Keck adaptive optics to detect the lens and so test this hypothesis. We clearly detect light from a G dwarf at the position of the event, and exclude all interpretations other than that this is the lens with high confidence (95%), using a new astrometric technique. The calibrated magnitude of the planet host star is H{sub L} = 19.16 ± 0.13. We infer the following probabilities for the three possible orbital configurations of the gas giant planet: 53% to be in the habitable zone, 35% to be near the habitable zone, and 12% to be beyond the snow line, depending on the atmospherical conditions and the uncertainties on the semimajor axis.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  20. The future of spectroscopic life detection on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Tide, Ocean and Climate on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Y.; Yang, J.

    2017-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Solar-Terrestrial Interactions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kahler, Stephen W

    2008-01-01

    This report covers a basic research (6.1 level) task on solar-terrestrial interactions carried out in the Space Weather Center of Excellence over an 11-year period for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research...

  15. 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

  16. The Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  17. Exoplanet properties from Lick, Keck and AAT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Climate destabilization on tidally locked exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planinsic, Gorazd; Marshall, Rick

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Flux and polarisation spectra of water clouds on exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keenan F.

    2011-02-01

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

  6. Flux and polarization signals of spatially inhomogeneous gaseous exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Sujan; Marley, Mark S

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Eduardo

    2007-08-01

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

  9. Stellar Companions of Exoplanet Host Stars in K2

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  10. Test of multi-object exoplanet search spectral interferometer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Yang; Jian-heng, Guo

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Exoplanets: the quest for Earth twins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Michel; Udry, Stephane; Pepe, Francesco; Lovis, Christophe

    2011-02-13

    Today, more than 400 extra-solar planets have been discovered. They provide strong constraints on the structure and formation mechanisms of planetary systems. Despite this huge amount of data, we still have little information concerning the constraints for extra-terrestrial life, i.e. the frequency of Earth twins in the habitable zone and the distribution of their orbital eccentricities. On the other hand, these latter questions strongly excite general interest and trigger future searches for life in the Universe. The status of the extra-solar planets field--in particular with respect to very-low-mass planets--will be discussed and an outlook on the search for Earth twins will be given in this paper.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Harms

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10^–23 Hz^–1/2 above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our

  1. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, Jan

    2015-12-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10-23 Hz-1/2 above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  2. 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.

  3. STABILITY OF CO{sub 2} ATMOSPHERES ON DESICCATED M DWARF EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao, Peter; Hu, Renyu; Li, Cheng; Yung, Yuk L. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Robinson, Tyler D., E-mail: pgao@caltech.edu [Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA 94035 (United States)

    2015-06-20

    We investigate the chemical stability of CO{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres of desiccated M dwarf terrestrial exoplanets using a one-dimensional photochemical model. Around Sun-like stars, CO{sub 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{sub 2}O{sub 2} photolysis can maintain a CO{sub 2} atmosphere. However, this cycle breaks down for atmospheric hydrogen mixing ratios <1 ppm, resulting in ∼40% of the atmospheric CO{sub 2} being converted to CO and O{sub 2} on a timescale of 1 Myr. The increased O{sub 2} abundance leads to high O{sub 3} concentrations, the photolysis of which forms another CO{sub 2}-regenerating catalytic cycle. For atmospheres with <0.1 ppm hydrogen, CO{sub 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{sub 2} that can be destroyed via photolysis, which is enough to generate Earth-like abundances of (abiotic) O{sub 2} and O{sub 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{sub 2} and O{sub 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.

  4. STELLAR WIND INDUCED SOFT X-RAY EMISSION FROM CLOSE-IN EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kislyakova, K. G.; Lammer, H. [Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz (Austria); Fossati, L. [Argelander-Institut für Astronomie der Universität Bonn, Bonn (Germany); Johnstone, C. P. [Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Vienna (Austria); Holmström, M. [Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna (Sweden); Zaitsev, V. V., E-mail: kristina.kislyakova@oeaw.ac.at [Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod (Russian Federation)

    2015-01-30

    In this Letter, we estimate the X-ray emission from close-in exoplanets. We show that the Solar/Stellar Wind Charge Exchange Mechanism (SWCX), which produces soft X-ray emission, is very effective for hot Jupiters. In this mechanism, X-ray photons are emitted as a result of the charge exchange between heavy ions in the solar wind and the atmospheric neutral particles. In the solar system, comets produce X-rays mostly through the SWCX mechanism, but it has also been shown to operate in the heliosphere, in the terrestrial magnetosheath, and on Mars, Venus, and the Moon. Since the number of emitted photons is proportional to the solar wind mass flux, this mechanism is not very effective for the solar system giants. Here we present a simple estimate of the X-ray emission intensity that can be produced by close-in extrasolar giant planets due to charge exchange with the heavy ions of the stellar wind. Using the example of HD 209458b, we show that this mechanism alone can be responsible for an X-ray emission of ≈10{sup 22} erg s{sup –1}, which is 10{sup 6} times stronger than the emission from the Jovian aurora. We discuss also the possibility of observing the predicted soft X-ray flux of hot Jupiters and show that despite high emission intensities they are unobservable with current facilities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. THE LOW DENSITY TRANSITING EXOPLANET WASP-15b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Exoplanets Clue to Sun's Curious Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

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

  13. The terrestrial silica pump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna C Carey

    Full Text Available Silicon (Si cycling controls atmospheric CO(2 concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr(-1, accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP. However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr(-1 is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO(2 levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump.

  14. 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)

  15. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Microlensing of sub-parsec massive binary black holes in lensed QSOs: Light curves and size-wavelength relation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan, Chang-Shuo; Lu, Youjun; Mao, Shude [National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Yu, Qingjuan [Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Wambsganss, Joachim, E-mail: yancs@nao.cas.cn, E-mail: luyj@nao.cas.cn [Astronomisches Rechen-Institut am Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstrasse 12-14, D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2014-04-01

    Sub-parsec binary massive black holes (BBHs) have long been thought to exist in many QSOs but remain observationally elusive. In this paper, we propose a novel method to probe sub-parsec BBHs through microlensing of lensed QSOs. If a QSO hosts a sub-parsec BBH in its center, it is expected that the BBH is surrounded by a circumbinary disk, each component of the BBH is surrounded by a small accretion disk, and a gap is opened by the secondary component in between the circumbinary disk and the two small disks. Assuming such a BBH structure, we generate mock microlensing light curves for some QSO systems that host BBHs with typical physical parameters. We show that microlensing light curves of a BBH QSO system at the infrared-optical-UV bands can be significantly different from those of corresponding QSO system with a single massive black hole (MBH), mainly because of the existence of the gap and the rotation of the BBH (and its associated small disks) around the center of mass. We estimate the half-light radii of the emission region at different wavelengths from mock light curves and find that the obtained half-light radius versus wavelength relations of BBH QSO systems can be much flatter than those of single MBH QSO systems at a wavelength range determined by the BBH parameters, such as the total mass, mass ratio, separation, accretion rates, etc. The difference is primarily due to the existence of the gap. Such unique features on the light curves and half-light radius-wavelength relations of BBH QSO systems can be used to select and probe sub-parsec BBHs in a large number of lensed QSOs to be discovered by current and future surveys, including the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, the Large Synoptic Survey telescope, and Euclid.

  18. PROSPECTS FOR CHARACTERIZING HOST STARS OF THE PLANETARY SYSTEM DETECTIONS PREDICTED FOR THE KOREAN MICROLENSING TELESCOPE NETWORK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henderson, Calen B., E-mail: henderson@astronomy.ohio-state.edu [Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 140 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)

    2015-02-10

    I investigate the possibility of constraining the flux of the lens (i.e., host star) for the types of planetary systems the Korean Microlensing Telescope Network is predicted to find. I examine the potential to obtain lens flux measurements by (1) imaging the lens once it is spatially resolved from the source, (2) measuring the elongation of the point-spread function of the microlensing target (lens+source) when the lens and source are still unresolved, and (3) taking prompt follow-up photometry. In each case I simulate the observing programs for a representative example of current ground-based adaptive optics (AO) facilities (specifically NACO on the Very Large Telescope), future ground-based AO facilities (GMTIFS on the Giant Magellan Telescope, GMT), and future space telescopes (NIRCAM on the James Webb Space Telescope, JWST). Given the predicted distribution of relative lens-source proper motions, I find that the lens flux could be measured to a precision of σ{sub H{sub ℓ}}≤0.1 for ≳60% of planet detections ≥5 yr after each microlensing event for a simulated observing program using GMT, which images resolved lenses. NIRCAM on JWST would be able to carry out equivalently high-precision measurements for ∼28% of events Δt = 10 yr after each event by imaging resolved lenses. I also explore the effects various blend components would have on the mass derived from prompt follow-up photometry, including companions to the lens, companions to the source, and unassociated interloping stars. I find that undetected blend stars would cause catastrophic failures (i.e., >50% fractional uncertainty in the inferred lens mass) for ≲ (16 · f {sub bin})% of planet detections, where f {sub bin} is the binary fraction, with the majority of these failures occurring for host stars with mass ≲0.3 M {sub ☉}.

  19. Atmosphere-interior exchange on hot rocky exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. A Theory of Exoplanet Transits with Light Scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-20

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

  3. Earth Similarity Index and Habitability Studies of Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Kashyap, Jagadeesh Madhu

    2018-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Searching for exoplanets with the K2 mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bristow, Makennah; Schlieder, Joshua

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Formation and evolution of exoplanets in different environments

    OpenAIRE

    Adibekyan, Vardan

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Pintr

    2013-05-01

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

  12. The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  13. Progress on multi-object exoplanet search spectral interferometer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. Properties of Microlensing Events by Wide-separation Planets with a Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Sun-Ju; Ryu, Yoon-Hyun

    2016-07-01

    We investigate the properties of microlensing events caused by planetary systems where planets with a moon are widely separated from their host stars. From this investigation, we find that the moon feature generally appears as a very short-duration perturbation on the smooth asymmetric light curve of the lensing event induced by the wide-separation planet; thus it can be easily discriminated from the planet feature responsible for the overall asymmetric light curve. For typical Galactic lensing events with an Einstein radius of ˜2 au, the asymmetry of the light curves due to bound planets can be noticed up to ˜20 au. We also find that the perturbations of wide planetary systems become dominated by the moon as the projected star-planet separation increases, and eventually the light curves of events produced by such systems appear as the single lensing light curve of the planet itself with a very short-duration perturbation induced by the moon, which is a representative light curve of the event induced by a star and a planet, except on the Einstein timescale of the planet. We also study the effect of a finite source star on the moon feature in wide planetary lensing events. From this study, we find that when the lunar caustic is sufficiently separated from the planetary caustic, the lower limit on the ratio of the size of the lunar caustic to the source radius causing a ≥5% lunar deviation depends mostly on the projected planet-moon separation regardless of the moon/star mass ratio, and it decreases as the planet-moon separation becomes smaller or larger than the planetary Einstein radius.

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Low-cost board-to-board optical interconnects using molded polymer waveguide with 45 degree mirrors and inkjet-printed micro-lenses as proximity vertical coupler.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Xiaohui; Hosseini, Amir; Dou, Xinyuan; Subbaraman, Harish; Chen, Ray T

    2013-01-14

    We demonstrate intra- and inter-board level optical interconnects using polymer waveguides and waveguide couplers consisting of both 45 degree total internal reflection (TIR) mirrors and inkjet-printed micro-lenses. Surface normal couplers consisting of 50 µm × 50 µm waveguides with embedded 45 degree mirrors are fabricated using a nickel mold imprint. Micro-lenses, 70 µm in diameter, are inkjet-printed on top of the mirrors. We characterize the optical transmission between waveguides located on different boards in terms of insertion loss, mirror coupling loss, and free space propagation loss as a function of interconnection distance in free space. Each mirror contributes 1.88 dB loss to the system, corresponding to 65% efficiency. The printed micro-lenses improve the transmission by 2-4 dB (per coupler). Data transmission at 10 Gbps reveals that inter-board interconnects has a bit error rate (BER) of 1.1 × 10(-10) and 6.2 × 10(-13) without and with the micro-lenses, respectively.

  9. Late-time high-resolution images of the black hole candidate microlensing events, MACHO-96-BLG-5 and MACHO-98-BLG-6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest Stephens, Haynes; Lu, Jessica

    2018-01-01

    Stellar-mass black holes (BHs) are predicted to be abundant in the Milky Way (N=10^8 - 10^9) but only a few dozen have been detected observationally, all of which are in binary systems and actively accreting. Isolated BHs have yet to be detected. One method for attempting to detect isolated BHs is via gravitational microlensing; when a BH passes in front of a star and briefly magnifies the star's observed brightness. However, during a microlensing event, there is no certain method for determining whether the lens is a BH or another star. We present follow-up observations of two microlensing events, MACHO-1996-BLG-5 and MACHO-1998-BLG-6, which were observed in 1996 and 1998, respectively, and are both long-duration events with a high probability that the lens is a black hole. The closest projected approach between the source and lens was over 20 years ago. If the lens is an isolated BH, then the source and lens should have moved apart enough to be resolved with high-resolution imaging. Using adaptive optics images from the W. M. Keck Observatory, we observed the two candidates in 2016 July. No new sources were found within 0.3 arcseconds of the lensed source, a reasonable angular distance considering the maximum possible relative proper motion of the lens and source. We will present constraints on the lens mass, distance, and proper motion for both microlensing candidates, and explore the likelihood that the lenses are isolated BHs.

  10. 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.)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinyard, Bruce; Tinetti, Giovanna; Tennyson, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juncher, Diana

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

  16. Terrestrial Steering Group. 2014. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aastrup, Peter; Aronsson, Mora; Barry, Tom

    implementation of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan for the next two years. Identify expert networks required for successful implementation of the plan. Identify key gaps and opportunities for the TSG related to plan implementation and identify near-term next steps to address gaps.......The Terrestrial Steering Group (TSG), has initiated the implementation phase of the CBMP Terrestrial Plan. The CBMP Terrestrial Steering Group, along with a set of invited experts (see Appendix A for a participants list), met in Iceland from February 25-27th to develop a three year work plan...... to guide implementation of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan. This report describes the outcome of that workshop. The aim of the workshop was to develop a three year work plan to guide implementation of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan. The participants were tasked with devising an approach to both (a) determine what...

  17. #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.

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. Stellar Variability of the Exoplanet Hosting Star HD 63454

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Hunting for Exoplanets at Florida Gulf Coast University

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Exoplanet Science from NASA’s Kepler Mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steffen, Jason [Northwestern University

    2012-09-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Alex

    2017-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Terrestrial Plume Impingement Testbed Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Masten Space Systems proposes to create a terrestrial plume impingement testbed for generating novel datasets for extraterrestrial robotic missions. This testbed...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  13. Mapping the Pressure-radius Relationship of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Fossati, Luca; Kubyshkina, Darya

    2017-10-01

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

  14. Detecting magnetic fields on brown dwarfs and exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdyugina, Svetlana

    2017-05-01

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

  15. Dynamical Mass of the Exoplanet Host Star HR 8799

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepulveda, Aldo; Bowler, Brendan

    2018-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. An ultrahot gas-giant exoplanet with a stratosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menou, Kristen

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2 , temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y -1 ) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y -1 ), and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchior, Peter; Spergel, David; Lanz, Arianna

    2018-02-01

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

  15. Exoplanet and brown dwarf atmosphere characterization with NIRISS SOSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafreniere, David; JWST NIRISS GTO Team

    2017-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Tom

    2017-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apai, D.

    2017-11-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varley, Ryan

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Julien

    2015-10-01

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

  9. STATISTICS OF MICROLENSING CAUSTIC CROSSINGS IN Q 2237+0305: PECULIAR VELOCITY OF THE LENS GALAXY AND ACCRETION DISK SIZE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mediavilla, E. [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Vía Láctea S/N, La Laguna E-38200 Tenerife (Spain); Jimenez-Vicente, J. [Departamento de Física Teórica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva E-18071 Granada (Spain); Muñoz, J. A. [Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Universidad de Valencia E-46100 Burjassot, Valencia (Spain); Mediavilla, T.; Ariza, O. [Departamento de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, Universidad de Cádiz, Avda Ramón Puyol s/n E-11202, Algeciras, Cádiz (Spain)

    2015-01-10

    We use the statistics of caustic crossings induced by microlensing in the lens system Q 2237+0305 to study the lens galaxy peculiar velocity. We calculate the caustic crossing rates for a comprehensive family of stellar mass functions and find a dependence of the average number of caustic crossings with the effective transverse velocity and the average mass, 〈n〉∝v{sub eff}/√(〈m〉), equivalent to the theoretical prediction for the case of microlenses with identical masses. We explore the possibilities of the method to measure v {sub eff} using the ∼12 yr of Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment monitoring of the four images of Q 2237+0305. To determine a lower limit for v {sub eff}, we count, conservatively, a single caustic crossing for each one of the four high magnification events identified in the literature (plus one additional proposed by us) obtaining v{sub eff}≳240√(〈m〉/0.17 M{sub ⊙}) km s{sup −1} at 68% of confidence. From this value and the average FWHM of the four high magnification events, we obtain a lower limit of r{sub s}≳1.4√(〈m〉/0.17 M{sub ⊙}) light-days for the radius of the source (r{sub s} = FWHM/2.35). Tentative identification of three additional caustic crossing events leads to estimates of v{sub eff}≃(493±246)√(〈m〉/0.17 M{sub ⊙}) km s{sup −1} for the effective transverse velocity and of r{sub s}≃(2.7±1.3)√(〈m〉/0.17 M{sub ⊙}) light-days for the source size. The estimated transverse peculiar velocity of the galaxy is v{sub t}≃(429±246)√(〈m〉/0.17 M{sub ⊙}) km s{sup −1}.

  10. Characterizing Giant Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations: HAT-P-14 b & TrES-1 b

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Much current work focuses on characterizing exoplanets. We observed several known exoplanets using the 2.3 meter Wyoming Infrared Observatory over the course of ten weeks using the ugriz Sloan filters. Our goal was to quantify planet-to-star radius ratio, a ratio that is potentially wavelength dependent due to exoplanet atmospherics. We present the results for exoplanets HAT-P 14 b and TrES-1 b. Complementary data from the literature are utilized to supplement our analysis. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under REU grant AST 1560461 and PAARE grant AST 1559559.

  11. 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

  12. VLT Captures First Direct Spectrum of an Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nutzman, Philip Andrew

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xi; Showman, Adam P.

    2015-12-01

    Depending on the metallicity of the protoplanetary disk and processes such as 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, carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen, and other heavy molecules as exhibited by terrestrial planets in the solar system. In this study we systematically investigate the effects of atmospheric bulk compositions on temperature and wind distributions for tidally locked sub-Jupiter-sized planets such as super-Earths and mini-Neptunes, 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.In order to understand the systematic behavior and capture the underlying physics, we present analytical theories to explain aspects of the

  19. 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.

  20. OGLE-2017-BLG-0373Lb: A Jovian Mass-Ratio Planet Exposes A New Accidental Microlensing Degeneracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skowron, J.; Ryu, Y.-H.; Hwang, K.-H.; Udalski, A.; Mrǎłz, P.; Kozłowski, S.; Soszyński, I.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Szymański, P. K.; Poleski, R.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pawlak, M.; Rybicki, K.; Iwanek, P.; Albrow, M. D.; Chung, S.-J.; Gould, A.; Han, C.; Jung, Y. K.; 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, C.-U.; Lee, D.-J.; Lee, Y.; Park, B.-G.; Pogge, R. W.

    2018-03-01

    We report the discovery of microlensing planet OGLE-2017-BLG-0373Lb. We show that while the planet-host system has an unambiguous microlens topology, there are two geometries within this topology that fit the data equally well, which leads to a factor 2.5 difference in planet-host mass ratio, i.e., q=1.5×10-3 vs. q=0.6×10-3. We show that this is an "accidental degeneracy" in the sense that it is due to a gap in the data. We dub it "the caustic-chirality degeneracy". We trace the mathematical origins of this degeneracy, which should enable similar degenerate solutions to be easily located in the future. A Bayesian estimate, based on a Galactic model, yields a host mass M=0.25+0.30-0.15 M⊙ at a distance DL=5.9+1.3-1.95 kpc. The lens-source relative proper motion is relatively fast, μ=9 mas/yr, which implies that the host mass and distance can be determined by high-resolution imaging after about 10 years. The same observations could in principle resolve the discrete degeneracy in q, but this will be more challenging.

  1. 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.

  2. Trajectory Design for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dichmann, Donald J.; Parker, Joel J. K.; Williams, Trevor W.; Mendelsohn, Chad R.

    2014-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission, scheduled to be launched in 2017. TESS will travel in a highly eccentric orbit around Earth, with initial perigee radius near 17 Earth radii (Re) and apogee radius near 59 Re. The orbit period is near 2:1 resonance with the Moon, with apogee nearly 90 degrees out-of-phase with the Moon, in a configuration that has been shown to be operationally stable. TESS will execute phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby, with a final maneuver to achieve 2:1 resonance with the Moon. The goals of a resonant orbit with long-term stability, short eclipses and limited oscillations of perigee present significant challenges to the trajectory design. To rapidly assess launch opportunities, we adapted the Schematics Window Methodology (SWM76) launch window analysis tool to assess the TESS mission constraints. To understand the long-term dynamics of such a resonant orbit in the Earth-Moon system we employed Dynamical Systems Theory in the Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem (CR3BP). For precise trajectory analysis we use a high-fidelity model and multiple shooting in the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) to optimize the maneuver delta-V and meet mission constraints. Finally we describe how the techniques we have developed can be applied to missions with similar requirements. Keywords: resonant orbit, stability, lunar flyby, phasing loops, trajectory optimization

  3. Analytic Scattering and Refraction Models for Exoplanet Transit Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Hubbard, William B.

    2017-12-01

    Observations of exoplanet transit spectra are essential to understanding the physics and chemistry of distant worlds. The effects of opacity sources and many physical processes combine to set the shape of a transit spectrum. Two such key processes—refraction and cloud and/or haze forward-scattering—have seen substantial recent study. However, models of these processes are typically complex, which prevents their incorporation into observational analyses and standard transit spectrum tools. In this work, we develop analytic expressions that allow for the efficient parameterization of forward-scattering and refraction effects in transit spectra. We derive an effective slant optical depth that includes a correction for forward-scattered light, and present an analytic form of this correction. We validate our correction against a full-physics transit spectrum model that includes scattering, and we explore the extent to which the omission of forward-scattering effects may bias models. Also, we verify a common analytic expression for the location of a refractive boundary, which we express in terms of the maximum pressure probed in a transit spectrum. This expression is designed to be easily incorporated into existing tools, and we discuss how the detection of a refractive boundary could help indicate the background atmospheric composition by constraining the bulk refractivity of the atmosphere. Finally, we show that opacity from Rayleigh scattering and collision-induced absorption will outweigh the effects of refraction for Jupiter-like atmospheres whose equilibrium temperatures are above 400-500 K.

  4. Unpacking Exoplanet Detection Using Pedagogical Discipline Representations (PDRs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Edward E.; Chambers, Timothy G.; Wallace, Colin Scott; Brissenden, Gina

    2017-01-01

    Successful educators know the importance of using multiple representations to teach the content of their disciplines. We have all seen the moments of epiphany that can be inspired when engaging with just the right representation of a difficult concept. The formal study of the cognitive impact of different representations on learners is now an active area of education research. The affordances of a particular representation are defined as the elements of disciplinary knowledge that students are able to access and reason about using that representation. Instructors with expert pedagogical content knowledge teach each topic using representations with complementary affordances, maximizing their students’ opportunity to develop fluency with all aspects of the topic. The work presented here examines how we have applied the theory of affordances to the development of pedagogical discipline representation (PDR) in an effort to provide access to, and help non-science-majors engage in expert-like reasoning about, general relativity as applied to detection of exoplanets. We define a pedagogical discipline representation (PDR) as a representation that has been uniquely tailored for the purpose of teaching a specific topic within a discipline. PDRs can be simplified versions of expert representations or can be highly contextualized with features that purposefully help unpack specific reasoning or concepts, and engage learners’ pre-existing mental models while promoting and enabling critical discourse. Examples of PDRs used for instruction and assessment will be provided along with preliminary results documenting the effectiveness of their use in the classroom.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Lines, Stefan; Carter, Philip J. [University of Bristol, School of Physics, H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TL (United Kingdom); Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E. [University of Delaware, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 217 Sharp Lab, Newark, DE 19716 (United States); Teanby, Nick A. [University of Bristol, School of Earth Sciences, H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TL (United Kingdom)

    2016-03-20

    Observations of the youngest planets (∼1–10 Myr for a transitional disk) will increase the accuracy of our planet formation models. Unfortunately, observations of such planets are challenging and time-consuming to undertake, even in ideal circumstances. Therefore, we propose the determination of a set of markers that can preselect promising exoplanet-hosting candidate disks. To this end, N-body simulations were conducted to investigate the effect of an embedded Jupiter-mass planet on the dynamics of the surrounding planetesimal disk and the resulting creation of second-generation collisional dust. We use a new collision model that allows fragmentation and erosion of planetesimals, and dust-sized fragments are simulated in a post-process step including non-gravitational forces due to stellar radiation and a gaseous protoplanetary disk. Synthetic images from our numerical simulations show a bright double ring at 850 μm for a low-eccentricity planet, whereas a high-eccentricity planet would produce a characteristic inner ring with asymmetries in the disk. In the presence of first-generation primordial dust these markers would be difficult to detect far from the orbit of the embedded planet, but would be detectable inside a gap of planetary origin in a transitional disk.

  6. 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.

  7. Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres : A Complete Line List for Phosphine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa-Silva, C.; Yurchenko, S. N.; Tennyson, J.

    2013-09-01

    The ability to characterise the atmospheres of cool stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets requires fundamental data for all species contributing significantly to their opacity. However, with notable exceptions such as water and ammonia, existing molecular line lists are not sufficiently accurate or complete to allow for a full spectroscopic analysis of these bodies. ExoMol (www.exomol.com [1]) is a project that aims to rectify this by generating comprehensive line lists for all molecules likely to be detected in the atmospheres of cool astrophysical objects in the foreseeable future. The spectral data is generated by employing ab initio quantum mechanical methods, performing empirical refinement based on experimental spectroscopic data and harnessing high performance computing. Here we present our work on phosphine, (PH3), an equilateral pyramidal molecule (the phosphorus analogue to ammonia). Phosphine is known to be important for the atmospheres of giant-planets, cool stars and many other astronomical bodies. Rotational transition features of phosphine have been found in the far- infrared spectra of Saturn and Jupiter [2, 3], where it is a marker for vertical convection zones. A computed room temperature line list of phosphine is presented here [4], illustrated in the accompanying figure 1. This line list is a precursor to a high temperature equivalent to be produced in the near future, necessary for the analysis of cool stars and brown dwarfs. All the transitions' energy levels and Einstein A-coefficients were computed using the program TROVE [5].

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. MASSIVE SATELLITES OF CLOSE-IN GAS GIANT EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cassidy, Timothy A.; Johnson, Robert E.; Mendez, Rolando; Arras, Phil; Skrutskie, Michael F.

    2009-01-01

    We study the orbits, tidal heating and mass loss from satellites around close-in gas giant exoplanets. The focus is on large satellites which are potentially observable by their transit signature. We argue that even Earth-size satellites around hot Jupiters can be immune to destruction by orbital decay; detection of such a massive satellite would strongly constrain theories of tidal dissipation in gas giants, in a manner complementary to orbital circularization. The star's gravity induces significant periodic eccentricity in the satellite's orbit. The resulting tidal heating rates, per unit mass, are far in excess of Io's and dominate radioactive heating out to planet orbital periods of months for reasonable satellite tidal Q. Inside planet orbital periods of about a week, tidal heating can completely melt the satellite. Lastly, we compute an upper limit to the satellite mass loss rate due to thermal evaporation from the surface, valid if the satellite's atmosphere is thin and vapor pressure is negligible. Using this upper limit, we find that although rocky satellites around hot Jupiters with orbital periods less than a few days can be significantly evaporated in their lifetimes, detectable satellites suffer negligible mass loss at longer orbital periods.

  11. 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.

  12. Challenges to Constraining Exoplanet Masses via Transmission Spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Design, fabrication, and testing of stellar coronagraphs for exoplanet imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Justin M.; Brewer, John; Hamilton, Ryan; Ward, Karen; Milster, Tom D.; Guyon, Olivier

    2017-09-01

    Complex-mask coronagraphs destructively interfere unwanted starlight with itself to enable direct imaging of exoplanets. This is accomplished using a focal plane mask (FPM); a FPM can be a simple occulter mask, or in the case of a complex-mask, is a multi-zoned device designed to phase-shift starlight over multiple wavelengths to create a deep achromatic null in the stellar point spread function. Creating these masks requires microfabrication techniques, yet many such methods remain largely unexplored in this context. We explore methods of fabrication of complex FPMs for a Phased-Induced Amplitude Apodization Complex-Mask Coronagraph (PIAACMC). Previous FPM fabrication efforts for PIAACMC have concentrated on mask manufacturability while modeling science yield, as well as assessing broadband wavelength operation. Moreover current fabrication efforts are concentrated on assessing coronagraph performance given a single approach. We present FPMs fabricated using several process paths, including deep reactive ion etching and focused ion beam etching using a silicon substrate. The characteristic size of the mask features is 5μm with depths ranging over 1μm. The masks are characterized for manufacturing quality using an optical interferometer and a scanning electron microscope. Initial testing is performed at the Subaru Extreme Adaptive Optics testbed, providing a baseline for future experiments to determine and improve coronagraph performance within fabrication tolerances.

  14. Trajectory Design for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dichmann, Donald J.; Parker, Joel; Williams, Trevor; Mendelsohn, Chad

    2014-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission launching in 2017. TESS will travel in a highly eccentric orbit around Earth, with initial perigee radius near 17 Earth radii (Re) and apogee radius near 59 Re. The orbit period is near 2:1 resonance with the Moon, with apogee nearly 90 degrees out-of-phase with the Moon, in a configuration that has been shown to be operationally stable. TESS will execute phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby, with a final maneuver to achieve 2:1 resonance with the Moon. The goals of a resonant orbit with long-term stability, short eclipses and limited oscillations of perigee present significant challenges to the trajectory design. To rapidly assess launch opportunities, we adapted the SWM76 launch window tool to assess the TESS mission constraints. To understand the long-term dynamics of such a resonant orbit in the Earth-Moon system we employed Dynamical Systems Theory in the Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem (CR3BP). For precise trajectory analysis we use a high-fidelity model and multiple shooting in the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) to optimize the maneuver delta-V and meet mission constraints. Finally we describe how the techniques we have developed can be applied to missions with similar requirements.

  15. A New Window into Escaping Exoplanet Atmospheres: 10830 Å Line of Helium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oklopčić, Antonija; Hirata, Christopher M.

    2018-03-01

    Observational evidence for escaping exoplanet atmospheres has been obtained for a few exoplanets to date. It comes from strong transit signals detected in the ultraviolet, most notably in the wings of the hydrogen Lyα (Lyα) line. However, the core of the Lyα line is often heavily affected by interstellar absorption and geocoronal emission, limiting the information about the atmosphere that can be extracted from that part of the spectrum. Transit observations in atomic lines that are (a) sensitive enough to trace the rarefied gas in the planetary wind and (b) do not suffer from significant extinction by the interstellar medium could enable more detailed observations, and thus provide better constraints on theoretical models of escaping atmospheres. The absorption line of a metastable state of helium at 10830 Å could satisfy both of these conditions for some exoplanets. We develop a simple 1D model of escaping planetary atmospheres containing hydrogen and helium. We use it to calculate the density profile of helium in the 23S metastable excited state and the expected in-transit absorption at 10830 Å for two exoplanets known to have escaping atmospheres. Our results indicate that exoplanets similar to GJ 436b and HD 209458b should exhibit enhanced transit depths at 10830 Å, with ∼8% and ∼2% excess absorption in the line core, respectively.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A Computational Tool to Interpret the Bulk Composition of Solid Exoplanets based on Mass and Radius Measurements

    OpenAIRE

    Zeng, Li; Seager, Sara

    2008-01-01

    The prospects for finding transiting exoplanets in the range of a few to 20 Earth masses is growing rapidly with both ground-based and spaced-based efforts. We describe a publicly available computer code to compute and quantify the compositional ambiguities for differentiated solid exoplanets with a measured mass and radius, including the mass and radius uncertainties.

  20. Direct imaging discovery of a Jovian exoplanet within a triple-star system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Kevin; Apai, Dániel; Kasper, Markus; Kratter, Kaitlin; McClure, Melissa; Robberto, Massimo; Beuzit, Jean-Luc

    2016-08-12

    Direct imaging allows for the detection and characterization of exoplanets via their thermal emission. We report the discovery via imaging of a young Jovian planet in a triple-star system and characterize its atmospheric properties through near-infrared spectroscopy. The semimajor axis of the planet is closer relative to that of its hierarchical triple-star system than for any known exoplanet within a stellar binary or triple, making HD 131399 dynamically unlike any other known system. The location of HD 131399Ab on a wide orbit in a triple system demonstrates that massive planets may be found on long and possibly unstable orbits in multistar systems. HD 131399Ab is one of the lowest mass (4 ± 1 Jupiter masses) and coldest (850 ± 50 kelvin) exoplanets to have been directly imaged. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. An introduction to planets ours and others : from Earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-01-01

    What is a planet? The answer seems obvious, but nonetheless the definition of a planet has continuously evolved over the centuries, and their number has changed following successive discoveries. The decision endorsed by the International Astronomical Union to remove Pluto from the list of planets in 2006 well illustrates the difficulty associated with their definition. The recent discovery of hundreds of exoplanets around nearby stars of our Galaxy opens a new and spectacular dimension to astrophysics. We presently know very little about the physical nature of exoplanets. In contrast, our knowledge of Solar System planets has made huge progress over the past decades, thanks, especially, to space planetary exploration. The purpose of this book is first to characterize what planets are, in their global properties and in their diversity. Then, this knowledge is used to try to imagine the physical nature of exoplanets, starting from the few parameters we know about them. Throughout this book, as we explore the su...

  2. Surface Variability of Short-wavelength Radiation and Temperature on Exoplanets around M Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xin; Tian, Feng [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Wang, Yuwei [Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0B9 (Canada); Dudhia, Jimy; Chen, Ming, E-mail: tianfengco@tsinghua.edu.cn [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)

    2017-03-10

    It is a common practice to use 3D General Circulation Models (GCM) with spatial resolution of a few hundred kilometers to simulate the climate of Earth-like exoplanets. The enhanced albedo effect of clouds is especially important for exoplanets in the habitable zones around M dwarfs that likely have fixed substellar regions and substantial cloud coverage. Here, we carry out mesoscale model simulations with 3 km spatial resolution driven by the initial and boundary conditions in a 3D GCM and find that it could significantly underestimate the spatial variability of both the incident short-wavelength radiation and the temperature at planet surface. Our findings suggest that mesoscale models with cloud-resolving capability be considered for future studies of exoplanet climate.

  3. AgapeZ1 a Large Amplification Microlensing Event or an Odd Variable Star Towards the Inner Bulge of M31

    CERN Document Server

    Ansari, R.; Baillon, P.; Bouquet, A.; Coupinot, G.; Coutures, Ch.; Ghesquiere, C.; Giraud-Heraud, Y.; Gondolo, P.; Hecquet, J.; Kaplan, J.; Kim, A.; Du, Y.Le; Melchior, A.L.; Moniez, M.; Picat, J.P.; Soucail, G.; Coutures, Ch.

    1999-01-01

    AgapeZ1 is the brightest and the shortest duration microlensing candidate event found in the Agape data. It occured only 42" from the center of M31. Our photometry shows that the half intensity duration of the event6 is 4.8 days and at maximum brightness we measure a stellar magnitude of R=18.0 with B-R=0.80 mag color. A search on HST archives produced a single resolved star within the projected event position error box. Its magnitude is R=22.

  4. MiNDSTEp differential photometry of the gravitationally lensed quasars WFI2033-4723 and HE0047-1756: Microlensing and a new time delay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giannini, E.; Schmidt, R. W.; Wambsganss, J.

    2017-01-01

    Aims. We present V and R photometry of the gravitationally lensed quasars WFI 2033-4723 and HE 0047-1756. The data were taken by the MiNDSTEp collaboration with the 1.54 m Danish telescope at the ESO La Silla observatory from 2008 to 2012.Methods. Differential photometry has been carried out usin......-duration microlensing event. Finally we find that both quasars WFI 2033-4723 and HE 0047-1756 become bluer when brighter, which is consistent with previous studies....

  5. Approximate analytical method to evaluate diffraction crosstalk in free-space optical interconnects systems that use circular microlenses with finite uniform apertures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Ababneh, Nedal

    2014-07-01

    We propose an accurate analytical model to calculate the optical crosstalk of a first-order free space optical interconnects system that uses microlenses with circular apertures. The proposed model is derived by evaluating the resulted finite integral in terms of an infinite series of Bessel functions. Compared to the model that uses complex Gaussian functions to expand the aperture function, it is shown that the proposed model is superior in estimating the crosstalk and provides more accurate results. Moreover, it is shown that the proposed model gives results close to that of the numerical model with superior computational efficiency.

  6. Terrestrial ecosystems and their change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anatoly Z. Shvidenko; Eric Gustafson; A. David McGuire; Vjacheslav I. Kharuk; Dmitry G. Schepaschenko; Herman H. Shugart; Nadezhda M. Tchebakova; Natalia N. Vygodskaya; Alexander A. Onuchin; Daniel J. Hayes; Ian McCallum; Shamil Maksyutov; Ludmila V. Mukhortova; Amber J. Soja; Luca Belelli-Marchesini; Julia A. Kurbatova; Alexander V. Oltchev; Elena I. Parfenova; Jacquelyn K. Shuman

    2012-01-01

    This chapter considers the current state of Siberian terrestrial ecosystems, their spatial distribution, and major biometric characteristics. Ongoing climate change and the dramatic increase of accompanying anthropogenic pressure provide different but mostly negative impacts on Siberian ecosystems. Future climates of the region may lead to substantial drying on large...

  7. Provenance of the terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetherill, G W

    1994-01-01

    Earlier work on the simultaneous accumulation of the asteroid belt and the terrestrial planets is extended to investigate the relative contribution to the final planets made by material from different heliocentric distances. As before, stochastic variations intrinsic to the accumulation processes lead to a variety of final planetary configurations, but include systems having a number of features similar to our solar system. Fifty-nine new simulations are presented, from which thirteen are selected as more similar to our solar system than the others. It is found that the concept of "local feeding zones" for each final terrestrial planet has no validity for this model. Instead, the final terrestrial planets receive major contributions from bodies ranging from 0.5 to at least 2.5 AU, and often to greater distances. Nevertheless, there is a correlation between the final heliocentric distance of a planet and its average provenance. Together with the effect of stochastic fluctuations, this permits variation in the composition of the terrestrial planets, such as the difference in the decompressed density of Earth and Mars. Biologically important light elements, derived from the asteroidal region, are likely to have been significant constituents of the Earth during its formation.

  8. Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment 2004

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    , 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...

  9. The Ultraviolet Radiation Environment around M dwarf Exoplanet Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    France, Kevin; Froning, Cynthia S.; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Roberge, Aki; Stocke, John T.; Tian, Feng; Bushinsky, Rachel; Désert, Jean-Michel; Mauas, Pablo; Vieytes, Mariela; Walkowicz, Lucianne M.

    2013-02-01

    The spectral and temporal behavior of exoplanet host stars is a critical input to models of the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Ultraviolet photons influence the atmospheric temperature profiles and production of potential biomarkers on Earth-like planets around these stars. At present, little observational or theoretical basis exists for understanding the ultraviolet spectra of M dwarfs, despite their critical importance to predicting and interpreting the spectra of potentially habitable planets as they are obtained in the coming decades. Using observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, we present a study of the UV radiation fields around nearby M dwarf planet hosts that covers both far-UV (FUV) and near-UV (NUV) wavelengths. The combined FUV+NUV spectra are publicly available in machine-readable format. We find that all six exoplanet host stars in our sample (GJ 581, GJ 876, GJ 436, GJ 832, GJ 667C, and GJ 1214) exhibit some level of chromospheric and transition region UV emission. No "UV-quiet" M dwarfs are observed. The bright stellar Lyα emission lines are reconstructed, and we find that the Lyα line fluxes comprise ~37%-75% of the total 1150-3100 Å flux from most M dwarfs; gsim103 times the solar value. We develop an empirical scaling relation between Lyα and Mg II emission, to be used when interstellar H I attenuation precludes the direct observation of Lyα. The intrinsic unreddened flux ratio is F(Lyα)/F(Mg II) = 10 ± 3. The F(FUV)/F(NUV) flux ratio, a driver for abiotic production of the suggested biomarkers O2 and O3, is shown to be ~0.5-3 for all M dwarfs in our sample, >103 times the solar ratio. For the four stars with moderate signal-to-noise Cosmic Origins Spectrograph time-resolved spectra, we find UV emission line variability with amplitudes of 50%-500% on 102-103 s timescales. This effect should be taken into account in future UV transiting planet studies, including searches for O3 on Earth-like planets. Finally, we

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Jacob

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

  11. Retrieval of exoplanet emission spectra with HyDRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Siddharth; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2018-02-01

    Thermal emission spectra of exoplanets provide constraints on the chemical compositions, pressure-temperature (P-T) profiles, and energy transport in exoplanetary atmospheres. Accurate inferences of these properties rely on the robustness of the atmospheric retrieval methods employed. While extant retrieval codes have provided significant constraints on molecular abundances and temperature profiles in several exoplanetary atmospheres, the constraints on their deviations from thermal and chemical equilibria have yet to be fully explored. Our present work is a step in this direction. We report HyDRA, a disequilibrium retrieval framework for thermal emission spectra of exoplanetary atmospheres. The retrieval code uses the standard architecture of a parametric atmospheric model coupled with Bayesian statistical inference using the Nested Sampling algorithm. For a given dataset, the retrieved compositions and P-T profiles are used in tandem with the GENESIS self-consistent atmospheric model to constrain layer-by-layer deviations from chemical and radiative-convective equilibrium in the observable atmosphere. We demonstrate HyDRA on the Hot Jupiter WASP-43b with a high-precision emission spectrum. We retrieve an H2O mixing ratio of log(H2O) = -3.54^{+0.82}_{-0.52}, consistent with previous studies. We detect H2O and a combined CO/CO2 at 8-sigma significance. We find the dayside P-T profile to be consistent with radiative-convective equilibrium within the 1-sigma limits and with low day-night redistribution, consistent with previous studies. The derived compositions are also consistent with thermochemical equilibrium for the corresponding distribution of P-T profiles. In the era of high precision and high resolution emission spectroscopy, HyDRA provides a path to retrieve disequilibrium phenomena in exoplanetary atmospheres.

  12. UNDERSTANDING TRENDS ASSOCIATED WITH CLOUDS IN IRRADIATED EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heng, Kevin [University of Bern, Center for Space and Habitability, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland); Demory, Brice-Olivier, E-mail: kevin.heng@csh.unibe.ch, E-mail: demory@mit.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2013-11-10

    Unlike previously explored relationships between the properties of hot Jovian atmospheres, the geometric albedo and the incident stellar flux do not exhibit a clear correlation, as revealed by our re-analysis of Q0-Q14 Kepler data. If the albedo is primarily associated with the presence of clouds in these irradiated atmospheres, a holistic modeling approach needs to relate the following properties: the strength of stellar irradiation (and hence the strength and depth of atmospheric circulation), the geometric albedo (which controls both the fraction of starlight absorbed and the pressure level at which it is predominantly absorbed), and the properties of the embedded cloud particles (which determine the albedo). The anticipated diversity in cloud properties renders any correlation between the geometric albedo and the stellar flux weak and characterized by considerable scatter. In the limit of vertically uniform populations of scatterers and absorbers, we use an analytical model and scaling relations to relate the temperature-pressure profile of an irradiated atmosphere and the photon deposition layer and to estimate whether a cloud particle will be lofted by atmospheric circulation. We derive an analytical formula for computing the albedo spectrum in terms of the cloud properties, which we compare to the measured albedo spectrum of HD 189733b by Evans et al. Furthermore, we show that whether an optical phase curve is flat or sinusoidal depends on whether the particles are small or large as defined by the Knudsen number. This may be an explanation for why Kepler-7b exhibits evidence for the longitudinal variation in abundance of condensates, while Kepler-12b shows no evidence for the presence of condensates despite the incident stellar flux being similar for both exoplanets. We include an 'observer's cookbook' for deciphering various scenarios associated with the optical phase curve, the peak offset of the infrared phase curve, and the geometric

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.

    2011-02-01

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

  15. REANALYSES OF ANOMALOUS GRAVITATIONAL MICROLENSING EVENTS IN THE OGLE-III EARLY WARNING SYSTEM DATABASE WITH COMBINED DATA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, J.; Park, H.; Han, C. [Department of Physics, Institute for Astrophysics, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763 (Korea, Republic of); Gould, A.; Poleski, R. [Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, 140 W. 18th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Udalski, A.; Szymański, M. K.; Pietrzyński, G.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł. [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Abe, F.; Fukunaga, D.; Itow, Y. [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. [Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 102-904, North Shore Mail Centre, Auckland (New Zealand); Botzler, C. S.; Freeman, M. [Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92-019, Auckland 1001 (New Zealand); Fukui, A. [Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Asakuchi, Okayama 719-0232 (Japan); Koshimoto, N. [Department of Earth and Space Science, Osaka University, Osaka 560-0043 (Japan); Collaboration: (The OGLE Collaboration); (The MOA Collaboration); (The PLANET Collaboration); (The μFUN Collaboration); (The RoboNet Collaboration); and others

    2015-05-01

    We reanalyze microlensing events in the published list of anomalous events that were observed from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) lensing survey conducted during the 2004–2008 period. In order to check the existence of possible degenerate solutions and extract extra information, we conduct analyses based on combined data from other survey and follow-up observation and consider higher-order effects. Among the analyzed events, we present analyses of eight events for which either new solutions are identified or additional information is obtained. We find that the previous binary-source interpretations of five events are better interpreted by binary-lens models. These events include OGLE-2006-BLG-238, OGLE-2007-BLG-159, OGLE-2007-BLG-491, OGLE-2008-BLG-143, and OGLE-2008-BLG-210. With additional data covering caustic crossings, we detect finite-source effects for six events including OGLE-2006-BLG-215, OGLE-2006-BLG-238, OGLE-2006-BLG-450, OGLE-2008-BLG-143, OGLE-2008-BLG-210, and OGLE-2008-BLG-513. Among them, we are able to measure the Einstein radii of three events for which multi-band data are available. These events are OGLE-2006-BLG-238, OGLE-2008-BLG-210, and OGLE-2008-BLG-513. For OGLE-2008-BLG-143, we detect higher-order effects induced by the changes of the observer’s position caused by the orbital motion of the Earth around the Sun. In addition, we present degenerate solutions resulting from the known close/wide or ecliptic degeneracy. Finally, we note that the masses of the binary companions of the lenses of OGLE-2006-BLG-450 and OGLE-2008-BLG-210 are in the brown-dwarf regime.

  16. Revisiting the Microlensing Event OGLE 2012-BLG-0026: A Solar Mass Star with Two Cold Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulieu, J.-P.; Bennett, D. P.; Batista, V.; Fukui, A.; Marquette, J.-B.; Brillant, S.; Cole, A. A.; Rogers, L. A.; Sumi, T.; Abe, F.

    2016-01-01

    Two cold gas giant planets orbiting a G-type main-sequence star in the galactic disk were previously discovered in the high-magnification microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0026. Here, we present revised host star flux measurements and a refined model for the two-planet system using additional light curve data. We performed high angular resolution adaptive optics imaging with the Keck and Subaru telescopes at two epochs while the source star was still amplified. We detected the lens flux, H = 16.39 +/- 0.08. The lens, a disk star, is brighter than predicted from the modeling in the original study. We revisited the light curve modeling using additional photometric data from the B and C telescope in New Zealand and CTIO 1.3 m H-band light curve. We then include the Keck and Subaru adaptive optic observation constraints. The system is composed of an approximately 4-9 Gyr lens star of M(sub lens) = 1.06 +/- 0.05 solar mass at a distance of D(sub lens) = 4.0 +/- 0.3 kpc, orbited by two giant planets of 0.145 +/- 0.008 M(sub Jup) and 0.86 +/- 0.06 M(sub Jup), with projected separations of 4.0 +/- 0.5 au and 4.8 +/- 0.7 au, respectively. Because the lens is brighter than the source star by 16 +/- 8% in H, with no other blend within one arcsec, it will be possible to estimate its metallicity using subsequent IR spectroscopy with 8-10 m class telescopes. By adding a constraint on the metallicity it will be possible to refine the age of the system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfgang