WorldWideScience

Sample records for transiting habitable planets

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magain P.

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tata, Ramarao; Martin, E.

    2011-09-01

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

  3. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Checlair, Jade; Abbot, Dorian S. [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Menou, Kristen, E-mail: jadecheclair@uchicago.edu [Centre for Planetary Sciences, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4 (Canada)

    2017-08-20

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO{sub 2} outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  4. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Checlair, Jade; Menou, Kristen; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2017-08-01

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO2 outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  5. No Snowball on Habitable Tidally Locked Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Checlair, Jade; Abbot, Dorian S.; Menou, Kristen

    2017-01-01

    The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All of the planets orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin–orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the effects that tidal locking might have on planetary habitability. On Earth, periods of global glaciation (snowballs) may have been essential for habitability and remote signs of life (biosignatures) because they are correlated with increases in the complexity of life and in the atmospheric oxygen concentration. In this paper, we investigate the snowball bifurcation (sudden onset of global glaciation) on tidally locked planets using both an energy balance model and an intermediate-complexity global climate model. We show that tidally locked planets are unlikely to exhibit a snowball bifurcation as a direct result of the spatial pattern of insolation they receive. Instead, they will smoothly transition from partial to complete ice coverage and back. A major implication of this work is that tidally locked planets with an active carbon cycle should not be found in a snowball state. Moreover, this work implies that tidally locked planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone with low CO 2 outgassing fluxes will equilibrate with a small unglaciated substellar region rather than cycling between warm and snowball states. More work is needed to determine how the lack of a snowball bifurcation might affect the development of life on a tidally locked planet.

  6. 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.

  7. Habitable planets with high obliquities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, D M; Kasting, J F

    1997-01-01

    Earth's obliquity would vary chaotically from 0 degrees to 85 degrees were it not for the presence of the Moon (J. Laskar, F. Joutel, and P. Robutel, 1993, Nature 361, 615-617). The Moon itself is thought to be an accident of accretion, formed by a glancing blow from a Mars-sized planetesimal. Hence, planets with similar moons and stable obliquities may be extremely rare. This has lead Laskar and colleagues to suggest that the number of Earth-like planets with high obliquities and temperate, life-supporting climates may be small. To test this proposition, we have used an energy-balance climate model to simulate Earth's climate at obliquities up to 90 degrees. We show that Earth's climate would become regionally severe in such circumstances, with large seasonal cycles and accompanying temperature extremes on middle- and high-latitude continents which might be damaging to many forms of life. The response of other, hypothetical, Earth-like planets to large obliquity fluctuations depends on their land-sea distribution and on their position within the habitable zone (HZ) around their star. Planets with several modest-sized continents or equatorial supercontinents are more climatically stable than those with polar supercontinents. Planets farther out in the HZ are less affected by high obliquities because their atmospheres should accumulate CO2 in response to the carbonate-silicate cycle. Dense, CO2-rich atmospheres transport heat very effectively and therefore limit the magnitude of both seasonal cycles and latitudinal temperature gradients. We conclude that a significant fraction of extrasolar Earth-like planets may still be habitable, even if they are subject to large obliquity fluctuations.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    A main goal of NASA's Kepler Mission is to establish the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-size planets (). Relatively few such candidates identified by the mission can be confirmed to be rocky via dynamical measurement of their mass. Here we report an effort to validate 18 of them statist...

  9. Giant Planets: Good Neighbors for Habitable Worlds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Eggl, Siegfried; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian

    2018-04-01

    The presence of giant planets influences potentially habitable worlds in numerous ways. Massive celestial neighbors can facilitate the formation of planetary cores and modify the influx of asteroids and comets toward Earth analogs later on. Furthermore, giant planets can indirectly change the climate of terrestrial worlds by gravitationally altering their orbits. Investigating 147 well-characterized exoplanetary systems known to date that host a main-sequence star and a giant planet, we show that the presence of “giant neighbors” can reduce a terrestrial planet’s chances to remain habitable, even if both planets have stable orbits. In a small fraction of systems, however, giant planets slightly increase the extent of habitable zones provided that the terrestrial world has a high climate inertia. In providing constraints on where giant planets cease to affect the habitable zone size in a detrimental fashion, we identify prime targets in the search for habitable worlds.

  10. Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Yutaka; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Sleep, Norman H; Zahnle, Kevin J

    2011-06-01

    Most discussion of habitable planets has focused on Earth-like planets with globally abundant liquid water. For an "aqua planet" like Earth, the surface freezes if far from its sun, and the water vapor greenhouse effect runs away if too close. Here we show that "land planets" (desert worlds with limited surface water) have wider habitable zones than aqua planets. For planets at the inner edge of the habitable zone, a land planet has two advantages over an aqua planet: (i) the tropics can emit longwave radiation at rates above the traditional runaway limit because the air is unsaturated and (ii) the dry air creates a dry stratosphere that limits hydrogen escape. At the outer limits of the habitable zone, the land planet better resists global freezing because there is less water for clouds, snow, and ice. Here we describe a series of numerical experiments using a simple three-dimensional global climate model for Earth-sized planets. Other things (CO(2), rotation rate, surface pressure) unchanged, we found that liquid water remains stable at the poles of a low-obliquity land planet until net insolation exceeds 415 W/m(2) (170% that of modern Earth), compared to 330 W/m(2) (135%) for the aqua planet. At the outer limits, we found that a low-obliquity land planet freezes at 77%, while the aqua planet freezes at 90%. High-obliquity land and aqua planets freeze at 58% and 72%, respectively, with the poles offering the last refuge. We show that it is possible that, as the Sun brightens, an aqua planet like Earth can lose most of its hydrogen and become a land planet without first passing through a sterilizing runaway greenhouse. It is possible that Venus was a habitable land planet as recently as 1 billion years ago.

  11. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Frank; Chassefière, Eric; Breuer, Doris; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Kulikov, Yuri N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Biernat, Helfried K; Leblanc, Francois; Kallio, Esa; Lundin, Richard; Westall, Frances; Bauer, Siegfried J; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Gröller, Hannes; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Hausleitner, Walter; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Leitzinger, Martin; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Motschmann, Uwe; Odert, Petra; Paresce, Francesco; Parnell, John; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rauer, Heike; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Spohn, Tilman; Stadelmann, Anja; Stangl, Günter; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active over billions of years. These geophysically active environments are strongly coupled to a planet's host star parameters, such as mass, luminosity and activity, orbit location of the habitable zone, and the planet's initial water inventory. Depending on the host star's radiation and particle flux evolution, the composition in the thermosphere, and the availability of an active magnetic dynamo, the atmospheres of Earth-like planets within their habitable zones are differently affected due to thermal and nonthermal escape processes. For some planets, strong atmospheric escape could even effect the stability of the atmosphere.

  12. Host Star Evolution for Planet Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallet, Florian; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis

    2016-11-01

    With about 2000 exoplanets discovered within a large range of different configurations of distance from the star, size, mass, and atmospheric conditions, the concept of habitability cannot rely only on the stellar effective temperature anymore. In addition to the natural evolution of habitability with the intrinsic stellar parameters, tidal, magnetic, and atmospheric interactions are believed to have strong impact on the relative position of the planets inside the so-called habitable zone. Moreover, the notion of habitability itself strongly depends on the definition we give to the term "habitable". The aim of this contribution is to provide a global and up-to-date overview of the work done during the last few years about the description and the modelling of the habitability, and to present the physical processes currently includes in this description.

  13. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Gonzalez

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe.

  14. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe. PMID:25370028

  15. A Maximum Radius for Habitable Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibert, Yann

    2015-09-01

    We compute the maximum radius a planet can have in order to fulfill two constraints that are likely necessary conditions for habitability: 1- surface temperature and pressure compatible with the existence of liquid water, and 2- no ice layer at the bottom of a putative global ocean, that would prevent the operation of the geologic carbon cycle to operate. We demonstrate that, above a given radius, these two constraints cannot be met: in the Super-Earth mass range (1-12 Mearth), the overall maximum that a planet can have varies between 1.8 and 2.3 Rearth. This radius is reduced when considering planets with higher Fe/Si ratios, and taking into account irradiation effects on the structure of the gas envelope.

  16. Exotic Earths: forming habitable worlds with giant planet migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Sean N; Mandell, Avi M; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2006-09-08

    Close-in giant planets (e.g., "hot Jupiters") are thought to form far from their host stars and migrate inward, through the terrestrial planet zone, via torques with a massive gaseous disk. Here we simulate terrestrial planet growth during and after giant planet migration. Several-Earth-mass planets also form interior to the migrating jovian planet, analogous to recently discovered "hot Earths." Very-water-rich, Earth-mass planets form from surviving material outside the giant planet's orbit, often in the habitable zone and with low orbital eccentricities. More than a third of the known systems of giant planets may harbor Earth-like planets.

  17. Geology and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Fishbaugh, Kathryn E; Raulin, François; Marais, David J; Korablev, Oleg

    2007-01-01

    Given the fundamental importance of and universal interest in whether extraterrestrial life has developed or could eventually develop in our solar system and beyond, it is vital that an examination of planetary habitability goes beyond simple assumptions such as, "Where there is water, there is life." This book has resulted from a workshop at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland (5-9 September 2005) that brought together planetary geologists, geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, and biologists to discuss the multi-faceted problem of how the habitability of a planet co-evolves with the geology of the surface and interior, the atmosphere, and the magnetosphere. Each of the six chapters has been written by authors with a range of expertise so that each chapter is itself multi-disciplinary, comprehensive, and accessible to scientists in all disciplines. These chapters delve into what life needs to exist and ultimately to thrive, the early environments of the young terrestrial pl...

  18. Blue Marble: Remote Characterization of Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolf, Neville; Lewis, Brian; Chartres, James; Genova, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    The study of the nature and distribution of habitable environments beyond the Solar System is a key area for Astrobiology research. At the present time, our Earth is the only habitable planet that can be characterized in the same way that we might characterize planets beyond the Solar System. Due to limitations in our current and near-future technology, it is likely that extra-solar planets will be observed as single-pixel objects. To understand this data, we must develop skills in analyzing and interpreting the radiation obtained from a single pixel. These skills must include the study of the time variation of the radiation, and the range of its photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric properties. In addition, to understand whether we are properly analyzing the single pixel data, we need to compare it with a ground truth of modest resolution images in key spectral bands. This paper discusses the concept for a mission called Blue Marble that would obtain data of the Earth using a combination of spectropolarimetry, spectrophotometry, and selected band imaging. To obtain imagery of the proper resolution, it is desirable to place the Blue Marble spacecraft no closer than the outer region of cis-lunar space. This paper explores a conceptual mission design that takes advantage of low-cost launchers, bus designs and mission elements to provide a cost effective observing platform located at one of the stable Earth-moon Lagrangian points (L4, L5). The mission design allows for the development and use of novel technologies, such as a spinning moon sensor for attitude control, and leverages lessons-learned from previous low-cost spacecraft such as Lunar Prospector to yield a low-risk mission concept.

  19. Characterizing the Habitable Zone Planets of Kepler Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Debra

    Planet Hunters (PH) is a well-established and successful web interface that allows citizen scientists to search for transiting planets in the NASA Kepler public archive data. Over the past 3 years, our users have made more than 20 million light curve classifications. We now have more than 300,000 users around the world. However, more than half of the Kepler data has not yet been displayed to our volunteers. In June 2014 we are launching Planet Hunters v2.0. The backend of the site has been completely redesigned. The new website is more intuitive and faster; we have improved the real-time weighting algorithm that assigns transit scores for faster and more accurate extraction of the transit events from the database. With Planet Hunters v2.0, we expect that assessments will be ten times faster, so that we have the opportunity to complete the classifications for the backlog of Kepler light curve in the next three years. There are three goals for this project. First, we will data-mine the PH classifications to search for long period planets with fewer than 5 transit events. We have demonstrated that our volunteers are efficient at detecting planets with long periods and radii greater than a few REARTH. This region of parameter space is optimal for characterizing larger planets orbiting close to the habitable zone. To build upon the citizen science efforts, we will model the light curves, search for evidence of false positives, and contribute observations of stellar spectra to refine both the stellar and orbital parameters. Second, we will carry out a careful analysis of the fraction of transits that are missed (a function of planet radius and orbital period) to derive observational incompleteness factors. The incompleteness factors will be combined with geometrical detection factors to assess the planet occurrence rate for wide separations. This is a unique scientific contribution current studies of planet occurrence rate are either restricted to orbital periods shorter

  20. Detecting New Planets in Transiting Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Steffen, Jason H.

    2006-01-01

    I present an initial investigation into a new planet detection technique that uses the transit timing of a known, transiting planet. The transits of a solitary planet orbiting a star occur at equally spaced intervals in time. If a second planet is present, dynamical interactions within the system will cause the time interval between transits to vary. These transit time variations can be used to infer the orbital elements of the unseen, perturbing planet. I show analytic expressions for the am...

  1. What makes a planet habitable, and how to search for habitable planets in other solar systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papagiannis, M D

    1992-06-01

    The availability of liquid water is the most important factor that makes a planet habitable, because water is a very effective polar molecule and hence an excellent solvent and facilitator for the complex chemistry of life. Its presence presupposes a planet with a significant mass that guarantees the presence of a substantial atmosphere, and a reasonable spinning rate to avoid overheating. It also implies that the planet is at moderate distances from its central star, a range that is called the Ecosphere or the Habitable Zone. Since the evolution of life to high intelligence seems to take billions of years, it requires also that the central star must be neither too massive, that will produce a lot of lethal UV radiation and will have too short a life-span to allow life to evolve, nor of very small mass which will be producing too feeble a radiation to sustain life. The detection of free Oxygen in the atmosphere of a planet is a very strong evidence for the presence of life, because Oxygen is highly reactive and would rapidly disappear by combining with other elements, unless it is continuously replenished by life as the by-product of the process of photosynthesis that builds food for life (sugars) from CO2 and H2O.

  2. An estimate of the prevalence of biocompatible and habitable planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogg, M J

    1992-01-01

    A Monte Carlo computer model of extra-solar planetary formation and evolution, which includes the planetary geochemical carbon cycle, is presented. The results of a run of one million galactic disc stars are shown where the aim was to assess the possible abundance of both biocompatible and habitable planets. (Biocompatible planets are defined as worlds where the long-term presence of surface liquid water provides environmental conditions suitable for the origin and evolution of life. Habitable planets are those worlds with more specifically Earthlike conditions). The model gives an estimate of 1 biocompatible planet per 39 stars, with the subset of habitable planets being much rarer at 1 such planet per 413 stars. The nearest biocompatible planet may thus lie approximately 14 LY distant and the nearest habitable planet approximately 31 LY away. If planets form in multiple star systems then the above planet/star ratios may be more than doubled. By applying the results to stars in the solar neighbourhood, it is possible to identify 28 stars at distances of < 22 LY with a non-zero probability of possessing a biocompatible planet.

  3. Planet Hunters. V. A Confirmed Jupiter-Size Planet in the Habitable Zone and 42 Planet Candidates from the Kepler Archive Data

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Barclay, Thomas; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Crepp, Justin R.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Jek, Kian J.; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin; Schmitt, Joseph; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Lynn, Stuart

    2013-01-01

    We report the latest Planet Hunter results, including PH2 b, a Jupiter-size (R_PL = 10.12 \\pm 0.56 R_E) planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a solar-type star. PH2 b was elevated from candidate status when a series of false positive tests yielded a 99.9% confidence level that transit events detected around the star KIC 12735740 had a planetary origin. Planet Hunter volunteers have also discovered 42 new planet candidates in the Kepler public archive data, of which 33 have at least three t...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  5. A cloaking device for transiting planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipping, David M.; Teachey, Alex

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Three Small Planets Transiting a Hyades Star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

    .55}-0.21+0.24 {R}\\oplus , respectively. With an age of 600–800 Myr, these planets are some of the smallest and youngest transiting planets known. Due to the relatively bright (J = 9.1) host star, the planets are compelling targets for future characterization via radial velocity mass measurements and transmission...

  7. Three Small Planets Transiting a Hyades Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingston, John H.; Dai, Fei; Hirano, Teruyuki; Gandolfi, Davide; Nowak, Grzegorz; Endl, Michael; Velasco, Sergio; Fukui, Akihiko; Narita, Norio; Prieto-Arranz, Jorge; Barragan, Oscar; Cusano, Felice; Albrecht, Simon; Cabrera, Juan; Cochran, William D.; Csizmadia, Szilard; Deeg, Hans J.; Eigmüller, Philipp; Erikson, Anders; Fridlund, Malcolm; Grziwa, Sascha; Guenther, Eike W.; Hatzes, Artie P.; Kawauchi, Kiyoe; Korth, Judith; Nespral, David; Palle, Enric; Pätzold, Martin; Persson, Carina M.; Rauer, Heike; Smith, Alexis M. S.; Tamura, Motohide; Tanaka, Yusuke; Van Eylen, Vincent; Watanabe, Noriharu; Winn, Joshua N.

    2018-03-01

    We present the discovery of three small planets transiting K2-136 (LP 358 348, EPIC 247589423), a late K dwarf in the Hyades. The planets have orbital periods of 7.9757 ± 0.0011, {17.30681}-0.00036+0.00034, and {25.5715}-0.0040+0.0038 {days}, and radii of 1.05 ± 0.16, 3.14 ± 0.36, and {1.55}-0.21+0.24 {R}\\oplus , respectively. With an age of 600–800 Myr, these planets are some of the smallest and youngest transiting planets known. Due to the relatively bright (J = 9.1) host star, the planets are compelling targets for future characterization via radial velocity mass measurements and transmission spectroscopy. As the first known star with multiple transiting planets in a cluster, the system should be helpful for testing theories of planet formation and migration.

  8. The occurrence of Jovian planets and the habitability of planetary systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, J

    2001-01-30

    Planets of mass comparable to or larger than Jupiter's have been detected around over 50 stars, and for one such object a definitive test of its nature as a gas giant has been accomplished with data from an observed planetary transit. By virtue of their strong gravitational pull, giant planets define the dynamical and collisional environment within which terrestrial planets form. In our solar system, the position and timing of the formation of Jupiter determined the amount and source of the volatiles from which Earth's oceans and the source elements for life were derived. This paper reviews and brings together diverse observational and modeling results to infer the frequency and distribution of giant planets around solar-type stars and to assess implications for the habitability of terrestrial planets.

  9. An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V; Barclay, Thomas; Raymond, Sean N; Rowe, Jason F; Bolmont, Emeline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Howell, Steve B; Kane, Stephen R; Huber, Daniel; Crepp, Justin R; Lissauer, Jack J; Ciardi, David R; Coughlin, Jeffrey L; Everett, Mark E; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Ford, Eric B; Adams, Fred C; Still, Martin; Hunter, Roger C; Quarles, Billy; Selsis, Franck

    2014-04-18

    The quest for Earth-like planets is a major focus of current exoplanet research. Although planets that are Earth-sized and smaller have been detected, these planets reside in orbits that are too close to their host star to allow liquid water on their surfaces. We present the detection of Kepler-186f, a 1.11 ± 0.14 Earth-radius planet that is the outermost of five planets, all roughly Earth-sized, that transit a 0.47 ± 0.05 solar-radius star. The intensity and spectrum of the star's radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone, implying that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, then some of this water is likely to be in liquid form.

  10. Habitability of extrasolar planets and tidal spin evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Barnes, Rory; Leconte, Jérémy

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Habitable Planets with Dynamic System of Global Air-Liquid-Solid Planet and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miura, Y.; Kato, T.

    2017-11-01

    Habitable zone is dynamic three phase states (air-liquid-solid), which will be obtained in water-planet with volatile exchanges. Water and carbon-bearing grains at older extraterrestrial stones suggest that there are no global ocean water system.

  12. Detecting Markers of Intelligent Life In Habitable-Zone Earth-like Planets Orbiting White Dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    Constantin, Ana-Maria

    2015-01-01

    The possibility of not being alone in the Universe and of finding another form of civilization has always been an interesting and controversial topic. In this paper we are developing a model for the detection of intelligent life-markers on Earth-like planets transiting white dwarfs, by analyzing their atmospheres. It has already been noted that white dwarfs have long-lived habitable zones that may be hosting planets (3 Gyr), which is why we are pointing towards them as a potential source for ...

  13. Pathways Towards Habitable Planets: Capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture (6.5 meter), cryogenic space telescope with a suite of near and mid-infrared instruments covering the wavelength range of 0.6 m to 28 m. JWST s primary science goal is to detect and characterize the first galaxies. It will also study the assembly of galaxies, star formation, and the formation of evolution of planetary systems. We also review the expected scientific performance of the observatory for observations of exosolar planets by means of transit photometry and spectroscopy, and direct coronagraphic imaging and address its role in the search for habitable planets.

  14. TWO SMALL PLANETS TRANSITING HD 3167

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-09-20

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

  15. TWO SMALL PLANETS TRANSITING HD 3167

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Atmospheric escape from the TRAPPIST-1 planets and implications for habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Jin, Meng; Lingam, Manasvi; Airapetian, Vladimir S; Ma, Yingjuan; van der Holst, Bart

    2018-01-09

    The presence of an atmosphere over sufficiently long timescales is widely perceived as one of the most prominent criteria associated with planetary surface habitability. We address the crucial question of whether the seven Earth-sized planets transiting the recently discovered ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are capable of retaining their atmospheres. To this effect, we carry out numerical simulations to characterize the stellar wind of TRAPPIST-1 and the atmospheric ion escape rates for all of the seven planets. We also estimate the escape rates analytically and demonstrate that they are in good agreement with the numerical results. We conclude that the outer planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are capable of retaining their atmospheres over billion-year timescales. The consequences arising from our results are also explored in the context of abiogenesis, biodiversity, and searches for future exoplanets. In light of the many unknowns and assumptions involved, we recommend that these conclusions must be interpreted with due caution.

  17. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Haghighipour, Nader

    2013-01-01

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the α Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of α Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the α Centauri system.

  18. Which Type of Planets do We Expect to Observe in the Habitable Zone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adibekyan, Vardan; Figueira, Pedro; Santos, Nuno C

    2016-11-01

    We used a sample of super-Earth-like planets detected by the Doppler spectroscopy and transit techniques to explore the dependence of orbital parameters of the planets on the metallicity of their host stars. We confirm the previous results (although still based on small samples of planets) that super-Earths orbiting around metal-rich stars are not observed to be as distant from their host stars as we observe their metal-poor counterparts to be. The orbits of these super-Earths with metal-rich hosts usually do not reach into the Habitable Zone (HZ), keeping them very hot and inhabitable. We found that most of the known planets in the HZ are orbiting their GK-type hosts which are metal-poor. The metal-poor nature of planets in the HZ suggests a high Mg abundance relative to Si and high Si abundance relative to Fe. These results lead us to speculate that HZ planets might be more frequent in the ancient Galaxy and had compositions different from that of our Earth.

  19. Space Physics of Close-in Exoplanets and its Implications for Planet Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Ofer

    2015-04-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets is currently focused on planets orbiting M-dwarf stars, due to the close proximity of the habitable zone to the star. However, the traditional habitability definition does not account for the physical space environment near the planets, which can be extreme at close-in orbits, and can lead to erosion of te planetary atmosphere. In order to sustain their atmosphers, M-dwarf planets need to have either an intrinsic magnetic field, or a thick atmosphere. Here we present a set of numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the interaction of an Earth-like magnetized planet and a Venus-like non-magnetized planet with the stellar wind of M-dwarf star. We study space physics aspects of these interactions and their implications for planet habitability

  20. The NGCSU Extrasolar Planet Transit Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. H.

    2000-12-01

    Since the first published reports of the detection of the extra-solar planet transit of HD 209458 (Henry, et al. 2000, ApJ, 529, L41; Charbonneau, et al. 2000, ApJ, 529, L45), we have been attempting to detect and measure the transits with high enough accuracy for useful data analysis of the light curves. Our goal is to improve our observational and data analysis techniques, and hopefully upgrade our equipment, until we are able to reliably acquire milli-magnitude multiband photometry of HD 209458 both on and off transit. We believe our observatory can fill a useful niche in the long term monitoring of HD 209458 and other such planet-transit stars that will surely be discovered in the future. There is also an important astronomy education component to our project as well. The chance for our undergraduate Physics majors to participate in important publishable research can be a great motivating factor for them to continue their academic careers into graduate school. Furthermore, the fact that they have participated in such a project makes our graduates more "marketable" to the graduate schools. We also have a high school teacher and student currently participating in our project. This shows the project is useful in providing astronomy outreach beyond our local institution. We report here on our first detection of the planet-transit during the night of August 15-16, 2000 and also present our data from a series of transits during the month of October, 2000. Finally, we will present the project's current status at the time of the meeting.

  1. Beyond the principle of plentitude: a review of terrestrial planet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, E; Deschenes, B; Dundon, L; Fagan, K; Menviel-Hessler, L; Moskovitz, N; Workman, M

    2005-04-01

    We review recent work that directly or indirectly addresses the habitability of terrestrial (rocky) planets like the Earth. Habitability has been traditionally defined in terms of an orbital semimajor axis within a range known as the habitable zone, but it is also well known that the habitability of Earth is due to many other astrophysical, geological, and geochemical factors. We focus this review on (1) recent refinements to habitable zone calculations; (2) the formation and orbital stability of terrestrial planets; (3) the tempo and mode of geologic activity (e.g., plate tectonics) on terrestrial planets; (4) the delivery of water to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone; and (5) the acquisition and loss of terrestrial planet carbon and nitrogen, elements that constitute important atmospheric gases responsible for habitable conditions on Earth's surface as well as being the building blocks of the biosphere itself. Finally, we consider recent work on evidence for the earliest habitable environments and the appearance of life itself on our planet. Such evidence provides us with an important, if nominal, calibration point for our search for other habitable worlds.

  2. A rocky planet transiting a nearby low-mass star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berta-Thompson, Zachory K; Irwin, Jonathan; Charbonneau, David; Newton, Elisabeth R; Dittmann, Jason A; Astudillo-Defru, Nicola; Bonfils, Xavier; Gillon, Michaël; Jehin, Emmanuël; Stark, Antony A; Stalder, Brian; Bouchy, Francois; Delfosse, Xavier; Forveille, Thierry; Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Neves, Vasco; Pepe, Francesco; Santos, Nuno C; Udry, Stéphane; Wünsche, Anaël

    2015-11-12

    M-dwarf stars--hydrogen-burning stars that are smaller than 60 per cent of the size of the Sun--are the most common class of star in our Galaxy and outnumber Sun-like stars by a ratio of 12:1. Recent results have shown that M dwarfs host Earth-sized planets in great numbers: the average number of M-dwarf planets that are between 0.5 to 1.5 times the size of Earth is at least 1.4 per star. The nearest such planets known to transit their star are 39 parsecs away, too distant for detailed follow-up observations to measure the planetary masses or to study their atmospheres. Here we report observations of GJ 1132b, a planet with a size of 1.2 Earth radii that is transiting a small star 12 parsecs away. Our Doppler mass measurement of GJ 1132b yields a density consistent with an Earth-like bulk composition, similar to the compositions of the six known exoplanets with masses less than six times that of the Earth and precisely measured densities. Receiving 19 times more stellar radiation than the Earth, the planet is too hot to be habitable but is cool enough to support a substantial atmosphere, one that has probably been considerably depleted of hydrogen. Because the host star is nearby and only 21 per cent the radius of the Sun, existing and upcoming telescopes will be able to observe the composition and dynamics of the planetary atmosphere.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quintana, Elisa V. [SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Lissauer, Jack J., E-mail: elisa.quintana@nasa.gov [Space Science and Astrobiology Division 245-3, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M {sub ⊕} to 1 M {sub J}) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  5. STABILITY OF ADDITIONAL PLANETS IN AND AROUND THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE HD 47186 PLANETARY SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Raymond, Sean N.; Barnes, Rory

    2009-01-01

    We study the dynamical stability of an additional, potentially habitable planet in the HD 47186 planetary system. Two planets are currently known in this system: a 'hot Neptune' with a period of 4.08 days and a Saturn-mass planet with a period of 3.7 years. Here we consider the possibility that one or more undetected planets exist between the two known planets and possibly within the habitable zone (HZ) in this system. Given the relatively low masses of the known planets, additional planets could have masses ∼ + , and hence be terrestrial-like and further improving potential habitability. We perform N-body simulations to identify the stable zone between planets b and c and find that much of the inner HZ can harbor a 10 M + planet. With the current radial velocity threshold of ∼1 m s -1 , an additional planet should be detectable if it lies at the inner edge of the habitable zone at 0.8 AU. We also show that the stable zone could contain two additional planets of 10 M + each if their eccentricities are lower than ∼0.3.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Su; Zhou Jilin

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Scenarios of giant planet formation and evolution and their impact on the formation of habitable terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2014-04-28

    In our Solar System, there is a clear divide between the terrestrial and giant planets. These two categories of planets formed and evolved separately, almost in isolation from each other. This was possible because Jupiter avoided migrating into the inner Solar System, most probably due to the presence of Saturn, and never acquired a large-eccentricity orbit, even during the phase of orbital instability that the giant planets most likely experienced. Thus, the Earth formed on a time scale of several tens of millions of years, by collision of Moon- to Mars-mass planetary embryos, in a gas-free and volatile-depleted environment. We do not expect, however, that this clear cleavage between the giant and terrestrial planets is generic. In many extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date, the giant planets migrated into the vicinity of the parent star and/or acquired eccentric orbits. In this way, the evolution and destiny of the giant and terrestrial planets become intimately linked. This paper discusses several evolutionary patterns for the giant planets, with an emphasis on the consequences for the formation and survival of habitable terrestrial planets. The conclusion is that we should not expect Earth-like planets to be typical in terms of physical and orbital properties and accretion history. Most habitable worlds are probably different, exotic worlds.

  8. Photometric Defocus Observations of Transiting Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias C. Hinse

    2015-03-01

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

  9. ROTATIONAL SYNCHRONIZATION MAY ENHANCE HABITABILITY FOR CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS: KEPLER BINARY CASE STUDIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, Paul A. [Department of Physics, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A. [FACom-Instituto de Fisica-FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellin (Colombia); Clark, Joni M. [Department of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, New Mexico State University-DACC, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States)

    2013-09-10

    We report a mechanism capable of reducing (or increasing) stellar activity in binary stars, thereby potentially enhancing (or destroying) circumbinary habitability. In single stars, stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres causes mass-loss, which is especially detrimental for late-type stars, because habitable zones are very close and activity is long lasting. In binaries, tidal rotational breaking reduces magnetic activity, thus reducing harmful levels of X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) radiation and stellar mass-loss that are able to erode planetary atmospheres. We study this mechanism for all confirmed circumbinary (p-type) planets. We find that main sequence twins provide minimal flux variation and in some cases improved environments if the stars rotationally synchronize within the first Gyr. Solar-like twins, like Kepler 34 and Kepler 35, provide low habitable zone XUV fluxes and stellar wind pressures. These wide, moist, habitable zones may potentially support multiple habitable planets. Solar-type stars with lower mass companions, like Kepler 47, allow for protected planets over a wide range of secondary masses and binary periods. Kepler 38 and related binaries are marginal cases. Kepler 64 and analogs have dramatically reduced stellar aggression due to synchronization of the primary, but are limited by the short lifetime. Kepler 16 appears to be inhospitable to planets due to extreme XUV flux. These results have important implications for estimates of the number of stellar systems containing habitable planets in the Galaxy and allow for the selection of binaries suitable for follow-up searches for habitable planets.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agol, Eric

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Habitability of planets on eccentric orbits: limits of the mean flux approximation??

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolmont, Emeline; Libert, Anne-Sophie; Leconte, Jeremy; Selsis, Franck

    2015-07-01

    A few of the planets found in the insolation habitable zone (as defined by Kasting et al. 1993) are on eccentric orbits, such as HD 136118 b (eccentricity of ˜0.3, Wittenmyer et al. 2009). This raises the question of the potential habitability of planets that only spend a fraction of their orbit in the habitable zone. Usually for a planet of semi-major axis a and eccentricity e, the averaged flux over one orbit received by the planet is considered. This averaged flux corresponds to the flux received by a planet on a circular orbit of radius r = a(1-eˆ2)ˆ1/4. If this orbital distance is within the habitable zone, the planet is considered "habitable". However, for a hot star, for which the habitable zone is far from the star, the climate can be degraded when the planet is temporarily outside the habitable zone. The influence of the orbital eccentricity of a planet on its climate has already been studied for Earth-like conditions (same star, same rotation period), with Global Climate Models (GCM) such as in Williams & Pollard 2002 and Linsenmeier et al. 2014. Spiegel 2010 and Dressing et al. 2010 have also studied the effect of eccentricity for more diverse conditions with energy-balanced models. We performed a set of simulations using the Global Climate Model LMDz (Wordsworth et al. 2011, Forget et al. 2013, Leconte et al. 2013). We computed the climate of aqua planets receiving a mean flux equal to Earth's, around stars of luminosity ranging from 1 Lsun to 10-4 Lsun and of orbital eccentricity from 0 to 0.9. We show the limits of the mean flux approximation, depending on the previous parameters and also the thermal inertia of oceans.

  13. THE HUNT FOR EXOMOONS WITH KEPLER (HEK). III. THE FIRST SEARCH FOR AN EXOMOON AROUND A HABITABLE-ZONE PLANET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kipping, D. M. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Forgan, D. [Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA), Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ (United Kingdom); Hartman, J.; Bakos, G. Á. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 05844 (United States); Nesvorný, D. [Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States); Schmitt, A.; Buchhave, L., E-mail: dkipping@cfa.harvard.edu [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University (Denmark)

    2013-11-10

    Kepler-22b is the first transiting planet to have been detected in the habitable zone of its host star. At 2.4 R{sub ⊕}, Kepler-22b is too large to be considered an Earth analog, but should the planet host a moon large enough to maintain an atmosphere, then the Kepler-22 system may yet possess a telluric world. Aside from being within the habitable zone, the target is attractive due to the availability of previously measured precise radial velocities and low intrinsic photometric noise, which has also enabled asteroseismology studies of the star. For these reasons, Kepler-22b was selected as a target-of-opportunity by the 'Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler' (HEK) project. In this work, we conduct a photodynamical search for an exomoon around Kepler-22b leveraging the transits, radial velocities, and asteroseismology plus several new tools developed by the HEK project to improve exomoon searches. We find no evidence for an exomoon around the planet and exclude moons of mass M{sub S} > 0.5 M{sub ⊕} to 95% confidence. By signal injection and blind retrieval, we demonstrate that an Earth-like moon is easily detected for this planet even when the time-correlated noise of the data set is taken into account. We provide updated parameters for the planet Kepler-22b, including a revised mass of M{sub P} < 53 M{sub ⊕} to 95% confidence and an eccentricity of 0.13{sub -0.13}{sup +0.36} by exploiting Single-body Asterodensity Profiling. Finally, we show that Kepler-22b has a >95% probability of being within the empirical habitable zone but a <5% probability of being within the conservative habitable zone.

  14. A Test of Stellar Cohabitation in Multiple Transiting Planet Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morehead, Robert C.; Ford, E. B.

    2013-01-01

    The Kepler mission has discovered over 2,300 exoplanet candidates, including more than 885 associated with target stars with multiple transiting planet candidates. While these putative multiple planet systems are predicted to have an extremely low false positive rate, it is important to test what fraction are indeed transiting a single star and what fraction are some sort of blend (e.g., one transiting planet and an eclipsing binary, or two planet-hosting stars blended within the photometric aperture). We perform such a test for stellar cohabitation using the observed distribution of ξ, the period-normalized transit duration ratio of pairs of transiting planet candidates. We developed a Bayesian framework to estimate the probability that two candidates orbit the target star based on the observed orbital periods and light curve properties with an emphasis on ξ. For priors distributions, we use empirical planet, binary star, and hierarchical triple star occurrence rates and galactic population synthesis models. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we calculate the implied distributions of ξ for all plausible blend scenarios; i.e., a planet around the target star and a background or physically associated eclipsing binary star, a planet around the the target star and a planet around a background or physically associated secondary star, as well as a single star with two planets and no blend. Finally, we compute the posterior probability that a given pair of transiting planet candidates are indeed a pair of planets in orbit around the target star given the observed values. We present the results of our test for a selection Kepler multiple planet candidates and for systems confirmed through other methods, such as transit timing variations. We demonstrate the utility of this technique for the confirmation and characterization of multiple transiting planet systems.

  15. Star Masses and Star-Planet Distances for Earth-like Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltham, David

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M ⊙ planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M ⊙  < M < 1.64 M ⊙ . Key Words: Habitability-Habitable zone-Anthropic-Red dwarfs-Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61-77.

  16. Worlds beyond our own the search for habitable planets

    CERN Document Server

    Sengupta, Sujan

    2015-01-01

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

  17. A Study of the UV Environment for Three Small Planets Transiting a Nearby M-Dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    2017-08-01

    We propose to measure the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum of the M-dwarf K2-3. This nearby system hosts three transiting super-Earths, including one that is a possible candidate to host life. All three planets are excellent targets for atmospheric study, and raise the exciting prospect of comparative planetology with the newly discovered seven planet TRAPPIST-1 system.However, M-dwarfs are bright and active in the UV, which can push their planets' atmospheres out of chemical equilibrium and drive atmospheric mass loss. Some of the most strongly affected molecules, including water, methane, and ozone, are key diagnostics of the planets' formation history, habitability, and even inhabitation. Our measurement of K2-3's UV spectrum will allow us to characterize the impact of photochemistry and mass loss on the planets' atmospheres, thus providing an essential foundation for future investigations of this benchmark system.

  18. 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.

  19. ENHANCED INTERFEROMETRIC IDENTIFICATION OF SPECTRA IN HABITABLE EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. WFIRST: Discovery and characterization of planets in the habitable zone with the CGI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Jason; Meshkat, Tiffany; Frerking, Margaret; Mennesson, Bertrand; Turnbull, Margaret; Macintosh, Bruce; Kasdin, Jeremy

    2018-01-01

    The WFIRST coronagraph instrument (CGI) will be the first coronagraph with wavefront control in space, with an expected instrumental raw contrast of 3*10^-9 at 150 milliarcseconds in the V band. The CGI will be capable of directly imaging and characterizing mature exoplanets in reflected light for the first time, with a prime focus on stars with known radial velocity (RV) planets. The majority of these RV planet hosting stars are at relatively far distances for coronagraphic imaging of their inner habitable zone. However, the recent discovery of four radial velocity planets around the near G-type star Tau Ceti (3.7 pc), including two potential super-Earths located at the edges of its habitable zone, provides a great new opportunity for direct imaging with the WFIRST/CGI. This underscores the importance of the continued search for radial velocity planets around nearby host stars, as it may reveal additional discoveries of planets in the habitable zone which then can be characterized by the WFIRST/CGI. Finally, the CGI may also detect habitable zone planets through blind searches around the very nearest stars (<5pc), and we also examine this potential here.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory; Heller, René

    2013-03-01

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

  3. The metallicities of stars with and without transiting planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Latham, David W.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-08-10

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. On the Possibility of Habitable Trojan Planets in Binary Star Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Richard; Funk, Barbara; Bazsó, Ákos

    2015-12-01

    Approximately 60% of all stars in the solar neighbourhood (up to 80% in our Milky Way) are members of binary or multiple star systems. This fact led to the speculations that many more planets may exist in binary systems than are currently known. To estimate the habitability of exoplanetary systems, we have to define the so-called habitable zone (HZ). The HZ is defined as a region around a star where a planet would receive enough radiation to maintain liquid water on its surface and to be able to build a stable atmosphere. We search for new dynamical configurations-where planets may stay in stable orbits-to increase the probability to find a planet like the Earth.

  10. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. DETERMINATION OF THE INTERIOR STRUCTURE OF TRANSITING PLANETS IN MULTIPLE-PLANET SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batygin, Konstantin; Bodenheimer, Peter; Laughlin, Gregory

    2009-01-01

    Tidal dissipation within a short-period transiting extrasolar planet perturbed by a companion object can drive orbital evolution of the system to a so-called tidal fixed point, in which the apses of the transiting planet and its perturber are aligned, and variations in orbital eccentricities vanish. Significant contribution to the apsidal precession rate is made by gravitational quadrupole fields, created by the transiting planets tidal and rotational distortions. The fixed-point orbital eccentricity of the inner planet is therefore a strong function of its interior structure. We illustrate these ideas in the specific context of the recently discovered HAT-P-13 exoplanetary system, and show that one can already glean important insights into the physical properties of the inner transiting planet. We present structural models of the planet, which indicate that its observed radius can be maintained for a one-parameter sequence of models that properly vary core mass and tidal energy dissipation in the interior. We use an octupole-order secular theory of the orbital dynamics to derive the dependence of the inner planet's eccentricity, e b , on its tidal Love number, k 2b . We find that the currently measured eccentricity, e b = 0.021 ± 0.009, implies 0.116 2b + core + , and 10, 000 b < 300, 000. Improved measurement of the eccentricity will soon allow for far tighter limits to be placed on all of these quantities, and will provide an unprecedented probe into the interior structure of an extrasolar planet.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. The occurrence of Jovian planets and the habitability of planetary systems

    OpenAIRE

    Lunine, Jonathan I.

    2001-01-01

    Planets of mass comparable to or larger than Jupiter's have been detected around over 50 stars, and for one such object a definitive test of its nature as a gas giant has been accomplished with data from an observed planetary transit. By virtue of their strong gravitational pull, giant planets define the dynamical and collisional environment within which terrestrial planets form. In our solar system, the position and timing of the formation of Jupiter determined the am...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Transits of planets with small intervals in circumbinary systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Transiting Planets from Kepler, K2 & TESS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Automated Astrophysical False Positive Analysis of Transiting Planet Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Timothy

    2015-08-01

    Beginning with Kepler, but continuing with K2 and TESS, transiting planet candidates are now found at a much faster rate than follow-up observations can be obtained. Thus, distinguishing true planet candidates from astrophysical false positives has become primarily a statistical exercise. I will describe a new publicly available open-source Python package for analyzing the astrophysical false positive probabilities of transiting exoplanet signals. In addition, I will present results of applying this analysis to both Kepler and K2 planet candidates, resulting in the probabilistic validation of thousands of exoplanets, as well as identifying many likely false positives.

  1. The Properties of Exomoons Around the Habitable Zone Planets, Kepler 22b and HD160691b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokorney, Jake; Fuse, Christopher R.

    2016-01-01

    As part of a larger study to understand the formation, evolution, and stability of exoplanet satellites, we have examined the Kepler 22 and HD160691 systems. Habitable zone planets (Kopparapu et al. 2013) are found in each system, with Kepler 22b at 0.85 AU and HD160691b at 1.5 AU. While these planets may be habitable, systems of satellites also hold the potential of supporting life. A series of N-body simulations were performed to examine the most stable configuration of moons orbiting each planet. A moonlet disk was designed to span 10 - 80% of the planet's Hill sphere (Ksting et al. 1993). The 100 bodies (mdisk/mplanet = 2 × 10-4) within the disk were randomly placed around each planet. Simulations were run for 500 kyrs, with the star, planets, and moonlets allowed to gravitationally evolve. The Kepler 22b system was able to retain three to four moons in 96% of the simulations, while the HD160691b systems had a stable pair of moons in 73% of the simulations. The remaining simulations produced systems with moons on highly eccentric orbits.

  2. ON THE VALIDITY OF THE 'HILL RADIUS CRITERION' FOR THE EJECTION OF PLANETS FROM STELLAR HABITABLE ZONES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cuntz, M.; Yeager, K. E.

    2009-01-01

    We challenge the customary assumption that the entering of an Earth-mass planet into the Hill radius (or multiples of the Hill radius) of a giant planet is a valid criterion for its ejection from the star-planet system. This assumption has widely been used in previous studies, especially those with an astrobiological focus. As intriguing examples, we explore the dynamics of the systems HD 20782 and HD 188015. Each system possesses a giant planet that remains in or crosses into the stellar habitable zone, thus effectively thwarting the possibility of habitable terrestrial planets. In the case of HD 188015, the orbit of the giant planet is almost circular, whereas in the case of HD 20782, it is extremely elliptical. Although it is found that Earth-mass planets are eventually ejected from the habitable zones of these systems, the 'Hill Radius Criterion' is identified as invalid for the prediction of when the ejection is actually occurring.

  3. Eight planets in four multi-planet systems via transit timing variations in 1350 days

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Ming; Liu, Hui-Gen; Zhang, Hui; Yang, Jia-Yi; Zhou, Ji-Lin

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of the transit timing variations (TTVs) of candidate pairs near mean-motion resonances (MMRs) is an effective method to confirm planets. Hitherto, 68 planets in 34 multi-planet systems have been confirmed via TTVs. We analyze the TTVs of all candidates from the most recent Kepler data with a time span of upto about 1350 days (Q0-Q15). The anti-correlations of TTV signals and the mass upper limits of candidate pairs in the same system are calculated using an improved method suitable for long-period TTVs. If the false alarm probability of a candidate pair is less than 10 –3 and the mass upper limit for each candidate is less than 13 M J , we confirm them as planets in the same system. Finally, eight planets in four multi-planet systems are confirmed via analysis of their TTVs. All of the four planet pairs are near first-order MMRs, including KOI-2672 near 2:1 MMR and KOI-1236, KOI-1563, and KOI-2038 near 3:2 MMR. Four planets have relatively long orbital periods (>35 days). KOI-2672.01 has an orbital period of 88.51658 days and a fit mass of 17 M ⊕ . To date, it is the longest-period planet confirmed near a first-order MMR via TTVs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-26

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

  7. LUNA: An algorithm for generating dynamic planet-moon transits

    OpenAIRE

    Kipping, David M.

    2011-01-01

    It has been previously shown that moons of extrasolar planets may be detectable with the Kepler Mission, for moon masses above ~0.2 Earth masses Kipping et al. 2009c. Transit timing effects have been formerly identified as a potent tool to this end, exploiting the dynamics of the system. In this work, we explore the simulation of transit light curves of a planet plus a single moon including not only the transit timing effects but also the light curve signal of the moon itself. We introduce ou...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-12

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

  9. Dynamics of the Triple-Star System Alpha Centauri and its Impact on Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayla Jones, Ayanna; Fabrycky, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    The Alpha Centauri system, our solar system's closest neighbor, has become a target in the search for habitable planets. The system is composed of three stars: Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, stars forming an inner binary, and Proxima Centauri, an outer star that orbits around the inner binary. We computed 3-body models to follow the dynamics for the main-sequence lifetimes of the stars that are based on 100 realizations of the observed orbits. In the majority of cases, Proxima only modestly torques the A-B binary orbit, and so previous studies of planet formation and dynamics, which find the habitable zones to be stable, are somewhat justified in ignoring this effect. On the other hand, in ~16% of the observationally allowed orbits, fluctuations in the orbital eccentricity of the A-B orbit destabilize the middle of the habitable zone of both stars. This result calls for further theoretical work to quantify the effect of galactic tides, passing stars, and massive planets in the triple-system dynamics.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K.

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Long Term Planetary Habitability and the Carbonate-Silicate Cycle: The Effect of Planet Size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushby, A. J.; Johnson, M.; Mills, B.; Watson, A. J.; Claire, M.

    2017-12-01

    The potential habitability of exoplanets is traditionally assessed by determining whether or not its orbit falls within the circumstellar `habitable zone' of its star [1]. However, this metric does not readily account readily for changes in the abundance of greenhouse gases and their associated radiative forcing as a result of the action of the carbonate-silicate cycle. We develop a model of the carbon cycle on Earth, coupled with a stellar evolution model and a 1-D radiative-convective climate model with an Earth-like atmospheric water vapour profile [1], to explore the potential changes in the CO2 greenhouse under conditions of varying planet size (0.5 - 2 R⊕) and stellar flux (0.75 to 1.25 S⊕).We find that likely changes in global topography, tectonic outgassing and uplift, and the hydrological cycle on larger planets results in proportionally greater surface temperatures and pCO2 for a given incident flux. For planets between 0.5 and 2 R⊕ the effect of these changes results in average global surface temperature deviations of up to 15 K, which suggests that these relationships be considered in future studies of planetary habitability.Furthermore, by coupling this model with the stellar evolution scheme presented in [2] and setting an upper temperature limit of 343 K, the habitable period of the Earth-sized world around the Sun can be quantified. For a 1 R⊕ planet, this limit is approximately 6.35 Gyr after planet formation, or 1.81 Gyr from present day. Additionally, atmospheric CO2 falls below the limit at which C3 and C4 plants can effectively photosynthesize after 5.38 Gyr and 6.1 Gyr respectively, which may initiate a significant reorganization of the biosphere of the planet well before average surface temperatures render it uninhabitable.References: [1] Kopparapu et al. (2013) The Astrophysical Journal 765(2) [2] Rushby et al. (2013) Astrobiology, 13(9), 833-849.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naef D.

    2011-02-01

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

  13. CONSTRAINING THE RADIATION AND PLASMA ENVIRONMENT OF THE KEPLER CIRCUMBINARY HABITABLE-ZONE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Mason, Paul A. [New Mexico State University—DACC, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States); Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A. [FACom—Instituto de Física—FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellín (Colombia)

    2016-02-20

    The discovery of many planets using the Kepler telescope includes 10 planets orbiting eight binary stars. Three binaries, Kepler-16, Kepler-47, and Kepler-453, have at least one planet in the circumbinary habitable zone (BHZ). We constrain the level of high-energy radiation and the plasma environment in the BHZ of these systems. With this aim, BHZ limits in these Kepler binaries are calculated as a function of time, and the habitability lifetimes are estimated for hypothetical terrestrial planets and/or moons within the BHZ. With the time-dependent BHZ limits established, a self-consistent model is developed describing the evolution of stellar activity and radiation properties as proxies for stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres. Modeling binary stellar rotation evolution, including the effect of tidal interaction between stars in binaries, is key to establishing the environment around these systems. We find that Kepler-16 and its binary analogs provide a plasma environment favorable for the survival of atmospheres of putative Mars-sized planets and exomoons. Tides have modified the rotation of the stars in Kepler-47, making its radiation environment less harsh in comparison to the solar system. This is a good example of the mechanism first proposed by Mason et al. Kepler-453 has an environment similar to that of the solar system with slightly better than Earth radiation conditions at the inner edge of the BHZ. These results can be reproduced and even reparameterized as stellar evolution and binary tidal models progress, using our online tool http://bhmcalc.net.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Arbesman

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbesman, Samuel; Laughlin, Gregory

    2010-10-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Habitability of super-Earth planets around other suns: models including Red Giant Branch evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Schröder, K-P; Bounama, C; Franck, S

    2009-01-01

    The unexpected diversity of exoplanets includes a growing number of super-Earth planets, i.e., exoplanets with masses of up to several Earth masses and a similar chemical and mineralogical composition as Earth. We present a thermal evolution model for a 10 Earth-mass planet orbiting a star like the Sun. Our model is based on the integrated system approach, which describes the photosynthetic biomass production and takes into account a variety of climatological, biogeochemical, and geodynamical processes. This allows us to identify a so-called photosynthesis-sustaining habitable zone (pHZ), as determined by the limits of biological productivity on the planetary surface. Our model considers solar evolution during the main-sequence stage and along the Red Giant Branch as described by the most recent solar model. We obtain a large set of solutions consistent with the principal possibility of life. The highest likelihood of habitability is found for "water worlds." Only mass-rich water worlds are able to realize pHZ-type habitability beyond the stellar main sequence on the Red Giant Branch.

  18. Model Atmospheres and Transit Spectra for Hot Rocky Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupu, Roxana

    We propose to build a versatile set of self-consistent atmospheric models for hot rocky exoplanets and use them to predict their transit and eclipse spectra. Hot rocky exoplanets will form the majority of small planets in close-in orbits to be discovered by the TESS and Kepler K2 missions, and offer the best opportunity for characterization with current and future instruments. We will use fully non-grey radiative-convective atmospheric structure codes with cloud formation and vertical mixing, combined with a self-consistent treatment of gas chemistry above the magma ocean. Being in equilibrium with the surface, the vaporized rock material can be a good tracer of the bulk composition of the planet. We will derive the atmospheric structure and escape rates considering both volatile-free and volatile bearing compositions, which reflect the diversity of hot rocky planet atmospheres. Our models will inform follow- up observations with JWST and ground-based instruments, aid the interpretation of transit and eclipse spectra, and provide a better understanding of volatile loss in these atmospheres. Such results will help refine our picture of rocky planet formation and evolution. Planets in ultra-short period (USP) orbits are a special class of hot rocky exoplanets. As shown by Kepler, these planets are generally smaller than 2 Earth radii, suggesting that they are likely to be rocky and could have lost their volatiles through photo-evaporation. Being close to their host stars, these planets are ultra-hot, with estimated temperatures of 1000-3000 K. A number of USP planets have been already discovered (e.g. Kepler-78 b, CoRoT-7 b, Kepler-10 b), and this number is expected to grow by confirming additional planet candidates. The characterization of planets on ultra-short orbits is advantageous due to the larger number of observable transits, and the larger transit signal in the case of an evaporating atmosphere. Much advance has been made in understanding and characterizing

  19. Exoplanet dynamics. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Wu, Hanbo; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman

    2015-02-06

    Planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars are often assumed to be in a state of tidally synchronized rotation, which would considerably affect their putative habitability. Although thermal tides cause Venus to rotate retrogradely, simple scaling arguments tend to attribute this peculiarity to the massive Venusian atmosphere. Using a global climate model, we show that even a relatively thin atmosphere can drive terrestrial planets' rotation away from synchronicity. We derive a more realistic atmospheric tide model that predicts four asynchronous equilibrium spin states, two being stable, when the amplitude of the thermal tide exceeds a threshold that is met for habitable Earth-like planets with a 1-bar atmosphere around stars more massive than ~0.5 to 0.7 solar mass. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Transit and radial velocity survey efficiency comparison for a habitable zone Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burke, Christopher J.; McCullough, P. R.

    2014-01-01

    Transit and radial velocity searches are two techniques for identifying nearby extrasolar planets to Earth that transit bright stars. Identifying a robust sample of these exoplanets around bright stars for detailed atmospheric characterization is a major observational undertaking. In this study we describe a framework that answers the question of whether a transit or radial velocity survey is more efficient at finding transiting exoplanets given the same amount of observing time. Within the framework we show that a transit survey's window function can be approximated using the hypergeometric probability distribution. We estimate the observing time required for a transit survey to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone (HZ) with an emphasis on late-type stars. We also estimate the radial velocity precision necessary to detect the equivalent HZ Earth-mass exoplanet that also transits when using an equal amount of observing time as the transit survey. We find that a radial velocity survey with σ rv ∼ 0.6 m s –1 precision has comparable efficiency in terms of observing time to a transit survey with the requisite photometric precision σ phot ∼ 300 ppm to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the HZ of late M dwarfs. For super-Earths, a σ rv ∼ 2.0 m s –1 precision radial velocity survey has comparable efficiency to a transit survey with σ phot ∼ 2300 ppm.

  1. Transit and radial velocity survey efficiency comparison for a habitable zone Earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burke, Christopher J. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); McCullough, P. R., E-mail: christopher.j.burke@nasa.gov [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Transit and radial velocity searches are two techniques for identifying nearby extrasolar planets to Earth that transit bright stars. Identifying a robust sample of these exoplanets around bright stars for detailed atmospheric characterization is a major observational undertaking. In this study we describe a framework that answers the question of whether a transit or radial velocity survey is more efficient at finding transiting exoplanets given the same amount of observing time. Within the framework we show that a transit survey's window function can be approximated using the hypergeometric probability distribution. We estimate the observing time required for a transit survey to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone (HZ) with an emphasis on late-type stars. We also estimate the radial velocity precision necessary to detect the equivalent HZ Earth-mass exoplanet that also transits when using an equal amount of observing time as the transit survey. We find that a radial velocity survey with σ{sub rv} ∼ 0.6 m s{sup –1} precision has comparable efficiency in terms of observing time to a transit survey with the requisite photometric precision σ{sub phot} ∼ 300 ppm to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the HZ of late M dwarfs. For super-Earths, a σ{sub rv} ∼ 2.0 m s{sup –1} precision radial velocity survey has comparable efficiency to a transit survey with σ{sub phot} ∼ 2300 ppm.

  2. Kepler-62: a five-planet system with planets of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth radii in the habitable zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J; Agol, Eric; Fressin, Francois; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Rowe, Jason; Isaacson, Howard; Fischer, Debra; Batalha, Natalie; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Fabrycky, Daniel; Désert, Jean-Michel; Bryson, Stephen T; Barclay, Thomas; Bastien, Fabienne; Boss, Alan; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A; Burke, Chris; Caldwell, Douglas A; Carter, Josh; Charbonneau, David; Crepp, Justin R; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Christiansen, Jessie L; Ciardi, David; Cochran, William D; DeVore, Edna; Doyle, Laurance; Dupree, Andrea K; Endl, Michael; Everett, Mark E; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gould, Alan; Haas, Michael; Henze, Christopher; Howard, Andrew W; Howell, Steve B; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M; Kjeldsen, Hans; Kolbl, Rea; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery; Latham, David W; Lee, Brian L; Lopez, Eric; Mullally, Fergal; Orosz, Jerome A; Prsa, Andrej; Quintana, Elisa V; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Sasselov, Dimitar; Seader, Shawn; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H; Still, Martin; Tenenbaum, Peter; Thompson, Susan E; Torres, Guillermo; Twicken, Joseph D; Welsh, William F; Winn, Joshua N

    2013-05-03

    We present the detection of five planets--Kepler-62b, c, d, e, and f--of size 1.31, 0.54, 1.95, 1.61 and 1.41 Earth radii (R⊕), orbiting a K2V star at periods of 5.7, 12.4, 18.2, 122.4, and 267.3 days, respectively. The outermost planets, Kepler-62e and -62f, are super-Earth-size (1.25 R⊕ planet radius ≤ 2.0 R⊕) planets in the habitable zone of their host star, respectively receiving 1.2 ± 0.2 times and 0.41 ± 0.05 times the solar flux at Earth's orbit. Theoretical models of Kepler-62e and -62f for a stellar age of ~7 billion years suggest that both planets could be solid, either with a rocky composition or composed of mostly solid water in their bulk.

  3. Demarcating Circulation Regimes of Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets within the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Wolf, Eric. T.; Joshi, Manoj; Zhang, Xi; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2018-01-01

    We investigate the atmospheric dynamics of terrestrial planets in synchronous rotation within the habitable zone of low-mass stars using the Community Atmosphere Model. The surface temperature contrast between the day and night hemispheres decreases with an increase in incident stellar flux, which is opposite the trend seen in gas giants. We define three dynamical regimes in terms of the equatorial Rossby deformation radius and the Rhines length. The slow rotation regime has a mean zonal circulation that spans from the day to the night sides, which occurs for planets around stars with effective temperatures of 3300–4500 K (rotation period > 20 days), with both the Rossby deformation radius and the Rhines length exceeding the planetary radius. Rapid rotators have a mean zonal circulation that partially spans a hemisphere and with banded cloud formation beneath the substellar point, which occurs for planets orbiting stars with effective temperatures of less than 3000 K (rotation period < 5 days), with the Rossby deformation radius less than the planetary radius. In between is the Rhines rotation regime, which retains a thermally direct circulation from the day side to the night side but also features midlatitude turbulence-driven zonal jets. Rhines rotators occur for planets around stars in the range of 3000–3300 K (rotation period ∼5–20 days), where the Rhines length is greater than the planetary radius but the Rossby deformation radius is less than the planetary radius. The dynamical state can be observationally inferred from a comparison of the morphologies of the thermal emission phase curves of synchronously rotating planets.

  4. Climatic Evolution and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets: Perspectives from Coupled Atmosphere-Mantle Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu Sarkar, D.; Moore, W. B.

    2016-12-01

    A multitude of factors including the distance from the host star and the stage of planetary evolution affect planetary climate and habitability. The complex interactions between the atmosphere and dynamics of the deep interior of the planets along with stellar fluxes present a formidable challenge. This work employs simplified approaches to address these complex issues in a systematic way. To be specific, we are investigating the coupled evolution of atmosphere and mantle dynamics. The overarching goal here is to simulate the evolutionary history of the terrestrial planets, for example Venus, Earth and Mars. This research also aims at deciphering the history of Venus-like runaway greenhouse and thus explore the possibility of cataclysmic shifts in climate of Earth-like planets. We focus on volatile cycling within the solid planets to understand the role of carbon/water in climatic and tectonic outcomes of such planets. In doing so, we are considering the feedbacks in the coupled mantle-atmosphere system. The primary feedback between the atmosphere and mantle is the surface temperature established by the greenhouse effect, which regulates the temperature gradient that drives the mantle convection and controls the rate at which volatiles are exchanged through weathering. We start our models with different initial assumptions to determine the final climate outcomes within a reasonable parameter space. Currently, there are very few planetary examples, to sample the climate outcomes, however this will soon change as exoplanets are discovered and examined. Therefore, we will be able to work with a significant number of potential candidates to answer questions like this one: For every Earth is there one Venus? ten? a thousand?

  5. Transition Disks – Grain Growth, Planets, or Photoevaporation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benisty M.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In the past years, many transition disks have been detected via SED modeling or imaging. The disks feature dust cavities in their inner regions with sizes ranging from a few to more than 70 AU. The origin of those structures, however, remains mysterious. We will present how our recent simulation results, which include gap opening by a giant planet and effects of dust evolution, could explain these structures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    One signature of life on Earth is the vegetation red edge (VRE) feature of land plants, a dramatic change of reflectivity at wavelength near 0.7 μm. Potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs are tidally locked, which can limit the distribution of land plants. In this study, we used a biogeochemical model to investigate the distribution of land plants on potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs driven by climate data produced in a general circulation model (GCM). When considering the effects of clouds, the observation time needed for VRE detection on nearby p = 1 exoplanets around nearby M dwarfs is on the order of days using a 25 m2 telescope if a large continent faces Earth during observations. For p = 1.5 exoplanets, the detection time could be similar if land plants developed the capability to endure a dark/cold environment for extended periods of time and the continent configuration favors observations. Our analysis suggests that hypothetical exovegetation VRE features are easier to detect than Earth vegetation and that VRE detection is possible for nearby exoplanets even under cloudy conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  8. The Carbonate-Silicate Cycle on Earth-like Planets Near The End Of Their Habitable Lifetimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushby, A. J.; Mills, B.; Johnson, M.; Claire, M.

    2016-12-01

    The terrestrial cycle of silicate weathering and metamorphic outgassing buffers atmospheric CO2 and global climate over geological time on Earth. To first order, the operation of this cycle is assumed to occur on Earth-like planets in the orbit of other main-sequence stars in the galaxy that exhibit similar continent/ocean configurations. This has important implications for studies of planetary habitability, atmospheric and climatic evolution, and our understanding of the potential distribution of life in the Universe. We present results from a simple biogeochemical carbon cycle model developed to investigate the operation of the carbonate-silicate cycle under conditions of differing planet mass and position within the radiative habitable zone. An active carbonate-silicate cycle does extend the length of a planet's habitable period through the regulation of the CO2 greenhouse. However, the breakdown of the negative feedback between temperature, pCO2, and weathering rates towards the end of a planet's habitable lifespan results in a transitory regime of `carbon starvation' that would inhibit the ability of oxygenic photoautotrophs to metabolize, and result in the collapse of any putative biosphere supported by these organisms, suggesting an earlier limit for the initiation of inhabitable conditions than when considering temperature alone. This conclusion stresses the importance of considering the full suite of planetary properties when determining potential habitability. A small sample of exoplanets was tested using this model, and the length of their habitable periods were found to be significantly longer than that of the Earth, primarily as a function of the differential rates of stellar evolution expected from their host stars. Furthermore, we carried out statistical analysis of a series of model input parameters, determining that both the mass of the planet and the sensitivity of seafloor weathering processes to dissolved CO2 exhibit significant controls on the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luger, R; Barnes, R

    2015-02-01

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

  10. The Effect of Varying Atmospheric Pressure upon Habitability and Biosignatures of Earth-like Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keles, Engin; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Stracke, Barbara; Rauer, Heike

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the possible climatic conditions on rocky extrasolar planets, and thereby their potential habitability, is one of the major subjects of exoplanet research. Determining how the climate, as well as potential atmospheric biosignatures, changes under different conditions is a key aspect when studying Earth-like exoplanets. One important property is the atmospheric mass, hence pressure and its influence on the climatic conditions. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to understand the influence of atmospheric mass on climate, hence habitability, and the spectral appearance of planets with Earth-like, that is, N 2 -O 2 dominated, atmospheres orbiting the Sun at 1 AU. This work utilizes a 1D coupled, cloud-free, climate-photochemical atmospheric column model; varies atmospheric surface pressure from 0.5 to 30 bar; and investigates temperature and key species profiles, as well as emission and brightness temperature spectra in a range between 2 and 20 μm. Increasing the surface pressure up to 4 bar leads to an increase in the surface temperature due to increased greenhouse warming. Above this point, Rayleigh scattering dominates, and the surface temperature decreases, reaching surface temperatures below 273 K (approximately at ∼34 bar surface pressure). For ozone, nitrous oxide, water, methane, and carbon dioxide, the spectral response either increases with surface temperature or pressure depending on the species. Masking effects occur, for example, for the bands of the biosignatures ozone and nitrous oxide by carbon dioxide, which could be visible in low carbon dioxide atmospheres. Key Words: Planetary habitability and biosignatures-Atmospheres-Radiative transfer. Astrobiology 18, 116-132.

  11. Follow-Up Photometry of Kelt Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  12. Equilibrium Temperatures and Albedos of Habitable Earth-Like Planets in a Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Genio, Anthony; Way, Michael; Amundsen, David; Sohl, Linda; Fujii, Yuka; Ebihara, Yuka; Kiang, Nancy; Chandler, Mark; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell

    2017-01-01

    The potential habitability of detected exoplanets is typically assessed using the concept of equilibrium temperature (T[subscript] e) based on cloud-free 1-D models with assumed albedo equal to Earth's (0.3) to determine whether a planet lies in the habitable zone. Incident stellar flux appears to be a better metric for stars unlike the Sun. These estimates, however, ignore the effect of clouds on planetary albedo and the fact that the climates of synchronously rotating planets are not well predicted by 1-D models. Given that most planet candidates that will be detected in the next few years will be tidally locked and orbiting M stars, how might the habitable zone e tailored to better in-form characterization with scarce observing resources?

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilston, S.

    1998-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Increasing the Sensitivity of the Kepler Legacy Archive to Habitable Zone Planets and Earth Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Still, M.

    2014-04-01

    All legacy light curves archived by the Kepler project are available to the community. They are based upon simple aperture extractions from time-tagged pixel data. We demonstrate that this photometry method works well for the bright end of the Kepler target sample yet there is enormous scope for further gains in sensitivity to planet transits of faint stars in the sample. To this end, all pixel data have been made available in the archive. Methods for the user community to optimize aperture photometry and exploit point spread function modeling are being developed. Exploiting existing Kepler planet candidates, we showcase the signal-to-noise to be gained by these methods. We argue that at the faintest end of the candidate distribution, optimization provides a factor two improvement in sensitivity to transits, reaching beyond the signal-to-noise promised by the eight year mission, curtailed by reaction wheel failure after four years. These methods can provide potentially significant improvement to a number of facets of the Kepler mission: 1. Sensitivity to new planet candidates residing currently below the signal-to-noise detection threshold; 2. Characterizing known transit profiles to higher precision; 3. Identifying contamination from nearby sources and removing contamination bias from transit depths; 4. Mitigating focus and pointing systematics within the Kepler data, and 5. Allowing the direct characterization of time-dependent physical and detector biases within the image background. With exisiting focal plane calibrations, the number of targets that currently benefit from optimized photometry is relatively small, limited to sources of magnitude Kp > 16. However, with additional refinement of the focal plane calibration, improvement in light curve quality for objects 14 < Kp < 16 can be anticipated, impacting 50% of the Kepler target sample. These methods are equally applicable to data from the upcoming TESS mission and are potentially a critical component to

  18. Kepler-413B: A slightly misaligned, Neptune-size transiting circumbinary planet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostov, V. B.; McCullough, P. R.; Tsvetanov, Z. I. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Carter, J. A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Deleuil, M.; Díaz, R. F. [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille, 38 rue Frédéric Joliot-Curie, F-13388 Marseille cedex 13 (France); Fabrycky, D. C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Hébrard, G. [Institut d' Astrophysique de Paris, UMR 7095 CNRS, Université Pierre and Marie Curie, 98 bis boulevard Arago, F-75014 Paris (France); Hinse, T. C. [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), Advanced Astronomy and Space Science Division, Daejeon 305-348 (Korea, Republic of); Mazeh, T. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv (Israel); Orosz, J. A.; Welsh, W. F., E-mail: vkostov@pha.jhu.edu [Department of Astronomy, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182 (United States)

    2014-03-20

    We report the discovery of a transiting, R{sub p} = 4.347 ± 0.099R {sub ⊕}, circumbinary planet (CBP) orbiting the Kepler K+M eclipsing binary (EB) system KIC 12351927 (Kepler-413) every ∼66 days on an eccentric orbit with a{sub p} = 0.355 ± 0.002 AU, e{sub p} = 0.118 ± 0.002. The two stars, with M{sub A} = 0.820 ± 0.015 M {sub ☉}, R{sub A} = 0.776 ± 0.009 R {sub ☉} and M{sub B} = 0.542 ± 0.008 M {sub ☉}, R{sub B} = 0.484 ± 0.024 R {sub ☉}, respectively, revolve around each other every 10.11615 ± 0.00001 days on a nearly circular (e {sub EB} = 0.037 ± 0.002) orbit. The orbital plane of the EB is slightly inclined to the line of sight (i {sub EB} = 87.°33 ± 0.°06), while that of the planet is inclined by ∼2.°5 to the binary plane at the reference epoch. Orbital precession with a period of ∼11 yr causes the inclination of the latter to the sky plane to continuously change. As a result, the planet often fails to transit the primary star at inferior conjunction, causing stretches of hundreds of days with no transits (corresponding to multiple planetary orbital periods). We predict that the next transit will not occur until 2020. The orbital configuration of the system places the planet slightly closer to its host stars than the inner edge of the extended habitable zone. Additionally, the orbital configuration of the system is such that the CBP may experience Cassini State dynamics under the influence of the EB, in which the planet's obliquity precesses with a rate comparable to its orbital precession. Depending on the angular precession frequency of the CBP, it could potentially undergo obliquity fluctuations of dozens of degrees (and complex seasonal cycles) on precession timescales.

  19. DISCOVERY OF THE TRANSITING PLANET KEPLER-5b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koch, David G.; Borucki, William J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Morrison, David; Batalha, Natalie M.; Brown, Timothy M.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; DeVore, Edna; Jenkins, Jon M.; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William D.; Dunham, Edward W.; Dupree, Andrea K.; Geary, John C.; Latham, David W.; Gautier, Thomas N.; Gilliland, Ron L.; Howell, Steve B.; Marcy, Geoff W.

    2010-01-01

    We present 44 days of high duty cycle, ultra precise photometry of the 13th magnitude star Kepler-5 (KIC 8191672, T eff = 6300 K, log g= 4.1), which exhibits periodic transits with a depth of 0.7%. Detailed modeling of the transit is consistent with a planetary companion with an orbital period of 3.548460 ± 0.000032 days and a radius of 1.431 +0.041 -0.052 R J . Follow-up radial velocity measurements with the Keck HIRES spectrograph on nine separate nights demonstrate that the planet is more than twice as massive as Jupiter with a mass of 2.114 +0.056 -0.059 M J and a mean density of 0.894 ± 0.079 g cm -3 .

  20. Pathways Towards Habitable Moons

    OpenAIRE

    Kipping, David M.; Fossey, Stephen J.; Campanella, Giammarco; Schneider, Jean; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2009-01-01

    The search for life outside of the Solar System should not be restricted to exclusively planetary bodies; large moons of extrasolar planets may also be common habitable environments throughout the Galaxy. Extrasolar moons, or exomoons, may be detected through transit timing effects induced onto the host planet as a result of mutual gravitational interaction. In particular, transit timing variations (TTV) and transit duration variations (TDV) are predicted to produce a unique exomoon signature...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  2. CHARACTERIZING THE ATMOSPHERES OF TRANSITING PLANETS WITH A DEDICATED SPACE TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tessenyi, M.; Tinetti, G.; Swinyard, B.; Aylward, A.; Tennyson, J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT (United Kingdom); Ollivier, M. [Institut d' Astrophysique Spatiale, Universite de Paris-Sud and CNRS (UMR 8617), IAS UMR8617, Orsay F-91405 (France); Beaulieu, J. P. [Institut d' Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, UMR7095, Universite Paris VI, 98bis Boulevard Arago, Paris (France); Coude du Foresto, V.; Encrenaz, T. [Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, Meudon (France); Micela, G. [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo (Italy); Ribas, I. [Institut de Ciencies de l' Espai (CSIC-IEEC), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Swain, M. R.; Vasisht, G.; Deroo, P. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099 (United States); Sozzetti, A. [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Strada Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese (Italy)

    2012-02-10

    Exoplanetary science is one of the fastest evolving fields of today's astronomical research, continuously yielding unexpected and surprising results. Ground-based planet-hunting surveys, together with dedicated space missions such as Kepler and CoRoT, are delivering an ever-increasing number of exoplanets, over 690, and ESA's Gaia mission will escalate the exoplanetary census into the several thousands. The next logical step is the characterization of these new worlds. What is their nature? Why are they as they are? Use of the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope to probe the atmospheres of transiting hot, gaseous exoplanets has opened perspectives unimaginable even just 10 years ago, demonstrating that it is indeed possible with current technology to address the ambitious goal of characterizing the atmospheres of these alien worlds. However, these successful measurements have also shown the difficulty of understanding the physics and chemistry of these exotic environments when having to rely on a limited number of observations performed on a handful of objects. To progress substantially in this field, a dedicated facility for exoplanet characterization, able to observe a statistically significant number of planets over time and a broad spectral range will be essential. Additionally, the instrument design (e.g., detector performances, photometric stability) will be tailored to optimize the extraction of the astrophysical signal. In this paper, we analyze the performance and tradeoffs of a 1.2/1.4 m space telescope for exoplanet transit spectroscopy from the visible to the mid-IR. We present the signal-to-noise ratio as a function of integration time and stellar magnitude/spectral type for the acquisition of spectra of planetary atmospheres for a variety of scenarios: hot, warm, and temperate planets orbiting stars ranging in spectral type from hot F- to cooler M-dwarfs. Our results include key examples of known planets (e.g., HD 189733b, GJ

  3. The instrument control software package for the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Chad F.; Robertson, Paul; Stefansson, Gudmundur Kari; Monson, Andrew; Anderson, Tyler; Halverson, Samuel; Hearty, Frederick; Levi, Eric; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Nelson, Matthew; Ramsey, Larry; Roy, Arpita; Schwab, Christian; Shetrone, Matthew; Terrien, Ryan

    2016-08-01

    We describe the Instrument Control Software (ICS) package that we have built for The Habitable-Zone Planet Finder (HPF) spectrometer. The ICS controls and monitors instrument subsystems, facilitates communication with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope facility, and provides user interfaces for observers and telescope operators. The backend is built around the asynchronous network software stack provided by the Python Twisted engine, and is linked to a suite of custom hardware communication protocols. This backend is accessed through Python-based command-line and PyQt graphical frontends. In this paper we describe several of the customized subsystem communication protocols that provide access to and help maintain the hardware systems that comprise HPF, and show how asynchronous communication benefits the numerous hardware components. We also discuss our Detector Control Subsystem, built as a set of custom Python wrappers around a C-library that provides native Linux access to the SIDECAR ASIC and Hawaii-2RG detector system used by HPF. HPF will be one of the first astronomical instruments on sky to utilize this native Linux capability through the SIDECAR Acquisition Module (SAM) electronics. The ICS we have created is very flexible, and we are adapting it for NEID, NASA's Extreme Precision Doppler Spectrometer for the WIYN telescope; we will describe this adaptation, and describe the potential for use in other astronomical instruments.

  4. Repercussions of thermal atmospheric tides on the rotation of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auclair-Desrotour, P.; Mathis, S.; Laskar, J.

    2017-12-01

    Semidiurnal atmospheric thermal tides are important for terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone of their host stars. With solid tides, they torque these planets, thus contributing to determine their rotation states as well as their climate. Given the complex dynamics of thermal tides, analytical models are essential to understand its dependence on the structure and rotation of planetary atmospheres and the tidal frequency. In this context, the state of the art model proposed in the 60’s by Lindzen and Chapman explains well the properties of thermal tides in the asymptotic regime of Earth-like rapid rotators but predicts a non-physical diverging tidal torque in the vicinity of the spin-orbit synchronization. In this work, we present a new model that addresses this issue by taking into account dissipative processes through a Newtonian cooling. First, we recover the tidal torque recently obtained with numerical simulations using General Circulation Models (GCM). Second, we show that the tidal response is very sensitive to the atmospheric structure, particularly to the stability with respect to convection. A strong stable stratification is able to annihilate the atmospheric tidal torque, leading to synchronization, while a convective atmosphere will be submitted to a strong torque, leading to a non-synchronized rotation state.

  5. Risks for Life on Habitable Planets from Superflares of Their Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham

    2017-10-01

    We explore some of the ramifications arising from superflares on the evolutionary history of Earth, other planets in the solar system, and exoplanets. We propose that the most powerful superflares can serve as plausible drivers of extinction events, and that their periodicity corresponds to certain patterns in the terrestrial fossil diversity record. On the other hand, weaker superflares may play a positive role in enabling the origin of life through the formation of key organic compounds. Superflares could also prove to be quite detrimental to the evolution of complex life on present-day Mars and exoplanets in the habitable zone of M- and K-dwarfs. We conclude that the risk posed by superflares has not been sufficiently appreciated, and that humanity might potentially witness a superflare event in the next ˜ {10}3 years, leading to devastating economic and technological losses. In light of the many uncertainties and assumptions associated with our analysis, we recommend that these results should be viewed with due caution.

  6. Expected Planet and False Positive Detection Rates for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Timothy M.; Latham, David W.

    2008-01-01

    The proposed Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will survey the entire sky to locate the nearest and brightest transiting extrasolar planets with orbital periods up to about 36 days. Here we estimate the number and kind of astrophysical false positives that TESS will report, along with the number of extrasolar planets. These estimates are then used to size the ground-based follow-up observing efforts needed to confirm and characterize the planets. We estimate that the needed observi...

  7. Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Kukla, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    Climb Aboard! Explore planets and how they are formed! Meet early astronomers and read about early astronomy! Investigate telescopes, satellites, rovers, and probes! Learn about different planets: terrestrial, gas, ice giants, dwarf, and exoplanets! See an infographic showing the solar system! Did You Know? facts and a Guidebook of planets in our solar system complete your journey. Aligned to Common Core standards and correlated to state standards. Checkerboard Library is an imprint of Abdo Publishing, a division of ABDO.

  8. Reflected Light from Giant Planets in Habitable Zones: Tapping into the Power of the Cross-Correlation Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, J H C; Santos, N C; Figueira, P; Melo, C

    2016-11-01

    The direct detection of reflected light from exoplanets is an excellent probe for the characterization of their atmospheres. The greatest challenge for this task is the low planet-to-star flux ratio, which even in the most favourable case is of the order of 10 -4 in the optical. This ratio decreases even more for planets in their host's habitable zone, typically lower than 10 -7 . To reach the signal-to-noise level required for such detections, we propose to unleash the power of the Cross Correlation Function in combination with the collecting power of next generation observing facilities. The technique we propose has already yielded positive results by detecting the reflected spectral signature of 51 Pegasi b (see Martins et al. 2015). In this work, we attempted to infer the number of hours required for the detection of several planets in their host's habitable zone using the aforementioned technique from theoretical EELT observations. Our results show that for 5 of the selected planets it should be possible to directly recover their reflected spectral signature.

  9. Isotope geochemistry and the study of habitability and life on other planets (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eiler, J.

    2010-12-01

    The question of life on other planets might be solved by a remarkable discovery — a martian coquina, or perhaps a tentacle print on a distant landscape. But, until this happens, evidence for life and, more generally, habitability will use indirect geochemical arguments such as isotope thermometers and biomarkers (molecular, isotopic, and elemental fingerprints of biology)., Understanding this evidence will also demand a quantitative planetary history based on isotopic dating. Laboratory study of samples derived from Mars or other solar-system bodies will be a focus of geochemical investigations aimed at such assessments. Examples of how this will be done can be found in studies of the Precambrian geologic record and Martian meteorites. Debates regarding environmental conditions and biogenicity of minerals and organic matter are common in the study of such materials. These controversies derive from simple but refractory problems with the geochemical principles we employ: Indicators of metabolism can be mimicked by abiologic reactions; paleo-environmental proxies generally require an understanding of related geochemical cycles (e.g., the isotopic budget of water); and, though many organic molecules are unambiguous biomarkers, diagenesis can transform them into compounds that resemble products of abiogenic organic synthesis. If planetary sample return is to produce definitive geochemical constraints on habitability and biology, we will require either luck or a new class of geochemical tools that explicitly address these problems. The spatial distribution of rare isotopes within molecular structures, including ‘clumping’ and position-specific isotope effects, offer new geochemical tools that could provide such solutions. For example, even a simple molecule like acetic acid (C2H4O2) has more than 200 distinct isotopic configurations when spatial distribution of isotopes is considered, and the proportions of these could reflect formation temperature, the nature of

  10. A disintegrating minor planet transiting a white dwarf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Johnson, John Asher; Rappaport, Saul; Bieryla, Allyson; Irwin, Jonathan; Lewis, John Arban; Kipping, David; Brown, Warren R; Dufour, Patrick; Ciardi, David R; Angus, Ruth; Schaefer, Laura; Latham, David W; Charbonneau, David; Beichman, Charles; Eastman, Jason; McCrady, Nate; Wittenmyer, Robert A; Wright, Jason T

    2015-10-22

    Most stars become white dwarfs after they have exhausted their nuclear fuel (the Sun will be one such). Between one-quarter and one-half of white dwarfs have elements heavier than helium in their atmospheres, even though these elements ought to sink rapidly into the stellar interiors (unless they are occasionally replenished). The abundance ratios of heavy elements in the atmospheres of white dwarfs are similar to the ratios in rocky bodies in the Solar System. This fact, together with the existence of warm, dusty debris disks surrounding about four per cent of white dwarfs, suggests that rocky debris from the planetary systems of white-dwarf progenitors occasionally pollutes the atmospheres of the stars. The total accreted mass of this debris is sometimes comparable to the mass of large asteroids in the Solar System. However, rocky, disintegrating bodies around a white dwarf have not yet been observed. Here we report observations of a white dwarf--WD 1145+017--being transited by at least one, and probably several, disintegrating planetesimals, with periods ranging from 4.5 hours to 4.9 hours. The strongest transit signals occur every 4.5 hours and exhibit varying depths (blocking up to 40 per cent of the star's brightness) and asymmetric profiles, indicative of a small object with a cometary tail of dusty effluent material. The star has a dusty debris disk, and the star's spectrum shows prominent lines from heavy elements such as magnesium, aluminium, silicon, calcium, iron, and nickel. This system provides further evidence that the pollution of white dwarfs by heavy elements might originate from disrupted rocky bodies such as asteroids and minor planets.

  11. Whole Planet Coupling from Climate to Core: Implications for the Evolution of Rocky Planets and their Prospects for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, B. J.; Driscoll, P. E.

    2015-12-01

    Many factors have conspired to make Earth a home to complex life. Earth has abundant water due to a combination of factors, including orbital distance and the climate regulating feedbacks of the long-term carbon cycle. Earth has plate tectonics, which is crucial for maintaining long-term carbon cycling and may have been an important energy source for the origin of life in seafloor hydrothermal systems. Earth also has a strong magnetic field that shields the atmosphere from the solar wind and the surface from high-energy particles. Synthesizing recent work on these topics shows that water, a temperate climate, plate tectonics, and a strong magnetic field are linked together through a series of negative feedbacks that stabilize the system over geologic timescales. Although the physical mechanism behind plate tectonics on Earth is still poorly understood, climate is thought to be important. In particular, temperate surface temperatures are likely necessary for plate tectonics because they allow for liquid water that may be capable of significantly lowering lithospheric strength, increase convective stresses in the lithosphere, and enhance the effectiveness of "damage" processes such as grainsize reduction. Likewise, plate tectonics is probably crucial for maintaining a temperate climate on Earth through its role in facilitating the long-term carbon cycle, which regulates atmospheric CO2 levels. Therefore, the coupling between plate tectonics and climate is a feedback that is likely of first order importance for the evolution of rocky planets. Finally, plate tectonics is thought to be important for driving the geodynamo. Plate tectonics efficiently cools the mantle, leading to vigorous thermo-chemical convection in the outer core and dynamo action; without plate tectonics inefficient mantle cooling beneath a stagnant lid may prevent a long-lived magnetic field. As the magnetic field shields a planet's atmosphere from the solar wind, the magnetic field may be important

  12. Limits to Creation of Oxygen-Rich Atmospheres on Planets in the Outer Reaches of the Conventional Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-10-01

    Abundant free oxygen appears to be a requirement for macroflora and macrofauna. To the best of our knowledge, a general discussion of which habitable planets are conducive to oxygen has not taken place. Theories for the rise of oxygen fall into 4 categories: (i) It is governed by an intrinsic rate of biological innovation, independent of environmental factors. (ii) It is caused by mantle evolution, probably consequent to secular cooling. (iii) It is caused by hydrogen escape, which irreversibly oxidizes the Earth. (iv) It is Gaia’s response to the brightening Sun, its rise prevented until reduced greenhouse gases were no longer needed to maintain a clement climate. All but the first of these make implicit astronomical predictions that can be quantified and made explicit.Here we address the third hypothesis. In this hypothesis hydrogen escape acts like an hourglass that continues until all relevant reduced mineral buffers have been oxidized (titrated, as it were) and the surface made safe for O2. The hypothesis predicts that abundant free O2 will be absent from habitable planets that have not experienced significant hydrogen escape. Where hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which makes assessing radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ straightforward. In particular, H2 is efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, which makes radiative cooling very effective when H2 is abundant. We can therefore map out the region of phase space in which habitable planets do not lose hydrogen, and therefore do not develop O2 atmospheres.A related matter is the power of radiative cooling by embedded molecules to enforce the diffusion limit to hydrogen escape. This matter in particular is relevant to addressing the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than ~1.6 Earth radii.

  13. Limits to Creation of Oxygen-Rich Atmospheres on Planets in the Outer Reaches of the Conventional Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    Abundant free oxygen appears to be a requirement for macroflora and macrofauna. To the best of our knowledge, a general discussion of which habitable planets are conducive to oxygen has not taken place. Theories for the rise of oxygen fall into 4 categories: (i) It is governed by an intrinsic rate of biological innovation, independent of environmental factors. (ii) It is caused by mantle evolution, probably consequent to secular cooling. (iii) It is caused by hydrogen escape, which irreversibly oxidizes the Earth. (iv) It is Gaia's response to the brightening Sun, its rise prevented until reduced greenhouse gases were no longer needed to maintain a clement climate. All but the first of these make implicit astronomical predictions that can be quantified and made explicit. Here we address the third hypothesis. In this hypothesis hydrogen escape acts like an hourglass that continues until all relevant reduced mineral buffers have been oxidized (titrated, as it were) and the surface made safe for O2. The hypothesis predicts that abundant free O2 will be absent from habitable planets that have not experienced significant hydrogen escape. Where hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which makes assessing radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ straightforward. In particular, H2 is efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, which makes radiative cooling very effective when H2 is abundant. We can therefore map out the region of phase space in which habitable planets do not lose hydrogen, and therefore do not develop O2 atmospheres. A related matter is the power of radiative cooling by embedded molecules to enforce the diffusion limit to hydrogen escape. This matter in particular is relevant to addressing the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than approx.1.6 Earth radii.

  14. Planets

    CERN Document Server

    DeYoe, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    Planets explores the science of what we see in the night sky. Kids will find out which planet in our solar system could float in a bathtub, learn how Neptune was discovered by math, explore the rocky surface of Mars and more. Engaging photos, exciting graphics, and a fun quiz at the end of each book will keep them learning. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Super Sandcastle is an imprint of Abdo Publishing, a division of ABDO.

  15. Nutritional Transition: A Reviewo of Students' Eating Habits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Juliana Ricardo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The nutritional transition process has started in Brazil since the modifications of the standard Brazilian food also concomitant with changes in the epidemiological scenario, resulting in a decline of malnutrition, but in a significant increase in obesity in children and adolescents in all socioeconomic classes. The school age comprises the age group between seven and ten years old and is characterized as a period of growth with high nutritional requirements that must be supplied with quality food and in sufficient quantity to prevent future health problems. For this reason, school, teachers and family members should be responsible for the feeding habits of these children, through nutrition education projects, activities related to good nutrition and consistent information according to the real world of children. The aim of this paper is to describe some aspects of the food profile of students and its influence over the increasing incidence and prevalence of obesity and associated to co-morbidities, as well as to identify the transition process that the country has been experiencing.

  16. Detecting `Temperate' Jupiters: the prospects of searching for transiting gas giants in Habitable Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, S. W.; Kane, S. R.; McCullough, P. R.; Chromey, F. R.

    2008-05-01

    Wide-field photometric surveys in search of transiting extrasolar planets are now numerous and have met with some success in finding hot Jupiters. These transiting planets have very short periods and very small semimajor axes, facilitating their discovery in such surveys. Transiting planets with longer periods present more of a challenge, since they transit their parent stars less frequently. This paper investigates the effects of observing windows on detecting transiting planets by calculating the fraction of planets with a given period that have zero, one (single), two (double), or >=3 (multiple) transits occurring while observations are being taken. We also investigate the effects of collaboration by performing the same calculations with combined observing times from two wide-field transit survey groups. For a representative field of the 2004 observing season, both XO and SuperWASP experienced an increase in single and double transit events by up to 20-40 per cent for planets with periods 14 Project using its data alone, between 20-40 per cent of planets with periods 14-150 d should have been observed at least once. For the SuperWASP Project, 50-90 per cent of planets with periods between 14-150 d should have been observed at least once. If XO and SuperWASP combine their observations, 50-100 per cent of planets with periods less than 20 d should be observed three or more times. We find that in general wide-field transit surveys have selected appropriate observing strategies to observe a significant fraction of transiting giant planets with semimajor axes larger than the hot Jupiter regime. The actual number of intermediate-period transiting planets that are detected depends upon their true semimajor axis distribution and the signal-to-noise ratio of the data. We therefore conclude that the investment of resources needed to investigate more sophisticated photometry calibrations or examine single and double transit events from wide-field surveys might be a

  17. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF SMALL PLANETS AROUND SMALL STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David

    2013-01-01

    We use the optical and near-infrared photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog to provide improved estimates of the stellar characteristics of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list. We find 3897 dwarfs with temperatures below 4000 K, including 64 planet candidate host stars orbited by 95 transiting planet candidates. We refit the transit events in the Kepler light curves for these planet candidates and combine the revised planet/star radius ratios with our improved stellar radii to revise the radii of the planet candidates orbiting the cool target stars. We then compare the number of observed planet candidates to the number of stars around which such planets could have been detected in order to estimate the planet occurrence rate around cool stars. We find that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 R ⊕ planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days is 0.90 +0.04 -0.03 planets per star. The occurrence rate of Earth-size (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ) planets is constant across the temperature range of our sample at 0.51 -0.05 +0.06 Earth-size planets per star, but the occurrence of 1.4-4 R ⊕ planets decreases significantly at cooler temperatures. Our sample includes two Earth-size planet candidates in the habitable zone, allowing us to estimate that the mean number of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone is 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 planets per cool star. Our 95% confidence lower limit on the occurrence rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of cool stars is 0.04 planets per star. With 95% confidence, the nearest transiting Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cool star is within 21 pc. Moreover, the nearest non-transiting planet in the habitable zone is within 5 pc with 95% confidence.

  18. Pre-history of planet detections: Focus on transits 1620 - 1995

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briot, D.; Schneider, J.; François, P.

    2015-10-01

    The discovery of 51 Peg b has been a wonderful scientific discovery, answering a multi-secular question and opening a extended new domain of astronomical research. We want to recall some old studies, some of them quite forgotten, which have used the same methods that those for planet detection, emphasizing transit method. In addition to an overview of planet search pre-history, some searchs for unknown planets in the Solar System since the seventeenth century will be evoked, as well as the search for exoplanet transits during the nineteenth and the twentieth century. The conclusion will be back to the future.

  19. Line-profile tomography of exoplanet transits - II. A gas-giant planet transiting a rapidly rotating A5 star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier Cameron, A.; Guenther, E.; Smalley, B.; McDonald, I.; Hebb, L.; Andersen, J.; Augusteijn, Th.; Barros, S. C. C.; Brown, D. J. A.; Cochran, W. D.; Endl, M.; Fossey, S. J.; Hartmann, M.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Pollacco, D.; Skillen, I.; Telting, J.; Waldmann, I. P.; West, R. G.

    2010-09-01

    Most of our knowledge of extrasolar planets rests on precise radial-velocity measurements, either for direct detection or for confirmation of the planetary origin of photometric transit signals. This has limited our exploration of the parameter space of exoplanet hosts to solar- and later-type, sharp-lined stars. Here we extend the realm of stars with known planetary companions to include hot, fast-rotating stars. Planet-like transits have previously been reported in the light curve obtained by the SuperWASP survey of the A5 star HD15082 (WASP-33 V = 8.3, v sini = 86 km s-1). Here we report further photometry and time-series spectroscopy through three separate transits, which we use to confirm the existence of a gas-giant planet with an orbital period of 1.22d in orbit around HD15082. From the photometry and the properties of the planet signal travelling through the spectral line profiles during the transit, we directly derive the size of the planet, the inclination and obliquity of its orbital plane and its retrograde orbital motion relative to the spin of the star. This kind of analysis opens the way to studying the formation of planets around a whole new class of young, early-type stars, hence under different physical conditions and generally in an earlier stage of formation than in sharp-lined late-type stars. The reflex orbital motion of the star caused by the transiting planet is small, yielding an upper mass limit of 4.1MJupiter on the planet. We also find evidence of a third body of substellar mass in the system, which may explain the unusual orbit of the transiting planet. In HD 15082, the stellar line profiles also show evidence of non-radial pulsations, clearly distinct from the planetary transit signal. This raises the intriguing possibility that tides raised by the close-in planet may excite or amplify the pulsations in such stars. Based on observations at Tautenburg Observatory, McDonald Observatory and the Nordic Optical Telescope. E-mail: acc4@st-and.ac.uk

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, John

    2011-09-01

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

  3. Detection of Transits of Extrasolar Giant Planets with Inexpensive Telescopes and CCDs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, T.; Laughlin, G.; Terry, R. S.; Kaufman, M.; Hubbert, S.; Schelbert, G. M.; Bohler, D.; Rhodes, R.

    2004-12-01

    A typical short-period giant planet occulting a parent star can produce a ~1% dimming of the star's light for an interval of several hours. The combination of photometric and Doppler radial velocity (RV) measurements of a transiting extrasolar planet can yield unambiguous measurements of the planet's mass, radius, density, and exact orbital parameters. In this article, we describe a low-cost observational and data-reduction pipeline which can be used to obtain 3 millimagnitude photometry with a small-aperture telescope and a consumer-grade CCD detector. This precision is sufficient to reliably detect the transit of a giant planet. We discuss noise sources, and evaluate strategies for achieving a low overall noise floor. We describe the performance of our pipeline in a successful observation of an HD 209458 "b" transit, and in a photometric survey of GJ 876 during an epoch in which we predicted that GJ 876 "c" (P ~30d) could potentially be observed to transit. We also briefly describe the status of the ongoing www.transitsearch.org project, which coordinates a photometric search for planetary transits among known planet-bearing stars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granados Contreras, Agueda Paula; Boley, Aaron

    2018-04-01

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

  5. The EXPLORE/OC Project: A Search for Transiting Extrasolar Planets in Southern Open Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, B. L.

    2005-12-01

    We present results from the EXPLORE/OC survey for transiting close-in extrasolar giant planets in open clusters. Each observed cluster of coeval stars at a common distance allows us to sample G, K, and M-dwarfs at a specific stellar metallicity and age. Hence, we seek to investigate the occurrence and properties of planets and variable stars as a function of stellar parameters, in environments with constrained chemical, dynamical, and evolutionary histories. Our survey of eight southern open clusters, with a range of ages and metallicities, is presently the largest open cluster transit search data set obtained with a uniform technique. Over all eight open clusters, we have surveyed about 40000 stars to relative photometric precisions of 2-15 millimag. We achieve our excellent photometric precision in our light curves using a new high-precision photometry pipeline incorporating neighbour subtraction and a generalized aperture technique. Our data mining combines multiple automated variable finding techniques, with verification by eye. We report on the effectiveness of these methods in searching for planet transit candidates and variable stars. We show light curves, estimate spectral types, and consider cluster membership probability of planet transit candidates. We discuss the likelihood that these candidates are planets. Also, based on the tens of other variable light curves discovered per cluster, we compute binary and variable star fractions for our clusters, and examine the statistics as a function of cluster age and metallicity, to probe the evolution and properties of binary and variable star populations.

  6. Carbon Monoxide and the Potential for Prebiotic Chemistry on Habitable Planets Around Main Sequence M Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava-Sedeno, J. Manik; Ortiz-Cervantes, Adrian; Segura, Antigona; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.

    2016-01-01

    Lifeless planets with CO2 atmospheres produce CO by CO2 photolysis. On planets around M dwarfs, CO is a long-lived atmospheric compound, as long as UV emission due to the stars chromospheric activity lasts, and the sink of CO and O2 in seawater is small compared to its atmospheric production. Atmospheres containing reduced compounds, like CO, may undergo further energetic and chemical processing to give rise to organic compounds of potential importance for the origin of life. We calculated the yield of organic compounds from CO2-rich atmospheres of planets orbiting M dwarf stars, which were previously simulated by Domagal- Goldman et al. (2014) and Harman et al. (2015), by cosmic rays and lightning using results of experiments by Miyakawaet al. (2002) and Schlesinger and Miller (1983a, 1983b). Stellar protons from active stars may be important energy sources for abiotic synthesis and increase production rates of biological compounds by at least 2 orders of magnitude compared to cosmic rays. Simple compounds such as HCN and H2CO are more readily synthesized than more complex ones, such as amino acids and uracil (considered here as an example), resulting in higher yields for the former and lower yields for the latter. Electric discharges are most efficient when a reducing atmosphere is present. Nonetheless, atmospheres with high quantities of CO2 are capable of producing higher amounts of prebiotic compounds, given that CO is constantly produced in the atmosphere. Our results further support planetary systems around M dwarf stars as candidates for supporting life or its origin.

  7. Fake Planets! Simulating Transits and False Positives for Kepler's Final Catalog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlin, Jeffrey; Kepler Team

    2018-01-01

    The final Kepler planet candidate catalog (DR25) employed a uniform planet search and vetting to enable accurate determinations of planetary occurrence rates. A major feature of this catalog was the creation of several synthetic datasets that simulated transiting planets, eclipsing binaries, variable stars, instrumental noise, and contamination from nearby sources. These datasets are now all publicly available, with a couple new sets just released in October 2017. We will present how these datasets were created, the characteristics of signals produced by each, and the caveats one should be aware of when using them to compute the completeness and reliability of the DR25 catalog. We will discuss the performance of the DR25 planet search and vetting on the synthetic datasets, and focus on the implications for occurrence rate determination and confirmation of long-period, low-SNR planets. We will also highlight how these datasets can be used to develop new transiting planet search and vetting pipelines, as well as directly compare the performance of other pipelines to that employed for the Kepler DR25 catalog. All of the DR25 data products are available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive (http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu) and the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (http://archive.stsci.edu/kepler).

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric; Mann, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Changes in healthy food habits after transition to old age retirement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helldán, Anni; Lallukka, Tea; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lahelma, Eero

    2012-08-01

    Retirement is one of the major transitions in the life course. However, it is poorly understood how health behaviours, such as food habits, might change after retirement. This study aimed to examine whether healthy food habits change after the transition to old age retirement and whether socio-demographic or health-related factors explain the association between retirement, being continuously employed and healthy food habits at follow-up. The data were derived from the Helsinki Health Study cohort on the staff of the City of Helsinki, Finland. The baseline questionnaire survey data were collected in 2000-02 and the follow-up in 2007. We included only participants who were aged 55-60 years at baseline and entered old age retirement during the follow-up (n = 1156, 76% women) or remained continuously employed (n = 1269, 79% women). Food habits from a food frequency questionnaire included eight items formed according to the Finnish and Nordic dietary recommendations. Logistic regression models were fitted to examine the associations between retirement, being continuously employed and healthy food habits at follow-up. Healthy food habits increased more among retired women than those continuously employed (P = 0.03). At follow-up retired women had healthier food habits than continuously employed women after adjusting for baseline food habits [OR = 1.36 (1.12-1.65)]. Among men, healthy food habits were unassociated with retirement. Transition to old age retirement is likely to have beneficial effects on food habits among women. This helps prevent major diseases and supports better public health among ageing people.

  11. HATS-1b: THE FIRST TRANSITING PLANET DISCOVERED BY THE HATSouth SURVEY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penev, K.; Bakos, G. A.; Hartman, J. D.; Csubry, Z. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, NJ 08544 (United States); Bayliss, D.; Zhou, G.; Conroy, P. [Australian National University, Canberra (Australia); Jordan, A.; Suc, V.; Rabus, M.; Brahm, R.; Espinoza, N. [Departamento de Astronomia y Astrofisica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Av. Vicuna Mackenna 4860, 7820436 Macul, Santiago (Chile); Mohler, M.; Mancini, L.; Henning, T.; Nikolov, N.; Csak, B. [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg (Germany); Beky, B.; Noyes, R. W. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States); Buchhave, L., E-mail: kpenev@astro.princeton.edu [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University (Denmark); and others

    2013-01-01

    We report the discovery of HATS-1b, a transiting extrasolar planet orbiting the moderately bright V = 12.05 G dwarf star GSC 6652-00186, and the first planet discovered by HATSouth, a global network of autonomous wide-field telescopes. HATS-1b has a period of P Almost-Equal-To 3.4465 days, mass of M{sub p} Almost-Equal-To 1.86 M{sub J}, and radius of R{sub p} Almost-Equal-To 1.30 R{sub J}. The host star has a mass of 0.99 M{sub Sun} and radius of 1.04 R{sub Sun }. The discovery light curve of HATS-1b has near-continuous coverage over several multi-day timespans, demonstrating the power of using a global network of telescopes to discover transiting planets.

  12. Tracing the ingredients for a habitable earth from interstellar space through planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergin, Edwin A; Blake, Geoffrey A; Ciesla, Fred; Hirschmann, Marc M; Li, Jie

    2015-07-21

    We use the C/N ratio as a monitor of the delivery of key ingredients of life to nascent terrestrial worlds. Total elemental C and N contents, and their ratio, are examined for the interstellar medium, comets, chondritic meteorites, and terrestrial planets; we include an updated estimate for the bulk silicate Earth (C/N = 49.0 ± 9.3). Using a kinetic model of disk chemistry, and the sublimation/condensation temperatures of primitive molecules, we suggest that organic ices and macromolecular (refractory or carbonaceous dust) organic material are the likely initial C and N carriers. Chemical reactions in the disk can produce nebular C/N ratios of ∼1-12, comparable to those of comets and the low end estimated for planetesimals. An increase of the C/N ratio is traced between volatile-rich pristine bodies and larger volatile-depleted objects subjected to thermal/accretional metamorphism. The C/N ratios of the dominant materials accreted to terrestrial planets should therefore be higher than those seen in carbonaceous chondrites or comets. During planetary formation, we explore scenarios leading to further volatile loss and associated C/N variations owing to core formation and atmospheric escape. Key processes include relative enrichment of nitrogen in the atmosphere and preferential sequestration of carbon by the core. The high C/N bulk silicate Earth ratio therefore is best satisfied by accretion of thermally processed objects followed by large-scale atmospheric loss. These two effects must be more profound if volatile sequestration in the core is effective. The stochastic nature of these processes hints that the surface/atmospheric abundances of biosphere-essential materials will likely be variable.

  13. Two Small Temperate Planets Transiting Nearby M Dwarfs in K2 Campaigns 0 and 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlieder, Joshua E.; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Petigura, Erik A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Aller, Kimberly M.; Sinukoff, Evan; Isaacson, Howard T.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Ciardi, David R.; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Ziegler, Carl; Morton, Timothy D.; Lépine, Sébastien; Obermeier, Christian; Liu, Michael C.; Bailey, Vanessa P.; Baranec, Christoph; Beichman, Charles A.; Defrère, Denis; Henning, Thomas; Hinz, Philip; Law, Nicholas; Riddle, Reed; Skemer, Andrew

    2016-02-01

    The prime Kepler mission revealed that small planets (age M dwarfs, K2-26 (EPIC 202083828) and K2-9. K2-26 is an {{M}}1.0+/- 0.5 dwarf at 93 ± 7 pc from K2 Campaign 0. We validate its planet with a day period of 14.5665 and estimate a radius of {2.67}-0.42+0.46 {R}\\oplus . K2-9 is an {{M}}2.5+/- 0.5 dwarf at 110 ± 12 pc from K2 Campaign 1. K2-9b was first identified by Montet et al.; here we present spectra and adaptive optics imaging of the host star and independently validate and characterize the planet. Our analyses indicate K2-9b is a {2.25}-0.96+0.53 {R}\\oplus planet with a 18.4498 day period. K2-26b exhibits a transit duration that is too long to be consistent with a circular orbit given its measured stellar radius. Thus, the long transits are likely due to the photoeccentric effect and our transit fits hint at an eccentric orbit. Both planets receive low incident flux from their host stars and have estimated equilibrium temperatures affect any atmosphere it harbors. K2-26b and K2-9b are representatives of a poorly studied class of small planets with cool temperatures that have radii intermediate to Earth and Neptune. Future study of these systems can provide key insight into trends in bulk composition and atmospheric properties at the transition from silicate dominated to volatile rich bodies. Based on observations collected at the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, La Silla Observatory, Chile during program ID 194.C-0443.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. The SOPHIE search for northern extrasolar planets. XI. Three new companions and an orbit update: Giant planets in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, R. F.; Rey, J.; Demangeon, O.; Hébrard, G.; Boisse, I.; Arnold, L.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Bonfils, X.; Borgniet, S.; Bouchy, F.; Bourrier, V.; Courcol, B.; Deleuil, M.; Delfosse, X.; Ehrenreich, D.; Forveille, T.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Mayor, M.; Moutou, C.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santerne, A.; Santos, N. C.; Sahlmann, J.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Wilson, P. A.

    2016-07-01

    We report the discovery of three new substellar companions to solar-type stars, HD 191806, HD 214823, and HD 221585, based on radial velocity measurements obtained at the Haute-Provence Observatory. Data from the SOPHIE spectrograph are combined with observations acquired with its predecessor, ELODIE, to detect and characterise the orbital parameters of three new gaseous giant and brown dwarf candidates. Additionally, we combine SOPHIE data with velocities obtained at the Lick Observatory to improve the parameters of an already known giant planet companion, HD 16175 b. Thanks to the use of different instruments, the data sets of all four targets span more than ten years. Zero-point offsets between instruments are dealt with using Bayesian priors to incorporate the information we possess on the SOPHIE/ELODIE offset based on previous studies. The reported companions have orbital periods between three and five years and minimum masses between 1.6 MJup and 19 MJup. Additionally, we find that the star HD 191806 is experiencing a secular acceleration of over 11 m s-1 per year, potentially due to an additional stellar or substellar companion. A search for the astrometric signature of these companions was carried out using Hipparcos data. No orbit was detected, but a significant upper limit to the companion mass can be set for HD 221585, whose companion must be substellar. With the exception of HD 191806 b, the companions are located within the habitable zone of their host star. Therefore, satellites orbiting these objects could be a propitious place for life to develop. Based on observations collected with the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France by the SOPHIE Consortium (programme 07A.PNP.CONS to 15A.PNP.CONS).

  16. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-Like Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; hide

    2016-01-01

    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar systems longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Here we review current understanding and update the timeline of key processes in early Mars history. We then draw on knowledge of exoplanets and the other solar system terrestrial planets to identify six broad questions of high importance to the development and sustaining of habitability (unprioritized): (1) Is small planetary size fatal? (2) How do magnetic fields influence atmospheric evolution? (3) To what extent does starting composition dictate subsequent evolution, including redox processes and the availability of water and organics? (4) Does early impact bombardment have a net deleterious or beneficial influence? (5) How do planetary climates respond to stellar evolution, e.g., sustaining early liquid water in spite of a faint young Sun? (6) How important are the timescales of climate forcing and their dynamical drivers? Finally, we suggest crucial types of Mars measurements (unprioritized) to address these questions: (1) in situ petrology at multiple units/sites; (2) continued quantification of volatile reservoirs and new isotopic measurements of H, C, N, O, S, Cl, and noble gases in rocks that sample multiple stratigraphic sections; (3) radiometric age dating of units in stratigraphic sections and from key volcanic and impact units; (4) higher-resolution measurements of heat flux, subsurface structure, and magnetic field anomalies coupled with absolute age dating. Understanding the evolution of early Mars will feed forward to

  17. Why O2 is required by complex life on habitable planets and the concept of planetary "oxygenation time".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, David C; Glein, Christopher R; Zahnle, Kevin J; McKay, Christopher P

    2005-06-01

    's main sequence lifetime. Consequently, we argue that the oxygenation time is likely to be a key rate-limiting step in the evolution of complex life on other habitable planets. The oxygenation time could preclude complex life on Earth-like planets orbiting short-lived stars that end their main sequence lives before planetary oxygenation takes place. Conversely, Earth-like planets orbiting long-lived stars are potentially favorable habitats for complex life.

  18. Two massive rocky planets transiting a K-dwarf 6.5 parsecs away

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Van Grootel, Valérie; Motalebi, Fatemeh; Lovis, Christophe; Cameron, Andrew Collier; Charbonneau, David; Latham, David; Molinari, Emilio; Pepe, Francesco A.; Ségransan, Damien; Sasselov, Dimitar; Udry, Stéphane; Mayor, Michel; Micela, Giuseppina; Piotto, Giampaolo; Sozzetti, Alessandro

    2017-03-01

    HD 219134 is a K-dwarf star at a distance of 6.5 parsecs around which several low-mass planets were recently discovered1,2. The Spitzer Space Telescope detected a transit of the innermost of these planets, HD 219134 b, whose mass and radius (4.5 M⊕ and 1.6 R⊕ respectively) are consistent with a rocky composition1. Here, we report new high-precision time-series photometry of the star acquired with Spitzer revealing that the second innermost planet of the system, HD 219134c, is also transiting. A global analysis of the Spitzer transit light curves and the most up-to-date HARPS-N velocity data set yields mass and radius estimations of 4.74 ± 0.19 M⊕ and 1.602 ± 0.055 R⊕ for HD 219134 b, and of 4.36 ± 0.22 M⊕ and 1.511 ± 0.047 R⊕ for HD 219134 c. These values suggest rocky compositions for both planets. Thanks to the proximity and the small size of their host star (0.778 ± 0.005 R⊙)3, these two transiting exoplanets — the nearest to the Earth yet found — are well suited for a detailed characterization (for example, precision of a few per cent on mass and radius, and constraints on the atmospheric properties) that could give important constraints on the nature and formation mechanism of the ubiquitous short-period planets of a few Earth masses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Manoj M; Haberle, Robert M

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Climate and Water Contents on Rocky Planets Near the Inner Boundary of Habitable Zones (IHZ) Around Low Mass Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bin, Jiayu; Tian, Feng

    2017-04-01

    Exoplanets around low mass stars are the focus of the search for habitable exoplanets. Previous general circulation models (GCM) studied the locations of the IHZ around stars with effective temperature from 3300 to 4500K (Yang et al. 2014, Kopparapu et al. 2016). However, water vapor mixing ratios at 3 hPa pressure level do not satisfy what is required for scenarios of rapid water loss in the "last converged solution" for stars cooler than 4000 K. In this work we use the Community Earth System Model (CESM) to investigate the IHZ problem for low mass stars. The model includes atmospheres with 1 bar of N2, 1 ppm of CO2, and slab oceans with thermodynamic sea ice. Rotation period is determined by the mass and luminosity of the star and planet orbital distance. Black body spectra of low mass stars are used to obtain top-of-atmosphere incident short wavelength radiation. Our model results are qualitatively consistent but quantitatively different from those in earlier works. Specifically, water vapor mixing ratios required by rapid water loss are found at 3 hPa for hosts star warmer than 3650 K.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-20

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bourrier, Vincent

    2014-01-01

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

  4. WASP-16b: A NEW JUPITER-LIKE PLANET TRANSITING A SOUTHERN SOLAR ANALOG

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lister, T. A.; Anderson, D. R.; Smalley, B. S.; Wilson, D. M.; Bentley, S. J.; Hellier, C.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Gillon, M.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Mayor, M.; Hebb, L.; Collier Cameron, A.; Enoch, R.; Horne, K.; West, R. G.; Christian, D. J.; Joshi, Y. C.; Haswell, C. A.; Irwin, J.; Kane, S. R.

    2009-01-01

    We report the discovery from WASP-South of a new Jupiter-like extrasolar planet, WASP-16b, which transits its solar analog host star every 3.12 days. Analysis of the transit photometry and radial velocity spectroscopic data leads to a planet with R p = 1.008 ± 0.071 R Jup and M p = 0.855 ± 0.059 M Jup , orbiting a host star with R * = 0.946 ± 0.054 R sun and M * = 1.022 ± 0.101 M sun . Comparison of the high resolution stellar spectrum with synthetic spectra and stellar evolution models indicates the host star is a near-solar metallicity ([Fe/H] =0.01 ± 0.10) solar analog (T eff = 5700 ± 150 K and log g = 4.5 ± 0.2) of intermediate age (τ = 2.3 +5.8 -2.2 Gyr).

  5. Remote life-detection criteria, habitable zone boundaries, and the frequency of Earth-like planets around M and late K stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, James F; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Ramirez, Ramses M; Harman, Chester E

    2014-09-02

    The habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region where a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. That definition is appropriate, because this allows for the possibility that carbon-based, photosynthetic life exists on the planet in sufficient abundance to modify the planet's atmosphere in a way that might be remotely detected. Exactly what conditions are needed, however, to maintain liquid water remains a topic for debate. In the past, modelers have restricted themselves to water-rich planets with CO2 and H2O as the only important greenhouse gases. More recently, some researchers have suggested broadening the definition to include arid, "Dune" planets on the inner edge and planets with captured H2 atmospheres on the outer edge, thereby greatly increasing the HZ width. Such planets could exist, but we demonstrate that an inner edge limit of 0.59 AU or less is physically unrealistic. We further argue that conservative HZ definitions should be used for designing future space-based telescopes, but that optimistic definitions may be useful in interpreting the data from such missions. In terms of effective solar flux, S(eff), the recently recalculated HZ boundaries are: recent Venus--1.78; runaway greenhouse--1.04; moist greenhouse--1.01; maximum greenhouse--0.35; and early Mars--0.32. Based on a combination of different HZ definitions, the frequency of potentially Earth-like planets around late K and M stars observed by Kepler is in the range of 0.4-0.5.

  6. Transcriptome analysis of food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory in a typical vertebrate herbivore, grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Shan; Liang, Xu-Fang; Li, Ling; Sun, Jian; Wen, Zheng-Yong; Cheng, Xiao-Yan; Li, Ai-Xuan; Cai, Wen-Jing; He, Yu-Hui; Wang, Ya-Ping; Tao, Ya-Xiong; Yuan, Xiao-Chen

    2015-01-22

    Although feeding behavior and food habit are ecologically and economically important properties, little is known about formation and evolution of herbivory. Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) is an ecologically appealing model of vertebrate herbivore, widely cultivated in the world as edible fish or as biological control agents for aquatic weeds. Grass carp exhibits food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory during development. However, currently little is known about the genes regulating the unique food habit transition and the formation of herbivory, and how they could achieve higher growth rates on plant materials, which have a relatively poor nutritional quality. We showed that grass carp fed with duckweed (modeling fish after food habit transition) had significantly higher relative length of gut than fish before food habit transition or those fed with chironomid larvae (fish without transition). Using transcriptome sequencing, we identified 10,184 differentially expressed genes between grass carp before and after transition in brain, liver and gut. By eliminating genes potentially involved in development (via comparing fish with or without food habit transition), we identified changes in expression of genes involved in cell proliferation and differentiation, appetite control, circadian rhythm, and digestion and metabolism between fish before and after food habit transition. Up-regulation of GHRb, Egfr, Fgf, Fgfbp1, Insra, Irs2, Jak, STAT, PKC, PI3K expression in fish fed with duckweed, consistent with faster gut growth, could promote the food habit transition. Grass carp after food habit transition had increased appetite signal in brain. Altered expressions of Per, Cry, Clock, Bmal2, Pdp, Dec and Fbxl3 might reset circadian phase of fish after food habit transition. Expression of genes involved in digestion and metabolism were significantly different between fish before and after the transition. We suggest that the food habit transition from carnivory

  7. Physical Activity and Transitioning to College: The Importance of Intentions and Habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allom, Vanessa; Mullan, Barbara; Cowie, Eloise; Hamilton, Kyra

    2016-03-01

    First generation students transitioning to college experience specific challenges that impact on their engagement in physical activity. Furthermore, this population experiences a context disruption that provides a unique opportunity to examine whether intention and habit predict physical activity. The aim of the current research was to determine the efficacy of the theory of planned behavior in the prediction of intention and behavior within this population, and to determine whether habit contributes to the prediction of physical activity. In this observational study, a convenience sample of first generation college students (N = 101) completed measures of theory of planned behavior variables and habit strength at Time 1, and one week later reported physical activity. The theory of planned behavior was partially supported in this context, as intention was the only significant predictor of behavior. Habit strength accounted for additional variance in physical activity but did not moderate the relationship between intention and behavior. The hypothesized model accounted for 46.9% of the variance in physical activity, and intention (β = .455) and habit (β = .364) were significant predictors. Intention and habit exert independent effects on physical activity within this population, and are both suitable targets for intervention.

  8. INFLATING AND DEFLATING HOT JUPITERS: COUPLED TIDAL AND THERMAL EVOLUTION OF KNOWN TRANSITING PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, N.; Fortney, J. J.; Jackson, B.

    2009-01-01

    We examine the radius evolution of close in giant planets with a planet evolution model that couples the orbital-tidal and thermal evolution. For 45 transiting systems, we compute a large grid of cooling/contraction paths forward in time, starting from a large phase space of initial semimajor axes and eccentricities. Given observational constraints at the current time for a given planet (semimajor axis, eccentricity, and system age), we find possible evolutionary paths that match these constraints, and compare the calculated radii to observations. We find that tidal evolution has two effects. First, planets start their evolution at larger semimajor axis, allowing them to contract more efficiently at earlier times. Second, tidal heating can significantly inflate the radius when the orbit is being circularized, but this effect on the radius is short-lived thereafter. Often circularization of the orbit is proceeded by a long period while the semimajor axis slowly decreases. Some systems with previously unexplained large radii that we can reproduce with our coupled model are HAT-P-7, HAT-P-9, WASP-10, and XO-4. This increases the number of planets for which we can match the radius from 24 (of 45) to as many as 35 for our standard case, but for some of these systems we are required to be viewing them at a special time around the era of current radius inflation. This is a concern for the viability of tidal inflation as a general mechanism to explain most inflated radii. Also, large initial eccentricities would have to be common. We also investigate the evolution of models that have a floor on the eccentricity, as may be due to a perturber. In this scenario, we match the extremely large radius of WASP-12b. This work may cast some doubt on our ability to accurately determine the interior heavy element enrichment of normal, noninflated close in planets, because of our dearth of knowledge about these planets' previous orbital-tidal histories. Finally, we find that the end

  9. Increasing the sensitivity of the Kepler legacy archive to transiting planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Still, Martin D.

    2014-01-01

    All legacy light curves archived by the Kepler project are available to the community. They are based upon simple aperture extractions from time-tagged pixel data. We demonstrate that this photometry method works well for the bright end of the Kepler target sample yet there is enormous scope for further gains in sensitivity to planet transits of faint stars in the sample. To this end, all pixel data have been made available in the archive. Methods for the user community to optimize aperture photometry and exploit point spread function modeling are being developed. Exploiting existing Kepler planet candidates, we showcase the signal-to-noise to be gained by these methods. We argue that at the faintest end of the candidate distribution, optimization provides a factor two improvement in sensitivity to transits, reaching the signal-to-noise promised by the eight year mission, curtailed by reaction wheel failure after four years. These methods can provide potentially significant improvement to a number of facets of the Kepler mission: 1. Sensitivity to new planet candidates residing currently below the signal-to-noise detection threshold; 2. Characterizing known transit profiles to higher precision; 3. Identifying contamination from nearby sources and removing contamination bias from transit depths; 4. Mitigating focus and pointing systematics within the Kepler data, and 5. Allowing the direct characterization of time-dependent physical and detector biases within the image background. With exisiting focal plane calibrations, the number of targets that currently benefit from optimized photometry is relatively small, limited to sources of magnitude Kp > 16. However, with additional refinement of the focal plane calibration, improvement in light curve quality for objects 14 < Kp < 16 can be anticipated, impacting 50% of the Kepler target sample. These methods are equally applicable to data from the upcoming TESS mission and are potentially a critical component to the

  10. Extrasolar planets formation, detection and dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Dvorak, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

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

  11. The Transit Light Source Effect: False Spectral Features and Incorrect Densities for M-dwarf Transiting Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rackham, Benjamin V.; Apai, Dániel; Giampapa, Mark S.

    2018-02-01

    Transmission spectra are differential measurements that utilize stellar illumination to probe transiting exoplanet atmospheres. Any spectral difference between the illuminating light source and the disk-integrated stellar spectrum due to starspots and faculae will be imprinted in the observed transmission spectrum. However, few constraints exist for the extent of photospheric heterogeneities in M dwarfs. Here we model spot and faculae covering fractions consistent with observed photometric variabilities for M dwarfs and the associated 0.3–5.5 μm stellar contamination spectra. We find that large ranges of spot and faculae covering fractions are consistent with observations and corrections assuming a linear relation between variability amplitude, and covering fractions generally underestimate the stellar contamination. Using realistic estimates for spot and faculae covering fractions, we find that stellar contamination can be more than 10× larger than the transit depth changes expected for atmospheric features in rocky exoplanets. We also find that stellar spectral contamination can lead to systematic errors in radius and therefore the derived density of small planets. In the case of the TRAPPIST-1 system, we show that TRAPPIST-1's rotational variability is consistent with spot covering fractions {f}{spot}={8}-7+18 % and faculae covering fractions {f}{fac}={54}-46+16 % . The associated stellar contamination signals alter the transit depths of the TRAPPIST-1 planets at wavelengths of interest for planetary atmospheric species by roughly 1–15× the strength of planetary features, significantly complicating JWST follow-up observations of this system. Similarly, we find that stellar contamination can lead to underestimates of the bulk densities of the TRAPPIST-1 planets of {{Δ }}(ρ )=-{8}-20+7 % , thus leading to overestimates of their volatile contents.

  12. Polarimetry of transiting planets: Differences between plane-parallel and spherical host star atmosphere models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostogryz, N. M.; Yakobchuk, T. M.; Berdyugina, S. V.; Milic, I.

    2017-05-01

    Context. To properly interpret photometric and polarimetric observations of exoplanetary transits, accurate calculations of center-to-limb variations of intensity and linear polarization of the host star are needed. These variations, in turn, depend on the choice of geometry of stellar atmosphere. Aims: We want to understand the dependence of the flux and the polarization curves during a transit on the choice of the applied approximation for the stellar atmosphere: spherical and plane-parallel. We examine whether simpler plane-parallel models of stellar atmospheres are good enough to interpret the flux and the polarization light curves during planetary transits, or whether more complicated spherical models should be used. Methods: Linear polarization during a transit appears because a planet eclipses a stellar disk and thus breaks left-right symmetry. We calculate the flux and the polarization variations during a transit with given center-to-limb variations of intensity and polarization. Results: We calculate the flux and the polarization variations during transit for a sample of 405 extrasolar systems. Most of them show higher transit polarization for the spherical stellar atmosphere. Our calculations reveal a group of exoplanetary systems that demonstrates lower maximum polarization during the transits with spherical model atmospheres of host stars with effective temperatures of Teff = 4400-5400 K and surface gravity of log g = 4.45-4.65 than that obtained with plane-parallel atmospheres. Moreover, we have found two trends of the transit polarization. The first trend is a decrease in the polarization calculated with spherical model atmosphere of host stars with effective temperatures Teff = 3500-5100 K, and the second shows an increase in the polarization for host stars with Teff = 5100-7000 K. These trends can be explained by the relative variation of temperature and pressure dependences in the plane-parallel and spherical model atmospheres. Conclusions: For

  13. Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT). V. A Uniform Search for Transiting Planets in Young Clusters Observed by K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzuto, Aaron C.; Mann, Andrew W.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Kraus, Adam L.; Covey, Kevin R.

    2017-12-01

    Detection of transiting exoplanets around young stars is more difficult than for older systems owing to increased stellar variability. Nine young open cluster planets have been found in the K2 data, but no single analysis pipeline identified all planets. We have developed a transit search pipeline for young stars that uses a transit-shaped notch and quadratic continuum in a 12 or 24 hr window to fit both the stellar variability and the presence of a transit. In addition, for the most rapid rotators ({P}{rot}orbiting a potential Pleiades member, and three orbiting unlikely members of the young clusters. Limited injection recovery testing on the known planet hosts indicates that for the older Praesepe systems we are sensitive to additional exoplanets as small as 1-2 R ⊕, and for the larger Upper Scorpius planet host (K2-33) our pipeline is sensitive to ˜4 R ⊕ transiting planets. The lack of detected multiple systems in the young clusters is consistent with the expected frequency from the original Kepler sample, within our detection limits. With a robust pipeline that detects all known planets in the young clusters, occurrence rate testing at young ages is now possible.

  14. Kepler-22b: a 2.4 Earth-radius Planet in the Habitable Zone of a Sun-like Star

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borucki, W.J.; Koch, D.G.; Batalha, N.; Bryson, S.T.; Rowe, J.; Fressin, F.; Torres, G.; Caldwell, D.A.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Cochran, W.D.; DeVore, E.; Gautier, T.N.; Geary, J.C.; Gilliland, R.; Gould, A.; Howell, S.B.; Jenkins, J.M.; Latham, D.W.; Lissauer, J.J.; Marcy, G.W.; Sasselov, D.; Boss, A.; Charbonneau, D.; Ciardi, D.; Kaltenegger, L.; Doyle, L.; Dupree, A.K.; Ford, E.B.; Fortney, J.; Holman, M.J.; Steffen, J.H.; Mullally, F.; Still, M.; Tarter, J.; Ballard, S.; Buchhave, L.A.; Carter, J.; Christiansen, J.L.; Demory, B.O.; Désert, J.M.; Dressing, C.; Endl, M.; Fabrycky, D.; Fischer, D.; Haas, M.R.; Henze, C.; Horch, E.; Howard, A.W.; Isaacson, H.; Kjeldsen, H.; Johnson, J.A.; Klaus, T.; Kolodziejczak, J.; Barclay, T.; Li, J.; Meibom, S.; Prsa, A.; Quinn, S.N.; Quintana, E.V.; Robertson, P.; Sherry, W.; Shporer, A.; Tenenbaum, P.; Thompson, S.E.; Twicken, J.D.; Van Cleve, J.; Welsh, W.F.; Basu, S.; Chaplin, W.; Miglio, A.; Kawaler, S.D.; Arentoft, T.; Stello, D.; Metcalfe, T.S.; Verner, G.A.; Karoff, C.; Lundkvist, M.; Lund, M.N.; Handberg, R.; Elsworth, Y.; Hekker, S.; Huber, D.; Bedding, T.R.; Rapin, W.

    2012-01-01

    A search of the time-series photometry from NASA's Kepler spacecraft reveals a transiting planet candidate orbiting the 11th magnitude G5 dwarf KIC 10593626 with a period of 290 days. The characteristics of the host star are well constrained by high-resolution spectroscopy combined with an

  15. Transit timing variations for planets co-orbiting in the horseshoe regime

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vokrouhlický, David [Institute of Astronomy, Charles University, V Holešovičkách 2, CZ-18000 Prague 8 (Czech Republic); Nesvorný, David, E-mail: vokrouhl@cesnet.cz, E-mail: davidn@boulder.swri.edu [Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)

    2014-08-10

    Although not yet detected, pairs of exoplanets in 1:1 mean motion resonance probably exist. Low eccentricity, near-planar orbits, which in the comoving frame follow horseshoe trajectories, are one of the possible stable configurations. Here we study transit timing variations (TTVs) produced by mutual gravitational interaction of planets in this orbital architecture, with the goal to develop methods that can be used to recognize this case in observational data. In particular, we use a semi-analytic model to derive parametric constraints that should facilitate data analysis. We show that characteristic traits of the TTVs can directly constrain the (1) ratio of planetary masses and (2) their total mass (divided by that of the central star) as a function of the minimum angular separation as seen from the star. In an ideal case, when transits of both planets are observed and well characterized, the minimum angular separation can also be inferred from the data. As a result, parameters derived from the observed transit timing series alone can directly provide both planetary masses scaled to the central star mass.

  16. Transit timing variations for planets co-orbiting in the horseshoe regime

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vokrouhlický, David; Nesvorný, David

    2014-01-01

    Although not yet detected, pairs of exoplanets in 1:1 mean motion resonance probably exist. Low eccentricity, near-planar orbits, which in the comoving frame follow horseshoe trajectories, are one of the possible stable configurations. Here we study transit timing variations (TTVs) produced by mutual gravitational interaction of planets in this orbital architecture, with the goal to develop methods that can be used to recognize this case in observational data. In particular, we use a semi-analytic model to derive parametric constraints that should facilitate data analysis. We show that characteristic traits of the TTVs can directly constrain the (1) ratio of planetary masses and (2) their total mass (divided by that of the central star) as a function of the minimum angular separation as seen from the star. In an ideal case, when transits of both planets are observed and well characterized, the minimum angular separation can also be inferred from the data. As a result, parameters derived from the observed transit timing series alone can directly provide both planetary masses scaled to the central star mass.

  17. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Final Kepler transiting planet search (DR25) (Twicken+, 2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, J. D.; Jenkins, J. M.; Seader, S. E.; Tenenbaum, P.; Smith, J. C.; Brownston, L. S.; Burke, C. J.; Catanzarite, J. H.; Clarke, B. D.; Cote, M. T.; Girouard, F. R.; Klaus, T. C.; Li, J.; McCauliff, S. D.; Morris, R. L.; Wohler, B.; Campbell, J. R.; Uddin, A. K.; Zamudio, K. A.; Sabale, A.; Bryson, S. T.; Caldwell, D. A.; Christiansen, J. L.; Coughlin, J. L.; Haas, M. R.; Henze, C. E.; Sanderfer, D. T.; Thompson, S. E.

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler spacecraft is in an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit and maintained a boresight pointing centered on α=19h22m40s, δ=+44.5° during the primary mission. The Kepler photometer acquired data on a 115-square-degree region of the sky. The data were acquired on 29.4-minute intervals, colloquially known as "long cadences". Long-cadence pixel values were obtained by accumulating 270 consecutive 6.02s exposures. Science acquisition of Q1 data began at 2009-05-13 00:01:07Z, and acquisition of Q17 data concluded at 2013-05-11 12:16:22Z. This time period contains 71427 long-cadence intervals. A total of 198709 targets observed by Kepler were searched for evidence of transiting planets in the final Q1-Q17 pipeline run (see Table1). The results of past Kepler Mission transiting planet searches have been presented in Tenenbaum et al. 2012 (Cat. J/ApJS/199/24) for Quarter 1 through Quarter 3 (i.e., Q1-Q3), Tenenbaum et al. 2013ApJS..206....5T for Q1-Q12, Tenenbaum et al. 2014ApJS..211....6T for Q1-Q16, and Seader et al. 2015 (Cat. J/ApJS/217/18) for Q1-Q17. We now present results of the final Kepler transiting planet search encompassing the complete 17-quarter primary mission. The data release for the final Q1-Q17 pipeline processing is referred to as Data Release 25 (DR25). (3 data files).

  18. ASTEP South: An Antarctic Search for Transiting ExoPlanets around the celestial South pole

    OpenAIRE

    Crouzet , Nicolas; Guillot , Tristan; Agabi , Karim; Rivet , Jean-Pierre; Bondoux , Erick; Challita , Zalpha; Fanteï-Caujolle , Yan; Fressin , François; Mékarnia , Djamel; Schmider , François-Xavier; Valbousquet , Franck; Blazit , Alain; Bonhomme , Serge; Abe , Lyu; Daban , Jean-Baptiste

    2009-01-01

    ASTEP South is the first phase of the ASTEP project (Antarctic Search for Transiting ExoPlanets). The instrument is a fixed 10 cm refractor with a 4kx4k CCD camera in a thermalized box, pointing continuously a 3.88 degree x 3.88 degree field of view centered on the celestial South pole. ASTEP South became fully functional in June 2008 and obtained 1592 hours of data during the 2008 Antarctic winter. The data are of good quality but the analysis has to account for changes in the point spread f...

  19. Chi-Square Discriminators for Transiting Planet Detection in Kepler Data

    OpenAIRE

    Seader, Shawn; Tenenbaum, Peter; Jenkins, Jon M.; Burke, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    The Kepler spacecraft observes a host of target stars to detect transiting planets. Requiring a 7.1 sigma detection in twelve quarters of data yields over 100,000 detections, many of which are false alarms. After a second cut is made on a robust detection statistic, some 50,000 or more targets still remain. These false alarms waste resources as they propagate through the remainder of the software pipeline and so a method to discriminate against them is crucial in maintaining the desired sensi...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-02-10

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  5. The GAPS Programme with HARPS-N at TNG . XIV. Investigating giant planet migration history via improved eccentricity and mass determination for 231 transiting planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonomo, A. S.; Desidera, S.; Benatti, S.; Borsa, F.; Crespi, S.; Damasso, M.; Lanza, A. F.; Sozzetti, A.; Lodato, G.; Marzari, F.; Boccato, C.; Claudi, R. U.; Cosentino, R.; Covino, E.; Gratton, R.; Maggio, A.; Micela, G.; Molinari, E.; Pagano, I.; Piotto, G.; Poretti, E.; Smareglia, R.; Affer, L.; Biazzo, K.; Bignamini, A.; Esposito, M.; Giacobbe, P.; Hébrard, G.; Malavolta, L.; Maldonado, J.; Mancini, L.; Martinez Fiorenzano, A.; Masiero, S.; Nascimbeni, V.; Pedani, M.; Rainer, M.; Scandariato, G.

    2017-06-01

    We carried out a Bayesian homogeneous determination of the orbital parameters of 231 transiting giant planets (TGPs) that are alone or have distant companions; we employed differential evolution Markov chain Monte Carlo methods to analyse radial-velocity (RV) data from the literature and 782 new high-accuracy RVs obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph for 45 systems over 3 years. Our work yields the largest sample of systems with a transiting giant exoplanet and coherently determined orbital, planetary, and stellar parameters. We found that the orbital parameters of TGPs in non-compact planetary systems are clearly shaped by tides raised by their host stars. Indeed, the most eccentric planets have relatively large orbital separations and/or high mass ratios, as expected from the equilibrium tide theory. This feature would be the outcome of planetary migration from highly eccentric orbits excited by planet-planet scattering, Kozai-Lidov perturbations, or secular chaos. The distribution of α = a/aR, where a and aR are the semi-major axis and the Roche limit, for well-determined circular orbits peaks at 2.5; this agrees with expectations from the high-eccentricity migration (HEM), although it might not be limited to this migration scenario. The few planets of our sample with circular orbits and α> 5 values may have migrated through disc-planet interactions instead of HEM. By comparing circularisation times with stellar ages, we found that hot Jupiters with arevised the planetary parameters of CoRoT-1b, which turned out to be considerably more inflated than previously found. Full Tables 1, 2, 5-9 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/602/A107

  6. Searching for transiting circumbinary planets in CoRoT and ground-based data using CB-BLS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofir, A.; Deeg, H. J.; Lacy, C. H. S.

    2009-10-01

    Aims: Already from the initial discoveries of extrasolar planets it was apparent that their population and environments are far more diverse than initially postulated. Discovering circumbinary (CB) planets will have many implications, and in this context it will again substantially diversify the environments that produce and sustain planets. We search for transiting CB planets around eclipsing binaries (EBs). Methods: CB-BLS is a recently-introduced algorithm for the detection of transiting CB planets around EBs. We describe progress in search sensitivity, generality and capability of CB-BLS, and detection tests of CB-BLS on simulated data. We also describe an analytical approach for the determination of CB-BLS detection limits, and a method for the correct detrending of intrinsically-variable stars. Results: We present some blind-tests with simulated planets injected to real CoRoT data. The presented upgrades to CB-BLS allowed it to detect all the blind tests successfully, and these detections were in line with the detection limits analysis. We also correctly detrend bright eclipsing binaries from observations by the TrES planet search, and present some of the first results of applying CB-BLS to multiple real light curves from a wide-field survey. Conclusions: CB-BLS is now mature enough for its application to real data, and the presented processing scheme will serve as the template for our future applications of CB-BLS to data from wide-field surveys such as CoRoT. Being able to put constraints even on non-detection will help to determine the correct frequency of CB planets, contributing to the understanding of planet formation in general. Still, searching for transiting CB planets is still a learning experience, similarly to the state of transiting planets around single stars only a few years ago. The recent rapid progress in this front, coupled with the exquisite quality of space-based photometry, allows to realistically expect that if transiting CB planets

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-30

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-05-20

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deming, Drake; Sheppard, Kyle

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nesvorný, David; Kipping, David; Terrell, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    The transit timing variations (TTVs) can be used as a diagnostic of gravitational interactions between planets in a multi-planet system. Many Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) exhibit significant TTVs, but KOI-142.01 stands out among them with an unrivaled ≃12 hr TTV amplitude. Here we report...... a thorough analysis of KOI-142.01's transits. We discover periodic transit duration variations (TDVs) of KOI-142.01 that are nearly in phase with the observed TTVs. We show that KOI-142.01's TTVs and TDVs uniquely detect a non-transiting companion with a mass ≃0.63 that of Jupiter (KOI-142c). KOI-142.01's...... mass inferred from the transit variations is consistent with the measured transit depth, suggesting a Neptune-class planet (KOI-142b). The orbital period ratio P /P = 2.03 indicates that the two planets are just wide of the 2:1 resonance. The present dynamics of this system, characterized here...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Exoplanet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-03

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

  18. {chi}{sup 2} DISCRIMINATORS FOR TRANSITING PLANET DETECTION IN KEPLER DATA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seader, Shawn; Tenenbaum, Peter; Jenkins, Jon M.; Burke, Christopher J., E-mail: shawn.seader@nasa.gov, E-mail: peter.tenenbaum@nasa.gov, E-mail: jon.jenkins@nasa.gov, E-mail: christopher.j.burke@nasa.gov [SETI Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2013-06-01

    The Kepler spacecraft observes a host of target stars to detect transiting planets. Requiring a 7.1{sigma} detection in three years of data yields over 100,000 detections, many of which are false alarms. After a second cut is made on a robust detection statistic, some 50,000 or more targets still remain. These false alarms waste resources as they propagate through the remainder of the software pipeline and so a method to discriminate against them is crucial in maintaining the desired sensitivity to true events. This paper describes a {chi}{sup 2} test which represents a novel application of an existing formalism developed for false alarm mitigation in searches for gravitational waves. Using this technique, the false alarm rate can be lowered to {approx}5%.

  19. Confirming the transit of the Earth-mass planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demory, Brice-Olivier

    2013-10-01

    One of the most fascinating exoplanet findings of the past years is undoubtedly the discovery of an Earth-mass exoplanet orbiting Alpha Centauri B. Alpha Cen Bb orbits one component of the closest stellar system to the Earth and has the potential to become a true Rosetta stone in exoplanet science, if its transiting nature were revealed. In 2013, we observed Alpha Centauri B during 16 orbits with HST/STIS to search for the transit of Alpha Cen Bb. We recently carried out in-depth photometric analyses of this dataset that resulted in the clear detection of a transit-shaped pattern. Several factors, however, prevent us from securing the planetary nature of the signal found in the STIS time-series. Now that we know where and when to look for, we propose to confirm the repeatability of this signal and to firmly establish Alpha Cen Bb's existence and tighten its physical and orbital properties. We base our observing strategy on the successful approach employed just one year ago with the same instrument. Until Aug 9th 2014, combination of HST available roll angles, Alpha Cen binary separation and position angle will match the nearly-ideal configuration we had in July 2013. It would even be possible to benefit from CVZ status from 24/7/2014 to 28/7/2014, in which one transit of Alpha Centauri Bb is expected. HST/STIS is the only facility able to confirm a transit from such a small planet at a high confidence level.

  20. Transit timing observations from Kepler – VII. Confirmation of 27 planets in 13 multiplanet systems via transit timing variations and orbital stability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steffen, Jason H. [Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States). Accelerator Physics Center; Fabrycky, Daniel C. [Lick Observ.; Agol, Eric [Washington U., Seattle; Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C. [Florida U.; Cochran, William D. [Texas U.; Lissauer, Jack J. [NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States); Adams, Elisabeth R. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States); Borucki, William J. [NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States); Bryson, Steve [NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States); Caldwell, Douglas A. [SETI Inst., Mrn. View; Dupree, Andrea [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States); Jenkins, Jon M. [NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States); Robertson, Paul [Texas U.; Rowe, Jason F. [NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States); Seader, Shawn [NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States); Thompson, Susan [NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States); Twicken, Joseph D. [NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States)

    2012-10-27

    We confirm 27 planets in 13 planetary systems by showing the existence of statistically significant anti-correlated transit timing variations (TTVs), which demonstrates that the planet candidates are in the same system, and long-term dynamical stability, which places limits on the masses of the candidates---showing that they are planetary. %This overall method of planet confirmation was first applied to \\kepler systems 23 through 32. All of these newly confirmed planetary systems have orbital periods that place them near first-order mean motion resonances (MMRs), including 6 systems near the 2:1 MMR, 5 near 3:2, and one each near 4:3, 5:4, and 6:5. In addition, several unconfirmed planet candidates exist in some systems (that cannot be confirmed with this method at this time). A few of these candidates would also be near first order MMRs with either the confirmed planets or with other candidates. One system of particular interest, Kepler-56 (KOI-1241), is a pair of planets orbiting a 12th magnitude, giant star with radius over three times that of the Sun and effective temperature of 4900 K---among the largest stars known to host a transiting exoplanetary system.

  1. Planet Hunters: Kepler by Eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, C.; Fischer, D.; Smith, A. M.; Boyajian, T. S.; Brewer, J. M.; Giguere, M. J.; Lynn, S.; Parrish, M.; Schawinski, K.; Schmitt, J.; Simpson, R.; Wang, J.

    2014-01-01

    Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org), part of the Zooniverse's (http://www.zooniverse.org) collection of online citizen science projects, uses the World Wide Web to enlist the general public to identify transits in the pubic Kepler light curves. Planet Hunters utilizes human pattern recognition to identify planet transits that may be missed by automated detection algorithms looking for periodic events. Referred to as ‘crowdsourcing’ or ‘citizen science’, the combined assessment of many non-expert human classifiers with minimal training can often equal or best that of a trained expert and in many cases outperform the best machine-learning algorithm. Visitors to the Planet Hunters' website are presented with a randomly selected ~30-day light curve segment from one of Kepler’s ~160,000 target stars and are asked to draw boxes to mark the locations of visible transits in the web interface. 5-10 classifiers review each 30-day light curve segment. Since December 2010, more than 260,000 volunteers world wide have participated, contributing over 20 million classifications. We have demonstrated the success of a citizen science approach with the project’s more than 20 planet candidates, the discovery of PH1b, a transiting circumbinary planet in a quadruple star system, and the discovery of PH2-b, a confirmed Jupiter-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. I will provide an overview of Planet Hunters, highlighting several of project's most recent exoplanet and astrophysical discoveries. Acknowledgements: MES was supported in part by a NSF AAPF under award AST-1003258 and a American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant. We acknowledge support from NASA ADAP12-0172 grant to PI Fischer.

  2. HABITABILITY OF EXOMOONS AT THE HILL OR TIDAL LOCKING RADIUS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Kane, Stephen R., E-mail: natalie.hinkel@gmail.com [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, MS 100-22, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2013-09-01

    Moons orbiting extrasolar planets are the next class of object to be observed and characterized for possible habitability. Like the host-planets to their host-star, exomoons have a limiting radius at which they may be gravitationally bound, or the Hill radius. In addition, they also have a distance at which they will become tidally locked and therefore in synchronous rotation with the planet. We have examined the flux phase profile of a simulated, hypothetical moon orbiting at a distant radius around the confirmed exoplanets {mu} Ara b, HD 28185 b, BD +14 4559 b, and HD 73534 b. The irradiated flux on a moon at its furthest, stable distance from the planet achieves its largest flux gradient, which places a limit on the flux ranges expected for subsequent (observed) moons closer in orbit to the planet. We have also analyzed the effect of planetary eccentricity on the flux on the moon, examining planets that traverse the habitable zone either fully or partially during their orbit. Looking solely at the stellar contributions, we find that moons around planets that are totally within the habitable zone experience thermal equilibrium temperatures above the runaway greenhouse limit, requiring a small heat redistribution efficiency. In contrast, exomoons orbiting planets that only spend a fraction of their time within the habitable zone require a heat redistribution efficiency near 100% in order to achieve temperatures suitable for habitability. This means that a planet does not need to spend its entire orbit within the habitable zone in order for the exomoon to be habitable. Because the applied systems comprise giant planets around bright stars, we believe that the transit detection method is most likely to yield an exomoon discovery.

  3. Transcriptome analysis of food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory in a typical vertebrate herbivore, grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella

    OpenAIRE

    He, Shan; Liang, Xu-Fang; Li, Ling; Sun, Jian; Wen, Zheng-Yong; Cheng, Xiao-Yan; Li, Ai-Xuan; Cai, Wen-Jing; He, Yu-Hui; Wang, Ya-Ping; Tao, Ya-Xiong; Yuan, Xiao-Chen

    2015-01-01

    Background Although feeding behavior and food habit are ecologically and economically important properties, little is known about formation and evolution of herbivory. Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) is an ecologically appealing model of vertebrate herbivore, widely cultivated in the world as edible fish or as biological control agents for aquatic weeds. Grass carp exhibits food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory during development. However, currently little is known about the ...

  4. KOI-676: An active star with two transiting planets and a third possible candidate detected with TTV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioannidis, P.; Schmitt, J.; Avdellidou, C.; von Essen, C.; Eric, A.

    2013-09-01

    We report the detection and characterization of two short period, Neptune sized planets, around the active star KOI-676. The orbital elements of both planets are not the expected ones, as they lead to miscalculation of the stellar parameters. We discuss various scenarios which could cause that discrepancy and we suggest that the reason is most probably the high eccentricities of the orbits. We use the Transit Timing Variations, detected in both planets' O-C diagrams to support our theory, while due to the lack of autocorrelation in their pattern we suggest the existence of a third, more massive, mutual inclined, outer perturber. To clarify our suggestions we use n-body simulations to model the TTVs and check the stability of the system.

  5. Testing giant planet formation in the transitional disk of SAO 206462 using deep VLT/SPHERE imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maire, A.-L.; Stolker, T.; Messina, S.; Müller, A.; Biller, B. A.; Currie, T.; Dominik, C.; Grady, C. A.; Boccaletti, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Chauvin, G.; Galicher, R.; Millward, M.; Pohl, A.; Brandner, W.; Henning, T.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Langlois, M.; Meyer, M. R.; Quanz, S. P.; Vigan, A.; Zurlo, A.; van Boekel, R.; Buenzli, E.; Buey, T.; Desidera, S.; Feldt, M.; Fusco, T.; Ginski, C.; Giro, E.; Gratton, R.; Hubin, N.; Lannier, J.; Le Mignant, D.; Mesa, D.; Peretti, S.; Perrot, C.; Ramos, J. R.; Salter, G.; Samland, M.; Sissa, E.; Stadler, E.; Thalmann, C.; Udry, S.; Weber, L.

    2017-05-01

    Context. The SAO 206462 (HD 135344B) disk is one of the few known transitional disks showing asymmetric features in scattered light and thermal emission. Near-infrared scattered-light images revealed two bright outer spiral arms and an inner cavity depleted in dust. Giant protoplanets have been proposed to account for the disk morphology. Aims: We aim to search for giant planets responsible for the disk features and, in the case of non-detection, to constrain recent planet predictions using the data detection limits. Methods: We obtained new high-contrast and high-resolution total intensity images of the target spanning the Y to the K bands (0.95-2.3 μm) using the VLT/SPHERE near-infrared camera and integral field spectrometer. Results: The spiral arms and the outer cavity edge are revealed at high resolutions and sensitivities without the need for aggressive image post-processing techniques, which introduce photometric biases. We do not detect any close-in companions. For the derivation of the detection limits on putative giant planets embedded in the disk, we show that the knowledge of the disk aspect ratio and viscosity is critical for the estimation of the attenuation of a planet signal by the protoplanetary dust because of the gaps that these putative planets may open. Given assumptions on these parameters, the mass limits can vary from 2-5 to 4-7 Jupiter masses at separations beyond the disk spiral arms. The SPHERE detection limits are more stringent than those derived from archival NaCo/L' data and provide new constraints on a few recent predictions of massive planets (4-15 MJ) based on the spiral density wave theory. The SPHERE and ALMA data do not favor the hypotheses on massive giant planets in the outer disk (beyond 0.6''). There could still be low-mass planets in the outer disk and/or planets inside the cavity. Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programmes 095.C

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Jessie L.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  8. Habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-04-01

    The recent discovery of seven Earth-sized, terrestrial planets around an M dwarf star was met with excitement and optimism. But how habitable are these planets actually likely to be? A recent study of these planets likely climates may provide an answer to this question.An Optimistic OutlookIn February of this year, the TRAPPIST-1 system was announced: seven roughly Earth-sized, transiting, terrestrial planets all orbiting their host ultracool dwarf star within a distance the size of Mercurys orbit. Three of the planets were initially declared to be in the stars habitable zone and scientists speculated that even those outside the habitable zone could potentially still harbor liquid water making the system especially exciting.In Wolfs simulations, the surface temperature (solid lines) of TRAPPIST-1d grows to more than 380K in just 40 years. [Adapted from Wolf 2017]The planets were labeled as temperate because all seven have equilibrium temperatures that are under 400K. Since liquid water requires a surface temperature of 273-373K, this certainly seems promising!Finding Realistic TemperaturesBut theres a catch: equilibrium temperatures are not actual measurements of the planets surface temperature, theyre just very rudimentary estimates based on how much light the planet receives. To get a better estimate of the real temperature of the planet and therefore assess its habitability you need advanced climate modeling of the planet that include factors like the greenhouse effect and planetary albedo.In Wolfs simulations, the surface temperature of TRAPPIST-1f plummets rapidly even when modeled with dense carbon dioxide atmosphere (purple line). The bottom panel shows the corresponding rapid growth of sea-ice on the surface oceans for the different atmospheric models. [Wolf 2017]To that end, scientist Eric Wolf (University of Colorado Boulder) has conducted state-of-the-art 3D climate calculations for the three center-most planets planets d, e, and f in the TRAPPIST-1

  9. Confirmation of an exoplanet using the transit color signature: Kepler-418b, a blended giant planet in a multiplanet system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingley, B.; Parviainen, H.; Gandolfi, D.; Deeg, H. J.; Palle, E.; Montañés Rodriguez, P.; Murgas, F.; Alonso, R.; Bruntt, H.; Fridlund, M.

    2014-07-01

    Aims: We announce confirmation of Kepler-418b, one of two proposed planets in this system. This is the first confirmation of an exoplanet based primarily on the transit color signature technique. Methods: We used the Kepler public data archive combined with multicolor photometry from the Gran Telescopio de Canarias and radial velocity follow-up using FIES at the Nordic Optical Telescope for confirmation. Results: We report a confident detection of a transit color signature that can only be explained by a compact occulting body, entirely ruling out a contaminating eclipsing binary, a hierarchical triple, or a grazing eclipsing binary. Those findings are corroborated by our radial velocity measurements, which put an upper limit of ~1 MJup on the mass of Kepler-418b. We also report that the host star is significantly blended, confirming the ~10% light contamination suspected from the crowding metric in the Kepler light curve measured by the Kepler team. We report detection of an unresolved light source that contributes an additional ~30% to the target star, which would not have been detected without multicolor photometric analysis. The resulting planet-star radius ratio is 0.110 ± 0.0025, more than 25% more than the 0.087 measured by Kepler leading to a radius of 1.20 ± 0.16 RJup instead of the 0.94 RJup measured by the Kepler team. Conclusions: This is the first confirmation of an exoplanet candidate based primarily on the transit color signature, demonstrating that this technique is viable from ground for giant planets. It is particularly useful for planets with long periods such as Kepler-418b, which tend to have long transit durations. While this technique is limited to candidates with deep transits from the ground, it may be possible to confirm earth-like exoplanet candidates with a few hours of observing time with an instrument like the James Webb Space Telescope. Additionally, multicolor photometric analysis of transits can reveal unknown stellar neighbors

  10. WHERE TO FIND HABITABLE ''EARTHS'' IN CIRCUMBINARY SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Huigen; Zhang Hui; Zhou Jilin

    2013-01-01

    Six P-type planets have been found thus far around five binary systems, i.e., Kepler-16b, 34b, 35b, 38b, and 47b and c, which are all Neptune- or Jupiter-like planets. The stability of planets and the habitable zones are influenced by the gravitational and radiative perturbations of binary companions. In this Letter, we check the stability of an additional habitable Earth-mass planet in each system. Based on our simulations in 10 Myr, a habitable ''Earth'' is hardly stable in Kepler-16, while a stable ''Earth'' in Kepler-47 close to the boundaries of the habitable zone is possible. In contrast, Kepler-34, 35, and 38 seem to have high probabilities of being able to tolerante a stable ''Earth'' in their habitable zones. The affects of transit time variations are quite small due to the small mass of an undetected ''Earth,'' except that of Kepler-16b. With a time precision of 10 –3 day (∼88 s), an ''Earth'' in the corotational resonance with Kepler-16b can be detected in three years, while habitable ''Earths'' in the Kepler-34 and 38 systems can be detected in 10 yr. Habitable ''Earths'' in Kepler-35 and 47 are not likely to be detected in 10 yr under this precision.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nehmé, C; Sarkis, P

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Christopher J.; Catanzarite, Joseph

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Habitable Trinity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Dohm

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Habitable Trinity is a newly proposed concept of a habitable environment. This concept indicates that the coexistence of an atmosphere (consisting largely of C and N, an ocean (H and O, and a landmass (supplier of nutrients accompanying continuous material circulation between these three components driven by the Sun is one of the minimum requirements for life to emerge and evolve. The life body consists of C, O, H, N and other various nutrients, and therefore, the presence of water, only, is not a sufficient condition. Habitable Trinity environment must be maintained to supply necessary components for life body. Our Habitable Trinity concept can also be applied to other planets and moons such as Mars, Europa, Titan, and even exoplanets as a useful index in the quest for life-containing planetary bodies.

  14. A 4.43 Ga Transition from Mega-impact to Habitability Deduced from Microstructural Geochronology of Martian Zircon and Baddeleyite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, D.; Reinhard, D. A.; Larson, D. J.; McCubbin, F. M.; Darling, J.; White, L. F.; Arcuri, G.; Irving, A. J.; Tait, K.; Barker, I.

    2017-12-01

    during this transition, permitting the inference that early, planet-shaping impacts may ultimately promote habitability pathways in planetary systems.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  16. A footprint family extended MRIO model to support Europe's transition to a One Planet Economy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galli, A.; Weinzettel, J.; Cranston, G.; Ercin, Ertug

    2013-01-01

    Currently, the European economy is using nearly three times the ecological assets that are locally available. This situation cannot be sustained indefinitely. Tools are needed that can help reverse the unsustainable trend. In 2010, an EC funded One Planet Economy Network: Europe (OPEN:EU) project

  17. ENSEMBLE ANALYSIS OF OPEN CLUSTER TRANSIT SURVEYS: UPPER LIMITS ON THE FREQUENCY OF SHORT-PERIOD PLANETS CONSISTENT WITH THE FIELD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Saders, Jennifer L.; Gaudi, B. Scott

    2011-01-01

    Several photometric surveys for short-period transiting giant planets have targeted a number of open clusters, but no convincing detections have been reported. Although each individual survey typically targeted an insufficient number of stars to expect a detection assuming the frequency of short-period giant planets found in surveys of field stars, we ask whether the lack of detections from the ensemble of open cluster surveys is inconsistent with expectations from the field planet population. We select a subset of existing transit surveys with well-defined selection criteria and quantified detection efficiencies, and statistically combine their null results to show that the upper limits on the planet fraction are 5.5% and 1.4% for 1.0 R J and 1.5 R J planets, respectively, in the 3 J and 1.5 R J , respectively. Comparing these results to the frequency of short-period giant planets around field stars in both radial velocity and transit surveys, we conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that open clusters support a fundamentally different planet population than field stars, given the available data.

  18. DYNAMICAL ACCRETION OF PRIMORDIAL ATMOSPHERES AROUND PLANETS WITH MASSES BETWEEN 0.1 AND 5 M {sub ⊕} IN THE HABITABLE ZONE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stökl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst A.; Johnstone, Colin P. [Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Lammer, Helmut, E-mail: alexander.stoekl@astro.univie.ac.at [Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstr. 6, A-8042, Graz (Austria)

    2016-07-10

    In the early, disk-embedded phase of evolution of terrestrial planets, a protoplanetary core can accumulate gas from the circumstellar disk into a planetary envelope. In order to relate the accumulation and structure of this primordial atmosphere to the thermal evolution of the planetary core, we calculated atmosphere models characterized by the surface temperature of the core. We considered cores with masses between 0.1 and 5 M {sub ⊕} situated in the habitable zone around a solar-like star. The time-dependent simulations in 1D-spherical symmetry include the hydrodynamics equations, gray radiative transport, and convective energy transport. Using an implicit time integration scheme, we can use large time steps and and thus efficiently cover evolutionary timescales. Our results show that planetary atmospheres, when considered with reference to a fixed core temperature, are not necessarily stable, and multiple solutions may exist for one core temperature. As the structure and properties of nebula-embedded planetary atmospheres are an inherently time-dependent problem, we calculated estimates for the amount of primordial atmosphere by simulating the accretion process of disk gas onto planetary cores and the subsequent evolution of the embedded atmospheres. The temperature of the planetary core is thereby determined from the computation of the internal energy budget of the core. For cores more massive than about one Earth mass, we obtain that a comparatively short duration of the disk-embedded phase (∼10{sup 5} years) is sufficient for the accumulation of significant amounts of hydrogen atmosphere that are unlikely to be removed by later atmospheric escape processes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Context. Observations of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance to our understanding of planets because their mass, radius, and mass density can be determined. These measurements indicate that planets of similar mass can have very different radii. For low-density planets, it is gener....... Conclusions. The exoplanet CoRoT-19b is an example of a giant planet of almost the same mass as Jupiter but a ≈30% larger radius....

  20. A FRAMEWORK FOR CHARACTERIZING THE ATMOSPHERES OF LOW-MASS LOW-DENSITY TRANSITING PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fortney, Jonathan J.; Nettelmann, Nadine; Mordasini, Christoph; Kempton, Eliza M.-R.; Greene, Thomas P.; Zahnle, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    We perform modeling investigations to aid in understanding the atmospheres and composition of small planets of ∼2-4 Earth radii, which are now known to be common in our Galaxy. GJ 1214b is a well-studied example whose atmospheric transmission spectrum has been observed by many investigators. Here we take a step back from GJ 1214b to investigate the role that planetary mass, composition, and temperature play in impacting the transmission spectra of these low-mass low-density (LMLD) planets. Under the assumption that these planets accrete modest hydrogen-dominated atmospheres and planetesimals, we use population synthesis models to show that predicted metal enrichments of the H/He envelope are high, with metal mass fraction Z env values commonly 0.6-0.9, or ∼100-400+ times solar. The high mean molecular weight of such atmospheres (μ ≈ 5-12) would naturally help to flatten the transmission spectrum of most LMLD planets. The high metal abundance would also provide significant condensible material for cloud formation. It is known that the H/He abundance in Uranus and Neptune decreases with depth, and we show that atmospheric evaporation of LMLD planets could expose atmospheric layers with gradually higher Z env . However, values of Z env close to solar composition can also arise, so diversity should be expected. Photochemically produced hazes, potentially due to methane photolysis, are another possibility for obscuring transmission spectra. Such hazes may not form above T eq of ∼800-1100 K, which is testable if such warm, otherwise low mean molecular weight atmospheres are stable against atmospheric evaporation. We find that available transmission data are consistent with relatively high mean molecular weight atmospheres for GJ 1214b and 'warm Neptune' GJ 436b. We examine future prospects for characterizing GJ 1214b with Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-18

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

  3. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-04-15

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

  5. Planets in Binary Star Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Haghighipour, Nader

    2010-01-01

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

  6. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  8. Constraints on planetary formation from the discovery & study of transiting Extrasolar Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Triaud, Amaury

    2011-01-01

    En collaboration avec le consortium WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) composés d'universités britanniques, une cinquantaine de nouvelles planètes semblables à Jupiter, mais situées sur des orbites de quelques jours seulement, ont été découvertes autour d'étoiles proche et brillantes, dans le ciel de l'hémisphère Sud. La luminosité de l'étoile hôte permet une caractérisation approfondie de ces objets. Le signal lumineux produit lors du passage d'une planète devant son étoile donne la possib...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. The hunt for red dwarf binaries and hot planets in the WFCAM transit survey.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nefs, Sebastiaan Victor

    2013-01-01

    Red Dwarfs are at the heart of Astronomy because they are the most abundant type of star that we know of in our Galaxy. Yet, surprisingly little is known about their formation, evolution and the nature of their companions. In this thesis I present the first results of the WFCAM Transit Survey, a

  11. A tunnel and a traffic jam: How transition disks maintain a detectable warm dust component despite the presence of a large planet-carved gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinilla, P.; Klarmann, L.; Birnstiel, T.; Benisty, M.; Dominik, C.; Dullemond, C. P.

    2016-01-01

    Context. Transition disks are circumstellar disks that show evidence of a dust cavity, which may be related to dynamical clearing by embedded planet(s). Most of these objects show signs of significant accretion, indicating that the inner disks are not truly empty, but that gas is still streaming through to the star. A subset of transition disks, sometimes called pre-transition disks, also shows a strong near-infrared excess, interpreted as an optically thick dusty belt located close to the dust sublimation radius within the first astronomical unit. Aims: We study the conditions for the survival and maintenance of such an inner disk in the case where a massive planet opens a gap in the disk. In this scenario, the planet filters out large dust grains that are trapped at the outer edge of the gap, while the inner regions of the disk may or may not be replenished with small grains. Methods: We combined hydrodynamical simulations of planet-disk interactions with dust evolution models that include coagulation and fragmentation of dust grains over a large range of radii and derived observational properties using radiative transfer calculations. We studied the role of the snow line in the survival of the inner disk of transition disks. Results: Inside the snow line, the lack of ice mantles in dust particles decreases the sticking efficiency between grains. As a consequence, particles fragment at lower collision velocities than in regions beyond the snow line. This effect allows small particles to be maintained for up to a few Myr within the first astronomical unit. These particles are closely coupled to the gas and do not drift significantly with respect to the gas. For lower mass planets (1 MJup), the pre-transition appearance can be maintained even longer because dust still trickles through the gap created by the planet, moves invisibly and quickly in the form of relatively large grains through the gap, and becomes visible again as it fragments and gets slowed down

  12. Martian Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, F.

    2012-09-01

    Due to the reported Mars surface environmental conditions (Klein, 1978) (oxidative stress, high UV radiation levels, etc.) the possibility for life development in the surface of the red planet is very small. The identification of water-ice on the subsurface on Mars by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer onboard of the Mars Odyssey (Kieffer and Titus, 2001) and from the High Energy Neutron Detector (Litvak, et al., 2006) has important astrobiological connotations, because in addition to be a potential source for water, these locations are shielding habitats against the harsh conditions existing on the planet, like UV radiation (Gomez, et al., 2007; Gomez, et al., 2012). Martian habitability potential could change in particular located micro-niches. Salt deliquescence and hard environmental parameters modification could be relevant for life under protected niches. An example could be endolithic niches inside salt deposits used by phototrophs for taking advantage of sheltering particular light wavelengths. Similar acidic salts deposits are located in Río Tinto extreme environment with shelter life forms which are difficult to localize by eye. Techniques for its localization and study during space missions are needed to develop. Extreme environments are good scenarios where to test and train those techniques and where hypothetical Astrobiological space missions could be simulated for increasing possibilities of micro niches identification. Here we will report some experiments of bacteria exposition to Martian surface conditions in Mars Simulation chamber. Bacteria were shelter and exposed included in simulated salty endolithic micro niches. High percentage of bacteria resistance and adaptation to harsh extreme those conditions was reported (Gómez, F. et al., 2010). These results were used to develop and implement a Habitability Index to study Martian habitability during the next MSL mission to Mars landed on August 2012 on the surface of the red planet.

  13. Kepler planet-detection mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Unsupervised Method for Correlated Noise Removal for Multi-wavelength Exo-planet Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehghan Firoozabadi, Ali; Diaz, Alejandro; Rojo, Patricio; Soto, Ismael; Mahu, Rodrigo; Becerra Yoma, Nestor; Sedaghati, Elyar

    2017-07-01

    Exoplanetary atmospheric observations require an exquisite precision in the measurement of the relative flux among wavelengths. In this paper, we aim to provide a new adaptive method to treat light curves before fitting transit parameters in order to minimize systematic effects that affect, for instance, ground-based observations of exo-atmospheres. We propose a neural-network-based method that uses a reference built from the data itself with parameters that are chosen in an unsupervised fashion. To improve the performance of proposed method, K-means clustering and Silhouette criteria are used for identifying similar wavelengths in each cluster. We also constrain under which circumstances our method improves the measurement of planetary-to-stellar radius ratio without producing significant systematic offset. We tested our method in high quality data from WASP-19b and low-quality data from GJ-1214. We succeed in providing smaller error bars for the former when using JKTEBOP, but GJ-1214 light curve was beyond the capabilities of this method to improve as it was expected from our validation tests.

  16. The Role of Plate Tectonic-Climate Coupling and Exposed Land Area in the Development of Habitable Climates on Rocky Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Bradford J.

    2015-10-01

    The long-term carbon cycle is vital for maintaining liquid water oceans on rocky planets due to the negative climate feedbacks involved in silicate weathering. Plate tectonics plays a crucial role in driving the long-term carbon cycle because it is responsible for CO2 degassing at ridges and arcs, the return of CO2 to the mantle through subduction, and supplying fresh, weatherable rock to the surface via uplift and orogeny. However, the presence of plate tectonics itself may depend on climate according to recent geodynamical studies showing that cool surface temperatures are important for maintaining vigorous plate tectonics. Using a simple carbon cycle model, I show that the negative climate feedbacks inherent in the long-term carbon cycle are uninhibited by climate's effect on plate tectonics. Furthermore, initial atmospheric CO2 conditions do not impact the final climate state reached when the carbon cycle comes to equilibrium, as long as liquid water is present and silicate weathering can occur. Thus an initially hot, CO2 rich atmosphere does not prevent the development of a temperate climate and plate tectonics on a planet. However, globally supply limited weathering does prevent the development of temperate climates on planets with small subaerial land areas and large total CO2 budgets because supply limited weathering lacks stabilizing climate feedbacks. Planets in the supply limited regime may become inhospitable for life and could experience significant water loss. Supply limited weathering is less likely on plate tectonic planets because plate tectonics promotes high erosion rates and thus a greater supply of bedrock to the surface.

  17. Body dissatisfaction and body mass in girls and boys transitioning from early to mid-adolescence: additional role of self-esteem and eating habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäkinen, Mauno; Puukko-Viertomies, Leena-Riitta; Lindberg, Nina; Siimes, Martti A; Aalberg, Veikko

    2012-06-08

    In the transition from early to mid-adolescence, gender differences in pubertal development become significant. Body dissatisfaction is often associated with body mass, low self-esteem and abnormal eating habits. The majority of studies investigating body dissatisfaction and its associations have been conducted on female populations. However, some evidence suggests that males also suffer from these problems and that gender differences might already be observed in adolescence. To examine body dissatisfaction and its relationship with body mass, as well as self-esteem and eating habits, in girls and boys in transition from early to mid-adolescence. School nurses recorded the heights and weights of 659 girls and 711 boys with a mean age of 14.5 years. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Body Dissatisfaction subscale of the Eating Disorder Inventory were used as self-appraisal scales. Eating data were self-reported. The girls were less satisfied with their bodies than boys were with theirs (mean score (SD): 30.6 (SD 12.2) vs. 18.9 (SD 9.5); p eating habits were less satisfied with their bodies than those describing normal eating habits (mean (SD): 33.0 (12.9) vs. 21.2 (10.2); p eating habits revealed a significant relationship with body dissatisfaction in the transitional phase from early to mid-adolescence in girls and boys, but significant gender differences were also found.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  19. Searching for Circumprimary and Circumbinary Planets in Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighipour, Nader

    We propose to use the currently available data from the Kepler space telescope (specifically, variations in transit and eclipse timing) to detect planets in circumprimary and circumbinary orbits in binary star systems. The detection of planets in close binary stars during the past decade and the recent success of the Kepler space telescope in detecting planets in circumbinary orbits strongly suggest that planet formation in and around binary stars is robust and planets of variety of sizes may exist in dual-star systems. Given that approximately 60% of the main and pre-main sequence stars are in binaries, many of such planet-hosting dual-stars are expected to exist which naturally leads to several fundamental questions on the formation, characteristics, frequency, and habitability of their planets. However, the small number of the currently known planets in binary star systems (only 8) does not allow for arriving at statistically meaningful answers to these questions. The success of the Kepler space telescope in identifying more than 2300 planetary candidates (of which many may be in close dual-stars) and over 2100 eclipsing binaries has provided rich grounds for searching for planet-hosting binary stars and increasing the number of their planets. We propose to use the data from quarter 0 (Q0) to quarter 6 (Q6), to identify the signature(s) of planet(s) in and around binary stars by analyzing the variations in the times of planetary transit or the eclipses of the binary. We will use the transit timing variations of the +2300 planetary candidates for detecting stellar companions to their planet-hosting stars, and the eclipse timing variations of the +2100 binary star systems to detect circumbinary planets. We have developed a powerful algorithm dubbed as QATS that allows us to analyze eclipse and transit timing variations accurately and efficiently. To properly account for the frequency of planets in binary stars systems and comparing that with the frequency of

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-05-20

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

  1. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  2. Tides and the evolution of planetary habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory; Raymond, Sean N; Jackson, Brian; Greenberg, Richard

    2008-06-01

    Tides raised on a planet by the gravity of its host star can reduce the planet's orbital semi-major axis and eccentricity. This effect is only relevant for planets orbiting very close to their host stars. The habitable zones of low-mass stars are also close in, and tides can alter the orbits of planets in these locations. We calculate the tidal evolution of hypothetical terrestrial planets around low-mass stars and show that tides can evolve planets past the inner edge of the habitable zone, sometimes in less than 1 billion years. This migration requires large eccentricities (>0.5) and low-mass stars ( less or similar to 0.35 M(circle)). Such migration may have important implications for the evolution of the atmosphere, internal heating, and the Gaia hypothesis. Similarly, a planet that is detected interior to the habitable zone could have been habitable in the past. We consider the past habitability of the recently discovered, approximately 5 M(circle) planet, Gliese 581 c. We find that it could have been habitable for reasonable choices of orbital and physical properties as recently as 2 Gyr ago. However, when constraints derived from the additional companions are included, most parameter choices that indicate past habitability require the two inner planets of the system to have crossed their mutual 3:1 mean motion resonance. As this crossing would likely have resulted in resonance capture, which is not observed, we conclude that Gl 581 c was probably never habitable.

  3. The Supergalactic Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Paul

    2018-01-01

    Habitability in the local universe is examined. Constrained by metal abundance and exposure to sterilizing events, life as we know it requires significantly long periods of stable environmental conditions. Planets within galaxies undergoing major mergers, active AGN, starburst episodes, and merging black holes pose serious threats to long-term habitability. Importantly, the development of several layers of protection from high-energy particles such as a thick atmosphere, a strong planetary magnetic field, an astrosphere, and a galactic magnetic field is of great benefit. Factors such as star type and activity, planet type and composition, the location of a planet within its host galaxy, and even the location within a supercluster of galaxies can affect the potential habitability of planets. We discuss the concept of the Supergalactic Habitable Zone introduced by Mason and Biermann in terms of habitability in the local universe and find that galaxies near the center of the Virgo cluster, for example, have a much lower probability for the development of life as we know it as compared to locations in the Milky Way.

  4. Habitability: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C S; Bush, T; Bryce, C; Direito, S; Fox-Powell, M; Harrison, J P; Lammer, H; Landenmark, H; Martin-Torres, J; Nicholson, N; Noack, L; O'Malley-James, J; Payler, S J; Rushby, A; Samuels, T; Schwendner, P; Wadsworth, J; Zorzano, M P

    2016-01-01

    Habitability is a widely used word in the geoscience, planetary science, and astrobiology literature, but what does it mean? In this review on habitability, we define it as the ability of an environment to support the activity of at least one known organism. We adopt a binary definition of "habitability" and a "habitable environment." An environment either can or cannot sustain a given organism. However, environments such as entire planets might be capable of supporting more or less species diversity or biomass compared with that of Earth. A clarity in understanding habitability can be obtained by defining instantaneous habitability as the conditions at any given time in a given environment required to sustain the activity of at least one known organism, and continuous planetary habitability as the capacity of a planetary body to sustain habitable conditions on some areas of its surface or within its interior over geological timescales. We also distinguish between surface liquid water worlds (such as Earth) that can sustain liquid water on their surfaces and interior liquid water worlds, such as icy moons and terrestrial-type rocky planets with liquid water only in their interiors. This distinction is important since, while the former can potentially sustain habitable conditions for oxygenic photosynthesis that leads to the rise of atmospheric oxygen and potentially complex multicellularity and intelligence over geological timescales, the latter are unlikely to. Habitable environments do not need to contain life. Although the decoupling of habitability and the presence of life may be rare on Earth, it may be important for understanding the habitability of other planetary bodies.

  5. 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

  6. Runaway greenhouse effect on exomoons due to irradiation from hot, young giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, R.; Barnes, R.

    2015-04-01

    The Kepler space telescope has proven capable of detecting transits of objects almost as small as the Earth's Moon. Some studies suggest that moons as small as 0.2 Earth masses can be detected in the Kepler data by transit timing variations and transit duration variations of their host planets. If such massive moons exist around giant planets in the stellar habitable zone (HZ), then they could serve as habitats for extraterrestrial life. While earlier studies on exomoon habitability assumed the host planet to be in thermal equilibrium with the absorbed stellar flux, we here extend this concept by including the planetary luminosity from evolutionary shrinking. Our aim is to assess the danger of exomoons to be in a runaway greenhouse state due to extensive heating from the planet. We apply pre-computed evolution tracks for giant planets to calculate the incident planetary radiation on the moon as a function of time. Added to the stellar flux, the total illumination yields constraints on a moon's habitability. Ultimately, we include tidal heating to evaluate a moon's energy budget. We use a semi-analytical formula to parameterize the critical flux for the moon to experience a runaway greenhouse effect. Planetary illumination from a 13-Jupiter-mass planet onto an Earth-sized moon at a distance of ten Jupiter radii can drive a runaway greenhouse state on the moon for about 200 million years (Myr). When stellar illumination equivalent to that received by Earth from the Sun is added, then the runaway greenhouse holds for about 500 Myr. After 1000 Myr, the planet's habitable edge has moved inward to about six Jupiter radii. Exomoons in orbits with eccentricities of 0.1 experience strong tidal heating; they must orbit a 13-Jupiter-mass host beyond 29 or 18 Jupiter radii after 100 Myr (at the inner and outer boundaries of the stellar HZ, respectively), and beyond 13 Jupiter radii (in both cases) after 1000 Myr to be habitable. If a roughly Earth-sized, Earth-mass moon would

  7. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Prospecting for Habitable Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Jon M.

    2017-01-01

    NASAs Kepler Mission was launched in March 2009 as NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars, that range of distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a rocky planet. Kepler has discovered over 2200 planets and over 2200 candidate planets, many of them as small as the Earth. Forty nine of these are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in the habitable zone of their stars, all of which are cooler and significantly smaller than the Sun.Today, Keplers amazing success seems to be a fait accompli to those unfamiliar with her history. But twenty years ago, there were no planets known outside our solar system, and few people believed it was possible to detect tiny Earth-size planets orbiting other stars. Indeed, demonstrating that the science was feasible took four proposals to NASAs Discovery Program and extensive research and laboratory demonstrations. Motivating NASA to select Kepler for launch required a confluence of the right detector technology, advances in signal processing and algorithms, and the power of supercomputing. On August 23 2015 we reported the discovery of Kepler-452b, the first small, possibly rocky planet in the habitable zone of a G2 star very similar to our own. Kepler-452b orbits its star once every 385 days in an orbit just 5 larger than that of Earth. This discovery represents an important step towards finding and characterizing small habitable worlds orbiting Sun-like stars.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. The Transiting Multi-planet System HD 3167: A 5.7 M ⊕ Super-Earth and an 8.3 M ⊕ Mini-Neptune

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandolfi, Davide; Barragán, Oscar; Hatzes, Artie P.; Fridlund, Malcolm; Fossati, Luca; Donati, Paolo; Johnson, Marshall C.; Nowak, Grzegorz; Prieto-Arranz, Jorge; Albrecht, Simon; Dai, Fei; Deeg, Hans; Endl, Michael; Grziwa, Sascha; Hjorth, Maria; Korth, Judith; Nespral, David; Saario, Joonas; Smith, Alexis M. S.; Antoniciello, Giuliano; Alarcon, Javier; Bedell, Megan; Blay, Pere; Brems, Stefan S.; Cabrera, Juan; Csizmadia, Szilard; Cusano, Felice; Cochran, William D.; Eigmüller, Philipp; Erikson, Anders; González Hernández, Jonay I.; Guenther, Eike W.; Hirano, Teruyuki; Suárez Mascareño, Alejandro; Narita, Norio; Palle, Enric; Parviainen, Hannu; Pätzold, Martin; Persson, Carina M.; Rauer, Heike; Saviane, Ivo; Schmidtobreick, Linda; Van Eylen, Vincent; Winn, Joshua N.; Zakhozhay, Olga V.

    2017-09-01

    HD 3167 is a bright (V = 8.9 mag) K0 V star observed by NASA’s K2 space mission during its Campaign 8. It has recently been found to host two small transiting planets, namely, HD 3167b, an ultra-short-period (0.96 days) super-Earth, and HD 3167c, a mini-Neptune on a relatively long-period orbit (29.85 days). Here we present an intensive radial velocity (RV) follow-up of HD 3167 performed with the FIES@NOT, HARPS@ESO-3.6 m, and HARPS-N@TNG spectrographs. We revise the system parameters and determine radii, masses, and densities of the two transiting planets by combining the K2 photometry with our spectroscopic data. With a mass of 5.69 ± 0.44 M ⊕, a radius of 1.574 ± 0.054 R ⊕, and a mean density of {8.00}-0.98+1.10 {{g}} {{cm}}-3, HD 3167b joins the small group of ultra-short-period planets known to have rocky terrestrial compositions. HD 3167c has a mass of {8.33}-1.85+1.79 M ⊕ and a radius of {2.740}-0.100+0.106 R ⊕, yielding a mean density of {2.21}-0.53+0.56 {{g}} {{cm}}-3, indicative of a planet with a composition comprising a solid core surrounded by a thick atmospheric envelope. The rather large pressure scale height (˜350 km) and the brightness of the host star make HD 3167c an ideal target for atmospheric characterization via transmission spectroscopy across a broad range of wavelengths. We found evidence of additional signals in the RV measurements but the currently available data set does not allow us to draw any firm conclusions on the origin of the observed variation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  13. Body dissatisfaction and body mass in girls and boys transitioning from early to mid-adolescence: additional role of self-esteem and eating habits

    OpenAIRE

    Makinen, Mauno; Puukko-Viertomies, Leena-Riitta; Lindberg, Nina; Siimes, Martti A.; Aalberg, Veikko

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background In the transition from early to mid-adolescence, gender differences in pubertal development become significant. Body dissatisfaction is often associated with body mass, low self-esteem and abnormal eating habits. The majority of studies investigating body dissatisfaction and its associations have been conducted on female populations. However, some evidence suggests that males also suffer from these problems and that gender differences might already be observed in adolescen...

  14. Body dissatisfaction and body mass in girls and boys transitioning from early to mid-adolescence: additional role of self-esteem and eating habits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mäkinen Mauno

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the transition from early to mid-adolescence, gender differences in pubertal development become significant. Body dissatisfaction is often associated with body mass, low self-esteem and abnormal eating habits. The majority of studies investigating body dissatisfaction and its associations have been conducted on female populations. However, some evidence suggests that males also suffer from these problems and that gender differences might already be observed in adolescence. Aims To examine body dissatisfaction and its relationship with body mass, as well as self-esteem and eating habits, in girls and boys in transition from early to mid-adolescence. Methods School nurses recorded the heights and weights of 659 girls and 711 boys with a mean age of 14.5 years. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Body Dissatisfaction subscale of the Eating Disorder Inventory were used as self-appraisal scales. Eating data were self-reported. Results The girls were less satisfied with their bodies than boys were with theirs (mean score (SD: 30.6 (SD 12.2 vs. 18.9 (SD 9.5; p  Conclusions Body mass, self-esteem and eating habits revealed a significant relationship with body dissatisfaction in the transitional phase from early to mid-adolescence in girls and boys, but significant gender differences were also found.

  15. Transit timing observations from Kepler. V. Transit timing variation candidates in the first sixteen months from polynomial models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ford, E.B.; Ragozzine, D.; Holman, M.J.

    2012-01-01

    Transit timing variations provide a powerful tool for confirming and characterizing transiting planets, as well as detecting non-transiting planets. We report the results of an updated transit timing variation (TTV) analysis for 1481 planet candidates based on transit times measured during...... find that the occurrence rate of planet candidates that show TTVs is significantly increased (~68%) for planet candidates transiting stars with multiple transiting planet candidates when compared to planet candidates transiting stars with a single transiting planet candidate....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will embark in 2018 on a 2 year wide-field survey mission, discovering over a thousand terrestrial, super-Earth and sub-Neptune-sized exoplanets ({R}pl}≤slant 4 {R}\\oplus ) potentially suitable for follow-up observations using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This work aims to understand the suitability of anticipated TESS planet discoveries for atmospheric characterization by JWST’s Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) by employing a simulation tool to estimate the signal-to-noise (S/N) achievable in transmission spectroscopy. We applied this tool to Monte Carlo predictions of the TESS expected planet yield and then compared the S/N for anticipated TESS discoveries to our estimates of S/N for 18 known exoplanets. We analyzed the sensitivity of our results to planetary composition, cloud cover, and presence of an observational noise floor. We find that several hundred anticipated TESS discoveries with radii 1.5 {R}\\oplus transition region between hydrogen-dominated and high molecular weight atmospheres. We find that a modest observing program of between 60 and 100 hr of charged JWST time can define the nature of that transition (e.g., step function versus a power law).

  17. Kepler AutoRegressive Planet Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feigelson, Eric

    NASA's Kepler mission is the source of more exoplanets than any other instrument, but the discovery depends on complex statistical analysis procedures embedded in the Kepler pipeline. A particular challenge is mitigating irregular stellar variability without loss of sensitivity to faint periodic planetary transits. This proposal presents a two-stage alternative analysis procedure. First, parametric autoregressive ARFIMA models, commonly used in econometrics, remove most of the stellar variations. Second, a novel matched filter is used to create a periodogram from which transit-like periodicities are identified. This analysis procedure, the Kepler AutoRegressive Planet Search (KARPS), is confirming most of the Kepler Objects of Interest and is expected to identify additional planetary candidates. The proposed research will complete application of the KARPS methodology to the prime Kepler mission light curves of 200,000: stars, and compare the results with Kepler Objects of Interest obtained with the Kepler pipeline. We will then conduct a variety of astronomical studies based on the KARPS results. Important subsamples will be extracted including Habitable Zone planets, hot super-Earths, grazing-transit hot Jupiters, and multi-planet systems. Groundbased spectroscopy of poorly studied candidates will be performed to better characterize the host stars. Studies of stellar variability will then be pursued based on KARPS analysis. The autocorrelation function and nonstationarity measures will be used to identify spotted stars at different stages of autoregressive modeling. Periodic variables with folded light curves inconsistent with planetary transits will be identified; they may be eclipsing or mutually-illuminating binary star systems. Classification of stellar variables with KARPS-derived statistical properties will be attempted. KARPS procedures will then be applied to archived K2 data to identify planetary transits and characterize stellar variability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-10-10

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

  20. The Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Rice

    2014-09-01

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

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

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. The hottest planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    We report the discovery of four short-period extrasolar planets transiting moderately bright stars from photometric measurements of the HATSouth network coupled to additional spectroscopic and photometric follow-up observations. While the planet masses range from 0.26 to 0.90 {M}{{J}}, the radii are all approximately a Jupiter radii, resulting in a wide range of bulk densities. The orbital period of the planets ranges from 2.7 days to 4.7 days, with HATS-43b having an orbit that appears to be marginally non-circular (e = 0.173 ± 0.089). HATS-44 is notable for having a high metallicity ([{Fe}/{{H}}] = 0.320 ± 0.071). The host stars spectral types range from late F to early K, and all of them are moderately bright (13.3 future detailed follow-up observations. HATS-43b and HATS-46b, with expected transmission signals of 2350 ppm and 1500 ppm, respectively, are particularly well suited targets for atmospheric characterization via transmission spectroscopy. The HATSouth network is operated by a collaboration consisting of Princeton University (PU), the Max Planck Institute für Astronomie (MPIA), the Australian National University (ANU), and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). The station at Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) of the Carnegie Institute is operated by PU in conjunction with PUC, the station at the High Energy Spectroscopic Survey (H.E.S.S.) site is operated in conjunction with MPIA, and the station at Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) is operated jointly with ANU. This paper includes data gathered with the MPG 2.2 m and ESO 3.6 m telescopes at the ESO Observatory in La Silla. This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 meter Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  7. Gaian bottlenecks and planetary habitability maintained by evolving model biospheres: The ExoGaia model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Arwen E.; Wilkinson, David M.; Williams, Hywel T. P.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2018-03-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets inspires the question - how do habitable planets form? Planet habitability models traditionally focus on abiotic processes and neglect a biotic response to changing conditions on an inhabited planet. The Gaia hypothesis postulates that life influences the Earth's feedback mechanisms to form a self-regulating system, and hence that life can maintain habitable conditions on its host planet. If life has a strong influence, it will have a role in determining a planet's habitability over time. We present the ExoGaia model - a model of simple `planets' host to evolving microbial biospheres. Microbes interact with their host planet via consumption and excretion of atmospheric chemicals. Model planets orbit a `star' which provides incoming radiation, and atmospheric chemicals have either an albedo, or a heat-trapping property. Planetary temperatures can therefore be altered by microbes via their metabolisms. We seed multiple model planets with life while their atmospheres are still forming and find that the microbial biospheres are, under suitable conditions, generally able to prevent the host planets from reaching inhospitable temperatures, as would happen on a lifeless planet. We find that the underlying geochemistry plays a strong role in determining long-term habitability prospects of a planet. We find five distinct classes of model planets, including clear examples of `Gaian bottlenecks' - a phenomenon whereby life either rapidly goes extinct leaving an inhospitable planet, or survives indefinitely maintaining planetary habitability. These results suggest that life might play a crucial role in determining the long-term habitability of planets.

  8. Modeling Synthetic Spectra for Transiting Extrasolar Giant Planets: Detectability of H2S and PH3 with the James Webb Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dong; Miguel, Yamila; Lunine, Jonathan

    2017-12-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)’s large aperture and wide wavelength coverage will enable it to collect the highest-quality transit spectra observed so far. For exoplanetary atmospheres we expect to retrieve the abundance of the most abundant molecules, such as H2O, CO, and CH4. Other molecules, such as H2S and PH3, have been observed in Jupiter and Saturn but their chemistry and detectability in strongly irradiated planets are largely unknown. In this paper, we make the first effort to study their spectral features in solar composition atmospheres, and evaluate their detectability with the JWST. We model the chemistry of phosphorus and sulfur in solar composition atmospheres. Our model includes the effect of vertical transport. Photochemistry effects are not included in our calculations. Using the abundance profiles, we model the JWST transmission and emission spectra for a K = 6.8 G-type star and for planets with cloud-free solar composition atmospheres. We find PH3 is detectable at 3σ from transmission spectra of the simulated atmosphere with {T}{eq} 1500 K using the NIRCam LW grism F322W2 mode with a total observing time of 24.0 hr. Our results specifically highlight the importance of including H2S for future abundance retrieval with the JWST. The presence of clouds and hazes challenges the detections of PH3 and H2S, but H2S features are still expected to be present in the emission spectra.

  9. Geophysical Limitations on the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noack, L.; Van Hoolst, T.

    2015-10-01

    Planets are typically classified as potentially life-bearing planets (i.e. habitable planets) if they are rocky planets and if a liquid (e.g. water) could exist at the surface. The latter depends on several factors, like for example the amount of available solar energy, greenhouse effects in the atmosphere and an efficient CO2-cycle. However, the definition of the habitable zone should be updated to include possible geophy-sical constraints, that could potentially influence the CO2-cycle. Planets like Mars without plate tectonics and no or only limited volcanic events can only be considered to be habitable at the inner boundary of the habitable zone, since the greenhouse effect needed to ensure liquid surface water farther away from the sun is strongly reduced. We investigate how these geophysical processes depend on the mass and interior structure of terrestrial planets. We find that plate tectonics, if it occurs, always leads to sufficient volcanic outgassing and therefore greenhouse effect needed for the outer boundary of the habitable zone (several tens of bar CO2). One-plate planets, however, may suffer strong volcanic limitations if their mass and/or iron content exceeds a critical value, reducing their possible surface habitability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Magic Planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Transit Timing Observations from Kepler: II. Confirmation of Two Multiplanet Systems via a Non-parametric Correlation Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ford, Eric B.; /Florida U.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; /Lick Observ.; Steffen, Jason H.; /Fermilab; Carter, Joshua A.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Fressin, Francois; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Holman, Matthew J.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Lissauer, Jack J.; /NASA, Ames; Moorhead, Althea V.; /Florida U.; Morehead, Robert C.; /Florida U.; Ragozzine, Darin; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Rowe, Jason F.; /NASA, Ames /SETI Inst., Mtn. View /San Diego State U., Astron. Dept.

    2012-01-01

    We present a new method for confirming transiting planets based on the combination of transit timing variations (TTVs) and dynamical stability. Correlated TTVs provide evidence that the pair of bodies are in the same physical system. Orbital stability provides upper limits for the masses of the transiting companions that are in the planetary regime. This paper describes a non-parametric technique for quantifying the statistical significance of TTVs based on the correlation of two TTV data sets. We apply this method to an analysis of the transit timing variations of two stars with multiple transiting planet candidates identified by Kepler. We confirm four transiting planets in two multiple planet systems based on their TTVs and the constraints imposed by dynamical stability. An additional three candidates in these same systems are not confirmed as planets, but are likely to be validated as real planets once further observations and analyses are possible. If all were confirmed, these systems would be near 4:6:9 and 2:4:6:9 period commensurabilities. Our results demonstrate that TTVs provide a powerful tool for confirming transiting planets, including low-mass planets and planets around faint stars for which Doppler follow-up is not practical with existing facilities. Continued Kepler observations will dramatically improve the constraints on the planet masses and orbits and provide sensitivity for detecting additional non-transiting planets. If Kepler observations were extended to eight years, then a similar analysis could likely confirm systems with multiple closely spaced, small transiting planets in or near the habitable zone of solar-type stars.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kent C. Condie

    2018-01-01

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

  14. The Planet Formation Imager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, S.; Buscher, D. F.; Monnier, J. D.; PFI Science, the; Technical Working Group

    2014-04-01

    Among the most fascinating and hotly-debated areas in contemporary astrophysics are the means by which planetary systems are assembled from the large rotating disks of gas and dust which attend a stellar birth. Although important work is being done both in theory and observation, a full understanding of the physics of planet formation can only be achieved by opening observational windows able to directly witness the process in action. The key requirement is then to probe planet-forming systems at the natural spatial scales over which material is being assembled. By definition, this is the so-called Hill Sphere which delineates the region of influence of a gravitating body within its surrounding environment. The Planet Formation Imager project has crystallized around this challenging goal: to deliver resolved images of Hill-Sphere-sized structures within candidate planet-hosting disks in the nearest star-forming regions. In this contribution we outline the primary science case of PFI and discuss how PFI could significantly advance our understanding of the architecture and potential habitability of planetary systems. We present radiation-hydrodynamics simulations from which we derive preliminary specifications that guide the design of the facility. Finally, we give an overview about the interferometric and non-interferometric technologies that we are investigating in order to meet the specifications.

  15. Changing food habits in a South Indian Hindu Brahmin community: a case of transitioning gender roles and family dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahadevan, Meena; Blair, Dorothy; Raines, Emily Rose

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to explore the perceptions of 20 South Indian Hindu Brahmin women on the factors influencing their food habits upon immigrating to America. The competing demands of juggling a new career and managing their family's nutritional needs at the same time, all without the support of extended family members, played an important role in steering these women away from cooking traditional healthy meals, and resorting to fast foods instead. Intervention strategies should be directed toward improving the barriers to eating healthy that were specifically identified within the confines of shifting gender roles and limited family support networks.

  16. MAGNETIC SHIELDING OF EXOMOONS BEYOND THE CIRCUMPLANETARY HABITABLE EDGE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heller, René [McMaster University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1 (Canada); Zuluaga, Jorge I., E-mail: rheller@physics.mcmaster.ca, E-mail: jzuluaga@fisica.udea.edu.co [FACom - Instituto de Física - FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellín (Colombia)

    2013-10-20

    With most planets and planetary candidates detected in the stellar habitable zone (HZ) being super-Earths and gas giants rather than Earth-like planets, we naturally wonder if their moons could be habitable. The first detection of such an exomoon has now become feasible, and due to observational biases it will be at least twice as massive as Mars. However, formation models predict that moons can hardly be as massive as Earth. Hence, a giant planet's magnetosphere could be the only possibility for such a moon to be shielded from cosmic and stellar high-energy radiation. Yet, the planetary radiation belt could also have detrimental effects on exomoon habitability. Here we synthesize models for the evolution of the magnetic environment of giant planets with thresholds from the runaway greenhouse (RG) effect to assess the habitability of exomoons. For modest eccentricities, we find that satellites around Neptune-sized planets in the center of the HZ around K dwarf stars will either be in an RG state and not be habitable, or they will be in wide orbits where they will not be affected by the planetary magnetosphere. Saturn-like planets have stronger fields, and Jupiter-like planets could coat close-in habitable moons soon after formation. Moons at distances between about 5 and 20 planetary radii from a giant planet can be habitable from an illumination and tidal heating point of view, but still the planetary magnetosphere would critically influence their habitability.

  17. MAGNETIC SHIELDING OF EXOMOONS BEYOND THE CIRCUMPLANETARY HABITABLE EDGE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heller, René; Zuluaga, Jorge I.

    2013-01-01

    With most planets and planetary candidates detected in the stellar habitable zone (HZ) being super-Earths and gas giants rather than Earth-like planets, we naturally wonder if their moons could be habitable. The first detection of such an exomoon has now become feasible, and due to observational biases it will be at least twice as massive as Mars. However, formation models predict that moons can hardly be as massive as Earth. Hence, a giant planet's magnetosphere could be the only possibility for such a moon to be shielded from cosmic and stellar high-energy radiation. Yet, the planetary radiation belt could also have detrimental effects on exomoon habitability. Here we synthesize models for the evolution of the magnetic environment of giant planets with thresholds from the runaway greenhouse (RG) effect to assess the habitability of exomoons. For modest eccentricities, we find that satellites around Neptune-sized planets in the center of the HZ around K dwarf stars will either be in an RG state and not be habitable, or they will be in wide orbits where they will not be affected by the planetary magnetosphere. Saturn-like planets have stronger fields, and Jupiter-like planets could coat close-in habitable moons soon after formation. Moons at distances between about 5 and 20 planetary radii from a giant planet can be habitable from an illumination and tidal heating point of view, but still the planetary magnetosphere would critically influence their habitability

  18. TRANSIT TIMING OBSERVATIONS FROM KEPLER. II. CONFIRMATION OF TWO MULTIPLANET SYSTEMS VIA A NON-PARAMETRIC CORRELATION ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Eric B.; Moorhead, Althea V.; Morehead, Robert C.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Steffen, Jason H.; Carter, Joshua A.; Fressin, Francois; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin; Charbonneau, David; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Burke, Christopher J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Welsh, William F.; Allen, Christopher; Batalha, Natalie M.; Buchhave, Lars A.

    2012-01-01

    We present a new method for confirming transiting planets based on the combination of transit timing variations (TTVs) and dynamical stability. Correlated TTVs provide evidence that the pair of bodies is in the same physical system. Orbital stability provides upper limits for the masses of the transiting companions that are in the planetary regime. This paper describes a non-parametric technique for quantifying the statistical significance of TTVs based on the correlation of two TTV data sets. We apply this method to an analysis of the TTVs of two stars with multiple transiting planet candidates identified by Kepler. We confirm four transiting planets in two multiple-planet systems based on their TTVs and the constraints imposed by dynamical stability. An additional three candidates in these same systems are not confirmed as planets, but are likely to be validated as real planets once further observations and analyses are possible. If all were confirmed, these systems would be near 4:6:9 and 2:4:6:9 period commensurabilities. Our results demonstrate that TTVs provide a powerful tool for confirming transiting planets, including low-mass planets and planets around faint stars for which Doppler follow-up is not practical with existing facilities. Continued Kepler observations will dramatically improve the constraints on the planet masses and orbits and provide sensitivity for detecting additional non-transiting planets. If Kepler observations were extended to eight years, then a similar analysis could likely confirm systems with multiple closely spaced, small transiting planets in or near the habitable zone of solar-type stars.

  19. Deep Habits

    OpenAIRE

    Morten O. Ravn; Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe

    2004-01-01

    This paper generalizes the standard habit formation model to an environment in which agents form habits over individual varieties of goods as opposed to over a composite consumption good. We refer to this preference specification as ‘deep habit formation’. Under deep habits, the demand function faced by individual producers depends on past sales. This feature is typically assumed ad-hoc in customer market and brand switching cost models. A central result of the paper is that deep habits giv...

  20. Modeling Kepler Transit Light Curves as False Positives: Rejection of Blend Scenarios for Kepler-9, and Validation of Kepler-9 d, a Super-Earth-Size Planet in a Multiple System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Guillermo; Fressin, Francois; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Brown, Timothy M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Charbonneau, David; Ciardi, David R.; Dunham, Edward W.; hide

    2011-01-01

    Light curves from the Kepler Mission contain valuable information on the nature of the phenomena producing the transit-like signals. To assist in exploring the possibility that they are due to an astrophysical false positive we describe a procedure (BLENDER) to model the photometry in terms of a blend rather than a planet orbiting a star. A blend may consist of a background or foreground eclipsing binary (or star-planet pair) whose eclipses are attenuated by the light of the candidate and possibly other stars within the photometric aperture. We apply BLENDER to the case of Kepler-9 (KIC 3323887), a target harboring two previously confirmed Saturn-size planets (Kepler-9 b and Kepler-9 c) showing transit timing variations, and an additional shallower signal with a 1.59 day period suggesting the presence of a super-Earth-size planet. Using BLENDER together with constraints from other follow-up observations we are able to rule out all blends for the two deeper signals and provide independent validation of their planetary nature. For the shallower signal, we rule out a large fraction of the false positives that might mimic the transits. The false alarm rate for remaining blends depends in part (and inversely) on the unknown frequency of small-size planets. Based on several realistic estimates of this frequency, we conclude with very high confidence that this small signal is due to a super-Earth-size planet (Kepler-9 d) in a multiple system, rather than a false positive. The radius is determined to be 1.64(exp)(sub-14),R, and current spectroscopic observations are as yet insufficient to establish its mass.

  1. Students Discover Unique Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    , they were a good test case for the students' algorithm, who showed that for one of stars observed, OGLE-TR-L9, the variations could be due to a transit -- the passage of a planet in front of its star. The team then used the GROND instrument on the 2.2 m telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory to follow up the observations and find out more about the star and the planet. "But to make sure it was a planet and not a brown dwarf or a small star that was causing the brightness variations, we needed to resort to spectroscopy, and for this, we were glad we could use ESO's Very Large Telescope," says Snellen. The planet, which is about five times as massive as Jupiter, circles its host star in about 2.5 days. It lies at only three percent of the Earth-Sun distance from its star, making it very hot and much larger than normal planets. The spectroscopy also showed that the star is pretty hot -- almost 7000 degrees, or 1200 degrees hotter than the Sun. It is the hottest star with a planet ever discovered, and it is rotating very fast. The radial velocity method -- that was used to discover most extrasolar planets known -- is less efficient on stars with these characteristics. "This makes this discovery even more interesting," concludes Snellen.

  2. 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.

  3. Inside-out planet formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatterjee, Sourav; Tan, Jonathan C.

    2014-01-01

    The compact multi-transiting planet systems discovered by Kepler challenge planet formation theories. Formation in situ from disks with radial mass surface density, Σ, profiles similar to the minimum mass solar nebula but boosted in normalization by factors ≳ 10 has been suggested. We propose that a more natural way to create these planets in the inner disk is formation sequentially from the inside-out via creation of successive gravitationally unstable rings fed from a continuous stream of small (∼cm-m size) 'pebbles', drifting inward via gas drag. Pebbles collect at the pressure maximum associated with the transition from a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive ('dead zone') region to an inner MRI-active zone. A pebble ring builds up until it either becomes gravitationally unstable to form an ∼1 M ⊕ planet directly or induces gradual planet formation via core accretion. The planet may undergo Type I migration into the active region, allowing a new pebble ring and planet to form behind it. Alternatively, if migration is inefficient, the planet may continue to accrete from the disk until it becomes massive enough to isolate itself from the accretion flow. A variety of densities may result depending on the relative importance of residual gas accretion as the planet approaches its isolation mass. The process can repeat with a new pebble ring gathering at the new pressure maximum associated with the retreating dead-zone boundary. Our simple analytical model for this scenario of inside-out planet formation yields planetary masses, relative mass scalings with orbital radius, and minimum orbital separations consistent with those seen by Kepler. It provides an explanation of how massive planets can form with tightly packed and well-aligned system architectures, starting from typical protoplanetary disk properties.

  4. PLANET HUNTERS: ASSESSING THE KEPLER INVENTORY OF SHORT-PERIOD PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris J.; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Simpson, Robert J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    We present the results from a search of data from the first 33.5 days of the Kepler science mission (Quarter 1) for exoplanet transits by the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Planet Hunters enlists members of the general public to visually identify transits in the publicly released Kepler light curves via the World Wide Web. Over 24,000 volunteers reviewed the Kepler Quarter 1 data set. We examine the abundance of ≥2 R ⊕ planets on short-period ( ⊕ Planet Hunters ≥85% efficient at identifying transit signals for planets with periods less than 15 days for the Kepler sample of target stars. Our high efficiency rate for simulated transits along with recovery of the majority of Kepler ≥4 R ⊕ planets suggests that the Kepler inventory of ≥4 R ⊕ short-period planets is nearly complete.

  5. Habitable worlds with no signs of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-04-28

    'Most habitable worlds in the cosmos will have no remotely detectable signs of life' is proposed as a biological hypothesis to be tested in the study of exoplanets. Habitable planets could be discovered elsewhere in the Universe, yet there are many hypothetical scenarios whereby the search for life on them could yield negative results. Scenarios for habitable worlds with no remotely detectable signatures of life include: planets that are habitable, but have no biosphere (Uninhabited Habitable Worlds); planets with life, but lacking any detectable surface signatures of that life (laboratory examples are provided); and planets with life, where the concentrations of atmospheric gases produced or removed by biota are impossible to disentangle from abiotic processes because of the lack of detailed knowledge of planetary conditions (the 'problem of exoplanet thermodynamic uncertainty'). A rejection of the hypothesis would require that the origin of life usually occurs on habitable planets, that spectrally detectable pigments and/or metabolisms that produce unequivocal biosignature gases (e.g. oxygenic photosynthesis) usually evolve and that the organisms that harbour them usually achieve a sufficient biomass to produce biosignatures detectable to alien astronomers.

  6. Formation of the giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2006-01-01

    The observed properties of giant planets, models of their evolution and observations of protoplanetary disks provide constraints on the formation of gas giant planets. The four largest planets in our Solar System contain considerable quantities of hydrogen and helium, which could not have condensed into solid planetesimals within the protoplanetary disk. All three (transiting) extrasolar giant planets with well determined masses and radii also must contain substantial amounts of these light gases. Jupiter and Saturn are mostly hydrogen and helium, but have larger abundances of heavier elements than does the Sun. Neptune and Uranus are primarily composed of heavier elements. HD 149026 b, which is slightly more massive than is Saturn, appears to have comparable quantities of light gases and heavy elements. HD 209458 b and TrES-1 are primarily hydrogen and helium, but may contain supersolar abundances of heavy elements. Spacecraft flybys and observations of satellite orbits provide estimates of the gravitational moments of the giant planets in our Solar System, which in turn provide information on the internal distribution of matter within Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Atmospheric thermal structure and heat flow measurements constrain the interior temperatures of planets. Internal processes may cause giant planets to become more compositionally differentiated or alternatively more homogeneous; high-pressure laboratory .experiments provide data useful for modeling these processes. The preponderance of evidence supports the core nucleated gas accretion model. According to this model, giant planets begin their growth by the accumulation of small solid bodies, as do terrestrial planets. However, unlike terrestrial planets, the growing giant planet cores become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. The primary questions regarding the core nucleated growth model is under what conditions

  7. TIDAL HEATING MODELS FOR THE RADII OF THE INFLATED TRANSITING GIANT PLANETS WASP-4b, WASP-6b, WASP-12b, WASP-15b, AND TrES-4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibgui, Laurent; Burrows, Adam; Spiegel, David S.

    2010-01-01

    In order to explain the inflated radii of some transiting extrasolar giant planets, we investigate a tidal heating scenario for the inflated planets WASP-4b, WASP-6b, WASP-12b, WASP-15b, and TrES-4. To do so, we assume that they retain a nonzero eccentricity, possibly by dint of continuing interaction with a third body. We calculate the amount of extra heating in the envelope that is then required to fit the radius of each planet, and we explore how this additional power depends on the planetary atmospheric opacity and on the mass of a heavy-element central core. There is a degeneracy between the core mass M core and the heating E-dot heating . Therefore, in the case of tidal heating, there is for each planet a range of {M core , e 2 /Q' p } that can lead to the same radius, where Q' p is the tidal dissipation factor and e is the eccentricity. With this in mind, we also investigate the case of the non-inflated planet HAT-P-12b, which can admit solutions combining a heavy-element core and tidal heating. A substantial improvement of the measured eccentricities of such planetary systems could simplify this degeneracy by linking the two unknown parameters {M core , Q' p }. Further independent constraints on either of these parameters would, through our calculations, constrain the other.

  8. Completing Kepler's Mission to Determine the Frequency of Earth-like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Christopher

    2017-08-01

    The primary goal of NASA's Kepler mission is to estimate the frequency of Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zone (HZ) of Sun-like stars (so called eta-Earth). Analysis of four years of Kepler data reveals an unprecedented population of more than 4400 planet candidates orbiting 3400 stars, however only a small subset of these ( 13 planets) fall into the regime of near-Earth-sized and in the HZ of a solar-type star. By accounting properly for detection biases that limit the catalog completeness and reliability we can turn an observed population into an intrinsic population and achieve Kepler's prime mission goal. Our team have shown that uncertainties in HZ occurrence rates for solar-type stars for all analyses to date are dominated by systematic uncertainties. The robustness of the 13 high-value Earth-like planet candidates is questionable due to their long periods and small transit depths - the Kepler team estimate that perhaps 50% of these are real planets. The proposed HST observations provide a pilot study to measure the photometric time series of the high-value, temperate terrestrial planet candidate Kepler-62f in order to confirm that it is not a false alarm. Long-duration high-precision observations from HST of this kind have not been attempted before and therefore we opt to waive the proprietary period of data collected during this pilot study. Successful confirmation will pave the way for a future large program to examine all of the Kepler G dwarf habitable Earth-sized planets and drastically improve the accuracy of eta-Earth estimates.

  9. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.

    2010-09-01

    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  10. Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1–4× Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Weiss, Lauren M.; Petigura, Erik A.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Buchhave, Lars A.

    2014-01-01

    Small planets, 1–4× the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1–2 R⊕ planets with orbital periods under 100 d, and 11% have 1–2 R⊕ planets that receive 1–4× the incident stellar flux that warms our Earth. These Earth-size planets are sprinkled uniformly with orbital distance (logarithmically) out to 0.4 the Earth–Sun distance, and probably beyond. Mass measurements for 33 transiting planets of 1–4 R⊕ show that the smallest of them, R planets. Their densities increase with increasing radius, likely caused by gravitational compression. Including solar system planets yields a relation: ρ=2.32+3.19R/R⊕ [g cm−3]. Larger planets, in the radius range 1.5–4.0 R⊕, have densities that decline with increasing radius, revealing increasing amounts of low-density material (H and He or ices) in an envelope surrounding a rocky core, befitting the appellation ‘‘mini-Neptunes.’’ The gas giant planets occur preferentially around stars that are rich in heavy elements, while rocky planets occur around stars having a range of heavy element abundances. Defining habitable zones remains difficult, without benefit of either detections of life elsewhere or an understanding of life’s biochemical origins. PMID:24912169

  11. Occurrence and core-envelope structure of 1-4× Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W; Weiss, Lauren M; Petigura, Erik A; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W; Buchhave, Lars A

    2014-09-02

    Small planets, 1-4× the size of Earth, are extremely common around Sun-like stars, and surprisingly so, as they are missing in our solar system. Recent detections have yielded enough information about this class of exoplanets to begin characterizing their occurrence rates, orbits, masses, densities, and internal structures. The Kepler mission finds the smallest planets to be most common, as 26% of Sun-like stars have small, 1-2 R⊕ planets with orbital periods under 100 d, and 11% have 1-2 R⊕ planets that receive 1-4× the incident stellar flux that warms our Earth. These Earth-size planets are sprinkled uniformly with orbital distance (logarithmically) out to 0.4 the Earth-Sun distance, and probably beyond. Mass measurements for 33 transiting planets of 1-4 R⊕ show that the smallest of them, R planets. Their densities increase with increasing radius, likely caused by gravitational compression. Including solar system planets yields a relation: ρ = 2:32 + 3:19 R=R ⊕ [g cm(-3)]. Larger planets, in the radius range 1.5-4.0 R⊕, have densities that decline with increasing radius, revealing increasing amounts of low-density material (H and He or ices) in an envelope surrounding a rocky core, befitting the appellation ''mini-Neptunes.'' The gas giant planets occur preferentially around stars that are rich in heavy elements, while rocky planets occur around stars having a range of heavy element abundances. Defining habitable zones remains difficult, without benefit of either detections of life elsewhere or an understanding of life's biochemical origins.

  12. Planetesimals early differentiation and consequences for planets

    CERN Document Server

    Weiss, Benjamin P

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Protostars and Planets VI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beuther, Henrik; Klessen, Ralf S.; Dullemond, Cornelis P.; Henning, Thomas

    Protostars and Planets series, the field of star and planet formation has progressed enormously. The advent of new space observatories like Spitzer and more recently Herschel have opened entirely new windows to study the interstellar medium, the birthplaces of new stars, and the properties of protoplanetary disks. Millimeter and radio observatories, in particular interferometers, allow us to investigate even the most deeply embedded and youngest protostars. Complementary to these observational achievements, novel multi-scale and multi-physics theoretical and numerical models have provided new insights into the physical and chemical processes that govern the birth of stars and their planetary systems. Sophisticated radiative transfer modeling is critical in order to better connect theories with observations. Since the last Protostars and Planets volume, more than 1000 new extrasolar planets have been identified and there are thousands more waiting to be verified. Such a large database allows for the first time a statistical assessment of the planetary properties as well as their evolution pathways. These investigations show the enormous diversity of the architecture of planetary systems and the properties of planets. High-contrast imaging at short and long wavelengths has resolved protoplanetary disks and associated planets, and transit spectroscopy is a new tool that allows us to study even the physical properties of extrasolar planetary atmospheres. The understanding of our own solar system has also progressed enormously since 2005. For instance, the sample-return Stardust mission has provided direct insight into the composition of comets and asteroids, and has demonstrated the importance of mixing processes in the early solar system. And much more is now known about the origin and role of short-lived nuclides at these stages of the solar system. For generations of astronomers, the Protostars and Planets volumes have served as an essential resource for our understanding of

  15. The fate of scattered planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bromley, Benjamin C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 S 1400 E, Rm 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J., E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu, E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets at least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.

  16. Towards the Rosetta Stone of planet formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt T.O.B.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Transiting exoplanets (TEPs observed just ~10 Myrs after formation of their host systems may serve as the Rosetta Stone for planet formation theories. They would give strong constraints on several aspects of planet formation, e.g. time-scales (planet formation would then be possible within 10 Myrs, the radius of the planet could indicate whether planets form by gravitational collapse (being larger when young or accretion growth (being smaller when young. We present a survey, the main goal of which is to find and then characterise TEPs in very young open clusters.

  17. The lonely life of a double planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-01-01

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.)

  18. Exomoon Habitability Constrained by Illumination and Tidal Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The detection of moons orbiting extrasolar planets (“exomoons”) has now become feasible. Once they are discovered in the circumstellar habitable zone, questions about their habitability will emerge. Exomoons are likely to be tidally locked to their planet and hence experience days much shorter than their orbital period around the star and have seasons, all of which works in favor of habitability. These satellites can receive more illumination per area than their host planets, as the planet reflects stellar light and emits thermal photons. On the contrary, eclipses can significantly alter local climates on exomoons by reducing stellar illumination. In addition to radiative heating, tidal heating can be very large on exomoons, possibly even large enough for sterilization. We identify combinations of physical and orbital parameters for which radiative and tidal heating are strong enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse. By analogy with the circumstellar habitable zone, these constraints define a circumplanetary “habitable edge.” We apply our model to hypothetical moons around the recently discovered exoplanet Kepler-22b and the giant planet candidate KOI211.01 and describe, for the first time, the orbits of habitable exomoons. If either planet hosted a satellite at a distance greater than 10 planetary radii, then this could indicate the presence of a habitable moon. Key Words: Astrobiology—Extrasolar planets—Habitability—Habitable zone—Tides. Astrobiology 13, 18–46. PMID:23305357

  19. Clearing Residual Planetesimals by Sweeping Secular Resonances in Transitional Disks: A Lone-planet Scenario for the Wide Gaps in Debris Disks around Vega and Fomalhaut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiaochen; Lin, Douglas N. C.; Kouwenhoven, M. B. N.; Mao, Shude; Zhang, Xiaojia

    2017-11-01

    Extended gaps in the debris disks of both Vega and Fomalhaut have been observed. These structures have been attributed to tidal perturbations by multiple super-Jupiter gas giant planets. Within the current observational limits, however, no such massive planets have been detected. Here we propose a less stringent “lone-planet” scenario to account for the observed structure with a single eccentric gas giant and suggest that clearing of these wide gaps is induced by its sweeping secular resonance. With a series of numerical simulations, we show that the gravitational potential of the natal disk induces the planet to precess. At the locations where its precession frequency matches the precession frequency the planet imposes on the residual planetesimals, their eccentricity is excited by its resonant perturbation. Due to the hydrodynamic drag by the residual disk gas, the planetesimals undergo orbital decay as their excited eccentricities are effectively damped. During the depletion of the disk gas, the planet’s secular resonance propagates inward and clears a wide gap over an extended region of the disk. Although some residual intermediate-size planetesimals may remain in the gap, their surface density is too low to either produce super-Earths or lead to sufficiently frequent disruptive collisions to generate any observable dusty signatures. The main advantage of this lone-planet sweeping-secular-resonance model over the previous multiple gas giant tidal truncation scenario is the relaxed requirement on the number of gas giants. The observationally inferred upper mass limit can also be satisfied provided the hypothetical planet has a significant eccentricity. A significant fraction of solar or more massive stars bear gas giant planets with significant eccentricities. If these planets acquired their present-day kinematic properties prior to the depletion of their natal disks, their sweeping secular resonance would effectively impede the retention of neighboring

  20. Confirmation of Kepler Planet Candidates around Giants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Bun-ei

    2014-01-01

    Detecting planetary transits is extremely valuable not only because it makes an independent confirmation of a planet from Doppler method but also because the photometric transits yield unambiguous information on planet masses and radii, and thus mean density and interior structure, and obliquity of planetary orbits. Planets around giants and subgiants have been intensively surveyed over the decade by precise radial velocity (RV) measurements, mainly from the viewpoint of planet searches around intermediate-mass (1.5-5M⊙) stars. The planets show remarkable properties in their masses and orbital parameters. Unfortunately, however, it is quite difficult to detect transiting ones around such evolved stars because of the large sizes of the host stars. Therefore, our understanding of properties of planets around intermediate-mass stars are still far behind from those around solar-like stars. In S13B, we made the first RV follow-up observations with HDS for the transiting planet candidates around giants found by Kepler space telescope, and identified promising candidates of true transiting planets. Here we propose to take additional RV data for them with HDS in order to make sure that the RV periodicity is the same as the transit one.

  1. RAPID WATER LOSS CAN EXTEND THE LIFETIME OF PLANETARY HABITABILITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kodama, Takanori; Abe, Yutaka [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Genda, Hidenori [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 152-8550 (Japan); Zahnle, Kevin J., E-mail: koda@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Space Science and Astrobiology Division, NASA Ames Research Center, California 94035 (United States)

    2015-10-20

    Two habitable planetary states are proposed: an aqua planet like the Earth and a land planet that has a small amount of water. Land planets keep liquid water under larger solar radiation compared to aqua planets. Water loss may change an aqua planet into a land planet, and the planet can remain habitable for a longer time than if it had remained an aqua planet. We calculate planetary evolution with hydrogen escape for different initial water inventories and different distances from the central star. We find that there are two conditions necessary to evolve an aqua planet into a land planet: the critical amount of water on the surface (M{sub ml}) consistent with a planet being a land planet, and the critical amount of water vapor in the atmosphere (M{sub cv}) that defines the onset of the runaway greenhouse state. We find that Earth-sized aqua planets with initial oceans <10% of the Earth's can evolve into land planets if M{sub cv} = 3 m in precipitable water and M{sub ml} = 5% of the Earth's ocean mass. Such planets can keep liquid water on their surface for another 2 Gyr. The initial amount of water and M{sub cv} are shown to be important dividing parameters of the planetary evolution path. Our results indicate that massive hydrogen escape could give a fresh start as another kind of habitable planet rather than the end of its habitability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Transit detection of a `starshade' at the inner lagrange point of an exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, E.

    2017-08-01

    All water-covered rocky planets in the inner habitable zones of solar-type stars will inevitably experience a catastrophic runaway climate due to increasing stellar luminosity and limits to outgoing infrared radiation from wet greenhouse atmospheres. Reflectors or scatterers placed near Earth's inner Lagrange point (L_1) have been proposed as a "geoengineering' solution to anthropogenic climate change and an advanced version of this could modulate incident irradiation over many Gyr or `rescue' a planet from the interior of the habitable zone. The distance of the starshade from the planet that minimizes its mass is 1.6 times the Earth-L_1 distance. Such a starshade would have to be similar in size to the planet and the mutual occultations during planetary transits could produce a characteristic maximum at mid-transit in the light curve. Because of a fortuitous ratio of densities, Earth-size planets around G dwarf stars present the best opportunity to detect such an artefact. The signal would be persistent and is potentially detectable by a future space photometry mission to characterize transiting planets. The signal could be distinguished from natural phenomenon, I.e. starspots or cometary dust clouds, by its shape, persistence and transmission spectrum.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

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

  5. The Heavy Element Masses of Extrasolar Giant Planets, Revealed

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Neil; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2011-01-01

    We investigate a population of transiting planets that receive relatively modest stellar insolation, indicating equilibrium temperatures $< 1000$ K, and for which the heating mechanism that inflates hot Jupiters does not appear to be significantly active. We use structural evolution models to infer the amount of heavy elements within each of these planets. There is a correlation between the stellar metallicity and the mass of heavy elements in its transiting planet(s). It appears that all gia...

  6. Planet Hunters. VI: An Independent Characterization of KOI-351 and Several Long Period Planet Candidates from the Kepler Archival Data

    OpenAIRE

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Jek, Kian J.; Moriarty, John C.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin; Simpson, Robert; LaCourse, Daryll; Omohundro, Mark R.

    2013-01-01

    We report the discovery of 14 new transiting planet candidates in the Kepler field from the Planet Hunters citizen science program. None of these candidates overlapped with Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) at the time of submission. We report the discovery of one more addition to the six planet candidate system around KOI 351 making it the only seven planet candidate system from Kepler. Additionally KOI 351 bears some resemblance to our own solar system with the inner five planets ranging fr...

  7. Planet Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  8. Numerical simulations for terrestrial planets formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji J.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the formation of terrestrial planets in the late stage of planetary formation using two-planet model. At that time, the protostar has formed for about 3 Myr and the gas disk has dissipated. In the model, the perturbations from Jupiter and Saturn are considered. We also consider variations of the mass of outer planet, and the initial eccentricities and inclinations of embryos and planetesimals. Our results show that, terrestrial planets are formed in 50 Myr, and the accretion rate is about 60%–80%. In each simulation, 3–4 terrestrial planets are formed inside “Jupiter” with masses of 0.15–3.6 M⊕. In the 0.5–4 AU, when the eccentricities of planetesimals are excited, planetesimals are able to accrete material from wide radial direction. The plenty of water material of the terrestrial planet in the Habitable Zone may be transferred from the farther places by this mechanism. Accretion may also happen a few times between two giant planets only if the outer planet has a moderate mass and the small terrestrial planet could survive at some resonances over time scale of 108 yr.

  9. Optimizing the TESS Planet Finding Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitamitara, Aerbwong; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; TESS Science Processing Operations Center

    2017-10-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a new NASA planet finding all-sky survey that will observe stars within 200 light years and 10-100 times brighter than that of the highly successful Kepler mission. TESS is expected to detect ~1000 planets smaller than Neptune and dozens of Earth size planets. As in the Kepler mission, the Science Processing Operations Center (SPOC) processing pipeline at NASA Ames Research center is tasked with calibrating the raw pixel data, generating systematic error corrected light curves and then detecting and validating transit signals. The Transiting Planet Search (TPS) component of the pipeline must be modified and tuned for the new data characteristics in TESS. For example, due to each sector being viewed for as little as 28 days, the pipeline will be identifying transiting planets based on a minimum of two transit signals rather than three, as in the Kepler mission. This may result in a significantly higher false positive rate. The study presented here is to measure the detection efficiency of the TESS pipeline using simulated data. Transiting planets identified by TPS are compared to transiting planets from the simulated transit model using the measured epochs, periods, transit durations and the expected detection statistic of injected transit signals (expected MES). From the comparisons, the recovery and false positive rates of TPS is measured. Measurements of recovery in TPS are then used to adjust TPS configuration parameters to maximize the planet recovery rate and minimize false detections. The improvements in recovery rate between initial TPS conditions and after various adjustments will be presented and discussed.

  10. 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

  11. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Kepler-68: Three Planets, One with a Density between that of Earth and Ice Giants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gilliland, R.L.; Marcy, G.W.; Rowe, J.F.; Rogers, L.; Torres, G.; Fressin, F.; Lopez, E.D.; Buchhave, L.A.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Désert, J.M.; Henze, C.E.; Isaacson, H.; Jenkins, J.M.; Lissauer, J.J.; Chaplin, W.J.; Basu, S.; Metcalfe, T.S.; Elsworth, Y.; Handberg, R.; Hekker, S.; Huber, D.; Karoff, C.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lund, M.N.; Lundkvist, M.; Miglio, A.; Charbonneau, D.; Ford, E.B.; Fortney, J.J.; Haas, M.R.; Howard, A.W.; Howell, S.B.; Ragozzine, D.; Thompson, S.E.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission has revealed two transiting planets orbiting Kepler-68. Follow-up Doppler measurements have established the mass of the innermost planet and revealed a third Jovian-mass planet orbiting beyond the two transiting planets. Kepler-68b, in a 5.4 day orbit, has Mp_{\\rm

  13. A temperate rocky super-Earth transiting a nearby cool star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittmann, Jason A.; Irwin, Jonathan M.; Charbonneau, David; Bonfils, Xavier; Astudillo-Defru, Nicola; Haywood, Raphaëlle D.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Rodriguez, Joseph E.; Winters, Jennifer G.; Tan, Thiam-Guan; Almenara, Jose-Manuel; Bouchy, François; Delfosse, Xavier; Forveille, Thierry; Lovis, Christophe; Murgas, Felipe; Pepe, Francesco; Santos, Nuno C.; Udry, Stephane; Wünsche, Anaël; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Latham, David W.; Dressing, Courtney D.

    2017-04-01

    M dwarf stars, which have masses less than 60 per cent that of the Sun, make up 75 per cent of the population of the stars in the Galaxy. The atmospheres of orbiting Earth-sized planets are observationally accessible via transmission spectroscopy when the planets pass in front of these stars. Statistical results suggest that the nearest transiting Earth-sized planet in the liquid-water, habitable zone of an M dwarf star is probably around 10.5 parsecs away. A temperate planet has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest M dwarf, but it probably does not transit and its true mass is unknown. Seven Earth-sized planets transit the very low-mass star TRAPPIST-1, which is 12 parsecs away, but their masses and, particularly, their densities are poorly constrained. Here we report observations of LHS 1140b, a planet with a radius of 1.4 Earth radii transiting a small, cool star (LHS 1140) 12 parsecs away. We measure the mass of the planet to be 6.6 times that of Earth, consistent with a rocky bulk composition. LHS 1140b receives an insolation of 0.46 times that of Earth, placing it within the liquid-water, habitable zone. With 90 per cent confidence, we place an upper limit on the orbital eccentricity of 0.29. The circular orbit is unlikely to be the result of tides and therefore was probably present at formation. Given its large surface gravity and cool insolation, the planet may have retained its atmosphere despite the greater luminosity (compared to the present-day) of its host star in its youth. Because LHS 1140 is nearby, telescopes currently under construction might be able to search for specific atmospheric gases in the future.

  14. A temperate rocky super-Earth transiting a nearby cool star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittmann, Jason A; Irwin, Jonathan M; Charbonneau, David; Bonfils, Xavier; Astudillo-Defru, Nicola; Haywood, Raphaëlle D; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K; Newton, Elisabeth R; Rodriguez, Joseph E; Winters, Jennifer G; Tan, Thiam-Guan; Almenara, Jose-Manuel; Bouchy, François; Delfosse, Xavier; Forveille, Thierry; Lovis, Christophe; Murgas, Felipe; Pepe, Francesco; Santos, Nuno C; Udry, Stephane; Wünsche, Anaël; Esquerdo, Gilbert A; Latham, David W; Dressing, Courtney D

    2017-04-19

    M dwarf stars, which have masses less than 60 per cent that of the Sun, make up 75 per cent of the population of the stars in the Galaxy. The atmospheres of orbiting Earth-sized planets are observationally accessible via transmission spectroscopy when the planets pass in front of these stars. Statistical results suggest that the nearest transiting Earth-sized planet in the liquid-water, habitable zone of an M dwarf star is probably around 10.5 parsecs away. A temperate planet has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest M dwarf, but it probably does not transit and its true mass is unknown. Seven Earth-sized planets transit the very low-mass star TRAPPIST-1, which is 12 parsecs away, but their masses and, particularly, their densities are poorly constrained. Here we report observations of LHS 1140b, a planet with a radius of 1.4 Earth radii transiting a small, cool star (LHS 1140) 12 parsecs away. We measure the mass of the planet to be 6.6 times that of Earth, consistent with a rocky bulk composition. LHS 1140b receives an insolation of 0.46 times that of Earth, placing it within the liquid-water, habitable zone. With 90 per cent confidence, we place an upper limit on the orbital eccentricity of 0.29. The circular orbit is unlikely to be the result of tides and therefore was probably present at formation. Given its large surface gravity and cool insolation, the planet may have retained its atmosphere despite the greater luminosity (compared to the present-day) of its host star in its youth. Because LHS 1140 is nearby, telescopes currently under construction might be able to search for specific atmospheric gases in the future.

  15. On habitable Trojan worlds in exoplanetary systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Richard; Eggl, Siegfried; Akos, Bazso; Funk, Barbara

    2016-09-01

    When astronomers look for life on planets in exoplanetary systems (EPS), they use the concept of the habitable zone (HZ) for the search of life in the universe. In many EPS a giant planet moves in the HZ and makes the existence of another habitable planet impossible, because of the gravitational interaction with a gas giant (GG). Therefore the investigation of the Trojan configuration provides another opportunity for an additional habitable planet. The configuration is the following, when a GG (like Jupiter or larger) moves in the HZ, a terrestrial Trojan planet may move in a stable orbit around the Lagrangian equilibrium points L4 or L5. Trojans are moving either close to 60° ahead or 60° behind the GG with nearly the same semi-major axis as the planet (as shown in the figure for the circular case). Former studies (Schwarz et al. 2009 and Schwarz et al 2014) could show that this configuration is not only stable for small bodies like asteroids (e.g. Jupiter Trojans), but also for larger ones (Earth-mass). We investigate the stability of possible Trojan planets in several known extra-solar planetary systems, by using the planar 3 and N-body problem as dynamical model considering the eccentricity of the planets. For our numerical simulations we use the Lie-integration method with an automatic step-size control to solve the equations of motion (Eggl and Dvorak 2010). In our study, we have concentrated on the extension of the stability region around the Lagrangian points and the influence of additional outer or inner GG. Finally we present a list of candidates of EPS where a massive GG (3-10 Jupiter masses) moves almost or fully in the HZ and an additional possible Trojan planet can have stable motion.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Planet formation and disk-planet interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Kley, Wilhelm

    2017-01-01

    This review is based on lectures given at the 45th Saas-Fee Advanced Course 'From Protoplanetary Disks to Planet Formation' held in March 2015 in Les Diablerets, Switzerland. Starting with an overview of the main characterictics of the Solar System and extrasolar planets, we describe the planet formation process in terms of the sequential accretion scenario. First the growth processes of dust particles to planetesimals and subsequently to terrestrial planets or planetary cores are presented. ...

  19. The discoveries of WASP-91b, WASP-105b and WASP-107b: Two warm Jupiters and a planet in the transition region between ice giants and gas giants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A.; Delrez, L.; Doyle, A. P.; Gillon, M.; Hellier, C.; Jehin, E.; Lendl, M.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Madhusudhan, N.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Queloz, D.; Ségransan, D.; Smalley, B.; Smith, A. M. S.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Turner, O. D.; Udry, S.; West, R. G.

    2017-08-01

    We report the discoveries of three transiting exoplanets. WASP-91b is a warm Jupiter (1.34 MJup, 1.03 RJup) in a 2.8-day orbit around a metal-rich K3 star. WASP-105b is a warm Jupiter (1.8 MJup, 0.96 RJup) in a 7.9-day orbit around a metal-rich K2 star. WASP-107b is a warm super-Neptune/sub-Saturn (0.12 MJup, 0.94 RJup) in a 5.7-day orbit around a solar-metallicity K6 star. Considering that giant planets seem to be more common around stars of higher metallicity and stars of higher mass, it is notable that the hosts are all metal-rich, late-type stars. With orbital separations that place both WASP-105b and WASP-107b in the weak-tide regime, measurements of the alignment between the planets' orbital axes and their stars' spin axes may help us to understand the inward migration of short-period, giant planets. The mass of WASP-107b (2.2 MNep, 0.40 MSat) places it in the transition region between the ice giants and gas giants of the Solar System. Its radius of 0.94 RJup suggests that it is a low-mass gas giant with a H/He-dominated composition. The planet thus sets a lower limit of 2.2 MNep on the planetary mass above which large gaseous envelopes can be accreted and retained by proto-planets on their way to becoming gas giants. We may discover whether WASP-107b more closely resembles an ice giant or a gas giant by measuring its atmospheric metallicity via transmission spectroscopy, for which WASP-107b is a very good target. Based on observations made with: the WASP-South photometric survey instrument, the 0.6-m TRAPPIST robotic imager, and the EulerCam camera and the CORALIE spectrograph mounted on the 1.2-m Euler-Swiss telescope.The photometric time-series and radial-velocity data used in this work are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/604/A110

  20. An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumusque, Xavier; Pepe, Francesco; Lovis, Christophe; Ségransan, Damien; Sahlmann, Johannes; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Mayor, Michel; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno; Udry, Stéphane

    2012-11-08

    Exoplanets down to the size of Earth have been found, but not in the habitable zone--that is, at a distance from the parent star at which water, if present, would be liquid. There are planets in the habitable zone of stars cooler than our Sun, but for reasons such as tidal locking and strong stellar activity, they are unlikely to harbour water-carbon life as we know it. The detection of a habitable Earth-mass planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun is extremely difficult, because such a signal is overwhelmed by stellar perturbations. Here we report the detection of an Earth-mass planet orbiting our neighbour star α Centauri B, a member of the closest stellar system to the Sun. The planet has an orbital period of 3.236 days and is about 0.04 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Earth-Sun distance).

  1. Decrease in Hysteresis of Planetary Climate for Planets with Long Solar Days

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbot, Dorian S.; Bloch-Johnson, Jonah; Checlair, Jade; Farahat, Navah X.; Graham, R. J.; Plotkin, David; Popovic, Predrag; Spaulding-Astudillo, Francisco

    2018-02-01

    The ice-albedo feedback on rapidly rotating terrestrial planets in the habitable zone can lead to abrupt transitions (bifurcations) between a warm and a snowball (ice-covered) state, bistability between these states, and hysteresis in planetary climate. This is important for planetary habitability because snowball events may trigger rises in the complexity of life, but could also endanger complex life that already exists. Recent work has shown that planets tidally locked in synchronous rotation states will transition smoothly into the snowball state rather than experiencing bifurcations. Here we investigate the structure of snowball bifurcations on planets that are tidally influenced, but not synchronously rotating, so that they experience long solar days. We use PlaSIM, an intermediate-complexity global climate model, with a thermodynamic mixed layer ocean and the Sun’s spectrum. We find that the amount of hysteresis (the range in stellar flux for which there is bistability in climate) is significantly reduced for solar days with lengths of tens of Earth days, and disappears for solar days of hundreds of Earth days. These results suggest that tidally influenced planets orbiting M and K stars that are not synchronously rotating could have much less hysteresis associated with the snowball bifurcations than they would if they were rapidly rotating. This implies that the amount of time it takes them to escape a snowball state via CO2 outgassing would be greatly reduced, as would the period of cycling between the warm and snowball state if they have low CO2 outgassing rates.

  2. Extrasolar planets searches today and tomorrow

    CERN Multimedia

    2000-01-01

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

  3. The Origins Space Telescope: Tracing the Signatures of Life and the Ingredients of Habitable Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontoppidan, Klaus Martin; Bergin, Edwin; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Milam, Stefanie N.; Sandstrom, Karin; Stevenson, Kevin; Origins Space Telescope Science and Technology Definition Team

    2018-01-01

    The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is the mission concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor, one of the four science and technology definition studies of NASA Headquarters for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal survey.Planet-hunting programs such as TRAPPIST, MEarth, and NASA's Kepler Space Observatory have confirmed the first Earth-sized planets orbiting within the habitable zones of their host stars. However, only once these planets' atmospheres have been characterized can their potential for supporting life be ascertained. Along with any detections of bio-relevant constituents of exoplanetary atmospheres, additional questions emerge. How are volatile elements - carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and the hydrogen in water - critical for life, delivered to habitable planets? This was an inefficient process for the Earth, but is it similarly difficult to deliver volatiles to Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone around other stars?The OST will have the power to reveal the formation, evolution and potential existence of biospheres, using the many unique tracers of water, organics and nitrogen-bearing species that dominate the infrared wavelength regions (5-600 micron). Using improved infrared detector stability and its large collecting area, OST will obtain infrared transmission and thermal emission spectra of transiting, potentially habitable, planets between 5.5-20 micron. This will allow for definitive measurements of atmospheric biosignatures and related species, such as CH4, O3, and CO2, and will measure planetary temperatures. An actively cooled, 4K telescope will vastly improve current sensitivities to far-infrared molecular lines by more than 3 orders of magnitude. OST will consequently be able to spectrally survey at least 1000 protoplanetary disks around stars down to the hydrogen-burning limit, map their content of water, and measure their total gas masses using HD as a tracer. Finally, OST will trace water back to its origin in the dense interstellar

  4. Planetary science: Bypassing the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2017-08-01

    In our own solar system, Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold and Earth is just right. Simulations show that making an icy planet habitable is not as simple as melting its ice: many icy bodies swing from too cold to too hot, bypassing just right.

  5. A Search for Exomoons and TTVs from LHS 1140b, a nearby super-Earth orbiting in the habitable-zone of an M dwarf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittmann, Jason; Charbonneau, David; Irwin, Jonathan; Agol, Eric; Kipping, David; Newton, Elisabeth; Berta-Thompson, Zachory; Haywood, Raphaelle; Winters, Jennifer; Ballard, Sarah

    2017-06-01

    Exoplanets that transit nearby small stars present the best opportunity for future atmospheric studies with the James Webb Space Telescope and the ground based ELTs currently under construction. The MEarth Project has discovered a rocky planet with a period of 27.43 days residing in the habitable zone of the nearby inactive star LHS 1140. This planet will be the subject of GTO observations by JWST, and additional objects in the system would also be tantalizing targets for future study. Owing to the large planetary mass and orbital separation from its star, LHS 1140b is unique among the planets known to transit nearby M dwarfs in its capability to host a large moon. We propose to survey LHS 1140b for signs of exomoons and to search for transit timing variations that may indicate the presence of additional companions. The long orbital period of 25 days, the 12 hour duration for the transit of the Hill sphere, and the small amplitude of the expected signal preclude pursuing this from the ground and make Spitzer uniquely capable to undertake this study. If successful, we may discover additional planets via TTVs for which we may conduct future searches for transits and atmospheric spectroscopy with JWST, and possibly provide the first evidence for exomoons outside of the Solar System.

  6. 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.

  7. Dance of the Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    As students continue their monthly plotting of the planets along the ecliptic they should start to notice differences between inner and outer planet orbital motions, and their relative position or separation from the Sun. Both inner and outer planets have direct eastward motion, as well as retrograde motion. Inner planets Mercury and Venus,…

  8. Pulling Back the Veil: The Characterization and Habitability of Enshrouded Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Giada Nicole

    habitability, I compared the production of fractal organic haze on Archean Earth-analog planets around several spectral types of stars: the sun at 2.7 billion years ago and at present day; the highly flaring M3.5V dwarf AD Leo; the M4V dwarf GJ 876; a modeled quiescent M dwarf; the K2V star epsilon Eridani; and the F2V star sigma Bootis. In my simulations, planets orbiting stars with the highest or lowest UV fluxes did not form haze. Low UV-stars are unable to drive the photochemistry needed for haze formation. High UV stars generate photochemical oxygen radicals that halt the buildup of this haze. Hazes can impact planetary habitability via UV shielding and surface cooling, but this cooling seems unimportant for hazy M dwarf planets because the bulk of the M dwarf spectral energy arrives at longer infrared wavelengths where organic hazes are relatively transparent. I simulated hazy planet spectra for these exoplanet-analogs in reflected light, thermal emission, and transit transmission and found that the spectral features of organic hazes should be detectable with future telescopes. For 10 transits of a hypothetical Archean-analog planet orbiting GJ 876 observed by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) over 0.8-14 mum, haze, methane and carbon dioxide are detectable assuming photon-limited noise levels. For direct imaging of a planet at 10 pc using a coronagraphic 10-meter class ultraviolet-visible-near infrared telescope, a shortwave haze absorption feature would be strongly detectable at >12 sigma in 200 hours. The impact of haze on planetary habitability and spectra are crucial to consider for future characterization of terrestrial exoplanets. Haze in the Archean could even have impacted the evolution of photosynthetic pigments because the spectrum of light reaching the planet's surface would have been reddened. I explore the consequences of this and show the spectrum of photons at the Earth's surface beneath a haze. In addition to haze, other types of UV shields would

  9. Habit persistence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vinther Møller, Stig

    2009-01-01

    This paper uses an iterated GMM approach to estimate and test the consumption based habit persistence model of Campbell and Cochrane (1999) on the US stock market. The empirical evidence shows that the model is able to explain the size premium, but fails to explain the value premium. Further......, the state variable of the model - the surplus consumption ratio - explains counter-cyclical time-varying expected returns on stocks. The model also produces plausible low real risk-free rates despite high relative risk aversion....

  10. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macintosh, B

    2005-01-01

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

  11. The Planet Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luhmann, Janet

    This book is not so much for the space scientist looking for background material for research as it is for one interested in the history of planetary exploration. The first half (˜100 pps) is devoted to studies of Venus before the space age, starting at several hundred years BC. It is obvious from the multitude of detailed descriptions of observers' accounts that considerable library research went into this section. While sometimes tedious, this chronology of Venus research is punctuated with amusing facts. While many may know about the Velikovsky theory of the cometary origin of the planet, few may know that Lowell drew pictures of Cytherian canals similar to the canals of Mars or that Frederick the Great of Prussia proposed to name the (once suspected) satellite of Venus D'Alembert, after the mathematician. An equally amusing appendix shows the ups and downs of the rotation period of this planet with the invisible surface. Much attention is focused on early telescope observations, the ashen light, and transits of Venus. At the end of this half, one appreciates that Venus has played a fairly important role in history in the areas of religion, science, and technology.

  12. Spectroscopic Search for Atmospheric Signatures of Extra-solar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauer, Heike; Harris, Alan; Collier Cameron, A.; Export-Team

    If the orbital inclination of an extra-solar planet is close to 90o, the planet will transit through the line-of-sight from Earth towards the star. During transit phases, the stellar light will pass through the planetary atmosphere, and absorption lines, caused by atoms/molecules in the planet's atmosphere, may be detected in high-resolution spectroscopic observations. We have searched for absorption features in spectra of 51 Peg, τ Boo and HD209458 during transits of their planets through the lines of sight. Spectra in the optical wavelength range were taken using the UES spectrograph at the 4m William Herschel telescope at La Palma, Spain.

  13. Constraints on Climate and Habitability for Earth-like Exoplanets Determined from a General Circulation Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wolf, Eric T.; Toon, Owen B. [Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Shields, Aomawa L. [University of California, Irvine, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 4129 Frederick Reines Hall, Irvine, CA 92697 (United States); Kopparapu, Ravi K.; Haqq-Misra, Jacob, E-mail: eric.wolf@colorado.edu [NASA Astrobiology Institute' s Virtual Planetary Laboratory, P.O. Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)

    2017-03-10

    Conventional definitions of habitability require abundant liquid surface water to exist continuously over geologic timescales. Water in each of its thermodynamic phases interacts with solar and thermal radiation and is the cause for strong climatic feedbacks. Thus, assessments of the habitable zone require models to include a complete treatment of the hydrological cycle over geologic time. Here, we use the Community Atmosphere Model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research to study the evolution of climate for an Earth-like planet at constant CO{sub 2}, under a wide range of stellar fluxes from F-, G-, and K-dwarf main sequence stars. Around each star we find four stable climate states defined by mutually exclusive global mean surface temperatures ( T {sub s}); snowball ( T {sub s} ≤ 235 K), waterbelt (235 K ≤ T {sub s} ≤ 250 K), temperate (275 K ≤ T {sub s} ≤ 315 K), and moist greenhouse ( T {sub s} ≥ 330 K). Each is separated by abrupt climatic transitions. Waterbelt, temperate, and cooler moist greenhouse climates can maintain open-ocean against both sea ice albedo and hydrogen escape processes respectively, and thus constitute habitable worlds. We consider the warmest possible habitable planet as having T {sub s} ∼ 355 K, at which point diffusion limited water-loss could remove an Earth ocean in ∼1 Gyr. Without long timescale regulation of non-condensable greenhouse species at Earth-like temperatures and pressures, such as CO{sub 2}, habitability can be maintained for an upper limit of ∼2.2, ∼2.4, and ∼4.7 Gyr around F-, G-, and K-dwarf stars respectively, due to main sequence brightening.

  14. Climate evolution on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kasting, J.F.; Toon, O.B.

    1989-01-01

    The present comparative evaluation of the long-term evolution of the Venus, earth, and Mars climates suggests that the earth's climate has remained temperate over most of its history despite a secular solar luminosity increase in virtue of a negative-feedback cycle based on atmospheric CO 2 levels and climate. The examination of planetary climate histories suggests that an earth-sized planet should be able to maintain liquid water on its surface at orbital distances in the 0.9-1.5 AU range, comparable to the orbit of Mars; this, in turn, implies that there may be many other habitable planets within the Galaxy

  15. Kepler’s DR25 Most Earth-like Planet Candidates: What To Know Before You Go

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Susan E.; Kepler Team

    2018-01-01

    The Kepler mission’s latest catalog of planet candidates (data release 25 KOI catalog at the NASA exoplanet archive) was released in June of 2017. The catalog contains 4034 candidates including a significant population of terrestrial-size planets in the habitable zone of FGK dwarf stars. I will highlight what we know about these planet candidates in the DR25 catalog and discuss some of the caveats when working with these detections. Specifically, I will discuss how the noise in the Kepler light curves (from both the instrument and the stars) is known to occasionally produce weak, transit-like signals. We use simulations of this noise to measure how often these signals sneak into the catalog. I will also demonstrate ways to select a high-reliability sample using information available in the catalog. Such considerations may prove useful for anyone planning to use these planet candidates for occurrence rate calculations, choosing targets for follow-up, or deciding which planet to visit on his/her next holiday.

  16. 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

  17. Geophysical Limitations on the Habitable Zone: Volcanism and Plate Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noack, Lena; Rivoldini, Attilio; Van Hoolst, Tim

    2016-04-01

    Planets are typically classified as potentially life-bearing planets (i.e. habitable planets) if they are rocky planets and if a liquid (e.g. water) could exist at the surface. The latter depends on several factors, like for example the amount of available solar energy, greenhouse effects in the atmosphere and an efficient CO2-cycle. However, the definition of the habitable zone should be updated to include possible geophysical constraints, that could potentially influence the CO2-cycle. Planets like Mars without plate tectonics and no or only limited volcanic events can only be considered to be habitable at the inner boundary of the habitable zone, since the greenhouse effect needed to ensure liquid surface water farther away from the sun is strongly reduced. We investigate if the planet mass as well as the interior structure can set constraints on the occurrence of plate tectonics and outgassing, and therefore affect the habitable zone, using both parameterized evolution models [1] and mantle convection simulations [1,2]. We find that plate tectonics, if it occurs, always leads to sufficient volcanic outgassing and therefore greenhouse effect needed for the outer boundary of the habitable zone (several tens of bar CO2), see also [3]. One-plate planets, however, may suffer strong volcanic limitations. The existence of a dense-enough CO2 atmosphere allowing for the carbon-silicate cycle and release of carbon at the outer boundary of the habitable zone may be strongly limited for planets: 1) without plate tectonics, 2) with a large planet mass, and/or 3) a high iron content. Acknowledgements This work has been funded by the Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme initiated by the Belgian Science Policy Office through the Planet Topers alliance, and results within the collaboration of the COST Action TD 1308. References Noack, L., Rivoldini, A., and Van Hoolst, T.: CHIC - Coupling Habitability, Interior and Crust, INFOCOMP 2015, ISSN 2308-3484, ISBN 978

  18. Tectonics and the photosynthetic habitable zone (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleep, N. H.

    2009-12-01

    The traditional habitable zone lies between an inner stellar radius where the surface of the planet becomes too hot for liquid water carbon-based life and on outer radius, where the surface freezes. It is effectively the zone where photosynthesis is feasible. The concept extends to putative life on objects with liquid methane at the surface, like Titan. As a practical matter, photosynthesis leaves detectable biosignatures in the geological record; black shale on the Earth indicates that sulfide and probably FeO based photosynthesis existed by 3.8 Ga. The hard crustal rocks and the mantle sequester numerous photosynthetic biosignatures. Photosynthesis can produce detectable free oxygen with ozone in the atmosphere of extrasolar planets. In contrast, there is no outer limit for subsurface life in large silicate objects. Pre-photosynthetic niches are dependable but meager and not very detectable at great antiquity or great distance, with global productivity less than 1e-3 of the photosynthetic ones. Photosynthetic organisms have bountiful energy that modifies their surface environment and even tectonics. For example, metamorphic rocks formed at the expense of thick black shale are highly radioactive and hence self-fluxing. Active tectonics with volcanism and metamorphism prevents volatiles from being sequestered in the subsurface as on Mars. A heat-pipe object, like a larger Io, differs from the Earth in that the volatiles return to the deep interior distributed within massive volcanic deposits rather than concentrated in the shallow oceanic crust. One the Earth, the return of water to the surface by arc volcanoes controls its mantle abundance at the transition between behaving as a trace element and behaving as a major element that affects melting. The ocean accumulates the water that the mantle and crust do not take. The Earth has the “right” amount of water that erosion/deposition and tectonics both tend to maintain near sea level surfaces. The mantle contains

  19. Stable Conic-Helical Orbits of Planets around Binary Stars: Analytical Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oks, E.

    2015-05-01

    Studies of planets in binary star systems are especially important because it was estimated that about half of binary stars are capable of supporting habitable terrestrial planets within stable orbital ranges. One-planet binary star systems (OBSS) have a limited analogy to objects studied in atomic/molecular physics: one-electron Rydberg quasimolecules (ORQ). Specifically, ORQ, consisting of two fully stripped ions of the nuclear charges Z and Z‧ plus one highly excited electron, are encountered in various plasmas containing more than one kind of ion. Classical analytical studies of ORQ resulted in the discovery of classical stable electronic orbits with the shape of a helix on the surface of a cone. In the present paper we show that despite several important distinctions between OBSS and ORQ, it is possible for OBSS to have stable planetary orbits in the shape of a helix on a conical surface, whose axis of symmetry coincides with the interstellar axis; the stability is not affected by the rotation of the stars. Further, we demonstrate that the eccentricity of the stars’ orbits does not affect the stability of the helical planetary motion if the center of symmetry of the helix is relatively close to the star of the larger mass. We also show that if the center of symmetry of the conic-helical planetary orbit is relatively close to the star of the smaller mass, a sufficiently large eccentricity of stars’ orbits can switch the planetary motion to the unstable mode and the planet would escape the system. We demonstrate that such planets are transitable for the overwhelming majority of inclinations of plane of the stars’ orbits (i.e., the projections of the planet and the adjacent start on the plane of the sky coincide once in a while). This means that conic-helical planetary orbits at binary stars can be detected photometrically. We consider, as an example, Kepler-16 binary stars to provide illustrative numerical data on the possible parameters and the

  20. 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.

  1. Constraints on the Mass of Planets with Water of Nebular Origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikoma, M.; Genda, H.

    2005-08-01

    Detection of many extrasolar planets has stimulated us to make a systematic study of planet formation. Theoretical studies on the accretion and dynamical evolution of planets have constrained the masses and periods of planets in extrasolar systems. From an astrobiological point of view, special attention has been paid to probabilities of the existence of planets in the habitable zone where a planet can keep liquid water above its surface. Few studies have, however, discussed how likely a planet acquires a sufficient amount of water. Although there are several sources of water on terrestrial planets, we focus on an idea that water is produced on a planet by oxidation of a hydrogen-rich atmosphere, the nebular gas being attracted gravitationally by the planet. The process of water production could work if a planet captures a sufficient amount of hydrogen, has a molten surface (i.e., magma oceans), and contains some oxide. Our extensive investigation of properties of the hydrogen-rich atmosphere shows the former two conditions are fulfilled on an Earth-size planet for a wide range of parameters. Moreover, some oxide such as FeO is common material in planets, as long as the C/O ratio of extrasolar systems is less than unity. Therefore, sufficient water on an Earth-sized rocky planet is a natural consequence of planet formation. The range of masses of those potentially-habitable planets is also constrained. This research was supported by the 21st Century COE Program ``How to build habitable planets", Tokyo Institute of Technology, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Technology and Science (MEXT), Japan.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-08-20

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. The Mass-Metallicity Relation for Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorngren, Daniel P.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Murray-Clay, Ruth A.; Lopez, Eric D.

    2016-11-01

    Exoplanet discoveries of recent years have provided a great deal of new data for studying the bulk compositions of giant planets. Here we identify 47 transiting giant planets (20 M ⊕ Jupiter radius inflation mechanism(s). We compute a set of new thermal and structural evolution models and use these models in comparison with properties of the 47 transiting planets (mass, radius, age) to determine their heavy element masses. A clear correlation emerges between the planetary heavy element mass M z and the total planet mass, approximately of the form {M}z\\propto \\sqrt{M}. This finding is consistent with the core-accretion model of planet formation. We also study how stellar metallicity [Fe/H] affects planetary metal-enrichment and find a weaker correlation than has previously been reported from studies with smaller sample sizes. We confirm a strong relationship between the planetary metal-enrichment relative to the parent star Z planet/Z star and the planetary mass, but see no relation in Z planet/Z star with planet orbital properties or stellar mass. The large heavy element masses of many planets (>50 M ⊕) suggest significant amounts of heavy elements in H/He envelopes, rather than cores, such that metal-enriched giant planet atmospheres should be the rule. We also discuss a model of core-accretion planet formation in a one-dimensional disk and show that it agrees well with our derived relation between mass and Z planet/Z star.

  5. PREDICTING A THIRD PLANET IN THE KEPLER-47 CIRCUMBINARY SYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinse, Tobias C. [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Korea, Republic of); Haghighipour, Nader [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI (United States); Kostov, Veselin B. [Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (United States); Goździewski, Krzysztof, E-mail: tchinse@gmail.com [Toruń Centre for Astronomy of the Nicolai Copernicus University, Grudziadzka 5 (Poland)

    2015-01-20

    We have studied the possibility that a third circumbinary planet in the Kepler-47 planetary system is the source of the single unexplained transiting event reported during the discovery of these planets. We applied the MEGNO technique to identify regions in the phase space where a third planet can maintain quasi-periodic orbits, and assessed the long-term stability of the three-planet system by integrating the entire five bodies (binary + planets) for 10 Myr. We identified several stable regions between the two known planets as well as a region beyond the orbit of Kepler-47c where the orbit of the third planet could be stable. To constrain the orbit of this planet, we used the measured duration of the unexplained transit event (∼4.15 hr) and compared that with the transit duration of the third planet in an ensemble of stable orbits. To remove the degeneracy among the orbits with similar transit durations, we considered the planet to be in a circular orbit and calculated its period analytically. The latter places an upper limit of 424 days on the orbital period of the third planet. Our analysis suggests that if the unexplained transit event detected during the discovery of the Kepler-47 circumbinary system is due to a planetary object, this planet will be in a low eccentricity orbit with a semi-major axis smaller than 1.24 AU. Further constraining of the mass and orbital elements of this planet requires a re-analysis of the entire currently available data, including those obtained post-announcement of the discovery of this system. We present details of our methodology and discuss the implication of the results.

  6. PREDICTING A THIRD PLANET IN THE KEPLER-47 CIRCUMBINARY SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinse, Tobias C.; Haghighipour, Nader; Kostov, Veselin B.; Goździewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    We have studied the possibility that a third circumbinary planet in the Kepler-47 planetary system is the source of the single unexplained transiting event reported during the discovery of these planets. We applied the MEGNO technique to identify regions in the phase space where a third planet can maintain quasi-periodic orbits, and assessed the long-term stability of the three-planet system by integrating the entire five bodies (binary + planets) for 10 Myr. We identified several stable regions between the two known planets as well as a region beyond the orbit of Kepler-47c where the orbit of the third planet could be stable. To constrain the orbit of this planet, we used the measured duration of the unexplained transit event (∼4.15 hr) and compared that with the transit duration of the third planet in an ensemble of stable orbits. To remove the degeneracy among the orbits with similar transit durations, we considered the planet to be in a circular orbit and calculated its period analytically. The latter places an upper limit of 424 days on the orbital period of the third planet. Our analysis suggests that if the unexplained transit event detected during the discovery of the Kepler-47 circumbinary system is due to a planetary object, this planet will be in a low eccentricity orbit with a semi-major axis smaller than 1.24 AU. Further constraining of the mass and orbital elements of this planet requires a re-analysis of the entire currently available data, including those obtained post-announcement of the discovery of this system. We present details of our methodology and discuss the implication of the results

  7. PLANET TOPERS: Planets, Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their ReservoirS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, Veronique; Breuer, Doris; Claeys, Philippe; Debaille, Vinciane; De Keyser, Johan; Javaux, Emmanuelle; Goderis, Steven; Karatekin, Ozgur; Mattielli, Nadine; Noack, Lena; Spohn, Tilman; Carine Vandaele, Ann; Vanhaecke, Frank; Van Hoolst, Tim; Wilquet, Valerie

    2013-04-01

    The PLANET TOPERS (Planets, Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their ReservoirS) group is an Inter-university attraction pole (IAP) addressing the question of habitability in our Solar System. Habitability is commonly understood as "the potential of an environment (past or present) to support life of any kind" (Steele et al., 2005, http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov/reports/archive.html). Based on the only known example of Earth, the concept refers to whether environmental conditions are available that could eventually support life, even if life does not currently exist (Javaux and Dehant, 2010, Astron. Astrophys. Rev., 18, 383-416, DOI: 10.1007/s00159-010-0030-4). Life includes properties such as consuming nutrients and producing waste, the ability to reproduce and grow, pass on genetic information, evolve, and adapt to the varying conditions on a planet (Sagan, 1970, Encyclopedia Britannica, 22, 964-981). Terrestrial life requires liquid water. The stability of liquid water at the surface of a planet defines a habitable zone (HZ) around a star. In the Solar System, it stretches between Venus and Mars, but excludes these two planets. If the greenhouse effect is taken into account, the habitable zone may have included early Mars while the case for Venus is still debated. Important geodynamic processes affect the habitability conditions of a planet. As envisaged by the group, this IAP develops and closely integrates the geophysical, geological, and biological aspects of habitability with a particular focus on Earth neighboring planets, Mars and Venus. It works in an interdisciplinary approach to understand habitability and in close collaboration with another group, the Helmholtz Alliance "Life and Planet Evolution", which has similar objectives. The dynamic processes, e.g. internal dynamo, magnetic field, atmosphere, plate tectonics, mantle convection, volcanism, thermo-tectonic evolution, meteorite impacts, and erosion, modify the planetary surface

  8. Eccentricity evolution during planet-disc interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragusa, Enrico; Rosotti, Giovanni; Teyssandier, Jean; Booth, Richard; Clarke, Cathie J.; Lodato, Giuseppe

    2018-03-01

    During the process of planet formation, the planet-disc interactions might excite (or damp) the orbital eccentricity of the planet. In this paper, we present two long (t ˜ 3 × 105 orbits) numerical simulations: (a) one (with a relatively light disc, Md/Mp = 0.2), where the eccentricity initially stalls before growing at later times and (b) one (with a more massive disc, Md/Mp = 0.65) with fast growth and a late decrease of the eccentricity. We recover the well-known result that a more massive disc promotes a faster initial growth of the planet eccentricity. However, at late times the planet eccentricity decreases in the massive disc case, but increases in the light disc case. Both simulations show periodic eccentricity oscillations superimposed on a growing/decreasing trend and a rapid transition between fast and slow pericentre precession. The peculiar and contrasting evolution of the eccentricity of both planet and disc in the two simulations can be understood by invoking a simple toy model where the disc is treated as a second point-like gravitating body, subject to secular planet-planet interaction and eccentricity pumping/damping provided by the disc. We show how the counterintuitive result that the more massive simulation produces a lower planet eccentricity at late times can be understood in terms of the different ratios of the disc-to-planet angular momentum in the two simulations. In our interpretation, at late times the planet eccentricity can increase more in low-mass discs rather than in high-mass discs, contrary to previous claims in the literature.

  9. A septet of Earth-sized planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triaud, Amaury; SPECULOOS Team; TRAPPIST-1 Team

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the astronomical requirements for life to emerge, and to persist, on a planet is one of the most important and exciting scientific endeavours, yet without empirical answers. To resolve this, multiple planets whose sizes and surface temperatures are similar to the Earth, need to be discovered. Those planets also need to possess properties enabling detailed atmospheric characterisation with forthcoming facilities, from which chemical traces produced by biological activity can in principle be identified.I will describe a dedicated search for such planets called SPECULOOS. Our first detection is the TRAPPIST-1 system. Intensive ground-based and space-based observations have revealed that at least seven planets populate this system. We measured their radii and obtained first estimates of their masses thanks to transit-timing variations. I will describe our on-going observational efforts aiming to reduce our uncertainties on the planet properties. The incident flux on the planets ranges from Mercury to Ceres, comprising the Earth, and permitting climatic comparisons between each of those worlds such as is not possible within our Solar system. All seven planets have the potential to harbour liquid water on at least a fraction of their surfaces, given some atmospheric and geological conditions.

  10. 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.

  11. Imaging of a transitional disk gap in reflected light: indications of planet formation around the young solar analog LkCa 15

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalmann, C.; Grady, C.A.; Gotto, M.; Min, M.

    2010-01-01

    We present H- and Ks-band imaging data resolving the gap in the transitional disk around LkCa 15, revealing the surrounding nebulosity. We detect sharp elliptical contours delimiting the nebulosity on the inside as well as the outside, consistent with the shape, size, ellipticity, and orientation of

  12. Exoplanetary Atmospheres—Chemistry, Formation Conditions, and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agúndez, Marcelino; Moses, Julianne I; Hu, Yongyun

    2016-01-01

    Characterizing the atmospheres of extrasolar planets is the new frontier in exoplanetary science. The last two decades of exoplanet discoveries have revealed that exoplanets are very common and extremely diverse in their orbital and bulk properties. We now enter a new era as we begin to investigate the chemical diversity of exoplanets, their atmospheric and interior processes, and their formation conditions. Recent developments in the field have led to unprecedented advancements in our understanding of atmospheric chemistry of exoplanets and the implications for their formation conditions. We review these developments in the present work. We review in detail the theory of atmospheric chemistry in all classes of exoplanets discovered to date, from highly irradiated gas giants, ice giants, and super-Earths, to directly imaged giant planets at large orbital separations. We then review the observational detections of chemical species in exoplanetary atmospheres of these various types using different methods, including transit spectroscopy, Doppler spectroscopy, and direct imaging. In addition to chemical detections, we discuss the advances in determining chemical abundances in these atmospheres and how such abundances are being used to constrain exoplanetary formation conditions and migration mechanisms. Finally, we review recent theoretical work on the atmospheres of habitable exoplanets, followed by a discussion of future outlook of the field. PMID:28057962

  13. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-10-14

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

  14. PLANET HUNTERS. VIII. CHARACTERIZATION OF 41 LONG-PERIOD EXOPLANET CANDIDATES FROM KEPLER ARCHIVAL DATA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Picard, Alyssa; Schmitt, Joseph R.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Barclay, Thomas; Ma, Bo; Bowler, Brendan P.; Riddle, Reed; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Simister, Dean Joseph; Grégoire, Boscher; Babin, Sean P.; Poile, Trevor; Jacobs, Thomas Lee; Baranec, Christoph; Law, Nicholas M.; Lintott, Chris; Schawinski, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    The census of exoplanets is incomplete for orbital distances larger than 1 AU. Here, we present 41 long-period planet candidates in 38 systems identified by Planet Hunters based on Kepler archival data (Q0–Q17). Among them, 17 exhibit only one transit, 14 have two visible transits, and 10 have more than three visible transits. For planet candidates with only one visible transit, we estimate their orbital periods based on transit duration and host star properties. The majority of the planet candidates in this work (75%) have orbital periods that correspond to distances of 1–3 AU from their host stars. We conduct follow-up imaging and spectroscopic observations to validate and characterize planet host stars. In total, we obtain adaptive optics images for 33 stars to search for possible blending sources. Six stars have stellar companions within 4″. We obtain high-resolution spectra for 6 stars to determine their physical properties. Stellar properties for other stars are obtained from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and the Kepler Stellar Catalog by Huber et al. We validate 7 planet candidates that have planet confidence over 0.997 (3σ level). These validated planets include 3 single-transit planets (KIC-3558849b, KIC-5951458b, and KIC-8540376c), 3 planets with double transits (KIC-8540376b, KIC-9663113b, and KIC-10525077b), and 1 planet with four transits (KIC-5437945b). This work provides assessment regarding the existence of planets at wide separations and the associated false positive rate for transiting observation (17%–33%). More than half of the long-period planets with at least three transits in this paper exhibit transit timing variations up to 41 hr, which suggest additional components that dynamically interact with the transiting planet candidates. The nature of these components can be determined by follow-up radial velocity and transit observations

  15. PLANET HUNTERS. VIII. CHARACTERIZATION OF 41 LONG-PERIOD EXOPLANET CANDIDATES FROM KEPLER ARCHIVAL DATA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Picard, Alyssa; Schmitt, Joseph R.; Boyajian, Tabetha S. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Barclay, Thomas [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ma, Bo [Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611-2055 (United States); Bowler, Brendan P.; Riddle, Reed [California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Simister, Dean Joseph; Grégoire, Boscher; Babin, Sean P.; Poile, Trevor; Jacobs, Thomas Lee; Baranec, Christoph [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Law, Nicholas M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3255 (United States); Lintott, Chris [Oxford Astrophysics, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Schawinski, Kevin [Institute for Astronomy, Department of Physics, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, CH-8093 Zurich (Switzerland); and others

    2015-12-20

    The census of exoplanets is incomplete for orbital distances larger than 1 AU. Here, we present 41 long-period planet candidates in 38 systems identified by Planet Hunters based on Kepler archival data (Q0–Q17). Among them, 17 exhibit only one transit, 14 have two visible transits, and 10 have more than three visible transits. For planet candidates with only one visible transit, we estimate their orbital periods based on transit duration and host star properties. The majority of the planet candidates in this work (75%) have orbital periods that correspond to distances of 1–3 AU from their host stars. We conduct follow-up imaging and spectroscopic observations to validate and characterize planet host stars. In total, we obtain adaptive optics images for 33 stars to search for possible blending sources. Six stars have stellar companions within 4″. We obtain high-resolution spectra for 6 stars to determine their physical properties. Stellar properties for other stars are obtained from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and the Kepler Stellar Catalog by Huber et al. We validate 7 planet candidates that have planet confidence over 0.997 (3σ level). These validated planets include 3 single-transit planets (KIC-3558849b, KIC-5951458b, and KIC-8540376c), 3 planets with double transits (KIC-8540376b, KIC-9663113b, and KIC-10525077b), and 1 planet with four transits (KIC-5437945b). This work provides assessment regarding the existence of planets at wide separations and the associated false positive rate for transiting observation (17%–33%). More than half of the long-period planets with at least three transits in this paper exhibit transit timing variations up to 41 hr, which suggest additional components that dynamically interact with the transiting planet candidates. The nature of these components can be determined by follow-up radial velocity and transit observations.

  16. Pale Orange Dots: The Impact of Organic Haze on the Habitability and Detectability of Earthlike Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Giada; Meadows, Victoria; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Deming, Drake; Robinson, Tyler D.; Tovar, Guadalupe; Wolf, Eric; Schwieterman, Edward

    2016-10-01

    Hazes are common in planetary atmospheres, and geochemical evidence suggests early Earth occasionally supported an organic haze. The formation of organic hazes is initiated by methane photochemistry sensitive to the host star UV spectrum. Because methane can be produced by a variety of biological and geological processes, organic-rich terrestrial planets with hazes may be common in the galaxy. We use a 1D photochemical-climate model to examine the production of fractal organic haze on Archean Earthlike planets orbiting several different stars: the modern and early Sun, AD Leo (M3.5V), GJ 876 (M4V), a modeled quiescent M dwarf (M3.5V), ɛ Eridani (K2V), and σ Boötis (F2V). For the planetary atmospheric compositions used, planets orbiting stars with the highest or lowest UV fluxes do not form haze. Low UV-stars are unable to drive the photochemistry needed for haze formation. High UV stars generate photochemical oxygen radicals that halt haze production. Organic hazes can impact planetary habitability via UV shielding and surface cooling, but this cooling is minimized for hazy M dwarf planets whose incident stellar radiation arrives at wavelengths where organic hazes are largely transparent. We generate synthetic planetary spectra to test the detectability of haze. For 10 transits of an Archean-analog planet orbiting GJ 876 observed by the James Webb Space Telescope, gaseous absorption features at wavelengths 5σ assuming photon-limited noise levels. An absorption feature from the haze can be detected at the 5σ level near 6.3μm, but higher signal-to-noise would be needed to uniquely distinguish haze from other absorbers in this spectral region. For direct imaging of a planet at 10 parsecs using a coronagraphic 10-meter class ultraviolet-visible-near infrared telescope, a UV-blue haze absorption feature would be strongly detectable at >12σ in 200 hours. Although haze is often considered a feature that conceals planetary features, organic haze can indicate a

  17. Pale Orange Dots: The Impact of Organic Haze on the Habitability and Detectability of Earthlike Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arney, Giada N.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Tovar, Guadalupe; Schwieterman, Edward [University of Washington Astronomy Department, Box 351580, U.W. Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Deming, Drake; Robinson, Tyler D. [NASA Astrobiology Institute Virtual Planetary Laboratory, Box 351580, U.W. Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Wolf, Eric T., E-mail: giada.n.arney@nasa.gov [University of Colorado at Boulder Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Physics, 1234 Innovation Drive, Boulder, CO 80303 (United States)

    2017-02-10

    Hazes are common in known planetary atmospheres, and geochemical evidence suggests that early Earth occasionally supported an organic haze with significant environmental and spectral consequences. The UV spectrum of the parent star drives organic haze formation through methane photochemistry. We use a 1D photochemical-climate model to examine production of fractal organic haze on Archean Earth-analogs in the habitable zones of several stellar types: the modern and early Sun, AD Leo (M3.5V), GJ 876 (M4V), ϵ Eridani (K2V), and σ Boötis (F2V). For Archean-like atmospheres, planets orbiting stars with the highest UV fluxes do not form haze because of the formation of photochemical oxygen radicals that destroy haze precursors. Organic hazes impact planetary habitability via UV shielding and surface cooling, but this cooling is minimized around M dwarfs, whose energy is emitted at wavelengths where organic hazes are relatively transparent. We generate spectra to test the detectability of haze. For 10 transits of a planet orbiting GJ 876 observed by the James Webb Space Telescope , haze makes gaseous absorption features at wavelengths < 2.5 μ m 2–10 σ shallower than a haze-free planet, and methane and carbon dioxide are detectable at >5 σ . A haze absorption feature can be detected at 5 σ near 6.3 μ m, but a higher signal-to-noise ratio is needed to distinguish haze from adjacent absorbers. For direct imaging of a planet at 10 pc using a coronagraphic 10 m class ultraviolet–visible–near-infrared telescope, a UV–blue haze absorption feature would be strongly detectable at >12 σ in 200 hr.

  18. White dwarf planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonsor Amy

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The recognition that planets may survive the late stages of stellar evolution, and the prospects for finding them around White Dwarfs, are growing. We discuss two aspects governing planetary survival through stellar evolution to the White Dwarf stage. First we discuss the case of a single planet, and its survival under the effects of stellar mass loss, radius expansion, and tidal orbital decay as the star evolves along the Asymptotic Giant Branch. We show that, for stars initially of 1 − 5 M⊙, any planets within about 1 − 5 AU will be engulfed, this distance depending on the stellar and planet masses and the planet's eccentricity. Planets engulfed by the star's envelope are unlikely to survive. Hence, planets surviving the Asymptotic Giant Branch phase will probably be found beyond ∼ 2 AU for a 1  M⊙ progenitor and ∼ 10 AU for a 5 M⊙ progenitor. We then discuss the evolution of two-planet systems around evolving stars. As stars lose mass, planet–planet interactions become stronger, and many systems stable on the Main Sequence become destabilised following evolution of the primary. The outcome of such instabilities is typically the ejection of one planet, with the survivor being left on an eccentric orbit. These eccentric planets could in turn be responsible for feeding planetesimals into the neighbourhood of White Dwarfs, causing observed pollution and circumstellar discs.

  19. UV surface habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 system

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley-James, Jack T.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2017-07-01

    With the discovery of rocky planets in the temperate habitable zone (HZ) of the close-by cool star TRAPPIST-1, the question of whether such planets could harbour life arises. Habitable planets around red dwarf stars can orbit in radiation environments that can be life-sterilizing. Ultraviolet (UV) flares from these stars are more frequent and intense than solar flares. Additionally, their temperate HZs are closer to the star. Here we present UV surface environment models for TRAPPIST-1's HZ planets and explore the implications for life. TRAPPIST-1 has high X-ray/extreme-ultraviolet activity, placing planetary atmospheres at risk from erosion. If a dense Earth-like atmosphere with a protective ozone layer existed on planets in the HZ of TRAPPIST-1, UV surface environments would be similar to the present-day Earth. However, an eroded or an anoxic atmosphere would allow more UV to reach the surface, making surface environments hostile even to highly UV tolerant terrestrial extremophiles. If future observations detect ozone in the atmospheres of any of the planets in the HZ of TRAPPIST-1, these would be interesting targets for the search for surface life. We anticipate our assay to be a starting point for in-depth exploration of stellar and atmospheric observations of the TRAPPIST-1 planets to constrain their UV surface habitability.

  20. TRANSIT

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    First page Back Continue Last page Overview Graphics. TRANSIT. SYSTEM: DETERMINE 2D-POSITION GLOBALLY BUT INTERMITTENT (POST-FACTO). IMPROVED ACCURACY. PRINCIPLE: POLAR SATELLITES WITH INNOVATIONS OF: GRAVITY-GRADIENT ATTITUDE CONTROL; DRAG COMPENSATION. WORKS ...

  1. On the Biohabitability of M-dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandel, A.

    2018-04-01

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

  2. Green tax reforms and habits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miguel, Carlos de; Manzano, Baltasar [Universidad de Vigo and Rede, Lagoas-Marcosende, s/n, 36200 Vigo (Spain)

    2011-01-15

    Using a dynamic general equilibrium model, we explore the role of habit formation when analyzing green tax reforms under the double dividend hypothesis. We assume increases in energy taxes and adjust capital taxation in a revenue-neutral framework to evaluate the effects on welfare. Since the existence of an environmental dividend is uncontroversial, we mainly focus on the efficiency dividend. Our findings show that, when taxes on household energy consumption increase, habits and transitional dynamics alter household decisions, and change the efficiency dividend. However, when the tax increase is on energy used as an input, reform always induces a welfare cost in terms of efficiency. In this case, habits play a less important role. (author)

  3. PLANET TOPERS: Planets, Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their ReservoirS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, Véronique; Breuer, Doris; Claeys, Philippe; Debaille, Vinciane; de Keyser, Johan; Javaux, Emmanuelle; Goderis, Steven; Karatekin, Ozgur; Matielli, Nadine; Noack, Lena; Spohn, Tilman; Carine Vandaele, Ann; Vanhaecke, Frank; van Hoolst, Tim; Wilquet, Valérie; The PLANET Topers Team

    2015-04-01

    The PLANET TOPERS (Planets, Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their ReservoirS) group is an Inter-university attraction pole (IAP) addressing the question of habitability in our Solar System. Based on the only known example of Earth, the concept refers to whether environmental conditions are available that could eventually support life, even if life does not currently exist. Life is believed to require liquid water, but important geodynamic processes affect the habitability conditions of a planet. The PLANET TOPERS group develops and closely integrates the geophysical, geological, and biological aspects of habitability with a particular focus on Earth neighboring planets, Mars and Venus. Habitability is commonly understood as "the potential of an environment (past or present) to support life of any kind" (Steele et al., 2005). Based on the only known example of Earth, the concept refers to whether environmental conditions are available that could eventually support life, even if life does not currently exist (Javaux and Dehant, 2010). Life includes properties such as consuming nutrients and producing waste, the ability to reproduce and grow, pass on genetic information, evolve, and adapt to the varying conditions on a planet (Sagan, 1970). Terrestrial life requires liquid water. The common view, however, is that extraterrestrial life would probably be based on organic chemistry in a water solvent (Pace, 2001) although alternative biochemistries have been hypothesized. The stability of liquid water at the surface of a planet defines a habitable zone (HZ) around a star. In the Solar System, it stretches between Venus and Mars, but excludes these two planets. If the greenhouse effect is taken into account, the habitable zone may have included early Mars while the case for Venus is still debated. The dynamic processes, e.g. internal dynamo, magnetic field, atmosphere, plate tectonics, mantle convection, volcanism, thermo-tectonic evolution

  4. 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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Design and Performance of the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Mary L.; Shaklan, Stuart; Lisman, P. Doulas; Ho, Timothy; Mouroulis, Pantazis; Basinger, Scott; Ledeboer, Bill; Kwack, Eug; Kissil, Andy; Mosier, Gary; hide

    2004-01-01

    Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph, one of two potential architectures, is described. The telescope is designed to make a visible wavelength survey of the habitable zones of at least thirty stars in search of earth-like planets. The preliminary system requirements, optical parameters, mechanical and thermal design, operations scenario and predicted performance is presented. The 6-meter aperture telescope has a monolithic primary mirror, which along with the secondary tower, are being designed to meet the stringent optical tolerances of the planet-finding mission. Performance predictions include dynamic and thermal finite element analysis of the telescope optics and structure, which are used to make predictions of the optical performance of the system.

  7. DENSITY AND ECCENTRICITY OF KEPLER PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu Yanqin [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); Lithwick, Yoram [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)

    2013-07-20

    We analyze the transit timing variations (TTV) obtained by the Kepler mission for 22 sub-Jovian planet pairs (19 published, 3 new) that lie close to mean motion resonances. We find that the TTV phases for most of these pairs lie close to zero, consistent with an eccentricity distribution that has a very low root-mean-squared value of e {approx} 0.01; but about a quarter of the pairs possess much higher eccentricities, up to e {approx} 0.1-0.4. For the low-eccentricity pairs, we are able to statistically remove the effect of eccentricity to obtain planet masses from TTV data. These masses, together with those measured by radial velocity, yield a best-fit mass-radius relation M {approx} 3 M{sub Circled-Plus }(R/R{sub Circled-Plus }). This corresponds to a constant surface escape velocity of {approx}20 km s{sup -1}. We separate the planets into two distinct groups: ''mid-sized'' (those greater than 3 R{sub Circled-Plus }) and 'compact' (those smaller). All mid-sized planets are found to be less dense than water and therefore must contain extensive H/He envelopes that are comparable in mass to that of their cores. We argue that these planets have been significantly sculpted by photoevaporation. Surprisingly, mid-sized planets, a minority among Kepler candidates, are discovered exclusively around stars more massive than 0.8 M{sub Sun }. The compact planets, on the other hand, are often denser than water. Combining our density measurements with those from radial velocity studies, we find that hotter compact planets tend to be denser, with the hottest ones reaching rock density. Moreover, hotter planets tend to be smaller in size. These results can be explained if the compact planets are made of rocky cores overlaid with a small amount of hydrogen, {<=}1% in mass, with water contributing little to their masses or sizes. Photoevaporation has exposed bare rocky cores in cases of the hottest planets. Our conclusion that these planets are likely

  8. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XVII. The hot Jupiter CoRoT-17b: a very old planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csizmadia, Sz.; Moutou, C.; Deleuil, M.; Cabrera, J.; Fridlund, M.; Gandolfi, D.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Almenara, J.-M.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Bruntt, H.; Carone, L.; Carpano, S.; Cavarroc, C.; Cochran, W.; Deeg, H. J.; Díaz, R. F.; Dvorak, R.; Endl, M.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Fruth, Th.; Gazzano, J.-C.; Gillon, M.; Guenther, E. W.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Havel, M.; Hébrard, G.; Jehin, E.; Jorda, L.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Lammer, H.; Lovis, C.; MacQueen, P. J.; Mazeh, T.; Ollivier, M.; Pätzold, M.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.; Tingley, B.; Titz-Weider, R.; Wuchterl, G.

    2011-07-01

    We report on the discovery of a hot Jupiter-type exoplanet, CoRoT-17b, detected by the CoRoT satellite. It has a mass of 2.43 ± 0.30 MJup and a radius of 1.02 ± 0.07 RJup, while its mean density is 2.82 ± 0.38 g/cm3. CoRoT-17b is in a circular orbit with a period of 3.7681 ± 0.0003 days. The host star is an old (10.7 ± 1.0 Gyr) main-sequence star, which makes it an intriguing object for planetary evolution studies. The planet's internal composition is not well constrained and can range from pure H/He to one that can contain ~380 earth masses of heavier elements. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Programme), Germany and Spain. Part of the observations were obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii. Based on observations made with HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-m European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile (ESO program 184.C-0639). Based on observations made with the IAC80 telescope operated on the island of Tenerife by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in the Spanish Observatorio del Teide. Part of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  9. A Young Three-Planet System in the Hyades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Andrew; Newton, Elisabeth; Rizzuto, Aaron; Vanderburg, Andrew

    2017-10-01

    Planets are nor born in their final state; instead, before reaching a more mature and stable phase, young planets have their structures, orbits, and atmospheres disrupted by their environment. Early changes in planetary systems can have profound implications for the final configuration of the planets, which makes it critical to study planets during their most formative years (0-1 Gyr). However, most of the known planets have poorly constrained ages or are older than the timescales of interest. In the latest K2 data release we identified a 3-planet system in the Hyades cluster (700 Myr). The smallest of these planets is Earth-sized, creating a unique opportunity to study small, rocky planets while they are still evolving. However, the parameters of this planet are poorly constrained from the K2 light curve, and the ephemeris needs updating. The largest planet should have a large atmospheric scale-height based on similar planets, but could be flat if material in the upper atmosphere has not yet settled. Here we propose Spitzer observations of both planets to significantly improve their parameters, lock the ephemerides well into the era of JWST, take early steps to characterize their atmospheres, and search for expected transit timing variations.

  10. Maximizing planet packing in the alpha Centauri AB system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quarles, Billy L.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Kaib, Nathan A.

    2017-06-01

    Recent observational searches have prompted a rebirth of inquiry surrounding the alpha Centauri AB system. Moreover, numerical studies have suggested that planets can form within dynamically stable zones close to the parent stars. Our previous work (Quarles & Lissauer 2016) determined how individual planets interact with the host binary and the dynamical imprint that arises on billion year timescales. We investigate how the prospects of stability can be altered due to interplanetary interactions within multiple planet systems orbiting either stellar component. We find that systems of tightly packed Earth-mass planets can persist on timescales greater than the age of the binary within each star’s habitable zone. Additionally, the number of planets and the spacing in mutual Hill radii depends on the assumed initial eccentricity due to a forced eccentricity induced by the binary companion.

  11. Planets to Cosmology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livio, Mario; Casertano, Stefano

    2011-11-01

    Preface; 1. Hubble's view of transiting planets D. Charbonneau; 2. Unsolved problems in star formation C. J. Clarke; 3. Star formation in clusters S. S. Larson; 4. HST abundance studies of low metallicity stars J. W. Truran, C. Sneden, F. Primas, J. J. Cowan and T. Beers; 5. Physical environments and feedback: HST studies of intense star-forming environments J. S. Gallagher, L. J. Smith and R. W. O'Connell; 6. Quasar hosts: growing up with monstrous middles K. K. McLeod; 7. Reverberation mapping of active galactic nuclei B. M. Peterson and K. Horne; 8. Feedback at high redshift A. E. Shapley; 9. The baryon content of the local intergalactic medium J. T. Stocke, J. M. Shull, and S. V. Penton; 10. Hot baryons in supercluster filaments E. D. Miller, R. A. Dupke and J. N. Bregman; 11. Galaxy assembly E. F. Bell; 12. Probing the reionization history of the Universe Z. Haiman; 13. Studying distant infrared-luminous galaxies with Spitzer and Hubble C. Papovich, E. Egami, E. Le Floc'h, P. Pérez-González, G. Rieke, J. Rigby, H. Dole and M. Reike; 14. Galaxies at z = g-i'-drop selection and the GLARE Project E. R. Stanway, K. Glazebrook, A. J. Bunker and the GLARE Consortium; 15. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field with NIMCOS R. I. Thompson, R. J. Bouwens and G. Illingworth.

  12. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-28

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

  14. Characterizing Giant Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations: HAT-P-8b

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Discovering and characterizing gas giants is important to the search for other life, as gas giants greatly affect the habitability of a solar system. Transits of exoplanets observed in visual photometric bands have been used to characterize their atmospheres and confirm planet parameters. We observed two primary transits of the hot gas giant HAT-P-8b with the Wyoming Infrared Observatory’s 2.3-meter telescope. Using multi-filter photometry in the g, r, i, and z bands (Sloan filters) we were able to update HAT-P-8b’s planet parameters and constrain characteristics of its atmosphere. Preliminary findings show that there is wavelength dependence in the depth of the transit observations. An infrared spectroscopic follow up of this candidate could yield more details on its atmospheric composition.

  15. 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.

  16. Properties of the single Jovian planet population and the pursuit of Solar system analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnew, Matthew T.; Maddison, Sarah T.; Horner, Jonathan

    2018-04-01

    While the number of exoplanets discovered continues to increase at a rapid rate, we are still to discover any system that truly resembles the Solar system. Existing and near future surveys will likely continue this trend of rapid discovery. To see if these systems are Solar system analogues, we will need to efficiently allocate resources to carry out intensive follow-up observations. We seek to uncover the properties and trends across systems that indicate how much of the habitable zone is stable in each system to provide focus for planet hunters. We study the dynamics of all known single Jovian planetary systems, to assess the dynamical stability of the habitable zone around their host stars. We perform a suite of simulations of all systems where the Jovian planet will interact gravitationally with the habitable zone, and broadly classify these systems. Besides the system's mass ratio (Mpl/Mstar), and the Jovian planet's semi-major axis (apl) and eccentricity (epl), we find that there are no underlying system properties which are observable that indicate the potential for planets to survive within the system's habitable zone. We use Mpl/Mstar, apl and epl to generate a parameter space over which the unstable systems cluster, thus allowing us to predict which systems to exclude from future observational or numerical searches for habitable exoplanets. We also provide a candidate list of 20 systems that have completely stable habitable zones and Jovian planets orbiting beyond the habitable zone as potential first order Solar system analogues.

  17. No planet for HD 166435

    OpenAIRE

    Queloz, D.; Henry, G. W.; Sivan, J. P.; Baliunas, S. L.; Beuzit, J. L.; Mayor, R. A. Donahue M.; Naef, D.; Perrier, C.; Udry, S.

    2001-01-01

    The G0V star HD166435 has been observed by the fiber-fed spectrograph ELODIE as one of the targets in the large extra-solar planet survey that we are conducting at the Observatory of Haute-Provence. We detected coherent, low-amplitude, radial-velocity variations with a period of 3.7987days, suggesting a possible close-in planetary companion. Subsequently, we initiated a series of high-precision photometric observations to search for possible planetary transits and an additional series of CaII...

  18. Understanding divergent evolution of Earth-like planets: the case for a Venus exploration program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crisp, D.

    2002-01-01

    Here, we propose a Venus exploration program designed to explain the origin and divergent evolution of the interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres of the terrestrial planets in our solar system, and provide greater insight into the conditions that may affect the habitability of terrestrial planets in other solar systems.

  19. 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.

  20. In search of planets and life around other stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, J I

    1999-05-11

    The discovery of over a dozen low-mass companions to nearby stars has intensified scientific and public interest in a longer term search for habitable planets like our own. However, the nature of the detected companions, and in particular whether they resemble Jupiter in properties and origin, remains undetermined.

  1. Dependence of the Onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect on the Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodama, T.; Nitta, A.; Genda, H.; Takao, Y.; O'ishi, R.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Abe, Y.

    2018-02-01

    Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Liquid water vaporizes entirely when planets receive insolation above a certain critical value, which is called the runaway greenhouse threshold. This threshold forms the inner most limit of the habitable zone. Here we investigate the effects of the distribution of surface water on the runaway greenhouse threshold for Earth-sized planets using a three-dimensional dynamic atmosphere model. We considered a 1 bar atmosphere whose composition is similar to the current Earth's atmosphere with a zonally uniform distribution of surface water. As previous studies have already showed, we also recognized two climate regimes: the land planet regime, which has dry low-latitude and wet high-latitude regions, and the aqua planet regime, which is globally wet. We showed that each regime is controlled by the width of the Hadley circulation, the amount of surface water, and the planetary topography. We found that the runaway greenhouse threshold varies continuously with the surface water distribution from about 130% (an aqua planet) to 180% (the extreme case of a land planet) of the present insolation at Earth's orbit. Our results indicate that the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single sharp boundary, but a border whose location varies depending on planetary surface condition, such as the amount of surface water. Since land planets have wider habitable zones and less cloud cover, land planets would be good targets for future observations investigating planetary habitability.

  2. Environmental control system for Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hearty, Fred; Levi, Eric; Nelson, Matt; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Burton, Adam; Ramsey, Lawrence; Bender, Chad; Terrien, Ryan; Halverson, Samuel; Robertson, Paul; Roy, Arpita; Blank, Basil; Blanchard, Ken; Stefansson, Gudmundur

    2014-07-01

    HPF is an ultra-stable, precision radial velocity near infrared spectrograph with a unique environmental control scheme. The spectrograph will operate at a mid-range temperature of 180K, approximately half way between room temperature and liquid nitrogen temperature; it will be stable to sub -milli-Kelvin(mK) levels over a calibration cycle and a few mK over months to years. HPF's sensor is a 1.7 micron H2RG device by Teledyne. The environmental control boundary is a 9 m2 thermal enclosure that completely surrounds the optical train and produces a near blackbody cavity for all components. A large, pressure - stabilized liquid nitrogen tank provides the heat sink for the system via thermal straps while a multichannel resistive heater control system provides the stabilizing heat source. High efficiency multi-layer insulation blanketing provides the outermost boundary of the thermal enclosure to largely isolate the environmental system from ambient conditions. The cryostat, a stainless steel shell derived from the APOGEE design, surrounds the thermal enclosure and provides a stable, high quality vacuum environment. The full instrument will be housed in a passive 'meat -locker' enclosure to add a degree of additional thermal stability and as well as protect the instrument. Effectiveness of this approach is being empirically demonstrated via long duration scale model testing. The full scale cryostat and environmental control system are being constructed for a 2016 delivery of the instrument to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. This report describes the configuration of the hardware and the scale-model test results as well as projections for performance of the full system.

  3. Detection and characterization of extrasolar planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferlet R.

    2009-02-01

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

  4. Dependence of the runaway greenhouse threshold on the surface water distribution for Earth-like planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodama, T.; Nitta, A.; Genda, H.; Oishi, R.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Abe, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Liquid water is one of the important materials that affect the climate and habitability on a terrestrial planet. Liquid water entirely vaporizes when planets receive insolation above a certain critical value, which is called the runaway greenhouse threshold. This threshold forms the inner most limit of the habitable zone. In general, it is assumed that an Earth-like planet with oceans is a potentially habitable planet. Such a planet is implicitly assumed to be a planet whose surface is covered with oceans. Thus, most of previous studies estimated the runaway greenhouse threshold for such planets. Abe et al. (2011) suggest that the runaway greenhouse threshold significantly depends on the distribution of water on the surface. The distribution of the surface water is determined by the surface topography, the surface water flow and the transport of water vapor in the atmosphere. Here, we investigate the effects of the distribution of surface water on the runaway greenhouse threshold for Earth-sized planets using a three-dimensional dynamic atmosphere model. We recognized two climate regimes: the land planet regime, which has dry low latitude and wet high latitude regions, and the aqua planet regime, which is globally wet. We showed that each regime is controlled by the width of the Hadley circulation, the amount of surface water, and the planetary topography. We found that the runaway greenhouse threshold continuously varies with the surface water distribution from about 130% (an aqua planet) to 180% (the extreme case of a land planet) of the present insolation at Earth's orbit. Our results indicate that the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single sharp boundary, but a border whose location varies depending on planetary surface condition, such as the amount of surface water.

  5. [Modulators of sleeping habits in childhood].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geib, Lorena Teresinha Consalter

    2007-01-01

    This literature review presents the main organic, psychological and cultural factors influencing the sleeping habits of infants. By means of a clinical-anthropological approach, the interrelation between these habits and biobehavioral and psychosocial stressing factors is described, as well as cultural practices such as shared bed, night feeding, transitional objects and use of dummies. It presents some measures that may modulate the physiology of sleep and home practices of sleeping in childhood.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Modeling Kepler Transit Light Curves as False Positives: Rejection of Blend Scenarios for Kepler-9, and Validation of Kepler-9 d, a Super-Earth-Size Planet in a Multiple System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-20

    in the field the rate of false positives relative to the rate of true planets (false alarm rate, FAR) can be written quite generally as FAR = NFP /( NFP ...Np), where NFP is the number of false positives and Np is the number of planets in the sample. Thus, the larger the number of planets we expect, the...product of BF and the size of the sample or NFP = BF × 156,097 = 0.016. The number of small planets expected in the sample is of course not known, and

  8. Healthy Sleep Habits

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Sleep Apnea Testing CPAP Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Sleep Habits Your behaviors during the day, and especially ... team at an AASM accredited sleep center . Quick Sleep Tips Follow these tips to establish healthy sleep ...

  9. Planet Hunters, Undergraduate Research, and Detection of Extrasolar Planet Kepler-818 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, David; Crannell, Graham; Duncan, James; Hays, Aryn; Hendrix, Landon

    2017-01-01

    Detection of extrasolar planets provides an excellent research opportunity for undergraduate students. In Spring 2012, we searched for transiting extrasolar planets using Kepler spacecraft data in our Research Experience in Physics course at Austin College. Offered during the regular academic year, these Research Experience courses engage students in the scientific process, including proposal writing, paper submission, peer review, and oral presentations. Since 2004, over 190 undergraduate students have conducted authentic scientific research through Research Experience courses at Austin College.Zooniverse’s citizen science Planet Hunters web site offered an efficient method for rapid analysis of Kepler data. Light curves from over 5000 stars were analyzed, of which 2.3% showed planetary candidates already tagged by the Kepler team. Another 1.5% of the light curves suggested eclipsing binary stars, and 1.6% of the light curves had simulated planets for training purposes.One of the stars with possible planetary transits had not yet been listed as a planetary candidate. We reported possible transits for Kepler ID 4282872, which later was promoted to planetary candidate KOI-1325 in 2012 and confirmed to host extrasolar planet Kepler-818 b in 2016 (Morton et al. 2016). Kepler-818 b is a “hot Neptune” with period 10.04 days, flux decrease during transit ~0.4%, planetary radius 4.69 Earth radii, and semi-major axis 0.089 au.

  10. Stability of Multi-Planet Systems in the Alpha Centauri System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2017-01-01

    We evaluate the extent of the regions within the alpha Centauri AB star system where small planets are able to orbit for billion-year timescales (Quarles & Lissauer 2016, Astron. J. 151, 111), as well as how closely-spaced planetary orbits can be within those regions in which individual planets can survive. Although individual planets on low inclination, low eccentricity, orbits can survive throughout the habitable zones of both stars, perturbations from the companion star imply that the spacing of planets in multi-planet systems within the habitable zones of each star must be significantly larger than the spacing of similar multi-planet systems orbiting single stars in order to be long-lived. Because the binary companion induces a forced eccentricity upon the orbits of planets in orbit around either star, appropriately-aligned circumstellar orbits with small initial eccentricities are stable to slightly larger initial semimajor axes than are initially circular orbits. Initial eccentricities close to forced eccentricities can have a much larger affect on how closely planetary orbits can be spaced, and therefore on how many planets may remain in the habitable zones, although the required spacing remains significantly higher than for planets orbiting single stars.

  11. Detecting Atmospheric Biosignatures of Transiting Exoplanets in the Mid-IR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Kevin

    2018-01-01

    For the first time in human history, our generation will have the technology needed to answer one of the longest-standing questions: "Are we alone?'' Only recently have planet-hunting programs (such as TRAPPIST, MEarth, and Kepler) confirmed the first Earth analogues orbiting M dwarfs. However, it is unknown whether planets orbiting the most ubiquitous stars in our galaxy can support life. I will discuss the challenges and opportunities of looking for biosignatures in transiting exoplanet atmospheres at mid-infrared wavelengths and argue that the only way to ascertain the truth is to make a measurement. I will also present how a survey of nearby mid-to-late M dwarfs could empirically determine the fraction of habitable-zone planets that develop life.

  12. More Planets in the Hyades Cluster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    A few weeks ago, Astrobites reported on a Neptune-sized planet discovered orbiting a star in the Hyades cluster. A separate study submitted at the same time, however, reveals that there may be even more planets lurking in this system.Thanks, KeplerArtists impression of the Kepler spacecraft and the mapping of the fields of the current K2 mission. [NASA]As we learn about the formation and evolution of planets outside of our own solar system, its important that we search for planets throughout different types of star clusters; observing both old and young clusters, for instance, can tell us about planets in different stages of their evolutionary histories. Luckily for us, we have a tool that has been doing exactly this: the Kepler mission.In true holiday spirit, Kepler is the gift that just keeps on giving. Though two of its reaction wheels have failed, Kepler now as its reincarnation, K2 just keeps detecting more planet transits. Whats more, detailed analysis of past Kepler/K2 data with ever more powerful techniques as well as the addition of high-precision parallaxes for stars from Gaia in the near future ensures that the Kepler data set will continue to reveal new exoplanet transits for many years to come.Image of the Hyades cluster, a star cluster that is only 800 million years old. [NASA/ESA/STScI]Hunting in the Young HyadesTwo studies using K2 data were recently submitted on exoplanet discoveries around EPIC 247589423 in the Hyades cluster, a nearby star cluster that is only 800 million years old. Astrobites reported on the first study in October and discussed details about the newly discovered mini-Neptune presented in that study.The second study, led by Andrew Mann (University of Texas at Austin and NASA Hubble Fellow at Columbia University), was published this week. This study presented a slightly different outcome: the authors detect the presence of not just the one, but three exoplanets orbiting EPIC 247589423.New DiscoveriesMann and collaborators searched

  13. Rearing a reading habit

    OpenAIRE

    Sridhar, M. S.

    2009-01-01

    Discusses the importance and ways of inculcating reading habit in children at the right age, describes the five reading phases in children along with interest and the material to satiate the need, explains how four deterministic factors affect the reading habit of children, enlists motivations that are behind the reading process with tips to improve reading habit of children.

  14. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Diego J.; Lai, Dong

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries currently known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 d, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via the so-called Lidov–Kozai migration mechanism, in which gravitational perturbations from a distant tertiary companion induce large-amplitude eccentricity oscillations in the binary, followed by orbital decay and circularization due to tidal dissipation in the stars. Here we explore the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this mechanism. We show that planets may survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may develop erratic behavior in eccentricity, resulting in their consumption by the stars or ejection from the system as the binary decays. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like. PMID:26159412

  15. 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...

  16. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Diego J; Lai, Dong

    2015-07-28

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries currently known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 d, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via the so-called Lidov-Kozai migration mechanism, in which gravitational perturbations from a distant tertiary companion induce large-amplitude eccentricity oscillations in the binary, followed by orbital decay and circularization due to tidal dissipation in the stars. Here we explore the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this mechanism. We show that planets may survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may develop erratic behavior in eccentricity, resulting in their consumption by the stars or ejection from the system as the binary decays. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like.

  17. Limit cycles at the outer edge of the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haqq-Misra, J. D.; Kopparapu, R.; Batalha, N. E.; Harman, C.; Kasting, J. F.

    2016-12-01

    The liquid water habitable zone (HZ) describes the orbital distance at which a terrestrial planet can maintain above-freezing conditions through regulation by the carbonate-silicate cycle. Calculations with one-dimensional climate models predict that the inner edge of the HZ is limited by water loss through a runaway greenhouse, while the outer edge of the HZ is bounded by the maximum greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. This classic picture of the HZ continues to guide interpretation of exoplanet discoveries; however, recent calculations have shown that terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the HZ may exhibit other behaviors that affect their habitability. Here I discuss results from a hierarchy of climate models to understand the stellar environments most likely to support a habitable planet. I present energy balance climate model calculations showing the conditions under which planets in the outer regions of the habitable zone should oscillate between long, globally glaciated states and shorter periods of climatic warmth, known as `limit cycles.' Such conditions would be inimical to the development of complex land life, including intelligent life. Limit cycles may also provide an explanation for fluvial features on early Mars, although this requires additional greenhouse warming by hydrogen. These calculations show that the net volcanic outgassing rate and the propensity for plant life to sequester carbon dioxide are critical factors that determine the susceptibility of a planet to limit cycling. I argue that planets orbiting mid G- to mid K-type stars offer more opportunity for supporting advanced life than do planets around F-type stars or M-type stars.

  18. 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.)

  19. Abiotic production of methane in terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Marmolejo, Andrés; Segura, Antígona; Escobar-Briones, Elva

    2013-06-01

    On Earth, methane is produced mainly by life, and it has been proposed that, under certain conditions, methane detected in an exoplanetary spectrum may be considered a biosignature. Here, we estimate how much methane may be produced in hydrothermal vent systems by serpentinization, its main geological source, using the kinetic properties of the main reactions involved in methane production by serpentinization. Hydrogen production by serpentinization was calculated as a function of the available FeO in the crust, given the current spreading rates. Carbon dioxide is the limiting reactant for methane formation because it is highly depleted in aqueous form in hydrothermal vent systems. We estimated maximum CH4 surface fluxes of 6.8×10(8) and 1.3×10(9) molecules cm(-2) s(-1) for rocky planets with 1 and 5 M⊕, respectively. Using a 1-D photochemical model, we simulated atmospheres with volume mixing ratios of 0.03 and 0.1 CO2 to calculate atmospheric methane concentrations for the maximum production of this compound by serpentinization. The resulting abundances were 2.5 and 2.1 ppmv for 1 M⊕ planets and 4.1 and 3.7 ppmv for 5 M⊕ planets. Therefore, low atmospheric concentrations of methane may be produced by serpentinization. For habitable planets around Sun-like stars with N2-CO2 atmospheres, methane concentrations larger than 10 ppmv may indicate the presence of life.

  20. Shallow Transits—Deep Learning. I. Feasibility Study of Deep Learning to Detect Periodic Transits of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucker, Shay; Giryes, Raja

    2018-04-01

    Transits of habitable planets around solar-like stars are expected to be shallow, and to have long periods, which means low information content. The current bottleneck in the detection of such transits is caused in large part by the presence of red (correlated) noise in the light curves obtained from the dedicated space telescopes. Based on the groundbreaking results deep learning achieves in many signal and image processing applications, we propose to use deep neural networks to solve this problem. We present a feasibility study, in which we applied a convolutional neural network on a simulated training set. The training set comprised light curves received from a hypothetical high-cadence space-based telescope. We simulated the red noise by using Gaussian Processes with a wide variety of hyper-parameters. We then tested the network on a completely different test set simulated in the same way. Our study proves that very difficult cases can indeed be detected. Furthermore, we show how detection trends can be studied and detection biases quantified. We have also checked the robustness of the neural-network performance against practical artifacts such as outliers and discontinuities, which are known to affect space-based high-cadence light curves. Future work will allow us to use the neural networks to characterize the transit model and identify individual transits. This new approach will certainly be an indispensable tool for the detection of habitable planets in the future planet-detection space missions such as PLATO.

  1. Quantitative estimates of the surface habitability of Kepler-452b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Laura; Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Provenzale, Antonello

    2017-09-01

    Kepler-452b is currently the best example of an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a sun-like star, a type of planet whose number of detections is expected to increase in the future. Searching for biosignatures in the supposedly thin atmospheres of these planets is a challenging goal that requires a careful selection of the targets. Under the assumption of a rocky-dominated nature for Kepler-452b, we considered it as a test case to calculate a temperature-dependent habitability index, h050, designed to maximize the potential presence of biosignature-producing activity. The surface temperature has been computed for a broad range of climate factors using a climate model designed for terrestrial-type exoplanets. After fixing the planetary data according to the experimental results, we changed the surface gravity, CO2 abundance, surface pressure, orbital eccentricity, rotation period, axis obliquity and ocean fraction within the range of validity of our model. For most choices of parameters, we find habitable solutions with h050 > 0.2 only for CO2 partial pressure p_CO_2 ≲ 0.04 bar. At this limiting value of CO2 abundance, the planet is still habitable if the total pressure is p ≲ 2 bar. In all cases, the habitability drops for eccentricity e ≳ 0.3. Changes of rotation period and obliquity affect the habitability through their impact on the equator-pole temperature difference rather than on the mean global temperature. We calculated the variation of h050 resulting from the luminosity evolution of the host star for a wide range of input parameters. Only a small combination of parameters yields habitability-weighted lifetimes ≳2 Gyr, sufficiently long to develop atmospheric biosignatures still detectable at the present time.

  2. Planets a very short introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A

    2010-01-01

    Planets: A Very Short Introduction demonstrates the excitement, uncertainties, and challenges faced by planetary scientists, and provides an overview of our Solar System and its origins, nature, and evolution. Terrestrial planets, giant planets, dwarf planets and various other objects such as satellites (moons), asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, and exoplanets are discussed. Our knowledge about planets has advanced over the centuries, and has expanded at a rapidly growing rate in recent years. Controversial issues are outlined, such as What qualifies as a planet? What conditions are required for a planetary body to be potentially inhabited by life? Why does Pluto no longer have planet status? And Is there life on other planets?

  3. TIDAL EVOLUTION OF CLOSE-IN PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Rasio, Frederic A.; Peale, Stanton J.

    2010-01-01

    Recent discoveries of several transiting planets with clearly non-zero eccentricities and some large obliquities started changing the simple picture of close-in planets having circular and well-aligned orbits. The two major scenarios that form such close-in planets are planet migration in a disk and planet-planet interactions combined with tidal dissipation. The former scenario can naturally produce a circular and low-obliquity orbit, while the latter implicitly assumes an initially highly eccentric and possibly high-obliquity orbit, which are then circularized and aligned via tidal dissipation. Most of these close-in planets experience orbital decay all the way to the Roche limit as previous studies showed. We investigate the tidal evolution of transiting planets on eccentric orbits, and find that there are two characteristic evolution paths for them, depending on the relative efficiency of tidal dissipation inside the star and the planet. Our study shows that each of these paths may correspond to migration and scattering scenarios. We further point out that the current observations may be consistent with the scattering scenario, where the circularization of an initially eccentric orbit occurs before the orbital decay primarily due to tidal dissipation in the planet, while the alignment of the stellar spin and orbit normal occurs on a similar timescale to the orbital decay largely due to dissipation in the star. We also find that even when the stellar spin-orbit misalignment is observed to be small at present, some systems could have had a highly misaligned orbit in the past, if their evolution is dominated by tidal dissipation in the star. Finally, we also re-examine the recent claim by Levrard et al. that all orbital and spin parameters, including eccentricity and stellar obliquity, evolve on a similar timescale to orbital decay. This counterintuitive result turns out to have been caused by a typo in their numerical code. Solving the correct set of tidal

  4. The New Worlds Observer: An Optimal Path to Direct Study of Earth-like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cash, Webster C., Jr.; New Worlds Study Team

    2009-01-01

    Direct detection and spectroscopic study of the planets around the nearby stars is generally recognized as a prime goal of astronomy. The New Worlds Observer mission concept is being studied as an Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept Study for this purpose. NWO features two spacecraft: a general purpose 4m telescope that operates from the UV to the Near IR, and a starshade, a flower-shaped occulter about 50m in diameter flying in alignment about 70,000km away. Our study shows this is the most effective way to map nearby planetary systems. In this poster we will show that NWO can return much more science than any of the competing approaches at any given price point. Images will show dust and debris down to a fraction of our zodiacal light level. Planets fainter than the Earth can be seen from the Habitable Zone outward, at distances up to 20pc. High throughput and low noise enable immediate follow-up spectroscopy of discovered planets. NWO can discover many more Earth-like planets than all competing approaches including astrometric, interferometric, and internal coronagraphic. Within hours of discovery, a high quality spectrum can determine the true nature of the exoplanet and open the search for biomarkers and life. Over half of the time will be spent with the starshade in transit to the next target. During those times the telescope will be available to for general astrophysics purposes. Operating from the ultraviolet to the near infrared, this will be a true HST follow-on. The study shows all needed technologies already exist. The cost scales primarily with telescope size. The mission is definitely within the financial and technical reach of NASA for the coming decade.

  5. The planets and life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, R. S.

    1971-01-01

    It is pointed out that planetary exploration is not simply a program designed to detect life on another planet. A planet similar to earth, such as Mars, when studied for evidence as to why life did not arise, may turn out to be scientifically more important than a planet which has already produced a living system. Of particular interest after Mars are Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter has a primitive atmosphere which may well be synthesizing organic molecules today. Speculations have been made concerning the possibility of a bio-zone in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

  6. THE HEAVY-ELEMENT MASSES OF EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANETS, REVEALED

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, Neil; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2011-01-01

    We investigate a population of transiting planets that receive relatively modest stellar insolation, indicating equilibrium temperatures pl /Z star ), which appears to have little dependency on the metallicity of the star. Saturn- and Jupiter-like enrichments above solar composition are a hallmark of all the gas giants in the sample, even planets of several Jupiter masses. These relationships provide an important constraint on planet formation and suggest large amounts of heavy elements within planetary H/He envelopes. We suggest that the observed correlation can soon also be applied to inflated planets, such that the interior heavy-element abundance of these planets could be estimated, yielding better constraints on their interior energy sources. We point to future directions for planetary population synthesis models and suggest future correlations. This appears to be the first evidence that extrasolar giant planets, as a class, are enhanced in heavy elements.

  7. Origins of Eccentric Extrasolar Planets: Testing the Planet-Planet Scattering Model

    OpenAIRE

    Ford, Eric B.; Rasio, Frederic A.

    2007-01-01

    (Abridged) In planetary systems with two or more giant planets, dynamical instabilities can lead to collisions or ejections through strong planet--planet scattering. Previous studies for simple initial configurations with two equal-mass planets revealed some discrepancies between the results of numerical simulations and the observed orbital elements of extrasolar planets. Here, we show that simulations with two unequal mass planets starting on nearly circular orbits predict a reduced frequenc...

  8. The APACHE survey hardware and software design: Tools for an automatic search of small-size transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lattanzi M.G.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Small-size ground-based telescopes can effectively be used to look for transiting rocky planets around nearby low-mass M stars using the photometric transit method, as recently demonstrated for example by the MEarth project. Since 2008 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of Aosta Valley (OAVdA, we have been preparing for the long-term photometric survey APACHE, aimed at finding transiting small-size planets around thousands of nearby early and mid-M dwarfs. APACHE (A PAthway toward the Characterization of Habitable Earths is designed to use an array of five dedicated and identical 40-cm Ritchey-Chretien telescopes and its observations started at the beginning of summer 2012. The main characteristics of the survey final set up and the preliminary results from the first weeks of observations will be discussed.

  9. THE HABITABLE ZONES OF PRE-MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramirez, Ramses M.; Kaltenegger, Lisa [Institute for Pale Blue Dots, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (United States)

    2014-12-20

    We calculate the pre-main-sequence habitable zone (HZ) for stars of spectral classes F-M. The spatial distribution of liquid water and its change during the pre-main-sequence phase of protoplanetary systems is important for understanding how planets become habitable. Such worlds are interesting targets for future missions because the coolest stars could provide habitable conditions for up to 2.5 billion years post-accretion. Moreover, for a given star type, planetary systems are more easily resolved because of higher pre-main-sequence stellar luminosities, resulting in larger planet-star separation for cool stars than is the case for the traditional main-sequence (MS) HZ. We use one-dimensional radiative-convective climate and stellar evolutionary models to calculate pre-main-sequence HZ distances for F1-M8 stellar types. We also show that accreting planets that are later located in the traditional MS HZ orbiting stars cooler than a K5 (including the full range of M stars) receive stellar fluxes that exceed the runaway greenhouse threshold, and thus may lose substantial amounts of water initially delivered to them. We predict that M-star planets need to initially accrete more water than Earth did, or, alternatively, have additional water delivered later during the long pre-MS phase to remain habitable. Our findings are also consistent with recent claims that Venus lost its water during accretion.

  10. Chemical Evolution and the Galactic Habitable Zone of M31

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carigi, Leticia; Garcia-Rojas, Jorge; Meneses-Goytia, Sofia

    2013-01-01

    We have computed the Galactic Habitable Zones (GHZs) of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) based on the probability of terrestrial planet formation, which depends on the metallicity (Z) of the interstellar medium, and the number of stars formed per unit surface area. The GHZ was obtained from a chemical

  11. CoRoT’s first seven planets: An overview*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barge P.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The up to 150 day uninterrupted high-precision photometry of about 100000 stars – provided so far by the exoplanet channel of the CoRoT space telescope – gave a new perspective on the planet population of our galactic neighbourhood. The seven planets with very accurate parameters widen the range of known planet properties in almost any respect. Giant planets have been detected at low metallicity, rapidly rotating and active, spotted stars. CoRoT-3 populated the brown dwarf desert and closed the gap of measured physical properties between standard giant planets and very low mass stars. CoRoT extended the known range of planet masses down-to 5 Earth masses and up to 21 Jupiter masses, the radii to less than 2 Earth radii and up to the most inflated hot Jupiter found so far, and the periods of planets discovered by transits to 9 days. Two CoRoT planets have host stars with the lowest content of heavy elements known to show a transit hinting towards a different planet-host-star-metallicity relation then the one found by radial-velocity search programs. Finally the properties of the CoRoT-7b prove that terrestrial planets with a density close to Earth exist outside the Solar System. The detection of the secondary transit of CoRoT-1 at the 10−5-level and the very clear detection of the 1.7 Earth radii of CoRoT-7b at 3.5 10−4 relative flux are promising evidence of CoRoT being able to detect even smaller, Earth sized planets.

  12. All for the Planet, the Planet for everyone!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drndarski, Marina

    2014-05-01

    The Eco-Musketeers are unique voluntary group of students. They have been established in Belgrade, in Primary school 'Drinka Pavlović'. Since the founding in year 2000, Eco-Musketeers have been involved in peer and citizens education guided by motto: All for the planet, the planet for all! Main goals of this group are spreading and popularization of environmental approach as well as gaining knowledge through collaborative projects and research. A great number of students from other schools in Serbia have joined Eco-Musketeers in observations aiming to better understand the problem of global climate change. In the past several years Eco-Musketeers have also participated in many national and international projects related to the active citizenship and rising the awareness of the importance of biodiversity and environment for sustainable development of society. In this presentation we will show some of the main activities, eco-performances and actions of our organization related to the environment, biodiversity, conservation and recycling, such as: spring cleaning the streets of Belgrade, cleaning the Sava and the Danube river banks, removing insect moth pupae in the area of Lipovica forest near Belgrade. Also, Eco-Musketeers worked on education of employees of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia about energy efficiency. All the time, we have working on raising public awareness of the harmful effects of plastic bags on the environment, too. In order to draw attention on rare and endangered species in Serbia and around the globe, there were several performing street-plays about biodiversity and also the plays about the water ecological footprint. Eco-Musketeers also participated in international projects Greenwave-signs of spring (Fibonacci project), European Schools For A Living Planet (WWF Austria and Erste stiftung) and Eco Schools. The eco dream of Eco-Musketeers is to influence the Government of the Republic of Serbia to determine and declare a 'green habits week'. This should

  13. BINARY MINOR PLANETS

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The data set lists orbital and physical properties for well-observed or suspected binary/multiple minor planets including the Pluto system, compiled from the...

  14. Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen; Asimov, Isaac

    2007-01-01

    "Planets for Man" was written at the height of the space race, a few years before the first moon landing, when it was assumed that in the not-too-distant future human beings "will be able to travel...

  15. Planets Around Neutron Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolszczan, Alexander; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R; Anderson, Stuart B.

    2003-01-01

    The objective of this proposal was to continue investigations of neutron star planetary systems in an effort to describe and understand their origin, orbital dynamics, basic physical properties and their relationship to planets around normal stars. This research represents an important element of the process of constraining the physics of planet formation around various types of stars. The research goals of this project included long-term timing measurements of the planets pulsar, PSR B1257+12, to search for more planets around it and to study the dynamics of the whole system, and sensitive searches for millisecond pulsars to detect further examples of old, rapidly spinning neutron stars with planetary systems. The instrumentation used in our project included the 305-m Arecibo antenna with the Penn State Pulsar Machine (PSPM), the 100-m Green Bank Telescope with the Berkeley- Caltech Pulsar Machine (BCPM), and the 100-m Effelsberg and 64-m Parkes telescopes equipped with the observatory supplied backend hardware.

  16. The quest for very low-mass planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayor, M; Udry, S [Geneva Observatory, Geneva University, 51 ch des Maillettes, CH-1290 Versoix (Switzerland)], E-mail: michel.mayor@obs.unige.ch

    2008-08-15

    The statistical results gathered on exoplanet properties over the past decade provide strong constraints for planet-formation models. They now prove to be especially important for the new category of very low-mass solid planets recently revealed by improved radial velocities, obtained mainly with the HARPS spectrograph. We review here the emerging properties of this newly discovered population, in the light of results from state-of-the-art planet-formation models. We also discuss the limitations of the radial-velocity method and the associated optimistic perspectives for the future detection of Earth-like planets in the Habitable Zone of solar-type stars, with radial velocities alone or in complement to space photometry.

  17. Realistic limitations of detecting planets around young active stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinfield D.

    2013-04-01

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

  18. The planet Mercury (1971)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The physical properties of the planet Mercury, its surface, and atmosphere are presented for space vehicle design criteria. The mass, dimensions, mean density, and orbital and rotational motions are described. The gravity field, magnetic field, electromagnetic radiation, and charged particles in the planet's orbit are discussed. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, and composition data are given along with the surface composition, soil mechanical properties, and topography, and the surface electromagnetic and temperature properties.

  19. Eating habits of a population undergoing a rapid dietary transition: portion sizes of traditional and non-traditional foods and beverages consumed by Inuit adults in Nunavut, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehy, Tony; Roache, Cindy; Sharma, Sangita

    2013-06-02

    To determine the portion sizes of traditional and non-traditional foods being consumed by Inuit adults in three remote communities in Nunavut, Canada. A cross-sectional study was carried out between June and October, 2008. Trained field workers collected dietary data using a culturally appropriate, validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire (QFFQ) developed specifically for the study population. Caribou, muktuk (whale blubber and skin) and Arctic char (salmon family), were the most commonly consumed traditional foods; mean portion sizes for traditional foods ranged from 10 g for fermented seal fat to 424 g for fried caribou. Fried bannock and white bread were consumed by >85% of participants; mean portion sizes for these foods were 189 g and 70 g, respectively. Sugar-sweetened beverages and energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods were also widely consumed. Mean portion sizes for regular pop and sweetened juices with added sugar were 663 g and 572 g, respectively. Mean portion sizes for potato chips, pilot biscuits, cakes, chocolate and cookies were 59 g, 59 g, 106 g, 59 g, and 46 g, respectively. The present study provides further evidence of the nutrition transition that is occurring among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. It also highlights a number of foods and beverages that could be targeted in future nutritional intervention programs aimed at obesity and diet-related chronic disease prevention in these and other Inuit communities.

  20. Terraforming the Planets and Climate Change Mitigation on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, O. B.

    2008-12-01

    Hopefully, purposeful geo-engineering of the Earth will remain a theoretical concept. Of course, we have already inadvertently changed the Earth, and over geologic history life has left an indelible imprint on our planet. We can learn about geo-engineering schemes by reference to Earth history, for example climate changes after volcanic eruptions provide important clues to using sulfates to modify the climate. The terrestrial planets and Titan offer additional insights. For instance, Mars and Venus both have carbon dioxide dominated greenhouses. Both have more than 10 times as much carbon dioxide in their atmospheres as Earth, and both absorb less sunlight than Earth, yet one is much colder than Earth and one is much hotter. These facts provide important insights into carbon dioxide greenhouses that I will review. Mars cools dramatically following planet wide dust storms, and Titan has what is referred to as an anti- greenhouse climate driven by aerosols. These data can be used to reassure us that we can model aerosol caused changes to the climate of a planet, and also provide examples of aerosols offsetting a gas-driven greenhouse effect. People have long considered whether we might make the other planets habitable. While most of the schemes considered belong in the realm of science fiction, it is possible that some schemes might be practical. Terraforming brings to mind a number of issues that are thought provoking, but not so politically charged as geo-engineering. For example: What criteria define habitability, is it enough for people to live in isolated glass enclosures, or do we need to walk freely on the planet? Different creatures have different needs. Is a planet habitable if plants can thrive in the open, or do animals also need to be free? Are the raw materials present on any planet to make it habitable? If not, can we make the materials, or do we have to import them? Is it ethical to change a planetary climate? What if there are already primitive

  1. Formation, Habitability, and Detection of Extrasolar Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The diversity and quantity of moons in the Solar System suggest a manifold population of natural satellites exist around extrasolar planets. Of peculiar interest from an astrobiological perspective, the number of sizable moons in the stellar habitable zones may outnumber planets in these circumstellar regions. With technological and theoretical methods now allowing for the detection of sub-Earth-sized extrasolar planets, the first detection of an extrasolar moon appears feasible. In this review, we summarize formation channels of massive exomoons that are potentially detectable with current or near-future instruments. We discuss the orbital effects that govern exomoon evolution, we present a framework to characterize an exomoon's stellar plus planetary illumination as well as its tidal heating, and we address the techniques that have been proposed to search for exomoons. Most notably, we show that natural satellites in the range of 0.1–0.5 Earth mass (i) are potentially habitable, (ii) can form within the circumplanetary debris and gas disk or via capture from a binary, and (iii) are detectable with current technology. Key Words: Astrobiology—Extrasolar planets—Habitability—Planetary science—Tides. Astrobiology 14, 798–835. PMID:25147963

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  3. Milankovitch cycles of terrestrial planets in binary star systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forgan, Duncan

    2016-12-01

    The habitability of planets in binary star systems depends not only on the radiation environment created by the two stars, but also on the perturbations to planetary orbits and rotation produced by the gravitational field of the binary and neighbouring planets. Habitable planets in binaries may therefore experience significant perturbations in orbit and spin. The direct effects of orbital resonances and secular evolution on the climate of binary planets remain largely unconsidered. We present latitudinal energy balance modelling of exoplanet climates with direct coupling to an N-Body integrator and an obliquity evolution model. This allows us to simultaneously investigate the thermal and dynamical evolution of planets orbiting binary stars, and discover gravito-climatic oscillations on dynamical and secular time-scales. We investigate the Kepler-47 and Alpha Centauri systems as archetypes of P- and S-type binary systems, respectively. In the first case, Earth-like planets would experience rapid Milankovitch cycles (of order 1000 yr) in eccentricity, obliquity and precession, inducing temperature oscillations of similar periods (modulated by other planets in the system). These secular temperature variations have amplitudes similar to those induced on the much shorter time-scale of the binary period. In the Alpha Centauri system, the influence of the secondary produces eccentricity variations on 15 000 yr time-scales. This produces climate oscillations of similar strength to the variation on the orbital time-scale of the binary. Phase drifts between eccentricity and obliquity oscillations creates further cycles that are of order 100 000 yr in duration, which are further modulated by neighbouring planets.

  4. Spectroscopic follow up of Kepler planet candidates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Latham..[], D. W.; Cochran, W. D.; Marcy, G.W.

    2010-01-01

    and not planets, our strategy is to start with reconnaissance spectroscopy using smaller telescopes, to sort out and reject as many of the false positives as possible before going to Keck. During the first Kepler observing season in 2009, more than 100 nights of telescope time were allocated for this work, using......Spectroscopic follow-up observations play a crucial role in the confirmation and characterization of transiting planet candidates identified by Kepler. The most challenging part of this work is the determination of radial velocities with a precision approaching 1 m/s in order to derive masses from...... spectroscopic orbits. The most precious resource for this work is HIRES on Keck I, to be joined by HARPS-North on the William Herschel Telescope when that new spectrometer comes on line in two years. Because a large fraction of the planet candidates are in fact stellar systems involving eclipsing stars...

  5. Spectroscopic follow up of Kepler planet candidates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Latham..[], D. W.; Cochran, W. D.; Marcy, G.W.

    2010-01-01

    Spectroscopic follow-up observations play a crucial role in the confirmation and characterization of transiting planet candidates identified by Kepler. The most challenging part of this work is the determination of radial velocities with a precision approaching 1 m/s in order to derive masses from...... spectroscopic orbits. The most precious resource for this work is HIRES on Keck I, to be joined by HARPS-North on the William Herschel Telescope when that new spectrometer comes on line in two years. Because a large fraction of the planet candidates are in fact stellar systems involving eclipsing stars...... and not planets, our strategy is to start with reconnaissance spectroscopy using smaller telescopes, to sort out and reject as many of the false positives as possible before going to Keck. During the first Kepler observing season in 2009, more than 100 nights of telescope time were allocated for this work, using...

  6. Statistical-likelihood Exo-Planetary Habitability Index (SEPHI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Mozos, J. M.; Moya, A.

    2017-11-01

    A new index, the Statistical-likelihood Exo-Planetary Habitability Index (SEPHI), is presented. It has been developed to cover the current and future features required for a classification scheme disentangling whether any exoplanet discovered is potentially habitable compared with life on Earth. SEPHI uses likelihood functions to estimate the habitability potential. It is defined as the geometric mean of four sub-indexes related to four comparison criteria: Is the planet telluric? Does it have an atmosphere dense enough and a gravity compatible with life? Does it have liquid water on its surface? Does it have a magnetic field shielding its surface from harmful radiation and stellar winds? SEPHI can be estimated with only seven physical characteristics: planetary mass, planetary radius, planetary orbital period, stellar mass, stellar radius, stellar effective temperature and planetary system age. We have applied SEPHI to all the planets in the Exoplanet Encyclopaedia using a Monte Carlo method. Kepler-1229b, Kepler-186f and Kepler-442b have the largest SEPHI values assuming certain physical descriptions. Kepler-1229b is the most unexpected planet in this privileged position since no previous study pointed to this planet as a potentially interesting and habitable one. In addition, most of the tidally locked Earth-like planets present a weak magnetic field, incompatible with habitability potential. We must stress that our results are linked to the physics used in this study. Any change in the physics used implies only an updating of the likelihood functions. We have developed a web application allowing the online estimation of SEPHI (http://sephi.azurewebsites.net/).

  7. 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.

  8. Planet Occurrence within 0.25 AU of Solar-type Stars from Kepler

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Bryson, Stephen T.

    2012-01-01

    We report the distribution of planets as a function of planet radius, orbital period, and stellar effective temperature for orbital periods less than 50 days around solar-type (GK) stars. These results are based on the 1235 planets (formally "planet candidates") from the Kepler mission that include...... of transit, R /a. We consider first Kepler target stars within the "solar subset" having T eff = 4100-6100 K, log g = 4.0-4.9, and Kepler magnitude Kp

  9. The Significance of the Sodium Detection in the Extrasolar Planet HD209458b Atmosphere

    OpenAIRE

    Seager, S.

    2003-01-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) detection of an extrasolar planet atmosphere in 2001 was a landmark step forward for the characterization of extrasolar planets. HST detected the trace element sodium, via the neutral atomic resonance doublet at 593 nm, in the transiting extrasolar giant planet HD209458b. In this paper I discuss the significance of this first ever extrasolar planet atmosphere detection. I explain how the sodium measurement can be used as a constraint on HD209458b atmosphere mo...

  10. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph 2005: Overview of Technology Development and System Design Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Virginia G.

    2005-01-01

    Technology research, design trades, and modeling and analysis guide the definition of a Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph Mission that will search for and characterize earth-like planets around near-by stars. Operating in visible wavebands, this mission will use coronagraphy techniques to suppress starlight to enable capturing and imaging the reflected light from a planet orbiting in the habitable zone of its parent star. The light will be spectrally characterized to determine the presence of life-indicating chemistry in the planet atmosphere.

  11. Planet Detectability in the Alpha Centauri System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lily; Fischer, Debra A.; Brewer, John; Giguere, Matt; Rojas-Ayala, Bárbara

    2018-01-01

    We use more than a decade of radial-velocity measurements for α {Cen} A, B, and Proxima Centauri from the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, CTIO High Resolution Spectrograph, and the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph to identify the M\\sin i and orbital periods of planets that could have been detected if they existed. At each point in a mass–period grid, we sample a simulated, Keplerian signal with the precision and cadence of existing data and assess the probability that the signal could have been produced by noise alone. Existing data places detection thresholds in the classically defined habitable zones at about M\\sin i of 53 {M}\\oplus for α {Cen} A, 8.4 {M}\\oplus for α {Cen} B, and 0.47 {M}\\oplus for Proxima Centauri. Additionally, we examine the impact of systematic errors, or “red noise” in the data. A comparison of white- and red-noise simulations highlights quasi-periodic variability in the radial velocities that may be caused by systematic errors, photospheric velocity signals, or planetary signals. For example, the red-noise simulations show a peak above white-noise simulations at the period of Proxima Centauri b. We also carry out a spectroscopic analysis of the chemical composition of the α {Centauri} stars. The stars have super-solar metallicity with ratios of C/O and Mg/Si that are similar to the Sun, suggesting that any small planets in the α {Cen} system may be compositionally similar to our terrestrial planets. Although the small projected separation of α {Cen} A and B currently hampers extreme-precision radial-velocity measurements, the angular separation is now increasing. By 2019, α {Cen} A and B will be ideal targets for renewed Doppler planet surveys.

  12. The New Worlds Observer: Direct Detection and Study of Exoplanets from the Habitable Zone Outward

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cash, Webster C.; New Worlds Study Team

    2009-01-01

    Direct detection and spectroscopic study of the planets around the nearby stars is generally recognized as a prime goal of astronomy. The New Worlds Observer mission concept is being studied as an Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept Study for this purpose. NWO features two spacecraft: a general purpose 4m telescope that operates from the UV to the Near IR, and a starshade, a flower-shaped occulter about 50m in diameter flying in alignment about 70,000km away. Our study shows this is the most effective way to map nearby planetary systems. Images will show dust and debris down to a fraction of our zodiacal light level. Planets fainter than the Earth can be seen from the Habitable Zone outward, at distances up to 20pc. High throughput and low noise enable immediate follow-up spectroscopy of discovered planets. NWO can discover many more Earth-like planets than all competing approaches including astrometric, interferometric, and internal coronagraphic. Within hours of discovery, a high quality spectrum can determine the true nature of the exoplanet and open the search for biomarkers and life. Over half of the time will be spent with the starshade in transit to the next target. During those times the telescope will be available to for general astrophysics purposes. Operating from the ultraviolet to the near infrared, this will be a true HST follow-on. The study shows all needed technologies already exist. The cost scales primarily with telescope size. The mission is definitely within the financial and technical reach of NASA for the coming decade.

  13. 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

  14. Lifting Transit Signals from the Kepler Noise Floor. I. Discovery of a Warm Neptune

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunimoto, Michelle; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Rowe, Jason F.; Hoffman, Kelsey

    2018-01-01

    Light curves from the 4-year Kepler exoplanet hunting mission have been searched for transits by NASA’s Kepler team and others, but there are still important discoveries to be made. We have searched the light curves of 400 Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) to find transit signals down to signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) ∼ 6, which is under the limit of S/N ∼ 7.1 that has been commonly adopted as a strict threshold to distinguish between a transit candidate and false alarm. We detect four new and convincing planet candidates ranging in radius from near-Mercury-size to slightly larger than Neptune. We highlight the discovery of KOI-408.05 (period = 637 days; radius = 4.9 R ⊕ incident flux = 0.6 S ⊕), a planet candidate within its host star’s Habitable Zone. We dub this planet a “warm Neptune,” a likely volatile-rich world that deserves closer inspection. KOI-408.05 joins 21 other confirmed and candidate planets in the current Kepler sample with semimajor axes a > 1.4 au. These discoveries are significant as a demonstration that the S/N threshold for detection used by the Kepler project is open to debate.

  15. A method to identify the boundary between rocky and gaseous exoplanets from tidal theory and transit durations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory

    2015-04-01

    The determination of an exoplanet as rocky is critical for the assessment of planetary habitability. Observationally, the number of small-radius, transiting planets with accompanying mass measurements is insufficient for a robust determination of the transitional mass or radius. Theoretically, models predict that rocky planets can grow large enough to become gas giants when they reach ~10 MEarth, but the transitional mass remains unknown. Here I show how transit data, interpreted in the context of tidal theory, can reveal the critical radius that separates rocky and gaseous exoplanets. Standard tidal models predict that rocky exoplanets' orbits are tidally circularized much more rapidly than gaseous bodies', suggesting the former will tend to be found on circular orbits at larger semi-major axes than the latter. Well-sampled transits can provide a minimum eccentricity of the orbit, allowing a measurement of this differential circularization. I show that this effect should be present in the data from the Kepler spacecraft, but is not apparent. Instead, it appears that there is no evidence of tidal circularization at any planetary radius, probably because the publicly-available data, particularly the impact parameters, are not accurate enough. I also review the bias in the transit duration towards values that are smaller than that of planets on circular orbits, stressing that the azimuthal velocity of the planet determines the transit duration. The ensemble of Kepler planet candidates may be able to determine the critical radius between rocky and gaseous exoplanets, tidal dissipation as a function of planetary radius, and discriminate between tidal models.

  16. 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.

  17. A limit on the presence of Earth-mass planets around a Sun-like star

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agol, Eric; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Steffen, Jason H.; /Fermilab

    2006-10-01

    We present a combined analysis of all publicly available, visible HST observations of transits of the planet HD 209458b. We derive the times of transit, planet radius, inclination, period, and ephemeris. The transit times are then used to constrain the existence of secondary planets in the system. We show that planets near an Earth mass can be ruled out in low-order mean-motion resonance, while planets less than an Earth mass are ruled out in interior, 2:1 resonance. We also present a combined analysis of the transit times and 68 high precision radial velocity measurements of the system. These results are compared to theoretical predictions for the constraints that can be placed on secondary planets.

  18. Planets in a Room

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, l.; Aloisi, F.; De Angelis, I.

    2017-09-01

    Teaching planetary science using a spherical projector to show the planets' surfaces is a very effective but usually very expensive idea. Whatsmore, it usually assumes the availability of a dedicated space and a trained user. "Planets in a room" is a prototypal low cost version of a small, spherical projector that teachers, museum, planetary scientists and other individuals can easily build and use on their own, to show and teach the planets The project of "Planets in a Room" was made by the italian non-profit association Speak Science with the collaboration of INAF-IAPS of Rome and the Roma Tre University (Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica). This proposal was funded by the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme in 2016. "Planets in a room" will be presented during EPSC 2017 to give birth to the second phase of the project, when the outreach and research community will be involved and schools from all over Europe will be invited to participate with the aim of bringing planetary science to a larger audience.

  19. Recipes for planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Michael R.

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Planetesimals and Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, John

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

  3. Identifying Planet-Forming Disks Around Young Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espaillat, C.

    2013-04-01

    In the past few years, several disks with inner holes that are relatively empty of small dust grains have been detected and are known as transitional disks. Spitzer identified a new class of “pre-transitional disks” with gaps; these objects have an optically thick inner disk separated from an optically thick outer disk by an optically thin disk gap. Here we review spectral observations which provided the first confirmations of gaps in the pre-transitional disks of LkCa 15 and UX Tau A. We also review the results of a Spitzer IRS study of variability in transitional and pre-transitional objects. The structure and behavior of pre-transitional and transitional disks may be a sign of young planets forming in these disks and future studies of these disks will provide constraints to aid in theoretical modeling of planet formation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  6. Mission to Planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  7. Detecting circumbinary planets: A new quasi-periodic search algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pollacco D.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We present a search method based around the grouping of data residuals, suitable for the detection of many quasi-periodic signals. Combined with an efficient and easily implemented method to predict the maximum transit timing variations of a transiting circumbinary exoplanet, we form a fast search algorithm for such planets. We here target the Kepler dataset in particular, where all the transiting examples of circumbinary planets have been found to date. The method is presented and demonstrated on two known systems in the Kepler data.

  8. On the Habitability of Aquaplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolando Cardenas

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available An Aquatic Habitability Index is proposed, based on Quantitative Habitability Theory, and considering a very general model for life. It is a primary habitability index, measuring habitability for phytoplankton in the first place. The index is applied to some case studies, such as the habitability changes in Earth due to environmental perturbations caused by asteroid impacts.

  9. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in Earth's Solar Transit Zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Pudritz, Ralph E

    2016-04-01

    Over the past few years, astronomers have detected thousands of planets and candidate planets by observing their periodic transits in front of their host stars. A related method, called transit spectroscopy, might soon allow studies of the chemical imprints of life in extrasolar planetary atmospheres. Here, we address the reciprocal question, namely, from where is Earth detectable by extrasolar observers using similar methods. We explore Earth's transit zone (ETZ), the projection of a band around Earth's ecliptic onto the celestial plane, where observers can detect Earth transits across the Sun. ETZ is between 0.520° and 0.537° wide due to the noncircular Earth orbit. The restricted Earth transit zone (rETZ), where Earth transits the Sun less than 0.5 solar radii from its center, is about 0.262° wide. We first compile a target list of 45 K and 37 G dwarf stars inside the rETZ and within 1 kpc (about 3260 light-years) using the Hipparcos catalogue. We then greatly enlarge the number of potential targets by constructing an analytic galactic disk model and find that about 10(5) K and G dwarf stars should reside within the rETZ. The ongoing Gaia space mission can potentially discover all G dwarfs among them (several 10(4)) within the next 5 years. Many more potentially habitable planets orbit dim, unknown M stars in ETZ and other stars that traversed ETZ thousands of years ago. If any of these planets host intelligent observers, they could have identified Earth as a habitable, or even as a living, world long ago, and we could be receiving their broadcasts today. The K2 mission, the Allen Telescope Array, the upcoming Square Kilometer Array, or the Green Bank Telescope might detect such deliberate extraterrestrial messages. Ultimately, ETZ would be an ideal region to be monitored by the Breakthrough Listen Initiatives, an upcoming survey that will constitute the most comprehensive search for extraterrestrial intelligence so far.

  10. Car-use habits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Berit Thorup; Thøgersen, John

    2008-01-01

    consequences. Since the decision is made quite automatically and only one choice alternative is considered (the habitually chosen one), behaviour guided by habit is difficult to change. The implications of car use habits for converting drivers to commuters using public transportation is analysed based......It is often claimed that many drivers use their private car rather habitually. The claim gains credibility from the fact that travelling to many everyday destinations fulfils all the prerequisites for habit formation: it is recurring, performed under stable circumstances and produces rewarding...... to do so, car use habit, and the interaction between the two, confirms the theory-derived hypothesis that car use habits act as an obstacle to the transformation of intentions to commute by public transportation into action....

  11. Messages from the Reversing Layer: Clues to Planet Formation in Spectral Abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, John Michael; Fischer, Debra; Basu, Sarbani

    2017-01-01

    The abundances of elements in the protoplanetary disk evolve over time, but stellar abundances will reflect the initial chemical composition of the disk and this can provide constraints on the range of possible outcomes for planet interiors. Rocky planet habitability depends not just on the availability of liquid water, but also on volcansim and plate tectonics that can stabilize the climate on long timescales. The slow evolution of abundances in stellar photospheres, particularly abundance ratios between elements, makes them ideal laboratories to study primordial disk compositions.In my thesis work, I developed a new spectroscopic analysis procedure that derives gravities consistent with asteroseismology to within 0.05 dex as well as abundances for 15 elements. Using this procedure, we analyzed and published a catalog of accurate stellar parameters and precise abundances for more than 1600 stars and used those to investigate questions of planet formation. The C/O and Mg/Si ratios in the solar neighborhood could affect rocky planet habitability. For lucky cases where planet atmosphereic abundances can be measured, the stellar host C/O and [O/H] ratios carry information about the formation site and migration of hot Jupiters. I will present results on both rocky planet compositions and hot Jupiter migration and discuss how they can help us identify potentially habitable systems and discriminate between different planet formation models.

  12. The Calan-Hertfordshire extrasolar planet search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinfield D.J.

    2011-07-01

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