WorldWideScience

Sample records for transiting habitable planets

  1. Habitable Planets for Man

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dole, Stephen H

    2007-01-01

    ..., and discusses how to search for habitable planets. Interestingly for our time, he also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...... statistically using the BLENDER technique, by showing that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive. Our analysis incorporates follow-up observations including high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and information from...... the analysis of the flux centroids of the Kepler observations themselves. Although many of these candidates have been previously validated by others, the confidence levels reported typically ignore the possibility that the planet may transit a star different from the target along the same line of sight...

  4. Validation of Small Kepler Transiting Planet Candidates in or near the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kane, Stephen R.; Rowe, Jason F.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Henze, Christopher E.; Ciardi, David R.; Barclay, Thomas; Borucki, William J.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Crepp, Justin R.; Everett, Mark E.; Horch, Elliott P.; Howard, Andrew W.; Howell, Steve B.; Isaacson, Howard T.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Latham, David W.; Petigura, Erik A.; Quintana, Elisa V.

    2017-12-01

    A main goal of NASA’s Kepler Mission is to establish the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-size planets ({η }\\oplus ). 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 statistically using the BLENDER technique, by showing that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive. Our analysis incorporates follow-up observations including high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and information from the analysis of the flux centroids of the Kepler observations themselves. Although many of these candidates have been previously validated by others, the confidence levels reported typically ignore the possibility that the planet may transit a star different from the target along the same line of sight. If that were the case, a planet that appears small enough to be rocky may actually be considerably larger and therefore less interesting from the point of view of habitability. We take this into consideration here and are able to validate 15 of our candidates at a 99.73% (3σ) significance level or higher, and the other three at a slightly lower confidence. We characterize the GKM host stars using available ground-based observations and provide updated parameters for the planets, with sizes between 0.8 and 2.9 R ⊕. Seven of them (KOI-0438.02, 0463.01, 2418.01, 2626.01, 3282.01, 4036.01, and 5856.01) have a better than 50% chance of being smaller than 2 R ⊕ and being in the habitable zone of their host stars.

  5. VALIDATION OF 12 SMALL KEPLER TRANSITING PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torres, Guillermo; Kipping, David M.; Fressin, Francois; Newton, Elisabeth R. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Caldwell, Douglas A.; Twicken, Joseph D. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ballard, Sarah [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Henze, Christopher E.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Barclay, Thomas; Borucki, William J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Isaacson, Howard T.; Petigura, Erik A. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Muirhead, Philip S. [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Crepp, Justin R. [University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); Everett, Mark E., E-mail: gtorres@cfa.harvard.edu [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); and others

    2015-02-20

    We present an investigation of 12 candidate transiting planets from Kepler with orbital periods ranging from 34 to 207 days, selected from initial indications that they are small and potentially in the habitable zone (HZ) of their parent stars. Few of these objects are known. The expected Doppler signals are too small to confirm them by demonstrating that their masses are in the planetary regime. Here we verify their planetary nature by validating them statistically using the BLENDER technique, which simulates large numbers of false positives and compares the resulting light curves with the Kepler photometry. This analysis was supplemented with new follow-up observations (high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, adaptive optics imaging, and speckle interferometry), as well as an analysis of the flux centroids. For 11 of them (KOI-0571.05, 1422.04, 1422.05, 2529.02, 3255.01, 3284.01, 4005.01, 4087.01, 4622.01, 4742.01, and 4745.01) we show that the likelihood they are true planets is far greater than that of a false positive, to a confidence level of 99.73% (3σ) or higher. For KOI-4427.01 the confidence level is about 99.2% (2.6σ). With our accurate characterization of the GKM host stars, the derived planetary radii range from 1.1 to 2.7 R {sub ⊕}. All 12 objects are confirmed to be in the HZ, and nine are small enough to be rocky. Excluding three of them that have been previously validated by others, our study doubles the number of known rocky planets in the HZ. KOI-3284.01 (Kepler-438b) and KOI-4742.01 (Kepler-442b) are the planets most similar to the Earth discovered to date when considering their size and incident flux jointly.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. CANDIDATE PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF KEPLER STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaidos, Eric

    2013-01-01

    A key goal of the Kepler mission is the discovery of Earth-size transiting planets in ''habitable zones'' where stellar irradiance maintains a temperate climate on an Earth-like planet. Robust estimates of planet radius and irradiance require accurate stellar parameters, but most Kepler systems are faint, making spectroscopy difficult and prioritization of targets desirable. The parameters of 2035 host stars were estimated by Bayesian analysis and the probabilities p HZ that 2738 candidate or confirmed planets orbit in the habitable zone were calculated. Dartmouth Stellar Evolution Program models were compared to photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog, priors for stellar mass, age, metallicity and distance, and planet transit duration. The analysis yielded probability density functions for calculating confidence intervals of planet radius and stellar irradiance, as well as p HZ . Sixty-two planets have p HZ > 0.5 and a most probable stellar irradiance within habitable zone limits. Fourteen of these have radii less than twice the Earth; the objects most resembling Earth in terms of radius and irradiance are KOIs 2626.01 and 3010.01, which orbit late K/M-type dwarf stars. The fraction of Kepler dwarf stars with Earth-size planets in the habitable zone (η ⊕ ) is 0.46, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.31-0.64. Parallaxes from the Gaia mission will reduce uncertainties by more than a factor of five and permit definitive assignments of transiting planets to the habitable zones of Kepler stars.

  13. 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.

  14. Habitability Properties of Circumbinary Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevchenko, Ivan I.

    2017-06-01

    It is shown that several habitability conditions (in fact, at least seven such conditions) appear to be fulfilled automatically by circumbinary planets of main-sequence stars (CBP-MS), whereas on Earth, these conditions are fulfilled only by chance. Therefore, it looks natural that most of the production of replicating biopolymers in the Galaxy is concentrated on particular classes of CBP-MS, and life on Earth is an outlier, in this sense. In this scenario, Lathe’s mechanism for the tidal “chain reaction” abiogenesis on Earth is favored as generic for CBP-MS, due to photo-tidal synchronization inherent to them. Problems with this scenario are discussed in detail.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Habitability of planets around red dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-10

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

  20. 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.

  1. EXOPLANET CHARACTERIZATION BY PROXY: A TRANSITING 2.15 R{sub Circled-Plus} PLANET NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE LATE K DWARF KEPLER-61

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Desert, Jean-Michel; Crepp, Justin R.; Shporer, Avi [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mann, Andrew W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Henze, Christopher E.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steven B. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Horch, Elliott P. [Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515 (United States); Everett, Mark E., E-mail: sarahba@uw.edu [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)

    2013-08-20

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.15 R{sub Circled-Plus} planet orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of a low-mass star. Our characterization of the host star Kepler-61 is based upon a comparison with a set of spectroscopically similar stars with directly measured radii and temperatures. We apply a stellar prior drawn from the weighted mean of these properties, in tandem with the Kepler photometry, to infer a planetary radius for Kepler-61b of 2.15 {+-} 0.13 R{sub Circled-Plus} and an equilibrium temperature of 273 {+-} 13 K (given its period of 59.87756 {+-} 0.00020 days and assuming a planetary albedo of 0.3). The technique of leveraging the physical properties of nearby ''proxy'' stars allows for an independent check on stellar characterization via the traditional measurements with stellar spectra and evolutionary models. In this case, such a check had implications for the putative habitability of Kepler-61b: the planet is 10% warmer and larger than inferred from K-band spectral characterization. From the Kepler photometry, we estimate a stellar rotation period of 36 days, which implies a stellar age of >1 Gyr. We summarize the evidence for the planetary nature of the Kepler-61 transit signal, which we conclude is 30,000 times more likely to be due to a planet than a blend scenario. Finally, we discuss possible compositions for Kepler-61b with a comparison to theoretical models as well as to known exoplanets with similar radii and dynamically measured masses.

  2. EXOPLANET CHARACTERIZATION BY PROXY: A TRANSITING 2.15 R⊕ PLANET NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE LATE K DWARF KEPLER-61

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth; Desert, Jean-Michel; Crepp, Justin R.; Shporer, Avi; Mann, Andrew W.; Ciardi, David R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steven B.; Horch, Elliott P.; Everett, Mark E.

    2013-01-01

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.15 R ⊕ planet orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of a low-mass star. Our characterization of the host star Kepler-61 is based upon a comparison with a set of spectroscopically similar stars with directly measured radii and temperatures. We apply a stellar prior drawn from the weighted mean of these properties, in tandem with the Kepler photometry, to infer a planetary radius for Kepler-61b of 2.15 ± 0.13 R ⊕ and an equilibrium temperature of 273 ± 13 K (given its period of 59.87756 ± 0.00020 days and assuming a planetary albedo of 0.3). The technique of leveraging the physical properties of nearby ''proxy'' stars allows for an independent check on stellar characterization via the traditional measurements with stellar spectra and evolutionary models. In this case, such a check had implications for the putative habitability of Kepler-61b: the planet is 10% warmer and larger than inferred from K-band spectral characterization. From the Kepler photometry, we estimate a stellar rotation period of 36 days, which implies a stellar age of >1 Gyr. We summarize the evidence for the planetary nature of the Kepler-61 transit signal, which we conclude is 30,000 times more likely to be due to a planet than a blend scenario. Finally, we discuss possible compositions for Kepler-61b with a comparison to theoretical models as well as to known exoplanets with similar radii and dynamically measured masses

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Early Life Crises of Habitable Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2006-01-01

    There are a number of crises that a potentially habitable planet must avoid or surmount if its potential is to be realized. These include the runaway greenhouse, loss of atmosphere by chemical or physical processes, and long-lasting global glaciation. In this lecture I will present research on the climate dynamics governing such processes, with particular emphasis on the lessons to be learned from the cases of Early Mars and the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth.

  6. 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.

  7. HYDROGEN GREENHOUSE PLANETS BEYOND THE HABITABLE ZONE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond; Gaidos, Eric

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Dysonian SETI as a "Shortcut" to Detecting Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, J. T.

    2016-12-01

    The search for habitable planets is ultimately motivated by the search for inhabited planets. On Earth, the most telling signature of life is that of humanity's technology. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is thus the "ultimate" search for habitable planets.In 1960 two seminal papers in SETI were published, providing two visions for SETI. Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison's proposed detecting deliberate radio signals ("communication SETI"), while Freeman Dyson ("artifact SETI"), proposed detecting the inevitable effects of massive energy supplies and artifacts on their surroundings. While communication SETI has now had many career-long practitioners and major efforts, artifact SETI has, until recently, not been a vibrant field of study. The launch of the Kepler and WISE satellites have greatly renewed interest in the field, however, and the recent Breakthrough Listen Initiative has provided new motivation for finding good targets for communication SETI. I will discuss the progress of the Ĝ Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies, including its justification and motivation, waste heat search strategy and first results, and the framework for a search for megastructures via transit light curves. The last of these led to the identification of KIC 8462852 (a.k.a. "Tabby's Star") as a candidate ETI host. This star, discovered by Boyajian and the Zooniverse Planet Hunters, exhibits several apparently unique and so-far unexplained photometric properties, and continues to confound natural explanation.

  11. 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

  12. The habitability of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Constraining the volatile fraction of planets from transit observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibert, Y.

    2016-06-01

    gas, the measured mass and radius imply at least 20% of volatiles in the interior. For planets at larger distances, we show that the observation of transiting planets at different evolutionary ages can be used to set statistical constraints on the volatile content of planets. Conclusions: These results can be used in the context of future missions like PLATO to better understand the internal composition of planets, and based on this, their formation process and potential habitability.

  16. WATER-PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONE: ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY, OBSERVABLE FEATURES, AND THE CASE OF KEPLER-62e AND -62f

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D.; Rugheimer, S.

    2013-01-01

    Planets composed of large quantities of water that reside in the habitable zone are expected to have distinct geophysics and geochemistry of their surfaces and atmospheres. We explore these properties motivated by two key questions: whether such planets could provide habitable conditions and whether they exhibit discernable spectral features that distinguish a water-planet from a rocky Earth-like planet. We show that the recently discovered planets Kepler-62e and -62f are the first viable candidates for habitable zone water-planets. We use these planets as test cases for discussing those differences in detail. We generate atmospheric spectral models and find that potentially habitable water-planets show a distinctive spectral fingerprint in transit depending on their position in the habitable zone

  17. 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.

  18. Transits of extrasolar moons around luminous giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, R.

    2016-04-01

    Beyond Earth-like planets, moons can be habitable, too. No exomoons have been securely detected, but they could be extremely abundant. Young Jovian planets can be as hot as late M stars, with effective temperatures of up to 2000 K. Transits of their moons might be detectable in their infrared photometric light curves if the planets are sufficiently separated (≳10 AU) from the stars to be directly imaged. The moons will be heated by radiation from their young planets and potentially by tidal friction. Although stellar illumination will be weak beyond 5 AU, these alternative energy sources could liquify surface water on exomoons for hundreds of Myr. A Mars-mass H2O-rich moon around β Pic b would have a transit depth of 1.5 × 10-3, in reach of near-future technology.

  19. 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.

  20. Magnetic Fields of Extrasolar Planets: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, T. Joseph

    2018-06-01

    Ground-based observations showed that Jupiter's radio emission is linked to its planetary-scale magnetic field, and subsequent spacecraft observations have shown that most planets, and some moons, have or had a global magnetic field. Generated by internal dynamos, magnetic fields are one of the few remote sensing means of constraining the properties of planetary interiors. For the Earth, its magnetic field has been speculated to be partially responsible for its habitability, and knowledge of an extrasolar planet's magnetic field may be necessary to assess its habitability. The radio emission from Jupiter and other solar system planets is produced by an electron cyclotron maser, and detections of extrasolar planetary electron cyclotron masers will enable measurements of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields. Based on experience from the solar system, such observations will almost certainly require space-based observations, but they will also be guided by on-going and near-future ground-based observations.This work has benefited from the discussion and participants of the W. M. Keck Institute of Space Studies "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability" and content within a white paper submitted to the National Academy of Science Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ABIOTIC OXYGEN-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON TERRESTRIAL HABITABLE ZONE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2014-01-01

    Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere. One of the most widely accepted biosignatures for an Earth-like planet is an atmosphere where oxygen is a major constituent. Here we show that lifeless habitable zone terrestrial planets around any star type may develop oxygen-dominated atmospheres as a result of water photolysis, because the cold trap mechanism that protects H 2 O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N 2 , Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O 2 and O 3 alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life

  2. 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.

  3. Factors Affecting the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria; NAI-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

    Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life. For exoplanets, the concept of habitability can be used broadly - to inform our calculations of the possibility and distribution of life elsewhere - or as a practical tool to inform mission designs and to prioritize specific targets in the search for extrasolar life. Although a planet's habitability does depend critically on the effect of stellar type and planetary semi-major axis on climate balance, work in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology has identified many additional factors that can affect a planet's environment and its potential ability to support life. Life requires material for metabolism and structures, a liquid medium for chemical transport, and an energy source to drive metabolism and other life processes. Whether a planet's surface or sub-surface can provide these requirements is the result of numerous planetary and astrophysical processes that affect the planet's formation and evolution. Many of these factors are interdependent, and fall into three main categories: stellar effects, planetary effects and planetary system effects. Key abiotic processes affecting the resultant planetary environment include photochemistry (e.g. Segura et al., 2003; 2005), stellar effects on climate balance (e.g. Joshii et al., 2012; Shields et al., 2013), atmospheric loss (e.g. Lopez and Fortney, 2013), and gravitational interactions with the star (e.g. Barnes et al., 2013). In many cases, the effect of these processes is strongly dependent on a specific planet's existing environmental properties. Examples include the resultant UV flux at a planetary surface as a product of stellar activity and the strength of a planet's atmospheric UV shield (Segura et al., 2010); and the amount of tidal energy available to a planet to drive plate tectonics and heat the surface (Barnes et al., 2009), which is in turn due to a combination of stellar mass, planetary mass and composition, planetary orbital

  4. TRANSIT MODEL OF PLANETS WITH MOON AND RING SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tusnski, Luis Ricardo M.; Valio, Adriana

    2011-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, those most adequate for life to begin and evolve have been sought. Due to observational bias, however, most of the discovered planets so far are gas giants, precluding their habitability. However, if these hot Jupiters are located in the habitable zones of their host stars, and if rocky moons orbit them, then these moons may be habitable. In this work, we present a model for planetary transit simulation considering the presence of moons and planetary rings around a planet. The moon's orbit is considered to be circular and coplanar with the planetary orbit. The other physical and orbital parameters of the star, planet, moon, and rings can be adjusted in each simulation. It is possible to simulate as many successive transits as desired. Since the presence of spots on the surface of the star may produce a signal similar to that of the presence of a moon, our model also allows for the inclusion of starspots. The result of the simulation is a light curve with a planetary transit. White noise may also be added to the light curves to produce curves similar to those obtained by the CoRoT and Kepler space telescopes. The goal is to determine the criteria for detectability of moons and/or ring systems using photometry. The results show that it is possible to detect moons with radii as little as 1.3 R ⊕ with CoRoT and 0.3 R ⊕ with Kepler.

  5. Considerations for the habitable zone of super-Earth planets in Gliese 581

    OpenAIRE

    Chylek, P.; Perez, M. R.

    2007-01-01

    We assess the possibility that planets Gliese 581 c and d are within the habitable zone. In analogy with our solar system, we use an empirical definition of the habitable zone. We include assumptions such as planetary climates, and atmospheric circulation on gravitationally locked synchronous rotation. Based on the different scenarios, we argue that both planets in Gliese 581 could develop conditions for a habitable zone. In an Earth-like environment planet d could be within a habitable zone,...

  6. Kepler Mission: A Mission to Find Earth-size Planets in the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.

    2003-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is a Discovery-class mission designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. It is a wide field of view photometer Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs. It has a 0.95 m aperture and 1.4 m primary and is designed to attain a photometric precision of 2 parts in 10(exp 5) for 12th magnitude solar-like stars for a 6 hr transit duration. It will continuously observe 100,000 main-sequence stars from 9th to 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation for a period of four years with a cadence of 4/hour. An additional 250 stars can be monitored at a cadence of l/minute to do astro-seismology of stars brighter than 11.5 mv. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. When combined with ground-based spectrometric observations of these stars, the positions of the planets relative to the habitable zone can be found. The spectra of the stars are also used to determine the relationships between the characteristics of terrestrial planets and the characteristics of the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, over a thousand giant planets will also be found. Information on the albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of Earth-size planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ are very rare and that life might also be quite rare.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2018-01-01

    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.

  9. Three Small Planets Transiting a Hyades Star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

    We present the discovery of three small planets transiting K2-136 (LP 358 348, EPIC 247589423), a late K dwarf in the Hyades. The planets have orbital periods of 7.9757 ± 0.0011, {17.30681}-0.00036+0.00034, and {25.5715}-0.0040+0.0038 {days}, and radii of 1.05 ± 0.16, 3.14 ± 0.36, and {1.55}-0.21...

  10. 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 .

  11. 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 .

  12. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke [University of Vienna, Institute for Astrophysics, Tuerkenschanzstr. 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Haghighipour, Nader, E-mail: siegfried.eggl@univie.ac.at [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2013-02-20

    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 {alpha} 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 {alpha} 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 {alpha} Centauri system.

  14. 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.

  15. On the possibility of Earth-type habitable planets in the 55 Cancri system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Franck, S; Bounama, C

    2003-01-01

    We discuss the possibility of Earth-type planets in the planetary system of 55 Cancri, a nearby G8 V star, which is host to two, possibly three, giant planets. We argue that Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri are in principle possible. Several conditions are necessary. First, Earth-type planets must have formed despite the existence of the close-in giant planet(s). In addition, they must be orbitally stable in the region of habitability considering that the stellar habitable zone is relatively close to the star compared to the Sun because of 55 Cancri's low luminosity and may therefore be affected by the close-in giant planet(s). We estimate the likelihood of Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri based on the integrated system approach previously considered, which provides a way of assessing the long-term possibility of photosynthetic biomass production under geodynamic conditions.

  16. A SUPER-EARTH-SIZED PLANET ORBITING IN OR NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE AROUND A SUN-LIKE STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barclay, Thomas; Burke, Christopher J.; Howell, Steve B.; Rowe, Jason F.; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M.; Quintana, Elisa V.; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Borucki, William J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Christiansen, Jessie L; Coughlin, Jeffrey L. [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Isaacson, Howard; Kolbl, Rea; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Ciardi, David [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Fischer, Debra A. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); and others

    2013-05-10

    We present the discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. The host is Kepler-69, a 13.7 mag G4V-type star. We detect two periodic sets of transit signals in the 3-year flux time series of Kepler-69, obtained with the Kepler spacecraft. Using the very high precision Kepler photometry, and follow-up observations, our confidence that these signals represent planetary transits is >99.3%. The inner planet, Kepler-69b, has a radius of 2.24{sup +0.44}{sub -0.29} R{sub Circled-Plus} and orbits the host star every 13.7 days. The outer planet, Kepler-69c, is a super-Earth-sized object with a radius of 1.7{sup +0.34}{sub -0.23} R{sub Circled-Plus} and an orbital period of 242.5 days. Assuming an Earth-like Bond albedo, Kepler-69c has an equilibrium temperature of 299 {+-} 19 K, which places the planet close to the habitable zone around the host star. This is the smallest planet found by Kepler to be orbiting in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star and represents an important step on the path to finding the first true Earth analog.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2014-01-01

    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 ⊕ to 1 M 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.; Girouard, Forrest; Jenkins, Jon M.; Klaus, Todd C.; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean D.; Seader, Shawn E.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Wohler, Bill; Bryson, Stephen T.; Burke, Christopher J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Haas, Michael R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Sanderfer, Dwight T.

    2018-06-01

    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 ∼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.

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.; Clark, Joni M.

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-09-20

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  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. Stabilizing Cloud Feedback Dramatically Expands the Habitable Zone of Tidally Locked Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Jun; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2013-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and planned extrasolar planet surveys. Previous estimates of the inner edge of the HZ were based on one-dimensional radiative-convective models. The most serious limitation of these models is the inability to predict cloud behavior. Here we use global climate models with sophisticated cloud schemes to sho...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. IMPROVED SPECTROSCOPIC PARAMETERS FOR TRANSITING PLANET HOSTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torres, Guillermo; Holman, Matthew J.; Carter, Joshua A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Fischer, Debra A. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Sozzetti, Alessandro [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, I-10025 Pino Torinese (Italy); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Winn, Joshua N., E-mail: gtorres@cfa.harvard.edu [Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2012-10-01

    We report homogeneous spectroscopic determinations of the effective temperature, metallicity, and projected rotational velocity for the host stars of 56 transiting planets. Our analysis is based primarily on the stellar parameter classification (SPC) technique. We investigate systematic errors by examining subsets of the data with two other methods that have often been used in previous studies (Spectroscopy Made Easy (SME) and MOOG). The SPC and SME results, both based on comparisons between synthetic spectra and actual spectra, show strong correlations between T{sub eff}, [Fe/H], and log g when solving for all three quantities simultaneously. In contrast the MOOG results, based on a more traditional curve-of-growth approach, show no such correlations. To combat the correlations and improve the accuracy of the temperatures and metallicities, we repeat the SPC analysis with a constraint on log g based on the mean stellar density that can be derived from the analysis of the transit light curves. Previous studies that have not taken advantage of this constraint have been subject to systematic errors in the stellar masses and radii of up to 20% and 10%, respectively, which can be larger than other observational uncertainties, and which also cause systematic errors in the planetary mass and radius.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The metallicities of stars with and without transiting planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Latham, David W.

    2015-01-01

    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...... 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...

  3. 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.

  4. EXTRASOLAR BINARY PLANETS. II. DETECTABILITY BY TRANSIT OBSERVATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the detectability of gravitationally bound pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call “binary planets”) in extrasolar planetary systems that are formed through orbital instability followed by planet–planet dynamical tides during their close encounters, based on the results of N-body simulations by Ochiai et al. (Paper I). Paper I showed that the formation probability of a binary is as much as ∼10% for three giant planet systems that undergo orbital instability, and after post-capture long-term tidal evolution, the typical binary separation is three to five times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. The binary planets are stable during the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars, if the stellarcentric semimajor axis of the binary is larger than 0.3 AU. We show that detecting modulations of transit light curves is the most promising observational method to detect binary planets. Since the likely binary separations are comparable to the stellar diameter, the shape of the transit light curve is different from transit to transit, depending on the phase of the binary’s orbit. The transit durations and depth for binary planet transits are generally longer and deeper than those for the single planet case. We point out that binary planets could exist among the known inflated gas-giant planets or objects classified as false positive detections at orbital radii ≳0.3 AU, propose a binary planet explanation for the CoRoT candidate SRc01 E2 1066, and show that binary planets are likely to be present in, and could be detected using, Kepler-quality data

  5. Planets in other universes: habitability constraints on density fluctuations and galactic structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, Fred C.; Coppess, Katherine R. [Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Bloch, Anthony M., E-mail: fca@umich.edu, E-mail: kcoppess@umich.edu, E-mail: abloch@umich.edu [Mathematics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Motivated by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes, this paper delineates the galactic structure parameters that allow for habitable planets and revisits constraints on the amplitude Q of the primordial density fluctuations. Previous work indicates that large values of Q lead to galaxies so dense that planetary orbits cannot survive long enough for life to develop. Small values of Q lead to delayed star formation, loosely bound galaxies, and compromised heavy element retention. This work generalizes previous treatments in the following directions: [A] We consider models for the internal structure of the galaxies, including a range of stellar densities, and find the fraction of the resulting galactic real estate that allows for stable, long-lived planetary orbits. [B] For high velocity encounters, we perform a large ensemble of numerical simulations to estimate cross sections for the disruption of planetary orbits due to interactions with passing stars. [C] We consider the background radiation fields produced by the galaxies: if a galaxy is too compact, the night sky seen from a potentially habitable planet can provide more power than the host star. [D] One consequence of intense galactic background radiation fields is that some portion of the galaxy, denoted as the Galactic Habitable Zone, will provide the right flux levels to support habitable planets for essentially any planetary orbit including freely floating bodies (but excluding close-in planets). As the value of Q increases, the fraction of stars in a galaxy that allow for (traditional) habitable planets decreases due to both orbital disruption and the intense background radiation. However, the outer parts of the galaxy always allow for habitable planets, so that the value of Q does not have a well-defined upper limit (due to scattering or radiation constraints). Moreover, some Galactic Habitable Zones are large enough to support more

  6. Planets in other universes: habitability constraints on density fluctuations and galactic structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, Fred C.; Coppess, Katherine R.; Bloch, Anthony M.

    2015-01-01

    Motivated by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes, this paper delineates the galactic structure parameters that allow for habitable planets and revisits constraints on the amplitude Q of the primordial density fluctuations. Previous work indicates that large values of Q lead to galaxies so dense that planetary orbits cannot survive long enough for life to develop. Small values of Q lead to delayed star formation, loosely bound galaxies, and compromised heavy element retention. This work generalizes previous treatments in the following directions: [A] We consider models for the internal structure of the galaxies, including a range of stellar densities, and find the fraction of the resulting galactic real estate that allows for stable, long-lived planetary orbits. [B] For high velocity encounters, we perform a large ensemble of numerical simulations to estimate cross sections for the disruption of planetary orbits due to interactions with passing stars. [C] We consider the background radiation fields produced by the galaxies: if a galaxy is too compact, the night sky seen from a potentially habitable planet can provide more power than the host star. [D] One consequence of intense galactic background radiation fields is that some portion of the galaxy, denoted as the Galactic Habitable Zone, will provide the right flux levels to support habitable planets for essentially any planetary orbit including freely floating bodies (but excluding close-in planets). As the value of Q increases, the fraction of stars in a galaxy that allow for (traditional) habitable planets decreases due to both orbital disruption and the intense background radiation. However, the outer parts of the galaxy always allow for habitable planets, so that the value of Q does not have a well-defined upper limit (due to scattering or radiation constraints). Moreover, some Galactic Habitable Zones are large enough to support more

  7. Constraints on Alternate Universes: Stars and habitable planets with different fundamental constants

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, Fred C.

    2015-01-01

    This paper develops constraints on the values of the fundamental constants that allow universes to be habitable. We focus on the fine structure constant $\\alpha$ and the gravitational structure constant $\\alpha_G$, and find the region in the $\\alpha$-$\\alpha_G$ plane that supports working stars and habitable planets. This work is motivated, in part, by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes. The following constraints are enforce...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Titan and habitable planets around M-dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René

    2013-01-01

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

  15. THE HABITABLE ZONE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Silva, Laura [INAF-Trieste Astronomical Observatory, Trieste (Italy); Provenzale, Antonello [Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate-CNR, Torino (Italy); Ferri, Gaia; Ragazzini, Gregorio, E-mail: vladilo@oats.inaf.it [Department of Physics, University of Trieste, Trieste (Italy)

    2013-04-10

    As a contribution to the study of the habitability of extrasolar planets, we implemented a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM), the simplest seasonal model of planetary climate, with new prescriptions for most physical quantities. Here we apply our EBM to investigate the surface habitability of planets with an Earth-like atmospheric composition but different levels of surface pressure. The habitability, defined as the mean fraction of the planet's surface on which liquid water could exist, is estimated from the pressure-dependent liquid water temperature range, taking into account seasonal and latitudinal variations of surface temperature. By running several thousands of EBM simulations we generated a map of the habitable zone (HZ) in the plane of the orbital semi-major axis, a, and surface pressure, p, for planets in circular orbits around a Sun-like star. As pressure increases, the HZ becomes broader, with an increase of 0.25 AU in its radial extent from p = 1/3 to 3 bar. At low pressure, the habitability is low and varies with a; at high pressure, the habitability is high and relatively constant inside the HZ. We interpret these results in terms of the pressure dependence of the greenhouse effect, the efficiency of horizontal heat transport, and the extent of the liquid water temperature range. Within the limits discussed in the paper, the results can be extended to planets in eccentric orbits around non-solar-type stars. The main characteristics of the pressure-dependent HZ are modestly affected by variations of planetary properties, particularly at high pressure.

  16. THE HABITABLE ZONE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Silva, Laura; Provenzale, Antonello; Ferri, Gaia; Ragazzini, Gregorio

    2013-01-01

    As a contribution to the study of the habitability of extrasolar planets, we implemented a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM), the simplest seasonal model of planetary climate, with new prescriptions for most physical quantities. Here we apply our EBM to investigate the surface habitability of planets with an Earth-like atmospheric composition but different levels of surface pressure. The habitability, defined as the mean fraction of the planet's surface on which liquid water could exist, is estimated from the pressure-dependent liquid water temperature range, taking into account seasonal and latitudinal variations of surface temperature. By running several thousands of EBM simulations we generated a map of the habitable zone (HZ) in the plane of the orbital semi-major axis, a, and surface pressure, p, for planets in circular orbits around a Sun-like star. As pressure increases, the HZ becomes broader, with an increase of 0.25 AU in its radial extent from p = 1/3 to 3 bar. At low pressure, the habitability is low and varies with a; at high pressure, the habitability is high and relatively constant inside the HZ. We interpret these results in terms of the pressure dependence of the greenhouse effect, the efficiency of horizontal heat transport, and the extent of the liquid water temperature range. Within the limits discussed in the paper, the results can be extended to planets in eccentric orbits around non-solar-type stars. The main characteristics of the pressure-dependent HZ are modestly affected by variations of planetary properties, particularly at high pressure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. STABILIZING CLOUD FEEDBACK DRAMATICALLY EXPANDS THE HABITABLE ZONE OF TIDALLY LOCKED PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Jun; Abbot, Dorian S.; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2013-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where a planet can sustain surface liquid water. Searching for terrestrial planets in the HZ of nearby stars is the stated goal of ongoing and planned extrasolar planet surveys. Previous estimates of the inner edge of the HZ were based on one-dimensional radiative-convective models. The most serious limitation of these models is the inability to predict cloud behavior. Here we use global climate models with sophisticated cloud schemes to show that due to a stabilizing cloud feedback, tidally locked planets can be habitable at twice the stellar flux found by previous studies. This dramatically expands the HZ and roughly doubles the frequency of habitable planets orbiting red dwarf stars. At high stellar flux, strong convection produces thick water clouds near the substellar location that greatly increase the planetary albedo and reduce surface temperatures. Higher insolation produces stronger substellar convection and therefore higher albedo, making this phenomenon a stabilizing climate feedback. Substellar clouds also effectively block outgoing radiation from the surface, reducing or even completely reversing the thermal emission contrast between dayside and nightside. The presence of substellar water clouds and the resulting clement surface conditions will therefore be detectable with the James Webb Space Telescope.

  20. Impact of clouds in the JWST and LUVOIR simulated transmission spectra of TRAPPIST-1 planets in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauchez, Thomas; Turbet, Martin; Mandell, Avi; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn

    2018-06-01

    M-dwarfs are the most common type of stars in our galaxy. Ultra-cool dwarfs (T Earth and frequent planetary transits.Atmospheric properties are major components of planet habitability. However, the detectability of gaseous features on rocky planets in the HZ may be severely impacted by the presence of clouds and/or hazes in their atmosphere. We have already seen this phenomenon in the “flat” transit transmission spectra of larger exoplanets such as GJ 1214b, WASP-31b, WASP-12b and HATP-12b.In this work, we use the LMDG global climate model to simulate several possibilities of atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 e, f and 1g: 1) Archean Earth, 2) modern Earth and 3) CO2-dominated atmospheres. We also calculate synthetic transit spectra using the GSFC Planetary Spectrum Generator (PSG), and determine the number of transits needed to observe key spectral features for both JWST and future telescopes (ARIEL, LUVOIR, HabEx). We will identify differences in the spectra of cloudy vs non-cloudy, and determine how much information on spatial variability in atmosphere characteristics can be extracted from time-resolved transit and eclipse mapping. A particular attention will be given to the impact of the atmospheric variability when adding transit spectra, and how this may affect atmospheric parameter retrievals.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, Eric

    2015-07-01

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

  6. Constraints on alternate universes: stars and habitable planets with different fundamental constants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, Fred C.

    2016-01-01

    This paper develops constraints on the values of the fundamental constants that allow universes to be habitable. We focus on the fine structure constant α and the gravitational structure constant α G , and find the region in the α-α G plane that supports working stars and habitable planets. This work is motivated, in part, by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes. The following constraints are enforced: [A] long-lived stable nuclear burning stars exist, [B] planetary surface temperatures are hot enough to support chemical reactions, [C] stellar lifetimes are long enough to allow biological evolution, [D] planets are massive enough to maintain atmospheres, [E] planets are small enough in mass to remain non-degenerate, [F] planets are massive enough to support sufficiently complex biospheres, [G] planets are smaller in mass than their host stars, and [H] stars are smaller in mass than their host galaxies. This paper delineates the portion of the α-α G plane that satisfies all of these constraints. The results indicate that viable universes—with working stars and habitable planets—can exist within a parameter space where the structure constants α and α G vary by several orders of magnitude. These constraints also provide upper bounds on the structure constants (α,α G ) and their ratio. We find the limit α G /α ∼< 10 −34 , which shows that habitable universes must have a large hierarchy between the strengths of the gravitational force and the electromagnetic force

  7. Constraints on alternate universes: stars and habitable planets with different fundamental constants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, Fred C., E-mail: fca@umich.edu [Physics Department, University of Michigan, 450 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2016-02-01

    This paper develops constraints on the values of the fundamental constants that allow universes to be habitable. We focus on the fine structure constant α and the gravitational structure constant α{sub G}, and find the region in the α-α{sub G} plane that supports working stars and habitable planets. This work is motivated, in part, by the possibility that different versions of the laws of physics could be realized within other universes. The following constraints are enforced: [A] long-lived stable nuclear burning stars exist, [B] planetary surface temperatures are hot enough to support chemical reactions, [C] stellar lifetimes are long enough to allow biological evolution, [D] planets are massive enough to maintain atmospheres, [E] planets are small enough in mass to remain non-degenerate, [F] planets are massive enough to support sufficiently complex biospheres, [G] planets are smaller in mass than their host stars, and [H] stars are smaller in mass than their host galaxies. This paper delineates the portion of the α-α{sub G} plane that satisfies all of these constraints. The results indicate that viable universes—with working stars and habitable planets—can exist within a parameter space where the structure constants α and α{sub G} vary by several orders of magnitude. These constraints also provide upper bounds on the structure constants (α,α{sub G}) and their ratio. We find the limit α{sub G}/α ∼< 10{sup −34}, which shows that habitable universes must have a large hierarchy between the strengths of the gravitational force and the electromagnetic force.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

  9. Mapping the Region in the Nearest Star System to Search for Habitable Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Quarles, B.

    2015-01-01

    Circumstellar planets within the alpha Centauri AB star system have been suggested through formation models and recent observations, and ACESat (Belikov et al. AAS Meeting #225, #311.01, 2015) is a proposed space mission designed to directly image Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of both of these stars. The alpha Centauri system is billions of years old, so planets are only expected to be found in regions where their orbits are long-lived. 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 and we map the positions in the sky plane where planets on stable orbits about either stellar component may appear. We confirm the qualitative results of Wiegert & Holman (Astron. J. 113, 1445, 1997) regarding the approximate size of the regions of stable orbits, which are larger for retrograde orbits relative to the binary than for prograde orbits. Additionally, we find that mean motion resonances with the binary orbit leave an imprint on the limits of orbital stability, and the effects of the Lidov-Kozai mechanism are also readily apparent. Overall, orbits in the habitable zones near the plane of the binary are stable, whereas high-inclination orbits are short-lived.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. VVV Survey Search for Habitable Planets around M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minniti, Dante

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  14. THE LICK-CARNEGIE EXOPLANET SURVEY: A SATURN-MASS PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE NEARBY M4V STAR HIP 57050

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Laughlin, Greg; Meschiari, Stefano; Paul Butler, R.; Henry, Gregory W.

    2010-01-01

    Precision radial velocities (RV) from Keck/HIRES reveal a Saturn-mass planet orbiting the nearby M4V star HIP 57050. The planet has a minimum mass of Msin i ∼ 0.3 M J , an orbital period of 41.4 days, and an orbital eccentricity of 0.31. V-band photometry reveals a clear stellar rotation signature of the host star with a period of 98 days, well separated from the period of the RV variations and reinforcing a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. The orbital period of this planet corresponds to an orbit in the habitable zone of HIP 57050, with an expected planetary temperature of ∼230 K. The star has a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.32 ± 0.06 dex, of order twice solar and among the highest metallicity stars in the immediate solar neighborhood. This newly discovered planet provides further support that the well-known planet-metallicity correlation for F, G, and K stars also extends down into the M-dwarf regime. The a priori geometric probability for transits of this planet is only about 1%. However, the expected eclipse depth is ∼7%, considerably larger than that yet observed for any transiting planet. Though long on the odds, such a transit is worth pursuing as it would allow for high quality studies of the atmosphere via transmission spectroscopy with Hubble Space Telescope. At the expected planetary effective temperature, the atmosphere may contain water clouds.

  15. The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A Saturn-Mass Planet in the Habitable Zone of the Nearby M4V Star HIP 57050

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Vogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Laughlin, Greg; Meschiari, Stefano; Henry, Gregory W.

    2010-05-01

    Precision radial velocities (RV) from Keck/HIRES reveal a Saturn-mass planet orbiting the nearby M4V star HIP 57050. The planet has a minimum mass of Msin i ~ 0.3 M J, an orbital period of 41.4 days, and an orbital eccentricity of 0.31. V-band photometry reveals a clear stellar rotation signature of the host star with a period of 98 days, well separated from the period of the RV variations and reinforcing a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. The orbital period of this planet corresponds to an orbit in the habitable zone of HIP 57050, with an expected planetary temperature of ~230 K. The star has a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.32 ± 0.06 dex, of order twice solar and among the highest metallicity stars in the immediate solar neighborhood. This newly discovered planet provides further support that the well-known planet-metallicity correlation for F, G, and K stars also extends down into the M-dwarf regime. The a priori geometric probability for transits of this planet is only about 1%. However, the expected eclipse depth is ~7%, considerably larger than that yet observed for any transiting planet. Though long on the odds, such a transit is worth pursuing as it would allow for high quality studies of the atmosphere via transmission spectroscopy with Hubble Space Telescope. At the expected planetary effective temperature, the atmosphere may contain water clouds.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K. [Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan)

    2014-07-01

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-20

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Mason, Paul A.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Using thermal phase curves to probe the climate of potentially habitable planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kataria, Tiffany

    2018-01-01

    Thermal phase-curve observations probe the variation in emitted flux of a planet with phase, or longitude. When conducted spectroscopically, they allow us to probe the two-dimensional temperature structure in both longitude and altitude, which directly relate to the planet’s circulation and chemistry. In the case of small, potentially habitable exoplanets, spectroscopic phase-curve observations can provide us with direct evidence that the planet is capable of sustaining liquid water from measurements of its brightness temperature, and allow us to distinguish between a ‘airless’ body and one that has an appreciable atmosphere. In this talk I will summarize efforts to characterize exoplanets smaller than Neptune with phase-curve observations and emission spectroscopy using the Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes. I will then discuss how these ‘lessons learned’ can be applied to future efforts to characterize potentially habitable planets with phase-curve observations using JWST and future facilities such as the Origins Space Telescope (OST).

  7. Constraints on Neutral Hydrogen Outflow from the Warm Rocky Planet GJ1132b using Lyman-alpha Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waalkes, William; Berta-Thompson, Zachory; Charbonneau, David; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth; Dittmann, Jason; Bourrier, Vincent; Ehrenreich, David; Kempton, Eliza

    2018-01-01

    GJ1132b is one of the few known Earth-sized planets, and at 12 pc away it is also one of the closest known transiting planets. With an equilibrium temperature of 500 K, this planet is too hot to be habitable but we can use it to learn about the presence and volatile content of rocky planet atmospheres around M dwarf stars. Using Hubble STIS spectra during primary transit, we explore the potential for UV transit detections of GJ1132b. If we were to observe a deep Lyman-α transit, that would indicate the presence of a neutral hydrogen envelope flowing from GJ1132b. On the other hand, ruling out deep absorption from neutral hydrogen may indicate that this planet has either retained its volatiles or lost them very early in the star’s life. We carry out this analysis by extracting 1D spectra from the STIS pipeline, splitting the time-tagged spectra into higher resolution samples, and producing light curves of the red and blue wings of the Lyman-α line. We fit for the baseline stellar flux and transit depths in order to constrain the characteristics of the cloud of neutral hydrogen gas that may surround the planet. Our work extends beyond the transit study into an analysis of the stellar variability and Lyman-α spectrum of GJ1132, a slowly-rotating 0.18 MSun M dwarf with previously uncharacterized UV activity. Understanding the role that UV variability plays in planetary atmospheres and volatile retention is crucial to assess atmospheric evolution and the habitability of cooler rocky planets.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. HIDING IN THE SHADOWS: SEARCHING FOR PLANETS IN PRE-TRANSITIONAL AND TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.; Teanby, Nick A.

    2013-01-01

    Transitional and pre-transitional disks can be explained by a number of mechanisms. This work aims to find a single observationally detectable marker that would imply a planetary origin for the gap and, therefore, indirectly indicate the presence of a young planet. N-body simulations were conducted to investigate the effect of an embedded planet of one Jupiter mass on the production of instantaneous collisional dust derived from a background planetesimal disk. Our new model allows us to predict the dust distribution and resulting observable markers with greater accuracy than previous works. Dynamical influences from a planet on a circular orbit are shown to enhance dust production in the disk interior and exterior to the planet orbit, while removing planetesimals from the orbit itself, creating a clearly defined gap. In the case of an eccentric planet, the gap opened by the planet is not as clear as the circular case, but there is a detectable asymmetry in the dust disk

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-25

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

  14. Three small transiting planets around the M-dwarf host star LP 358-499

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, R.; Poppenhaeger, K.; Watson, C. A.

    2018-01-01

    We report on the detection of three transiting small planets around the low-mass star LP 358-499 (K2-133), using photometric data from the Kepler-K2 mission. Using multiband photometry, we determine the host star to be an early M dwarf with an age likely older than a gigayear. The three detected planets K2-133 b, c and d have orbital periods of ca. 3, 4.9 and 11 d and transit depths of ca. 700, 1000 and 2000 ppm, respectively. We also report a planetary candidate EPIC 247887989.01 with a period of 26.6 d and a depth of ca. 1000 ppm, which may be at the inner edge of the stellar habitable zone, depending on the specific host star properties. Using the transit parameters and the stellar properties, we estimate that the innermost planet may be rocky. The system is suited for follow-up observations to measure planetary masses and JWST transmission spectra of planetary atmospheres.

  15. 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.

  16. THE ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN PLANET SEARCH. XXI. A GAS-GIANT PLANET IN A ONE YEAR ORBIT AND THE HABITABILITY OF GAS-GIANT SATELLITES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tinney, C. G.; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Bailey, Jeremy A.; Horner, J.; Butler, R. Paul; Jones, Hugh R. A.; O'Toole, Simon J.; Carter, Brad D.

    2011-01-01

    We have detected the Doppler signature of a gas-giant exoplanet orbiting the star HD 38283, in an eccentric orbit with a period of almost exactly one year (P = 363.2 ± 1.6 d, m sin i = 0.34 ± 0.02 M Jup , e = 0.41 ± 0.16). The detection of a planet with period very close to one year critically relied on year-round observation of this circumpolar star. Discovering a planet in a 1 AU orbit around a G dwarf star has prompted us to look more closely at the question of the habitability of the satellites of such planets. Regular satellites orbit all the giant planets in our solar system, suggesting that their formation is a natural by-product of the planet formation process. There is no reason for exomoon formation not to be similarly likely in exoplanetary systems. Moreover, our current understanding of that formation process does not preclude satellite formation in systems where gas giants undergo migration from their formation locations into the terrestrial planet habitable zone. Indeed, regular satellite formation and Type II migration are both linked to the clearing of a gap in the protoplanetary disk by a planet, and so may be inextricably linked. Migration would also multiply the chances of capturing both irregular satellites and Trojan companions sufficiently massive to be habitable. The habitability of such exomoons and exo-Trojans will critically depend on their mass, whether or not they host a magnetosphere, and (for the exomoon case) their orbital radius around the host exoplanet.

  17. 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 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Optimizing the search for transiting planets in long time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofir, Aviv

    2014-01-01

    Context. Transit surveys, both ground- and space-based, have already accumulated a large number of light curves that span several years. Aims: The search for transiting planets in these long time series is computationally intensive. We wish to optimize the search for both detection and computational efficiencies. Methods: We assume that the searched systems can be described well by Keplerian orbits. We then propagate the effects of different system parameters to the detection parameters. Results: We show that the frequency information content of the light curve is primarily determined by the duty cycle of the transit signal, and thus the optimal frequency sampling is found to be cubic and not linear. Further optimization is achieved by considering duty-cycle dependent binning of the phased light curve. By using the (standard) BLS, one is either fairly insensitive to long-period planets or less sensitive to short-period planets and computationally slower by a significant factor of ~330 (for a 3 yr long dataset). We also show how the physical system parameters, such as the host star's size and mass, directly affect transit detection. This understanding can then be used to optimize the search for every star individually. Conclusions: By considering Keplerian dynamics explicitly rather than implicitly one can optimally search the BLS parameter space. The presented Optimal BLS enhances the detectability of both very short and very long period planets, while allowing such searches to be done with much reduced resources and time. The Matlab/Octave source code for Optimal BLS is made available. The MATLAB code 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/561/A138

  5. 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?

  6. TRANSITING PLANETS WITH LSST. II. PERIOD DETECTION OF PLANETS ORBITING 1 M{sub ⊙} HOSTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacklin, Savannah [Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085 (United States); Lund, Michael B.; Stassun, Keivan G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States); Pepper, Joshua [Department of Physics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015 (United States)

    2015-07-15

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will photometrically monitor ∼10{sup 9} stars for 10 years. The resulting light curves can be used to detect transiting exoplanets. In particular, as demonstrated by Lund et al., LSST will probe stellar populations currently undersampled in most exoplanet transit surveys, including out to extragalactic distances. In this paper we test the efficiency of the box-fitting least-squares (BLS) algorithm for accurately recovering the periods of transiting exoplanets using simulated LSST data. We model planets with a range of radii orbiting a solar-mass star at a distance of 7 kpc, with orbital periods ranging from 0.5 to 20 days. We find that standard-cadence LSST observations will be able to reliably recover the periods of Hot Jupiters with periods shorter than ∼3 days; however, it will remain a challenge to confidently distinguish these transiting planets from false positives. At the same time, we find that the LSST deep-drilling cadence is extremely powerful: the BLS algorithm successfully recovers at least 30% of sub-Saturn-size exoplanets with orbital periods as long as 20 days, and a simple BLS power criterion robustly distinguishes ∼98% of these from photometric (i.e., statistical) false positives.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. High-resolution simulations of the final assembly of Earth-like planets. 2. Water delivery and planetary habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Sean N; Quinn, Thomas; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2007-02-01

    The water content and habitability of terrestrial planets are determined during their final assembly, from perhaps 100 1,000-km "planetary embryos " and a swarm of billions of 1-10-km "planetesimals. " During this process, we assume that water-rich material is accreted by terrestrial planets via impacts of water-rich bodies that originate in the outer asteroid region. We present analysis of water delivery and planetary habitability in five high-resolution simulations containing about 10 times more particles than in previous simulations. These simulations formed 15 terrestrial planets from 0.4 to 2.6 Earth masses, including five planets in the habitable zone. Every planet from each simulation accreted at least the Earth's current water budget; most accreted several times that amount (assuming no impact depletion). Each planet accreted at least five water-rich embryos and planetesimals from the past 2.5 astronomical units; most accreted 10-20 water-rich bodies. We present a new model for water delivery to terrestrial planets in dynamically calm systems, with low-eccentricity or low-mass giant planets-such systems may be very common in the Galaxy. We suggest that water is accreted in comparable amounts from a few planetary embryos in a " hit or miss " way and from millions of planetesimals in a statistically robust process. Variations in water content are likely to be caused by fluctuations in the number of water-rich embryos accreted, as well as from systematic effects, such as planetary mass and location, and giant planet properties.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Extrasolar Planet Transits Observed at Kitt Peak National Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sada, Pedro V.; Jennings, Donald E.; Deming, Drake; Jennings, Donald E.; Jackson, Brian; Hamilton, Catrina M.; Fraine, Jonathan; Peterson, Steven W.; Haase, Flynn; Bays, Kevin; hide

    2012-01-01

    We obtained J-, H-, and JH-band photometry of known extrasolar planet transiting systems at the 2.1 m Kitt Peak National Observatory Telescope using the FLAMINGOS infrared camera between 2008 October and 2011 October. From the derived light curves we have extracted the midtransit times, transit depths and transit durations for these events. The precise midtransit times obtained help improve the orbital periods and also constrain transit-time variations of the systems. For most cases the published system parameters successfully accounted for our observed light curves, but in some instances we derive improved planetary radii and orbital periods. We complemented our 2.1 m infrared observations using CCD z0-band and B-band photometry (plus two H(alpha) filter observations) obtained with the Kitt Peak Visitor Center Telescope, and with four H-band transits observed in 2007 October with the NSO's 1.6 m McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. The principal highlights of our results are (1) Our ensemble of J-band planetary radii agree with optical radii, with the best-fit relation being RpRJ0:0017 0:979RpRvis. (2) We observe starspot crossings during the transit of WASP-11HAT-P-10. (3) We detect starspot crossings by HAT-P-11b (Kepler-3b), thus confirming that the magnetic evolution of the stellar active regions can be monitored even after the Kepler mission has ended. (4) We confirm a grazing transit for HAT-P-27WASP-40. In total, we present 57 individual transits of 32 known exoplanet systems.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Obliquity Variations of Habitable Zone Planets Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Yutong; Li, Gongjie

    2018-06-01

    Obliquity variability could play an important role in the climate and habitability of a planet. Orbital modulations caused by planetary companions and the planet’s spin axis precession due to the torque from the host star may lead to resonant interactions and cause large-amplitude obliquity variability. Here we consider the spin axis dynamics of Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f, both of which reside in the habitable zone around their host stars. Using N-body simulations and secular numerical integrations, we describe their obliquity evolution for particular realizations of the planetary systems. We then use a generalized analytic framework to characterize regions in parameter space where the obliquity is variable with large amplitude. We find that the locations of variability are fine-tuned over the planetary properties and system architecture in the lower-obliquity regimes (≲40°). As an example, assuming a rotation period of 24 hr, the obliquities of both Kepler-62f and Kepler-186f are stable below ∼40°, whereas the high-obliquity regions (60°–90°) allow moderate variabilities. However, for some other rotation periods of Kepler-62f or Kepler-186f, the lower-obliquity regions could become more variable owing to resonant interactions. Even small deviations from coplanarity (e.g., mutual inclinations ∼3°) could stir peak-to-peak obliquity variations up to ∼20°. Undetected planetary companions and/or the existence of a satellite could also destabilize the low-obliquity regions. In all cases, the high-obliquity region allows for moderate variations, and all obliquities corresponding to retrograde motion (i.e., >90°) are stable.

  17. The Role of Clouds in the Long-Term Habitability of Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, Owen B.; Tolbert, Margaret

    2000-01-01

    We proposed to conduct theoretical and laboratory investigations of the role that clouds play in the long-term climate history of the Earth and other habitable planets. We made significant progress in the first area we proposed to consider- the properties of carbon dioxide clouds in atmospheres that are rich in carbon dioxide. We submitted a modeling paper on the microphysical properties of the clouds to Icarus showing that such clouds are unlikely to play an important role in the early greenhouses on Earth or Mars. The model was based on lab studies of the nucleation and growth of carbon dioxide. We have also submitted a manuscript describing these lab studies to Icarus. These lab studies are critical not only to the ancient Mars atmosphere, but also to the current one. We also submitted a paper to Nature describing modeling of current Martian CO2 clouds. We will also model the properties of water clouds in the early history of Earth. Early in Earth's history the atmosphere contained no free oxygen. Without oxygen, sulfate aerosols that are currently the dominant cloud nuclei, cannot form. Without such nuclei the cloud structure would have been far different than it is now. We initiated studies of the aerosols on Titan as part of this work. We reported these studies in a short paper on nucleation and in several conferences.

  18. Kepler's first rocky planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batalha, N.M.; Borucki, W.J.; Bryson, S.T.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were...... tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright...

  19. Energy Balance Models of planetary climate as a tool for investigating the habitability of terrestrial planets and its evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, G.; Murante, G.; Provenzale, A.; Silva, L.; Vladilo, G.

    2012-04-01

    The study of the habitability and potential for life formation of terrestrial planets requires a considerable work of modelization owing to the limited amount of experimental constraints typical of this type of research. As an example, the paucity of experimental Archean data severely limits the study of the habitability of the primitive Earth at the epoch of the origin of life. In the case of exoplanets the amount of experimental information available is quite limited and the need for modelization strong. Here we focus on the modelization of the surface planetary temperature, a key thermodynamical quantity used to define the habitability. Energy Balance Models (EBM) of planetary climate provide a simple way to calculate the temperature-latitude profile of terrestrial planets with a small amount of computing resources. Thanks to this fact EBMs offer an excellent tool to exploring a wide range of parameter space and therefore testing the effects of variations of physical/chemical quantities unconstrained by experimental data. In particular, one can easily probe possible scenarios of habitability at different stages of planetary evolution. We have recently implemented one-dimensional EBMs featuring the possibility of probing variations of astronomical and geophysical parameters, such as stellar luminosity, orbital semi-major axis and eccentricity, obliquity of the planetary axis, planet rotational velocity, land/ocean surface fractions and thermal capacities, and latitudinal heat diffusion. After testing our models against results obtained in previous work (Williams & Kasting 1997, Icarus, 129, 254; Spiegel et al. 2008, ApJ, 681, 1609), we introduced a novel parametrization of the diffusion coefficient as a function of the stellar zenith distance. Our models have been validated using the mean temperature-latitude profiles of the present Earth and its seasonal variations; the global albedo has been used as an additional constraint. In this work we present specific

  20. 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.

  1. Characterization and Validation of Transiting Planets in the TESS SPOC Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Davies, Misty; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Li, Jie; Morris, Robert L.; Rose, Mark; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Ting, Eric; Wohler, Bill

    2018-06-01

    Light curves for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) target stars will be extracted and searched for transiting planet signatures in the Science Processing Operations Center (SPOC) Science Pipeline at NASA Ames Research Center. Targets for which the transiting planet detection threshold is exceeded will be processed in the Data Validation (DV) component of the Pipeline. The primary functions of DV are to (1) characterize planets identified in the transiting planet search, (2) search for additional transiting planet signatures in light curves after modeled transit signatures have been removed, and (3) perform a comprehensive suite of diagnostic tests to aid in discrimination between true transiting planets and false positive detections. DV data products include extensive reports by target, one-page summaries by planet candidate, and tabulated transit model fit and diagnostic test results. DV products may be employed by humans and automated systems to vet planet candidates identified in the Pipeline. TESS will launch in 2018 and survey the full sky for transiting exoplanets over a period of two years. The SPOC pipeline was ported from the Kepler Science Operations Center (SOC) codebase and extended for TESS after the mission was selected for flight in the NASA Astrophysics Explorer program. We describe the Data Validation component of the SPOC Pipeline. The diagnostic tests exploit the flux (i.e., light curve) and pixel time series associated with each target to support the determination of the origin of each purported transiting planet signature. We also highlight the differences between the DV components for Kepler and TESS. Candidate planet detections and data products will be delivered to the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST); the MAST URL is archive.stsci.edu/tess. Funding for the TESS Mission has been provided by the NASA Science Mission Directorate.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Conditions for oceans on Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone: importance of volcanic CO2 degassing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E.

    2014-01-01

    Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) have been considered to have warm climates and liquid water on their surfaces if the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working as on Earth. However, it is known that even the present Earth may be globally ice-covered when the rate of CO 2 degassing via volcanism becomes low. Here we discuss the climates of Earth-like planets in which the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working, with focusing particularly on insolation and the CO 2 degassing rate. The climate of Earth-like planets within the HZ can be classified into three climate modes (hot, warm, and snowball climate modes). We found that the conditions for the existence of liquid water should be largely restricted even when the planet is orbiting within the HZ and the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working. We show that these conditions should depend strongly on the rate of CO 2 degassing via volcanism. It is, therefore, suggested that thermal evolution of the planetary interiors will be a controlling factor for Earth-like planets to have liquid water on their surface.

  5. How to Directly Image a Habitable Planet Around Alpha Centauri with a 30-45 cm Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belikov, Ruslan; Bendek, Eduardo; Thomas, Sandrine; Males, Jared

    2015-01-01

    Several mission concepts are being studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet around a Sun-like star requires space telescopes with apertures of at least 1m. A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri (A and B), which is an extreme outlier among FGKM stars in terms of apparent habitable zone size: the habitable zones are approximately 3x wider in apparent size than around any other FGKM star. This enables a approximately 30-45cm visible light space telescope equipped with a modern high performance coronagraph or star shade to resolve the habitable zone at high contrast and directly image any potentially habitable planet that may exist in the system. The raw contrast requirements for such an instrument can be relaxed to 1e-8 if the mission spends 2 years collecting tens of thousands of images on the same target, enabling a factor of 500-1000 speckle suppression in post processing using a new technique called Orbital Difference Imaging (ODI). The raw light leak from both stars is controllable with a special wave front control algorithm known as Multi-Star Wave front Control (MSWC), which independently suppresses diffraction and aberrations from both stars using independent modes on the deformable mirror. This paper will present an analysis of the challenges involved with direct imaging of Alpha Centauri with a small telescope and how the above technologies are used together to solve them. We also show an example of a small coronagraphic mission concepts to take advantage of this opportunity called "ACESat: Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite" submitted to NASA's small Explorer (SMEX) program in December of 2014.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. THE STEPPENWOLF: A PROPOSAL FOR A HABITABLE PLANET IN INTERSTELLAR SPACE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abbot, D. S.; Switzer, E. R.

    2011-01-01

    Rogue planets have been ejected from their planetary system. We investigate the possibility that a rogue planet could maintain a liquid ocean under layers of thermally insulating water ice and frozen gas as a result of geothermal heat flux. We find that a rogue planet of Earth-like composition and age could maintain a subglacial liquid ocean if it were ∼3.5 times more massive than Earth, corresponding to ∼8 km of ice. Suppression of the melting point by contaminants, a layer of frozen gas, or a larger complement of water could significantly reduce the planetary mass that is required to maintain a liquid ocean. Such a planet could be detected from reflected solar radiation, and its thermal emission could be characterized in the far-IR if it were to pass within O(1000) AU of Earth.

  9. The Kepler Mission: A Mission to Determine the Frequency of Inner Planets Near the Habitable Zone of a Wide Range of Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.; Koch, D. G.; Dunham, E. W.; Jenkins, J. M.

    1997-01-01

    The surprising discovery of giant planets in inner orbits around solar-like stars has brought into question our understanding of the development and evolution of planetary systems, including our solar system. To make further progress, it is critical to detect and obtain data on the frequency and characteristics of Earth-class planets. The Kepler Mission is designed to be a quick, low-cost approach to accomplish that objective. Transits by Earth-class planets produce a fractional change. in stellar brightness of 5 x 10(exp -5) to 40 x 10(exp -5) lasting for 4 to 16 hours. From the period and depth of the transits, the orbit and size of the planets can be calculated. The proposed instrument is a one-meter aperture photometer with a 12 deg. field-of-view (FOV). To obtain the required precision and to avoid interruptions caused by day-night and seasonal cycles, the photometer will be launched into a heliocentric orbit. It will continuously and simultaneously monitor the flux from 80,000 dwarf stars brighter than 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation. The mission tests the hypothesis that the formation of most stars produces Earth-class planets in inner orbits. Based on this assumption and the recent observations that 2% of the stars have giant planets in inner orbits, several types of results are expected from the mission: 1. From transits of Earth-class planets, about 480 planet detections and 60 cases where two or more planets are found in the same system. 2. From transits of giant planets, about 160 detections of inner-orbit planets and 24 detections of outer-orbit planets. 3. From the phase modulation of the reflected light from giant planets, about 1400 planet detections with periods less than a week, albedos for 160 of these giant planets, and densities for seven planets.

  10. The Kepler Mission: A Mission to Determine the Frequency of Inner Planets Neat the Habitable Zone of a Wide Range of Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, W. J.; Koch, D. G.; Dunham, E. W.; Jenkins, J. M.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    The surprising discovery of giant planets in inner orbits around solar-like stars has brought into question our understanding of the development and evolution of planetary systems, including our solar system. To make further progress, it is critical to detect and obtain data on the frequency and characteristics of Earth-class planets. The Kepler Mission is designed to be a quick, low-cost approach to accomplish that objective. Transits by Earth-class planets produce a fractional change in stellar brightness of 5 x 10(exp -5) to 40 x 10(exp -5) lasting for 4 to 16 hours, From the period and depth of the transits, the orbit and size of the planets can be calculated. The proposed instrument is a one-meter aperture photometer with a 12 deg field-of-view (FOV). To obtain the required precision and to avoid interruptions caused by day-night and seasonal cycles, the photometer will be launched into a heliocentric orbit. It will continuously and simultaneously monitor the flux from 80,000 dwarf stars brighter than 14th magnitude in the Cygnus constellation. The mission tests the hypothesis that the formation of most stars produces Earth-class planets in inner orbits. Based on this assumption and the recent observations that 2% of the stars have giant planets in inner orbits, several types of results are expected from the mission: 1. From transits of Earth-class planets, about 480 planet detections and 60 cases where two or more planets are found in the same system. 2. From transits of giant planets, about 160 detections of inner-orbit planets and 24 detections of outer-orbit planets. 3. From the phase modulation of the reflected light from giant planets, about 1400 planet detections with periods less than a week, albedos for 160 of these giant planets, and densities for seven planets.

  11. GIANT PLANET MIGRATION, DISK EVOLUTION, AND THE ORIGIN OF TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, Richard D.; Armitage, Philip J.

    2009-01-01

    We present models of giant planet migration in evolving protoplanetary disks. Our disks evolve subject to viscous transport of angular momentum and photoevaporation, while planets undergo Type II migration. We use a Monte Carlo approach, running large numbers of models with a range in initial conditions. We find that relatively simple models can reproduce both the observed radial distribution of extrasolar giant planets, and the lifetimes and accretion histories of protoplanetary disks. The use of state-of-the-art photoevaporation models results in a degree of coupling between planet formation and disk clearing, which has not been found previously. Some accretion across planetary orbits is necessary if planets are to survive at radii ∼<1.5 AU, and if planets of Jupiter mass or greater are to survive in our models they must be able to form at late times, when the disk surface density in the formation region is low. Our model forms two different types of 'transitional' disks, embedded planets and clearing disks, which show markedly different properties. We find that the observable properties of these systems are broadly consistent with current observations, and highlight useful observational diagnostics. We predict that young transition disks are more likely to contain embedded giant planets, while older transition disks are more likely to be undergoing disk clearing.

  12. Habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, T W; Costa, Rui M

    2017-11-20

    What is a habit? One problem with the concept of habit has been that virtually everyone has their own ideas of what is meant by such a term. Whilst not eschewing folk psychology, it is useful to re-examine dictionary definitions of 'habit'. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines habit as "a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up" and also "an automatic reaction to a specific situation". The latter, reassuringly, is not too far from what has come to be known as stimulus-response theory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Differential rotation of stars with multiple transiting planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Netto, Yuri; Valio, Adriana

    2017-10-01

    If a star hosts a planet in an orbit such that it eclipses the star periodically, can be estimated the rotation profile of this star. If planets in multiplanetary system occult different stellar areas, spots in more than one latitude of the stellar disc can be detected. The monitored study of theses starspots in different latitudes allow us to infer the rotation profile of the star. We use the model described in Silva (2003) to characterize the starspots of Kepler-210, an active star with two planets. Kepler-210 is a late K star with an estimated age of 350 +/- 50 Myrs, average rotation period of 12.33 days, mass of 0.63 M⊙ and radius of 0.69 R⊙. The planets that eclipses this star have radii of 0.0498 R s and 0.0635 R s with orbital periods of 2.4532 +/- 0.0007 days and 7.9725 +/- 0.0014 days, respectively, where R s is the star radius.

  14. Clouds in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. V. The impact of CO2 ice clouds on the outer boundary of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    Kitzmann, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Clouds have a strong impact on the climate of planetary atmospheres. The potential scattering greenhouse effect of CO2 ice clouds in the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets is of particular interest because it might influence the position and thus the extension of the outer boundary of the classic habitable zone around main sequence stars. Here, the impact of CO2 ice clouds on the surface temperatures of terrestrial planets with CO2 dominated atmospheres, orbiting different types of...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Detection of Intermediate-Period Transiting Planets with a Network of Small Telescopes: transitsearch.org

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seagroves, Scott; Harker, Justin; Laughlin, Gregory; Lacy, Justin; Castellano, Tim

    2003-12-01

    We describe a project (transitsearch.org) currently attempting to discover transiting intermediate-period planets orbiting bright parent stars, and we simulate that project's performance. The discovery of such a transit would be an important astronomical advance, bridging the critical gap in understanding between HD 209458b and Jupiter. However, the task is made difficult by intrinsically low transit probabilities and small transit duty cycles. This project's efficient and economical strategy is to photometrically monitor stars that are known (from radial velocity surveys) to bear planets, using a network of widely spaced observers with small telescopes. These observers, each individually capable of precision (1%) differential photometry, monitor candidates during the time windows in which the radial velocity solution predicts a transit if the orbital inclination is close to 90°. We use Monte Carlo techniques to simulate the performance of this network, performing simulations with different configurations of observers in order to optimize coordination of an actual campaign. Our results indicate that transitsearch.org can reliably rule out or detect planetary transits within the current catalog of known planet-bearing stars. A distributed network of skilled amateur astronomers and small college observatories is a cost-effective method for discovering the small number of transiting planets with periods in the range 10 days

  19. Discovering transits of HD 209458-b type planets with Hipparcos and FAME photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Timothy Paul

    The motivation and prospects for success of a search for transits of short-period extrasolar planets of late-type main sequence stars in the Hipparcos satellite photometry archive is outlined. Recent extrasolar planet discoveries by the radial velocity (RV) method reveal that 1 in 20 spectral type F, G and K dwarfs possess short-period planets. Careful consideration of the transit detection probability as a function of stellar spectral type and planet orbit size results in the expectation that 6 to 24 transiting planets may be found among the 118,204 Hipparcos catalog stars. A search algorithm based on the known properties of the single known transiting extrasolar planet HD 209458-b was applied to carefully- selected samples of stars. The results of these searches and simulations of the detection efficiency for idealized transits are presented. Statistical and catalog-based methods for discriminating transits from intrinsic stellar variability and eclipses due to stellar companions are developed and described. Candidate lists that are the results of these searches are presented. Each candidate is placed in a color magnitude diagram based on Hipparcos derived distances and absolute magnitudes in order to clearly identify evolved stars. The effect of Lutz-Kelker bias on this main sequence membership determination is discussed in an Appendix. A Hipparcos-photometry-based intrinsic stellar variability determination is performed and compared to ground-based measurements. It is shown that intrinsic stellar variability of late-type main sequence stars is not a major concern for extrasolar jovian planet transit searches. The prospects for transit detection by the higher precision measurements of several hundred thousand main sequence stars to be made by the upcoming Full Sky Astrometric Explorer (FAME) satellite are similarly explored. A novel method for directly determining the mass of a transiting planet's parent star from timing measurements is introduced briefly in an

  20. 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.

  1. Accreting planets as dust dams in 'transition' disks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Owen, James E.

    2014-01-01

    We investigate under what circumstances an embedded planet in a protoplanetary disk may sculpt the dust distribution such that it observationally presents as a 'transition' disk. We concern ourselves with 'transition' disks that have large holes (≳ 10 AU) and high accretion rates (∼10 –9 -10 –8 M ☉ yr –1 ), particularly, those disks which photoevaporative models struggle to explain. Adopting the observed accretion rates in 'transition' disks, we find that the accretion luminosity from the forming planet is significant, and can dominate over the stellar luminosity at the gap edge. This planetary accretion luminosity can apply a significant radiation pressure to small (s ≲ 1 μm) dust particles provided they are suitably decoupled from the gas. Secular evolution calculations that account for the evolution of the gas and dust components in a disk with an embedded, accreting planet, show that only with the addition of the radiation pressure can we explain the full observed characteristics of a 'transition' disk (NIR dip in the spectral energy distribution (SED), millimeter cavity, and high accretion rate). At suitably high planet masses (≳ 3-4 M J ), radiation pressure from the accreting planet is able to hold back the small dust particles, producing a heavily dust-depleted inner disk that is optically thin to infrared radiation. The planet-disk system will present as a 'transition' disk with a dip in the SED only when the planet mass and planetary accretion rate are high enough. At other times, it will present as a disk with a primordial SED, but with a cavity in the millimeter, as observed in a handful of protoplanetary disks.

  2. Redox Evolution via Gravitational Differentiation on Low-mass Planets: Implications for Abiotic Oxygen, Water Loss, and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Schaefer, L. K.; Fischer, R. A.

    2018-05-01

    The oxidation of rocky planet surfaces and atmospheres, which arises from the twin forces of stellar nucleosynthesis and gravitational differentiation, is a universal process of key importance to habitability and exoplanet biosignature detection. Here we take a generalized approach to this phenomenon. Using a single parameter to describe the redox state, we model the evolution of terrestrial planets around nearby M stars and the Sun. Our model includes atmospheric photochemistry, diffusion and escape, line-by-line climate calculations, and interior thermodynamics and chemistry. In most cases, we find abiotic atmospheric {{{O}}}2 buildup around M stars during the pre-main-sequence phase to be much less than calculated previously, because the planet’s magma ocean absorbs most oxygen liberated from {{{H}}}2{{O}} photolysis. However, loss of noncondensing atmospheric gases after the mantle solidifies remains a significant potential route to abiotic atmospheric {{{O}}}2 subsequently. In all cases, we predict that exoplanets that receive lower stellar fluxes, such as LHS1140b and TRAPPIST-1f and g, have the lowest probability of abiotic {{{O}}}2 buildup and hence may be the most interesting targets for future searches for biogenic {{{O}}}2. Key remaining uncertainties can be minimized in future by comparing our predictions for the atmospheres of hot, sterile exoplanets such as GJ1132b and TRAPPIST-1b and c with observations.

  3. 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.

  4. The MEarth-North and MEarth-South Transit Surveys: Searching for Habitable Super-Earth Exoplanets Around Nearby M-dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Jonathan M.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Dittmann, Jason; Falco, Emilio E.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Nutzman, Philip

    2015-01-01

    Detection and characterization of potentially habitable Earth-size extrasolar planets is one of the major goals of contemporary astronomy. By applying the transit method to very low-mass M-dwarfs , it is possible to find these planets from the ground with present-day instrumentation and observational techniques. The MEarth project is one such survey with stations in both hemispheres: MEarth-North at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Mount Hopkins, Arizona, and MEarth-South at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile. We present an update on recent results of this survey, for planet occurrence rates, and interesting stellar astrophysics, for which our sample of 3000 nearby mid-to-late M-dwarfs has been very fruitful. All light curves gathered during the survey are made publicly available after one year, and we describe how to access and use these data.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...... 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. THE TRANSIT TRANSMISSION SPECTRUM OF A COLD GAS GIANT PLANET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalba, Paul A.; Muirhead, Philip S.; Veyette, Mark J. [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Hedman, Matthew M. [Department of Physics, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83843 (United States); Nicholson, Philip D., E-mail: pdalba@bu.edu [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)

    2015-12-01

    We use solar occultations observed by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer on board the Cassini Spacecraft to extract the 1–5 μm transmission spectrum of Saturn, as if it were a transiting exoplanet. We detect absorption from methane, ethane, acetylene, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and possibly carbon monoxide, with peak-to-peak features of up to 90 parts-per-million despite the presence of ammonia clouds. We also find that atmospheric refraction, as opposed to clouds or haze, determines the minimum altitude that could be probed during mid-transit. Self-consistent exoplanet atmosphere models show good agreement with Saturn’s transmission spectrum but fail to reproduce a large absorption feature near 3.4 μm, likely caused by gaseous ethane and a C–H stretching mode of an unknown aliphatic hydrocarbon. This large feature is located in one of the Spitzer Space Telescope bandpasses and could alter interpretations of transmission spectra if not properly modeled. The large signal in Saturn’s transmission spectrum suggests that transmission spectroscopy of cold, long-period gaseous exoplanets should be possible with current and future observatories. Motivated by these results, we briefly consider the feasibility of  using a survey to search for and characterize cold exoplanets that are analogous to Jupiter and Saturn utilizing a target-of-opportunity approach.

  15. ARCHITECTURE AND DYNAMICS OF KEPLER'S CANDIDATE MULTIPLE TRANSITING PLANET SYSTEMS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ragozzine, Darin; Holman, Matthew J.; Carter, Joshua A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Steffen, Jason H. [Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Ford, Eric B. [211 Bryant Space Science Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Shporer, Avi [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 (United States); Rowe, Jason F.; Quintana, Elisa V.; Caldwell, Douglas A. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States); Ciardi, David [Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Dunham, Edward W. [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Gautier, Thomas N. III, E-mail: Jack.Lissauer@nasa.gov [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); and others

    2011-11-01

    About one-third of the {approx}1200 transiting planet candidates detected in the first four months of Kepler data are members of multiple candidate systems. There are 115 target stars with two candidate transiting planets, 45 with three, 8 with four, and 1 each with five and six. We characterize the dynamical properties of these candidate multi-planet systems. The distribution of observed period ratios shows that the vast majority of candidate pairs are neither in nor near low-order mean-motion resonances. Nonetheless, there are small but statistically significant excesses of candidate pairs both in resonance and spaced slightly too far apart to be in resonance, particularly near the 2:1 resonance. We find that virtually all candidate systems are stable, as tested by numerical integrations that assume a nominal mass-radius relationship. Several considerations strongly suggest that the vast majority of these multi-candidate systems are true planetary systems. Using the observed multiplicity frequencies, we find that a single population of planetary systems that matches the higher multiplicities underpredicts the number of singly transiting systems. We provide constraints on the true multiplicity and mutual inclination distribution of the multi-candidate systems, revealing a population of systems with multiple super-Earth-size and Neptune-size planets with low to moderate mutual inclinations.

  16. THE PHOTOECCENTRIC EFFECT AND PROTO-HOT JUPITERS. I. MEASURING PHOTOMETRIC ECCENTRICITIES OF INDIVIDUAL TRANSITING PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Johnson, John Asher

    2012-01-01

    Exoplanet orbital eccentricities offer valuable clues about the history of planetary systems. Eccentric, Jupiter-sized planets are particularly interesting: they may link the 'cold' Jupiters beyond the ice line to close-in hot Jupiters, which are unlikely to have formed in situ. To date, eccentricities of individual transiting planets primarily come from radial-velocity measurements. Kepler has discovered hundreds of transiting Jupiters spanning a range of periods, but the faintness of the host stars precludes radial-velocity follow-up of most. Here, we demonstrate a Bayesian method of measuring an individual planet's eccentricity solely from its transit light curve using prior knowledge of its host star's density. We show that eccentric Jupiters are readily identified by their short ingress/egress/total transit durations—part of the 'photoeccentric' light curve signature of a planet's eccentricity—even with long-cadence Kepler photometry and loosely constrained stellar parameters. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo exploration of parameter posteriors naturally marginalizes over the periapse angle and automatically accounts for the transit probability. To demonstrate, we use three published transit light curves of HD 17156 b to measure an eccentricity of e = 0.71 +0.16 –0.09 , in good agreement with the discovery value e = 0.67 ± 0.08 based on 33 radial-velocity measurements. We present two additional tests using Kepler data. In each case, the technique proves to be a viable method of measuring exoplanet eccentricities and their confidence intervals. Finally, we argue that this method is the most efficient, effective means of identifying the extremely eccentric, proto-hot Jupiters predicted by Socrates et al.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roller, Goetz

    2016-04-01

    model constraining the evolution of a rocky planet like Earth or Mercury from a stellar precursor of the oldest population to a Fe-C BLD, shifting through different spectral classes in a HR diagram after massive decompression and tremendous energy losses. In the light of WD/BLD cosmochronology [1], solar system bodies like Earth, Mercury and Moon are regarded as captured interlopers from the Galactic bulge, Earth and Moon possibly representing remnants of an old binary system. Such a preliminary scenario is supported by similar ages obtained from WD's for the Galactic halo [1] and, independently, by means of 187Re-232Th-238U nuclear geochronometry [2, 4, 5], together with recent observations extremely metal-poor stars from the cosmic dawn in the bulge of the Milky Way [6]. This might be further elucidated in the near future by Th/U cosmochronometry based upon a nuclear production ratio Th/U = 0.96 [5] and additionally by means of a newly developed nucleogeochronometric age dating method for stellar spectroscopy, which will be presented in a forthcoming paper. The model shall stimulate geochemical data interpretation from a different perspective to constrain the (thermal) evolution of a habitable planet as to its geo-, bio-, hydro- and atmosphere. [1] Fontaine et al. (2001), Public. Astron. Soc. of the Pacific 113, 409-435. [2] Roller (2015), Abstract T34B-0407, AGU Spring Meeting 2015. [3] Arevalo et al. (2010), Chem. Geol. 271, 70-85. [4] Roller (2015), Geophys. Res. Abstr. 17, EGU2015-2399. [5] Roller (2015), 78th Annu. Meeting Met. Soc., Abstract #5041. [6] Howes et al. (2015), Nature 527, 484-487.

  18. DUST FILTRATION BY PLANET-INDUCED GAP EDGES: IMPLICATIONS FOR TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu Zhaohuan; Dong Ruobing [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, 4 Ivy Lane, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Nelson, Richard P. [Astronomy Unit, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom); Espaillat, Catherine [Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Hartmann, Lee, E-mail: zhzhu@astro.princeton.edu, E-mail: rdong@astro.princeton.edu, E-mail: lhartm@umich.edu, E-mail: r.p.nelson@qmul.ac.uk, E-mail: cespaillat@cfa.harvard.edu [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2012-08-10

    By carrying out two-dimensional two-fluid global simulations, we have studied the response of dust to gap formation by a single planet in the gaseous component of a protoplanetary disk-the so-called dust filtration mechanism. We have found that a gap opened by a giant planet at 20 AU in an {alpha} = 0.01, M-dot =10{sup -8} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1} disk can effectively stop dust particles larger than 0.1 mm drifting inward, leaving a submillimeter (submm) dust cavity/hole. However, smaller particles are difficult to filter by a gap induced by a several M{sub J} planet due to (1) dust diffusion and (2) a high gas accretion velocity at the gap edge. Based on these simulations, an analytic model is derived to understand what size particles can be filtered by the planet-induced gap edge. We show that a dimensionless parameter T{sub s} /{alpha}, which is the ratio between the dimensionless dust stopping time and the disk viscosity parameter, is important for the dust filtration process. Finally, with our updated understanding of dust filtration, we have computed Monte Carlo radiative transfer models with variable dust size distributions to generate the spectral energy distributions of disks with gaps. By comparing with transitional disk observations (e.g., GM Aur), we have found that dust filtration alone has difficulties depleting small particles sufficiently to explain the near-IR deficit of moderate M-dot transitional disks, except under some extreme circumstances. The scenario of gap opening by multiple planets studied previously suffers the same difficulty. One possible solution is to invoke both dust filtration and dust growth in the inner disk. In this scenario, a planet-induced gap filters large dust particles in the disk, and the remaining small dust particles passing to the inner disk can grow efficiently without replenishment from fragmentation of large grains. Predictions for ALMA have also been made based on all these scenarios. We conclude that dust filtration

  19. DUST FILTRATION BY PLANET-INDUCED GAP EDGES: IMPLICATIONS FOR TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Zhaohuan; Dong Ruobing; Nelson, Richard P.; Espaillat, Catherine; Hartmann, Lee

    2012-01-01

    By carrying out two-dimensional two-fluid global simulations, we have studied the response of dust to gap formation by a single planet in the gaseous component of a protoplanetary disk—the so-called dust filtration mechanism. We have found that a gap opened by a giant planet at 20 AU in an α = 0.01, M-dot =10 -8 M ☉ yr -1 disk can effectively stop dust particles larger than 0.1 mm drifting inward, leaving a submillimeter (submm) dust cavity/hole. However, smaller particles are difficult to filter by a gap induced by a several M J planet due to (1) dust diffusion and (2) a high gas accretion velocity at the gap edge. Based on these simulations, an analytic model is derived to understand what size particles can be filtered by the planet-induced gap edge. We show that a dimensionless parameter T s /α, which is the ratio between the dimensionless dust stopping time and the disk viscosity parameter, is important for the dust filtration process. Finally, with our updated understanding of dust filtration, we have computed Monte Carlo radiative transfer models with variable dust size distributions to generate the spectral energy distributions of disks with gaps. By comparing with transitional disk observations (e.g., GM Aur), we have found that dust filtration alone has difficulties depleting small particles sufficiently to explain the near-IR deficit of moderate M-dot transitional disks, except under some extreme circumstances. The scenario of gap opening by multiple planets studied previously suffers the same difficulty. One possible solution is to invoke both dust filtration and dust growth in the inner disk. In this scenario, a planet-induced gap filters large dust particles in the disk, and the remaining small dust particles passing to the inner disk can grow efficiently without replenishment from fragmentation of large grains. Predictions for ALMA have also been made based on all these scenarios. We conclude that dust filtration with planet(s) in the disk is a

  20. 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.

  1. Limits to the presence of transiting circumbinary planets in CoRoT Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klagyivik, P.; Deeg, H. J.; Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Almenara, J. M.

    2017-06-01

    Aims: During its flight phase, from 2007-2012, the CoRoT mission delivered light curves for over 2000 eclipsing binaries. Data from the Kepler mission have proven the existence of several transiting circumbinary planets. While light curves from CoRoT typically have lower precision and shorter coverage, the number of CoRoT targets is similar to that of Kepler and some of the known circumbinary planets could potentially be detected in CoRoT data as well. The aim of this work was to reanalyse the entire CoRoT Data set to search for the presence of circumbinary planets and to derive limits on the abundances of such planets. Methods: We developed a code that removes the signatures of eclipsing binaries from the light curves, and searches for quasi-periodic, transit-like features in the light curves after removal of binary eclipses and instrumental features. The code requires little information on sample systems and can also be used for other space missions, such as Kepler, K2, TESS, and PLATO. The code is broad in the requirements leading to detections, but was tuned to deliver an amount of detections that are manageable in a subsequent, mainly visual, assessment of their origin. Results: We identified three planet candidates in the CoRoT sample whose transits would have arisen from a single pass across the central binary; however, no candidates with transit events from multiple planetary orbits remained. We calculated the upper limits for the number of Jupiter, Saturn-, and Neptune-sized planets in co-planar orbits for different orbital period ranges. We found that there are much fewer giant planets in short periodic orbits around close binary systems than around single stars. Full Table 1 is 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/A117

  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. CHARACTERIZING THE ATMOSPHERES OF TRANSITING ROCKY PLANETS AROUND LATE-TYPE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palle, E.; Garcia Munoz, A.; Zosorio, M. R. Zapatero

    2011-01-01

    Visible and near-infrared spectra of transiting hot Jupiter planets have recently been observed, revealing some of the atmospheric constituents of their atmospheres. In the near future, it is probable that primary and secondary eclipse observations of Earth-like rocky planets will also be achieved. The characterization of Earth's transmission spectrum has shown that both major and trace atmospheric constituents may present strong absorption features, including important bio-markers such as water, oxygen, and methane. Our simulations using a recently published empirical Earth's transmission spectrum, and the stellar spectra for a variety of stellar types, indicate that the new generation of extremely large telescopes, such as the proposed 42 m European Extremely Large Telescope, could be capable of retrieving the transmission spectrum of an Earth-like planet around very cool stars and brown dwarfs (T eff ≤ ∼3100 K). For a twin of Earth around a star with T eff ∼ 3100 K (M4), for example, the spectral features of H 2 O, CH 4 , CO 2 , and O 2 in the wavelength range between 0.9 and 2.4 μm can simultaneously be detected within 100 hr of observing time, or even less for a late-M star. Such detection would constitute proof for the existence of life in that planet. The detection time can be reduced to a few hours for a super-Earth type of planet with twice Earth's radius.

  4. 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)

  5. 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}Pleiades, Hyades, Praesepe) and conduct a uniform search of the members. We identify all known transiting exoplanets in the clusters, 17 eclipsing binaries, one transiting planet candidate 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Conditions for oceans on Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone: importance of volcanic CO{sub 2} degassing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kadoya, S. [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Kiban Bldg. 408, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Tajika, E., E-mail: kadoya@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp, E-mail: tajika@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Kiban Bldg. 409, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan)

    2014-08-01

    Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) have been considered to have warm climates and liquid water on their surfaces if the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working as on Earth. However, it is known that even the present Earth may be globally ice-covered when the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism becomes low. Here we discuss the climates of Earth-like planets in which the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working, with focusing particularly on insolation and the CO{sub 2} degassing rate. The climate of Earth-like planets within the HZ can be classified into three climate modes (hot, warm, and snowball climate modes). We found that the conditions for the existence of liquid water should be largely restricted even when the planet is orbiting within the HZ and the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working. We show that these conditions should depend strongly on the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism. It is, therefore, suggested that thermal evolution of the planetary interiors will be a controlling factor for Earth-like planets to have liquid water on their surface.

  8. THE PTF ORION PROJECT: A POSSIBLE PLANET TRANSITING A T-TAURI STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ciardi, David R.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Plavchan, Peter; Akeson, Rachel L.; Beichman, Charles A.; Gelino, Dawn M. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, 770 South Wilson Avenue, M/S 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Bender, Chad F.; Mahadevan, Suvrath [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Brown, Timothy M.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Crepp, Justin R. [Cahill Center for Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States); Howell, Steve B. [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Szkody, Paula [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Boden, Andrew F. [Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Hoard, D. W., E-mail: vaneyken@ipac.caltech.edu [Spitzer Science Center, M/S 220-6, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); and others

    2012-08-10

    We report observations of a possible young transiting planet orbiting a previously known weak-lined T-Tauri star in the 7-10 Myr old Orion-OB1a/25-Ori region. The candidate was found as part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) Orion project. It has a photometric transit period of 0.448413 {+-} 0.000040 days, and appears in both 2009 and 2010 PTF data. Follow-up low-precision radial velocity (RV) observations and adaptive optics imaging suggest that the star is not an eclipsing binary, and that it is unlikely that a background source is blended with the target and mimicking the observed transit. RV observations with the Hobby-Eberly and Keck telescopes yield an RV that has the same period as the photometric event, but is offset in phase from the transit center by Almost-Equal-To - 0.22 periods. The amplitude (half range) of the RV variations is 2.4 km s{sup -1} and is comparable with the expected RV amplitude that stellar spots could induce. The RV curve is likely dominated by stellar spot modulation and provides an upper limit to the projected companion mass of M{sub p}sin i{sub orb} {approx}< 4.8 {+-} 1.2 M{sub Jup}; when combined with the orbital inclination, i{sub orb}, of the candidate planet from modeling of the transit light curve, we find an upper limit on the mass of the planetary candidate of M{sub p} {approx}< 5.5 {+-} 1.4 M{sub Jup}. This limit implies that the planet is orbiting close to, if not inside, its Roche limiting orbital radius, so that it may be undergoing active mass loss and evaporation.

  9. THE PTF ORION PROJECT: A POSSIBLE PLANET TRANSITING A T-TAURI STAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ciardi, David R.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Plavchan, Peter; Akeson, Rachel L.; Beichman, Charles A.; Gelino, Dawn M.; Bender, Chad F.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Brown, Timothy M.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Crepp, Justin R.; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howell, Steve B.; Szkody, Paula; Boden, Andrew F.; Hoard, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    We report observations of a possible young transiting planet orbiting a previously known weak-lined T-Tauri star in the 7-10 Myr old Orion-OB1a/25-Ori region. The candidate was found as part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) Orion project. It has a photometric transit period of 0.448413 ± 0.000040 days, and appears in both 2009 and 2010 PTF data. Follow-up low-precision radial velocity (RV) observations and adaptive optics imaging suggest that the star is not an eclipsing binary, and that it is unlikely that a background source is blended with the target and mimicking the observed transit. RV observations with the Hobby-Eberly and Keck telescopes yield an RV that has the same period as the photometric event, but is offset in phase from the transit center by ≈ – 0.22 periods. The amplitude (half range) of the RV variations is 2.4 km s –1 and is comparable with the expected RV amplitude that stellar spots could induce. The RV curve is likely dominated by stellar spot modulation and provides an upper limit to the projected companion mass of M p sin i orb ∼ Jup ; when combined with the orbital inclination, i orb , of the candidate planet from modeling of the transit light curve, we find an upper limit on the mass of the planetary candidate of M p ∼ Jup . This limit implies that the planet is orbiting close to, if not inside, its Roche limiting orbital radius, so that it may be undergoing active mass loss and evaporation.

  10. Three Small Planets Transiting the Bright Young Field Star K2-233

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Trevor J.; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Benneke, Björn; Petigura, Erik A.; Gonzales, Erica J.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Yu, Liang; Isaacson, Howard T.; Howard, Andrew W.; Ciardi, David R.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Cody, Ann Marie; Riedel, Adric; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Tanner, Christopher; Ende, Martin

    2018-05-01

    We report the detection of three small transiting planets around the young K3 dwarf K2-233 (2MASS J15215519‑2013539) from observations during Campaign 15 of the K2 mission. The star is relatively nearby (d = 69 pc) and bright (V = 10.7 mag, K s = 8.4 mag), making the planetary system an attractive target for radial velocity follow-up and atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope. The inner two planets are hot super-Earths (R b = 1.40 ± 0.06 {R}\\oplus , R c = 1.34 ± 0.08 {R}\\oplus ), while the outer planet is a warm sub-Neptune (R d = 2.6 ± 0.1 {R}\\oplus ). We estimate the stellar age to be {360}-140+490 Myr based on rotation, activity, and kinematic indicators. The K2-233 system is particularly interesting given recent evidence for inflated radii in planets around similarly aged stars, a trend potentially related to photo-evaporation, core cooling, or both mechanisms.

  11. Inferring giant planets from ALMA millimeter continuum and line observations in (transition) disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facchini, S.; Pinilla, P.; van Dishoeck, E. F.; de Juan Ovelar, M.

    2018-05-01

    viscosity for the parameters explored in this paper. Because of the low dust density in the gaps, the dust and gas components can become thermally decoupled and the gas becomes colder than the dust. The gaps seen in CO are due to a combination of gas temperature dropping at the location of the planet and of the underlying surface density profile. Both effects need to be taken into account and disentangled when inferring gas surface densities from observed CO intensity profiles; otherwise, the gas surface density drop at the planet location can easily be overestimated. CO line ratios across the gap are able to quantify the gas temperature drop in the gaps in observed systems. Finally, a CO cavity not observed in any of the models, only CO gaps, indicating that one single massive planet is not able to explain the CO cavities observed in transition disks, at least without additional physical or chemical mechanisms.

  12. 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

  13. Monte Carlo Methods to Establish Confidence in Planets Discovered by Transit Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Caldwell, D. A.

    2000-12-01

    With the astonishing discovery of about a dozen super giant short-period (attention on the problem of assessing the significance of a candidate transit signature. There are two fundamental quantities of interest required to establish the confidence in a planetary candidate. These are: 1) the equivalent number of independent statistical tests conducted in searching the light curve of one star for transiting planets over a given range of periods, and 2) the characteristics of the observation noise for the light curve in question. The latter quantity determines the false alarm rate for a single test for that particular star as a function of the detection threshold. The former quantity, together with the total number of target stars in the observing program, dictate the requisite single-test false alarm rate based on the acceptable total number of false alarms. The methods described do not make any presumptions about the distribution of the observational noise. In addition they either provide conservative results for non-white noise or take the correlation structure of the noise into account. The results of this paper show that transit photometry is a promising method for detecting planets even in the presence of colored, non-Gaussian noise and with the required large number of target stars (>100,000 stars in the case of the Kepler Mission) for the small geometric probability of transit alignment. Support for this work was received from NASA's Discovery Program.

  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. THE KEPLER-19 SYSTEM: A TRANSITING 2.2 R{sub Circled-Plus} PLANET AND A SECOND PLANET DETECTED VIA TRANSIT TIMING VARIATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballard, Sarah; Fressin, Francois; Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel; Torres, Guillermo; Holman, Matthew J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey; Isaacson, Howard [Department of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Burke, Christopher J.; Henze, Christopher; Howell, Steven B.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Lissauer, Jack J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Steffen, Jason H. [Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael [McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Jenkins, Jon M., E-mail: sballard@cfa.harvard.edu [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); and others

    2011-12-20

    We present the discovery of the Kepler-19 planetary system, which we first identified from a 9.3 day periodic transit signal in the Kepler photometry. From high-resolution spectroscopy of the star, we find a stellar effective temperature T{sub eff} = 5541 {+-} 60 K, a metallicity [Fe/H] = -0.13 {+-} 0.06, and a surface gravity log(g) = 4.59 {+-} 0.10. We combine the estimate of T{sub eff} and [Fe/H] with an estimate of the stellar density derived from the photometric light curve to deduce a stellar mass of M{sub *} = 0.936 {+-} 0.040 M{sub Sun} and a stellar radius of R{sub *} = 0.850 {+-} 0.018 R{sub Sun} (these errors do not include uncertainties in the stellar models). We rule out the possibility that the transits result from an astrophysical false positive by first identifying the subset of stellar blends that reproduce the precise shape of the light curve. Using the additional constraints from the measured color of the system, the absence of a secondary source in the high-resolution spectrum, and the absence of a secondary source in the adaptive optics imaging, we conclude that the planetary scenario is more than three orders of magnitude more likely than a blend. The blend scenario is independently disfavored by the achromaticity of the transit: we measure a transit depth with Spitzer at 4.5 {mu}m of 547{sup +113}{sub -110} ppm, consistent with the depth measured in the Kepler optical bandpass of 567 {+-} 6 ppm (corrected for stellar limb darkening). We determine a physical radius of the planet Kepler-19b of R{sub p} = 2.209 {+-} 0.048 R{sub Circled-Plus }; the uncertainty is dominated by uncertainty in the stellar parameters. From radial velocity observations of the star, we find an upper limit on the planet mass of 20.3 M{sub Circled-Plus }, corresponding to a maximum density of 10.4 g cm{sup -3}. We report a significant sinusoidal deviation of the transit times from a predicted linear ephemeris, which we conclude is due to an additional perturbing body in

  16. Transit detections of extrasolar planets around main-sequence stars. I. Sky maps for hot Jupiters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, R.; Mislis, D.; Antoniadis, J.

    2009-12-01

    Context: The findings of more than 350 extrasolar planets, most of them nontransiting Hot Jupiters, have revealed correlations between the metallicity of the main-sequence (MS) host stars and planetary incidence. This connection can be used to calculate the planet formation probability around other stars, not yet known to have planetary companions. Numerous wide-field surveys have recently been initiated, aiming at the transit detection of extrasolar planets in front of their host stars. Depending on instrumental properties and the planetary distribution probability, the promising transit locations on the celestial plane will differ among these surveys. Aims: We want to locate the promising spots for transit surveys on the celestial plane and strive for absolute values of the expected number of transits in general. Our study will also clarify the impact of instrumental properties such as pixel size, field of view (FOV), and magnitude range on the detection probability. Methods: We used data of the Tycho catalog for ≈1 million objects to locate all the stars with 0^m~≲~m_V~≲~11.5m on the celestial plane. We took several empirical relations between the parameters listed in the Tycho catalog, such as distance to Earth, m_V, and (B-V), and those parameters needed to account for the probability of a star to host an observable, transiting exoplanet. The empirical relations between stellar metallicity and planet occurrence combined with geometrical considerations were used to yield transit probabilities for the MS stars in the Tycho catalog. Magnitude variations in the FOV were simulated to test whether this fluctuations would be detected by BEST, XO, SuperWASP and HATNet. Results: We present a sky map of the expected number of Hot Jupiter transit events on the basis of the Tycho catalog. Conditioned by the accumulation of stars towards the galactic plane, the zone of the highest number of transits follows the same trace, interrupted by spots of very low and high

  17. TrES-5: A MASSIVE JUPITER-SIZED PLANET TRANSITING A COOL G DWARF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mandushev, Georgi; Dunham, Edward W.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Latham, David W.; Charbonneau, David; Buchhave, Lars A.; Rabus, Markus; Oetiker, Brian; Brown, Timothy M.; Belmonte, Juan A.; O'Donovan, Francis T.

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of TrES-5, a massive hot Jupiter that transits the star GSC 03949-00967 every 1.48 days. From spectroscopy of the star we estimate a stellar effective temperature of T eff = 5171 ± 36 K, and from high-precision B, R, and I photometry of the transit we constrain the ratio of the semimajor axis a and the stellar radius R * to be a/R * = 6.07 ± 0.14. We compare these values to model stellar isochrones to obtain a stellar mass of M * = 0.893 ± 0.024 M ☉ . Based on this estimate and the photometric time series, we constrain the stellar radius to be R * = 0.866 ± 0.013 R ☉ and the planet radius to be R p = 1.209 ± 0.021 R J . We model our radial-velocity data assuming a circular orbit and find a planetary mass of 1.778 ± 0.063 M J . Our radial-velocity observations rule out line-bisector variations that would indicate a specious detection resulting from a blend of an eclipsing binary system. TrES-5 orbits one of the faintest stars with transiting planets found to date from the ground and demonstrates that precise photometry and followup spectroscopy are possible, albeit challenging, even for such faint stars.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. WTS1 b: The first planet detected in the WFCAM Transit Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cruz P.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We report the discovery of WTS1 b, the first extrasolar planet found by the WFCAM Transit Survey. For one of the most promising transiting candidates, high-resolution spectra taken at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET allowed us to estimate the spectroscopic parameters of the host star, a late-F main sequence dwarf (V = 16.13, and to measure its radial velocity variations. The combined analysis of the light curves and spectroscopic data resulted in an orbital period of the companion of 3.35 days, a planetary mass of 4.01 ± 0.35 MJ, and a planetary radius of 1.49 +0.16-0.18 RJ. WTS1 b has one of the largest radius anomalies among the known hot Jupiters in the mass range 3–5 MJ.

  6. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCullough, P. R.; Crouzet, N. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Deming, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Madhusudhan, N., E-mail: pmcc@stsci.edu [Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States)

    2014-08-10

    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{sup –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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake; Sheppard, Kyle

    2017-05-01

    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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. SPITZER IRAC SECONDARY ECLIPSE PHOTOMETRY OF THE TRANSITING EXTRASOLAR PLANET HAT-P-1b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Todorov, Kamen; Deming, Drake; Harrington, Jospeph; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Bowman, William C.; Nymeyer, Sarah; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Bakos, Gaspar A.

    2010-01-01

    We report Spitzer/IRAC photometry of the transiting giant exoplanet HAT-P-1b during its secondary eclipse. This planet lies near the postulated boundary between the pM and pL-class of hot Jupiters, and is important as a test of models for temperature inversions in hot Jupiter atmospheres. We derive eclipse depths for HAT-P-1b, in units of the stellar flux, that are: 0.080% ± 0.008% [3.6 μm], 0.135% ± 0.022% [4.5 μm], 0.203% ± 0.031% [5.8 μm], and 0.238% ± 0.040% [8.0 μm]. These values are best fit using an atmosphere with a modest temperature inversion, intermediate between the archetype inverted atmosphere (HD 209458b) and a model without an inversion. The observations also suggest that this planet is radiating a large fraction of the available stellar irradiance on its dayside, with little available for redistribution by circulation. This planet has sometimes been speculated to be inflated by tidal dissipation, based on its large radius in discovery observations, and on a non-zero orbital eccentricity allowed by the radial velocity data. The timing of the secondary eclipse is very sensitive to orbital eccentricity, and we find that the central phase of the eclipse is 0.4999 ± 0.0005. The difference between the expected and observed phase indicates that the orbit is close to circular, with a 3σ limit of |e cos ω| < 0.002.

  16. HABITABLE CLIMATES: THE INFLUENCE OF ECCENTRICITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Spiegel, David S.; Scharf, Caleb A.; Menou, Kristen; Raymond, Sean N.

    2010-01-01

    In the outer regions of the habitable zone, the risk of transitioning into a globally frozen 'snowball' state poses a threat to the habitability of planets with the capacity to host water-based life. Here, we use a one-dimensional energy balance climate model (EBM) to examine how obliquity, spin rate, orbital eccentricity, and the fraction of the surface covered by ocean might influence the onset of such a snowball state. For an exoplanet, these parameters may be strikingly different from the values observed for Earth. Since, for a constant semimajor axis, the annual mean stellar irradiation scales with (1 - e 2 ) -1/2 , one might expect the greatest habitable semimajor axis (for fixed atmospheric composition) to scale as (1 - e 2 ) -1/4 . We find that this standard simple ansatz provides a reasonable lower bound on the outer boundary of the habitable zone, but the influence of both obliquity and ocean fraction can be profound in the context of planets on eccentric orbits. For planets with eccentricity 0.5, for instance, our EBM suggests that the greatest habitable semimajor axis can vary by more than 0.8 AU (78%!) depending on obliquity, with higher obliquity worlds generally more stable against snowball transitions. One might also expect that the long winter at an eccentric planet's apoastron would render it more susceptible to global freezing. Our models suggest that this is not a significant risk for Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars, as considered here, since such planets are buffered by the thermal inertia provided by oceans covering at least 10% of their surface. Since planets on eccentric orbits spend much of their year particularly far from the star, such worlds might turnout to be especially good targets for direct observations with missions such as TPF-Darwin. Nevertheless, the extreme temperature variations achieved on highly eccentric exo-Earths raise questions about the adaptability of life to marginally or transiently habitable conditions.

  17. POST-CAPTURE EVOLUTION OF POTENTIALLY HABITABLE EXOMOONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Porter, Simon B.; Grundy, William M.

    2011-01-01

    The satellites of extrasolar planets (exomoons) have been recently proposed as astrobiological targets. Since giant planets in the habitable zone are thought to have migrated there, it is possible that they may have captured a former terrestrial planet or planetesimal. We therefore attempt to model the dynamical evolution of a terrestrial planet captured into orbit around a giant planet in the habitable zone of a star. We find that approximately half of loose elliptical orbits result in stable circular orbits over timescales of less than a few million years. We also find that those orbits are mostly at low inclination, but have no prograde/retrograde preference. In addition, we calculate the transit timing and duration variations for the resulting systems, and find that potentially habitable Earth-mass exomoons should be detectable.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. TRANSIT TIMING OBSERVATIONS FROM KEPLER. IV. CONFIRMATION OF FOUR MULTIPLE-PLANET SYSTEMS BY SIMPLE PHYSICAL MODELS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Moorhead, Althea V.; Steffen, Jason H.; Rowe, Jason F.; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Carter, Joshua A.; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Steve; Haas, Michael R.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Fanelli, Michael N.; Fischer, Debra; Hall, Jennifer R.

    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 four sets of light curves from the Kepler spacecraft, each which of shows multiple planets transiting the same star. Departure of the timing of these transits from strict periodicity indicates that 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.

  1. TRANSIT TIMING OBSERVATIONS FROM KEPLER. IV. CONFIRMATION OF FOUR MULTIPLE-PLANET SYSTEMS BY SIMPLE PHYSICAL MODELS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fabrycky, Daniel C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Ford, Eric B.; Moorhead, Althea V. [Astronomy Department, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Sciences Center, Gainesville, FL 32111 (United States); Steffen, Jason H. [Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, P.O. Box 500, MS 127, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Rowe, Jason F.; Christiansen, Jessie L. [SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Carter, Joshua A.; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States); Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Steve; Haas, Michael R. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, 94035 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91126 (United States); Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael [McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas, Austin TX 78730 (United States); Fanelli, Michael N. [Bay Area Environmental Research Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Fischer, Debra [Astronomy Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT (United States); Hall, Jennifer R., E-mail: daniel.fabrycky@gmail.com [Orbital Sciences Corporation/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); and others

    2012-05-10

    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 four sets of light curves from the Kepler spacecraft, each which of shows multiple planets transiting the same star. Departure of the timing of these transits from strict periodicity indicates that 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.

  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. HABITABILITY OF EXOMOONS AT THE HILL OR TIDAL LOCKING RADIUS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Kane, Stephen R.

    2013-01-01

    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 μ 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

  4. 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.

  5. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets . XXXII. New multi-planet systems in the HARPS volume limited sample: a super-Earth and a Neptune in the habitable zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo Curto, G.; Mayor, M.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Hébrard, G.; Lovis, C.; Moutou, C.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.

    2013-03-01

    The vast diversity of planetary systems detected to date is defying our capability of understanding their formation and evolution. Well-defined volume-limited surveys are the best tool at our disposal to tackle the problem, via the acquisition of robust statistics of the orbital elements. We are using the HARPS spectrograph to conduct our survey of ≈850 nearby solar-type stars, and in the course of the past nine years we have monitored the radial velocity of HD 103774, HD 109271, and BD-061339. In this work we present the detection of five planets orbiting these stars, with msin (i) between 0.6 and 7 Neptune masses, four of which are in two multiple systems, comprising one super-Earth and one planet within the habitable zone of a late-type dwarf. Although for strategic reasons we chose efficiency over precision in this survey, we have the capability to detect planets down to the Neptune and super-Earth mass range as well as multiple systems, provided that enough data points are made available. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla (Chile), under the GTO program ID 072.C-0488 and the regular programs: 085.C-0019, 087.C-0831 and 089.C-0732. RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A59

  6. SURFACE LAYER ACCRETION IN TRANSITIONAL AND CONVENTIONAL DISKS: FROM POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS TO PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez-Becker, Daniel; Chiang, Eugene

    2011-01-01

    'Transitional' T Tauri disks have optically thin holes with radii ∼>10 AU, yet accrete up to the median T Tauri rate. Multiple planets inside the hole can torque the gas to high radial speeds over large distances, reducing the local surface density while maintaining accretion. Thus multi-planet systems, together with reductions in disk opacity due to grain growth, can explain how holes can be simultaneously transparent and accreting. There remains the problem of how outer disk gas diffuses into the hole. Here it has been proposed that the magnetorotational instability (MRI) erodes disk surface layers ionized by stellar X-rays. In contrast to previous work, we find that the extent to which surface layers are MRI-active is limited not by ohmic dissipation but by ambipolar diffusion, the latter measured by Am: the number of times a neutral hydrogen molecule collides with ions in a dynamical time. Simulations by Hawley and Stone showed that Am ∼ 100 is necessary for ions to drive MRI turbulence in neutral gas. We calculate that in X-ray-irradiated surface layers, Am typically varies from ∼10 -3 to 1, depending on the abundance of charge-adsorbing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, whose properties we infer from Spitzer observations. We conclude that ionization of H 2 by X-rays and cosmic rays can sustain, at most, only weak MRI turbulence in surface layers 1-10 g cm -2 thick, and that accretion rates in such layers are too small compared to observed accretion rates for the majority of disks.

  7. Planetary Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, James F.

    1997-01-01

    This grant was entitled 'Planetary Habitability' and the work performed under it related to elucidating the conditions that lead to habitable, i.e. Earth-like, planets. Below are listed publications for the past two and a half years that came out of this work. The main thrusts of the research involved: (1) showing under what conditions atmospheric O2 and O3 can be considered as evidence for life on a planet's surface; (2) determining whether CH4 may have played a role in warming early Mars; (3) studying the effect of varying UV levels on Earth-like planets around different types of stars to see whether this would pose a threat to habitability; and (4) studying the effect of chaotic obliquity variations on planetary climates and determining whether planets that experienced such variations might still be habitable. Several of these topics involve ongoing research that has been carried out under a new grant number, but which continues to be funded by NASA's Exobiology program.

  8. On the inclination and habitability of the HD 10180 system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, Stephen R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (United States); Gelino, Dawn M., E-mail: skane@sfsu.edu [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, MS 100-22, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2014-09-10

    There are numerous multi-planet systems that have now been detected via a variety of techniques. These systems exhibit a range of both planetary properties and orbital configurations. For those systems without detected planetary transits, a significant unknown factor is the orbital inclination. This produces an uncertainty in the mass of the planets and their related properties, such as atmospheric scale height. Here we investigate the HD 10180 system, which was discovered using the radial velocity technique. We provide a new orbital solution for the system which allows for eccentric orbits for all planets. We show how the inclination of the system affects the mass/radius properties of the planets and how the detection of phase signatures may resolve the inclination ambiguity. We finally evaluate the Habitable Zone properties of the system and show that the g planet spends 100% of an eccentric orbit within the Habitable Zone.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. HAT-P-11b: A SUPER-NEPTUNE PLANET TRANSITING A BRIGHT K STAR IN THE KEPLER FIELD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakos, G. A.; Torres, G.; Pal, A.; Hartman, J.; Noyes, R. W.; Latham, D. W.; Sasselov, D. D.; Sipocz, B.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Kovacs, Gabor; Fernandez, J.; Kovacs, Geza; Moor, A.; Fischer, D. A.; Isaacson, H.; Johnson, J. A.; Marcy, G. W.; Howard, A.; Butler, R. P.; Vogt, S.

    2010-01-01

    We report on the discovery of HAT-P-11b, the smallest radius transiting extrasolar planet (TEP) discovered from the ground, and the first hot Neptune discovered to date by transit searches. HAT-P-11b orbits the bright (V = 9.587) and metal rich ([Fe/H] = +0.31 ± 0.05) K4 dwarf star GSC 03561-02092 with P = 4.8878162 ± 0.0000071 days and produces a transit signal with depth of 4.2 mmag, the shallowest found by transit searches that is due to a confirmed planet. We present a global analysis of the available photometric and radial velocity (RV) data that result in stellar and planetary parameters, with simultaneous treatment of systematic variations. The planet, like its near-twin GJ 436b, is somewhat larger than Neptune (17 M + , 3.8 R + ) both in mass M p = 0.081 ± 0.009 M J (25.8 ± 2.9 M + ) and radius R p = 0.422 ± 0.014 R J (4.73 ± 0.16 R + ). HAT-P-11b orbits in an eccentric orbit with e = 0.198 ± 0.046 and ω = 355. 0 2 ± 17. 0 3, causing a reflex motion of its parent star with amplitude 11.6 ± 1.2 m s -1 , a challenging detection due to the high level of chromospheric activity of the parent star. Our ephemeris for the transit events is T c = 2454605.89132 ± 0.00032 (BJD), with duration 0.0957 ± 0.0012 days, and secondary eclipse epoch of 2454608.96 ± 0.15 days (BJD). The basic stellar parameters of the host star are M * = 0.809 +0.020 -0.027 M sun , R * = 0.752 ± 0.021 R sun , and T eff* = 4780 ± 50 K. Importantly, HAT-P-11 will lie on one of the detectors of the forthcoming Kepler mission; this should make possible fruitful investigations of the detailed physical characteristic of both the planet and its parent star at unprecedented precision. We discuss an interesting constraint on the eccentricity of the system by the transit light curve and stellar parameters. This will be particularly useful for eccentric TEPs with low-amplitude RV variations in Kepler's field. We also present a blend analysis, that for the first time treats the case of a

  12. RADII OF RAPIDLY ROTATING STARS, WITH APPLICATION TO TRANSITING-PLANET HOSTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Timothy M.

    2010-01-01

    The currently favored method for estimating radii and other parameters of transiting-planet host stars is to match theoretical models to observations of the stellar mean density ρ * , the effective temperature T eff , and the composition parameter [Z]. This explicitly model-dependent approach is based on readily available observations, and results in small formal errors. Its performance will be central to the reliability of results from ground-based transit surveys such as TrES, HAT, and SuperWASP, as well as to the space-borne missions MOST, CoRoT, and Kepler. Here, I use two calibration samples of stars (eclipsing binaries (EBs) and stars for which asteroseismic analyses are available) having well-determined masses and radii to estimate the accuracy and systematic errors inherent in the ρ * method. When matching to the Yonsei-Yale stellar evolution models, I find the most important systematic error results from selection bias favoring rapidly rotating (hence probably magnetically active) stars among the EB sample. If unaccounted for, this bias leads to a mass-dependent underestimate of stellar radii by as much as 4% for stars of 0.4 M sun , decreasing to zero for masses above about 1.4 M sun . Relative errors in estimated stellar masses are three times larger than those in radii. The asteroseismic sample suggests (albeit with significant uncertainty) that systematic errors are small for slowly rotating, inactive stars. Systematic errors arising from failings of the Yonsei-Yale models of inactive stars probably exist, but are difficult to assess because of the small number of well-characterized comparison stars having low mass and slow rotation. Poor information about [Z] is an important source of random error, and may be a minor source of systematic error as well. With suitable corrections for rotation, it is likely that systematic errors in the ρ * method can be comparable to or smaller than the random errors, yielding radii that are accurate to about 2% for

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Habitable zone dependence on stellar parameter uncertainties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    An important property of exoplanetary systems is the extent of the Habitable Zone (HZ), defined as that region where water can exist in a liquid state on the surface of a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure. Both ground- and space-based observations have revealed a plethora of confirmed exoplanets and exoplanetary candidates, most notably from the Kepler mission using the transit detection technique. Many of these detected planets lie within the predicted HZ of their host star. However, as is the case with the derived properties of the planets themselves, the HZ boundaries depend on how well we understand the host star. Here we quantify the uncertainties of HZ boundaries on the parameter uncertainties of the host star. We examine the distribution of stellar parameter uncertainties from confirmed exoplanet hosts and Kepler candidate hosts and translate these into HZ boundary uncertainties. We apply this to several known systems with an HZ planet to determine the uncertainty in their HZ status.

  2. Habitable zone dependence on stellar parameter uncertainties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, Stephen R., E-mail: skane@sfsu.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (United States)

    2014-02-20

    An important property of exoplanetary systems is the extent of the Habitable Zone (HZ), defined as that region where water can exist in a liquid state on the surface of a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure. Both ground- and space-based observations have revealed a plethora of confirmed exoplanets and exoplanetary candidates, most notably from the Kepler mission using the transit detection technique. Many of these detected planets lie within the predicted HZ of their host star. However, as is the case with the derived properties of the planets themselves, the HZ boundaries depend on how well we understand the host star. Here we quantify the uncertainties of HZ boundaries on the parameter uncertainties of the host star. We examine the distribution of stellar parameter uncertainties from confirmed exoplanet hosts and Kepler candidate hosts and translate these into HZ boundary uncertainties. We apply this to several known systems with an HZ planet to determine the uncertainty in their HZ status.

  3. Habitability and the Multiverse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandora, M. E.

    2017-11-01

    Are the laws of physics set to maximize the habitability of the universe? We study how plate tectonics, core and mantle composition, homochirality, photosynthesis, and planet size depend on physics, and make predictions for where life will be found.

  4. Two planetary systems with transiting Earth-size and super-Earth planets orbiting late-type dwarf stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, E. Díez; Hernández, J. I. González; Suárez Gómez, S. L.; Aguado, D. S.; González Gutiérrez, C.; Suárez Mascareño, A.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; González-Nuevo, J.; Toledo-Padrón, B.; Gracia, J.; de Cos Juez, F. J.; Rebolo, R.

    2018-06-01

    We present two new planetary systems found around cool dwarf stars with data from the K2 mission. The first system was found in K2-XX1 (EPIC 248545986), characterized in this work as M3.0V and observed in the 14th campaign of K2. It consists of three Earth-size transiting planets with radii of 1.1, 1.0 and 1.1 R⊕, showing a compact configuration with orbital periods of 5.24, 7.78 and 10.1 days, close to 2:3:4 resonance. The second was found in K2-XX2 (EPIC 249801827), characterized in this work as M0.5V and observed in the 15th campaign. It consists of two transiting super-Earths with radii 2.0 and 1.8 R⊕ and orbital periods of 6.03 and 20.5 days. The equilibrium temperatures of the atmospheres of these planets are estimated to be in the range of 380-600 K and the amplitudes of signals in transmission spectroscopy are estimated at ˜ 10 ppm.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A Versatile Technique to Enable Sub-milli-Kelvin Instrument Stability for Precise Radial Velocity Measurements: Tests with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefansson, Gudmundur; Hearty, Frederick; Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Anderson, Tyler; Levi, Eric; Bender, Chad; Nelson, Matthew; Monson, Andrew; Blank, Basil; Halverson, Samuel; Henderson, Chuck; Ramsey, Lawrence; Roy, Arpita; Schwab, Christian; Terrien, Ryan

    2016-12-01

    Insufficient instrument thermomechanical stability is one of the many roadblocks for achieving 10 cm s-1 Doppler radial velocity precision, the precision needed to detect Earth-twins orbiting solar-type stars. Highly temperature and pressure stabilized spectrographs allow us to better calibrate out instrumental drifts, thereby helping in distinguishing instrumental noise from astrophysical stellar signals. We present the design and performance of the Environmental Control System (ECS) for the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF), a high-resolution (R = 50,000) fiber-fed near-infrared (NIR) spectrograph for the 10 {{m}} Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory. HPF will operate at 180 {{K}}, driven by the choice of an H2RG NIR detector array with a 1.7 μ {{m}} cutoff. This ECS has demonstrated 0.6 {mK} rms stability over 15 days at both 180 and 300 {{K}}, and maintained high-quality vacuum (\\lt {10}-7 {Torr}) over months, during long-term stability tests conducted without a planned passive thermal enclosure surrounding the vacuum chamber. This control scheme is versatile and can be applied as a blueprint to stabilize future NIR and optical high-precision Doppler instruments over a wide temperature range from ˜77 {{K}} to elevated room temperatures. A similar ECS is being implemented to stabilize NEID, the NASA/NSF NN-EXPLORE spectrograph for the 3.5 {{m}} WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak, operating at 300 {{K}}. A [full SolidWorks 3D-CAD model] and a comprehensive parts list of the HPF ECS are included with this manuscript to facilitate the adaptation of this versatile environmental control scheme in the broader astronomical community. Certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this paper in order to specify the experimental procedure adequately. Such identification is not intended to imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor is it intended to imply that the materials or equipment

  9. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.

    2009-01-01

    As envisaged by the 2000 astrophysics decadal survey panel: The main goal of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is nothing less than to search for evidence of life on terrestrial planets around nearby stars . Here, we consider how an optical telescope paired with a free-flying occulter blocking light from the star can reach this goal directly, without knowledge of results from prior astrometric, doppler, or transit exoplanet observations. Using design reference missions and other simulations, we explore the potential of TPF-O to find planets in the habitable zone around their central stars, to spectrally characterize the atmospheres of detected planets, and to obtain rudimentary information about their orbits. We emphasize the importance of ozone absorption in the UV spectrum of a planet as a marker of photosynthesis by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Habitable worlds with no signs of life

    OpenAIRE

    Cockell, Charles S.

    2014-01-01

    ‘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...

  14. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transiting planet GJ 1132 (Southworth+, 2017)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southworth, J.; Mancini, L.; Madhusudhan, N.; Molliere, P.; Ciceri, S.; Henning, T.

    2018-05-01

    Light curves of 10 transits of the extrasolar planetary system GJ 1132 are presented. The data were obtained using the MPG 2.2m telescope with GROND imager, and observed simultaneously in the g, r, i, z, J, H and K passbands. The errorbars for each transit have been scaled so the best-fitting model (obtained using the JKTEBOP code) has a reduced chi-squared value of 1.0. (1 data file).

  15. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transiting planet WASP-6b (Tregloan-Reed+, 2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tregloan-Reed, J.; Southworth, J.; Burgdorf, M.; Calchi Novati, S.; Dominik, M.; Finet, F.; Jorgensen, U. G.; Maier, G.; Mancini, L.; Prof, S.; Ricci, D.; Snodgrass, C.; Bozza, V.; Browne, P.; Dodds, P.; Gerner, T.; Harpsoe, K.; Hinse, T. C.; Hundertmark, M.; Kains, N.; Kerins, E.; Liebig, C.; Penny, M. T.; Rahvar, S.; Sahu, K.; Scarpetta, G.; Schafer, S.; Schonebeck, F.; Skottfelt, J.; Surdej, J.

    2018-05-01

    Four light curves of transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-6 are presented. They were obtained using the Danish 1.54m telescope at ESO La Silla, Chile, in the Bessell R passband. The errorbars for each transit have been scaled so the best-fitting model (obtained using the JKTEBOP code and without accounting for the presence of starspots) has a reduced chi-squared value of 1.0. (1 data file).

  16. 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.

  17. Planet hunters. VI. An independent characterization of KOI-351 and several long period planet candidates from the Kepler archival data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Moriarty, John C.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Omohundro, Mark R.; Winarski, Troy; Goodman, Samuel Jon; Jebson, Tony; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Paterson, David A.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    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 from Earth to mini-Neptune radii and the outer planets being gas giants; however, this system is very compact, with all seven planet candidates orbiting ≲ 1 AU from their host star. A Hill stability test and an orbital integration of the system shows that the system is stable. Furthermore, we significantly add to the population of long period transiting planets; periods range from 124 to 904 days, eight of them more than one Earth year long. Seven of these 14 candidates reside in their host star's habitable zone.

  18. 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

  19. 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....

  20. HAT-P-49b: a 1.7 M {sub J} planet transiting a bright 1.5 M {sub ☉} F-star

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bieryla, A.; Latham, D. W.; Buchhave, L. A.; Béky, B.; Falco, E.; Torres, G.; Noyes, R. W.; Berlind, P.; Calkins, M. C.; Esquerdo, G. A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. Á.; Bhatti, W.; Csubry, Z.; Penev, K.; De Val-Borro, M. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Kovács, G. [Konkoly Observatory, Budapest 1121 (Hungary); Boisse, I. [Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Lázár, J.; Papp, I., E-mail: abieryla@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: gbakos@astro.princeton.edu [Hungarian Astronomical Association (HAA), Budapest 1461 (Hungary); and others

    2014-04-01

    We report the discovery of the transiting extrasolar planet HAT-P-49b. The planet transits the bright (V = 10.3) slightly evolved F-star HD 340099 with a mass of 1.54 M {sub ☉} and a radius of 1.83 R {sub ☉}. HAT-P-49b is orbiting one of the 25 brightest stars to host a transiting planet which makes this a favorable candidate for detailed follow-up. This system is an especially strong target for Rossiter-McLaughlin follow-up due to the host star's fast rotation, 16 km s{sup –1}. The planetary companion has a period of 2.6915 days, mass of 1.73 M {sub J}, and radius of 1.41 R {sub J}. The planetary characteristics are consistent with that of a classical hot Jupiter but we note that this is the fourth most massive star to host a transiting planet with both M{sub p} and R{sub p} well determined.

  1. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transiting extrasolar planet WASP-33b (Kovacs+, 2013)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, G.; Kovacs, T.; Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. A.; Bieryla, A.; Latham, D.; Noyes, R. W.; Regaly, Zs.; Esquerdo, G. A.

    2013-03-01

    Light curves (LCs) used in the time series analysis of WASP-33 are presented. All LCs are on magnitude scale. The material constitutes of: (1) the TFA-filtered/reconstructed (see Kovacs, Bakos & Noyes, 2005MNRAS.356..557K) HATNet LC in approximate Ic (Cousins) color; (2) LCs given in Table 1: except for the FLWO data (lc02) all LCs are corrected for linear trends, shifted to zero magnitude at the out-of-transit level. Time is in Heliocentric Julian Date, colors are given in Table 1. (3) Grand-averaged LC, as shown in Fig. 10 of the paper. (4 data files).

  2. 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 ...

  3. SOAP-T: a tool to study the light curve and radial velocity of a system with a transiting planet and a rotating spotted star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshagh, M.; Boisse, I.; Boué, G.; Montalto, M.; Santos, N. C.; Bonfils, X.; Haghighipour, N.

    2013-01-01

    We present an improved version of SOAP named "SOAP-T", which can generate the radial velocity variations and light curves for systems consisting of a rotating spotted star with a transiting planet. This tool can be used to study the anomalies inside transit light curves and the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, to better constrain the orbital configuration and properties of planetary systems and the active zones of their host stars. Tests of the code are presented to illustrate its performance and to validate its capability when compared with analytical models and real data. Finally, we apply SOAP-T to the active star, HAT-P-11, observed by the NASA Kepler space telescope and use this system to discuss the capability of this tool in analyzing light curves for the cases where the transiting planet overlaps with the star's spots. The tool's public interface is available at http://www.astro.up.pt/resources/soap-t/

  4. HAT-P-12b: A LOW-DENSITY SUB-SATURN MASS PLANET TRANSITING A METAL-POOR K DWARF

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. A.; Torres, G.; Noyes, R. W.; Pal, A.; Latham, D. W.; Sipocz, B.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Sasselov, D. D.; Kovacs, Gabor; Stefanik, R. P.; Fernandez, J. M.; Kovacs, Geza; Fischer, D. A.; Johnson, J. A.; Marcy, G. W.; Howard, A. W.; Butler, R. P.; Lazar, J.; Papp, I.

    2009-01-01

    We report on the discovery of HAT-P-12b, a transiting extrasolar planet orbiting the moderately bright V ∼ 12.8 K4 dwarf GSC 03033 - 00706, with a period P = 3.2130598 ± 0.0000021 d, transit epoch T c = 2454419.19556 ± 0.00020 (BJD), and transit duration 0.0974 ± 0.0006 d. The host star has a mass of 0.73 ± 0.02 M sun , radius of 0.70 +0.02 -0.01 R sun , effective temperature 4650 ± 60 K, and metallicity [Fe/H] = -0.29 ± 0.05. We find a slight correlation between the observed spectral line bisector spans and the radial velocity, so we consider, and rule out, various blend configurations including a blend with a background eclipsing binary, and hierarchical triple systems where the eclipsing body is a star or a planet. We conclude that a model consisting of a single star with a transiting planet best fits the observations, and show that a likely explanation for the apparent correlation is contamination from scattered moonlight. Based on this model, the planetary companion has a mass of 0.211 ± 0.012 M J and radius of 0.959 +0.029 -0.021 R J yielding a mean density of 0.295 ± 0.025 g cm -3 . Comparing these observations with recent theoretical models, we find that HAT-P-12b is consistent with a ∼1-4.5 Gyr, mildly irradiated, H/He-dominated planet with a core mass M C ∼ + . HAT-P-12b is thus the least massive H/He-dominated gas giant planet found to date. This record was previously held by Saturn.

  5. 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.

  6. Interpreting Brightness Asymmetries in Transition Disks: Vortex at Dead Zone or Planet-carved Gap Edges?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regály, Zs.; Juhász, A.; Nehéz, D.

    2017-12-01

    Recent submillimeter observations show nonaxisymmetric brightness distributions with a horseshoe-like morphology for more than a dozen transition disks. The most-accepted explanation for the observed asymmetries is the accumulation of dust in large-scale vortices. Protoplanetary disks’ vortices can form by the excitation of Rossby wave instability in the vicinity of a steep pressure gradient, which can develop at the edges of a giant planet–carved gap or at the edges of an accretionally inactive zone. We studied the formation and evolution of vortices formed in these two distinct scenarios by means of two-dimensional locally isothermal hydrodynamic simulations. We found that the vortex formed at the edge of a planetary gap is short-lived, unless the disk is nearly inviscid. In contrast, the vortex formed at the outer edge of a dead zone is long-lived. The vortex morphology can be significantly different in the two scenarios: the vortex radial and azimuthal extensions are ∼1.5 and ∼3.5 times larger for the dead-zone edge compared to gap models. In some particular cases, the vortex aspect ratios can be similar in the two scenarios; however, the vortex azimuthal extensions can be used to distinguish the vortex formation mechanisms. We calculated predictions for vortex observability in the submillimeter continuum with ALMA. We found that the azimuthal and radial extent of the brightness asymmetry correlates with the vortex formation process within the limitations of α-viscosity prescription.

  7. 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.

  8. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    automated batch processing of a large number of candidates.In a recently published study the results of which were announced yesterday the teamapplied their code to the entire catalog of 7,470 Kepler objects of interest.New Planets and False PositivesThe teams code was able to successfully evaluate the total false-positive probability (FPP) for 7,056 of the objects of interest. Of these, 428 objects previously identified as candidates were found to have FPP of more than 90%, suggesting that they are most likely false positives.Periods and radii of candidate and confirmed planets in the Kepler Objects of Interest catalog. Blue circles have previously been identified as confirmed planets. Candidates (orange) are shaded by false positive probability; more transparent means more likely to be a false positive. [Morton et al. 2016]In contrast, 1,935 candidates were found to have FPP of less than 1%, and were therefore declared validated planets. Of these confirmations, 1,284 were previously unconfirmed, more than doubling Keplers previous catalog of 1,041 confirmed planets. Morton and collaborators believe that 9 of these newly confirmed planets may fall within the habitable zone of their host stars.While the announcement of 1,284 newly confirmed planets is huge, the analysis presented in this study is the real news. The code used is publicly available and can be applied to any transiting exoplanet candidate. This means that this analysis technique can be used to find batches of exoplanets in data from the extended Kepler mission (K2) or from the future TESS and PLATO transit missions.CitationTimothy D. Morton et al 2016 ApJ 822 86. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/86

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Time-resolved UVES observations of a stellar flare on the planet host HD 189733 during primary transit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klocová, T.; Czesla, S.; Khalafinejad, S.; Wolter, U.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.

    2017-11-01

    Context. HD 189733 is an exoplanetary system consisting of a transiting hot Jupiter and an active K2V-type main sequence star. Rich manifestations of a stellar activity, like photometric spots or chromospheric flares were repeatedly observed in this system in optical, UV and X-rays. Aims: We aim to use VLT/UVES high resolution (R = 60 000) echelle spectra to study a stellar flare. Methods: We have performed simultaneous analyses of the temporal evolution in several chromospheric stellar lines, namely, the Ca II H & K lines (3933, 3968 Å), H α (6563 Å), H β (4861 Å), H γ (4341 Å), H δ (4102 Å), H ɛ (3970 Å), the Ca II infrared triplet lines (8498, 8542 and 8662 Å), and He I D3 (5875.6 Å). Observations were carried out with a time resolution of approximately 1 min for a duration of four hours, including a complete planetary transit. Results: We determine the energy released during the flare in all studied chromospheric lines combined to be about 8.7 × 1031 erg, which puts this event at the upper end of flare energies observed on the Sun. Our analysis does not reveal any significant delay of the flare peak observed in the Balmer and Ca II H & K lines, although we find a clear difference in the temporal evolution of these lines. The He I D3 shows additional absorption possibly related to the flare event. Based on the flux released in Ca II H & K lines during the flare, we estimate the soft X-ray flux emission to be 7 × 1030 erg. Conclusions: The observed flare can be ranked as a moderate flare on a K-type star and confirms a rather high activity level of HD 189733 host star. The cores of the studied chromospheric lines demonstrate the same behavior and let us study the flare evolution. We demonstrate that the activity of an exoplanet host star can play an important role in the detection of exoplanet atmospheres, since these are frequently discovered as an additional absorption in the line cores. A possible star-planet interaction responsible for a flare

  15. GENERALIZED MILANKOVITCH CYCLES AND LONG-TERM CLIMATIC HABITABILITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spiegel, David S.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Raymond, Sean N.; Scharf, Caleb A.; Mitchell, Jonathan L.

    2010-01-01

    Although Earth's orbit is never far from circular, terrestrial planets around other stars might experience substantial changes in eccentricity. Eccentricity variations could lead to climate changes, including possible 'phase transitions' such as the snowball transition (or its opposite). There is evidence that Earth has gone through at least one globally frozen, 'snowball' state in the last billion years, which it is thought to have exited after several million years because global ice-cover shut off the carbonate-silicate cycle, thereby allowing greenhouse gases to build up to sufficient concentration to melt the ice. Due to the positive feedback caused by the high albedo of snow and ice, susceptibility to falling into snowball states might be a generic feature of water-rich planets with the capacity to host life. This paper has two main thrusts. First, we revisit one-dimensional energy balance climate models as tools for probing possible climates of exoplanets, investigate the dimensional scaling of such models, and introduce a simple algorithm to treat the melting of the ice layer on a globally frozen planet. We show that if a terrestrial planet undergoes Milankovitch-like oscillations of eccentricity that are of great enough magnitude, it could melt out of a snowball state. Second, we examine the kinds of variations of eccentricity that a terrestrial planet might experience due to the gravitational influence of a giant companion. We show that a giant planet on a sufficiently eccentric orbit can excite extreme eccentricity oscillations in the orbit of a habitable terrestrial planet. More generally, these two results demonstrate that the long-term habitability (and astronomical observables) of a terrestrial planet can depend on the detailed architecture of the planetary system in which it resides.

  16. 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

  17. From Pixels to Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was launched in 2009 as NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Its telescope consists of a 1.5-m primary mirror and a 0.95-m aperture. The 42 charge-coupled devices in its focal plane are read out every half hour, compressed, and then downlinked monthly. After four years, the second of four reaction wheels failed, ending the original mission. Back on earth, the Science Operations Center developed the Science Pipeline to analyze about 200,000 target stars in Keplers field of view, looking for evidence of periodic dimming suggesting that one or more planets had crossed the face of its host star. The Pipeline comprises several steps, from pixel-level calibration, through noise and artifact removal, to detection of transit-like signals and the construction of a suite of diagnostic tests to guard against false positives. The Kepler Science Pipeline consists of a pipeline infrastructure written in the Java programming language, which marshals data input to and output from MATLAB applications that are executed as external processes. The pipeline modules, which underwent continuous development and refinement even after data started arriving, employ several analytic techniques, many developed for the Kepler Project. Because of the large number of targets, the large amount of data per target and the complexity of the pipeline algorithms, the processing demands are daunting. Some pipeline modules require days to weeks to process all of their targets, even when run on NASA's 128-node Pleiades supercomputer. The software developers are still seeking ways to increase the throughput. To date, the Kepler project has discovered more than 4000 planetary candidates, of which more than 1000 have been independently confirmed or validated to be exoplanets. Funding for this mission is provided by NASAs Science Mission Directorate.

  18. Ground-based search for the brightest transiting planets with the Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA: MASCARA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas A. G.; Stuik, Remko; Navarro, Ramon; Bettonvil, Felix; Kenworthy, Matthew; de Mooij, Ernst; Otten, Gilles; ter Horst, Rik; le Poole, Rudolf

    2012-09-01

    The Multi-site All-sky CAmeRA MASCARA is an instrument concept consisting of several stations across the globe, with each station containing a battery of low-cost cameras to monitor the near-entire sky at each location. Once all stations have been installed, MASCARA will be able to provide a nearly 24-hr coverage of the complete dark sky, down to magnitude 8, at sub-minute cadence. Its purpose is to find the brightest transiting exoplanet systems, expected in the V=4-8 magnitude range - currently not probed by space- or ground-based surveys. The bright/nearby transiting planet systems, which MASCARA will discover, will be the key targets for detailed planet atmosphere observations. We present studies on the initial design of a MASCARA station, including the camera housing, domes, and computer equipment, and on the photometric stability of low-cost cameras showing that a precision of 0.3-1% per hour can be readily achieved. We plan to roll out the first MASCARA station before the end of 2013. A 5-station MASCARA can within two years discover up to a dozen of the brightest transiting planet systems in the sky.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reggiani, Maddalena; Quanz, Sascha P.; Meyer, Michael R.; Amara, Adam; Avenhaus, Henning; Meru, Farzana; Pueyo, Laurent; Wolff, Schuyler; Absil, Olivier; Anglada, Guillem; Osorio, Mayra; Girard, Julien H.; Mawet, Dimitri; Milli, Julien; Gonzalez, Carlos Carrasco; Graham, James; Torrelles, Jose-Maria

    2014-01-01

    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 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

  20. Simple Plans or Sophisticated Habits? State, Transition and Learning Interactions in the Two-Step Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akam, Thomas; Costa, Rui; Dayan, Peter

    2015-12-01

    The recently developed 'two-step' behavioural task promises to differentiate model-based from model-free reinforcement learning, while generating neurophysiologically-friendly decision datasets with parametric variation of decision variables. These desirable features have prompted its widespread adoption. Here, we analyse the interactions between a range of different strategies and the structure of transitions and outcomes in order to examine constraints on what can be learned from behavioural performance. The task involves a trade-off between the need for stochasticity, to allow strategies to be discriminated, and a need for determinism, so that it is worth subjects' investment of effort to exploit the contingencies optimally. We show through simulation that under certain conditions model-free strategies can masquerade as being model-based. We first show that seemingly innocuous modifications to the task structure can induce correlations between action values at the start of the trial and the subsequent trial events in such a way that analysis based on comparing successive trials can lead to erroneous conclusions. We confirm the power of a suggested correction to the analysis that can alleviate this problem. We then consider model-free reinforcement learning strategies that exploit correlations between where rewards are obtained and which actions have high expected value. These generate behaviour that appears model-based under these, and also more sophisticated, analyses. Exploiting the full potential of the two-step task as a tool for behavioural neuroscience requires an understanding of these issues.

  1. Simple Plans or Sophisticated Habits? State, Transition and Learning Interactions in the Two-Step Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akam, Thomas; Costa, Rui; Dayan, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The recently developed ‘two-step’ behavioural task promises to differentiate model-based from model-free reinforcement learning, while generating neurophysiologically-friendly decision datasets with parametric variation of decision variables. These desirable features have prompted its widespread adoption. Here, we analyse the interactions between a range of different strategies and the structure of transitions and outcomes in order to examine constraints on what can be learned from behavioural performance. The task involves a trade-off between the need for stochasticity, to allow strategies to be discriminated, and a need for determinism, so that it is worth subjects’ investment of effort to exploit the contingencies optimally. We show through simulation that under certain conditions model-free strategies can masquerade as being model-based. We first show that seemingly innocuous modifications to the task structure can induce correlations between action values at the start of the trial and the subsequent trial events in such a way that analysis based on comparing successive trials can lead to erroneous conclusions. We confirm the power of a suggested correction to the analysis that can alleviate this problem. We then consider model-free reinforcement learning strategies that exploit correlations between where rewards are obtained and which actions have high expected value. These generate behaviour that appears model-based under these, and also more sophisticated, analyses. Exploiting the full potential of the two-step task as a tool for behavioural neuroscience requires an understanding of these issues. PMID:26657806

  2. Simple Plans or Sophisticated Habits? State, Transition and Learning Interactions in the Two-Step Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Akam

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The recently developed 'two-step' behavioural task promises to differentiate model-based from model-free reinforcement learning, while generating neurophysiologically-friendly decision datasets with parametric variation of decision variables. These desirable features have prompted its widespread adoption. Here, we analyse the interactions between a range of different strategies and the structure of transitions and outcomes in order to examine constraints on what can be learned from behavioural performance. The task involves a trade-off between the need for stochasticity, to allow strategies to be discriminated, and a need for determinism, so that it is worth subjects' investment of effort to exploit the contingencies optimally. We show through simulation that under certain conditions model-free strategies can masquerade as being model-based. We first show that seemingly innocuous modifications to the task structure can induce correlations between action values at the start of the trial and the subsequent trial events in such a way that analysis based on comparing successive trials can lead to erroneous conclusions. We confirm the power of a suggested correction to the analysis that can alleviate this problem. We then consider model-free reinforcement learning strategies that exploit correlations between where rewards are obtained and which actions have high expected value. These generate behaviour that appears model-based under these, and also more sophisticated, analyses. Exploiting the full potential of the two-step task as a tool for behavioural neuroscience requires an understanding of these issues.

  3. 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.…

  4. 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 R}pl}≤slant 2.5 {R}\\oplus will produce S/N higher than currently known exoplanets in this radius regime, such as K2-3b or K2-3c. In the terrestrial planet regime, we find that only a few anticipated TESS discoveries will result in higher S/N than currently known exoplanets, such as the TRAPPIST-1 planets, GJ1132b, and LHS1140b. However, we emphasize that this outcome is based upon Kepler-derived occurrence rates, and that co-planar compact multi-planet systems (e.g., TRAPPIST-1) may be under-represented in the predicted TESS planet yield. Finally, we apply our calculations to estimate the required magnitude of a JWST follow-up program devoted to mapping the 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).

  5. Feeding habit of the Brazilian tapir, Tapirus terrestris (Perissodactyla: Tapiridae in a vegetation transition zone in south-eastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sônia A. Talamoni

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Tapirs are considered generalist herbivores and the differences in the proportions of dietary items are often attributed to differences in the habitats where individuals live. This study characterized the feeding habit of Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758 in a nature reserve in south-eastern Brazil, located in a region considered a transition zone between the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna and the Atlantic Forest biomes. Fecal samples from T. terrestris individuals were collected monthly at six sampling areas that encompassed a total of 242.22 ha. There were 147 fresh samples found (77 during the dry season and 70 during the wet season. The diet of the tapirs in this reserve was characterized by the prevalent browsing on leaves and stems. There was a low frequency of fruit seeds in the diet of the tapirs during both the wet and dry seasons. However, in the dry season a higher percentage of samples containing seeds was observed. Fruits of Rubiaceae, Solanaceae, and Annonaceae were most consumed during the dry season. Most of the fruit seeds found presented small mean diameter (3.7-8.4 mm and most of the fruits were capsules and dry fruits. The characteristics of the fruits consumed by the tapirs indicate that they forage in the lower forest stratum and upon species from Cerrado. Additionally, Psidium myrtoides O. Berg. clusters found in the study site suggest that the tapirs may be acting as dispersal agents of this species.

  6. The habitable zone and extreme planetary orbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Stephen R; Gelino, Dawn M

    2012-10-01

    The habitable zone for a given star describes the range of circumstellar distances from the star within which a planet could have liquid water on its surface, which depends upon the stellar properties. Here we describe the development of the habitable zone concept, its application to our own solar system, and its subsequent application to exoplanetary systems. We further apply this to planets in extreme eccentric orbits and show how they may still retain life-bearing properties depending upon the percentage of the total orbit which is spent within the habitable zone. Key Words: Extrasolar planets-Habitable zone-Astrobiology.

  7. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. IV. CoRoT-Exo-4b: a transiting planet in a 9.2 day synchronous orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aigrain, S.; Collier Cameron, A.; Ollivier, M.; Pont, F.; Jorda, L.; Almenara, J. M.; Alonso, R.; Barge, P.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Deeg, H.; de La Reza, R.; Deleuil, M.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Gondoin, P.; Gillon, M.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Lammer, H.; Lanza, A. F.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Magain, P.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Paetzold, M.; Pinte, C.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Schneider, J.; Wuchter, G.; Zucker, S.

    2008-09-01

    CoRoT, the first space-based transit search, provides ultra-high-precision light curves with continuous time-sampling over periods of up to 5 months. This allows the detection of transiting planets with relatively long periods, and the simultaneous study of the host star's photometric variability. In this Letter, we report the discovery of the transiting giant planet CoRoT-Exo-4b and use the CoRoT light curve to perform a detailed analysis of the transit and determine the stellar rotation period. The CoRoT light curve was pre-processed to remove outliers and correct for orbital residuals and artefacts due to hot pixels on the detector. After removing stellar variability about each transit, the transit light curve was analysed to determine the transit parameters. A discrete autocorrelation function method was used to derive the rotation period of the star from the out-of-transit light curve. We determine the periods of the planetary orbit and star's rotation of 9.20205 ± 0.00037 and 8.87 ± 1.12 days respectively, which is consistent with this being a synchronised system. We also derive the inclination, i = 90.00_-0.085+0.000 in degrees, the ratio of the orbital distance to the stellar radius, a/Rs = 17.36-0.25+0.05, and the planet-to-star radius ratio R_p/R_s=0.1047-0.0022+0.0041. We discuss briefly the coincidence between the orbital period of the planet and the stellar rotation period and its possible implications for the system's migration and star-planet interaction history. 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, Germany, and Spain. The first CoRoT data will be available to the public in February 2009 from the CoRoT archive: http://idoc-corot.ias.u-psud.fr/ Figures 1, 4 and 5 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  8. ALMOST ALL OF KEPLER'S MULTIPLE-PLANET CANDIDATES ARE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Cochran, William D.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C.; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2012-01-01

    We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. An Improved Transit Measurement for a 2.4 R ⊕ Planet Orbiting A Bright Mid-M Dwarf K2–28

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ge; Knutson, Heather A.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Morley, Caroline V.; Werner, Michael; Gorjian, Varoujan; Beichman, Charles; Benneke, Björn; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Ciardi, David; Crossfield, Ian; Howell, Steve B.; Krick, Jessica E.; Livingston, John; Morales, Farisa Y.; Schlieder, Joshua E.

    2018-05-01

    We present a new Spitzer transit observation of K2–28b, a sub-Neptune (R p = 2.45 ± 0.28 R ⊕) orbiting a relatively bright (V mag = 16.06, K mag = 10.75) metal-rich M4 dwarf (EPIC 206318379). This star is one of only seven with masses less than 0.2 {M}ȯ known to host transiting planets, and the planet appears to be a slightly smaller analogue of GJ 1214b (2.85+/- 0.20 {R}\\oplus ). Our new Spitzer observations were taken two years after the original K2 discovery data and have a significantly higher cadence, allowing us to derive improved estimates for this planet’s radius, semimajor axis, and orbital period, which greatly reduce the uncertainty in the prediction of near future transit times for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observations. We also evaluate the system’s suitability for atmospheric characterization with JWST and find that it is currently the only small (K2–28b to be representative of the kind of mid-M systems that should be detectable in the TESS sample.

  15. HD 89345: a bright oscillating star hosting a transiting warm Saturn-sized planet observed by K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Eylen, V.; Dai, F.; Mathur, S.; Gandolfi, D.; Albrecht, S.; Fridlund, M.; García, R. A.; Guenther, E.; Hjorth, M.; Justesen, A. B.; Livingston, J.; Lund, M. N.; Pérez Hernández, F.; Prieto-Arranz, J.; Regulo, C.; Bugnet, L.; Everett, M. E.; Hirano, T.; Nespral, D.; Nowak, G.; Palle, E.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Trifonov, T.; Winn, J. N.; Barragán, O.; Beck, P. G.; Chaplin, W. J.; Cochran, W. D.; Csizmadia, S.; Deeg, H.; Endl, M.; Heeren, P.; Grziwa, S.; Hatzes, A. P.; Hidalgo, D.; Korth, J.; Mathis, S.; Montañes Rodriguez, P.; Narita, N.; Patzold, M.; Persson, C. M.; Rodler, F.; Smith, A. M. S.

    2018-05-01

    We report the discovery and characterization of HD 89345b (K2-234b; EPIC 248777106b), a Saturn-sized planet orbiting a slightly evolved star. HD 89345 is a bright star (V = 9.3 mag) observed by the K2 mission with one-minute time sampling. It exhibits solar-like oscillations. We conducted asteroseismology to determine the parameters of the star, finding the mass and radius to be 1.12^{+0.04}_{-0.01} M_⊙ and 1.657^{+0.020}_{-0.004} R_⊙, respectively. The star appears to have recently left the main sequence, based on the inferred age, 9.4^{+0.4}_{-1.3} Gyr, and the non-detection of mixed modes. The star hosts a "warm Saturn" (P = 11.8 days, Rp = 6.86 ± 0.14 R⊕). Radial-velocity follow-up observations performed with the FIES, HARPS, and HARPS-N spectrographs show that the planet has a mass of 35.7 ± 3.3 M⊕. The data also show that the planet's orbit is eccentric (e ≈ 0.2). An investigation of the rotational splitting of the oscillation frequencies of the star yields no conclusive evidence on the stellar inclination angle. We further obtained Rossiter-McLaughlin observations, which result in a broad posterior of the stellar obliquity. The planet seems to conform to the same patterns that have been observed for other sub-Saturns regarding planet mass and multiplicity, orbital eccentricity, and stellar metallicity.

  16. 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 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.

  17. 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.

  18. THREE PLANETS ORBITING WOLF 1061

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Stefan; Kreplin, Alexander; Fukugawa, Misato; Muto, Takayuki; Sitko, Michael L.; Young, Alison K.; Bate, Matthew R.; Grady, Carol; Harries, Tim T.; Monnier, John D.; Willson, Matthew; Wisniewski, John

    2017-10-01

    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 12CO(3-2) and H12CO+ (4-3) excess line emission, likely tracing the increased scale-height in these disk regions.

  2. Exploring Disks Around Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    Giant planets are thought to form in circumstellar disks surrounding young stars, but material may also accrete into a smaller disk around the planet. Weve never detected one of these circumplanetary disks before but thanks to new simulations, we now have a better idea of what to look for.Image from previous work simulating a Jupiter-mass planet forming inside a circumstellar disk. The planet has its own circumplanetary disk of accreted material. [Frdric Masset]Elusive DisksIn the formation of giant planets, we think the final phase consists of accretion onto the planet from a disk that surrounds it. This circumplanetary disk is important to understand, since it both regulates the late gas accretion and forms the birthplace of future satellites of the planet.Weve yet to detect a circumplanetary disk thus far, because the resolution needed to spot one has been out of reach. Now, however, were entering an era where the disk and its kinematics may be observable with high-powered telescopes (like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array).To prepare for such observations, we need models that predict the basic characteristics of these disks like the mass, temperature, and kinematic properties. Now a researcher at the ETH Zrich Institute for Astronomy in Switzerland, Judit Szulgyi, has worked toward this goal.Simulating CoolingSzulgyi performs a series of 3D global radiative hydrodynamic simulations of 1, 3, 5, and 10 Jupiter-mass (MJ) giant planets and their surrounding circumplanetary disks, embedded within the larger circumstellar disk around the central star.Density (left column), temperature (center), and normalized angular momentum (right) for a 1 MJ planet over temperatures cooling from 10,000 K (top) to 1,000 K (bottom). At high temperatures, a spherical circumplanetary envelope surrounds the planet, but as the planet cools, the envelope transitions around 64,000 K to a flattened disk. [Szulgyi 2017]This work explores the effects of different planet temperatures and

  3. 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 ?

  4. Atmospheric studies of habitability in the Gliese 581 system

    OpenAIRE

    von Paris, P.; Gebauer, S.; Godolt, M.; Rauer, H.; Stracke, B.

    2011-01-01

    The M-type star Gliese 581 is orbited by at least one terrestrial planet candidate in the habitable zone, i.e. GL 581 d. Orbital simulations have shown that additional planets inside the habitable zone of GL 581 would be dynamically stable. Recently, two further planet candidates have been claimed, one of them in the habitable zone. In view of the ongoing search for planets around M stars which is expected to result in numerous detections of potentially habitable Super-Earths, we take the GL ...

  5. 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.

  6. Environmental Signatures for Habitability: What to Measure and How to Rank the Habitability Potential of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Mahaffy, Paul M.; Steele, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    approach we have taken to measure habitability on Earth is : 1. Study remote sensing data, maps, etc. 2. Decide how big an area to measure. 3. Determine the spatial sampling rate. 4. Determine the temporal sampling rate. 5. Determine the order of measurements 6. Decide where to begin measurements 7. Select locations at field site and proceed While science drives each of the steps, there are additional constraints, e.g., technical, time, cost, safety (risk). This approach is also executable on Mars. Measurement of past habitability is more challenging both for Earth and Mars where access to the past means subsurface access and confrontation with unknowns about preservation of the martian past. Some environments preserve evidence of past habitability better than others, and this is where selection of the landing site to maximize the preservation potential of habitability indicators will be key. Mars presents an opportunity to discover transitional states between habitable or not, and we offer a ranking scale for planetary habitability with Mars as the second test subject: CLASS ONE Uninhabitable and likely has never been so CLASS TWO Has a high potential but no confirmed observation of life (as defined above) CLASS THREE Inhabited (we find life) 3-A Globally inhabited 3-B Primitive life; early in its evolution, but not yet globally established 3-C Exists only in refugia -- planet heading toward class four CLASS FOUR Post-habitable (there once was life, but now it's gone) MSL provides an opportunity to carefully investigate the habitability of at least one site on Mars and it will reveal much about the possible states of planetary habitability

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    2018-06-01

    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' that 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Dynamical habitability of planetary systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, Rudolf; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Bois, Eric; Schwarz, Richard; Funk, Barbara; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Lammer, Helmut; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Frank; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The problem of the stability of planetary systems, a question that concerns only multiplanetary systems that host at least two planets, is discussed. The problem of mean motion resonances is addressed prior to discussion of the dynamical structure of the more than 350 known planets. The difference with regard to our own Solar System with eight planets on low eccentricity is evident in that 60% of the known extrasolar planets have orbits with eccentricity e > 0.2. We theoretically highlight the studies concerning possible terrestrial planets in systems with a Jupiter-like planet. We emphasize that an orbit of a particular nature only will keep a planet within the habitable zone around a host star with respect to the semimajor axis and its eccentricity. In addition, some results are given for individual systems (e.g., Gl777A) with regard to the stability of orbits within habitable zones. We also review what is known about the orbits of planets in double-star systems around only one component (e.g., gamma Cephei) and around both stars (e.g., eclipsing binaries).

  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. The Habitable Zone and Extreme Planetary Orbits

    OpenAIRE

    Kane, Stephen R.; Gelino, Dawn M.

    2012-01-01

    The habitable zone for a given star describes the range of circumstellar distances from the star within which a planet could have liquid water on its surface, which depends upon the stellar properties. Here we describe the development of the habitable zone concept, its application to our own solar system, and its subsequent application to exoplanetary systems. We further apply this to planets in extreme eccentric orbits and show how they may still retain life-bearing properties depending upon...

  13. 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

  14. Small vs. large dust grains in transitional disks: do different cavity sizes indicate a planet?. SAO 206462 (HD 135344B) in polarized light with VLT/NACO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garufi, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Avenhaus, H.; Buenzli, E.; Dominik, C.; Meru, F.; Meyer, M. R.; Pinilla, P.; Schmid, H. M.; Wolf, S.

    2013-12-01

    Context. Transitional disks represent a short stage of the evolution of circumstellar material. Studies of dust grains in these objects can provide pivotal information on the mechanisms of planet formation. Dissimilarities in the spatial distribution of small (μm-size) and large (mm-size) dust grains have recently been pointed out. Aims: Constraints on the small dust grains can be obtained by imaging the distribution of scattered light at near-infrared wavelengths. We aim at resolving structures in the surface layer of transitional disks (with particular emphasis on the inner 10-50 AU), thus increasing the scarce sample of high-resolution images of these objects. Methods: We obtained VLT/NACO near-IR high-resolution polarimetric differential imaging observations of SAO 206462 (HD 135344B). This technique allows one to image the polarized scattered light from the disk without any occulting mask and to reach an inner working angle of ~0.1″. Results: A face-on disk is detected in H and Ks bands between 0.1″ and 0.9″. No significant differences are seen between the H and Ks images. In addition to the spiral arms, these new data allow us to resolve for the first time an inner disk cavity for small dust grains. The cavity size (≃28 AU) is much smaller than what is inferred for large dust grains from (sub-)mm observations (39 to 50 AU). This discrepancy cannot be ascribed to any resolution effect. Conclusions: The interaction between the disk and potential orbiting companion(s) can explain both the spiral arm structure and the discrepant cavity sizes for small and large dust grains. One planet may be carving out the gas (and, thus, the small grains) at 28 AU, and generating a pressure bump at larger radii (39 AU), which holds back the large grains. We analytically estimate that, in this scenario, a single giant planet (with a mass between 5 and 15 MJ) at 17 to 20 AU from the star is consistent with the observed cavity sizes. Based on observations collected at the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Extrasolar Planets Observed with JWST and the ELTs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake

    2010-01-01

    The advent of cryogenic space-borne infrared observatories such as the Spitzer Space Telescope has lead to a revolution in the study of planets and planetary systems orbiting sun-like stars. Already Spitzer has characterized the emergent infrared spectra of close-in giant exoplanets using transit and eclipse techniques. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to extend these studies to superEarth exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars in the near solar neighborhood. The forthcoming ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will playa key role in these studies, being especially valuable for spectroscopy at higher spectral resolving powers where large photon fluxes are needed. The culmination of this work within the next two decades will be the detection and spectral characterization of the major molecular constituents in the atmosphere of a habitable superEarth orbiting a nearby lower main sequence star.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Quantitative habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shock, Everett L; Holland, Melanie E

    2007-12-01

    A framework is proposed for a quantitative approach to studying habitability. Considerations of environmental supply and organismal demand of energy lead to the conclusions that power units are most appropriate and that the units for habitability become watts per organism. Extreme and plush environments are revealed to be on a habitability continuum, and extreme environments can be quantified as those where power supply only barely exceeds demand. Strategies for laboratory and field experiments are outlined that would quantify power supplies, power demands, and habitability. An example involving a comparison of various metabolisms pursued by halophiles is shown to be well on the way to a quantitative habitability analysis.

  3. Habit formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kyle S; Graybiel, Ann M

    2016-03-01

    Habits, both good ones and bad ones, are pervasive in animal behavior. Important frameworks have been developed to understand habits through psychological and neurobiological studies. This work has given us a rich understanding of brain networks that promote habits, and has also helped us to understand what constitutes a habitual behavior as opposed to a behavior that is more flexible and prospective. Mounting evidence from studies using neural recording methods suggests that habit formation is not a simple process. We review this evidence and take the position that habits could be sculpted from multiple dissociable changes in neural activity. These changes occur across multiple brain regions and even within single brain regions. This strategy of classifying components of a habit based on different brain signals provides a potentially useful new way to conceive of disorders that involve overly fixed behaviors as arising from different potential dysfunctions within the brain's habit network.

  4. Habit formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kyle S.; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

    Habits, both good ones and bad ones, are pervasive in animal behavior. Important frameworks have been developed to understand habits through psychological and neurobiological studies. This work has given us a rich understanding of brain networks that promote habits, and has also helped us to understand what constitutes a habitual behavior as opposed to a behavior that is more flexible and prospective. Mounting evidence from studies using neural recording methods suggests that habit formation is not a simple process. We review this evidence and take the position that habits could be sculpted from multiple dissociable changes in neural activity. These changes occur across multiple brain regions and even within single brain regions. This strategy of classifying components of a habit based on different brain signals provides a potentially useful new way to conceive of disorders that involve overly fixed behaviors as arising from different potential dysfunctions within the brain's habit network. PMID:27069378

  5. Polarized Light Imaging of the HD 142527 Transition Disk with the Gemini Planet Imager: Dust around the Close-in Companion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Follette, Katherine B.; Weinberger, Alycia; Close, Laird; Hines, Dean C.

    2014-08-01

    When giant planets form, they grow by accreting gas and dust. HD 142527 is a young star that offers a scaled-up view of this process. It has a broad, asymmetric ring of gas and dust beyond ~100 AU and a wide inner gap. Within the gap, a low-mass stellar companion orbits the primary star at just ~12 AU, and both the primary and secondary are accreting gas. In an attempt to directly detect the dusty counterpart to this accreted gas, we have observed HD 142527 with the Gemini Planet Imager in polarized light at Y band (0.95-1.14 μm). We clearly detect the companion in total intensity and show that its position and photometry are generally consistent with the expected values. We also detect a point source in polarized light that may be spatially separated by ~ a few AU from the location of the companion in total intensity. This suggests that dust is likely falling onto or orbiting the companion. Given the possible contribution of scattered light from this dust to previously reported photometry of the companion, the current mass limits should be viewed as upper limits only. If the dust near the companion is eventually confirmed to be spatially separated, this system would resemble a scaled-up version of the young planetary system inside the gap of the transition disk around LkCa 15. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministrio da Cincia, Tecnologia e Inovao (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.; Moorhead, Althea V.; Morehead, Robert C. [Astronomy Department, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Sciences Center, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel C. [UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Steffen, Jason H. [Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, P.O. Box 500, MS 127, Batavia, IL 60510 (United States); Carter, Joshua A.; Fressin, Francois; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin; Charbonneau, David [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Burke, Christopher J.; Caldwell, Douglas A. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Welsh, William F. [Astronomy Department, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-1221 (United States); Allen, Christopher [Orbital Sciences Corporation/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A., E-mail: eford@astro.ufl.edu [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Collaboration: Kepler Science Team; and others

    2012-05-10

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Prospects for Habitable World Detections Using James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    Doppler and transit surveys are finding extrasolar planets of ever smaller mass and radius, and are now sampling the domain of superEarths. Recent results from the Doppler surveys suggest that discovery of a transiting superEarth in the habitable zone of a lower main sequence star may be possible. We evaluate the prospects for an all-sky transit survey targeted to the brightest stars I that would find the most favorable cases for photometric and spectroscopic characterization using the James Webb Space Telescope. We use the proposed Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) as representative of an all-sky survey. We couple the simulated TESS yield to a sensitivity model for the MIRI and NIRSpec instruments on JWST. Our sensitivity model includes all currently known and anticipated sources of random and systematic error for these instruments. We focus on the TESS planets with radii between Earth and Neptune. Our simulations consider secondary eclipse filter photometry using JWST/MIRI, comparing the 11- and 15- micron bands to measure carbon dioxide absorption in superEarths, as well as JWST!NIRSpec spectroscopy of water absorption from 1.7-3.0 microns, and carbon dioxide absorption at 4.3 microns. We find that JWST will be capable of characterizing dozens of TESS superEarths with temperatures above the habitable range, using both MIRI and NIRspec. We project that TESS will discover about eight nearby habitable transiting superEarths, all orbiting lower main sequence stars. The principal sources of uncertainty in the prospects for JWST characterization of habitable superEarths are superEarth frequency and the nature of superEarth atmospheres. Based on our estimates of these uncertainties, we project that JWST will be able to measure the temperature, and identify molecular absorptions (water, carbon dioxide) in one to four nearby habitable TESS superEarths orbiting lower main sequence stars.

  10. The Habitable Zone Gallery and its Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelino, Dawn M.; Kane, S. R.

    2012-05-01

    The Habitable Zone Gallery (www.hzgallery.org) is a service to the exoplanet community which provides Habitable Zone (HZ) information for each of the exoplanetary systems with known planetary orbital parameters. The service includes a sortable table, a plot with the period and eccentricity of each of the planets with respect to their time spent in the HZ, a gallery of known systems which plot the orbits and the location of the HZ with respect to those orbits, and orbital movies. Here we discuss various educational and scientific applications of the site such as target selection, exploring planets with eccentric orbits, and investigating habitability.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-03-20

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Scratching the Surface of Martian Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.

    2014-01-01

    Earth and Mars, though formed at the same time from the same materials, look very different today. Early in their histories they evolved through some of the same processes, but at some point their evolutionary paths diverged, sending them in perhaps irrevocably different directions. Knowledge of the factors that contributed to such different outcomes will help to determine how planets become habitable and how common habitable planets may be. The Mars surface environment is harsh today, but in situ measurements of ancient sedimentary rock by Mars Science Laboratory reveal chemical and mineralogical evidence of past conditions that might have been more favorable for life to exist. But chemistry is only part of what is required to make an environment habitable. Physical conditions constrain the chemical reactions that underlie life processes; the chemical and physical characteristics that make planets habitable are thus entangled.

  15. Kepler Mission: a Discovery-Class Mission Designed to Determine the Frequency of Earth-Size and Larger Planets Around Solar-Like Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack; Basri, Gibor; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward W.; Gilliland, Ronald; Caldwell, Douglas; Kondo, Yoji; hide

    2002-01-01

    The first step in discovering the extent of life in our galaxy is to determine the number of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler Mission is designed around a 0.95 in aperture Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. Measurements of the depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. When combined with ground-based spectroscopy of these stars to fix the stellar parameters, the true planet radius and orbit scale, hence the position relative to the HZ are determined. These spectra are also used to discover the relationships between the characteristics of planets and the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of terrestrial planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. Extending the mission to six years doubles the expected number of Earth-size planets in the HZ. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ occur in less than 1% of the stars and that life might be quite rare. Based on the results of the current Doppler-velocity discoveries, detection of a thousand giant planets is expected. Information on their albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained.

  16. 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.

  17. KEPLER'S FIRST ROCKY PLANET: KEPLER-10b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Haas, Michael R.; Koch, David G.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Fressin, Francois; Latham, David W.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Joergen; Kjeldsen, Hans; Ciardi, David; Dunham, Edward W.; Gautier, Thomas N. III; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Howell, Steve B.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission uses transit photometry to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The mission reached a milestone toward meeting that goal: the discovery of its first rocky planet, Kepler-10b. Two distinct sets of transit events were detected: (1) a 152 ± 4 ppm dimming lasting 1.811 ± 0.024 hr with ephemeris T [BJD] =2454964.57375 +0.00060 -0.00082 + N*0.837495 +0.000004 -0.000005 days and (2) a 376 ± 9 ppm dimming lasting 6.86 ± 0.07 hr with ephemeris T [BJD] =2454971.6761 +0.0020 -0.0023 + N*45.29485 +0.00065 -0.00076 days. Statistical tests on the photometric and pixel flux time series established the viability of the planet candidates triggering ground-based follow-up observations. Forty precision Doppler measurements were used to confirm that the short-period transit event is due to a planetary companion. The parent star is bright enough for asteroseismic analysis. Photometry was collected at 1 minute cadence for >4 months from which we detected 19 distinct pulsation frequencies. Modeling the frequencies resulted in precise knowledge of the fundamental stellar properties. Kepler-10 is a relatively old (11.9 ± 4.5 Gyr) but otherwise Sun-like main-sequence star with T eff = 5627 ± 44 K, M * = 0.895 ± 0.060 M sun , and R * = 1.056 ± 0.021 R sun . Physical models simultaneously fit to the transit light curves and the precision Doppler measurements yielded tight constraints on the properties of Kepler-10b that speak to its rocky composition: M P = 4.56 +1.17 -1.29 M + , R P = 1.416 +0.033 -0.036 R + , and ρ P = 8.8 +2.1 -2.9 g cm -3 . Kepler-10b is the smallest transiting exoplanet discovered to date.

  18. 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.

  19. Trajectories of martian habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-02-01

    Beginning from two plausible starting points-an uninhabited or inhabited Mars-this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling climate diversity, tidal dynamics and the fate of volatiles on TRAPPIST-1 planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turbet, Martin; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Forget, François; Selsis, Franck; Tobie, Gabriel; Caldas, Anthony; Naar, Joseph; Gillon, Michaël

    2018-05-01

    TRAPPIST-1 planets are invaluable for the study of comparative planetary science outside our solar system and possibly habitability. Both transit timing variations (TTV) of the planets and the compact, resonant architecture of the system suggest that TRAPPIST-1 planets could be endowed with various volatiles today. First, we derived from N-body simulations possible planetary evolution scenarios, and show that all the planets are likely in synchronous rotation. We then used a versatile 3D global climate model (GCM) to explore the possible climates of cool planets around cool stars, with a focus on the TRAPPIST-1 system. We investigated the conditions required for cool planets to prevent possible volatile species to be lost permanently by surface condensation, irreversible burying or photochemical destruction. We also explored the resilience of the same volatiles (when in condensed phase) to a runaway greenhouse process. We find that background atmospheres made of N2, CO, or O2 are rather resistant to atmospheric collapse. However, even if TRAPPIST-1 planets were able to sustain a thick background atmosphere by surviving early X/EUV radiation and stellar wind atmospheric erosion, it is difficult for them to accumulate significant greenhouse gases like CO2, CH4, or NH3. CO2 can easily condense on the permanent nightside, forming CO2 ice glaciers that would flow toward the substellar region. A complete CO2 ice surface cover is theoretically possible on TRAPPIST-1g and h only, but CO2 ices should be gravitationally unstable and get buried beneath the water ice shell in geologically short timescales. Given TRAPPIST-1 planets large EUV irradiation (at least 103 × Titan's flux), CH4 and NH3 are photodissociated rapidly and are thus hard to accumulate in the atmosphere. Photochemical hazes could then sedimentate and form a surface layer of tholins that would progressively thicken over the age of the TRAPPIST-1 system. Regarding habitability, we confirm that few bars of CO2

  4. The Possibility of Multiple Habitable Worlds Orbiting Binary Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, P. A.

    2014-03-01

    Are there planetary systems for which there is life on multiple worlds? Where are these fruitful planetary systems and how do we detect them? In order to address these questions; conditions which enable life and those that prevent or destroy it must be considered. Many constraints are specific to planetary systems, independent of the number of worlds in habitable zones. For instance, life on rocky planets or moons likely requires the right abundance of volatiles and radiogenic elements for prolonged geologic activity. Catastrophic sterilization events such as nearby supernovae and gamma-ray bursts affect entire planetary systems not just specific worlds. Giant planets may either enhance or disrupt the development of complex life within a given system. It might be rare for planetary systems to possess qualities that promote life and lucky enough to avoid cataclysm. However, multiple habitable planets may provide enhanced chances for advanced life to develop. The best predictor of life on one habitable zone planet might be the presence of life on its neighbor as panspermia may occur in planetary systems with several habitable worlds. Circumbinary habitability may go hand in hand with habitability of multiple worlds. The circumstances in which the Binary Habitability Mechanism (BHM) operates are reviewed. In some cases, the early synchronization of the primary's rotation with the binary period results in a reduction of XUV flux and stellar winds. Main sequence binaries with periods in the 10-50 days provide excellent habitable environments, within which multiple worlds may thrive. Planets and moons in these habitable zones need less magnetic protection than their single star counterparts. Exomoons orbiting a Neptune-like planet, within a BHM protected habitable zone, are expected to be habitable over a wide range of semimajor axes due to a larger planetary Hill radius. A result confirmed by numerical orbital calculations. Binaries containing a solar type star with a

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.)

  8. Lonely life of a double planet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-08-25

    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.).

  9. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kodama, Takanori; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori; Zahnle, Kevin J.

    2015-01-01

    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 ml ) consistent with a planet being a land planet, and the critical amount of water vapor in the atmosphere (M 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 cv = 3 m in precipitable water and M 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 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

  11. Kepler Mission: A Wide-FOV Photometer Designed to Determine the Frequency of Earth-Size and Larger Planets Around Solar-like stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack; Basri, Gibor; Caldwell, John; Cochran, William; Dunham, Edward W.; Gilliland, Ronald; Jenkins, Jon M.; Caldwell, Douglas; hide

    2002-01-01

    The first step in discovering the extent of life in our galaxy is to determine the number of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler Mission is designed around a 0.95 m aperture Schmidt-type telescope with an array of 42 CCDs designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100,000 solar-like stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. Measurements of the depth and repetition time of transits provide the size of the planet relative to the star and its orbital period. When combined with ground-based spectroscopy of these stars to fix the stellar parameters, the true planet radius and orbit scale, hence the position relative to the HZ are determined. These spectra are also used to discover the relationships between the characteristics of planets and the stars they orbit. In particular, the association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, hundreds of terrestrial planets should be discovered in and near the HZ of their stars if such planets are common. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets in the HZ occur in less than 1% of the stars and that life might be quite rare. Based on the results of the current doppler-velocity discoveries, detection of a thousand giant planets is expected. Information on their albedos and densities of those giants showing transits will be obtained.

  12. 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.

  13. Planetary Habitability and Rapid Environmental Change: The Biological Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Fairen, A.; Irwin, L.

    2012-12-01

    Environmental conditions can change drastically and rapidly during the natural history of a planetary body. We have detailed evidence of these dramatic events from Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan. Most of these occurrences seem to be triggered by astronomical events such as asteroid impacts or supernova explosions; others are triggered by the planet or moon itself (e.g., supervolcano eruptions). The associated question is always how these events affect the habitability of a planet, particularly the origin and presence of life. Under what conditions would such a drastic event be so catastrophic that it would prohibit the origin of life or be so devastating to existing organisms, that life would not be able to recover and be all but extinguished from a planet? Under what conditions would such an event be positive for the evolution of life, for example spurring life via mass extinctions and associated vacant habitats to the invention of new body plans and higher complexity? Here, we provide insights of what we can learn from the natural history of our own planet, which experienced many environmental disasters and abrupt climate changes, from the impact event that created the Moon to the extinction of the dinosaurs. We apply these insights to other planetary bodies and the question about the presence of life. One example is Mars, which underwent drastic environmental changes at the end of the Noachian period. Assuming that microbial life became established on Mars, could it have survived, perhaps by retreating to environmental niches? Life just starting out would have certainly been more vulnerable to extinction. But how far would it have to have evolved to be more resistant to potential extinction events? Would it have to be global in distribution to survive? Another example is Venus. Should Venus be seen as an example where life, which possibly arose in the first few hundred million years when the planet was still in the habitable zone, would have had no chance to

  14. THE ORBITAL PHASES AND SECONDARY TRANSITS OF KEPLER-10b. A PHYSICAL INTERPRETATION BASED ON THE LAVA-OCEAN PLANET MODEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rouan, D.; Deeg, H. J.; Demangeon, O.; Samuel, B.; Cavarroc, C.; Léger, A.; Fegley, B.

    2011-01-01

    The Kepler mission has made an important observation: the first detection of photons from a terrestrial planet by observing its phase curve (Kepler-10b). This opens a new field in exoplanet science: the possibility of obtaining information about the atmosphere and surface of rocky planets, objects of prime interest. In this Letter, we apply the Lava-ocean model to interpret the observed phase curve. The model, a planet without atmosphere and a surface partially made of molten rocks, has been proposed for planets of the class of CoRoT-7b, i.e., rocky planets very close to their star (at a few stellar radii). Kepler-10b is a typical member of this family. It predicts that the light from the planet has an important emission component in addition to the reflected one, even in the Kepler spectral band. Assuming an isotropical reflection of light by the planetary surface (Lambertian-like approximation), we find that a Bond albedo of ∼50% can account for the observed amplitude of the phase curve, as opposed to a first attempt where an unusually high value was found. We propose a physical process to explain this still large value of the albedo. The overall interpretation can be tested in the future with instruments such as the James Webb Space Telescope or the Exoplanet Characterization Observatory. Our model predicts a spectral dependence that is clearly distinguishable from that of purely reflected light and from that of a planet at a uniform temperature.

  15. ALMOST ALL OF KEPLER'S MULTIPLE-PLANET CANDIDATES ARE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100, Copenhagen (Denmark); Ciardi, David R. [Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Cochran, William D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Fabrycky, Daniel C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C. [University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L., E-mail: Jack.Lissauer@nasa.gov [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); and others

    2012-05-10

    We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

  16. 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

  17. HABEBEE: habitability of eyeball-exo-Earths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Sapers, Haley; Citron, Robert; Bergantini, Alexandre; Lutz, Stefanie; Queiroz, Luciano Lopes; da Rosa Alexandre, Marcelo; Araujo, Ana Carolina Vieira

    2013-03-01

    Extrasolar Earth and super-Earth planets orbiting within the habitable zone of M dwarf host stars may play a significant role in the discovery of habitable environments beyond Earth. Spectroscopic characterization of these exoplanets with respect to habitability requires the determination of habitability parameters with respect to remote sensing. The habitable zone of dwarf stars is located in close proximity to the host star, such that exoplanets orbiting within this zone will likely be tidally locked. On terrestrial planets with an icy shell, this may produce a liquid water ocean at the substellar point, one particular "Eyeball Earth" state. In this research proposal, HABEBEE: exploring the HABitability of Eyeball-Exo-Earths, we define the parameters necessary to achieve a stable icy Eyeball Earth capable of supporting life. Astronomical and geochemical research will define parameters needed to simulate potentially habitable environments on an icy Eyeball Earth planet. Biological requirements will be based on detailed studies of microbial communities within Earth analog environments. Using the interdisciplinary results of both the physical and biological teams, we will set up a simulation chamber to expose a cold- and UV-tolerant microbial community to the theoretically derived Eyeball Earth climate states, simulating the composition, atmosphere, physical parameters, and stellar irradiation. Combining the results of both studies will enable us to derive observable parameters as well as target decision guidance and feasibility analysis for upcoming astronomical platforms.

  18. 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.

  19. Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolak, Morris

    2018-04-01

    Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues to the formation process. The first is that the most primitive form of material in interstellar space exists as a dilute gas. Some of this gas is unstable against gravitational collapse, and begins to contract. Because the angular momentum of the gas is not zero, it contracts along the spin axis, but remains extended in the plane perpendicular to that axis, so that a disk is formed. Viscous processes in the disk carry most of the mass into the center where a star eventually forms. In the process, almost as a by-product, a planetary system is formed as well. The second clue is the time required. Young stars are indeed observed to have gas disks, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, surrounding them, and observations tell us that these disks dissipate after about 5 to 10 million years. If planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are very rich in hydrogen and helium, are to form in such a disk, they must accrete their gas within 5 million years of the time of the formation of the disk. Any formation scenario one proposes must produce Jupiter in that time, although the terrestrial planets, which don't contain significant amounts of hydrogen and helium, could have taken longer to build. Modern estimates for the formation time of the Earth are of the order of 100 million years. To date there are two main candidate theories for producing Jupiter-like planets. The core accretion (CA) scenario supposes that any solid materials in the disk slowly coagulate into protoplanetary cores with progressively larger masses. If the core remains small enough it won't have a strong enough gravitational force to attract gas from the surrounding disk, and the result will be a terrestrial planet. If the core grows large enough (of the order of ten Earth masses), and the disk has not yet dissipated, then

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  1. Stellar variability and its implications for photometric planet detection with Kepler

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, N. M.; Jenkins, J.; Basri, G. S.; Borucki, W. J.; Koch, D. G.

    2002-01-01

    Kepler is one of three candidates for the next NASA Discovery Mission and will survey the extended solar neighborhood to detect and characterize hundreds of terrestrial (and larger) planets in or near the habitable zone. Its strength lies in its ability to detect large numbers of Earth-sized planets - planets which produced a 10-4 change in relative stellar brightness during a transit across the disk of a sun-like parent star. Such a detection requires high instrumental relative precision and is facilitated by observing stars which are photometrically quiet on hourly timescales. Probing stellar variability across the HR diagram, one finds that many of the photometrically quietest stars are the F and G dwarfs. The Hipparcos photometric database shows the lowest photometric variances among stars of this spectral class. Our own Sun is a prime example with RMS variations over a few rotational cycles of typically (3 - 4)×10-4 (computed from VIRGO/DIARAD data taken Jan-Mar 2001). And variability on the hourly time scales crucial for planet detection is significantly smaller: just (2 - 5)×10-5. This bodes well for planet detection programs such as Kepler and Eddington. With significant numbers of photometrically quiet solar-type stars, Earth-sized planets should be readily identified provided they are abundant in the solar neighborhood. In support of the Kepler science objectives, we have initiated a study of stellar variability and its implications for planet detection. Herein, we summarize existing observational and theoretrical work with the objective of determining the percentage of stars in the Kepler field of view expected to be photometrically stable at a level which allows for Earth-sized planet detection.

  2. Lyman-alpha transit observations of the warm rocky exoplanet GJ1132b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waalkes, William; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth; Dittmann, Jason; Bourrier, Vincent; Ehrenreich, David; Kempton, Eliza; Will

    2018-06-01

    GJ1132b is one of the few known Earth-sized planets, and at 12pc away it is also one of the closest known transiting planets. With an equilibrium temperature of 500 K, this planet is too hot to be habitable but we can use it to learn about the presence and volatile content of rocky planet atmospheres around M dwarf stars. Using Hubble STIS spectra obtained during primary transit, we search for a Lyman-α transit. If we were to observe a deep Lyman-α transit, that would indicate the presence of a neutral hydrogen envelope flowing from GJ1132b. On the other hand, ruling out deep absorption from neutral hydrogen may indicate that this planet has either retained its volatiles or lost them very early in the star’s life. We carry out this analysis by extracting 1D spectra from the STIS pipeline, splitting the time-tagged spectra into higher resolution samples, and producing light curves of the red and blue wings of the Lyman-α line. We fit for the baseline stellar flux and transit depths in order to constrain the characteristics of the cloud of neutral hydrogen gas that may surround the planet. We do not conclusively detect a transit but the results provide an upper limit for the transit depth. We also analyze the stellar variability and Lyman-α spectrum of GJ1132, a slowly-rotating 0.18 solar mass M dwarf with previously uncharacterized UV activity. Understanding the role that UV variability plays in planetary atmospheres and volatile retention is crucial to assess atmospheric evolution and the habitability of cooler rocky planets.

  3. Two drastically different climate states on an Earth-like terra-planet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kalidindi

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available We study an Earth-like terra-planet (water-limited terrestrial planet with an overland recycling mechanism bringing fresh water back from the high latitudes to the low latitudes. By performing model simulations for such a planet we find two drastically different climate states for the same set of boundary conditions and parameter values: a cold and wet (CW state with dominant low-latitude precipitation and a hot and dry (HD state with only high-latitude precipitation. We notice that for perpetual equinox conditions, both climate states are stable below a certain threshold value of background soil albedo while above the threshold only the CW state is stable. Starting from the HD state and increasing background soil albedo above the threshold causes an abrupt shift from the HD state to the CW state resulting in a sudden cooling of about 35 °C globally, which is of the order of the temperature difference between present day and the Snowball Earth state. When albedo starting from the CW state is reduced down to zero the terra-planet does not shift back to the HD state (no closed hysteresis. This is due to the high cloud cover in the CW state hiding the surface from solar irradiation so that surface albedo has only a minor effect on the top of the atmosphere radiation balance. Additional simulations with present-day Earth's obliquity all lead to the CW state, suggesting a similar abrupt transition from the HD state to the CW state when increasing obliquity from zero. Our study also has implications for the habitability of Earth-like terra-planets. At the inner edge of the habitable zone, the higher cloud cover in the CW state cools the planet and may prevent the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. At the outer edge, the resupply of water at low latitudes stabilizes the greenhouse effect and keeps the planet in the HD state and may prevent water from getting trapped at high latitudes in frozen form. Overall, the existence of bistability in the

  4. Exomoon habitability constrained by illumination and tidal heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Barnes, Rory

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Planets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Avoiding 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' In Exoplanet Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, N. R.

    2017-11-01

    I will discuss the short-comings in the current definition of the habitable zone as well as how to move forward, taking into account both the physical and chemical relationships between a star and its planet.

  10. 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...

  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. Effects of Extreme Obliquity Variations on the Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Possible Habitability of Ocean Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noack, Lena; Höning, Dennis; Bredehöft, Jan H.; Lammer, Helmut

    2014-05-01

    In the last decade, the number of detected exoplanets has increased to over thousand confirmed planets and more as yet unconfirmed planet candidates. The scientific community mainly concentrates on terrestrial planets (up to 10 Earth masses) in the habitable zone, which describes the distance from the host star where liquid water can exist at the surface (Kasting et al., 1993). Another target group of interest are ocean worlds, where a terrestrial-like body (i.e. with an iron core and a silicate mantle) is covered by a thick water-ice layer - similar to the icy moons of our solar system but with several Earth masses (e.g. Grasset et al., 2009). When an exoplanet is detected and confirmed as a planet, typically the radius and the mass of it are known, leading to the mean density of the planet that gives hints to possible interior structures. A planet with a large relative iron core and a thick ocean on top of the silicate mantle for example would have the same average planet density as a planet with a more Earth-like appearance (where the main contributor to the mass is the silicate mantle). In this study we investigate how the radius and mass of a planet depend on the amount of water, silicates and iron present (after Wagner et al., 2011) the occurence of high-pressure-ice in the water-ice layer (note: we only consider surface temperatures at which liquid water exists at the surface) if the ocean layer influences the initiation of plate tectonics We assume that ocean worlds with a liquid ocean layer (and without the occurence of high-pressure ice anywhere in the water layer) and plate tectonics (especially the occurence of subduction zones, hydrothermal vents and continental formation) may be called habitable (Class III/IV habitats after Lammer et al., 2009). References: Kasting, J.F., Whitmire, D.P., and Reynolds, R.T. (1993). Habitable Zones around Main Sequence Stars. Icarus 101, 108-128. Grasset, O., Schneider, J., and Sotin, C. (2009). A study of the accuracy

  15. 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

  16. Gifts from Exoplanetary Transits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narita, Norio

    2009-08-01

    The discovery of transiting extrasolar planets has enabled us to do a number of interesting studies. Transit photometry reveals the radius and the orbital inclination of transiting planets, which allows us to learn the true mass and density of the respective planets by the combined information from radial velocity (RV) measurements. In addition, follow-up observations of transiting planets, looking at such things as secondary eclipses, transit timing variations, transmission spectroscopy, and the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, provide us information about their dayside temperatures, unseen bodies in systems, planetary atmospheres, and the obliquity of planetary orbits. Such observational information, which will provide us a greater understanding of extrasolar planets, is available only for transiting planets. Here, I briefly summarize what we can learn from transiting planets and introduce previous studies.

  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. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. On the habitability of exoplanets orbiting Proxima Centauri

    OpenAIRE

    Lopez, Madeleine; Cardenas, Rolando; Rodriguez, Lien

    2014-01-01

    We apply a mathematical model for photosynthesis to quantitatively assess the habitability of a hypothetical planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, inside the so called habitability zone. Results suggest significant viability for primary biological productivity, provided living organisms have evolved to reach the ability of using infrared light for photosynthesis.

  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. Kepler planet-detection mission: introduction and first results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borucki, William J; Koch, David; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Brown, Timothy; Caldwell, Douglas; Caldwell, John; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Cochran, William D; DeVore, Edna; Dunham, Edward W; Dupree, Andrea K; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald; Gould, Alan; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Kondo, Yoji; Latham, David W; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Meibom, Søren; Kjeldsen, Hans; Lissauer, Jack J; Monet, David G; Morrison, David; Sasselov, Dimitar; Tarter, Jill; Boss, Alan; Brownlee, Don; Owen, Toby; Buzasi, Derek; Charbonneau, David; Doyle, Laurance; Fortney, Jonathan; Ford, Eric B; Holman, Matthew J; Seager, Sara; Steffen, Jason H; Welsh, William F; Rowe, Jason; Anderson, Howard; Buchhave, Lars; Ciardi, David; Walkowicz, Lucianne; Sherry, William; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Everett, Mark E; Fischer, Debra; Torres, Guillermo; Johnson, John Asher; Endl, Michael; MacQueen, Phillip; Bryson, Stephen T; Dotson, Jessie; Haas, Michael; Kolodziejczak, Jeffrey; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Chandrasekaran, Hema; Twicken, Joseph D; Quintana, Elisa V; Clarke, Bruce D; Allen, Christopher; Li, Jie; Wu, Haley; Tenenbaum, Peter; Verner, Ekaterina; Bruhweiler, Frederick; Barnes, Jason; Prsa, Andrej

    2010-02-19

    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 monitored 156,000 stars, and five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 and 1.6 Jupiter radii and orbital periods from 3.2 to 4.9 days were discovered. The density of the Neptune-sized Kepler-4b is similar to that of Neptune and GJ 436b, even though the irradiation level is 800,000 times higher. Kepler-7b is one of the lowest-density planets (approximately 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.

  4. Habitability from Tidally Induced Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia, Diana; Tan, Vivian Yun Yan; Zajac, Zachary

    2018-04-01

    The stability of Earth’s climate on geological timescales is enabled by the carbon–silicate cycle that acts as a negative feedback mechanism stabilizing surface temperatures via the intake and outgassing of atmospheric carbon. On Earth, this thermostat is enabled by plate tectonics that sequesters outgassed CO2 back into the mantle via weathering and subduction at convergent margins. Here we propose a separate tectonic mechanism—vertical recycling—that can serve as the vehicle for CO2 outgassing and sequestration over long timescales. The mechanism requires continuous tidal heating, which makes it particularly relevant to planets in the habitable zone of M stars. Dynamical models of this vertical recycling scenario and stability analysis show that temperate climates stable over timescales of billions of years are realized for a variety of initial conditions, even as the M star dims over time. The magnitude of equilibrium surface temperatures depends on the interplay of sea weathering and outgassing, which in turn depends on planetary carbon content, so that planets with lower carbon budgets are favored for temperate conditions. The habitability of planets such as found in the Trappist-1 system may be rooted in tidally driven tectonics.

  5. TIDAL LIMITS TO PLANETARY HABITABILITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    The habitable zones (HZs) of main-sequence stars have traditionally been defined as the range of orbits that intercept the appropriate amount of stellar flux to permit surface water on a planet. Terrestrial exoplanets discovered to orbit M stars in these zones, which are close-in due to decreased stellar luminosity, may also undergo significant tidal heating. Tidal heating may span a wide range for terrestrial exoplanets and may significantly affect conditions near the surface. For example, if heating rates on an exoplanet are near or greater than that on Io (where tides drive volcanism that resurfaces the planet at least every 1 Myr) and produce similar surface conditions, then the development of life seems unlikely. On the other hand, if the tidal heating rate is less than the minimum to initiate plate tectonics, then CO 2 may not be recycled through subduction, leading to a runaway greenhouse that sterilizes the planet. These two cases represent potential boundaries to habitability and are presented along with the range of the traditional HZ for main-sequence, low-mass stars. We propose a revised HZ that incorporates both stellar insolation and tidal heating. We apply these criteria to GJ 581 d and find that it is in the traditional HZ, but its tidal heating alone may be insufficient for plate tectonics.

  6. Trapping planets in an evolving protoplanetary disk: preferred time, locations and planet mass

    OpenAIRE

    Baillié, Kévin; Charnoz, Sébastien; Pantin, Éric

    2016-01-01

    Planet traps are necessary to prevent forming planets from falling onto their host star by type I migration. Surface mass density and temperature gradient irregularities favor the apparition of traps and deserts. Such features are found at the dust sublimation lines and heat transition barriers. We study how planets may remain trapped or escape as they grow and as the disk evolves. We model the temporal viscous evolution of a protoplanetary disk by coupling its dynamics, thermodynamics, geome...

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. What Can the Habitable Zone Gallery Do For You?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelino, Dawn M.; Kane, Stephen

    2015-12-01

    The Habitable Zone Gallery (www.hzgallery.org) came online in August 2011 as a service to the exoplanet community that provides Habitable Zone (HZ) information for each of the exoplanetary systems with known planetary orbital parameters. The service includes a sortable table, a plot with the period and eccentricity of each of the planets with respect to their time spent in the HZ, a gallery of known systems which plot the orbits and the location of the HZ with respect to those orbits, and orbital movies. Recently, we have added new features including: implementation of both conservative and optimistic HZs, more user-friendly table and movies, movies for circumbinary planets, and a count of planets whose orbits lie entirely within the system's HZ. Here we discuss various educational and scientific applications of the site such as target selection, exploring planets with eccentric or circumbinary orbits, and investigating habitability.

  13. Detecting Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets with the Kepler Photometer via Scattered Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Doyle, L. R.; Kepler Discovery Mission Team

    2003-05-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission will be launched in 2007 primarily to search for transiting Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of solar-like stars. In addition, it will be poised to detect the reflected light component from close-in extrasolar giant planets (CEGPs) similar to 51 Peg b. Here we use the DIARAD/SOHO time series along with models for the reflected light signatures of CEGPs to evaluate Kepler's ability to detect such planets. We examine the detectability as a function of stellar brightness, stellar rotation period, planetary orbital inclination angle, and planetary orbital period, and then estimate the total number of CEGPs that Kepler will detect over its four year mission. The analysis shows that intrinsic stellar variability of solar-like stars is a major obstacle to detecting the reflected light from CEGPs. Monte Carlo trials are used to estimate the detection threshold required to limit the total number of expected false alarms to no more than one for a survey of 100,000 stellar light curves. Kepler will likely detect 100-760 51 Peg b-like planets by reflected light with orbital periods up to 7 days. LRD was supported by the Carl Sagan Chair at the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, a division of the SETI Institute. JMJ received support from the Kepler Mission Photometer and Science Office at NASA Ames Research Center.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolf, Eric T.; Toon, Owen B.; Shields, Aomawa L.; Kopparapu, Ravi K.; Haqq-Misra, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    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 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 s ); snowball ( T s ≤ 235 K), waterbelt (235 K ≤ T s ≤ 250 K), temperate (275 K ≤ T s ≤ 315 K), and moist greenhouse ( T 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 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 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Plate tectonics, habitability and life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spohn, Tilman; Breuer, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The role of plate tectonics in defining habitability of terrestrial planets is being increasingly discussed (e.g., Elkins-Tanton, 2015). Plate tectonics is a significantly evolved concept with a large variety of aspects. In the present context, cycling of material between near surface and mantle reservoirs is most important. But increased heat transport through mixing of cold lithosphere with the deep interior and formation of continental crust may also matter. An alternative mechanism of material cycling between these reservoirs is hot-spot volcanism combined with crust delamination. Hot-spot volcanism will transport volatiles to the atmosphere while delamination will mix crust, possibly altered by sedimentation and chemical reactions, with the mantle. The mechanism works as long as the stagnant lithosphere plate has not grown thicker than the crust and as long as volcanic material is added onto the crust. Thermal evolution studies suggest that the mechanism could work for the first 1-2 Ga of planetary evolution. The efficiency of the mechanism is limited by the ratio of extrusive to intrusive volcanism, which is thought to be less than 0.25. Plate tectonics would certainly have an advantage by working even for more evolved planets. A simple, most-used concept of habitability requires the thermodynamic stability of liquid water on the surface of a planet. Cycling of CO2between the atmosphere, oceans and interior through subduction and surface volcanism is an important element of the carbonate-silicate cycle, a thermostat feedback cycle that will keep the atmosphere from entering into a runaway greenhouse. Calculations for a model Earth lacking plate tectonics but degassing CO2, N, and H2O to form a surface ocean and a secondary atmosphere (Tosi et al, 2016) suggest that liquid water can be maintained on the surface for 4.5Ga. The model planet would then qualify as habitable. It is conceivable that the CO2 buffering capability of its ocean together with silicate

  19. 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.

  20. STABLE CONIC-HELICAL ORBITS OF PLANETS AROUND BINARY STARS: ANALYTICAL RESULTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oks, E. [Physics Department, 206 Allison Lab., Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849 (United States)

    2015-05-10

    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

  1. Observsational Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Ruobing; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Fung, Jeffrey

    2017-06-01

    Planets form in gaseous protoplanetary disks surrounding newborn stars. As such, the most direct way to learn how they form from observations, is to directly watch them forming in disks. In the past, this was very difficult due to a lack of observational capabilities; as such, planet formation was largely a subject of pure theoretical astrophysics. Now, thanks to a fleet of new instruments with unprecedented resolving power that have come online recently, we have just started to unveil features in resolve images of protoplanetary disks, such as gaps and spiral arms, that are most likely associated with embedded (unseen) planets. By comparing observations with theoretical models of planet-disk interactions, the masses and orbits of these still forming planets may be constrained. Such planets may help us to directly test various planet formation models. This marks the onset of a new field — observational planet formation. I will introduce the current status of this field.

  2. Search for a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tokovinin, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    The problem of search for star planets is discussed in a popular form. Two methods of search for planets are considered: astrometric and spectral. Both methods complement one another. An assumption is made that potential possessors of planets are in the first place yellow and red dwarfs with slow axial rotation. These stars are the most numerous representatives of Galaxy population

  3. HABITABLE ZONES AROUND MAIN-SEQUENCE STARS: NEW ESTIMATES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Ramirez, Ramses; Kasting, James F. [Department of Geosciences, Penn State University, 443 Deike Building, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Eymet, Vincent [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Bordeaux, Universite de Bordeaux 1, UMR 5804, F-33270 Floirac (France); Robinson, Tyler D.; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Meadows, Victoria [NASA Astrobiology Institute' s Virtual Planetary Laboratory (United States); Mahadevan, Suvrath; Terrien, Ryan C.; Deshpande, Rohit [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2013-03-10

    Identifying terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of other stars is one of the primary goals of ongoing radial velocity (RV) and transit exoplanet surveys and proposed future space missions. Most current estimates of the boundaries of the HZ are based on one-dimensional (1D), cloud-free, climate model calculations by Kasting et al. However, this model used band models that were based on older HITRAN and HITEMP line-by-line databases. The inner edge of the HZ in the Kasting et al. model was determined by loss of water, and the outer edge was determined by the maximum greenhouse provided by a CO{sub 2} atmosphere. A conservative estimate for the width of the HZ from this model in our solar system is 0.95-1.67 AU. Here an updated 1D radiative-convective, cloud-free climate model is used to obtain new estimates for HZ widths around F, G, K, and M stars. New H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} absorption coefficients, derived from the HITRAN 2008 and HITEMP 2010 line-by-line databases, are important improvements to the climate model. According to the new model, the water-loss (inner HZ) and maximum greenhouse (outer HZ) limits for our solar system are at 0.99 and 1.70 AU, respectively, suggesting that the present Earth lies near the inner edge. Additional calculations are performed for stars with effective temperatures between 2600 and 7200 K, and the results are presented in parametric form, making them easy to apply to actual stars. The new model indicates that, near the inner edge of the HZ, there is no clear distinction between runaway greenhouse and water-loss limits for stars with T{sub eff} {approx}< 5000 K, which has implications for ongoing planet searches around K and M stars. To assess the potential habitability of extrasolar terrestrial planets, we propose using stellar flux incident on a planet rather than equilibrium temperature. This removes the dependence on planetary (Bond) albedo, which varies depending on the host star's spectral type. We suggest

  4. 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.

  5. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-04-07

    A class of extrasolar giant planets--the so-called 'hot Jupiters' (ref. 1)--orbit within 0.05 au of their primary stars (1 au is the Sun-Earth distance). These planets should be hot and so emit detectable infrared radiation. The planet HD 209458b (refs 3, 4) is an ideal candidate for the detection and characterization of this infrared light because it is eclipsed by the star. This planet has an anomalously large radius (1.35 times that of Jupiter), which may be the result of ongoing tidal dissipation, but this explanation requires a non-zero orbital eccentricity (approximately 0.03; refs 6, 7), maintained by interaction with a hypothetical second planet. Here we report detection of infrared (24 microm) radiation from HD 209458b, by observing the decrement in flux during secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the star. The planet's 24-microm flux is 55 +/- 10 microJy (1sigma), with a brightness temperature of 1,130 +/- 150 K, confirming the predicted heating by stellar irradiation. The secondary eclipse occurs at the midpoint between transits of the planet in front of the star (to within +/- 7 min, 1sigma), which means that a dynamically significant orbital eccentricity is unlikely.

  6. Discovery, Characterization, and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    of the planet Kepler-410A~b, a Neptune-sized planet in a 17 day orbit. Kepler-410 is composed of two stars, one of which hosts a transiting planet, and an additional non-transiting planet. The latter was discovered due to its gravitational influence on Kepler-410A~b, which causes a variation in the timing...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Exoplanetary Atmospheres-Chemistry, Formation Conditions, and Habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Constraining Exoplanet Habitability with HabEx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

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

  13. "Osiris"(HD209458b), an evaporating planet

    OpenAIRE

    Vidal-Madjar, Alfred; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des

    2003-01-01

    Three transits of the planet orbiting the solar type star HD209458 were observed in the far UV at the wavelength of the HI Ly-alpha line. The planet size at this wavelength is equal to 4.3 R_Jup, i.e. larger than the planet Roche radius (3.6 R_Jup). Absorbing hydrogen atoms were found to be blueshifted by up to -130 km/s, exceeding the planet escape velocity. This implies that hydrogen atoms are escaping this ``hot Jupiter'' planet. An escape flux of >~ 10^10g/s is needed to explain the obser...

  14. The Trojan minor planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratt, Christopher E.

    1988-08-01

    There are (March, 1988) 3774 minor planets which have received a permanent number. Of these, there are some whose mean distance to the sun is very nearly equal to that of Jupiter, and whose heliocentric longitudes from that planet are about 60°, so that the three bodies concerned (sun, Jupiter, minor planet) make an approximate equilateral triangle. These minor planets, which occur in two distinct groups, one preceding Jupiter and one following, have received the names of the heroes of the Trojan war. This paper concerns the 49 numbered minor planets of this group.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. He