3,621 research outputs found

    Microlensing planet detection via geosynchronous and low Earth orbit satellites

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    Planet detection through microlensing is usually limited by a well-known degeneracy in the Einstein timescale tEt_E, which prevents mass and distance of the lens to be univocally determined. It has been shown that a satellite in geosynchronous orbit could provide masses and distances for most standard planetary events (tE20t_E \approx 20 days) via a microlens parallax measurement. This paper extends the analysis to shorter Einstein timescales, tE1t_E \approx 1 day, when dealing with the case of Jupiter-mass lenses. We then study the capabilities of a low Earth orbit satellite on even shorter timescales, tE0.1t_E \approx 0.1 days. A Fisher matrix analysis is employed to predict how the 1-σ\sigma error on parallax depends on tEt_E and the peak magnification of the microlensing event. It is shown that a geosynchronous satellite could detect parallaxes for Jupiter-mass free floaters and discover planetary systems around very low-mass brown dwarfs. Moreover, a low Earth orbit satellite could lead to the discovery of Earth-mass free-floating planets. Limitations to these results can be the strong requirements on the photometry, the effects of blending, and in the case of the low orbit, the Earth's umbra.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures. Minor language edits. Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysic

    Space based microlensing planet searches

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    The discovery of extra-solar planets is arguably the most exciting development in astrophysics during the past 15 years, rivalled only by the detection of dark energy. Two projects unite the communities of exoplanet scientists and cosmologists: the proposed ESA M class mission EUCLID and the large space mission WFIRST, top ranked by the Astronomy 2010 Decadal Survey report. The later states that: "Space-based microlensing is the optimal approach to providing a true statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, over a range of likely semi-major axes". They also add: "This census, combined with that made by the Kepler mission, will determine how common Earth-like planets are over a wide range of orbital parameters". We will present a status report of the results obtained by microlensing on exoplanets and the new objectives of the next generation of ground based wide field imager networks. We will finally discuss the fantastic prospect offered by space based microlensing at the horizon 2020-2025.Comment: 8 pages, Proceedings to the ROPACS meeting "Hot Planets and Cool Stars" (Nov. 2012, Garching), invited contributio

    Primary transit of the planet HD189733b at 3.6 and 5.8 microns

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    The hot Jupiter HD 189733b was observed during its primary transit using the Infrared Array Camera on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The transit depths were measured simultaneously at 3.6 and 5.8 microns. Our analysis yields values of 2.356 +- 0.019 % and 2.436 +- 0.020$ % at 3.6 and 5.8 microns respectively, for a uniform source. We estimated the contribution of the limb-darkening and star-spot effects on the final results. We concluded that although the limb darkening increases by ~0.02-0.03 % the transit depths, and the differential effects between the two IRAC bands is even smaller, 0.01 %. Furthermore, the host star is known to be an active spotted K star with observed photometric modulation. If we adopt an extreme model of 20 % coverage with spots 1000K cooler of the star surface, it will make the observed transits shallower by 0.19 and 0.18 %. The difference between the two bands will be only of 0.01 %, in the opposite direction to the limb darkening correction. If the transit depth is affected by limb darkening and spots, the differential effects between the 3.6 and 5.8 microns bands are very small. The differential transit depths at 3.6 and 5.8 microns and the recent one published by Knutson et al.(2007) at 8 microns are in agreement with the presence of water vapour in the upper atmosphere of the planet. This is the companion paper to Tinetti et al. (2007b), where the detailed atmosphere models are presented.Comment: 6 pages, 4 figures, Astrophysical Journal 675. Accepted Nov 21, 20007, to appear on March 10, 200

    Determination of the Hubble Constant Using a Two-Parameter Luminosity Correction for Type Ia Supernovae

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    In this paper, we make a comprehensive determination of the Hubble constant H0H_0 by using two parameters - the B-V color and the rate of decline Δm15\Delta m_{15} - to simultaneously standardize the luminosities of all nearby Cepheid-calibrated type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) and those of a larger, more distant sample of 29 SNe Ia. Each group is treated in as similar a manner as possible in order to avoid systematic effects. A simultaneous χ2\chi ^2 minimization yields a standardized absolute luminosity of the Cepheid-calibrated supernovae as well as the Hubble constant obtained from the more distant sample. We find H0=62km/sMpc1H_0 = 62 km/s Mpc^{-1} and a standardized absolute magnitude of -19.46. The sensitivity of H0H_0 to a metallicity dependence of the Cepheid-determined distances is investigated. The total uncertainty δH0\delta H_0, dominated by uncertainties in the primary Cepheid distance indicator, is estimated to be 5 km/s Mpc^{-1}.Comment: To appear in Ap