Found 51 talks archived in Planetary systems

Monday October 22, 2012
Dr. Seigo Miyamoto, Dr. Valeri Tioukov
ERI, University of Tokyo, Japan
INFN, Napoli, Italy


The origin and structure of the Earth's crust is still a major question. Current measurements of the nearby crust are based largely on seismic, gravimetric and electrical  techniques. In this talk, we introduce a novel method based on cosmic-ray muons to create a direct snapshot of the density profile within a volcano (and/or other geological features).  By measuring the muon
absorption along the different paths through an object (volcano, mountain, a fault, ...), one can deduce the density profile within the object. The major feature of this
technique makes possible for us to perform a tomographic measurement by placing two or more cosmic ray detection
systems around the object. Another strong point of this technique is the possibility to carry out fulltime monitoring, since  muons are incessantly arriving, recalling they are
the most numerous energetic charged particles at sea level.

Tuesday October 2, 2012
Dr. Karla Peña Ramírez


For the first time, we present the low-mass function of the entire young star cluster Sigma Orionis (3 Myr, 352 pc, no internal extinction) from 0.25 Msun through the brown dwarf regime down to 3-4 Mjup in the planetary-mass domain. We have used VISTA Orion data (ZYJHKs) in the magnitude interval J= 13 - 21 mag (completeness at J = 21.0 mag, Z = 22.6 mag, and 10 Mjup). Combined with Spitzer/IRAC (3.6 and 4.5 micron) and optical images (Iz-band) from our archives has allowed us to identify over 200 cluster low-mass member candidates in an area of 0.79 deg2, i.e., uncovering most of the cluster area. All of these objects have colors compatible with spectral types M, L, and T, i.e., Teff = 3000-1000 K. 23 of them are new planetary mass candidates in the Sigma Orionis cluster, thus doubling the number of cluster planetary mass objects known so far. By considering the Mayrit catalog, we have "extended" our mass function from 0.25 Msun up to the high-mass stars (O-type) of the cluster, covering four orders of magnitude in mass.

Monday June 25, 2012
Dr. Peter McCullough


We review observations of a representative set of extrasolar planets that transit their stars, concentrating on those discovered and characterized by the XO Project. Spectra of these planets in transit and in eclipse have made significant contributions to our understanding of hot gas giant exoplanets, including 1) evidence for planet-planet scattering to transfer the planets from where they are formed to where we observe them, 2) hot stratospheres of these exoplanets, and two possible mechanisms to maintain them, and 3) water vapor detected in the near-IR spectrum of the exoplanet XO-1b in transit. For the latter case, we compare near-IR spectra obtained with two HST instruments: NICMOS and WFC3 with its new spatial scanning technique. We then present the spectrum of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b from the visible to the infrared, and focus on the definitive results obtained with HST WFC3 that show a featureless near-IR spectrum, indicative of either a large mean molecular weight in the planet's atmosphere, or obscuring haze (Berta et al. 2012). We identify similar observations that are being made with HST now, and will be made with JWST, and other telescopes in the future. We conclude by summarizing the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, which will discover the nearest, transiting rocky exoplanets, those most interesting and most suitable for follow-up characterization of the sort we have presented.

Thursday June 23, 2011
Dr. Patrick Gaulme
Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale; Université Paris Sud, Paris, France


At the end of 2008, on ideas of teams from the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur (OCA) and IAC, the CoRoT satellite observed the star HD 46375, known to host a non-transiting Saturn-mass exoplanet with a 3.023 day period. HD 46375 is the brightest star with a known close-in planet in the CoRoT accessible field of view. As such, it was targeted by the CoRoT additional program and observed in a CCD normally dedicated to the asteroseismology program, to obtain an ultra-precise photometric lightcurve and detect or place upper limits on the brightness of the planet. In addition, a ground-based support was simultaneously performed with the high-resolution NARVAL spectro-polarimeter to constrain the stellar atmospheric and magnetic properties. In this seminar, I will present the main results, in particular the stellar constrain we obtained thanks to the detection of the oscillation mode signature and the plausible detection of the planetary signal, which, if confirmed with future observations, would be the first detection of phase changes in the visible for a non-transiting planet.

Thursday April 7, 2011
Dr. María Jesús Martínez
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


This question is important because a large fraction of planetary nebulae (about 80%) are bipolar or elliptical rather than spherically symmetric. Modern theories invoke magnetic fields, among other causes, to explain the rich variety of aspherical components observed in PNe, as ejected matter is trapped along magnetic field lines. But, until recently, this idea was mostly a theoretical claim. Jordan et al. (2005) report the detection of kG magnetic fields in the central star of two non-spherical PNe, namely NGC1360 and LSS1362. We find that, contrary to that work, the magnetic field is null within errors for both stars. Then, a direct evidence of magnetic fields on the central stars of PNe is still missing — either the magnetic field is much weaker (< 600 G) than previously reported, or more complex (thus leading to cancellations), or both. The role of magnetic fields shaping PNe is still an open question.

Friday April 1, 2011
Dr. Juan Carlos Suarez
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucia, Spain


I present a general overview of the PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) space mission. PLATO was approved by ESA’s Science Programme Committee, together with Euclid and Solar Orbiter missions, to enter the so-called definition phase, i.e. the step required before the final decision is taken (only two missions will be implemented). To be launched in 2018, PLATO is a third generation mission, which will take advantage of the scientific return from the currently flying space missions CoRoT (CNES, ESA, launched in 2006), and Kepler (NASA, launched in 2009). Moreover, the preparation and exploitation of the missions will benefit from the GAIA (ESA) mission data, together with new generation ground-based instrumentation like North-HARPS, GIANO, CARMENES, etc. Finally, I summarize the current organization status of the mission,focusing on the Spanish role within the consortium.

Friday November 19, 2010
Miss Victoria Moulds
Queen's University Belfast, Ireland


The RV method is responsible for discovering the majority of planets that orbit stars other than our Sun. However, one problem with this technique is that stellar jitter can cause RV variations that mimic or mask out a planet signature. There have been several instances in the past when stars have shown periodic RV variations which are firstly attributed to a planet and later found to be due to stellar spots, e.g. BD+20 1790 (Figueira, P et al. 2010) and CJ674 (Turnball et al. 204). So far the method of choice to overcome these problems is to avoid observing stars which show levels of high activity. However, this does not solve the problem: it merely avoids it. We have therefore been developing a code which separates out stellar jitter from the RVs to enable active planets to be looked at for planets. I will talk about our technique as well as show some exciting preliminary results.

Thursday September 30, 2010
Dr. Julia de León
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain


Understanding the composition and the nature of any asteroid approaching the Earth, and consequently potentially hazardous, is a matter of general interest, both scientific and practical. The potentially hazardous asteroid 1999 RQ36 is especially accessible to spacecraft and is the primary target of NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample return mission. Spectra of this asteroid point to the most primitive meteorites (CIs and CMs) as the most likely analogs. Asteroid (3200) Phaethon is also particularly interesting. Together with 2005 UD and 2001 YB5, is one of the only 3 near-Earth asteroids with associated meteor showers, which mostly come from comets. There is evidence of the presence of hydrated minerals on its surface, usually associated with organic material. Both asteroids are classified as "B". B-type asteroids are found mostly in the middle and outer main belt and are believed to be primitive and volatile-rich. We combine dynamical and spectral information to identify the most likely main-belt origin of these two objects.

Thursday September 23, 2010
Dr. Javier Licandro
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


In this talk we present spectroscopy of asteroids 24 Themis and 65 Cybele in the 2-4 μ region obtained with the NASA 3.5m IRTF telescope. Their spectra are very similar, and present the typical water ice band at 3.1 μ and additional absorption bands in the 3.2-3.4 μ region that can be attributed to solid organics, showing that there is a small amount of water ice and solid organics widely distributed across their surface. Spectra in the 6-25 μ region obtained with SPITZER of 65 Cybele also show that its surface is covered by a fine anhydrous silicate grains mantle as other outer belt asteroids like the Trojans are. This dust mantle, with a small amount of water ice and complex organic solids, is similar to comet surface where non-equilibrium phases coexist. The presence of water-ice and anhydrous silicates is indicative that hydration did not happened or is incomplete, suggesting that the temperatures were always sufficiently low. This is the first detection of water ice and and solid organics in the surface of an asteroid and suggest that these materials are much more abundant than expected in the surface of asteroids with semi-major axis a > 3 AU. The cosmogonical and astrobiological relevance of this discovery will be discussed.

Tuesday March 30, 2010
Dr. Iván Ramírez
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Germany


It has been recently shown that the chemical composition of the Sun is anomalous when compared to most nearby stars of very similar fundamental parameters, so-called solar twins. Compared to these stars, the Sun is deficient in refractory elements relative to volatiles, a finding that we speculate is a signature of the terrestrial planet formation that occurred around the Sun but not in the majority of solar twins. I will discuss these and newer related results, the strengths and weaknesses of our planet formation interpretation, as well as our plans for future observations that can help us better understand the nature of the abundance trends found.

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