NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0245

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0245


PI: Christian Marois, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, christian.marois@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
Address: National Research Council of Canada, 5071 West Saanich Road, RR. 5, Victoria, British Columbia, V9E 2E7, Canada

CoI: Bruce Macintosh, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
CoI: Jennifer Patience, University of Exeter
CoI: Travis Barman, Lowell Observatory
CoI: David Lafreniere, University of Toronto
CoI: Rene Doyon, University of Montreal
CoI: Benjamin Zuckerman, UC Los Angeles
CoI: Inseok Song, Caltech IPAC

Title: A Volume-Limited Direct Imaging Exoplanet Survey of Young & Nearby Early-Type Stars (IDPS survey).

Abstract: Following our first milestone discovery, we propose to extend our current A- & F-type star IDPS survey to a volume-limited (<55pc) deep AO survey for exoplanets around young and close A-type stars using a refined version of the very successful Angular Differential Imaging technique, which distinguishes true companions from artifacts through sidereal rotation. Analyses of star forming regions have shown that A-type stars have more frequent/massive disks than less massive stars, potentially triggering more massive planet formation on wider orbits. Stars as massive as A-type stars have been neglected in AO searches, including the Gemini Deep Planet Survey, while radial velocity surveys have reduced sensitivity for such stars. Thus planet/BD formation around more massive stars remains unconstrained. For each target, a two-hour Ks sequence of images will achieve a contrast limit 3-4 magnitudes better than previous surveys made with HST or conventional AO. We are capable of detecting exoplanets of 5 Jupiter mass at separations of 1.5 arcsec, corresponding to 60 AU for a typical proposed target star. After combining this more complete A-type star survey with our previous GKM star GDPS survey, we will have, for the first time, a broader picture of the population of massive planets at large semi-major axes around a wide range of stellar mass.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0245

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