NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0225

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0225


PI: Jenny Patience, University of Exeter, patience@astro.ex.ac.uk
Address: Astrophysics Group , School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QL, United Kingdom

CoI: Rob De Rosa, University of Exeter
CoI: Christine Chen, Space Telescope Science Institute
CoI: Eric Mamajek, University of Rochester
CoI: Mark Pecaut, University of Rochester
CoI: Mark Wyatt, University of Cambridge
CoI: Isabelle Baraffe, University of Exeter
CoI: Rob King, University of Exeter

Title: A NICI survey for exoplanets and disks in the Sco-Cen association

Abstract: With the powerful combination of state-of-the-art instrumentation and an ideal sample of young stars, we propose to conduct a deep imaging survey for planetary companions and spatially resolved disks. The target sample consists of 70 members of the young ( 15 Myr), nearby (85-150pc) LCC and UCL associations. The youth and proximity of the targets is critical to detect younger, brighter planets with masses as low as 2 Jupiter mass in orbits corresponding to the outer regions of the Solar System. The frequency and properties of young imaged planets form an important comparison population to the indirectly detected planets and provide key tests of planet formation and evolution models. The majority of the targets are known or newly-discovered debris disks systems with excess emission from the dust generated by the collisional grinding of planetesimals. The proposed NICI observations have the capacity to image the scattered light from the disks in a subset of the targets and to determine the location of dust in the system and the albedos of the disk particles. From this sensitive and statistically significant survey, we will investigate the state of planet formation at a critical age when dynamical effects may be sculpting disks and scattering planets.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0225

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