NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0226

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0226


PI: Drake Deming, NASA's GSFC, Leo.D.Deming@nasa.gov
Address: Planetary Systems Laboratory, Code 693, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

CoI: Pedro Sada, University of Monterrey
CoI: Donald E. Jennings, NASA's GSFC
CoI: Brian K. Jackson, NASA's GSFC

Title: A Near-infrared Exoplanet Transit and Eclipse Survey

Abstract: Many exoplanet systems contain Jupiter-mass planets on close-in orbits. A continuing explosion of discoveries by transit surveys have given us a sample of more than 70 hot Jupiters transiting planets brighter than V=13. Precise photometry in the near-infrared (J-band) can yield planetary radii with less dependence on stellar limb-darkening and less sensitivity to systematic error caused by stellar activity. Accurate planetary radii are necessary to define the diversity of giant exoplanet structure, such as the presence of heavy element cores. Transit timing observations of hot Jupiters could detect hot Earths in resonance, via the large (~ 180 second) perturbations they induce on the giant planet transits. Also, recent advances in ground-based JHK photometric precision have enabled detection of thermal emission from hot Jupiters, and thereby improved knowledge of their atmospheric thermal structure. The relatively large sample now available means that a follow-up survey to measure radii, transit times and secondary eclipse amplitudes, is well matched to classical observing and telescope scheduling. We propose continued J-band transit photometry for radii and timing measurements -and now adding eclipse photometry in K-band for a few select systems. Stellar limb darkening is minimal in J-band, and transit photometry has excellent sensitivity to planetary radii and transit timing. Eclipses in K-band are important to complement Warm Spitzer observations at 3.6 and 4.5 (mu)m.


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