NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0321

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0321


PI: Marie-Eve Naud, University of Montreal, naud@astro.umontreal.ca
Address: Department of Physics, PO Box 6128, Station Centreville, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3J7, Canada

CoI: Etienne Artigau, University of Montreal
CoI: Lison Malo, University of Montreal
CoI: Rene Doyon, University of Montreal
CoI: David Lafreniere, University of Montreal
CoI: Christian Marois, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: Bruce McIntosh, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
CoI: Travis Barman, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Jennifer Patience, University of Exeter

Title: A Planet Search around Young-associations M dwarfs (PSYM survey)

Abstract: A comprehensive investigation of the formation and evolution of giant planets requires a thorough direct imaging search for planets around primaries of all masses. Currently, as published direct imaging surveys have been biased towards solar-type or more massive primaries, and since relatively few nearby young low-mass stars were known, these stars are under-represented in the sample targeted by previous searches. Using a new Bayesian analysis that takes into account proper motion, sky position, chromospheric activity (Halpha and X-ray), photometry and radial-velocity, we have identified 145 new low mass (>K7) members of nearby young (<50 Myr) associations. Being young and nearby, these newly-identified members are ideal targets for direct imaging searches. Here, we propose to continue our survey of this sample of new low-mass stars with NICI to search for self-luminous giant planets down to 2 Mjup at orbital separations of 15-500 AU. Our survey will nearly quadruple the number of young M-dwarfs probed for planets and will allow, for the first time, to place constraints on the existence of planets around low-mass stars at a level comparable to what has been done for more massive stars. A companion proposal, PSYM-wide, will complete our survey for the 300-5000 AU orbital range.


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



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