NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0085

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0085


PI: Steve B. Howell, NASA ARC, steve.b.howell@nasa.gov
Address: Astrophysics, P.O. Box 1 M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035, US

CoI: Mark Everett, NOAO
CoI: David Silva, NOAO
CoI: Paula Szkody, University of Washington
CoI: David Ciardi, Caltech/IPAC

Title: Spectroscopy of Kepler Exoplanet Host Stars

Abstract: We propose a long-term spectroscopic follow-up program in support of the NASA Kepler Mission. The Kepler Mission is now focusing on exoplanet candidates which are small, less than 2.5 R_\earth, and those in long-period orbits. Kepler has recently released a new exoplanet list (Batalha et al. 2012) containing over 2300 planet candidates. The majority of these candidates are smaller than 4 R_\earth and orbit stars with R>14. The early days of low hanging fruit - large planets orbiting bright stars - are over and now Kepler needs to validate smaller planets orbiting fainter stars. This is the role of the KPNO 4-m. For three years now, we have spectroscopically observed Kepler stars fainter then 14th and have developed techniques to provide T_\rm eff to +/-150 K and log g to +/-0.3 dex, values as good as the project obtains from high resolution, narrow wavelength spectroscopic coverage of the brighter stars. Our primary goal is to obtain reconnaissance spectra of currently known and newly discovered exoplanet host stars to provide robust values for T_\rm eff and log g. A secondary goal is to obtain velocity information for the stars in EBs which show a third small component, a task aimed toward validation and discovery of circumbinary planets (such as Kepler 16b). All of these tasks can be accomplished using the Kitt Peak 4-m telescope and RCspec as shown by our previous time allocations.


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