NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0348

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0348


PI: Thayne Currie, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, thayne.m.currie@nasa.gov
Address: Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Lab, Code 667, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA

CoI: Adam Burrows, Princeton University
CoI: Ruth Murray-Clay, CfA
CoI: Marc Kuchner, GSFC
CoI: Nikku Madhusudhan, Princeton University
CoI: Scott Kenyon, CfA
CoI: Soko Matsumura, University of Maryland
CoI: Christian Thalmann, University of Amsterdam
CoI: Ben Bromley, University of Utah
CoI: Rebekah Dawson, Harvard University
CoI: John Chambers, Carnegie-DTM

Title: A Panchromatic Study of the Massive Planet and Debris Disk Around beta Pictoris

Abstract: The planetary system around (beta) Pictoris provides an unparalled insight into understanding young planet atmospheres, planet luminosity evolution, and planet-disk interactions. To better understand the properties of (beta) Pic's massive imaged planet and debris disk, we propose NICI imaging at 7 filters spanning 1.5(mu) m to 5 (mu) m that will provide high SNR planet detections and resolve the disk down to hitherto unseen angular separations. Our data will yield the first ever detailed constraints on the atmosphere of a gas giant planet soon after its formation and important new constraints on planet-debris disk interactions. Combined with HARPS RV monitoring of (beta) Pic and recent astrometric data for the planet, we will derive a new, strict upper limit for the planet's mass, crucial for informing (highly uncertain) planet cooling models. Along with ongoing programs to characterize the HR 8799 planets, our study will serve as an essential reference point for understanding the properties of the many planets soon-to-be imaged with facilities like the Gemini Planet Imager.


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