NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0166

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0166


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

CoI: Ray Jayawardhana, University of Toronto
CoI: Soko Matsumura, University of Maryland
CoI: Mariangela Bonavita, University of Toronto
CoI: Nikku Madhusudhan, Princeton University
CoI: Carey Lisse, APL-Johns Hopkins
CoI: Scott Kenyon, CfA
CoI: Ben Bromley, University of Utah
CoI: Marc Kuchner, GSFC

Title: An Optimized NICI Imaging Search for Planets around Young Stars with Luminous Debris Disks

Abstract: Two stars with confirmed, directly imaged planets, (beta) Pic (10 Myr old) and HR 8799 (30 Myr old), are surrounded by luminous debris disks. We propose a deep NICI imaging search for planets around 14 other nearby 5-30 Myr-old AFG stars with luminous debris disks consistent with sculpting/stirring by massive unseen planets. While many of our targets have been previously observed by the NICI campaign, these data were taken in a suboptimal mode and thus provide poor sensitivity. Therefore, we need new observations. Our program should be able to detect jovian planets at separations analogous to the gas/ice giant planet region in our solar system. We will quantify the frequency of planets more massive than Jupiter on wide orbits around stars with luminous debris disks. We will compare this frequency to those derived from the recently completed NICI campaign and recent IDPS studies for stars with and without debris disks. As a result, we will truly see if stars with luminous debris disks are more likely to have massive, wide- separation 1-10 M_J companions and thus whether/how clearly debris disks are signposts of \textitmassive planets. If the planet frequency distribution in mass/semimajor axis is an extension of the RV distribution for massive stars, our program will result in ~ 2 new imaged exoplanets.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0166

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