NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0064

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2014B-0064


PI: Mukremin Kilic, University of Oklahoma, kilic@ou.edu
Address: Physics Department, 440 W Brooks Street, Norman, OK 73019, USA

CoI: Claudia Belardi, University of Oklahoma
CoI: Buell Jannuzi, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona
CoI: Arjun Dey, NOAO
CoI: Peter Stetson, National Research Council of Canada
CoI: Sara Barber, University of Oklahoma

Title: A Search for Habitable Planets Around White Dwarfs

Abstract: A large fraction of white dwarfs (WDs) may host planets in their habitable zones. These planets may provide our best chance to detect bio-markers on a transiting exoplanet, thanks to the diminished contrast ratio between the Earth-sized WD and its Earth-sized planets. The JWST is capable of obtaining the first spectroscopic measurements of such planets, yet there are no known planets around WDs. Here we propose to take advantage of the unique capability of DECam on the CTIO 4m to perform a pre-LSST transit survey that is capable of detecting the first planet in the habitable zone of a WD. We obtained DECam observations of one pointing in the CFHT Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) W2 field over 8 half- nights in Feb 2014. Here, we propose to obtain DECam time-series photometry of another pointing in W1, W2, or W4 fields to search for planetary, substellar, and stellar companions to more than 500 WDs. This will bring the number of WDs surveyed in our program to 1000, which is essential for constraining \eta_\earth around WDs. We will use the original data taken 8 years ago for the CFHTLS and our stacked DECam images to identify the WDs based on their colors and proper motions. In addition to planets, we will also constrain the frequency of eclipsing substellar and stellar companions to WDs. Our stacked dataset will also provide a significantly improved WD luminosity function for the Galactic disk and halo.


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0064

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo