NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0330

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0330


PI: James Graham, UC, Berkeley, jrg@berkeley.edu
Address: USA

CoI: Bekki Dawson, UC, Berkeley
CoI: Michael Fitzgerald, UC Los Angeles
CoI: Paul Kalas, UC, Berkeley
CoI: Quinn Konopacky, University of Toronto
CoI: Bruce Macintosh, Stanford
CoI: Christian Marois, NRC, Herzberg Institute
CoI: Jenny Patience, Arizona State University
CoI: Laurent Pueyo, STScI
CoI: Sandrine Thomas, NASA/Ames
CoI: Jason Wang, UC, Berkeley

Title: Astrometry of Beta Pic with GPI

Abstract: GPI observations in Nov 2013 show that the directly imaged exoplanet beta Pic b has passed quadrature and is headed back towards its parent star. These initial observations have enabled substantial improvements in the determination of the orbital elements (errors reduced by x2-3). There is a narrow window over the next two years to observe the planet (before it is lost in the glare of beta Pic) and further improve our knowledge of the orbit. The next opportunity to begin an astrometric program will be in late 2019, after beta Pic b reappears. We propose an astrometric monitoring campaign starting in 2014B to: 1) explore and understand the interaction between beta Pic b and the inner warped disk, and to measure the mass of beta Pic b by combining orbital information with high-resolution ALMA continuum mapping of the debris disk’s warp; 2) enable planning observations of the upcoming conjunction and possible planetary transit in late 2017. This initiative to establish a consistent and sustained observational program to understand systematic errors in astrometry (which currently dominate) will have broad impact and enable other astrometric programs with GPI.


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