PI: Knicole Colon, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, email@example.com
Address: 625 2nd St. Ste 209, Petaluma, CA 94952 USA
CoI: Thomas Barclay, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute
Title: Characterizing K2 Exoplanet Candidates with High-Precision Near-Infrared Transit Photometry
Abstract: We propose to use WIYN+WHIRC to obtain high-precision $Ks$-band transit photometry of exoplanet candidates discovered by the NASA K2 mission. These observations will support the confirmation and characterization of these newly discovered exoplanets, many of which are in the mini-Neptune- to super-Earth-size regime and orbit cool, nearby stars. We will use the transit color (optical from K2 versus near- infrared from WHIRC) to determine whether the candidates have a planetary nature or are instead false positives (e.g., background eclipsing binaries or hierarchical triple systems). For candidates deemed real planets, we will improve measurements of each planet's orbit and size (thanks to the minimization of stellar limb darkening in the near-infrared). These observations will produce a well-vetted sample of K2 planets around cool, nearby stars that will be prime targets for atmospheric characterization with JWST. This program will also yield an observationally measured false positive rate for different K2 campaigns and therefore for different locations throughout the galaxy, compared to the Kepler mission, which stared at just one part of the galaxy during its lifetime.
Program Type: Standard/NASA WIYN
Run 1 (2016A): WIYN/WHIRC -- 6n on Mar 24 - Mar 29 2016
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360