NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0159

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Program Information for 2016A-0159


PI: Steve B Howell, NASA Ames Research Center, steve.b.howell@nasa.gov
Address: Project Scientist, Kepler & K2 Missions, NASA Ames Research Center, PO Box 1, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA, 94035 USA

CoI: Elliott Horch, SCSU
CoI: Johanna Teske, Carnegie Institution of Washington
CoI: Jennifer Winters, Georgia State U.
CoI: Mark Everett, NOAO
CoI: David Ciardi, NEXScI

Title: Validation, Radius Determination, and Host Star Binarity of K2 Exoplanets

Abstract: The NASA K2 mission, using the repurposed Kepler telescope has observed over 50,000 bright and/or nearby stars in order to detect transiting planet candidates via their light curve signatures. K2 has the same photometric precision as Kepler and has already demonstrated its planet finding-ability with twenty-five newly discovered and confirmed Earth- to Neptune-sized (radii <3 R_e) planets; planets which are available for ground-based and space-based follow-up to get masses, densities, and soon atmospheric composition. In the past few years, our team has shown that 1) 50\% of exoplanet host stars are binaries, that 2) without a high resolution image of the host star small exoplanets can not be validated at the 99+\% level, and 3) the true exoplanet radius can be underestimated by, on average, a factor of 1.5. Given the planets of high value being discovered by K2, validation and determination of the true radius are crucial factors to furthering exoplanet characterization. This proposal will obtain high resolution imaging of the host stars of a large sample of K2 mission-validated exoplanets and candidates. We will make all of our high resolution images publicly available immediately.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  GEM-S-SVC/DSSI -- 50hrs band 3 (GS-2016A-Q-80)


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 >   2016A-0159

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