NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0182

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Program Information for 2016A-0182


PI: Paul Wilson Cauley, Wesleyan U., pcauley@wesleyan.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 96 Foss Hill Rd., Middletown, CT 06459 USA

CoI: Seth Redfield, Wesleyan U.
CoI: Adam G Jensen, University of Nebraska, Kearney
CoI: Michael Endl, U. of Texas, Austin
CoI: Travis Barman, U. of Arizona
CoI: William Cochran, U. of Texas, Austin
CoI: Debra Fischer, Yale U.

Title: Measuring pre-transit absorption around the hot planets GJ 436 b and KELT-3 b

Abstract: Hot exoplanets can interact strongly with the immediate environments of their host stars via bow shocks, colliding winds, or accretion streams escaping from the planet onto the star. In the planetary regime, these processes are unique to hot planets. Our knowledge of these phenomenon is severely limited and they have only been detected for a few systems. One signature of these interactions is absorption of starlight by material orbiting ahead of the planet, i.e., a pre-transit absorption signature. Pre-transit absorption has been observed in only three exoplanetary systems to date. However, these signals are expected to be present for the majority of systems with hot planets. We propose to search for these signals in the excited hydrogen line H$alpha$ in two hot planets, GJ 436 b and KELT-3 b. Measurements of pre-transit absorption can reveal details concerning the dynamics and physical properties of the extended planetary atmosphere and stellar wind. Perhaps most exciting is the detection of absorption consistent with magnetically mediated bow shocks, which allows for the estimation of exoplanetary magnetic field strengths, a fundamental property of exoplanets of which our knowledge is extremely poor.

Program Type: Standard/NASA WIYN

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  WIYN/HYDR -- 4n on Feb 04 2016, Feb 15 2016, Feb 23 2016, Mar 02 2016


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0182

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