NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0006

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Program Information for 2017A-0006


PI: Steve B Howell, NASA Ames Research Center, steve.b.howell@nasa.gov
Address: Ames Research Center, PO Box 1, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 US

CoI: Mark Everett, NOAO
CoI: Elliott Horch, SCSU
CoI: Nic Scott, NASA Ames Research Center
CoI: Lea Hirsch, UC Berkeley
CoI: Rachel A Matson, Georgia State U.
CoI: Johanna Teske, Carnegie Institution of Washington

Title: K2 Exoplanet Candidates: Small Planet Validation and Host Star Binarity

Abstract: The NASA K2 mission has been in operation for over two years and has already observed more stars than the original Kepler mission. There are currently 132 validated K2 exoplanets and more than 400 additional candidates (as of Sept. 2016). Most of the confirmed K2 planets and the candidates are small (rocky), orbit bright stars, and are amenable to RV mass determination. In the past two years, our team has shown that $sim% of exoplanet host stars are binaries and that without a high resolution image of the host star a) small planets, especially those in habitable zone orbits, can not be validated, and b) any true exoplanet will have, on average, an incorrect radius by a factor of 1.5, that is, the planet is {it larger} than assumed. The true nature of exoplanet host star binarity, in terms of their orbital period distribution, mass ratio, and even which star the postulated planet orbits are not yet known {it a priori}. Our imaging solves these dilemmas. This proposal will obtain high resolution imaging for K2 exoplanet candidate host stars, including those thought to harbor small, habitable zone planets to provide validation and assess binarity. We will continue make all of our reduced data public immediately at the NASA Exoplanet Archive.

Program Type: Long Term/NASA WIYN

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017A):  WIYNQ/NESSI -- 40hrs
Run 1 (2017B):  WIYNQ/NESSI -- 40hrs


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 >   2017A-0006

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