NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017B-0162

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Program Information for 2017B-0162


PI: Clemence Fontanive, University of Edinburgh, fontan@roe.ac.uk
Address: Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ United Kingdom

CoI: Mariangela Bonavita, University of Edinburgh
CoI: Eric Lopez, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
CoI: Beth Biller, University of Edinburgh
CoI: Ken Rice, University of Edinburgh
CoI: Avram Mandell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Title: A Targeted Search for Wide Companions as a Test of Gravitational Instability

Abstract: One of the most important longstanding questions in planet formation is: what, if any, role does gravitational instability (GI) in disks play in producing the observed population of giant planets? To address this question, we have identified several systems with known transiting or radial velocity planets or low-mass brown dwarfs on orbits < 1 AU, that nonetheless have properties typical of objects predicted to form via gravitational instability at wide separation (> 30 AU). If these are indeed GI planets then the most likely manner in which they have attained their currents orbits is via scattering followed by tidal circularisation. Kozai scattering models, however, clearly predict that these systems should also possess additional massive companions at wide separations. Therefore, we propose to search for these companions with direct imaging, allowing a clear test for models of planet formation by disk driven gravitational instability.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017B):  GEM-NQ/NIRI -- 4.4hrs band 2 (GN-2017B-Q-40)


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 >   2017B-0162

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