NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017B-0247

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Program Information for 2017B-0247


PI: Joshua Simon, Carnegie Observatories, jsimon@carnegiescience.edu
Address: 813 SANTA BARBARA ST, PASADENA, CA 91101 USA

CoI: Benjamin Montet, U. of Chicago

Title: Is There Small-Scale Structure in the ISM Along the Line of Sight to the WTF Star?

Abstract: KIC 8462852 (the WTF star) has recently been shown to undergo multiple types of photometric variability: (1) brief, irregular dips in brightness of up to 20%, (2) secular dimming of 3% over the course of the Kepler mission, including a drop by >2% in six months, and (3) probable long-term fading of 14% over the last century. None of these behaviors have been detected for any other main sequence star, and no particularly good explanations for them have been suggested in the literature. We propose high-resolution Gemini/GRACES spectroscopy of KIC 8462852 and its nearest neighbors to investigate the spatial distribution of interstellar dust along this line of sight and search for temporal changes in the absorption profiles. By measuring the velocities and equivalent widths of narrow Na D absorption lines in the spectra of seven stars over multiple epochs, we will determine whether the ISM in front of KIC 8462852 contains tiny (~AU-scale) clumps that could be responsible for the observed dimming.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017B):  GEM-N-SVC/GRACES -- 24.3hrs band 2 (GN-2017B-Q-54)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017B-0247

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