AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 69. Planet Searchs and Dwarfs
Display, Thursday, June 7, 2001, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[69.01] Searching for Extrasolar Trojan Planets: A Status Report

D.B. Caton, S.A. Davis, K.A. Kluttz, R.J. Stamilio, K.D. Wohlman (Appalachian State University)

We are exploring the light curves of eclipsing binaries for the photometric signature of planets that may exist at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points of the stellar system. While no binaries are known to exist that strictly satisfy the stellar mass ratio constraint for the restricted three-body problem, the general solution would allow a planet formed at the L-point to remain there if there are no major perturbing bodies such as an additional planet. We have coined such objects "Trojan planets."

The advantage of this approach is that the phases of the planetary eclipses are known. We picked systems with deep primary eclipses, to maximize the amount of system light eclipsed by the planet when in front of the hotter star. We also scanned the Finding List for Observers of Interactive Binary Stars, for G dwarf systems, but found only a few that were high inclination and detached. The target list includes QY Aql, YZ Aql, V442 Cas, SS Cet, S Cnc, VW Cyg, WW Cyg, RR Dra, RX Gem, RY Gem, VW Hya, Y Leo, TV Mon, BN Sct, UW Vir, AC UMa, and GSC 1657.

We have concentrated on V442 Cas and YZ Aql, based on initial results that show anomalies in the light curves near the phases where a Trojan planet eclipse is expected. New work is being done on brighter systems by using a "spot filter," similar to that developed by Castellano (PASP 112, 821-6),2000), to allow longer exposures that provide brighter comparison stars. We will report on the observations made to date on several systems.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation, through grants AST-9731062 and AST-0089248. We also appreciate the support of the Fund for Astrophysical Research. Gregory Shelton and Brenda Corbin, at the U.S. naval Observatory Library, have been indispensable in providing references for these binary systems. This research has made use of the Simbad database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to www.TrojanPlanets.appstate.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: catondb@appstate.edu

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