AAS 197, January 2001
Session 62. Detecting and Characterizing Extrasolar Planets
Oral, Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 1:30-3:00pm, Golden Ballroom

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[62.04] Sizing Up Close-In Planets Around Sun-Like Stars

D. Charbonneau (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA & HAO/NCAR)

Radial velocity surveys of nearby F, G, K, and M dwarf stars have revealed a class of close-in massive planets that orbit their stars with a separation of less than 0.1 AU. Close-in planets such as these will produce a measurable photometric dimming of the star if the planet transits the stellar disk. The search to measure the transit photometrically is motivated by the fact that, for a star for which both the radial velocity and transits are observed, one can estimate both the mass and radius of the planet. These can then be combined to calculate such critically interesting quantities as the surface gravity and average density of the planet, and thus provide the first constraints on structural models for these low-mass companions. I will discuss the STARE project (a small-aperture, wide-field telescope that monitors thousands of stars for planetary transits), which we used in September 1999 to detect the first planetary transits across a Sun-like star. I will focus on two of the follow-up measurements that we have undertaken for this system: First, exceptionally high-precision, rapid-cadence photometric monitoring with HST/STIS allows us to search for Earth-sized planetary satellites, and circumplanetary rings. Second, high-resolution, high-precision spectroscopy during transit may reveal additional features due to absorption by the planetary atmosphere.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/~dcharbon/. 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: dcharbonneau@cfa.harvard.edu

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