AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 9. Space Interferometry and Planet Finders
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[9.03] Choosing Candidate Stars for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission

J.T. Rupert (NRAO/University of Oklahoma), R.S. Simon (NRAO)

Recently, within the scientific community, there has been an increase of enthusiasm in looking for earth-like planets outside our solar system. One mission that will look for stellar systems containing these objects is the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), a space based interferometer. With TPF, it is necessary to have a focused and well thought out list of candidate stars in order to decrease the amount of time spent looking at undesirable systems. Our project was to create a catalogue of stars that satisfy the constraints TPF will be working under. We began with a complete sample of stars out to 7th magnitude in addition to all stars within 20 parsecs and up to 10th magnitude. We then applied selection criteria to narrow the list to the few hundred most promising candidates. In addition to needed calibrations for some desired quantities, a careful analysis of previous work was required to obtain the parameters necessary to complete the project. To assure the candidate stars were indeed of interest, the project incorporated an intense literature search to obtain accurate information about each candidate star (including binarity, variability, and main sequence lifetime). Once completed, the data will then be placed in catalogue form as a list of the few hundred best candidates that can be used when TPF begins.

We would like to thank the National Science Foundation, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and the University of Oklahoma for their support.

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