DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 7. Extra Solar Planets I
Oral, Chairs: R. V. Yelle and R. A. Brown, Tuesday, September 2, 2003, 3:30-5:30pm, DeAnza I-II

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[7.09] Detecting Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets with the \emph{Kepler} Photometer via Scattered Light

J. M. Jenkins, L. R. Doyle (SETI Institute), Kepler Discovery Mission Team

NASA's \emph{Kepler Mission} will be launched in 2007 primarily to search for transiting Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of solar-like stars. In addition, it will be poised to detect the reflected light component from close-in extrasolar giant planets (CEGPs) similar to 51 Peg b. Here we use the DIARAD/\emph{SOHO} time series along with models for the reflected light signatures of CEGPs to evaluate \emph{Kepler's} ability to detect such planets. We examine the detectability as a function of stellar brightness, stellar rotation period, planetary orbital inclination angle, and planetary orbital period, and then estimate the total number of CEGPs that \emph{Kepler} will detect over its four year mission. The analysis shows that intrinsic stellar variability of solar-like stars is a major obstacle to detecting the reflected light from CEGPs. Monte Carlo trials are used to estimate the detection threshold required to limit the total number of expected false alarms to no more than one for a survey of 100,000 stellar light curves. \emph{Kepler} will likely detect 100-760 51 Peg b-like planets by reflected light with orbital periods up to 7 days.

LRD was supported by the Carl Sagan Chair at the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, a division of the SETI Institute. JMJ received support from the \emph{Kepler Mission} Photometer and Science Office at NASA Ames Research Center.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov. 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: jjenkins@mail.arc.nasa.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.