AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 14 Astrophysics with Optical Interferometry
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-6:30pm, Tuesday, 10:00am-7:00pm, May 30, 2005, Ballroom A

Previous   |   Session 14   |   Next

[14.04] Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) PlanetQuest's Discovery Space and Potential Synergy with Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF): I. Detection of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone

J. Catanzarite, A. Tanner, M. Shao (California Institute of Technology/Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

SIM PlanetQuest is a space-borne Michelson interferometer with a nine meter baseline that will survey ~200 stars within ~30 parsecs for terrestrial planets. Ultra-precise astrometric observations will reveal stellar wobble of the target star (due to a planetary companion) against an inertial frame derived from reference stars within a 1 degree radius.

As an important complement to Terrestrial Planet Finder, SIM PlanetQuest will make discoveries that will inform the selection of TPF targets, leading to a significantly enhanced yield of terrestrial planets. For many stars on which it detects terrestrial planets, SIM PlanetQuest will additionally provide optimal times for TPF observations, determine the mass of the planet -- which TPF alone could not get, and determine inclination, eccentricity, and semimajor axis of the planet's orbit.

In this paper, we assess SIM PlanetQuest's terrestrial planet discovery space using realistic target star lists, and we investigate its sensitivity to instrument error. Finally, we quantify how apriori information from SIM PlanetQuest will magnify TPF's potential yield of terrestrial planets.

This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/SIM/sim\_index.html. 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: jcat@s383.jpl.nasa.gov

Previous   |   Session 14   |   Next

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.