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

[14.05] Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) PlanetQuest's Discovery Space and Potential Synergy with the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF): II. Orbit and Mass Characterization of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone

A. Tanner, J. Catanzarite, M. Shao (JPL/California Institute of Technology)

SIM PlanetQuest is a space-borne Michelson interferometer with a nine to ten meter baseline that will survey ~200 stars within ~30 parsecs for terrestrial mass planets. Ultra-precise astrometric observations will reveal the gravitational wobble of the target star (due to a planetary companion) against an intertial frame of reference stars within a one degree radius. Here, we report the results of multiple Monte Carlo orbital simulations which have modeled SIM's ability to determine the orbital parameters and masses of the target stars as well as the reference stars. By determining the orbital phase of the planet, SIM will be able to assist TPF-C by telling it when to look in order to ensure that the planet will be outside its 62 mas inner working angle. The masses determined by SIM will not suffer from the Msini ambiguity inherent in radial velocity surveys.

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

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: angelle.tanner@jpl.nasa.gov

Previous   |   Session 14   |   Next

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