Astronomy & Telescopes

Direct Imaging of Planet Transit Events

By Keith Cowing
May 9, 2014
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Direct Imaging of Planet Transit Events

Exoplanet transit events are attractive targets for the ultrahigh-resolution capabilities afforded by optical interferometers.

The intersection of two developments in astronomy enable direct imaging of exoplanet transits: first, improvements in sensitivity and precision of interferometric instrumentation; and second, identification of ever-brighter host stars. Efforts are underway for the first direct high-precision detection of closure phase signatures with the CHARA Array and Navy Precision Optical Interferometer. When successful, these measurements will enable recovery of the transit position angle on the sky, along with characterization of other system parameters, such as stellar radius, planet radius, and other parameters of the transit event.

This technique can directly determine the planet’s radius independent of any outside observations, and appears able to improve substantially upon other determinations of that radius; it will be possible to extract wavelength dependence of that radius determination, for connection to characterization of planetary atmospheric composition & structure. Additional directly observed parameters – also not dependent on transit photometry or spectroscopy – include impact parameter, transit ingress time, and transit velocity.

Gerard T. van Belle, Kaspar von Braun, Tabetha Boyajian, Gail Schaefer (Submitted on 8 May 2014)

Comments: 4 pages, 1 figure, from IAU293 proceedings

Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP) DOI: 10.1017/S1743921313013197

Cite as: arXiv:1405.1983 [astro-ph.SR] (or arXiv:1405.1983v1 [astro-ph.SR] for this version)

Submission history From: Gerard van Belle [v1] Thu, 8 May 2014 15:56:19 GMT (83kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻