Exoplanets & Exomoons

Searching for Habitable Super-Earth Exoplanets Around Nearby M-dwarfs

By Keith Cowing
September 3, 2014
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Searching for Habitable Super-Earth Exoplanets Around Nearby M-dwarfs

Detection and characterization of potentially habitable Earth-size extrasolar planets is one of the major goals of contemporary astronomy.

By applying the transit method to very low-mass M-dwarfs, it is possible to find these planets from the ground with present-day instrumentation and observational techniques.

The MEarth project is one such survey with stations in both hemispheres: MEarth-North at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Mount Hopkins, Arizona, and MEarth-South at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile. We present an update on recent results of this survey, for planet occurrence rates, and interesting stellar astrophysics, for which our sample of 3000 nearby mid-to-late M-dwarfs has been very fruitful. All light curves gathered during the survey are made publicly available after one year, and we describe how to access and use these data.

The MEarth-North and MEarth-South transit surveys: Searching for Habitable Super-Earth Exoplanets Around Nearby M-dwarfs

Jonathan M. Irwin, Zachory K. Berta-Thompson, David Charbonneau, Jason Dittmann, Emilio E. Falco, Elisabeth R. Newton, Philip Nutzman (Submitted on 2 Sep 2014) Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures. To appear in 18th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, Proceedings of Lowell Observatory (9-13 June 2014). Public data releases (including Data Release 3, 2014 September 1) are available at this http URL

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

Cite as: arXiv:1409.0891 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1409.0891v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history From: Jonathan Irwin [v1] Tue, 2 Sep 2014 21:04:34 GMT (35kb,D) http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.0891

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) 🖖🏻