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Habitable Planets Eclipsing Brown Dwarfs: Strategies for Detection and Characterization

Belu, Adrian R. and Selsis, Franck and Raymond, Sean N. and Pallé, Enric and Street, Rachel and Sahu, D. K. and von Braun, Kaspar and Bolmont, Emeline and Figueira, Pedro and Anupama, G. C. and Ribas, Ignasi (2013) Habitable Planets Eclipsing Brown Dwarfs: Strategies for Detection and Characterization. Astrophysical Journal, 768 (2). Art. No. 125. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/768/2/125.

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Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P_(HZ out)). Habitable planets with P_(HZ out) shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between 4.5^(+5.6)_(-1.4)% and 56^(+31)_(-13)%, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using ~1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Selsis, Franck0000-0001-9619-5356
Street, Rachel0000-0001-6279-0552
von Braun, Kaspar0000-0002-5823-4630
Bolmont, Emeline0000-0001-5657-4503
Additional Information:© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 August 17; accepted 2013 January 8; published 2013 April 23. We are most thankful to Amaury Triaud, Michael Gillon, Roi Alonso, and Monika Lendl for helping with this work. A.B. acknowledges support from CNES. F.S. acknowledges support from the European Research Council (ERC) starting grant 209622: E3ARTHs. SNR thanks the CNRS’s PNP program. P.F. acknowledges support from the ERC/European Community under the FP7 through Starting Grant agreement number 239953, as well as by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) in the form of grant reference PTDC/CTE-AST/098528/2008. This research made use of, Aladin, and JSkyCalc. A.B. thanks J.-F. Lecampion for assistance with light curve production. We thank Ludovic Puig for contributing to the inspiration for this work. We thank the anonymous referee for attentive reading that helped improve the manuscript and the numerous educational and prospective comments. Facilities: FTN, FTS, HCT
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)209622
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)239953
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)PTDC/CTE-AST/098528/2008
Subject Keywords:astrobiology; brown dwarfs; eclipses; infrared: planetary systems; instrumentation: spectrographs; solar neighborhood
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130604-150757701
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Official Citation: Habitable Planets Eclipsing Brown Dwarfs: Strategies for Detection and Characterization Adrian R. Belu, Franck Selsis, Sean N. Raymond, Enric Pallé, Rachel Street, D. K. Sahu, Kaspar von Braun, Emeline Bolmont, Pedro Figueira, G. C. Anupama, and Ignasi Ribas doi:10.1088/0004-637X/768/2/125
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38791
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:04 Jun 2013 22:31
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:40

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