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Search for a habitable terrestrial planet transiting the nearby red dwarf GJ 1214

Gillon, M. and Demory, B.-O. and Madhusudhan, N. and Deming, D. and Seager, S. and Zsom, A. and Knutson, H. A. and Lanotte, A. A. and Bonfils, X. and Desert, J. M. and Delrez, L. and Jehin, E. and Fraine, J. D. and Magain, P. and Triaud, A. H. M. J. (2014) Search for a habitable terrestrial planet transiting the nearby red dwarf GJ 1214. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 563 . Art. No. A21. ISSN 0004-6361.

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High-precision eclipse spectrophotometry of transiting terrestrial exoplanets represents a promising path for the first atmospheric characterizations of habitable worlds and the search for life outside our solar system. The detection of terrestrial planets transiting nearby late-type M-dwarfs could make this approach applicable within the next decade, with soon-to-come general facilities. In this context, we previously identified GJ 1214 as a high-priority target for a transit search, as the transit probability of a habitable planet orbiting this nearby M4.5 dwarf would be significantly enhanced by the transiting nature of GJ 1214 b, the super-Earth already known to orbit the star. Based on this observation, we have set up an ambitious high-precision photometric monitoring of GJ 1214 with the Spitzer Space Telescope to probe the inner part of its habitable zone in search of a transiting planet as small as Mars. We present here the results of this transit search. Unfortunately, we did not detect any other transiting planets. Assuming that GJ 1214 hosts a habitable planet larger than Mars that has an orbital period smaller than 20.9 days, our global analysis of the whole Spitzer dataset leads to an a posteriori no-transit probability of ~98%. Our analysis allows us to significantly improve the characterization of GJ 1214 b, to measure its occultation depth to be 70 ± 35 ppm at 4.5 μm, and to constrain it to be smaller than 205 ppm (3σ upper limit) at 3.6 μm. In agreement with the many transmission measurements published so far for GJ 1214 b, these emission measurements are consistent with both a metal-rich and a cloudy hydrogen-rich atmosphere.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Gillon, M.0000-0003-1462-7739
Demory, B.-O.0000-0002-9355-5165
Madhusudhan, N.0000-0002-4869-000X
Deming, D.0000-0001-5727-4094
Seager, S.0000-0002-6892-6948
Zsom, A.0000-0003-3336-7469
Knutson, H. A.0000-0002-0822-3095
Bonfils, X.0000-0001-9003-8894
Desert, J. M.0000-0002-0875-8401
Delrez, L.0000-0001-6108-4808
Fraine, J. D.0000-0003-0910-5805
Triaud, A. H. M. J.0000-0002-5510-8751
Additional Information:© 2014 ESO. Received 25 July 2013; Accepted 3 December 2013. This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. This research has made use of the NASA Exoplanet Archive, which is operated by the California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Exoplanet Exploration Program. M. Gillon and E. Jehin are Research Associates of the Belgian Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS). L. Delrez is FRIA PhD student of the FNRS. A. H. M. J. Triaud is a Swiss National Science Foundation fellow under grant number PBGEP2-145594. TRAPPIST is a project funded by the FNRS under grant FRFC 2.5.594.09.F, with the participation of the Swiss National Science Fundation (SNF). The TRAPPIST team is grateful to Gregory Lambert and to the ESO La Silla staff for their continuous support. N. Madhusudhan acknowledges support from Yale University through the YCAA postdoctoral prize fellowship. A. Zsom was supported by the German Science Foundation (DFG) under grant ZS107/2-1.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)PBGEP2-145594
Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS)FRFC 2.5.564.09.F
Yale UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)ZS107/2-1
Subject Keywords:techniques: photometric; binaries: eclipsing; stars: individual: GJ 1214; planetary systems
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140514-122748536
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Official Citation:Gillon, M., Demory, B.-O., Madhusudhan, N., Deming, D., Seager, S., Zsom, A., ... Triaud, A. H. M. J. (2014). Search for a habitable terrestrial planet transiting the nearby red dwarf GJ 1214. A&A, 563, A21.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:45742
Deposited By: Aucoeur Ngo
Deposited On:20 May 2014 19:19
Last Modified:14 Oct 2019 22:28

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