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Published February 2015 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

High-Resolution Multi-Band Imaging for Validation and Characterization of Small Kepler Planets


High-resolution ground-based optical speckle and near-infrared adaptive optics images are taken to search for stars in close angular proximity to host stars of candidate planets identified by the NASA Kepler Mission. Neighboring stars are a potential source of false positive signals. These stars also blend into Kepler light curves, affecting estimated planet properties, and are important for an understanding of planets in multiple star systems. Deep images with high angular resolution help to validate candidate planets by excluding potential background eclipsing binaries as the source of the transit signals. A study of 18 Kepler Object of Interest stars hosting a total of 28 candidate and validated planets is presented. Validation levels are determined for 18 planets against the likelihood of a false positive from a background eclipsing binary. Most of these are validated at the 99% level or higher, including five newly validated planets in two systems: Kepler-430 and Kepler-431. The stellar properties of the candidate host stars are determined by supplementing existing literature values with new spectroscopic characterizations. Close neighbors of seven of these stars are examined using multi-wavelength photometry to determine their nature and influence on the candidate planet properties. Most of the close neighbors appear to be gravitationally bound secondaries, while a few are best explained as closely co-aligned field stars. Revised planet properties are derived for each candidate and validated planet, including cases where the close neighbors are the potential host stars.

Additional Information

© 2015 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 July 15; accepted 2014 November 12; published 2015 January 15. The authors acknowledge the support of many people and programs that made this work possible. This paper includes data collected by the Kepler Mission. Funding for the mission is provided by the NASA Science Mission directorate. M. E. Everett received support through NASA Agreement NNX1-3AB60A. T. Barclay was partially supported by a NASA Keck PI Data Award, administered by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Comments to improve upon a draft of this paper were received from an anonymous referee, who we thank for the help. Data for this paper were obtained from numerous sources, including: (1) 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; (2) the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Support for MAST for non-Hubble Space Telescope data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NNX13AC07G and by other grants and contracts; and (3) the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. This work also made use of PyKE (Still & Barclay 2012), a software package for the reduction and analysis of Kepler data. This open source software project is developed and distributed by the NASA Kepler Guest Observer Office. The speckle imaging observations were obtained as part of the program GN-2013B-Q-87 at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina). We are very grateful for the excellent support of the Gemini administration and support staff who helped make the visiting instrument program possible and the DSSI observing run a great success. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. Finally, the authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. Facilities: Gemini:Gillett, Mayall, Keck:II, Hale, Shane, Kepler

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Submitted - 1411.3621v2.pdf

Published - 1538-3881_149_2_55.pdf


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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023