A Search for Wide Companions to the Extrasolar Planetary System HR 8799

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.28). 04/2009; 709(1). DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/709/1/342
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT The extrasolar planetary system around HR 8799 is the first multiplanet system ever imaged. It is also, by a wide margin, the highest mass system with >27 Jupiters of planetary mass past 25 AU. This is a remarkable system with no analogue with any other known planetary system. In the first part of this paper we investigate the nature of two faint objects imaged near the system. These objects are considerably fainter (H=20.4, and 21.6 mag) and more distant (projected separations of 612, and 534 AU) than the three known planetary companions b, c, and d (68-24 AU). It is possible that these two objects could be lower mass planets (of mass ~5 and ~3 Jupiters) that have been scattered to wider orbits. We make the first direct comparison of newly reduced archival Gemini adaptive optics images to archival HST/NICMOS images. With nearly a decade between these epochs we can accurately assess the proper motion nature of each candidate companion. We find that both objects are unbound to HR 8799 and are background. We estimate that HR 8799 has no companions of H<22 from ~5-15 arcsec. Any scattered giant planets in the HR 8799 system are >600 AU or less than 3 Jupiters in mass. In the second part of this paper we carry out a search for wider common proper motion objects. While we identify no bound companions to HR 8799, our search yields 16 objects within 1 degree in the NOMAD catalog and POSS DSS images with similar (+/-20 mas/yr) proper motions to HR 8799, three of which warrant follow-up observations. Comment: 22 pages, 8 figures, submitted to the Astrophysical Journal

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    ABSTRACT: We report results of a direct imaging survey for giant planets around 80 members of the Beta Pic, TW Hya, Tucana-Horologium, AB Dor, and Hercules-Lyra moving groups, observed as part of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. For this sample, we obtained median contrasts of \Delta H=13.9 mag at 1" in combined CH4 narrowband ADI+SDI mode and median contrasts of \Delta H=15.1 mag at 2" in H-band ADI mode. We found numerous (>70) candidate companions in our survey images. Some of these candidates were rejected as common-proper motion companions using archival data; we reobserved with NICI all other candidates that lay within 400 AU of the star and were not in dense stellar fields. The vast majority of candidate companions were confirmed as background objects from archival observations and/or dedicated NICI campaign followup. Four co-moving companions of brown dwarf or stellar mass were discovered in this moving group sample: PZ Tel B (36+-6 MJup, 16.4+-1.0 AU, Biller et al. 2010), CD -35 2722B (31+-8 MJup, 67+-4 AU, Wahhaj et al. 2011), HD 12894B (0.46+-0.08 MSun, 15.7+-1.0 AU), and BD+07 1919C (0.20+-0.03 MSun, 12.5+-1.4 AU). From a Bayesian analysis of the achieved H band ADI and ASDI contrasts, using power-law models of planet distributions and hot-start evolutionary models, we restrict the frequency of 1--20 MJup companions at semi-major axes from 10--150 AU to <18% at a 95.4% confidence level using DUSTY models and to <6% at a 95.4% using COND models.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 777(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/777/2/160 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The post-formation, initial entropy S_i of a gas giant planet is a key witness to its mass-assembly history and a crucial quantity for its early evolution. However, formation models are not yet able to predict reliably S_i, making unjustified the use solely of traditional, 'hot-start' cooling tracks to interpret direct imaging results and calling for an observational determination of initial entropies to guide formation scenarios. Using a grid of models in mass and entropy, we show how to place joint constraints on the mass and initial entropy of an object from its observed luminosity and age. This generalises the usual estimate of only a lower bound on the real mass through hot-start tracks. Moreover, we demonstrate that with mass information, e.g. from dynamical stability analyses or radial velocity, tighter bounds can be set on the initial entropy. We apply this procedure to 2M1207 b and find that its initial entropy is at least 9.2 kB/baryon, assuming that it does not burn deuterium. For the planets of the HR 8799 system, we infer that they must have formed with S_i > 9.2 kB/baryon, independent of uncertainties about the age of the star. Finally, a similar analysis for beta Pic b reveals that it must have formed with S_i > 10.5 kB/baryon, using the radial-velocity mass upper limit. These initial entropy values are respectively ca. 0.7, 0.5, and 1.5 kB/baryon higher than the ones obtained from core accretion models by Marley et al., thereby quantitatively ruling out the coldest starts for these objects and constraining warm starts, especially for beta Pic b.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2013; 437(2). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1967 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With a combination of adaptive optics imaging and a multi-epoch common proper motion search, we have conducted a large volume-limited (D $\le$ 75 pc) multiplicity survey of A-type stars, sensitive to companions beyond 30 au. The sample for the Volume-limited A-STar (VAST) survey consists of 435 A-type stars: 363 stars were observed with adaptive optics, 228 stars were searched for wide common proper motion companions and 156 stars were measured with both techniques. The projected separation coverage of the VAST survey extends from 30 to 45,000 au. A total of 137 stellar companions were resolved, including 64 new detections from the VAST survey, and the companion star fraction, projected separation distribution and mass ratio distribution were measured. The separation distribution forms a log-normal distribution similar to the solar-type binary distribution, but with a peak shifted to a significantly wider value of 387 (+132,-98) au. Integrating the fit to the distribution over the 30 to 10,000 au observed range, the companion star fraction for A-type stars is estimated as 33.8%+-2.6%. The mass ratio distribution of closer (<125 au) binaries is distinct from that of wider systems, with a flat distribution for close systems and a distribution that tends towards smaller mass ratios for wider binaries. Combining this result with previous spectroscopic surveys of A-type stars gives an estimate of the total companion star fraction of 68.9%+-7.0%. The most complete assessment of higher order multiples was estimated from the 156-star subset of the VAST sample with both adaptive optics and common proper motion measurements, combined with a literature search for companions, yielding a lower limit on the frequency of single, binary, triple, quadruple and quintuple A-type star systems of 56.4 (-4.0,+3.8), 32.1 (-3.5,+3.9), 9.0 (-1.8,+2.8), 1.9 (-0.6,+1.8) and 0.6 (-0.2,+1.4) per cent, respectively.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 11/2013; 437(2). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1932 · 5.23 Impact Factor


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