Kamal Uddin

NASA, Вашингтон, West Virginia, United States

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Publications (17)184.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Accurately determining the properties of stars is of prime importance for characterizing stellar populations in our Galaxy. The field of asteroseismology has been thought to be particularly successful in such an endeavor for stars in different evolutionary stages. However, to fully exploit its potential, robust methods for estimating stellar parameters are required and independent verification of the results is mandatory. With this purpose, we present a new technique to obtain stellar properties by coupling asteroseismic analysis with the InfraRed Flux Method. By using two global seismic observables and multi-band photometry, the technique allows us to obtain masses, radii, effective temperatures, bolometric fluxes, and hence distances for field stars in a self-consistent manner. We apply our method to 22 solar-like oscillators in the Kepler short-cadence sample, that have accurate Hipparcos parallaxes. Our distance determinations agree to better than 5%, while measurements of spectroscopic effective temperatures and interferometric radii also validate our results. We briefly discuss the potential of our technique for stellar population analysis and models of Galactic Chemical Evolution.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2012; 757:99. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/757/1/99 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the detection of Kepler-47, a system consisting of two planets orbiting around an eclipsing pair of stars. The inner and outer planets have radii 3.0 and 4.6 times that of the Earth, respectively. The binary star consists of a Sun-like star and a companion roughly one-third its size, orbiting each other every 7.45 days. With an orbital period of 49.5 days, eighteen transits of the inner planet have been observed, allowing a detailed characterization of its orbit and those of the stars. The outer planet's orbital period is 303.2 days, and although the planet is not Earth-like, it resides within the classical "habitable zone", where liquid water could exist on an Earth-like planet. With its two known planets, Kepler-47 establishes that close binary stars can host complete planetary systems.
    Science 08/2012; 337(6101):1511-4. DOI:10.1126/science.1228380 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We show that the star KIC 4840675 observed by Kepler is composed of three stars with a rapidly rotating A-type star and two solar-type fainter companions. The A-type star is a δ Scuti variable with a dominant mode and many other modes of lower amplitude, including several low-frequency variations. The low-frequency variation with highest amplitude can be interpreted as rotational modulation with the light curve changing with time. However, the most interesting aspect of this star is a triplet of independent modes in the range 118-129 d-1 (1.4-1.5 mHz), which is far outside the range of typical δ Scuti frequencies. We discuss the possibility that these modes could be solar-like oscillations, oscillations of the roAp type or due to an unseen pulsating compact companion. Based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, on the island of La Palma at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC).
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2012; 424(2):1187-1196. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21295.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Solar-like oscillations have been observed by Kepler and CoRoT in several solar-type stars, thereby providing a way to probe the stars using asteroseismology. We provide the mode frequencies of the oscillations of various stars required to perform a comparison with those obtained from stellar modelling. We used a time series of nine months of data for each star. The 61 stars observed were categorised in three groups: simple, F-like and mixed-mode. The simple group includes stars for which the identification of the mode degree is obvious. The F-like group includes stars for which the identification of the degree is ambiguous. The mixed-mode group includes evolved stars for which the modes do not follow the asymptotic relation of low-degree frequencies. Following this categorisation, the power spectra of the 61 main sequence and subgiant stars were analysed using both maximum likelihood estimators and Bayesian estimators, providing individual mode characteristics such as frequencies, linewidths, and mode heights. We developed and describe a methodology for extracting a single set of mode frequencies from multiple sets derived by different methods and individual scientists. We report on how one can assess the quality of the fitted parameters using the likelihood ratio test and the posterior probabilities. We provide the mode frequencies of 61 stars (with their 1-sigma error bars), as well as their associated echelle diagrams.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2012; 543. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201218948 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New transiting planet candidates are identified in sixteen months (May 2009 - September 2010) of data from the Kepler spacecraft. Nearly five thousand periodic transit-like signals are vetted against astrophysical and instrumental false positives yielding 1,091 viable new planet candidates, bringing the total count up to over 2,300. Improved vetting metrics are employed, contributing to higher catalog reliability. Most notable is the noise-weighted robust averaging of multi-quarter photo-center offsets derived from difference image analysis which identifies likely background eclipsing binaries. Twenty-two months of photometry are used for the purpose of characterizing each of the new candidates. Ephemerides (transit epoch, T_0, and orbital period, P) are tabulated as well as the products of light curve modeling: reduced radius (Rp/R*), reduced semi-major axis (d/R*), and impact parameter (b). The largest fractional increases are seen for the smallest planet candidates (197% for candidates smaller than 2Re compared to 52% for candidates larger than 2Re) and those at longer orbital periods (123% for candidates outside of 50-day orbits versus 85% for candidates inside of 50-day orbits). The gains are larger than expected from increasing the observing window from thirteen months (Quarter 1-- Quarter 5) to sixteen months (Quarter 1 -- Quarter 6). This demonstrates the benefit of continued development of pipeline analysis software. The fraction of all host stars with multiple candidates has grown from 17% to 20%, and the paucity of short-period giant planets in multiple systems is still evident. The progression toward smaller planets at longer orbital periods with each new catalog release suggests that Earth-size planets in the Habitable Zone are forthcoming if, indeed, such planets are abundant.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 02/2012; 204(2). DOI:10.1088/0067-0049/204/2/24 · 14.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Asteroseismology with the Kepler space telescope is providing not only an improved characterization of exoplanets and their host stars, but also a new window on stellar structure and evolution for the large sample of solar-type stars in the field. We perform a uniform analysis of 22 of the brightest asteroseismic targets with the highest signal-to-noise ratio observed for 1 month each during the first year of the mission, and we quantify the precision and relative accuracy of asteroseismic determinations of the stellar radius, mass, and age that are possible using various methods. We present the properties of each star in the sample derived from an automated analysis of the individual oscillation frequencies and other observational constraints using the Asteroseismic Modeling Portal (AMP), and we compare them to the results of model-grid-based methods that fit the global oscillation properties. We find that fitting the individual frequencies typically yields asteroseismic radii and masses to \sim1% precision, and ages to \sim2.5% precision (respectively 2, 5, and 8 times better than fitting the global oscillation properties). The absolute level of agreement between the results from different approaches is also encouraging, with model-grid-based methods yielding slightly smaller estimates of the radius and mass and slightly older values for the stellar age relative to AMP, which computes a large number of dedicated models for each star. The sample of targets for which this type of analysis is possible will grow as longer data sets are obtained during the remainder of the mission.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2012; 749:152 (14pp). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/749/2/152 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transit timing variations provide a powerful tool for confirming and characterizing transiting planets, as well as detecting non-transiting planets. We report the results an updated TTV analysis for 1481 planet candidates (Borucki et al. 2011; Batalha et al. 2012) based on transit times measured during the first sixteen months of Kepler observations. We present 39 strong TTV candidates based on long-term trends (2.8% of suitable data sets). We present another 136 weaker TTV candidates (9.8% of suitable data sets) based on excess scatter of TTV measurements about a linear ephemeris. We anticipate that several of these planet candidates could be confirmed and perhaps characterized with more detailed TTV analyses using publicly available Kepler observations. For many others, Kepler has observed a long-term TTV trend, but an extended Kepler mission will be required to characterize the system via TTVs. We find that the occurrence rate of planet candidates that show TTVs is significantly increased (~68%) for planet candidates transiting stars with multiple transiting planet candidate when compared to planet candidates transiting stars with a single transiting planet candidate.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2012; 756(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/756/2/185 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since the discovery of the first extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars, evolving observational capabilities have brought us closer to the detection of true Earth analogues. The size of an exoplanet can be determined when it periodically passes in front of (transits) its parent star, causing a decrease in starlight proportional to its radius. The smallest exoplanet hitherto discovered has a radius 1.42 times that of the Earth's radius (R(⊕)), and hence has 2.9 times its volume. Here we report the discovery of two planets, one Earth-sized (1.03R(⊕)) and the other smaller than the Earth (0.87R(⊕)), orbiting the star Kepler-20, which is already known to host three other, larger, transiting planets. The gravitational pull of the new planets on the parent star is too small to measure with current instrumentation. We apply a statistical method to show that the likelihood of the planetary interpretation of the transit signals is more than three orders of magnitude larger than that of the alternative hypothesis that the signals result from an eclipsing binary star. Theoretical considerations imply that these planets are rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate. The outer planet could have developed a thick water vapour atmosphere.
    Nature 12/2011; 482(7384):195-8. DOI:10.1038/nature10780 · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports the discovery and characterization of the transiting hot giant exoplanet Kepler-17b. The planet has an orbital period of 1.486 days, and radial velocity measurements from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope show a Doppler signal of 419.5+13.3 –15.6 m s–1. From a transit-based estimate of the host star's mean density, combined with an estimate of the stellar effective temperature T eff = 5630 ± 100 from high-resolution spectra, we infer a stellar host mass of 1.06 ± 0.07 M ☉ and a stellar radius of 1.02 ± 0.03 R ☉. We estimate the planet mass and radius to be M P = 2.45 ± 0.11 M J and R P = 1.31 ± 0.02 R J. The host star is active, with dark spots that are frequently occulted by the planet. The continuous monitoring of the star reveals a stellar rotation period of 11.89 days, eight times the planet's orbital period; this period ratio produces stroboscopic effects on the occulted starspots. The temporal pattern of these spot-crossing events shows that the planet's orbit is prograde and the star's obliquity is smaller than 15°. We detected planetary occultations of Kepler-17b with both the Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes. We use these observations to constrain the eccentricity, e, and find that it is consistent with a circular orbit (e < 0.011). The brightness temperatures of the planet's infrared bandpasses are = 1880 ± 100 K and = 1770 ± 150 K. We measure the optical geometric albedo Ag in the Kepler bandpass and find Ag = 0.10 ± 0.02. The observations are best described by atmospheric models for which most of the incident energy is re-radiated away from the day side.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 11/2011; 197(1):14. DOI:10.1088/0067-0049/197/1/14 · 14.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the detection of three transiting planets around a Sun-like star, which we designate Kepler-18. The transit signals were detected in photometric data from the Kepler satellite, and were confirmed to arise from planets using a combination of large transit-timing variations (TTVs), radial velocity variations, Warm-Spitzer observations, and statistical analysis of false-positive probabilities. The Kepler-18 star has a mass of 0.97 M ☉, a radius of 1.1 R ☉, an effective temperature of 5345 K, and an iron abundance of [Fe/H] = +0.19. The planets have orbital periods of approximately 3.5, 7.6, and 14.9 days. The innermost planet "b" is a "super-Earth" with a mass of 6.9 ± 3.4 M ⊕, a radius of 2.00 ± 0.10 R ⊕, and a mean density of 4.9 ± 2.4 g cm3. The two outer planets "c" and "d" are both low-density Neptune-mass planets. Kepler-18c has a mass of 17.3 ± 1.9 M ⊕, a radius of 5.49 ± 0.26 R ⊕, and a mean density of 0.59 ± 0.07 g cm3, while Kepler-18d has a mass of 16.4 ± 1.4 M ⊕, a radius of 6.98 ± 0.33 R ⊕ and a mean density of 0.27 ± 0.03 g cm3. Kepler-18c and Kepler-18d have orbital periods near a 2:1 mean-motion resonance, leading to large and readily detected TTVs.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 10/2011; 197(1):7. DOI:10.1088/0067-0049/197/1/7 · 14.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Scaling relations that link asteroseismic quantities to global stellar properties are important for gaining understanding of the intricate physics that underpins stellar pulsation. The common notion that all stars in an open cluster have essentially the same distance, age, and initial composition, implies that the stellar parameters can be measured to much higher precision than what is usually achievable for single stars. This makes clusters ideal for exploring the relation between the mode amplitude of solar-like oscillations and the global stellar properties. We have analyzed data obtained with NASA's Kepler space telescope to study solar-like oscillations in 100 red giant stars located in either of the three open clusters, NGC 6791, NGC 6819, and NGC 6811. By fitting the measured amplitudes to predictions from simple scaling relations that depend on luminosity, mass, and effective temperature, we find that the data cannot be described by any power of the luminosity-to-mass ratio as previously assumed. As a result we provide a new improved empirical relation which treats luminosity and mass separately. This relation turns out to also work remarkably well for main-sequence and subgiant stars. In addition, the measured amplitudes reveal the potential presence of a number of previously unknown unresolved binaries in the red clump in NGC 6791 and NGC 6819, pointing to an interesting new application for asteroseismology as a probe into the formation history of open clusters.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 07/2011; 737(1). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/737/1/L10 · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Kepler Mission has recently announced the discovery of Kepler-10 b, the smallest exoplanet discovered to date and the first rocky planet found by the spacecraft. A second, 45-day period transit-like signal present in the photometry from the first eight months of data could not be confirmed as being caused by a planet at the time of that announcement. Here we apply the light-curve modeling technique known as BLENDER to explore the possibility that the signal might be due to an astrophysical false positive (blend). To aid in this analysis we report the observation of two transits with the Spitzer Space Telescope at 4.5 {\mu}m. When combined they yield a transit depth of 344 \pm 85 ppm that is consistent with the depth in the Kepler passband (376 \pm 9 ppm, ignoring limb darkening), which rules out blends with an eclipsing binary of a significantly different color than the target. Using these observations along with other constraints from high resolution imaging and spectroscopy we are able to exclude the vast majority of possible false positives. We assess the likelihood of the remaining blends, and arrive conservatively at a false alarm rate of 1.6 \times 10-5 that is small enough to validate the candidate as a planet (designated Kepler-10 c) with a very high level of confidence. The radius of this object is measured to be Rp = 2.227+0.052 -0.057 Earth radii. Kepler-10 c represents another example (with Kepler-9 d and Kepler-11 g) of statistical "validation" of a transiting exoplanet, as opposed to the usual "confirmation" that can take place when the Doppler signal is detected or transit timing variations are measured. It is anticipated that many of Kepler's smaller candidates will receive a similar treatment since dynamical confirmation may be difficult or impractical with the sensitivity of current instrumentation.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 05/2011; 197(1). DOI:10.1088/0067-0049/197/1/5 · 14.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Kepler Mission provides nearly continuous monitoring of ~156 000 objects with unprecedented photometric precision. Coincident with the first data release, we presented a catalog of 1879 eclipsing binary systems identified within the 115 square degree Kepler FOV. Here, we provide an updated catalog augmented with the second Kepler data release which increases the baseline nearly 4-fold to 125 days. 386 new systems have been added, ephemerides and principle parameters have been recomputed. We have removed 42 previously cataloged systems that are now clearly recognized as short-period pulsating variables and another 58 blended systems where we have determined that the Kepler target object is not itself the eclipsing binary. A number of interesting objects are identified. We present several exemplary cases: 4 EBs that exhibit extra (tertiary) eclipse events; and 8 systems that show clear eclipse timing variations indicative of the presence of additional bodies bound in the system. We have updated the period and galactic latitude distribution diagrams. With these changes, the total number of identified eclipsing binary systems in the Kepler field-of-view has increased to 2165, 1.4% of the Kepler target stars.
    The Astronomical Journal 03/2011; 142(5). DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/142/5/160 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present five new pulsating subdwarf B (sdB) stars discovered by the Kepler spacecraft during the asteroseismology survey phase. We perform time-series analysis on the nearly continuous month-long Kepler datasets of these 5 objects; these datasets provide nearly alias-free time-series photometry at unprecedented precision. Following an iterative prewhitening process we derive the pulsational frequency spectra of these stars, separating out artefacts of known instrumental origin. We find that these new pulsating sdB stars are multiperiodic long-period pulsators of the V1093 Her type, with the number of periodicities ranging from 8 (KIC8302197) to 53 (KIC11558725). The frequencies and amplitudes are typical of g-mode pulsators of this type. We do not find any evidence for binarity in the five stars from their observed pulsation frequencies. As these are g-mode pulsators, we briefly looked for period spacings for mode identification, and found average spacings about 260s and 145s. This may indicate l=1 and 2 patterns. Some modes may show evidence of rotational splitting. These discoveries complete the list of compact pulsators found in the survey phase. Of the 13 compact pulsators, only one star was identified as a short-period (p-mode) V361Hya pulsator, while all other new pulsators turned out to be V1093 Her class objects. Among the latter objects, two of them seemed to be pure V1093 Her while the others show additional low amplitude peaks in the p-mode frequency range, suggesting their hybrid nature. Authenticity of these peaks will be tested with longer runs currently under analysis.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 03/2011; 414. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18486.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the faint star KIC 9700322 observed by the Kepler satellite, 76 frequencies with amplitudes from 14 to 29000 ppm were detected. The two dominant frequencies at 9.79 and 12.57 c/d (113.3 and 145.5 \mu Hz), interpreted to be radial modes, are accompanied by a large number of combination frequencies. A small additional modulation with a 0.16 c/d frequency is also seen; this is interpreted to be the rotation frequency of the star. The corresponding prediction of slow rotation is confirmed by a spectrum from which v sin i = 19 \pm 1 km/s is obtained. The analysis of the spectrum shows that the star is one of the coolest {\delta} Sct variables. We also determine Teff = 6700 \pm 100 K and log g = 3.7 \pm 0.1, compatible with the observed frequencies of the radial modes. Normal solar abundances are found. An \ell = 2 frequency quintuplet is also detected with a frequency separation consistent with predictions from the measured rotation rate. A remarkable result is the absence of additional independent frequencies down to an amplitude limit near 14 ppm, suggesting that the star is stable against most forms of nonradial pulsation. The frequency spectrum of this star emphasizes the need for caution in interpreting low frequencies in {\delta} Sct stars as independent gravity modes. A low frequency peak at 2.7763 c/d in KIC 9700322 is, in fact, the frequency difference between the two dominant modes and is repeated over and over in various frequency combinations involving the two dominant modes. The relative phases of the combination frequencies show a strong correlation with frequency, but the physical significance of this result is not clear.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 12/2010; 414. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18508.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We give an overview of the operational concepts and architecture of the Kepler Science Processing Pipeline. Designed, developed, operated, and maintained by the Kepler Science Operations Center (SOC) at NASA Ames Research Center, the Science Processing Pipeline is a central element of the Kepler Ground Data System. The SOC consists of an office at Ames Research Center, software development and operations departments, and a data center which hosts the computers required to perform data analysis. The SOC's charter is to analyze stellar photometric data from the Kepler spacecraft and report results to the Kepler Science Office for further analysis. We describe how this is accomplished via the Kepler Science Processing Pipeline, including the hardware infrastructure, scientific algorithms, and operational procedures. We present the high-performance, parallel computing software modules of the pipeline that perform transit photometry, pixel-level calibration, systematic error correction, attitude determination, stellar target management, and instrument characterization. We show how data processing environments are divided to support operational processing and test needs. We explain the operational timelines for data processing and the data constructs that flow into the Kepler Science Processing Pipeline.
    Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series; 07/2010
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    ABSTRACT: The Kepler Mission Science Operations Center (SOC) performs several critical functions including managing the ~156,000 target stars, associated target tables, science data compression tables and parameters, as well as processing the raw photometric data downlinked from the spacecraft each month. The raw data are first calibrated at the pixel level to correct for bias, smear induced by a shutterless readout, and other detector and electronic effects. A background sky flux is estimated from ~4500 pixels on each of the 84 CCD readout channels, and simple aperture photometry is performed on an optimal aperture for each star. Ancillary engineering data and diagnostic information extracted from the science data are used to remove systematic errors in the flux time series that are correlated with these data prior to searching for signatures of transiting planets with a wavelet-based, adaptive matched filter. Stars with signatures exceeding 7.1 sigma are subjected to a suite of statistical tests including an examination of each star's centroid motion to reject false positives caused by background eclipsing binaries. Physical parameters for each planetary candidate are fitted to the transit signature, and signatures of additional transiting planets are sought in the residual light curve. The pipeline is operational, finding planetary signatures and providing robust eliminations of false positives. Comment: 8 pages, 3 figures
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 04/2010; 713(2). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/713/2/L87; · 5.60 Impact Factor