C. G. Tinney

American Museum of Natural History, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (180)730.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In recent years brown dwarfs have been extended to a new Y-dwarf class with effective temperatures colder than 500K and masses in the range 5-30 Jupiter masses. They fill a crucial gap in observable atmospheric properties between the much colder gas-giant planets of our own Solar System (at around 130K) and both hotter T-type brown dwarfs and the hotter planets that can be imaged orbiting young nearby stars (both with effective temperatures of in the range 1500-1000K). Distance measurements for these objects deliver absolute magnitudes that make critical tests of our understanding of very cool atmospheres. Here we report new distances for nine Y dwarfs and seven very-late T dwarfs. These reveal that Y dwarfs do indeed represent a continuation of the T dwarf sequence to both fainter luminosities and cooler temperatures. They also show that the coolest objects display a large range in absolute magnitude for a given photometric colour. The latest atmospheric models show good agreement with the majority of these Y dwarf absolute magnitudes. This is also the case for WISE0855-0714 the coldest and closest brown dwarf to the Sun, which shows evidence for water ice clouds. However, there are also some outstanding exceptions, which suggest either binarity or the presence of condensate clouds. The former is readily testable with current adaptive optics facilities. The latter would mean that the range of cloudiness in Y dwarfs is substantial with most hosting almost no clouds -- while others have dense clouds making them prime targets for future variability observations to study cloud dynamics.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2014; 796(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report new Ks band secondary eclipse observations for the hot-Jupiters WASP-19b and WASP-43b. Using the IRIS2 infrared camera on the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), we measured significant secondary eclipses for both planets, with depths of 0.287 -0.020/+0.020% and 0.181 -0.027/+0.027% for WASP-19b and WASP-43b respectively. We compare the observations to atmosphere models from the VSTAR line-by-line radiative transfer code, and examine the effect of C/O abundance, top layer haze, and metallicities on the observed spectra. We performed a series of signal injection and recovery exercises on the observed light curves to explore the detection thresholds of the AAT+IRIS2 facility. We find that the optimal photometric precision is achieved for targets brighter than Kmag = 9, for which eclipses as shallow as 0.05% are detectable at >5 sigma significance.
    09/2014; 445(3).
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    ABSTRACT: We have measured the alignment between the orbit of HATS-3b (a recently discovered, slightly inflated Hot Jupiter) and the spin-axis of its host star. Data were obtained using the CYCLOPS2 optical-fiber bundle and its simultaneous calibration system feeding the UCLES spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The sky-projected spin-orbit angle of $\lambda = 3\pm25^{\circ}$ was determined from spectroscopic measurements of Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. This is the first exoplanet discovered through the HATSouth transit survey to have its spin-orbit angle measured. Our results indicate that the orbital plane of HATS-3b is consistent with being aligned to the spin axis of its host star. The low obliquity of the HATS-3 system, which has a relatively hot mid F-type host star, agrees with the general trend observed for Hot Jupiter host stars with effective temperatures $>6250$K to have randomly distributed spin-orbit angles.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2014; 792(2):112. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a deep near-infrared image of the newly discovered brown dwarf WISE J085510.83-071442.5 (W0855) using the FourStar imager at Las Campanas Observatory. Our detection of J3=24.8+0.33 -0.53 (J_MKO=25.0+0.33-0.53) at 2.6sigma -- or equivalently an upper limit of J3 > 23.8 (J_MKO > 24.0) at 5sigma makes W0855 the reddest brown dwarf ever categorized (J_MKO - W2 = 10.984+0.33 - 0.53 at 2.6sigma -- or equivalently an upper limit of J_MKO - W2 > 9.984 at 5sigma) and refines its position on color magnitude diagrams. Comparing the new photometry with chemical equilibrium model atmosphere predictions, we demonstrate that W0855 is 4.5sigma from models using a cloudless atmosphere and well reproduced by partly cloudy models (50%) containing sulfide and water ice clouds. Non-equilibrium chemistry or non-solar metallicity may change predictions, however using currently available model approaches, this is the first candidate outside our own solar system to have direct evidence for water clouds.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 08/2014; 793(1). · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the detection of GJ 832c, a super-Earth orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of GJ 832, an M dwarf previously known to host a Jupiter analog in a nearly-circular 9.4-year orbit. The combination of precise radial-velocity measurements from three telescopes reveals the presence of a planet with a period of 35.68+/-0.03 days and minimum mass (m sin i) of 5.4+/-1.0 Earth masses. GJ 832c moves on a low-eccentricity orbit (e=0.18+/-0.13) towards the inner edge of the habitable zone. However, given the large mass of the planet, it seems likely that it would possess a massive atmosphere, which may well render the planet inhospitable. Indeed, it is perhaps more likely that GJ 832c is a "super-Venus," featuring significant greenhouse forcing. With an outer giant planet and an interior, potentially rocky planet, the GJ 832 planetary system can be thought of as a miniature version of our own Solar system.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2014; 791(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present Keck II laser guide star adaptive optics observations of the brown dwarf WISEP J061135.13–041024.0 showing it is a binary with a component separation of 0.''4. This system is one of the six known resolved binaries in which the magnitude differences between the components show a reversal in sign between the Y/J band and the H/K bands. Deconvolution of the composite spectrum results in a best-fit binary solution with L9 and T1.5 components. We also present a preliminary parallax placing the system at a distance of 21.2 ± 1.3 pc. Using the distance and resolved magnitudes we are able to place WISEP J061135.13–041024.0 AB on a color-absolute magnitude diagram, showing that this system contributes to the well-known "J-band bump" and the components' properties appear similar to other late-type L and early-type T dwarfs. Fitting our data to a set of cloudy atmosphere models suggests the system has an age >1 Gyr with WISE 0611–0410 A having an effective temperature (T eff) of 1275-1325 K and mass of 64-65 M Jup, and WISE 0611–0410 B having T eff = 1075-1115 K and mass 40-65 M Jup.
    The Astronomical Journal 05/2014; 148(1):6. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present Keck II laser guide star adaptive optics observations of the brown dwarf WISEP J061135.13-041024.0 showing it is a binary with a component separation of 0.4". This system is one of the six known resolved binaries in which the magnitude differences between the components show a reversal in sign between the Y/J band and the H/K bands. Deconvolution of the composite spectrum results in a best fit binary solution with L9 and T1.5 components. We also present a preliminary parallax placing the system at a distance of 21.2+/-1.3 pc. Using the distance and resolved magnitudes we are able to place WISEP J061135.13-041024.0AB on a color-absolute magnitude diagram, showing that this system contributes to the well-known "J-band bump" and the components' properties appear similar to other late-type L and early-type T dwarfs. Fitting our data to a set of cloudy atmosphere models suggests the system has an age >1 Gyr with WISEP J061135.13-041024.0A having an effective temperature (Teff) of 1275-1325 K and mass of 64-65 M_Jup, and WISEP J061135.13-041024.0B having Teff = 1075-1115 K and mass 40-65 M_Jup.
    04/2014;
  • Duncan J. Wright, Christopher G. Tinney, Robert A. Wittenmyer
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    ABSTRACT: Detecting the small velocity amplitudes (<= 10 m/s) produced by habitable zone rocky planets around M Dwarfs requires radial velocity precisions of a few m s-1. However, an iodine absorption cell, commonly used as a high precision wavelength reference on non-stabilised spectrographs, is not efficient for very red and faint objects like M Dwarfs. Instead, arc lamps have to be used. With the exception of the ultra-stabilised HARPS spectrograph, achieving ~m s-1 calibration with arc lamps has not been possible because typical spectrographs experience drifts of several hundred m s-1 due to local atmospheric changes in pressure and temperature. We outline and present results from an innovative differential wavelength calibration method that enables ~m s-1 precision from non-stabilised, high-resolution spectrographs. This technique allows the detection of rocky planets with radial velocity amplitudes of a few m s-1.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of giant planets orbiting close to their host stars was one of the most unexpected results of early exoplanetary science. Astronomers have since found that a significant fraction of these 'Hot Jupiters' move on orbits substantially misaligned with the rotation axis of their host star. We recently reported the measurement of the spin-orbit misalignment for WASP-79b by using data from the 3.9 m Anglo-Australian Telescope. Contemporary models of planetary formation produce planets on nearly coplanar orbits with respect to their host star's equator. We discuss the mechanisms which could drive planets into spin-orbit misalignment. The most commonly proposed being the Kozai mechanism, which requires the presence of a distant, massive companion to the star-planet system. We therefore describe a volume-limited direct-imaging survey of Hot Jupiter systems with measured spin-orbit angles, to search for the presence of stellar companions and test the Kozai hypothesis.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of two long-period giant planets from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search. HD 154857c is in a multiple-planet system, while HD 114613b appears to be solitary. HD 114613b has an orbital period P=10.5 years, and a minimum mass m sin i of 0.48 Jupiter masses; HD 154857c has P=9.5 years and m sin i=2.6 Jupiter masses. These new data confirm the planetary nature of the previously unconstrained long-period object in the HD 154857 system. We have performed detailed dynamical stability simulations which show that the HD 154857 two-planet system is stable on timescales of at least 100 million years. These results highlight the continued importance of "legacy" surveys with long observational baselines; these ongoing campaigns are critical for determining the population of Jupiter analogs, and hence of those planetary systems with architectures most like our own Solar system.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 783(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present six years of new radial-velocity data from the Anglo-Australian and Magellan Telescopes on the HD 73526 2:1 resonant planetary system. We investigate both Keplerian and dynamical (interacting) fits to these data, yielding four possible configurations for the system. The new data now show that both resonance angles are librating, with amplitudes of 40 degrees and 60 degrees, respectively. We then perform long-term dynamical stability tests to differentiate these solutions, which only differ significantly in the masses of the planets. We show that while there is no clearly preferred system inclination, the dynamical fit with i=90 degrees provides the best combination of goodness-of-fit and long-term dynamical stability.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2013; 780(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Files contain the data used to plot the lightcurves in Fig. 2, 6 and 7 in the paper. The data were obtained using two different instruments: GROND mounted on the MPG/ESO 2.2 telescope in La Silla Observatory, and the Spectral imaging camera, mounted at 2.0m FTS at Siding Spring Observatory. (9 data files).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the discovery of a very cold, very low mass, nearby brown dwarf using data from the NASA Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The object, WISE J064723.23-623235.5, has a very red WISE color of W1-W2 > 3.77 mag and a very red Spitzer Space Telescope color of ch1-ch2 = 2.82+/-0.09 mag. In J_MKO-ch2 color (7.58+/-0.27 mag) it is one of the two or three reddest brown dwarfs known. Our grism spectrum from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) confirms it to be the seventeenth Y dwarf discovered, and its spectral type of Y1+/-0.5 makes it one of the four latest-type Y dwarfs classified. Astrometric imaging from Spitzer and HST, combined with data from WISE, provides a preliminary parallax of pi = 115+/-12 mas (d = 8.7+/-0.9 pc) and proper motion of mu = 387+/-25 mas/yr based on 2.5 years of monitoring. The spectrum implies a blue J-H color, for which model atmosphere calculations suggest a relatively low surface gravity. The best fit to these models indicates an effective temperature of 350-400K and a mass of ~5-30 M_Jup. Kinematic analysis hints that this object may belong to the Columba moving group, which would support an age of ~30 Myr and thus an even lower mass of <2 M_Jup, but verification would require a radial velocity measurement not currently possible for a J=22.7 mag brown dwarf.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2013; 776(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Determining the orbital eccentricity of an extrasolar planet is critically important for understanding the system's dynamical environment and history. However, eccentricity is often poorly determined or entirely mischaracterized due to poor observational sampling, low signal-to-noise, and/or degeneracies with other planetary signals. Some systems previously thought to contain a single, moderate-eccentricity planet have been shown, after further monitoring, to host two planets on nearly-circular orbits. We investigate published apparent single-planet systems to see if the available data can be better fit by two lower-eccentricity planets. We identify nine promising candidate systems and perform detailed dynamical tests to confirm the stability of the potential new multiple-planet systems. Finally, we compare the expected orbits of the single- and double-planet scenarios to better inform future observations of these interesting systems.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 07/2013; 208(1). · 16.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery and subsequent detailed study of T dwarfs has provided many surprises and pushed the physics and modeling of cool atmospheres in unpredicted directions. Distance is a critical parameter for studies of these objects to determine intrinsic luminosities, test binarity and measure their motion in the Galaxy. We describe a new observational program to determine distances across the full range of T dwarf sub-types using the NTT/SOFI telescope/instrument combination. We present preliminary results for ten objects, five of which represent new distances.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2013; 433(3). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the measurement of a spin-orbit misalignment for WASP-79b, a recently discovered, bloated transiting hot Jupiter from the WASP survey. Data were obtained using the CYCLOPS2 optical-fiber bundle and its simultaneous calibration system feeding the UCLES spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. We have used the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect to determine the sky-projected spin-orbit angle to be lambda = -106+19-13 degrees. This result indicates a significant misalignment between the spin axis of the host star and the orbital plane of the planet -- the planet being in a nearly polar orbit. WASP-79 is consistent with other stars that have Teff > 6250K and host hot Jupiters in spin-orbit misalignment.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 06/2013; 774(1). · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of 76 new T dwarfs from the UKIDSS Large Area Survey (LAS). Near-infrared broad and narrow-band photometry and spectroscopy are presented for the new objects, along with WISE and warm-Spitzer photometry. Proper motions for 128 UKIDSS T dwarfs are presented from a new two epoch LAS proper motion catalogue. We use these motions to identify two new benchmark systems: LHS 6176AB, a T8+M4 pair and HD118865AB, a T5.5+F8 pair. Using age constraints from the primaries and evolutionary models to constrain the radii we have estimated their physical properties from their bolometric luminosity. We compare the colours and properties of known benchmark T dwarfs to the latest model atmospheres and draw two principal conclusions. Firstly, it appears that the H - [4.5] and J - W2 colours are more sensitive to metallicity than has previously been recognised, such that differences in metallicity may dominate over differences in Teff when considering relative properties of cool objects using these colours. Secondly, the previously noted apparent dominance of young objects in the late-T dwarf sample is no longer apparent when using the new model grids and the expanded sample of late-T dwarfs and benchmarks. This is supported by the apparently similar distribution of late-T dwarfs and earlier-type T dwarfs on reduced proper motion diagrams that we present. Finally, we present updated space densities for the late-T dwarfs, and compare our values to simulation predictions and those from WISE.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2013; 433(1). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of HATS-2b, the second transiting extrasolar planet detected by the HATSouth survey. HATS-2b is moving on a circular orbit around a V=13.6 mag, K-type dwarf star (GSC 6665-00236), at a separation of 0.0230 \pm 0.0003 AU and with a period of 1.3541 days. The planetary parameters have been robustly determined using a simultaneous fit of the HATSouth, MPG/ESO~2.2\,m/GROND, Faulkes Telescope South/Spectral transit photometry and MPG/ESO~2.2\,m/FEROS, Euler~1.2\,m/CORALIE, AAT~3.9\,m/CYCLOPS radial-velocity measurements. HATS-2b has a mass of 1.37 \pm 0.16 M_J, a radius of 1.14 \pm 0.03 R_J and an equilibrium temperature of 1567 \pm 30 K. The host star has a mass of 0.88 \pm 0.04 M_Sun, radius of 0.89 \pm 0.02 R_Sun and shows starspot activity. We characterized the stellar activity by analysing two photometric follow-up transit light curves taken with the GROND instrument, both obtained simultaneously in four optical bands (covering the wavelength range of 3860-9520 \AA). The two light curves contain anomalies compatible with starspots on the photosphere of the parent star along the same transit chord.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • S. R. Parker, C. G. Tinney
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    ABSTRACT: We have performed a 970 arcmin2 (1.75 pc2) survey of the young cluster IC 2391 using the High Acuity Wide field K-band Imager on the Very Large Telescope. Observations were made in both the CH4 and H filters, targeting the methane absorption found in T dwarfs. From our survey of the cluster, five candidate T dwarfs were found. This is substantially smaller than the number that would be found by an equivalent near-infrared broad-band imaging survey, and allowed rapid spectroscopy of all five candidates. Follow-up spectroscopy was carried out using the Folded-port Infrared Echellette on Magellan. These spectra confirm that none of these objects are T dwarfs. This negative result emphasizes the critical importance of follow-up spectroscopy for any photometrically selected candidates, even those from methane imaging. Simulations of the photometric data set, combined with data for known IC 2391 members, imply that the power-law mass function in IC 2391 between 0.003 and 0.13 M⊙ has a slope of α < 1.7.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2013; 430(2):1208-1218. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To understand the frequency, and thus the formation and evolution, of planetary systems like our own solar system, it is critical to detect Jupiter-like planets in Jupiter-like orbits. For long-term radial-velocity monitoring, it is useful to estimate the observational effort required to reliably detect such objects, particularly in light of severe competition for limited telescope time. We perform detailed simulations of observational campaigns, maximizing the realism of the sampling of a set of simulated observations. We then compute the detection limits for each campaign to quantify the effect of increasing the number of observational epochs and varying their time coverage. We show that once there is sufficient time baseline to detect a given orbital period, it becomes less effective to add further time coverage - rather, the detectability of a planet scales roughly as the square root of the number of observations, independently of the number of orbital cycles included in the data string. We also show that no noise floor is reached, with a continuing improvement in detectability at the maximum number of observations N = 500 tested here.
    Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 04/2013; · 3.69 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
730.32 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • American Museum of Natural History
      New York City, New York, United States
    • University of Santiago, Chile
      • Departamento de Economía
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile
    • University of Hertfordshire
      • Centre for Astrophysics Research (CAR)
      Hatfield, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008–2014
    • University of New South Wales
      • • School of Physics
      • • Department of Astrophysics and Optics
      Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2012
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Astrophysical Sciences
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States
    • Australian National University
      • Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Sydney
      • School of Physics
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2004–2007
    • Australian Astronomical Observatory
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia