Steve B. Howell

NASA, Вашингтон, West Virginia, United States

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Publications (421)1559.26 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: NASA's exoplanet Discovery mission Kepler was reconstituted as the K2 mission a year after the failure of the 2nd of Kepler's 4 reaction wheels in May 2013. The new spacecraft pointing method now gives typical roll motion of 1.0 pixels peak-to-peak over 6 hours at the edges of the field, two orders of magnitude greater than for Kepler. Despite these roll errors, the flight system and its modified science data processing pipeline restores much of the photometric precision of the primary mission while viewing a wide variety of targets, thus turning adversity into diversity. We define metrics for data compression and pixel budget available in each campaign; the photometric noise on exoplanet transit and stellar activity time scales; residual correlations in corrected long cadence light curves; and the protection of test sinusoidal signals from overfitting in the systematic error removal process. We find that data compression and noise both increase linearly with radial distance from the center of the field of view, with the data compression proportional to star count as well. At the center, where roll motion is nearly negligible, the limiting 6 hour photometric precision for a quiet 12th magnitude star can be as low as 30 ppm, only 25% higher than that of Kepler. This noise performance is achieved without sacrificing signal fidelity; test sinusoids injected into the data are attenuated by less than 10% for signals with periods up 15 days. At time scales relevant to asteroseismology, light curves derived from K2 archive calibrated pixels have high-frequency noise amplitude within 40% of that achieved by Kepler. The improvements in K2 operations and science data analysis resulting from 1.5 yr of experience with this new mission concept, and quantified by the metrics in this paper, will support continuation of K2's already high level of scientific productivity in an extended K2 mission.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present the seventh Kepler planet candidate catalog, which is the first to be based on the entire, uniformly processed, 48 month Kepler dataset. This is the first fully automated catalog, employing robotic vetting procedures to uniformly evaluate every periodic signal detected by the Q1-Q17 Data Release 24 (DR24) Kepler pipeline. While we prioritize uniform vetting over the absolute correctness of individual objects, we find that our robotic vetting is overall comparable to, and in most cases is superior to, the human vetting procedures employed by past catalogs. This catalog is the first to utilize artificial transit injection to evaluate the performance of our vetting procedures and quantify potential biases, which are essential for accurate computation of planetary occurrence rates. With respect to the cumulative Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) catalog, we designate 1,478 new KOIs, of which 402 are dispositioned as planet candidates (PCs). Also, 237 KOIs dispositioned as false positives (FPs) in previous Kepler catalogs have their disposition changed to PC and 118 PCs have their disposition changed to FP. This brings the total number of known KOIs to 8,826 and planet candidates to 4,696. We compare the Q1-Q17 DR24 KOI catalog to previous KOI catalogs, as well as ancillary Kepler catalogs, finding good agreement between them. We highlight new PCs that are both potentially rocky and potentially in the habitable zone of their host stars, many of which orbit solar-type stars. This work represents significant progress in accurately determining the fraction of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The full catalog is publicly available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We examine Kepler light curve variability on habitable zone transit timescales for a large uniform sample of spectroscopically studied Kepler exoplanet host stars. The stars, taken from Everett et al. (2013) are solar-like in their properties and each harbors at least one exoplanet (or candidate) of radius $\le$2.5\re. The variability timescale examined is typical for habitable zone planets orbiting solar-like stars and we note that the discovery of the smallest exoplanets ($\le$1.2\re) with corresponding transit depths of less than $\sim$0.18 mmag, occur for the brightest, photometrically quietest stars. Thus, these detections are quite rare in $Kepler$ observations. Some brighter and more evolved stars (subgiants), the latter which often show large radial velocity jitter, are found to be among the photometrically quietest solar-like stars in our sample and the most likely small planet transit hunting grounds. The Sun is discussed as a solar-like star proxy to provide insights into the nature and cause of photometric variability. It is shown that $Kepler's$ broad, visible light observations are insensitive to variability caused by chromospheric activity that may be present in the observed stars.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We report the detection of two new long-period giant planets orbiting the stars HD 95872 and HD 162004 (psi1 Draconis B) by the McDonald Observatory planet search. The planet HD 95872b has a minimum mass of 4.6 M_Jup and an orbital semi-major axis of 5.2 AU. The giant planet psi1 Dra Bb has a minimum mass of 1.5 M_Jup and an orbital semi-major axis of 4.4 AU. Both of these planets qualify as Jupiter analogs. These results are based on over one and a half decades of precise radial velocity measurements collected by our program using the McDonald Observatory Tull Coude spectrograph at the 2.7 m Harlan J. Smith telescope. In the case of psi1 Draconis B we also detect a long-term non-linear trend in our data that indicates the presence of an additional giant planet, similar to the Jupiter-Saturn pair. The primary of the binary star system, psi1 Dra A, exhibits a very large amplitude radial velocity variation due to another stellar companion. We detect this additional member using speckle imaging. We also report two cases - HD 10086 and HD 102870 (beta Virginis) - of significant radial velocity variation consistent with the presence of a planet, but that are probably caused by stellar activity, rather than reflexive Keplerian motion. These two cases stress the importance of monitoring the magnetic activity level of a target star, as long-term activity cycles can mimic the presence of a Jupiter-analog planet.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The K2 Mission uses the Kepler spacecraft to obtain high-precision photometry over ~80 day campaigns in the ecliptic plane. The Ecliptic Plane Input Catalog (EPIC) provides coordinates, photometry and kinematics based on a federation of all-sky catalogs to support target selection and target management for the K2 mission. We describe the construction of the EPIC, as well as modifications and shortcomings of the catalog. Kepler magnitudes (Kp) are shown to be accurate to ~0.1mag for the Kepler field, and the EPIC is typically complete to Kp~17 (Kp~19 for campaigns covered by SDSS). We furthermore classify 119,204 targets in Campaigns 1-7 (~84% of the full target sample) using colors, proper motions, spectroscopy, parallaxes, and galactic population synthesis models, with typical uncertainties for G-type stars of ~3% in Teff, ~0.3 dex in log(g), ~40% in radius, ~10% in mass, and ~40% in distance. Our results show that stars targeted by K2 are dominated by K-M dwarfs (~41% of all selected targets), F-G dwarfs (~34%) and K giants (~23%), consistent with key K2 science programs to search for transiting exoplanets and galactic archeology studies using oscillating red giants. However, we find significant variation of the fraction of cool dwarfs with galactic latitude, indicating a target selection bias due to interstellar reddening. We discuss possible systematic errors in the derived stellar properties, and differences to published classifications for K2 exoplanet host stars. The EPIC is hosted at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST): http://archive.stsci.edu/k2/epic/search.php.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present newly derived stellar parameters and the detailed abundances of 19 elements of seven stars with small planets discovered by NASA's Kepler Mission. Each star save one has at least one planet with a radius <= 1.6 R_Earth, suggesting a primarily rocky composition. The stellar parameters and abundances are derived from high signal-to-noise ratio, high-resolution echelle spectroscopy obtained with the 10-m Keck I telescope and HIRES spectrometer using standard spectroscopic techniques. The metallicities of the seven stars range from -0.32 dex to +0.13 dex, with an average metallicity that is subsolar, supporting previous suggestions that, unlike Jupiter-type giant planets, small planets do not form preferentially around metal-rich stars. The abundances of elements other than iron are in line with a population of Galactic disk stars, and despite our modest sample size, we find hints that the compositions of stars with small planets are similar to stars without known planets and with Neptune-size planets, but not to those of stars with giant planets. This suggests that the formation of small planets does not require exceptional host-star compositions and that small planets may be ubiquitous in the Galaxy. We compare our derived abundances (which have typical uncertainties of <= 0.04 dex) to the condensation temperature of the elements; a correlation between the two has been suggested as a possible signature of rocky planet formation. None of the stars demonstrate the putative rocky planet signature, despite at least three of the stars having rocky planets estimated to contain enough refractory material to produce the signature, if real. More detailed abundance analyses of stars known to host small planets are needed to verify our results and place ever more stringent constraints on planet formation models.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Based on early Kepler data, Østensen et al. found that KIC 9202990 showed a 4-h and a two-week photometric period. They suggested the 4-h period was a signature of an orbital period; the longer period was possibly due to precession of an accretion disc and KIC 9202990 was a cataclysmic variable with an accretion disc which is always in a bright state (a nova-like system). Using the full Kepler data set on KIC 9202990 which covers 1421 d (Quarter 2–17), and includes 1-min cadence data from the whole of Quarters 5 and 16, we find that the 4-h period is stable and therefore a signature of the binary orbital period. In contrast, the 10–12 d period is not stable and shows an amplitude between 20 and 50 per cent. This longer period modulation is similar to those nova-like systems which show ‘stunted’ outbursts. We discuss the problems that a precessing disc model has in explaining the observed characteristics and indicate why we favour a stunted outburst model. Although such stunted events are considered to be related to the standard disc instability mechanism, their origin is not well understood. KIC 9202990 shows the lowest amplitude and shortest period of continuous stunted outburst systems, making it an ideal target to better understand stunted outbursts and accretion instabilities in general.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Solar-like oscillations have been observed by Kepler and CoRoT in many solar-type stars, thereby providing a way to probe stars using asteroseismology. Aims. The derivation of stellar parameters has usually been done with single stars. The aim of the paper is to derive the stellar parameters of a double-star system (HIP 93511), for which an interferometric orbit has been observed along with asteroseismic measurements. Methods. We used a time series of nearly two years of data for the double star to detect the two oscillation-mode envelopes that appear in the power spectrum. Using a new scaling relation based on luminosity, we derived the radius and mass of each star. We derived the age of each star using two proxies: one based upon the large frequency separation and a new one based upon the small frequency separation. Using stellar modelling, the mode frequencies allowed us to derive the radius, the mass, and the age of each component. In addition, speckle interferometry performed since 2006 has enabled us to recover the orbit of the system and the total mass of the system. Results. From the determination of the orbit, the total mass of the system is 2.34_(-0.33)^(+0.45) M_⊙. The total seismic mass using scaling relations is 2.47 ± 0.07 M_⊙. The seismic age derived using the new proxy based upon the small frequency separation is 3.5 ± 0.3 Gyr. Based on stellar modelling, the mean common age of the system is 2.7–3.9 Gyr. The mean total seismic mass of the system is 2.34–2.53 M_⊙ consistent with what we determined independently with the orbit. The stellar models provide the mean radius, mass, and age of the stars as R_A = 1.82−1.87R_⊙, M_A = 1.25−1.39 M_⊙, Age_A = 2.6–3.5 Gyr; R_B = 1.22−1.25 R_⊙, M_B = 1.08−1.14 M_⊙, Age_B = 3.35–4.21 Gyr. The models provide two sets of values for Star A: [1.25–1.27] M_⊙ and [1.34–1.39] M_⊙. We detect a convective core in Star A, while Star B does not have any. For the metallicity of the binary system of Z ≈ 0.02, we set the limit between stars having a convective core in the range [1.14–1.25] M_⊙.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present new Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) observations of three intermediate polars: V1223 Sgr, EX Hya, and V603 Aql. We detected a strong, fading flare event from V1223 Sgr. During this event, the flux declined by a factor of 13 in 30 minutes. Given the similarity in the slope of its mid-infrared spectrum during this event to that of AE Aqr, we suggest that this event was caused by transient synchrotron emission. Thus, V1223 Sgr becomes the third cataclysmic variable known to be a synchrotron source. We were unable to confirm the mid-infrared excess noted by Harrison et al. (Paper I) for EX Hya, suggesting that this object is either not a synchrotron source, or is slightly variable. Due to a very high background, V603 Aql was not detected in the long-wavelength regions accessible to the IRS. Given the recent detection of SS Cygni at radio wavelengths during outburst, we extract archival Spitzer IRS spectra for this source obtained during two successive maxima. These spectra do not show a strong excess, but without simultaneous data at shorter wavelengths, it is not possible to determine whether there is any contribution to the mid-infrared fluxes from a synchrotron jet.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: (Abbreviated) Kepler planet candidates require both spectroscopic and imaging follow-up observations to rule out false positives and detect blended stars. [...] In this paper, we examine a sample of 11 Kepler host stars with companions detected by two techniques -- near-infrared adaptive optics and/or optical speckle interferometry imaging, and a new spectroscopic deblending method. We compare the companion Teff and flux ratios (F_B/F_A, where A is the primary and B is the companion) derived from each technique, and find no cases where both companion parameters agree within 1sigma errors. In 3/11 cases the companion Teff values agree within 1sigma errors, and in 2/11 cases the companion F_B/F_A values agree within 1sigma errors. Examining each Kepler system individually considering multiple avenues (isochrone mapping, contrast curves, probability of being bound), we suggest two cases for which the techniques most likely agree in their companion detections (detect the same companion star). Overall, our results support the advantage the spectroscopic deblending technique has for finding very close-in companions ($\theta \lesssim$0.02-0.05") that are not easily detectable with imaging. However, we also specifically show how high-contrast AO and speckle imaging observations detect companions at larger separations ($\theta \geq$0.02-0.05") that are missed by the spectroscopic technique, provide additional information for characterizing the companion and its potential contamination (e.g., PA, separation, $\Delta$m), and cover a wider range of primary star effective temperatures. The investigation presented here illustrates the utility of combining the two techniques to reveal higher-order multiples in known planet-hosting systems.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We introduce the first phase of the Kepler-Swift Active Galaxies and Stars survey (KSwAGS), a simultaneous X-ray and UV survey of ~6 square degrees of the Kepler field using the Swift XRT and UVOT. We detect 93 unique X-ray sources with S/N>3 with the XRT, of which 60 have observed UV counterparts. We use the Kepler Input Catalog (KIC) to obtain the optical counterparts of these sources, and construct the X-ray to optical flux ratio as a first approximation of the classification of the source. The survey produces a mixture of stellar sources, extragalactic sources, and sources which we are not able to classify with certainty. We have obtained optical spectra for thirty of these targets, and are conducting an ongoing observing campaign to fully identify the sample. For sources classified as stellar or AGN with certainty, we construct SEDs using the 2MASS, UBV and GALEX data supplied for their optical counterparts by the KIC, and show that the SEDs differ qualitatively between the source types, and so can offer a method of classification in absence of a spectrum. Future papers in this series will analyze the timing properties of the stars and AGN in our sample separately. Our survey provides the first X-ray and UV data for a number of known variable stellar sources, as well as a large number of new X-ray detections in this well-studied portion of the sky. The KSwAGS survey is currently ongoing in the K2 ecliptic plane fields.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Solar-like oscillations have been observed by Kepler and CoRoT in many solar-type stars, thereby providing a way to probe stars using asteroseismology. Aims. The derivation of stellar parameters has usually been done with single stars. The aim of the paper is to derive the stellar parameters of a double-star system (HIP93511), for which an interferometric orbit has been observed along with asteroseismic measurements. Methods. We used a time series of nearly two years of data for the double star to detect the two oscillation-mode envelopes that appear in the power spectrum. Using a new scaling relation based on luminosity, we derived the radius and mass of each star. We derived the age of each star using two proxies: one based upon the large frequency separation and a new one based upon the small frequency separation. Using stellar modelling, the mode frequencies allowed us to derive the radius, the mass, and the age of each component. In addition, speckle interferometry performed since 2006 has enabled us to recover the orbit of the system and the total mass of the system. Results. From the determination of the orbit, the total mass of the system is 2.34-0.33+0.45 M⊙. The total seismic mass using scaling relations is 2.47 ± 0.07 M⊙. The seismic age derived using the new proxy based upon the small frequency separation is 3.5 ± 0.3 Gyr. Based on stellar modelling, the mean common age of the system is 2.7-3.9 Gyr. The mean total seismic mass of the system is 2.34-2.53 M⊙ consistent with what we determined independently with the orbit. The stellar models provide the mean radius, mass, and age of the stars as RA = 1.82-1.87R⊙, MA = 1.25-1.39 M⊙, AgeA = 2.6-3.5 Gyr; RB = 1.22-1.25 R⊙, MB = 1.08-1.14 M⊙, AgeB = 3.35-4.21 Gyr. The models provide two sets of values for Star A: [1.25-1.27] M⊙ and [1.34-1.39] M⊙. We detect a convective core in Star A, while Star B does not have any. For the metallicity of the binary system of Z ≈ 0.02, we set the limit between stars having a convective core in the range [1.14-1.25] M⊙.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present Spitzer 4.5\micron\ light curve observations, Keck NIRSPEC radial velocity observations, and LCOGT optical light curve observations of PTFO~8-8695, which may host a Jupiter-sized planet in a very short orbital period (0.45 days). Previous work by \citet{vaneyken12} and \citet{barnes13} predicts that the stellar rotation axis and the planetary orbital plane should precess with a period of $300 - 600$ days. As a consequence, the observed transits should change shape and depth, disappear, and reappear with the precession. Our observations indicate the long-term presence of the transit events ($>3$ years), and that the transits indeed do change depth, disappear and reappear. The Spitzer observations and the NIRSPEC radial velocity observations (with contemporaneous LCOGT optical light curve data) are consistent with the predicted transit times and depths for the $M_\star = 0.34\ M_\odot$ precession model and demonstrate the disappearance of the transits. An LCOGT optical light curve shows that the transits do reappear approximately 1 year later. The observed transits occur at the times predicted by a straight-forward propagation of the transit ephemeris. The precession model correctly predicts the depth and time of the Spitzer transit and the lack of a transit at the time of the NIRSPEC radial velocity observations. However, the precession model predicts the return of the transits approximately 1 month later than observed by LCOGT. Overall, the data are suggestive that the planetary interpretation of the observed transit events may indeed be correct, but the precession model and data are currently insufficient to confirm firmly the planetary status of PTFO~8-8695b.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We measure planet occurrence rates using the planet candidates discovered by the Q1-Q16 Kepler pipeline search. This study examines planet occurrence rates for the Kepler GK dwarf target sample for planet radii, 0.75<Rp<2.5 Rearth, and orbital periods, 50<Porb<300 days, with an emphasis on a thorough exploration and identification of the most important sources of systematic uncertainties. Integrating over this parameter space, we measure an occurrence rate of F=0.77 planets per star, with an allowed range of 0.3<F<1.9. The allowed range takes into account both statistical and systematic uncertainties, and values of F beyond the allowed range are significantly in disagreement with our analysis. We generally find higher planet occurrence rates and a steeper increase in planet occurrence rates towards small planets than previous studies of the Kepler GK dwarf sample. Through extrapolation, we find that the one year orbital period terrestrial planet occurrence rate, zeta_1=0.1, with an allowed range of 0.01<zeta_1<2, where zeta_1 is defined as the number of planets per star within 20% of the Rp and Porb of Earth. For G dwarf hosts, the zeta_1 parameter space is a subset of the larger eta_earth parameter space, thus zeta_1 places a lower limit on eta_earth for G dwarf hosts. From our analysis, we identify the leading sources of systematics impacting Kepler occurrence rate determinations as: reliability of the planet candidate sample, planet radii, pipeline completeness, and stellar parameters.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: KOI-81 is a totally eclipsing binary discovered by the Kepler mission that consists of a rapidly rotating B-type star and a small, hot companion. The system was forged through large scale mass transfer that stripped the mass donor of its envelope and spun up the mass gainer star. We present an analysis of UV spectra of KOI-81 that were obtained with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope that reveal for the first time the spectral features of the faint, hot companion. We present a double-lined spectroscopic orbit for the system that yields mass estimates of 2.92 M_sun and 0.19 M_sun for the B-star and hot subdwarf, respectively. We used a Doppler tomography algorithm to reconstruct the UV spectra of the components, and a comparison of the reconstructed and model spectra yields effective temperatures of 12 kK and 19 - 27 kK for the B-star and hot companion, respectively. The B-star is pulsating, and we identified a number of peaks in the Fourier transform of the light curve, including one that may indicate an equatorial rotation period of 11.5~hours. The B-star has an equatorial velocity that is 74% of the critical velocity where centrifugal and gravitational accelerations balance at the equator, and we fit the transit light curve by calculating a rotationally distorted model for the photosphere of the B-star.
    Preview · Article · May 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present a study on the effect of undetected stellar companions on the derived planetary radii for the Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs). The current production of the KOI list assumes that the each KOI is a single star. Not accounting for stellar multiplicity statistically biases the planets towards smaller radii. The bias towards smaller radii depends on the properties of the companion stars and whether the planets orbit the primary or the companion stars. Defining a planetary radius correction factor $X_R$, we find that if the KOIs are assumed to be single, then, {\it on average}, the planetary radii may be underestimated by a factor of $\langle X_R \rangle \approx 1.5$. If typical radial velocity and high resolution imaging observations are performed and no companions are detected, this factor reduces to $\langle X_R \rangle \approx 1.2$. The correction factor $\langle X_R \rangle$ is dependent upon the primary star properties and ranges from $\langle X_R \rangle \approx 1.6$ for A and F stars to $\langle X_R \rangle \approx 1.2$ for K and M stars. For missions like K2 and TESS where the stars may be closer than the stars in the Kepler target sample, observational vetting (primary imaging) reduces the radius correction factor to $\langle X_R \rangle \approx 1.1$. Finally, we show that if the stellar multiplicity rates are not accounted for correctly, occurrence rate calculations for Earth-sized planets may overestimate the frequency of small planets by as much as $15-20$\%.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Six planetary nebulae (PN) are known in the Kepler space telescope field of view, three of which are newly identified. Of the five central stars of PN with useful Kepler data, one, J193110888+4324577, is the first short-period, post-common envelope binary exhibiting relativistic beaming effects. A second, the central star of the newly identified PN Pa 5, has a rare O(He) spectral type and a periodic variability consistent with an evolved companion, where the orbital axis is almost aligned with the line of sight. The third PN, NGC 6826, has a fast rotating central star, something that can only be achieved in a merger. Fourth, the central star of the newly identified PN Kn 61, has a PG1159 spectral type and a mysterious semi-periodic light variability which we conjecture to be related to the interplay of binarity with a stellar wind. Finally, the central star of the circular PN A61 does not appear to have a photometric variability above 2 mmag. With the possible exception of the variability of Kn 61, all other variability behaviour, would not easily have been detected from the ground. We conclude, based on very low numbers, that there may be many more close binary or close binary products to be discovered with ultra-high-precision photometry. With a larger number of high-precision photometric observations, we will be able to determine how much higher than the currently known 15 per cent, the short-period binary fraction for central stars of PN is likely to be.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to better understand the details of the stellar structure and evolution of metal poor stars, the Gemini North telescope was used on two occasions to take speckle imaging data of a sample of known spectroscopic binary stars and other nearby stars in order to search for and resolve close companions. The observations were obtained using the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument, which takes data in two filters simultaneously. The results presented here are of 90 observations of 23 systems in which one or more companions was detected, and 6 stars where no companion was detected to the limit of the camera capabilities at Gemini. In the case of the binary and multiple stars, these results are then further analyzed to make first orbit determinations in five cases, and orbit refinements in four other cases. Mass information is derived, and since the systems span a range in metallicity, a study is presented that compares our results with the expected trend in total mass as derived from the most recent Yale isochrones as a function of metal abundance. These data suggest that metal-poor main-sequence stars are less massive at a given color than their solar-metallicity analogues in a manner consistent with that predicted from the theory.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: \We present the sixth catalog of Kepler candidate planets based on nearly 4 years of high precision photometry. This catalog builds on the legacy of previous catalogs released by the Kepler project and includes 1493 new Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) of which 554 are planet candidates, and 131 of these candidates have best fit radii <1.5 R_earth. This brings the total number of KOIs and planet candidates to 7305 and 4173 respectively. We suspect that many of these new candidates at the low signal-to-noise limit may be false alarms created by instrumental noise, and discuss our efforts to identify such objects. We re-evaluate all previously published KOIs with orbital periods of >50 days to provide a consistently vetted sample that can be used to improve planet occurrence rate calculations. We discuss the performance of our planet detection algorithms, and the consistency of our vetting products. The full catalog is publicly available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
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    ABSTRACT: The Kepler mission discovered 2842 exoplanet candidates with 2 years of data. We provide updates to the Kepler planet candidate sample based upon 3 years (Q1-Q12) of data. Through a series of tests to exclude false-positives, primarily caused by eclipsing binary stars and instrumental systematics, 855 additional planetary candidates have been discovered, bringing the total number known to 3697. We provide revised transit parameters and accompanying posterior distributions based on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm for the cumulative catalogue of Kepler Objects of Interest. There are now 130 candidates in the cumulative catalogue that receive less than twice the flux the Earth receives and more than 1100 have a radius less than 1.5 Rearth. There are now a dozen candidates meeting both criteria, roughly doubling the number of candidate Earth analogs. A majority of planetary candidates have a high probability of being bonafide planets, however, there are populations of likely false-positives. We discuss and suggest additional cuts that can be easily applied to the catalogue to produce a set of planetary candidates with good fidelity. The full catalogue is publicly available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,559.26 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011-2015
    • NASA
      Вашингтон, West Virginia, United States
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2004-2015
    • National Optical Astronomy Observatory
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
    • Universities Space Research Association
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2014
    • University of Liège
      • Department of Astrophysics, Geophysics and Oceanography
      Luik, Walloon Region, Belgium
  • 2012-2014
    • SETI Institute
      Mountain View, California, United States
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2011-2014
    • University of Texas at Austin
      • Department of Astronomy
      Austin, Texas, United States
  • 2013
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 1995-2011
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • • Department of Astronomy
      • • Space Sciences Laboratory
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
      • Department of Physics
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
    • Bay Area Environmental Research Institute
      Sonoma, California, United States
  • 1996-2009
    • University of Wyoming
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Laramie, WY, United States
  • 2008
    • NOAA Fisheries
      Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
      • Department of Physics
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • University of California, Santa Barbara
      • Department of Physics
      Santa Barbara, California, United States
  • 2003-2008
    • University of California, Riverside
      Riverside, California, United States
    • University of Alaska Anchorage
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Anchorage, Alaska, United States
  • 1989-2008
    • Planetary Science Institute
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 1991-2007
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Astronomy
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2006
    • California Institute of Technology
      • Spitzer Science Center
      Pasadena, California, United States
    • New Mexico State University
      • Department of Astronomy
      Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
  • 1999
    • University of Florida
      • Department of Astronomy
      Gainesville, Florida, United States