Spitzer aimed at Gliese 876 d and Ups And b.

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Spitzer aimed at Gliese 876 d and Ups And b.

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 8th February 2009, 11:45 pm

In the approved obserservations list in the GO-5 program:
(link here, there's a lot of candy in that link, too.)


Spitzer Space Telescope - General Observer Proposal #50440


Thermal Emission from the Super-Earth Orbiting GJ 876

Principal Investigator: Drake Deming
Institution: NASA's Godddard Space Flight Center

Technical Contact: Drake Deming, NASA's Godddard Space Flight Center

Co-Investigators:
Sara Seager, MIT

Science Category: extrasolar planets
Observing Modes: IracMap
Hours Approved: 32.9

Abstract:
GJ 876d is a 7.5 Earth mass non-transiting super-Earth orbiting at 0.025 AU from
its M4V host star. This system is a very near neighbor of the Sun, at only 5 pc
distant, so the thermal flux from the planet will be maximized. We propose to
detect the orbital phase variation of 8 micron thermal emission from the
super-Earth mass planet GJ 876d during ~ 70% of the planet's 1.97 day period
orbit. Our observations will rely on high precision photometry at 8 microns,
focusing exclusively on this crucial capability that will disappear with the
depletion of Spitzer's cryogen. We will detect this planet if it is a bare rock,
or has only a thin atmosphere, for all plausible sizes and albedos. We will use
a novel technical strategy that will "pre-flash" the IRAC detector to eliminate
the time dependence of detector response.

G-05 is the final Spitzer program before it runs out of its cryogenic coolant.

Another program, aimed at Ups And b, with the goal of making a HD 189733 b style IR map.


Spitzer Space Telescope - General Observer Proposal #50624


A detailed phase curve for upsilon Andromedae b

Principal Investigator: Bradley Hansen
Institution: UCLA

Technical Contact: Bradley Hansen, UCLA

Co-Investigators:
Joseph Harrington, University of Central Florida
Drake Deming, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Kristen Menou, Columbia University
Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
James Cho, Queen Mary University of London

Science Category: extrasolar planets
Observing Modes: MipsPhot
Hours Approved: 38.5

Abstract:
We propose an observation of the planet+star system upsilon Andromdae, with the
aim of measuring an accurate phase curve for the closest planet in the system.
Based on the radial velocity ephemeris and previous Spitzer pilot program, we
tailor our program to address two principal scientific goals. The bulk of the
observation consists of an extended observation to resolve and characterise the
shape of the lightcurve near maximum brightness, with the goal of mapping the
temperature distribution on the day-side face of the planet. In addition, we
request several shorter exposures over the course of a single planetary orbital
period, in order to accurately measure the amplitude of the phase variation and
thereby constrain the day-night temperature contrast of the planet. Upsilon
Andromedae b represents the archetype for a class of planet in which the high
level of irradiation results in a hot day side and cold night side. This stands
in contrast to another well characterised hot Jupiter system which seems to have
little difference in day/night temperature contrast. By placing the archetypes
of these two classes on an equal footing in terms of detail, our observations
will help to elucidate and understand the difference in the two classes.

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