M-Dwarf Terrestrial Planets

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M-Dwarf Terrestrial Planets

Post by forest on 16th February 2011, 7:17 am

Below is an abstract describing a search for small planets around small stars that may be of interest to you all.

This a paper about M-Dwarf stars planets:
http://www.noao.edu/perl/abstract?2009A-0338

Abstract: M dwarfs comprise 70% of all nearby stars. They are by the principle targets of future interferometry (VLTI, SIM) and direct imaging missions. Due to the lower flux and mass of M dwarfs, Doppler programs that achieve 1 to 3 m/s precision are able to probe the habitable zone of these stars for planets as small as 2 earth-masses. Over the past 7 years we have received on average two nights per semester of NASA Keck time to survey the nearest 176 M dwarfs, resulting in most of the known M dwarf planets, the first neptune-mass planet, and the first terrestrial mass planet. This set of 176 stars has yielded 60 high priority stars that show evidence of terrestrial mass planets. These stars require higher observing cadence to confirm the existence of planets, and to break orbital aliases. Two NOAO nights per semester would allow us to triple the observing cadence on this set of sieved stars, from 1 to 3 nights per semester. This program will yield terrestrial mass planets around the nearest stars.

Clearly, if these numbers pan out, then a sizeable fraction of the galaxy's tiny red stars may have planets down to ~2 Earth masses.


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Re: M-Dwarf Terrestrial Planets

Post by Edasich on 16th February 2011, 11:05 am

It is not a discovery news. I think it should be moved to planetolgy or mechanics subforum.
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