Exomoon detection with Transits

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Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 17th May 2011, 9:06 pm

The Transits of Extrasolar Planets with Moons
http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.3189

The search for extrasolar planets is strongly motivated by the goal of characterizing how frequent habitable worlds and life may be within the Galaxy. Whilst much effort has been spent on searching for Earth-like planets, large moons may also be common, temperate abodes for life as well. The methods to detect extrasolar moons, or "exomoons" are more subtle than their planetary counterparts and in this thesis I aim to provide a method to find such bodies in transiting systems, which offer the greatest potential for detection. Before one can search for the tiny perturbations to the planetary signal, an understanding of the planetary transit must be established. Therefore, in Chapters 3 to 5 I discuss the transit model and provide several new insights. Chapter 4 presents new analytic expressions for the times of transit minima and the transit duration, which will be critical in the later search for exomoons. Chapter 5 discusses two sources of distortion to the transit signal, namely blending (with a focus on the previously unconsidered self-blending scenario) and light curve smearing due to long integration times. I provide methods to compensate for both of these effects, thus permitting for the accurate modelling of the planetary transit light curve. In Chapter 6, I discuss methods to detect exomoons through their gravitational influence on the host planet, giving rise to transit timing and duration variations (TTV and TDV). The previously known TTV effect is updated with a new model and the associated critical problems are outlined. I then predict a new effect, TDV, which solves these problems, making exomoon detection viable. Chapter 7 presents a feasibility study for detecting habitable-zone exomoons with Kepler, where it is found that moons down to 0.2 Earth masses are detectable. Finally, conclusions and future work are discussed in Chapter 8.

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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by tommi59 on 18th May 2011, 3:22 am

Currently only corot 9b and kepler 11g are enough far from their host star to possess any large moons on stable orbit but I hope kepler will find at least one
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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 18th May 2011, 3:44 am

It could be argued that Kepler-9 c has a chance to have a detectable moon.

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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by tommi59 on 18th May 2011, 6:57 am

Could but the moon should be quite close to the planet
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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by Edasich on 18th May 2011, 9:10 am

I wonder how an exo-moon might be listed in EPE. Since it is not a planet Laughing
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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by tommi59 on 18th May 2011, 3:26 pm

In EPE??might be in EEE(EXTRASOLAR EXOMOON ENCYCLOPEDIA) Exomoon??Hmm around corot 9b for example -simply corot 9b1 next moon corot 9b2
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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 18th May 2011, 3:44 pm

I would guess it would be similar to how they list the detected molecules.

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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by atomic7732 on 19th May 2011, 3:00 pm

I agree with Sirius Alpha, listed on the page for the planet.

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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by Lazarus on 19th May 2011, 4:47 pm

The LUNA algorithm for planet+moon transits mentioned in the thesis is described in another arXiv paper:

LUNA: An algorithm for generating dynamic planet-moon transits

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Re: Exomoon detection with Transits

Post by tommi59 on 24th August 2011, 6:19 am

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1108/1108.4557v1.pdf Detections of moons around exoplanets is more difficult than I thought before and will be found not earlier than 2014 I think
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