Planet Search Activities at OPINAS@MPE


In 2006-2008 we conducted the pre-OmegaTranS survey for transiting planets using the ESO Wide Field Imager mounted at the 2.2m telescope in LaSilla observatory. In 34 nights a total of 4433 images have been collected in the Johnson R-band. The exposure time was 25s. The Data has been analyzed using the Astrowise data reduction pipeline. As a preliminary result we show our best candidate, a transiting hot Jupiter in a 1.5 day orbit around a late K-dwarf, that is currently being followed-up.

Follow-Up of transit candidates

In addition to our transit survey we contributed significantly to the confirmation of the transiting planet OGLE-TR-L9 (astroph-0812.0599, Snellen et al., AA, accepted). Using the 7-chanel grizJHK imager GROND at the 2.2m telescope in La Silla we observed one full transit. Together with RV observations taken with UVES/VLT, we have been able to rule out all other scenarios (blend or massive transiting companion). In the future we plan to extend the use of GROND for a transit timing project (in collaboration with MPIA/Heidelberg).

Search for Planets with PanSTARRS1

The PanPlanets project will soon start to observe ~50 sq.deg of sky to monitor the light curves of ~150000 F, G, and K dwarfs brighter than V=16.5 and ~34000 M dwarfs with i'<18. Our simulations (astroph-0812.1559, Koppenhoefer et al., AA, in press) show that we expect to find up to 25 Jupiter-sized planets with periods below 5 days. The survey will also be sensitive to planets with longer periods and planets with smaller radii. After the second year of the survey, we expect to find up to 9 Warm Jupiters with periods between 5 and 9 days and 7 Very Hot Saturns around stars brighter than V = 16.5 mag as well as 9 Very Hot Neptunes with periods from 1 to 3 days around stars brighter than i' = 18.0 mag.

Radial velocity studies with HET

As a preparation for the radial-velocity follow-up of transit candidates that will be found in RoPACS (see below) and PanPlanets we started a RV-project at the HET. In the 3rd trimester of 2008 (Aug-Nov) we obtained a total of 96 visits of 5 objects with the high resolution spectrograph (R=60000). Each visit consists of one exposure with simultaneous use of an iodine absorption cell and one without. This will allow us to compare the precision achieved with I2 method to the precision we achieve with a ThAr wavelength calibration. We spent 10 visits on the V=6.9mag G3V-star HD195019 which is known to have a planet with a period of 18.2 days. The radial velocity peak-to-peak amplitude is 266 m/s. The spectra we got have a S/N of 300-400. With this we expect to achieve a precision of ~4 m/s. In order to investigate the precision we reach with HET on fainter stars, another 8 visits have been used on U1050_14975145, a V=14.5 star in the Pan-Panets field. With a S/N of ~25 we hope to achieve a precision of 40-80 m/s. The remaining visits are used for 3 other late type stars in the magnitude range 9.5-10.5. With a precision of ~10 m/s there is a chance to actually detect a new extra-solar planet.

Our role in RoPACS

We offer our experience in the reduction and analisis of light curves (see the recent discovery of a planet around a fast rotating star astroph-0812.0599, Snellen et al., AA, in press, where we were involved) to help in the selection of the RoPACS planet candidates. Once candidates are available, we will follow them up photometrically and spectroscopically (see above). RoPACS PhD students at our site will be involved in both phases, starting to work on the already acquired data (see above). Up to

2 PhD RoPACS positions

have been filled at our node starting from September 2009.

1 PostDoc RoPACS position

will be announced soon at our node.
Last revision: December, 2009

Roberto Philip Saglia (