Presentation Abstract

Presentation Number 220.01
Presentation Time: Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011, 2:00 PM - 2:10 PM
Title PTF/M-dwarfs: First Results From a Large New M-dwarf Planetary Transit Survey
Author Block Nicholas M. Law1, A. Kraus2, R. Street3, T. Lister3, A. Shporer3, L. Hillenbrand4, Palomar Transient Factory
1Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Canada, 2University of Hawaii, 3LCOGT, 4Caltech.
Abstract PTF/M-dwarfs is a new 100,000-target M-dwarf planetary transit survey, a Key Project of the Palomar Transient Factory collaboration. The survey is sensitive to Jupiter-radius planets around all of the target stars, and has sufficient precision to reach Neptunes and super-Earths for brighter targets. The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is a fully-automated, wide-field survey aimed at a systematic exploration of the optical transient sky. The survey is performed using a new 7.26 square degree camera installed on the 48 inch Samuel Oschin telescope at Palomar Observatory; colors and light curves for detected transients are obtained with the automated Palomar 60 inch telescope. With an exposure of 60 s the survey reaches a depth of R~20.6 (5-sigma, median seeing). Each 92-megapixel R-band exposure contains about 3,000 M-dwarfs usable for planet detection; 8-10 fields are observed in sequence in the section of PTF dedicated to 15-minute-cadence planet detection.
Every six months PTF/M-dwarfs searches for Jupiter-radius planets around almost 30,000 M-dwarfs, Neptune-radius planets around approximately 500 M-dwarfs, and super-Earths around 100 targets. The full survey is expected to cover more than 100,000 targets over the next several years. A secondary survey searching many more M-dwarfs for deeper eclipses and transits operates simultaneously throughout the year, using PTF's few-images-per night data covering 1500 square degrees of sky. Photometric and spectroscopic follow-up operations are performed on the Palomar 60-inch, Palomar 200-inch and LCOGT FTN & FTS telescopes, while Keck/HIRES provides precision radial velocity follow-up. The survey has been running since mid-2009 and has detected 14 new eclipsing M-dwarf binaries, as well as transiting planet candidates.