Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011, 2:00 PM - 2:10 PM
PTF/M-dwarfs: First Results From a Large New M-dwarf Planetary Transit Survey
Nicholas M. Law
, A. Kraus
, R. Street
, T. Lister
, A. Shporer
, L. Hillenbrand
, Palomar Transient Factory
Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Canada,
University of Hawaii,
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.
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