Institute of Astronomy

Friends of Hot Jupiters: Finding distant stellar companions with NIRC2 AO

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Henry Ngo28 July 2014Across HR 2014 Posters


Due to their large masses, hot Jupiters must have formed beyond their stars’ ice line and then migrated inwards to their present locations. So far, the migration mechanism remains a mystery. A stellar companion could drive a hot Jupiter’s migration and also explain the observed spin-orbit misalignments of some hot Jupiter systems. However, a companion may also hinder planet formation by dynamically exciting and/or truncating the protoplanetary disk. We present our adaptive optics (AO) imaging survey which measures the fraction of hot Jupiters found in multiple star systems. Over the past two years, we completed a survey of 51 targets (“Friends of Hot Jupiters”) and found 17 stellar companions around 15 stars. Here, we present these detections along with characterizations of their masses and projected physical separations. The multiple year baseline allows us to check for common proper motion to confirm that these companions are gravitationally bound. In addition, we will present preliminary results of an expanded survey containing an additional 146 targets that host planets spanning a wider range of masses and orbital periods. This AO survey is one part in a larger campaign with different companion detection modes such as long term radial velocity monitoring (Bryan et al., this meeting) and high resolution infrared spectroscopy (Piskorz et al., this meeting). In combination with these other modes, we are sensitive to a large range of companion separations and masses. Thus, we can test whether distant companions are responsible for the inward migration and/or the spin-orbit misalignment of hot Jupiters.


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