AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Astron
Univ Arizona, Steward Observ
planets and satellites: atmospheres
planets and satellites: composition
planets and satellites: detection
planets and satellites: terrestrial planets
techniques: radial velocities
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationLópez-Morales, M., Ben-Ami, S., Gonzalez-Abad, G., Garcia-Mejia, J., Dietrich, J., & Szentgyorgyi, A. (2019). Optimizing Ground-based Observations of O2 in Earth Analogs. The Astronomical Journal, 158(1), 24.
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AbstractWe present the result of calculations to optimize the search for molecular oxygen, O-2, in Earth analogs transiting around nearby, low-mass stars using ground-based, high-resolution Doppler shift techniques. We investigate a series of parameters, namely spectral resolution, wavelength coverage of the observations, and sky coordinates and systemic velocity of the exoplanetary systems, to find the values that optimize detectability of O-2. We find that increasing the spectral resolution of observations to R similar to 300,000-400,000 from the typical R similar to 100,000 more than doubles the average depth of O-2 lines in planets with atmospheres similar to Earth's. Resolutions higher than similar to 500,000 do not produce significant gains in the depths of the O-2 lines. We confirm that observations in the O-2 A-band are the most efficient except for M9V host stars, for which observations in the O-2 near-infrared (NIR) band are more efficient. Combining observations in the O-2 A, B, and NIR bands can reduce the number of transits needed to produce a detection of O-2 by about one-third in the case of white noise limited observations. However, that advantage disappears in the presence of typical levels of red noise. Therefore, combining observations in more than one band produces no significant gain versus observing only in the A band, unless red noise can be significantly reduced. Blending between the exoplanet's O-2 lines and telluric O-2 lines is a known problem. We find that problem can be alleviated by increasing the resolution of the observations, and by giving preference to targets near the ecliptic.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsBrinson Foundation; Smithsonian Institution; National Science Foundation [DGE1745303]; Ford Foundation through a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
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