The LBTI Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Systems (HOSTS) survey: A key NASA science program on the road to exoplanet imaging missions

W. Danchi, V. Bailey, G. Bryden, D. Defrère, C. Haniff, P. Hinz, G. Kennedy, B. Mennesson, R. Millan-Gabet, G. Rieke, A. Roberge, E. Serabyn, A. Skemer, K. Stapelfeldt, A. Weinberger, M. Wyatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial planetary Systems (HOSTS) program on the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) will survey nearby stars for faint exozodiacal dust (exozodi). This warm circumstellar dust, analogous to the interplanetary dust found in the vicinity of the Earth in our own system, is produced in comet breakups and asteroid collisions. Emission and/or scattered light from the exozodi will be the major source of astrophysical noise for a future space telescope aimed at direct imaging and spectroscopy of terrestrial planets (exo-Earths) around nearby stars. About 20% of nearby field stars have cold dust coming from planetesimals at large distances from the stars (Eiroa et al. 2013, A&A, 555, A11; Siercho et al. 2014, ApJ, 785, 33). Much less is known about exozodi; current detection limits for individual stars are at best ~ 500 times our solar system's level (aka. 500 zodi). LBTI-HOSTS will be the first survey capable of measuring exozodi at the 10 zodi level (3σ). Detections of warm dust will also reveal new information about planetary system architectures and evolution. We will describe the motivation for the survey and progress on target selection, not only the actual stars likely to be observed by such a mission but also those whose observation will enable sensible extrapolations for stars that will not be observed with LBTI. We briefly describe the detection of the debris disk around η Crv, which is the first scientific result from the LBTI coming from the commissioning of the instrument in December 2013, shortly after the first time the fringes were stabilized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical and Infrared Interferometry IV
EditorsJayadev K. Rajagopal, Michelle J. Creech-Eakman, Fabien Malbet
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496140
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
EventOptical and Infrared Interferometry IV - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 23 2014Jun 27 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume9146
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Other

OtherOptical and Infrared Interferometry IV
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period6/23/146/27/14

Keywords

  • debris disks
  • exoplanet detection
  • exozodiacal dust
  • infrared astronomy
  • nulling interferometry
  • stellar interferometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Danchi, W., Bailey, V., Bryden, G., Defrère, D., Haniff, C., Hinz, P., Kennedy, G., Mennesson, B., Millan-Gabet, R., Rieke, G., Roberge, A., Serabyn, E., Skemer, A., Stapelfeldt, K., Weinberger, A., & Wyatt, M. (2014). The LBTI Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Systems (HOSTS) survey: A key NASA science program on the road to exoplanet imaging missions. In J. K. Rajagopal, M. J. Creech-Eakman, & F. Malbet (Eds.), Optical and Infrared Interferometry IV [914607] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 9146). SPIE. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056681