Accession Number:

ADA126962

Title:

Using Small Aperture Interferometry to Detect Planets in Nearby Binary Star Systems,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE GEOPHYSICS LAB HANSCOM AFB MA

Report Date:

1983-04-06

Pagination or Media Count:

53.0

Abstract:

If suitably accurate binary star orbits can be observed, the effects of planets in the binary star system may be detectable in the reflex motion of the component binary stars. We show that interferometric measurements of binary star systems will provide this information. We discuss the effects of the atmosphere on degrading images and how interferometry will remove these effects to provide very accurate binary star positions relative to the other components in the binary system. Two systems, amplitude interferometry and speckle interferometry, can accomplish this using existing telescopes and techniques. With these methods, nearly accuracies of 0.00002 arc second are possible for binaries of 1 arc second separation and 10000 arc second for a 5 arc binary. These accuracies are more than enough to detect planets in orbits like Jupiters out to over 20 pc. There are 188 observable systems within 20 pc, in most of which it is possible to have stable planetary orbits similar to solar system orbits. With advanced data recording systems it is possible to observe binary systems where the components are as faint as 16 stellar magnitudes. A dedicated 2-meter interferometric telescope to monitor binary stars could be built for about 1.4 million dollars. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Astronomy
  • Optical Detection and Detectors

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE