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Title: Habitable Planets Eclipsing Brown Dwarfs: Strategies for Detection and Characterization
Authors: Belu, A. R
Selsis, F
Raymond, S. N
Palle, E
Street, R
Sahu, D. K
Braun, K. V
Bolmont, E
Figueira, P
Anupama, G. C
Ribas, Ignasi
Keywords: Astrobiology;Brown dwarfs;Eclipses;Infrared: planetary systems;Instrumentation: spectrographs;Solar neighborhood
Issue Date: 10-May-2013
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Citation: The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 768, No. 2, 125
Abstract: Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P HZ out). Habitable planets with P HZ out shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between $4.5^{+5.6}_{-1.4}$% and $56^{+31}_{-13}$%, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using ~1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.
ISSN: 1538-4357
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