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Title: THE CENTER OF LIGHT: SPECTROASTROMETRIC DETECTION OF EXOMOONS

Direct imaging of extrasolar planets with future space-based coronagraphic telescopes may provide a means of detecting companion moons at wavelengths where the moon outshines the planet. We propose a detection strategy based on the positional variation of the center of light with wavelength, “spectroastrometry.” This new application of this technique could be used to detect an exomoon, to determine the exomoon’s orbit and the mass of the host exoplanet, and to disentangle the spectra of the planet and moon. We consider two model systems, for which we discuss the requirements for detection of exomoons around nearby stars. We simulate the characterization of an Earth–Moon analog system with spectroastrometry, showing that the orbit, the planet mass, and the spectra of both bodies can be recovered. To enable the detection and characterization of exomoons we recommend that coronagraphic telescopes should extend in wavelength coverage to 3 μm, and should be designed with spectroastrometric requirements in mind.
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518866
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 812; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; MASS; MOON; ORBITS; PLANETS; SPACE; STARS; TELESCOPES; VARIATIONS; VISIBLE RADIATION