A Field Guide to the Spitzer Observations
Jonathan Fortney has the office next to mine at UCSC, and so we’re always talking about the Spitzer observations of extrasolar planets. The Spitzer Space Telescope has proved to be an extraordinary platform for observing planets in the near infrared, and during the past year, the number of published and planned observations has really been growing rapidly.
Increasingly, with the flood of data, I’ve been finding that I have trouble keeping mental track of all the photometric observations of all the planets that Spitzer has produced. Let’s see, was Tres-1 observed in primary eclipse? Did someone get a 24-micron time series for HD 149026? And so on.
So Jonathan and I decided to put together a poster that aggregates the observations (that we know of) that have either been completed, or which have been scheduled. The relevant information for each campaign includes the star-planet system, the bandpass, and the duration and phase of the observation. We wanted the information for each system to be presented in a consistent manner, in which the orbits, the stars, and the planets are all shown to scale (and at a uniform scale from system to system). As an example, here’s the diagram for HD 189733:
In putting the poster together, we were struck by the variety of different observational programs that have been carried out. Some of the diagrams, furthermore, with text removed, have a delicate insect-like quality.
(The figure just above shows Bryce Croll’s planned 8-micron observations of Transitsearch.org fave HD 17156b. Croll’s campaign will attempt to measure the pseudo-synchronous rotation period of the planet.)
I’m going to Boston next week to attend the IAU transit meeting, and so I printed out a copy of the poster to put up at the meeting: