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2006 Annual Science Report

Pennsylvania State University Reporting  |  JUL 2005 – JUN 2006

Search for Planets Around Evolved Stars (Wolszczan)

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

During the period covered in this report, we have continued a search for planets around K-giants with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). Detection and studies of planets around post-main sequence stars provide information on planet formation and survival around massive stars and represent an important extension of the ongoing planet searches around Sun-like stars. They also probe the dynamical evolution of old planetary systems driven by changes in their parent stars as they leave the main sequence.

So far, we have collected multiple epoch observations for 80 stars out of the ~900 targets on our observing list. Further scrutiny has revealed that several of these 80 stars that may have giant planets around them. One of them is almost certain to have a ~3 Jupiter mass companion in a 1 A.U., ~300 day orbit. In fact, this first planet detection by our survey has now been confirmed and is being prepared for publication..

    Alexander Wolszczan
    Project Investigator
    Andrzej Niedzielski

    Objective 1.2
    Indirect and direct astronomical observations of extrasolar habitable planets