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2007 Annual Science Report

Pennsylvania State University Reporting  |  JUL 2006 – JUN 2007

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. This addresses the problem of long-term survival of life and its possible creation on planets around post-main sequence stars.

So far, we have collected multiple epoch observations for ~400 stars out of the ~1000 targets in our observing list. Further scrutiny has revealed that at least 30 of these 400 stars that may have giant planets around them. Our first paper describing the discovery of a 4.5 MJup planet in a 360-day,
1.3 AU orbit around a 2.3 MSun K-giant HD 17092 has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

    Andrzej Niedzielski
    Objective 1.2
    Indirect and direct astronomical observations of extrasolar habitable planets