Looking for giant rings around a directly imaged exoplanet in 2017 - the bRing Project

In 2007, the 20 million year old pre-main sequence star J1407 underwent a complex series of eclipses lasting two months, showing temporal structure down to a timescale of 20 minutes. We interpret this as a giant ring system (some 200 times larger than Saturn's rings) surrounding an unseen secondary companion, J1407b, that is being sculpted by forming exomoons. In mid-2017, the Hill sphere of the young exoplanet orbiting the bright southern hemisphere star beta Pictoris will transit, presenting a unique opportunity to search for Hill sphere filling rings and to perform transmission spectroscopy of the circumplanetary material. I will present our observing campaign for beta Pictoris in 2017, including the first results from our beta Pic b Ring (bRing) cameras that will carry out continuous monitoring of this star throughout the next 14 months.

Matthew Kenworthy — Leiden University
Wednesday 22 March 2017, 11:00
Location: C4.174