303.05 LOFAR Searches for Radio Exoplanets (Jake Turner)

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Jun 6th at 11:52 AM until 12:10 PM




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Author(s): Jake Turner4, Jean-Mathias Griessmeier1, Philippe Zarka3, Iaroslavna Vasylieva2
Institution(s): 1. Laboratoire de Physique et Chemie de l'Environment et de l'Espace, 2. National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 3. Observatoire de Paris, 4. University of Virginia
Detection of radio emission from exoplanets can provide information on the star-planet system that is very difficult or impossible to study otherwise, such as the planet۪s magnetic field, magnetosphere, rotation period, orbit inclination, and star-planet interactions. Such a detection in the radio domain would open up a whole new field in the study of exoplanets, however, currently there are no confirmed detections of an exoplanet at radio frequencies. In this study, we discuss our ongoing observational campaign searching for exoplanetary radio emissions using beam-formed observations within the Low Band of the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR). To date we have observed three exoplanets: 55 Cnc, Upsilon Andromedae, and Tau Bo̦tis. These planets were selected according to theoretical predictions, which indicated them as among the best candidates for an observation. During the observations we usually recorded three beams simultaneously, one on the exoplanet and two on patches of nearby empty۝ sky. An automatic pipeline was created to automatically find RFI, calibrate the data due to instrumental effects, and to search for emission in the exoplanet beam. Additionally, we observed Jupiter with LOFAR with the same exact observational setup as the exoplanet observations. The main goals of the Jupiter observations are to train the detection algorithm and to calculate upper limits in the case of a non-detection. Data analysis is currently ongoing. Conclusions reached at the time of the meeting, about detection of or upper limit to the planetary signal, will be presented.