SAC Seminar - Matthew Kenworthy: Observing Hill Sphere-filling Exoring Systems around the exoplanets J1407b and beta Pictoris b
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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 surrounding an unseen secondary companion, J1407b, that is being sculpted by forming exomoons. This ring system fills most of the Hill sphere and is 200 times larger than Saturn's rings.
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 latest observations on J1407 and our observing campaign for beta Pictoris in 2017, including our bRing cameras that will carry out continuous monitoring of this star throughout the next 14 months.