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Stellar systems at low radio frequencies: The discovery of radio exoplanets

For more than thirty years, radio astronomers have searched for auroral emission from exoplanets. With LOFAR we have recently detected strong, highly circularly polarised low-frequency (144 MHz) radio emission associated with a M-dwarf – the expected signpost of such radiation. The star itself is quiescent, with a 130-day rotation period and low X-ray luminosity. In this talk, I will detail how the radio properties of the detection imply that such emission is generated by the presence of an exoplanet in a short period orbit around the star, and our follow-up radial-velocity (RV) observations with Harps-N to confirm the exoplanet’s presence. Our study highlights the powerful new and developing synergy between low-frequency radio astronomy and RV observations, with radio emission providing a strong prior on the presence of a short-period planet. I will conclude the talk detailing how the radio detection of an star-exoplanet interaction provides unique information for exoplanet climate and habitability studies, and the extension of our survey to other stellar systems.

Cody Hall, AB 107, University of Toronto

Joe Callingham, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

December 18, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm