Census of Young Stars in the Solar Vicinity
University of Georgia
Unexpected distribution of close-in exoplanets discovered by high precision radial velocity monitoring triggered a set of new ideas. Similarly, the next major breakthrough in the exoplanetary science will likely come from the statistics of imaged exoplanets. Young stars within < 70 pc are prime targets for direct imaging detections of exoplanets because of their youth and proximity to Earth. To increase the number of imaged exoplanets, we need to increase available targets first. Currently, there are no more than 250 young (~100 Myr) stars known within < 70 pc. Because of better sensitivity and smaller inner working angle, next generation exoplanet imaging surveys will target all known nearby young stars and nearby adolescent (~600 Myr) stars. Based on the results of several past major exoplanet imaging surveys, even with the generous anticipation of the new discovery space for new instruments, less than 10% of targeted stars will likely yield imaged planetary companions. This means that meaningful statistics will requires thousands of young stars to be surveyed and the major challenge will be preparing for the best targets. I will summarize our current knowledge on nearby young stars and I will talk about on-going surveys and future prospects.
Date: Thursday, 20 January 2011 Time: 11:30 Where: Université de Montréal Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, local D-460 Contact: René Doyon