Skip to main content


Wednesday 19 Jan 2022Looking for planetary satellites around directly imaged substellar companions.

Cecilia Lazzoni -

4th Floor, Physics + remote 14:00-15:00

During the past years, the direct imaging technique has proven to be an extremely valid method to detect and characterize exoplanets. Coupling extreme adaptive optics with the 8-meters class of telescopes, we are able to push the limits of detection to planets of a few Jupiter masses for the youngest systems.
Considering the mass and, especially, the separation at which directly imaged exoplanets are revealed the latter technique is particularly suitable for the search of satellites.
In this talk we will investigate the hunting capabilities of satellites around directly imaged planets, either with direct and indirect methods.
Even if up to date the detection of classic rocky moons escapes our capabilities, with the upcoming arrival of instruments both from the ground and from space we might be able to unveil such worlds. Also, more massive satellites might be common in exoplanetary systems and much easier to detect.
I will then introduce the Negative Fake Companion Technique, developed to subtract the contribution of directly imaged exoplanets and brown dwarfs and to investigate their close surroundings for the presence of satellites. In this framework, the first candidate satellite was discovered in the DH Tau system. The latter hosts an M1 parent star, a 10 Mjup exoplanet and its candidate Jupiter-like satellite.
Systems like DH Tau open up to an entire new category of mostly unknown planetary architecture, the "binary planets".

Add to calendar

Add to calendar (.ics)