David W. Latham - CfA

David W. Latham
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David W. Latham

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (39)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (26)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (6)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (3)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)

Publications Authored By David W. Latham

We present a comparison of parallaxes and radii from asteroseismology and Gaia DR1 (TGAS) for 2200 Kepler stars spanning from the main sequence to the red giant branch. We show that previously identified offsets between TGAS parallaxes and distances derived from asteroseismology and eclipsing binaries have likely been overestimated for parallaxes <~ 5-10 mas (~ 90-98% of the TGAS sample). The observed differences in our sample can furthermore be partially compensated by adopting a hotter Teff scale (such as the infrared flux method) instead of spectroscopic temperatures for dwarfs and subgiants. Read More

M dwarf stars, which have masses less than 60 per cent that of the Sun, make up 75 per cent of the population of the stars in the Galaxy [1]. The atmospheres of orbiting Earth-sized planets are observationally accessible via transmission spectroscopy when the planets pass in front of these stars [2,3]. Statistical results suggest that the nearest transiting Earth-sized planet in the liquid-water, habitable zone of an M dwarf star is probably around 10. Read More

HD 219134 is a K-dwarf star at a distance of 6.5 parsecs around which several low-mass planets were recently discovered. The Spitzer space telescope detected a transit of the innermost of these planets, HD 219134 b, whose mass and radius (4. Read More

This work extends the still modest number of multiple stars with known relative orbit orientation. Accurate astrometry and radial velocities are used jointly to compute or update outer and inner orbits in three nearby triple systems HIP 101955 (orbital periods 38.68 and 2. Read More

The occurrence rate of hot Jupiters from the Kepler transit survey is roughly half that of radial velocity surveys targeting solar neighborhood stars. One hypothesis to explain this difference is that the two surveys target stars with different stellar metallicity distributions. To test this hypothesis, we measure the metallicity distribution of the Kepler targets using the Hectochelle multi-fiber, high-resolution spectrograph. Read More

The advent of space-based missions like $Kepler$ has revolutionized the study of solar-type stars, particularly through the measurement and modeling of their resonant modes of oscillation. Here we analyze a sample of 66 $Kepler$ main-sequence stars showing solar-like oscillations as part of the $Kepler$ seismic LEGACY project. We use $Kepler$ short-cadence data, of which each star has at least 12 months, to create frequency power spectra optimized for asteroseismology. Read More

We use asteroseismic data from the Kepler satellite to determine fundamental stellar properties of the 66 main-sequence targets observed for at least one full year by the mission. We distributed tens of individual oscillation frequencies extracted from the time series of each star among seven modelling teams who applied different methods to determine radii, masses, and ages for all stars in the sample. Comparisons among the different results reveal a good level of agreement in all stellar properties, which is remarkable considering the variety of codes, input physics and analysis methods employed by the different teams. Read More

We present a high precision H-band emission spectrum of the transiting brown dwarf KELT-1b, which we spectrophotometrically observed during a single secondary eclipse using the LUCI1 multi-object spectrograph on the Large Binocular Telescope. Using a Gaussian-process regression model, we are able to clearly measure the broadband eclipse depth as Delta-H=1418+/-94ppm. We are also able to spectrally-resolve the H-band into five separate wavechannels and measure the eclipse spectrum of KELT-1b at R~50 with an average precision of +/-115ppm. Read More

The determination of exoplanet properties and occurrence rates using Kepler data critically depends on our knowledge of the fundamental properties (such as temperature, radius and mass) of the observed stars. We present revised stellar properties for 197,096 Kepler targets observed between Quarters 1-17 (Q1-17), which were used for the final transiting planet search run by the Kepler Mission (Data Release 25, DR25). Similar to the Q1--16 catalog by Huber et al. Read More

We report the detection of stellar eclipses in the LP 661-13 system. We present the discovery and characterization of this system, including high resolution spectroscopic radial velocities and a photometric solution spanning two observing seasons. LP 661-13 is a low mass binary system with an orbital period of $4. Read More

The Hyades open cluster was targeted during Campaign 4 (C4) of the NASA K2 mission, and short-cadence data were collected on a number of cool main-sequence stars. Here, we report results on two F-type stars that show detectable oscillations of a quality that allows asteroseismic analyses to be performed. These are the first ever detections of solar-like oscillations in main-sequence stars in an open cluster. Read More

We present an asteroseismic analysis of 33 solar-type stars observed in short cadence during Campaigns (C) 1-3 of the NASA K2 mission. We were able to extract both average seismic parameters and individual mode frequencies for stars with dominant frequencies up to ~3300{\mu}Hz, and we find that data for some targets are good enough to allow for a measurement of the rotational splitting. Modelling of the extracted parameters is performed by using grid-based methods using average parameters and individual frequencies together with spectroscopic parameters. Read More

We report the discovery of KELT-12b, a highly inflated Jupiter-mass planet transiting a mildly evolved host star. We identified the initial transit signal in the KELT-North survey data and established the planetary nature of the companion through precise follow-up photometry, high-resolution spectroscopy, precise radial velocity measurements, and high-resolution adaptive optics imaging. Our preferred best-fit model indicates that the $V = 10. Read More

While the vast majority of multiple-planet systems have their orbital angular momentum axes aligned with the spin axis of their host star, Kepler-56 is an exception: its two transiting planets are coplanar yet misaligned by at least 40 degrees with respect to their host star. Additional follow-up observations of Kepler-56 suggest the presence of a massive, non-transiting companion that may help explain this misalignment. We model the transit data along with Keck/HIRES and HARPS-N radial velocity data to update the masses of the two transiting planets and infer the physical properties of the third, non-transiting planet. Read More

Heartbeat stars are eccentric (e > 0.2) ellipsoidal variables whose light curves resemble a cardiogram. We present the observations and corresponding model of KIC 3749404, a highly eccentric (e = 0. Read More

The Kepler mission has revealed a great diversity of planetary systems and architectures, but most of the planets discovered by Kepler orbit faint stars. Using new data from the K2 mission, we present the discovery of a five planet system transiting a bright (V = 8.9, K = 7. Read More

We report the discovery of Qatar-3b, Qatar-4b, and Qatar-5b, three new transiting planets identified by the Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES). The three planets belong to the hot Jupiter family, with orbital periods of $P_{Q3b}$=2.50792 days, $P_{Q4b}$=1. Read More

We present Doppler tomographic analyses for the spectroscopic transits of KELT-7b and HAT-P-56b, two hot-Jupiters orbiting rapidly rotating F-dwarf host stars. These include analyses of archival TRES observations for KELT-7b, and a new TRES transit observation of HAT-P-56b. We report spin-orbit aligned geometries for KELT-7b (2. Read More

In an effort to measure the masses of planets discovered by the NASA {\it K2} mission, we have conducted precise Doppler observations of five stars with transiting planets. We present the results of a joint analysis of these new data and previously published Doppler data. The first star, an M dwarf known as K2-3 or EPIC~201367065, has three transiting planets ("b", with radius $2. Read More

Given that low-mass stars have intrinsically low luminosities at optical wavelengths and a propensity for stellar activity, it is advantageous for radial velocity (RV) surveys of these objects to use near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. In this work we describe and test a novel RV extraction pipeline dedicated to retrieving RVs from low mass stars using NIR spectra taken by the CSHELL spectrograph at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, where a methane isotopologue gas cell is used for wavelength calibration. The pipeline minimizes the residuals between the observations and a spectral model composed of templates for the target star, the gas cell, and atmospheric telluric absorption; models of the line spread function, continuum curvature, and sinusoidal fringing; and a parameterization of the wavelength solution. Read More

We present the results of a precise near-infrared (NIR) radial velocity (RV) survey of 32 low-mass stars with spectral types K2-M4 using CSHELL at the NASA IRTF in the $K$-band with an isotopologue methane gas cell to achieve wavelength calibration and a novel iterative RV extraction method. We surveyed 14 members of young ($\approx$ 25-150 Myr) moving groups, the young field star $\varepsilon$ Eridani as well as 18 nearby ($<$ 25 pc) low-mass stars and achieved typical single-measurement precisions of 8-15 m s$^{-1}$ with a long-term stability of 15-50 m s$^{-1}$. We obtain the best NIR RV constraints to date on 27 targets in our sample, 19 of which were never followed by high-precision RV surveys. Read More

The Second Workshop on Extreme Precision Radial Velocities defined circa 2015 the state of the art Doppler precision and identified the critical path challenges for reaching 10 cm/s measurement precision. The presentations and discussion of key issues for instrumentation and data analysis and the workshop recommendations for achieving this precision are summarized here. Beginning with the HARPS spectrograph, technological advances for precision radial velocity measurements have focused on building extremely stable instruments. Read More

The Kepler Mission has provided unprecedented, nearly continuous photometric data of $\sim$200,000 objects in the $\sim$105 deg$^{2}$ field of view from the beginning of science operations in May of 2009 until the loss of the second reaction wheel in May of 2013. The Kepler Eclipsing Binary Catalog contains information including but not limited to ephemerides, stellar parameters and analytical approximation fits for every known eclipsing binary system in the Kepler Field of View. Using Target Pixel level data collected from Kepler in conjunction with the Kepler Eclipsing Binary Catalog, we identify false positives among eclipsing binaries, i. Read More

The origin of short timescale (weeks/months) variability of AGN, whether due to intrinsic disc variations or reprocessing of X-ray emission by a surrounding accretion disc, has been a puzzle for many years. However recently a number of observational programmes, particularly of NGC5548 with Swift, have shown that the UV/optical variations lag behind the X-ray variations in a manner strongly supportive of X-ray reprocessing. Somewhat surprisingly the implied size of the accretion disc is ~3x greater than expected from a standard, smooth, Shakura-Sunyaev thin disc model. Read More

We combine Kepler photometry with ground-based spectra to present a comprehensive dynamical model of the double red giant eclipsing binary KIC 9246715. While the two stars are very similar in mass (M1 = 2.171 [+0. Read More

We present the seventh Kepler planet candidate catalog, which is the first to be based on the entire, uniformly processed, 48 month Kepler dataset. This is the first fully automated catalog, employing robotic vetting procedures to uniformly evaluate every periodic signal detected by the Q1-Q17 Data Release 24 (DR24) Kepler pipeline. While we prioritize uniform vetting over the absolute correctness of individual objects, we find that our robotic vetting is overall comparable to, and in most cases is superior to, the human vetting procedures employed by past catalogs. Read More

We report the discovery of a new Kepler transiting circumbinary planet (CBP). This latest addition to the still-small family of CBPs defies the current trend of known short-period planets orbiting near the stability limit of binary stars. Unlike the previous discoveries, the planet revolving around the eclipsing binary system Kepler-1647 has a very long orbital period (~1100 days) and was at conjunction only twice during the Kepler mission lifetime. Read More

The Kepler Space Telescope is currently searching for planets transiting stars along the ecliptic plane as part of its extended K2 mission. We processed the publicly released data from the first year of K2 observations (Campaigns 0, 1, 2, and 3) and searched for periodic eclipse signals consistent with planetary transits. Out of 59,174 targets we searched, we detect 234 planetary candidates around 208 stars. Read More

Radial velocity perturbations induced by stellar surface inhomogeneities including spots, plages and granules currently limit the detection of Earth-twins using Doppler spectroscopy. Such stellar noise is poorly understood for stars other than the Sun because their surface is unresolved. In particular, the effects of stellar surface inhomogeneities on observed stellar radial velocities are extremely difficult to characterize, and thus developing optimal correction techniques to extract true stellar radial velocities is extremely challenging. Read More

White dwarfs are the end state of most stars, including the Sun, after they exhaust their nuclear fuel. Between 1/4 and 1/2 of white dwarfs have elements heavier than helium in their atmospheres, even though these elements should rapidly settle into the stellar interiors unless they are occasionally replenished. The abundance ratios of heavy elements in white dwarf atmospheres are similar to rocky bodies in the Solar system. Read More

We present multiwavelength, multi-telescope, ground-based follow-up photometry of the white dwarf WD 1145+017, that has recently been suggested to be orbited by up to six or more, short-period, low-mass, disintegrating planetesimals. We detect 9 significant dips in flux of between 10% and 30% of the stellar flux from our ground-based photometry. We observe transits deeper than 10% on average every ~3. Read More

We report the discovery of four short-period eclipsing systems in the Kepler light curves, consisting of an A-star primary and a low-mass white dwarf (WD) secondary (dA+WD) - KIC 4169521, KOI-3818, KIC 2851474, and KIC 9285587. The systems show BEaming, Ellipsoidal and Reflection (BEER) phase modulations together with primary and secondary eclipses. These add to the 6 Kepler and 18 WASP short-period eclipsing dA+WD binaries that were previously known. Read More

The HARPS spectrograph is showing an extreme stability close to the m s-1 level over more than ten years of data. However the radial velocities of some stars are contaminated by a spurious one-year signal with an amplitude that can be as high as a few m s-1 . This signal is in opposition of phase with the revolution of Earth around the Sun, and can be explained by the deformation of spectral lines crossing block stitchings of the CCD when the spectrum of an observed star is alternatively blue- and red-shifted due to the motion of Earth around the Sun. Read More