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The Search for Radio Emission from Exoplanets Using LOFAR Low-Frequency Beam-Formed Observations: Preliminary Results on the 55 CNC System

Abstract : Detection of radio emission from exoplanets can provide information on the star-planet system that is very difficult or impossible to study otherwise, such as the planet's magnetic field, magnetosphere, rotation period, orbit inclination, and star-planet interactions. Such a detection in the radio domain would open up a whole new field in the study of exoplanets, however, currently there are no confirmed detections of an exoplanet at radio frequencies. In this study, we search for non-thermal radio emission from 55 Cnc, an exoplanetary system with 5 planets. 55 Cnc is among the best targets for this search according to theoretical predictions. We observed for 18 hours with the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) in the frequency range 26-73 MHz with full-polarization and and covered 85% of the orbital phase of the innermost planet. During the observations four beams were recorded simultaneously on 55 Cnc, a patch of nearby “empty” sky, the nearby pulsar B0823+26, and a bright radio source in the field. The extra beams make this setup unique since they can be used for control of the telescope gain and to verify that a detection in the exoplanet beam is not a false-positive detection (e.g. ionospheric fluctuations). An automatic pipeline was created to automatically find Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and to search for emission in the exoplanet beam. Conclusions reached at the time of the meeting, about detection of or upper limit to the planetary signal, will be presented. In the near future, we will apply this observational technique and pipeline to some moreplanetary targets, which were selected on the basis of theoretical predictions.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03568125
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Submitted on : Saturday, February 12, 2022 - 10:54:04 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 3:24:58 PM

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Jake Turner, Jean-Mathias Griessmeier, Philippe Zarka, Iana Vasylieva. The Search for Radio Emission from Exoplanets Using LOFAR Low-Frequency Beam-Formed Observations: Preliminary Results on the 55 CNC System. AASTCS5 Radio Exploration of Planetary Habitability, 2017, Palm Springs, United States. pp.2247-2302. ⟨insu-03568125⟩

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