A Search For Giant Planet Companions To T Tauri Stars
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We present results from an ongoing multiwavelength radial velocity (RV) survey of the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region as part of our effort to identify pre-main-sequence giant planet hosts. These 1-3 Myr old T Tauri stars present significant challenges to traditional RV surveys. The presence of strong magnetic fields gives rise to large, cool star spots. These spots introduce significant RV jitter which can mimic the velocity modulation from a planet-mass companion. To distinguish between spot-induced and planet-induced RV modulation, we conduct observations at similar to 6700 angstrom and similar to 2.3 mu m and measure the wavelength dependence (if any) in the RV amplitude. CSHELL observations of the known exoplanet host Gl 86 demonstrate our ability to detect not only hot Jupiters in the near-infrared but also secular trends from more distant companions. Observations of nine very young stars reveal a typical reduction in RV amplitude at the longer wavelengths by a factor of similar to 2-3. While we cannot confirm the presence of planets in this sample, three targets show different periodicities in the two wavelength regions. This suggests different physical mechanisms underlying the optical and the K-band variability.