670 research outputs found

    The Kepler-19 System: A Transiting 2.2 R_⊕ Planet and a Second Planet Detected via Transit Timing Variations

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    We present the discovery of the Kepler-19 planetary system, which we first identified from a 9.3 day periodic transit signal in the Kepler photometry. From high-resolution spectroscopy of the star, we find a stellar effective temperature T_(eff) = 5541 ± 60 K, a metallicity [Fe/H] = –0.13 ± 0.06, and a surface gravity log(g) = 4.59 ± 0.10. We combine the estimate of T_(eff) and [Fe/H] with an estimate of the stellar density derived from the photometric light curve to deduce a stellar mass of M_*= 0.936 ± 0.040 M_☉ and a stellar radius of R_* = 0.850 ± 0.018 R_☉ (these errors do not include uncertainties in the stellar models). We rule out the possibility that the transits result from an astrophysical false positive by first identifying the subset of stellar blends that reproduce the precise shape of the light curve. Using the additional constraints from the measured color of the system, the absence of a secondary source in the high-resolution spectrum, and the absence of a secondary source in the adaptive optics imaging, we conclude that the planetary scenario is more than three orders of magnitude more likely than a blend. The blend scenario is independently disfavored by the achromaticity of the transit: we measure a transit depth with Spitzer at 4.5 μm of 547^(+113)_(–110) ppm, consistent with the depth measured in the Kepler optical bandpass of 567 ± 6 ppm (corrected for stellar limb darkening). We determine a physical radius of the planet Kepler-19b of R_p = 2.209 ± 0.048 R_⊕; the uncertainty is dominated by uncertainty in the stellar parameters. From radial velocity observations of the star, we find an upper limit on the planet mass of 20.3 M_⊕, corresponding to a maximum density of 10.4 g cm^(–3). We report a significant sinusoidal deviation of the transit times from a predicted linear ephemeris, which we conclude is due to an additional perturbing body in the system. We cannot uniquely determine the orbital parameters of the perturber, as various dynamical mechanisms match the amplitude, period, and shape of the transit timing signal and satisfy the host star's radial velocity limits. However, the perturber in these mechanisms has a period ≾ 160 days and mass ≾ 6 M_(Jup), confirming its planetary nature as Kepler-19c. We place limits on the presence of transits of Kepler-19c in the available Kepler data

    Modeling Kepler Transit Light Curves as False Positives: Rejection of Blend Scenarios for Kepler-9, and Validation of Kepler-9 d, A Super-earth-size Planet in a Multiple System

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    Light curves from the Kepler Mission contain valuable information on the nature of the phenomena producing the transit-like signals. To assist in exploring the possibility that they are due to an astrophysical false positive, we describe a procedure (BLENDER) to model the photometry in terms of a "blend" rather than a planet orbiting a star. A blend may consist of a background or foreground eclipsing binary (or star-planet pair) whose eclipses are attenuated by the light of the candidate and possibly other stars within the photometric aperture. We apply BLENDER to the case of Kepler-9 (KIC 3323887), a target harboring two previously confirmed Saturn-size planets (Kepler-9 b and Kepler-9 c) showing transit timing variations, and an additional shallower signal with a 1.59 day period suggesting the presence of a super-Earth-size planet. Using BLENDER together with constraints from other follow-up observations we are able to rule out all blends for the two deeper signals and provide independent validation of their planetary nature. For the shallower signal, we rule out a large fraction of the false positives that might mimic the transits. The false alarm rate for remaining blends depends in part (and inversely) on the unknown frequency of small-size planets. Based on several realistic estimates of this frequency, we conclude with very high confidence that this small signal is due to a super-Earth-size planet (Kepler-9 d) in a multiple system, rather than a false positive. The radius is determined to be 1.64^(+0.19)_(–0.14) R_⊕, and current spectroscopic observations are as yet insufficient to establish its mass

    Kepler-10 c: a 2.2 Earth Radius Transiting Planet in a Multiple System

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    The Kepler mission has recently announced the discovery of Kepler-10 b, the smallest exoplanet discovered to date and the first rocky planet found by the spacecraft. A second, 45 day period transit-like signal present in the photometry from the first eight months of data could not be confirmed as being caused by a planet at the time of that announcement. Here we apply the light curve modeling technique known as BLENDER to explore the possibility that the signal might be due to an astrophysical false positive (blend). To aid in this analysis we report the observation of two transits with the Spitzer Space Telescope at 4.5 μm. When combined, they yield a transit depth of 344 ± 85 ppm that is consistent with the depth in the Kepler passband (376 ± 9 ppm, ignoring limb darkening), which rules out blends with an eclipsing binary of a significantly different color than the target. Using these observations along with other constraints from high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, we are able to exclude the vast majority of possible false positives. We assess the likelihood of the remaining blends, and arrive conservatively at a false alarm rate of 1.6 × 10^(–5) that is small enough to validate the candidate as a planet (designated Kepler-10 c) with a very high level of confidence. The radius of this object is measured to be R_p = 2.227^(+0.052)_(–0.057) R_⊕ (in which the error includes the uncertainty in the stellar properties), but currently available radial-velocity measurements only place an upper limit on its mass of about 20 M_⊕. Kepler-10 c represents another example (with Kepler-9 d and Kepler-11 g) of statistical "validation" of a transiting exoplanet, as opposed to the usual "confirmation" that can take place when the Doppler signal is detected or transit timing variations are measured. It is anticipated that many of Kepler's smaller candidates will receive a similar treatment since dynamical confirmation may be difficult or impractical with the sensitivity of current instrumentation

    Observational Window Functions in Planet Transit Surveys

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    The probability that an existing planetary transit is detectable in one's data is sensitively dependent upon the window function of the observations. We quantitatively characterize and provide visualizations of the dependence of this probability as a function of orbital period upon several observing strategy and astrophysical parameters, such as length of observing run, observing cadence, length of night, transit duration and depth, and the minimum number of sampled transits. The ability to detect a transit is directly related to the intrinsic noise of the observations. In our simulations of observational window functions, we explicitly address non-correlated (gaussian or white) noise and correlated (red) noise and discuss how these two noise components affect transit detectability in fundamentally different manners, especially for long periods and/or small transit depths. We furthermore discuss the consequence of competing effects on transit detectability, elaborate on measures of observing strategies, and examine the projected efficiency of different transit survey scenarios with respect to certain regions of parameter space.Comment: 16 pages, 11 figures, 8 tables; accepted for publication in Ap

    An Ultra-short Period Rocky Super-Earth with a Secondary Eclipse and a Neptune-like Companion around K2-141

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    Ultra-short period (USP) planets are a class of low-mass planets with periods shorter than one day. Their origin is still unknown, with photo-evaporation of mini-Neptunes and in situ formation being the most credited hypotheses. Formation scenarios differ radically in the predicted composition of USP planets, and it is therefore extremely important to increase the still limited sample of USP planets with precise and accurate mass and density measurements. We report here the characterization of a USP planet with a period of 0.28 days around K2-141 (EPIC 246393474), and the validation of an outer planet with a period of 7.7 days in a grazing transit configuration. We derived the radii of the planets from the K2 light curve and used high-precision radial velocities gathered with the HARPS-N spectrograph for mass measurements. For K2-141b, we thus inferred a radius of 1.51 ± 0.05 R_⊕ and a mass of 5.08 ± 0.41 M_⊕, consistent with a rocky composition and lack of a thick atmosphere. K2-141c is likely a Neptune-like planet, although due to the grazing transits and the non-detection in the RV data set, we were not able to put a strong constraint on its density. We also report the detection of secondary eclipses and phase curve variations for K2-141b. The phase variation can be modeled either by a planet with a geometric albedo of 0.30 ± 0.06 in the Kepler bandpass, or by thermal emission from the surface of the planet at ~3000 K. Only follow-up observations at longer wavelengths will allow us to distinguish between these two scenarios

    TOI-150b and TOI-163b: two transiting hot Jupiters, one eccentric and one inflated, revealed by TESS near and at the edge of the JWST CVZ

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    We present the discovery of TYC9191-519-1b (TOI-150b, TIC 271893367) and HD271181b (TOI-163b, TIC 179317684), two hot Jupiters initially detected using 30-min cadence Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) photometry from Sector 1 and thoroughly characterized through follow-up photometry (CHAT, Hazelwood, LCO/CTIO, El Sauce, TRAPPIST-S), high-resolution spectroscopy (FEROS, CORALIE), and speckle imaging (Gemini/DSSI), confirming the planetary nature of the two signals. A simultaneous joint fit of photometry and radial velocity using a new fitting package JULIET reveals that TOI-150b is a 1.254±0.016 R_J⁠, massive (⁠2.61^(+0.19)_(−0.12) M_J) hot Jupiter in a 5.857-d orbit, while TOI-163b is an inflated (⁠R_P = 1.478^(+0.022)_(−0.029) R_J⁠, M_P = 1.219±0.11M_J) hot Jupiter on a P = 4.231-d orbit; both planets orbit F-type stars. A particularly interesting result is that TOI-150b shows an eccentric orbit (⁠e = 0.262^(+0.045)_(−0.037)⁠), which is quite uncommon among hot Jupiters. We estimate that this is consistent, however, with the circularization time-scale, which is slightly larger than the age of the system. These two hot Jupiters are both prime candidates for further characterization – in particular, both are excellent candidates for determining spin-orbit alignments via the Rossiter–McLaughlin (RM) effect and for characterizing atmospheric thermal structures using secondary eclipse observations considering they are both located closely to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Continuous Viewing Zone (CVZ)

    Stellar diameters and temperatures – VI. High angular resolution measurements of the transiting exoplanet host stars HD 189733 and HD 209458 and implications for models of cool dwarfs

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    We present direct radii measurements of the well-known transiting exoplanet host stars HD 189733 and HD 209458 using the CHARA Array interferometer. We find the limb-darkened angular diameters to be θ_(LD) = 0.3848 ± 0.0055 and 0.2254 ± 0.0072 mas for HD 189733 and HD 209458, respectively. HD 189733 and HD 209458 are currently the only two transiting exoplanet systems where detection of the respective planetary companion's orbital motion from high-resolution spectroscopy has revealed absolute masses for both star and planet. We use our new measurements together with the orbital information from radial velocity and photometric time series data, Hipparcos distances, and newly measured bolometric fluxes to determine the stellar effective temperatures (T_(eff) = 4875 ± 43, 6092 ± 103 K), stellar linear radii (R_* = 0.805 ± 0.016, 1.203 ± 0.061 R_⊙), mean stellar densities (ρ_* = 1.62 ± 0.11, 0.58 ± 0.14 ρ_⊙), planetary radii (R_p = 1.216 ± 0.024, 1.451 ± 0.074 R_(Jup)), and mean planetary densities (ρ_p = 0.605 ± 0.029, 0.196 ± 0.033 ρ_(Jup)) for HD 189733b and HD 209458b, respectively. The stellar parameters for HD 209458, an F9 dwarf, are consistent with indirect estimates derived from spectroscopic and evolutionary modelling. However, we find that models are unable to reproduce the observational results for the K2 dwarf, HD 189733. We show that, for stellar evolutionary models to match the observed stellar properties of HD 189733, adjustments lowering the solar-calibrated mixing-length parameter to α_(MLT) =1.34 need to be employed

    IRS Scan-mapping of the Wasp-waist Nebula (IRAS 16253–2429). I. Derivation of Shock Conditions from H_2 Emission and Discovery of 11.3 μm PAH Absorption

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    The outflow driven by the Class 0 protostar, IRAS 16253–2429, is associated with bipolar cavities visible in scattered mid-infrared light, which we refer to as the Wasp-Waist Nebula. InfraRed Spectometer (IRS) scan mapping with the Spitzer Space Telescope of a ~1' × 2' area centered on the protostar was carried out. The outflow is imaged in six pure rotational (0-0 S(2) through 0-0 S(7)) H_2 lines, revealing a distinct, S-shaped morphology in all maps. A source map in the 11.3 μm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) feature is presented in which the protostellar envelope appears in absorption. This is the first detection of absorption in the 11.3 μm PAH feature. Spatially resolved excitation analysis of positions in the blue- and redshifted outflow lobes, with extinction-corrections determined from archival Spitzer 8 μm imaging, shows remarkably constant temperatures of ~1000 K in the shocked gas. The radiated luminosity in the observed H_2 transitions is found to be 1.94 ± 0.05 × 10^(–5) L_⊙ in the redshifted lobe and 1.86 ± 0.04 × 10^(–5) L_⊙ in the blueshifted lobe. These values are comparable to the mechanical luminosity of the flow. By contrast, the mass of hot (T ~ 1000 K) H_2 gas is 7.95 ± 0.19 × 10^(–7) M_⊙ in the redshifted lobe and 5.78 ± 0.17 × 10^(–7) M_⊙ in the blueshifted lobe. This is just a tiny fraction, of order 10^(–3), of the gas in the cold (30 K), swept-up gas mass derived from millimeter CO observations. The H_2 ortho/para ratio of 3:1 found at all mapped points in this flow suggests previous passages of shocks through the gas. Comparison of the H_2 data with detailed shock models of Wilgenbus et al. shows the emitting gas is passing through Jump (J-type) shocks. Pre-shock densities of 10^4 cm^(–3)≤ n _H ≤ 10^5 cm^(–3) are inferred for the redshifted lobe and n _H ≤ 10^3 cm^(–3) for the blueshifted lobe. Shock velocities are 5 km s^(–1) ≤ v_s ≤ 10 km s^(–1) for the redshifted gas and v_s = 10 km s^(–1) for the blueshifted gas. Initial transverse (to the shock) magnetic field strengths for the redshifted lobe are in the range 10-32 μG, and just 3 μG for the blueshifted lobe. A cookbook for using the CUBISM contributed software for IRS spectral mapping data is presented in the Appendix

    High-Spatial-Resolution K-Band Imaging of Select K2 Campaign Fields

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    NASA's K2 mission began observing fields along the ecliptic plane in 2014. Each observing campaign lasts approximately 80 days, during which high-precision optical photometry of select astrophysical targets is collected by the Kepler spacecraft. Due to the 4 arcsec pixel scale of the Kepler photometer, significant blending between the observed targets can occur (especially in dense fields close to the Galactic plane). We undertook a program to use the Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) on the 3.8 m United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope (UKIRT) to collect high-spatial-resolution near-infrared images of targets in select K2 campaign fields, which we report here. These 0.4 arcsec resolution K-band images offer the opportunity to perform a variety of science, including vetting exoplanet candidates by identifying nearby stars blended with the target star and estimating the size, color, and type of galaxies observed by K2.Comment: 2 pages, Published by Research Notes of the American Astronomical Societ
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