288 research outputs found

    Turbulent Disks are Never Stable: Fragmentation and Turbulence-Promoted Planet Formation

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    A fundamental assumption in our understanding of disks is that when the Toomre Q>>1, the disk is stable against fragmentation into self-gravitating objects (and so cannot form planets via direct collapse). But if disks are turbulent, this neglects a spectrum of stochastic density fluctuations that can produce rare, high-density mass concentrations. Here, we use a recently-developed analytic framework to predict the statistics of these fluctuations, i.e. the rate of fragmentation and mass spectrum of fragments formed in a turbulent Keplerian disk. Turbulent disks are never completely stable: we calculate the (always finite) probability of forming self-gravitating structures via stochastic turbulent density fluctuations in such disks. Modest sub-sonic turbulence above Mach number ~0.1 can produce a few stochastic fragmentation or 'direct collapse' events over ~Myr timescales, even if Q>>1 and cooling is slow (t_cool>>t_orbit). In trans-sonic turbulence this extends to Q~100. We derive the true Q-criterion needed to suppress such events, which scales exponentially with Mach number. We specify to turbulence driven by MRI, convection, or spiral waves, and derive equivalent criteria in terms of Q and the cooling time. Cooling times >~50*t_dyn may be required to completely suppress fragmentation. These gravoturbulent events produce mass spectra peaked near ~M_disk*(Q*M_disk/M_star)^2 (rocky-to-giant planet masses, increasing with distance from the star). We apply this to protoplanetary disk models and show that even minimum mass solar nebulae could experience stochastic collapse events, provided a source of turbulence.Comment: 15 pages, 5 figures (+appendix), accepted to ApJ (added clarifications and discussion to match accepted version

    Kepler Planet Detection Metrics: Pixel-Level Transit Injection Tests of Pipeline Detection Efficiency for Data Release 25

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    This document describes the results of the fourth pixel-level transit injection experiment, which was designed to measure the detection efficiency of both the Kepler pipeline (Jenkins 2002, 2010; Jenkins et al. 2017) and the Robovetter (Coughlin 2017). Previous transit injection experiments are described in Christiansen et al. (2013, 2015a,b, 2016).In order to calculate planet occurrence rates using a given Kepler planet catalogue, produced with a given version of the Kepler pipeline, we need to know the detection efficiency of that pipeline. This can be empirically determined by injecting a suite of simulated transit signals into the Kepler data, processing the data through the pipeline, and examining the distribution of successfully recovered transits. This document describes the results for the pixel-level transit injection experiment performed to accompany the final Q1-Q17 Data Release 25 (DR25) catalogue (Thompson et al. 2017)of the Kepler Objects of Interest. The catalogue was generated using the SOC pipeline version 9.3 and the DR25 Robovetter acting on the uniformly processed Q1-Q17 DR25 light curves (Thompson et al. 2016a) and assuming the Q1-Q17 DR25 Kepler stellar properties (Mathur et al. 2017)

    A Framework for Prioritizing the TESS Planetary Candidates Most Amenable to Atmospheric Characterization

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    A key legacy of the recently launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission will be to provide the astronomical community with many of the best transiting exoplanet targets for atmospheric characterization. However, time is of the essence to take full advantage of this opportunity. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), although delayed, will still complete its nominal five year mission on a timeline that motivates rapid identification, confirmation, and mass measurement of the top atmospheric characterization targets from TESS. Beyond JWST, future dedicated missions for atmospheric studies such as the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL) require the discovery and confirmation of several hundred additional sub-Jovian size planets (R_p < 10 R⊕) orbiting bright stars, beyond those known today, to ensure a successful statistical census of exoplanet atmospheres. Ground-based extremely large telescopes (ELTs) will also contribute to surveying the atmospheres of the transiting planets discovered by TESS. Here we present a set of two straightforward analytic metrics, quantifying the expected signal-to-noise in transmission and thermal emission spectroscopy for a given planet, that will allow the top atmospheric characterization targets to be readily identified among the TESS planet candidates. Targets that meet our proposed threshold values for these metrics would be encouraged for rapid follow-up and confirmation via radial velocity mass measurements. Based on the catalog of simulated TESS detections by Sullivan et al., we determine appropriate cutoff values of the metrics, such that the TESS mission will ultimately yield a sample of ~300 high-quality atmospheric characterization targets across a range of planet size bins, extending down to Earth-size, potentially habitable worlds

    Mapping out the time-evolution of exoplanet processes

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    There are many competing theories and models describing the formation, migration and evolution of exoplanet systems. As both the precision with which we can characterize exoplanets and their host stars, and the number of systems for which we can make such a characterization increase, we begin to see pathways forward for validating these theories. In this white paper we identify predicted, observable correlations that are accessible in the near future, particularly trends in exoplanet populations, radii, orbits and atmospheres with host star age. By compiling a statistically significant sample of well-characterized exoplanets with precisely measured ages, we should be able to begin identifying the dominant processes governing the time-evolution of exoplanet systems.Comment: Astro2020 white pape

    TESS Discovery of an Ultra-short-period Planet around the Nearby M Dwarf LHS 3844

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    Data from the newly commissioned Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has revealed a "hot Earth" around LHS 3844, an M dwarf located 15 pc away. The planet has a radius of 1.303 ± 0.022 R⊕ and orbits the star every 11 hr. Although the existence of an atmosphere around such a strongly irradiated planet is questionable, the star is bright enough (I = 11.9, K = 9.1) for this possibility to be investigated with transit and occultation spectroscopy. The star's brightness and the planet's short period will also facilitate the measurement of the planet's mass through Doppler spectroscopy

    Planetary Candidates Observed by Kepler. VII. The First Fully Uniform Catalog Based on the Entire 48-month Data Set (Q1–Q17 DR24)

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    We present the seventh Kepler planet candidate (PC) catalog, which is the first catalog to be based on the entire, uniformly processed 48-month Kepler data set. 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 superior to, the human vetting procedures employed by past catalogs. This catalog is the first to utilize artificial transit injection to evaluate the performance of our vetting procedures and to quantify potential biases, which are essential for accurate computation of planetary occurrence rates. With respect to the cumulative Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) catalog, we designate 1478 new KOIs, of which 402 are dispositioned as PCs. Also, 237 KOIs dispositioned as false positives (FPs) in previous Kepler catalogs have their disposition changed to PC and 118 PCs have their disposition changed to FPs. This brings the total number of known KOIs to 8826 and PCs to 4696. We compare the Q1–Q17 DR24 KOI catalog to previous KOI catalogs, as well as ancillary Kepler catalogs, finding good agreement between them. We highlight new PCs that are both potentially rocky and potentially in the habitable zone of their host stars, many of which orbit solar-type stars. This work represents significant progress in accurately determining the fraction of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The full catalog is publicly available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive

    HD 2685 b: a hot Jupiter orbiting an early F-type star detected by TESS

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    We report on the confirmation of a transiting giant planet around the relatively hot (T_(eff) = 6801 ± 76 K) star HD 2685, whose transit signal was detected in Sector 1 data of NASA’s TESS mission. We confirmed the planetary nature of the transit signal using Doppler velocimetric measurements with CHIRON, CORALIE, and FEROS, as well as using photometric data obtained with the Chilean-Hungarian Automated Telescope and the Las Cumbres Observatory. From the joint analysis of photometry and radial velocities, we derived the following parameters for HD 2685 b: P = 4.12688_(−0.00004)^(+0.00005) days, e= 0.091_(−0.047)^(+0.039), M_P = 1.17 ± 0.12 M_J, and RP =1.44 ± 0.05 RJ. This system is a typical example of an inflated transiting hot Jupiter in a low-eccentricity orbit. Based on the apparent visual magnitude (V = 9.6 mag) of the host star, this is one of the brightest known stars hosting a transiting hot Jupiter, and it is a good example of the upcoming systems that will be detected by TESS during the two-year primary mission. This is also an excellent target for future ground- and space-based atmospheric characterization as well as a good candidate for measuring the projected spin-orbit misalignment angle through the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect

    The hot-Jupiter Kepler-17b: discovery, obliquity from stroboscopic starspots, and atmospheric characterization

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    This paper reports the discovery and characterization of the transiting hot giant exoplanet Kepler-17b. The planet has an orbital period of 1.486 days, and radial velocity measurements from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope show a Doppler signal of 419.5^(+13.3)_(–15.6) m s^(–1). From a transit-based estimate of the host star's mean density, combined with an estimate of the stellar effective temperature T_(eff) = 5630 ± 100 from high-resolution spectra, we infer a stellar host mass of 1.06 ± 0.07 M☉ and a stellar radius of 1.02 ± 0.03 R☉. We estimate the planet mass and radius to be M_P = 2.45 ± 0.11 M_J and R_P = 1.31 ± 0.02 R_J. The host star is active, with dark spots that are frequently occulted by the planet. The continuous monitoring of the star reveals a stellar rotation period of 11.89 days, eight times the planet's orbital period; this period ratio produces stroboscopic effects on the occulted starspots. The temporal pattern of these spot-crossing events shows that the planet's orbit is prograde and the star's obliquity is smaller than 15°. We detected planetary occultations of Kepler-17b with both the Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes. We use these observations to constrain the eccentricity, e, and find that it is consistent with a circular orbit (e < 0.011). The brightness temperatures of the planet's infrared bandpasses areT_(3.6 µm) = 1880 ± 100 K and T_(4.5 µm) = 1770 ± 150 K. We measure the optical geometric albedo A_g in the Kepler bandpass and find A_g = 0.10 ± 0.02. The observations are best described by atmospheric models for which most of the incident energy is re-radiated away from the day side
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