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Astudillo-Defru, N., Cloutier, R., Wang, S. X., Teske, J., Brahm, R., Hellier, C., et al. (2020). A hot terrestrial planet orbiting the bright M dwarf L 168-9 unveiled by TESS. Astron. Astrophys., 636, 13 pp.
Abstract: We report the detection of a transiting super-Earth-sized planet (R = 1.39 +/- 0.09 R-circle plus) in a 1.4-day orbit around L 168-9 (TOI-134), a bright M1V dwarf (V = 11, K = 7.1) located at 25.15 +/- 0.02 pc. The host star was observed in the first sector of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. For confirmation and planet mass measurement purposes, this was followed up with ground-based photometry, seeing-limited and high-resolution imaging, and precise radial velocity (PRV) observations using the HARPS and Magellan/PFS spectrographs. By combining the TESS data and PRV observations, we find the mass of L 168-9 b to be 4.60 +/- 0.56 M-circle plus and thus the bulk density to be 1.74(-0.33)(+0.44) times higher than that of the Earth. The orbital eccentricity is smaller than 0.21 (95% confidence). This planet is a level one candidate for the TESS mission's scientific objective of measuring the masses of 50 small planets, and it is one of the most observationally accessible terrestrial planets for future atmospheric characterization.
Carleo, I., Gandolfi, D., Barragan, O., Livingston, J. H., Persson, C. M., Lam, K. W. F., et al. (2020). The Multiplanet System TOI-421*. Astron. J., 160(3), 23 pp.
Abstract: We report the discovery of a warm Neptune and a hot sub-Neptune transiting TOI-421 (BD-14 1137, TIC 94986319), a bright (V = 9.9) G9 dwarf star in a visual binary system observed by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) space mission in Sectors 5 and 6. We performed ground-based follow-up observations-comprised of Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope transit photometry, NIRC2 adaptive optics imaging, and FIbre-fed Echelle Spectrograph, CORALIE, High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher, High Resolution echelle Spectrometer, and Planet Finder Spectrograph high-precision Doppler measurements-and confirmed the planetary nature of the 16 day transiting candidate announced by the TESS team. We discovered an additional radial velocity signal with a period of five days induced by the presence of a second planet in the system, which we also found to transit its host star. We found that the inner mini-Neptune, TOI-421 b, has an orbital period of P-b = 5.19672 +/- 0.00049 days, a mass of M-b = 7.17 +/- 0.66 M-circle plus, and a radius of R-b = R-circle plus, whereas the outer warm Neptune, TOI-421 c, has a period of P-c = 16.06819 +/- 0.00035 days, a mass of M-c = 16.42(-1.04)(+1.06)M(circle plus), a radius of R-c = 5.09(-0.15)(+0.16)R(circle plus), and a density of rho(c) = 0.685(-0.072)(+0.080) cm(-3). With its characteristics, the outer planet (rho(c) = 0.685(-0.0072)(+0.080) cm(-3)) is placed in the intriguing class of the super-puffy mini-Neptunes. TOI-421 b and TOI-421 c are found to be well-suited for atmospheric characterization. Our atmospheric simulations predict significant Ly alpha transit absorption, due to strong hydrogen escape in both planets, as well as the presence of detectable CH4 in the atmosphere of TOI-421 c if equilibrium chemistry is assumed.