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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.
Mireles, I., Shporer, A., Grieves, N., Zhou, G., Gunther, M. N., Brahm, R., et al. (2020). TOI 694b and TIC 220568520b: Two Low-mass Companions near the Hydrogen-burning Mass Limit Orbiting Sun-like Stars. Astron. J., 160(3), 13 pp.
Abstract: We report the discovery of TOI 694 b and TIC 220568520 b, two low-mass stellar companions in eccentric orbits around metal-rich Sun-like stars, first detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). TOI 694 b has an orbital period of 48.05131 +/- 0.00019 days and eccentricity of 0.51946 +/- 0.00081, and we derive a mass of 89.0 +/- 5.3 M-Jup (0.0849 +/- 0.0051 M-circle dot) and radius of 1.111 +/- 0.017 R-Jup (0.1142 +/- 0.0017 R-circle dot). TIC 220568520 b has an orbital period of 18.55769 +/- 0.00039 days and eccentricity of 0.0964 +/- 0.0032, and we derive a mass of 107.2 +/- 5.2 M-Jup (0.1023 +/- 0.0050 M-circle dot) and radius of 1.248 +/- 0.018 R-Jup (0.1282 +/- 0.0019 R-circle dot). Both binary companions lie close to and above the hydrogen-burning mass threshold that separates brown dwarfs and the lowest-mass stars, with TOI 694 b being 2s above the canonical mass threshold of 0.075 M-circle dot. The relatively long periods of the systems mean that the magnetic fields of the low-mass companions are not expected to inhibit convection and inflate the radius, which according to one leading theory is common in similar objects residing in short-period tidally synchronized binary systems. Indeed we do not find radius inflation for these two objects when compared to theoretical isochrones. These two new objects add to the short but growing list of low-mass stars with well-measured masses and radii, and highlight the potential of the TESS mission for detecting such rare objects orbiting bright stars.