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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.
Leleu, A., Alibert, Y., Hara, N. C., Hooton, M. J., Wilson, T. G., Robutel, P., et al. (2021). Six transiting planets and a chain of Laplace resonances in TOI-178. Astron. Astrophys., 649, A26.
Abstract: Determining the architecture of multi-planetary systems is one of the cornerstones of understanding planet formation and evolution. Resonant systems are especially important as the fragility of their orbital configuration ensures that no significant scattering or collisional event has taken place since the earliest formation phase when the parent protoplanetary disc was still present. In this context, TOI-178 has been the subject of particular attention since the first TESS observations hinted at the possible presence of a near 2:3:3 resonant chain. Here we report the results of observations from CHEOPS, ESPRESSO, NGTS, and SPECULOOS with the aim of deciphering the peculiar orbital architecture of the system. We show that TOI-178 harbours at least six planets in the super-Earth to mini-Neptune regimes, with radii ranging from
2.87(-0.13)(+0.14)</textual-form> 2.87-0.13+0.14 Earth radii and periods of 1.91, 3.24, 6.56, 9.96, 15.23, and 20.71 days. All planets but the innermost one form a 2:4:6:9:12 chain of Laplace resonances, and the planetary densities show important variations from planet to planet, jumping from
1.02(-0.23)(+0.28)</textual-form> 1.02-0.23+0.28 to
0.177(-0.061)(+0.055)</textual-form> 0.177-0.061+0.055 times the Earth's density between planets c and d. Using Bayesian interior structure retrieval models, we show that the amount of gas in the planets does not vary in a monotonous way, contrary to what one would expect from simple formation and evolution models and unlike other known systems in a chain of Laplace resonances. The brightness of TOI-178 (H = 8.76 mag, J = 9.37 mag, V = 11.95 mag) allows for a precise characterisation of its orbital architecture as well as of the physical nature of the six presently known transiting planets it harbours. The peculiar orbital configuration and the diversity in average density among the planets in the system will enable the study of interior planetary structures and atmospheric evolution, providing important clues on the formation of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.