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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.
Sedaghati, E., MacDonald, R. J., Casasayas-Barris, N., Hoeijmakers, H. J., Boffin, H. M. J., Rodler, F., et al. (2021). A spectral survey of WASP-19b with ESPRESSO. Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc., 505(1), 435–458.
Abstract: High-resolution precision spectroscopy provides a multitude of robust techniques for probing exoplanetary atmospheres. We present multiple VLT/ESPRESSO transit observations of the hot-Jupiter exoplanet WASP-19b with previously published but disputed atmospheric features from low resolution studies. Through spectral synthesis and modelling of the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect we calculate stellar, orbital and physical parameters for the system. From narrow-band spectroscopy we do not detect any of Hi, Fei, Mgi, Cai, Nai, and Ki neutral species, placing upper limits on their line contrasts. Through cross-correlation analyses with atmospheric models, we do not detect Fei and place a 3 sigma upper limit of on its mass fraction, from injection and retrieval. We show the inability to detect the presence of H2O for known abundances, owing to lack of strong absorption bands, as well as relatively low S/N ratio. We detect a barely significant peak (3.02 +/- 0.15 sigma) in the cross-correlation map for TiO, consistent with the sub-solar abundance previously reported. This is merely a hint for the presence of TiO and does not constitute a confirmation. However, we do confirm the presence of previously observed enhanced scattering towards blue wavelengths, through chromatic RM measurements, pointing to a hazy atmosphere. We finally present a reanalysis of low-resolution transmission spectra of this exoplanet, concluding that unocculted starspots alone cannot explain previously detected features. Our reanalysis of the FORS2 spectra of WASP-19b finds a similar to 100x sub-solar TiO abundance, precisely constrained to , consistent with the TiO hint from ESPRESSO. We present plausible paths to reconciliation with other seemingly contradicting results.