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Title: A Mini-Neptune and a Radius Valley Planet Orbiting the Nearby M2 Dwarf TOI-1266 in Its Venus Zone: Validation with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder
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  1. Abstract

    Mid-infrared spectroscopy is one of the few ways to observe the composition of the terrestrial planet-forming zone, the inner few astronomical units, of protoplanetary disks. The species currently detected in the disk atmosphere, for example, CO, CO2, H2O, and C2H2, are theoretically enough to constrain the C/O ratio on the disk surface. However, thermochemical models have difficulties in reproducing the full array of detected species in the mid-infrared simultaneously. In an effort to get closer to the observed spectra, we have included water UV-shielding as well as more efficient chemical heating into the thermochemical code Dust and Lines. We find that both are required to match the observed emission spectrum. Efficient chemical heating, in addition to traditional heating from UV photons, is necessary to elevate the temperature of the water-emitting layer to match the observed excitation temperature of water. We find that water UV-shielding stops UV photons from reaching deep into the disk, cooling down the lower layers with a higher column. These two effects create a hot emitting layer of water with a column of 1–10 × 1018cm−2. This is only 1%–10% of the water column above the dustτ= 1 surface at mid-infrared wavelengths in the models and represents <1% of the total water column.

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  2. Abstract

    The chemical composition of the inner region of protoplanetary disks can trace the composition of planetary-building material. The exact elemental composition of the inner disk has not yet been measured and tensions between models and observations still exist. Recent advancements have shown UV shielding to be able to increase the emission of organics. Here, we expand on these models and investigate how UV shielding may impact chemical composition in the inner 5 au. In this work, we use the model from Bosman et al. and expand it with a larger chemical network. We focus on the chemical abundances in the upper disk atmosphere where the effects of water UV shielding are most prominent and molecular lines originate. We find rich carbon and nitrogen chemistry with enhanced abundances of C2H2, CH4, HCN, CH3CN, and NH3by >3 orders of magnitude. This is caused by the self-shielding of H2O, which locks oxygen in water. This subsequently results in a suppression of oxygen-containing species like CO and CO2. The increase in C2H2seen in the model with the inclusion of water UV shielding allows us to explain the observed C2H2abundance without resorting to elevated C/O ratios as water UV shielding induced an effectively oxygen-poor environment in oxygen-rich gas. Thus, water UV shielding is important for reproducing the observed abundances of hydrocarbons and nitriles. From our model result, species like CH4, NH3, and NO are expected to be observable with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

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  3. Abstract

    We report on the discovery and validation of a transiting long-period mini-Neptune orbiting a bright (V= 9.0 mag) G dwarf (TOI 4633;R= 1.05R,M= 1.10M). The planet was identified in data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite by citizen scientists taking part in the Planet Hunters TESS project. Modelling of the transit events yields an orbital period of 271.9445 ± 0.0040 days and radius of 3.2 ± 0.20R. The Earth-like orbital period and an incident flux of1.560.16+0.20Fplaces it in the optimistic habitable zone around the star. Doppler spectroscopy of the system allowed us to place an upper mass limit on the transiting planet and revealed a non-transiting planet candidate in the system with a period of 34.15 ± 0.15 days. Furthermore, the combination of archival data dating back to 1905 with new high angular resolution imaging revealed a stellar companion orbiting the primary star with an orbital period of around 230 yr and an eccentricity of about 0.9. The long period of the transiting planet, combined with the high eccentricity and close approach of the companion star makes this a valuable system for testing the formation and stability of planets in binary systems.

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