We present the discovery of an Earth-mass planet (
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- The Astronomical Journal
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We present the discovery of an Earth-mass planet (
Mbsin i= 1.26 ± 0.21 M⊕) on a 15.6 d orbit of a relatively nearby ( d ~9.6 pc) and low-mass (0.167 ± 0.011 M⊙) M5.0 V star, Wolf 1069. Sitting at a separation of 0.0672 ± 0.0014 au away from the host star puts Wolf 1069 b in the habitable zone (HZ), receiving an incident flux of S= 0.652 ± 0.029 S⊕. The planetary signal was detected using telluric-corrected radial-velocity (RV) data from the CARMENES spectrograph, amounting to a total of 262 spectroscopic observations covering almost four years. There are additional long-period signals in the RVs, one of which we attribute to the stellar rotation period. This is possible thanks to our photometric analysis including new, well-sampled monitoring campaigns undergone with the OSN and TJO facilities that supplement archival photometry (i.e., from MEarth and SuperWASP), and this yielded an updated rotational period range of P rot= 150–170 d, with a likely value at 169.3−3.6+3.7. The stellar activity indicators provided by the CARMENES spectra likewise demonstrate evidence for the slow rotation period, though not as accurately due to possible factors such as signal aliasing or spot evolution. Our detectability limits indicate that additional planets more massive than one Earth mass with orbital periods of less than 10 days can be ruled out, suggesting that perhaps Wolf 1069 b had a violent formation history. This planet is also the sixth closest Earth-mass planet situated in the conservative HZ, after Proxima Centauri b, GJ 1061 d, Teegarden’s Star c, and GJ 1002 b and c. Despite not transiting, Wolf 1069 b is nonetheless a very promising target for future three-dimensional climate models to investigate various habitability cases as well as for sub-m s−1RV campaigns to search for potential inner sub-Earth-mass planets in order to test planet formation theories.
Abstract The discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets using radial velocity (RV) measurements is limited by noise sources from the surfaces of host stars. Current techniques to suppress stellar magnetic activity rely on decorrelation using an activity indicator (e.g., strength of the Ca ii lines, width of the cross-correlation function, broadband photometry) or measurement of the RVs using only a subset of spectral lines that have been shown to be insensitive to activity. Here, we combine the above techniques by constructing a high-signal-to-noise activity indicator, the depth metric ( t ) , from the most activity-sensitive spectral lines using the “line-by-line” method of Dumusque (2018). Analogous to photometric decorrelation of RVs or Gaussian progress regression modeling of activity indices, time series modeling of ( t ) reduces the amplitude of magnetic activity in RV measurements; in an α CenB RV time series from HARPS, the RV rms was reduced from 2.67 to 1.02 m s −1 . ( t ) modeling enabled us to characterize injected planetary signals as small as 1 m s −1 . In terms of noise reduction and injected signal recovery, ( t ) modeling outperforms activity mitigation via the selection of activity-insensitive spectral lines. For Sun-like stars with activity signals on the m s −1 level, the depth metric independently tracks rotationally modulated and multiyear stellar activity with a level of quality similar to that of the FWHM of the CCF and log R HK ′ . The depth metric and its elaborations will be a powerful tool in the mitigation of stellar magnetic activity, particularly as a means of connecting stellar activity to physical processes within host stars.more » « less
Abstract We present orbits for 24 binaries in the field of open cluster NGC 2516 (∼150 Myr) and 13 binaries in the field of open cluster NGC 2422 (∼130 Myr) using results from a multiyear radial-velocity (RV) survey of the cluster cores. Six of these systems are double-lined spectroscopic binaries. We fit these RV variable systems with orvara , a MCMC-based fitting program that models Keplerian orbits. We use precise stellar parallaxes and proper motions from Gaia EDR3 to determine cluster membership. We impose a barycentric RV prior on all cluster members; this significantly improves our orbital constraints. Two of our systems have periods between five and 15 days, the critical window in which tides efficiently damp orbital eccentricity. These binaries should be included in future analyses of circularization across similarly-aged clusters. We also find a relatively flat distribution of binary mass ratios, consistent with previous work. With the inclusion of TESS light curves for all available targets, we identity target 378–036252 as a new eclipsing binary. We also identify a field star whose secondary has a mass in the brown dwarf range, as well as two cluster members whose RVs suggest the presence of an additional companion. Our orbital fits will help constrain the binary fraction and binary properties across stellar age and across stellar environment.more » « less
Measured spectral shifts due to intrinsic stellar variability (e.g., pulsations, granulation) and activity (e.g., spots, plages) are the largest source of error for extreme-precision radial-velocity (EPRV) exoplanet detection. Several methods are designed to disentangle stellar signals from true center-of-mass shifts due to planets. The Extreme-precision Spectrograph (EXPRES) Stellar Signals Project (ESSP) presents a self-consistent comparison of 22 different methods tested on the same extreme-precision spectroscopic data from EXPRES. Methods derived new activity indicators, constructed models for mapping an indicator to the needed radial-velocity (RV) correction, or separated out shape- and shift-driven RV components. Since no ground truth is known when using real data, relative method performance is assessed using the total and nightly scatter of returned RVs and agreement between the results of different methods. Nearly all submitted methods return a lower RV rms than classic linear decorrelation, but no method is yet consistently reducing the RV rms to sub-meter-per-second levels. There is a concerning lack of agreement between the RVs returned by different methods. These results suggest that continued progress in this field necessitates increased interpretability of methods, high-cadence data to capture stellar signals at all timescales, and continued tests like the ESSP using consistent data sets with more advanced metrics for method performance. Future comparisons should make use of various well-characterized data sets—such as solar data or data with known injected planetary and/or stellar signals—to better understand method performance and whether planetary signals are preserved.
Precise radial velocity (PRV) surveys are important for the search for Earth analogs around nearby bright stars, which induce a small stellar reflex motion with an RV amplitude of ∼10 cm s−1. Detecting such a small RV signal poses challenges to instrumentation, data analysis, and the precision of astrophysical models to mitigate stellar jitter. In this work, we investigate an important component in the PRV error budget—the spectral contamination from the Earth’s atmosphere (tellurics). We characterize the effects of telluric absorption on the RV precision and quantify its contribution to the RV error budget over time and across a wavelength range of 350 nm–2.5
μm. We use simulated solar spectra with telluric contamination injected, and we extract the RVs using two commonly adopted algorithms: dividing out a telluric model before performing cross-correlation or forward modeling the observed spectrum incorporating a telluric model. We assume various degrees of cleanness in removing the tellurics. We conclude that the RV errors caused by telluric absorption can be suppressed to close to or even below 1–10 cm s−1in the blue optical region. At red through near-infrared wavelengths, however, the residuals of tellurics can induce an RV error on the meter-per-second level even under the most favorable assumptions for telluric removal, leading to significant systematic noise in the RV time series and periodograms. If the red-optical or near-infrared becomes critical in the mitigation of stellar activity, systematic errors from tellurics can be eliminated with a space mission such as EarthFinder.