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Title: A Close-in Puffy Neptune with Hidden Friends: The Enigma of TOI 620
Abstract We present the validation of a transiting low-density exoplanet orbiting the M2.5 dwarf TOI 620 discovered by the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. We utilize photometric data from both TESS and ground-based follow-up observations to validate the ephemerides of the 5.09 day transiting signal and vet false-positive scenarios. High-contrast imaging data are used to resolve the stellar host and exclude stellar companions at separations ≳0.″2. We obtain follow-up spectroscopy and corresponding precise radial velocities (RVs) with multiple precision radial velocity (PRV) spectrographs to confirm the planetary nature of the transiting exoplanet. We calculate a 5 σ upper limit of M P < 7.1 M ⊕ and ρ P < 0.74 g cm −3 , and we identify a nontransiting 17.7 day candidate. We also find evidence for a substellar (1–20 M J ) companion with a projected separation ≲20 au from a combined analysis of Gaia, adaptive optics imaging, and RVs. With the discovery of this outer companion, we carry out a detailed exploration of the possibilities that TOI 620 b might instead be a circum-secondary planet or a pair of eclipsing binary stars orbiting the host in a hierarchical triple system. We find, under scrutiny, that more » we can exclude both of these scenarios from the multiwavelength transit photometry, thus validating TOI 620 b as a low-density exoplanet transiting the central star in this system. The low density of TOI 620 b makes it one of the most amenable exoplanets for atmospheric characterization, such as with the James Webb Space Telescope and Ariel, validated or confirmed by the TESS mission to date. « less
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Award ID(s):
2108465
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10330260
Journal Name:
The Astronomical Journal
Volume:
163
Issue:
6
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
269
ISSN:
0004-6256
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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