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Title: TOI-1696 and TOI-2136: Constraining the Masses of Two Mini-Neptunes with the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder

We present the validation of two planets orbiting M dwarfs, TOI-1696b and TOI-2136b. Both planets are mini-Neptunes orbiting nearby stars, making them promising prospects for atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We validated the planetary nature of both candidates using high-contrast imaging, ground-based photometry, and near-infrared radial velocities. Adaptive optics images were taken using the ShARCS camera on the 3 m Shane Telescope. Speckle images were taken using the NN-Explore Exoplanet Stellar Speckle Imager on the WIYN 3.5 m telescope. Radii and orbital ephemerides were refined using a combination of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, the diffuser-assisted Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) Telescope Imaging Camera (ARCTIC) imager on the 3.5 m ARC telescope at Apache Point Observatory, and the 0.6 m telescope at Red Buttes Observatory. We obtained radial velocities using the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder on the 10 m Hobby–Eberly Telescope, which enabled us to place upper limits on the masses of both transiting planets. TOI-1696b (P= 2.5 days;Rp= 3.24R;Mp< 56.6M) falls into a sparsely populated region of parameter space considering its host star’s temperature (Teff= 3168 K, M4.5), as planets of its size are quite rare around mid- to late-M dwarfs. On the other hand, TOI-2136b more » (P= 7.85 days;Rp= 2.09R;Mp< 15.0M) is an excellent candidate for atmospheric follow-up with the JWST.

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Award ID(s):
1907622 2108493 1910954 2108801 2108569
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astronomical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 286
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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