skip to main content

Title: Investigating the Atmospheric Mass Loss of the Kepler-105 Planets Straddling the Radius Gap

An intriguing pattern among exoplanets is the lack of detected planets between approximately 1.5Rand 2.0R. One proposed explanation for this “radius gap” is the photoevaporation of planetary atmospheres, a theory that can be tested by studying individual planetary systems. Kepler-105 is an ideal system for such testing due to the ordering and sizes of its planets. Kepler-105 is a Sun-like star that hosts two planets straddling the radius gap in a rare architecture with the larger planet closer to the host star (Rb= 2.53 ± 0.07R,Pb= 5.41 days,Rc= 1.44 ± 0.04R,Pc= 7.13 days). If photoevaporation sculpted the atmospheres of these planets, then Kepler-105b would need to be much more massive than Kepler-105c to retain its atmosphere, given its closer proximity to the host star. To test this hypothesis, we simultaneously analyzed radial velocities and transit-timing variations of the Kepler-105 system, measuring disparate masses ofMb= 10.8 ± 2.3M(ρb= 3.68 ± 0.84 g cm−3) andMc= 5.6 ± 1.2M(ρc= 10.4 ± 2.39 g cm−3). Based on these masses, the difference in gas envelope content of the Kepler-105 planets could be entirely due to photoevaporation (in 76% of scenarios), although other mechanisms like core-powered mass loss could have played a role for some planet albedos.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; « less
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astronomical Journal
Medium: X Size: Article No. 84
["Article No. 84"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Radial velocity (RV) measurements of transiting multiplanet systems allow us to understand the densities and compositions of planets unlike those in the solar system. Kepler-102, which consists of five tightly packed transiting planets, is a particularly interesting system since it includes a super-Earth (Kepler-102d) and a sub-Neptune-sized planet (Kepler-102e) for which masses can be measured using RVs. Previous work found a high density for Kepler-102d, suggesting a composition similar to that of Mercury, while Kepler-102e was found to have a density typical of sub-Neptune size planets; however, Kepler-102 is an active star, which can interfere with RV mass measurements. To better measure the mass of these two planets, we obtained 111 new RVs using Keck/HIRES and Telescopio Nazionale Galileo/HARPS-N and modeled Kepler-102's activity using quasiperiodic Gaussian process regression. For Kepler-102d, we report a mass upper limitMd< 5.3M(95% confidence), a best-fit massMd= 2.5 ± 1.4M, and a densityρd= 5.6 ± 3.2 g cm−3, which is consistent with a rocky composition similar in density to the Earth. For Kepler-102e we report a massMe= 4.7 ± 1.7Mand a densityρe= 1.8 ± 0.7 g cm−3. These measurements suggest that Kepler-102e has a rocky core with a thick gaseous envelope comprising 2%–4% of the planet mass and 16%–50% of its radius. Our study is yet another demonstration that accounting for stellar activity in stars with clear rotation signals can yield more accurate planet masses, enabling a more realistic interpretation of planet interiors.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Using both ground-based transit photometry and high-precision radial velocity spectroscopy, we confirm the planetary nature of TOI-3785 b. This transiting Neptune orbits an M2-Dwarf star with a period of ∼4.67 days, a planetary radius of 5.14 ± 0.16R, a mass of14.953.92+4.10M, and a density ofρ=0.610.17+0.18g cm−3. TOI-3785 b belongs to a rare population of Neptunes (4R<Rp< 7R) orbiting cooler, smaller M-dwarf host stars, of which only ∼10 have been confirmed. By increasing the number of confirmed planets, TOI-3785 b offers an opportunity to compare similar planets across varying planetary and stellar parameter spaces. Moreover, with a high-transmission spectroscopy metric of ∼150 combined with a relatively cool equilibrium temperature ofTeq= 582 ± 16 K and an inactive host star, TOI-3785 b is one of the more promising low-density M-dwarf Neptune targets for atmospheric follow up. Future investigation into atmospheric mass-loss rates of TOI-3785 b may yield new insights into the atmospheric evolution of these low-mass gas planets around M dwarfs.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Populating the exoplanet mass–radius diagram in order to identify the underlying relationship that governs planet composition is driving an interdisciplinary effort within the exoplanet community. The discovery of hot super-Earths—a high-temperature, short-period subset of the super-Earth planet population—has presented many unresolved questions concerning the formation, evolution, and composition of rocky planets. We report the discovery of a transiting, ultra-short-period hot super-Earth orbitingTOI-1075(TIC351601843), a nearby (d= 61.4 pc) late-K/early-M-dwarf star, using data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. The newly discovered planet has a radius of 1.7910.081+0.116Rand an orbital period of 0.605 day (14.5 hr). We precisely measure the planet mass to be 9.951.30+1.36Musing radial velocity measurements obtained with the Planet Finder Spectrograph mounted on the Magellan II telescope. Our radial velocity data also show a long-term trend, suggesting an additional planet in the system. While TOI-1075 b is expected to have a substantial H/He atmosphere given its size relative to the radius gap, its high density (9.321.85+2.05g cm−3) is likely inconsistent with this possibility. We explore TOI-1075 b’s location relative to the M-dwarf radius valley, evaluate the planet’s prospects for atmospheric characterization, and discuss potential planet formation mechanisms. Studying the TOI-1075 system in the broader context of ultra-short-period planetary systems is necessary for testing planet formation and evolution theories and density-enhancing mechanisms and for future atmospheric and surface characterization studies via emission spectroscopy with the JWST.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We confirm the planetary nature of TOI-5344 b as a transiting giant exoplanet around an M0-dwarf star. TOI-5344 b was discovered with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite photometry and confirmed with ground-based photometry (the Red Buttes Observatory 0.6 m telescope), radial velocity (the Habitable-zone Planet Finder), and speckle imaging (the NN-Explore Exoplanet Stellar Speckle Imager). TOI-5344 b is a Saturn-like giant planet (ρ= 0.800.15+0.17g cm−3) with a planetary radius of 9.7 ± 0.5R(0.87 ± 0.04RJup) and a planetary mass of13518+17M(0.420.06+0.05MJup). It has an orbital period of3.7926220.000010+0.000010days and an orbital eccentricity of0.060.04+0.07. We measure a high metallicity for TOI-5344 of [Fe/H] = 0.48 ± 0.12, where the high metallicity is consistent with expectations from formation through core accretion. We compare the metallicity of the M-dwarf hosts of giant exoplanets to that of M-dwarf hosts of nongiants (≲8R). While the two populations appear to show different metallicity distributions, quantitative tests are prohibited by various sample caveats.

    more » « less
  5. We report the discovery and characterization of two small transiting planets orbiting the bright M3.0V star TOI-1468 (LSPM J0106+1913), whose transit signals were detected in the photometric time series in three sectors of the TESS mission. We confirm the planetary nature of both of them using precise radial velocity measurements from the CARMENES and MAROON-X spectrographs, and supplement them with ground-based transit photometry. A joint analysis of all these data reveals that the shorter-period planet, TOI-1468 b ( P b = 1.88 d), has a planetary mass of M b = 3.21 ± 0.24 M ⊕ and a radius of R b = 1.280 −0.039 +0.038 R ⊕ , resulting in a density of ρ b = 8.39 −0.92 +1.05 g cm −3 , which is consistent with a mostly rocky composition. For the outer planet, TOI-1468 c ( P c = 15.53 d), we derive a mass of M c = 6.64 −0.68 +0.67 M ⊕ ,aradius of R c = 2.06 ± 0.04 R ⊕ , and a bulk density of ρ c = 2.00 −0.19 +0.21 g cm −3 , which corresponds to a rocky core composition with a H/He gas envelope. These planets are located on opposite sides of the radius valley, making our system an interesting discovery as there are only a handful of other systems with the same properties. This discovery can further help determine a more precise location of the radius valley for small planets around M dwarfs and, therefore, shed more light on planet formation and evolution scenarios. 
    more » « less