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  1. Abstract

    The structure of protoplanetary disks plays an essential role in planet formation. A disk that is highly inclined, or “edge-on,” is of particular interest since its geometry provides a unique opportunity to study the disk’s vertical structure and radial extent. Candidate edge-on protoplanetary disks are typically identified via their unique spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and subsequently confirmed through high-resolution imaging. However, this selection process is likely biased toward the largest, most-massive disks, and the resulting sample may not accurately represent the underlying disk population. To investigate this, we generated a grid of protoplanetary disk models using radiative transfer simulations and determined which sets of disk parameters produce edge-on systems that could be recovered by the aforementioned detection techniques—i.e., identified by their SEDs and confirmed through follow-up imaging with the Hubble Space Telescope. In doing so, we adopt a quantitative working definition of “edge-on disks” (EODs) that is observation driven and agnostic about the disk inclination or other properties. Folding in empirical disk demographics, we predict an occurrence rate of 6.2% for EODs and quantify biases toward highly inclined, massive disks. We also find that EODs are underrepresented in samples of Spitzer-studied young stellar objects, particularly for disks with hostmore »masses ofM≲ 0.5M. Overall, our analysis suggests that several dozen EODs remain undiscovered in nearby star-forming regions, and provides a universal selection process to identify EODs for consistent, population-level demographic studies.

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  2. Abstract Highly eccentric orbits are one of the major surprises of exoplanets relative to the solar system and indicate rich and tumultuous dynamical histories. One system of particular interest is Kepler-1656, which hosts a sub-Jovian planet with an eccentricity of 0.8. Sufficiently eccentric orbits will shrink in the semimajor axis due to tidal dissipation of orbital energy during periastron passage. Here our goal was to assess whether Kepler-1656b is currently undergoing such high-eccentricity migration, and to further understand the system’s origins and architecture. We confirm a second planet in the system with M c = 0.40 ± 0.09 M jup and P c = 1919 ± 27 days. We simulated the dynamical evolution of planet b in the presence of planet c and find a variety of possible outcomes for the system, such as tidal migration and engulfment. The system is consistent with an in situ dynamical origin of planet b followed by subsequent eccentric Kozai–Lidov perturbations that excite Kepler-1656b’s eccentricity gently, i.e., without initiating tidal migration. Thus, despite its high eccentricity, we find no evidence that planet b is or has migrated through the high-eccentricity channel. Finally, we predict the outer orbit to be mutually inclined in a nearlymore »perpendicular configuration with respect to the inner planet orbit based on the outcomes of our simulations and make observable predictions for the inner planet’s spin–orbit angle. Our methodology can be applied to other eccentric or tidally locked planets to constrain their origins, orbital configurations, and properties of a potential companion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 22, 2023
  3. Abstract We report the discovery of HIP-97166b (TOI-1255b), a transiting sub-Neptune on a 10.3 day orbit around a K0 dwarf 68 pc from Earth. This planet was identified in a systematic search of TESS Objects of Interest for planets with eccentric orbits, based on a mismatch between the observed transit duration and the expected duration for a circular orbit. We confirmed the planetary nature of HIP-97166b with ground-based radial-velocity measurements and measured a mass of M b = 20 ± 2 M ⊕ along with a radius of R b = 2.7 ± 0.1 R ⊕ from photometry. We detected an additional nontransiting planetary companion with M c sin i = 10 ± 2 M ⊕ on a 16.8 day orbit. While the short transit duration of the inner planet initially suggested a high eccentricity, a joint RV-photometry analysis revealed a high impact parameter b = 0.84 ± 0.03 and a moderate eccentricity. Modeling the dynamics with the condition that the system remain stable over >10 5 orbits yielded eccentricity constraints e b = 0.16 ± 0.03 and e c < 0.25. The eccentricity we find for planet b is above average for the small population of sub-Neptunes with well-measuredmore »eccentricities. We explored the plausible formation pathways of this system, proposing an early instability and merger event to explain the high density of the inner planet at 5.3 ± 0.9 g cc −1 as well as its moderate eccentricity and proximity to a 5:3 mean-motion resonance.« less