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  1. Abstract

    We present the discovery of TOI-1994b, a low-mass brown dwarf transiting a hot subgiant star on a moderately eccentric orbit. TOI-1994 has an effective temperature of7700410+720K, Vmagnitude of 10.51 mag and log(g) of3.9820.065+0.067. The brown dwarf has a mass of22.12.5+2.6MJ, a period of 4.034 days, an eccentricity of0.3410.059+0.054, and a radius of1.2200.071+0.082RJ. TOI-1994b is more eccentric than other transiting brown dwarfs with similar masses and periods. The population of low-mass brown dwarfs may have properties similar to planetary systems if they were formed in the same way, but the short orbital period and high eccentricity of TOI-1994b may contrast this theory. An evolved host provides a valuable opportunity to understand the influence stellar evolution has on the substellar companion’s fundamental properties. With precise age, mass, and radius, the global analysis and characterization of TOI-1994b augments the small number of transiting brown dwarfs and allows the testing of substellar evolution models.

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  2. Abstract GRB 221009A ( z = 0.151) is one of the closest known long γ -ray bursts (GRBs). Its extreme brightness across all electromagnetic wavelengths provides an unprecedented opportunity to study a member of this still-mysterious class of transients in exquisite detail. We present multiwavelength observations of this extraordinary event, spanning 15 orders of magnitude in photon energy from radio to γ -rays. We find that the data can be partially explained by a forward shock (FS) from a highly collimated relativistic jet interacting with a low-density, wind-like medium. Under this model, the jet’s beaming-corrected kinetic energy ( E K ∼ 4 × 10 50 erg) is typical for the GRB population. The radio and millimeter data provide strong limiting constraints on the FS model, but require the presence of an additional emission component. From equipartition arguments, we find that the radio emission is likely produced by a small amount of mass (≲6 × 10 −7 M ⊙ ) moving relativistically (Γ ≳ 9) with a large kinetic energy (≳10 49 erg). However, the temporal evolution of this component does not follow prescriptions for synchrotron radiation from a single power-law distribution of electrons (e.g., in a reverse shock or two-component jet), or a thermal-electron population, perhaps suggesting that one of the standard assumptions of afterglow theory is violated. GRB 221009A will likely remain detectable with radio telescopes for years to come, providing a valuable opportunity to track the full lifecycle of a powerful relativistic jet. 
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  4. Abstract

    Study Analysis Group 21 (SAG21) of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group was organized to study the effect of stellar contamination on space-based transmission spectroscopy, a method for studying exoplanetary atmospheres by measuring the wavelength-dependent radius of a planet as it transits its star. Transmission spectroscopy relies on a precise understanding of the spectrum of the star being occulted. However, stars are not homogeneous, constant light sources but have temporally evolving photospheres and chromospheres with inhomogeneities like spots, faculae, plages, granules, and flares. This SAG brought together an interdisciplinary team of more than 100 scientists, with observers and theorists from the heliophysics, stellar astrophysics, planetary science, and exoplanetary atmosphere research communities, to study the current research needs that can be addressed in this context to make the most of transit studies from current NASA facilities like Hubble Space Telescope and JWST. The analysis produced 14 findings, which fall into three science themes encompassing (i) how the Sun is used as our best laboratory to calibrate our understanding of stellar heterogeneities (‘The Sun as the Stellar Benchmark’), (ii) how stars other than the Sun extend our knowledge of heterogeneities (‘Surface Heterogeneities of Other Stars’), and (iii) how to incorporate information gathered for the Sun and other stars into transit studies (‘Mapping Stellar Knowledge to Transit Studies’). In this invited review, we largely reproduce the final report of SAG21 as a contribution to the peer-reviewed literature.

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  5. Abstract

    We present the Distant Giants Survey, a three-year radial velocity campaign to measure P(DG∣CS), the conditional occurrence of distant giant planets (DG;Mp∼ 0.3–13MJ,P> 1 yr) in systems hosting a close-in small planet (CS;Rp< 10R). For the past two years, we have monitored 47 Sun-like stars hosting small transiting planets detected by TESS. We present the selection criteria used to assemble our sample and report the discovery of two distant giant planets, TOI-1669 b and TOI-1694 c. For TOI-1669 b we find thatMsini=0.573±0.074MJ,P= 502 ± 16 days, ande< 0.27, while for TOI-1694 c,Msini=1.05±0.05MJ,P= 389.2 ± 3.9 days, ande= 0.18 ± 0.05. We also confirmed the 3.8 days transiting planet TOI-1694 b by measuring a true mass ofM= 26.1 ± 2.2M. At the end of the Distant Giants Survey, we will incorporate TOI-1669 b and TOI-1694 c into our calculation of P(DG∣CS), a crucial statistic for understanding the relationship between outer giants and small inner companions.

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  6. Abstract We present the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovery of the LHS 1678 (TOI-696) exoplanet system, comprised of two approximately Earth-sized transiting planets and a likely astrometric brown dwarf orbiting a bright ( V J = 12.5, K s = 8.3) M2 dwarf at 19.9 pc. The two TESS-detected planets are of radius 0.70 ± 0.04 R ⊕ and 0.98 ± 0.06 R ⊕ in 0.86 day and 3.69 day orbits, respectively. Both planets are validated and characterized via ground-based follow-up observations. High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher RV monitoring yields 97.7 percentile mass upper limits of 0.35 M ⊕ and 1.4 M ⊕ for planets b and c, respectively. The astrometric companion detected by the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory/Small and Moderate Aperture Telescope System 0.9 m has an orbital period on the order of decades and is undetected by other means. Additional ground-based observations constrain the companion to being a high-mass brown dwarf or smaller. Each planet is of unique interest; the inner planet has an ultra-short period, and the outer planet is in the Venus zone. Both are promising targets for atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope and mass measurements via extreme-precision radial velocity. A third planet candidate of radius 0.9 ± 0.1 R ⊕ in a 4.97 day orbit is also identified in multicycle TESS data for validation in future work. The host star is associated with an observed gap in the lower main sequence of the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. This gap is tied to the transition from partially to fully convective interiors in M dwarfs, and the effect of the associated stellar astrophysics on exoplanet evolution is currently unknown. The culmination of these system properties makes LHS 1678 a unique, compelling playground for comparative exoplanet science and understanding the formation and evolution of small, short-period exoplanets orbiting low-mass stars. 
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  7. Abstract We present the 30 minutes cadence Kepler/K2 light curve of the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) SN 2018agk, covering approximately one week before explosion, the full rise phase, and the decline until 40 days after peak. We additionally present ground-based observations in multiple bands within the same time range, including the 1 day cadence DECam observations within the first ∼5 days after the first light. The Kepler early light curve is fully consistent with a single power-law rise, without evidence of any bump feature. We compare SN 2018agk with a sample of other SNe Ia without early excess flux from the literature. We find that SNe Ia without excess flux have slowly evolving early colors in a narrow range ( g − i ≈ −0.20 ± 0.20 mag) within the first ∼10 days. On the other hand, among SNe Ia detected with excess, SN 2017cbv and SN 2018oh tend to be bluer, while iPTF16abc’s evolution is similar to normal SNe Ia without excess in g − i . We further compare the Kepler light curve of SN 2018agk with companion-interaction models, and rule out the existence of a typical nondegenerate companion undergoing Roche lobe overflow at viewing angles smaller than 45°. 
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