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    Post-common envelope binaries (PCEBs) containing a white dwarf (WD) and a main-sequence (MS) star can constrain the physics of common envelope evolution and calibrate binary evolution models. Most PCEBs studied to date have short orbital periods (Porb ≲ 1 d), implying relatively inefficient harnessing of binaries’ orbital energy for envelope expulsion. Here, we present follow-up observations of five binaries from 3rd data release of Gaia mission containing solar-type MS stars and probable ultramassive WDs ($M\gtrsim 1.2\ {\rm M}_{\odot}$) with significantly wider orbits than previously known PCEBs, Porb = 18–49 d. The WD masses are much higher than expected for systems formed via stable mass transfer at these periods, and their near-circular orbits suggest partial tidal circularization when the WD progenitors were giants. These properties strongly suggest that the binaries are PCEBs. Forming PCEBs at such wide separations requires highly efficient envelope ejection, and we find that the observed periods can only be explained if a significant fraction of the energy released when the envelope recombines goes into ejecting it. Our one-dimensional stellar models including recombination energy confirm prior predictions that a wide range of PCEB orbital periods, extending up to months or years, can potentially result from Roche lobe overflow of a luminous asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star. This evolutionary scenario may also explain the formation of several wide WD + MS binaries discovered via self-lensing, as well as a significant fraction of post-AGB binaries and barium stars.

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  2. Abstract

    We present high-precision radial velocity observations of Gaia BH1, the nearest known black hole (BH). The system contains a solar-type G star orbiting a massive dark companion, which could be either a single BH or an inner BH + BH binary. A BH + BH binary is expected in some models where Gaia BH1 formed as a hierarchical triple, which is attractive because they avoid many of the difficulties associated with forming the system through isolated binary evolution. Our observations test the inner binary scenario. We have measured 115 precise RVs of the G star, including 40 from ESPRESSO with a precision of 3–5 m s−1, and 75 from other instruments with a typical precision of 30–100 m s−1. Our observations span 2.33 orbits of the G star and are concentrated near a periastron passage, when perturbations due to an inner binary would be largest. The RVs are well-fit by a Keplerian two-body orbit and show no convincing evidence of an inner binary. UsingREBOUNDsimulations of hierarchical triples with a range of inner periods, mass ratios, eccentricities, and orientations, we show that plausible inner binaries with periodsPinner≳ 1.5 days would have produced larger deviations from a Keplerian orbit than observed. Binaries withPinner≲ 1.5 days are consistent with the data, but these would merge within a Hubble time and would thus imply fine-tuning. We present updated parameters of Gaia BH1's orbit. The RVs yield a spectroscopic mass functionfMBH=3.9358±0.0002M—about 7000σabove the ∼2.5Mmaximum neutron star mass. Including the inclination constraint from Gaia astrometry, this implies a BH mass ofMBH= 9.27 ± 0.10M.

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  3. 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.

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  4. We report the confirmation and characterisation of TOI-1820 b, TOI-2025 b, and TOI-2158 b, three Jupiter-sized planets on short-period orbits around G-type stars detected by TESS. Through our ground-based efforts using the FIES and Tull spectrographs, we have confirmed these planets and characterised their orbits, and find periods of around 4.9 d, 8.9 d, and 8.6 d for TOI-1820 b, TOI-2025 b, and TOI-2158 b, respectively. The sizes of the planets range from 0.96 to 1.14 Jupiter radii, and their masses are in the range from 0.8 to 4.4 Jupiter masses. For two of the systems, namely TOI-2025 and TOI-2158, we see a long-term trend in the radial velocities, indicating the presence of an outer companion in each of the two systems. For TOI-2025 we furthermore find the star to be well aligned with the orbit, with a projected obliquity of 9 −31 +33 °. As these planets are all found in relatively bright systems ( V ~ 10.9–11.6 mag), they are well suited for further studies, which could help shed light on the formation and migration of hot and warm Jupiters. 
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  5. Abstract

    We present high-precision radial velocities (RVs) from the HARPS-N spectrograph for HD 79210 and HD 79211, two M0V members of a gravitationally bound binary system. We detect a planet candidate with a period of24.4210.017+0.016days around HD 79211 in these HARPS-N RVs, validating the planet candidate originally identified in CARMENES RV data alone. Using HARPS-N, CARMENES, and RVs spanning a total of 25 yr, we further refine the planet candidate parameters toP= 24.422 ± 0.014 days,K= 3.19 ± 0.27 m s−1,Msini= 10.6 ± 1.2M, anda= 0.142 ± 0.005 au. We do not find any additional planet candidate signals in the data of HD 79211, nor do we find any planet candidate signals in HD 79210. This system adds to the number of exoplanets detected in binaries with M-dwarf members and serves as a case study for planet formation in stellar binaries.

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  6. null (Ed.)
    We present the discovery of TOI-1518b -- an ultra-hot Jupiter orbiting a bright star $V = 8.95$. The transiting planet is confirmed using high-resolution optical transmission spectra from EXPRES. It is inflated, with $R_p = 1.875\pm0.053\,R_{\rm J}$, and exhibits several interesting properties, including a misaligned orbit (${240.34^{+0.93}_{-0.98}}$ degrees) and nearly grazing transit ($b =0.9036^{+0.0061}_{-0.0053}$). The planet orbits a fast-rotating F0 host star ($T_{\mathrm{eff}} \simeq 7300$ K) in 1.9 days and experiences intense irradiation. Notably, the TESS data show a clear secondary eclipse with a depth of $364\pm28$ ppm and a significant phase curve signal, from which we obtain a relative day-night planetary flux difference of roughly 320 ppm and a 5.2$\sigma$ detection of ellipsoidal distortion on the host star. Prompted by recent detections of atomic and ionized species in ultra-hot Jupiter atmospheres, we conduct an atmospheric cross-correlation analysis. We detect neutral iron (${5.2\sigma}$), at $K_p = 157^{+68}_{-44}$ km s$^{-1}$ and $V_{\rm sys} = -16^{+2}_{-4}$ km s$^{-1}$, adding another object to the small sample of highly irradiated gas-giant planets with Fe detections in transmission. Detections so far favor particularly inflated gas giants with radii $rsim 1.78\,R_{\rm J}$; although this may be due to observational bias. With an equilibrium temperature of $T_{\rm eq}=2492\pm38$ K and a measured dayside brightness temperature of $3237\pm59$ K (assuming zero geometric albedo), TOI-1518b is a promising candidate for future emission spectroscopy to probe for a thermal inversion. 
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  7. Abstract

    Measured spectral shifts due to intrinsic stellar variability (e.g., pulsations, granulation) and activity (e.g., spots, plages) are the largest source of error for extreme-precision radial-velocity (EPRV) exoplanet detection. Several methods are designed to disentangle stellar signals from true center-of-mass shifts due to planets. The Extreme-precision Spectrograph (EXPRES) Stellar Signals Project (ESSP) presents a self-consistent comparison of 22 different methods tested on the same extreme-precision spectroscopic data from EXPRES. Methods derived new activity indicators, constructed models for mapping an indicator to the needed radial-velocity (RV) correction, or separated out shape- and shift-driven RV components. Since no ground truth is known when using real data, relative method performance is assessed using the total and nightly scatter of returned RVs and agreement between the results of different methods. Nearly all submitted methods return a lower RV rms than classic linear decorrelation, but no method is yet consistently reducing the RV rms to sub-meter-per-second levels. There is a concerning lack of agreement between the RVs returned by different methods. These results suggest that continued progress in this field necessitates increased interpretability of methods, high-cadence data to capture stellar signals at all timescales, and continued tests like the ESSP using consistent data sets with more advanced metrics for method performance. Future comparisons should make use of various well-characterized data sets—such as solar data or data with known injected planetary and/or stellar signals—to better understand method performance and whether planetary signals are preserved.

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