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  1. Abstract

    Precise radial velocity (PRV) surveys are important for the search for Earth analogs around nearby bright stars, which induce a small stellar reflex motion with an RV amplitude of ∼10 cm s−1. Detecting such a small RV signal poses challenges to instrumentation, data analysis, and the precision of astrophysical models to mitigate stellar jitter. In this work, we investigate an important component in the PRV error budget—the spectral contamination from the Earth’s atmosphere (tellurics). We characterize the effects of telluric absorption on the RV precision and quantify its contribution to the RV error budget over time and across a wavelength range of 350 nm–2.5μm. We use simulated solar spectra with telluric contamination injected, and we extract the RVs using two commonly adopted algorithms: dividing out a telluric model before performing cross-correlation or forward modeling the observed spectrum incorporating a telluric model. We assume various degrees of cleanness in removing the tellurics. We conclude that the RV errors caused by telluric absorption can be suppressed to close to or even below 1–10 cm s−1in the blue optical region. At red through near-infrared wavelengths, however, the residuals of tellurics can induce an RV error on the meter-per-second level even under themore »most favorable assumptions for telluric removal, leading to significant systematic noise in the RV time series and periodograms. If the red-optical or near-infrared becomes critical in the mitigation of stellar activity, systematic errors from tellurics can be eliminated with a space mission such as EarthFinder.

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  2. Abstract

    We present the validation of a transiting low-density exoplanet orbiting the M2.5 dwarf TOI 620 discovered by the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. We utilize photometric data from both TESS and ground-based follow-up observations to validate the ephemerides of the 5.09 day transiting signal and vet false-positive scenarios. High-contrast imaging data are used to resolve the stellar host and exclude stellar companions at separations ≳0.″2. We obtain follow-up spectroscopy and corresponding precise radial velocities (RVs) with multiple precision radial velocity (PRV) spectrographs to confirm the planetary nature of the transiting exoplanet. We calculate a 5σupper limit ofMP< 7.1MandρP< 0.74 g cm−3, and we identify a nontransiting 17.7 day candidate. We also find evidence for a substellar (1–20MJ) companion with a projected separation ≲20 au from a combined analysis of Gaia, adaptive optics imaging, and RVs. With the discovery of this outer companion, we carry out a detailed exploration of the possibilities that TOI 620 b might instead be a circum-secondary planet or a pair of eclipsing binary stars orbiting the host in a hierarchical triple system. We find, under scrutiny, that we can exclude both of these scenarios from the multiwavelength transit photometry, thus validating TOI 620more »b as a low-density exoplanet transiting the central star in this system. The low density of TOI 620 b makes it one of the most amenable exoplanets for atmospheric characterization, such as with the James Webb Space Telescope and Ariel, validated or confirmed by the TESS mission to date.

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  3. ABSTRACT We report the discovery of a warm sub-Saturn, TOI-257b (HD 19916b), based on data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The transit signal was detected by TESS and confirmed to be of planetary origin based on radial velocity observations. An analysis of the TESS photometry, the Minerva-Australis, FEROS, and HARPS radial velocities, and the asteroseismic data of the stellar oscillations reveals that TOI-257b has a mass of MP = 0.138 ± 0.023 $\rm {M_J}$ (43.9 ± 7.3 $\, M_{\rm \oplus}$), a radius of RP = 0.639 ± 0.013 $\rm {R_J}$ (7.16 ± 0.15 $\, \mathrm{ R}_{\rm \oplus}$), bulk density of $0.65^{+0.12}_{-0.11}$ (cgs), and period $18.38818^{+0.00085}_{-0.00084}$ $\rm {days}$. TOI-257b orbits a bright (V = 7.612 mag) somewhat evolved late F-type star with M* = 1.390 ± 0.046 $\rm {M_{sun}}$, R* = 1.888 ± 0.033 $\rm {R_{sun}}$, Teff = 6075 ± 90 $\rm {K}$, and vsin i = 11.3 ± 0.5 km s−1. Additionally, we find hints for a second non-transiting sub-Saturn mass planet on a ∼71 day orbit using the radial velocity data. This system joins the ranks of a small number of exoplanet host stars (∼100) that have been characterized with asteroseismology. Warm sub-Saturns are rare in the known sample of exoplanets, and thus the discovery of TOI-257b is important in the context of future work studying the formation and migration history of similar planetary systems.