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Creators/Authors contains: "Casewell, Sarah L."

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  1. Abstract We present WDJ220838.73+454434.04 (hereafter WD2208+454), a wide, co-moving white dwarf companion to the eclipsing binary system, AR Lacertae. The companion was discovered through the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science collaboration. It has a separation of 21.″9 on the sky from the central eclipsing pair, translating to a projected separation of ∼930 au. We present a review of the physical properties and orbital parameters of this new addition to the system.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 15, 2023
  2. Abstract While stars are often found in binary systems, brown dwarf binaries are much rarer. Brown dwarf–brown dwarf pairs are typically difficult to resolve because they often have very small separations. Using brown dwarfs discovered with data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) via the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science project, we inspected other, higher-resolution, sky surveys for overlooked cold companions. During this process, we discovered the brown dwarf binary system CWISE J0146−0508AB, which we find has a very small chance alignment probability based on the similar proper motions of the components of the system. Using follow-up near-infrared spectroscopy with Keck/NIRES, we determined component spectral types of L4 and L8 (blue), making CWISE J0146−0508AB one of only a few benchmark systems with a blue L dwarf. At an estimated distance of ∼40 pc, CWISE J0146−0508AB has a projected separation of ∼129 au, making it the widest-separation brown dwarf pair found to date. We find that such a wide separation for a brown dwarf binary may imply formation in a low-density star-forming region.
  3. Abstract Through the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science project we discovered a late-type L dwarf co-moving with the young K0 star BD+60 1417 at a projected separation of 37″ or 1662 au. The secondary—CWISER J124332.12+600126.2 (W1243)—is detected in both the CatWISE2020 and 2MASS reject tables. The photometric distance and CatWISE proper motion both match that of the primary within ∼1 σ and our estimates for a chance alignment yield a zero probability. Follow-up near-infrared spectroscopy reveals W1243 to be a very red 2MASS ( J – K s = 2.72), low surface gravity source that we classify as L6–L8 γ . Its spectral morphology strongly resembles that of confirmed late-type L dwarfs in 10–150 Myr moving groups as well as that of planetary mass companions. The position on near- and mid-infrared color–magnitude diagrams indicates the source is redder and fainter than the field sequence, a telltale sign of an object with thick clouds and a complex atmosphere. For the primary we obtained new optical spectroscopy and analyzed all available literature information for youth indicators. We conclude that the Li i abundance, its loci on color–magnitude and color–color diagrams, and the rotation rate revealed in multiple TESS sectors are allmore »consistent with an age of 50–150 Myr. Using our re-evaluated age of the primary and the Gaia parallax, along with the photometry and spectrum for W1243, we find T eff = 1303 ± 31 K, log g = 4.3 ± 0.17 cm s −2 , and a mass of 15 ± 5 M Jup . We find a physical separation of ∼1662 au and a mass ratio of ∼0.01 for this system. Placing it in the context of the diverse collection of binary stars, brown dwarfs, and planetary companions, the BD+60 1417 system falls in a sparsely sampled area where the formation pathway is difficult to assess.« less
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  5. ABSTRACT

    We present ground- and space-based photometric observations of TOI-270 (L231-32), a system of three transiting planets consisting of one super-Earth and two sub-Neptunes discovered by TESS around a bright (K-mag = 8.25) M3V dwarf. The planets orbit near low-order mean-motion resonances (5:3 and 2:1) and are thus expected to exhibit large transit timing variations (TTVs). Following an extensive observing campaign using eight different observatories between 2018 and 2020, we now report a clear detection of TTVs for planets c and d, with amplitudes of ∼10 min and a super-period of ∼3 yr, as well as significantly refined estimates of the radii and mean orbital periods of all three planets. Dynamical modelling of the TTVs alone puts strong constraints on the mass ratio of planets c and d and on their eccentricities. When incorporating recently published constraints from radial velocity observations, we obtain masses of $M_{\mathrm{b}}=1.48\pm 0.18\, M_\oplus$, $M_{\mathrm{c}}=6.20\pm 0.31\, M_\oplus$, and $M_{\mathrm{d}}=4.20\pm 0.16\, M_\oplus$ for planets b, c, and d, respectively. We also detect small but significant eccentricities for all three planets : eb = 0.0167 ± 0.0084, ec = 0.0044 ± 0.0006, and ed = 0.0066 ± 0.0020. Our findings imply an Earth-like rocky composition for the inner planet, and Earth-like cores with an additional He/H2O atmosphere for the outermore »two. TOI-270 is now one of the best constrained systems of small transiting planets, and it remains an excellent target for atmospheric characterization.

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