skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Chontos, Ashley"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    The consistently low activity level of the old solar analog 51 Peg not only facilitated the discovery of the first hot Jupiter, but also led to the suggestion that the star could be experiencing a magnetic grand minimum. However, the 50 yr time series showing minimal chromospheric variability could also be associated with the onset of weakened magnetic braking (WMB), where sufficiently slow rotation disrupts cycling activity and the production of large-scale magnetic fields by the stellar dynamo, thereby shrinking the Alfvén radius and inhibiting the efficient loss of angular momentum to magnetized stellar winds. In this Letter, we evaluate the magnetic evolutionary state of 51 Peg by estimating its wind braking torque. We use new spectropolarimetric measurements from the Large Binocular Telescope to reconstruct the large-scale magnetic morphology, we reanalyze archival X-ray measurements to estimate the mass-loss rate, and we detect solar-like oscillations in photometry from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, yielding precise stellar properties from asteroseismology. Our estimate of the wind braking torque for 51 Peg clearly places it in the WMB regime, driven by changes in the mass-loss rate and the magnetic field strength and morphology that substantially exceed theoretical expectations. Although our revised stellar properties have minimal consequences for the characterization of the exoplanet, they have interesting implications for the current space weather environment of the system.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract The surface content of lithium (Li) and beryllium (Be) in stars can reveal important information about the temperature structure and physical processes in their interior regions. This study focuses on solar-type stars with a sample that is more precisely defined than done previously. Our selection of stars studied for Be is constrained by five parameters: mass, temperature, surface gravity, metallicity, and age to be similar to the Sun and is focused on stars within ±0.02 of 1 M ⊙ . We have used the Keck I telescope with HIRES to obtain spectra of the Be ii spectral region of 52 such stars at a high spectral resolution (∼45,000) and high signal-to-noise ratios. While the spread in Li in these stars is greater than a factor of 400, the spread in Be is only 2.7 times. Two stars were without any Be, perhaps due to a merger or a mass transfer with a companion. We find a steep trend of Li with temperature but little for Be. While there is a downward trend in Li with [Fe/H] from −0.4 to +0.4 due to stellar depletion, there is a small increase in Be with Fe from Galactic Be enrichment. While there is a broad decline in Li with age, there may be a small increase in Be with age, though age is less well determined. In the subset of stars closest to the Sun in temperature and other parameters, we find that the ratio of the abundances of Be to Li is much lower than predicted by models; there may be other mixing mechanisms causing additional Li depletion. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    We confirm a massive sub-Neptune-sized planet on aP= 22.8 days orbit around the star TOI-1824 (Teff= 5200 K,V= 9.7 mag). TESS first identified TOI-1824 b (formerly TOI-1824.01) as an object of interest in 2020 April after two transits in Sector 22 were matched with a single transit in Sector 21. TOI-1824 was subsequently targeted for ground-based Doppler monitoring with Keck-HIRES and APF-Levy. Using a joint model of the TESS photometry, radial velocities, and CaiiH and K emission measurements as an activity indicator, we find that TOI-1824 b is an unusually dense sub-Neptune. The planet has a radiusRp= 2.63 ± 0.15Rand massMp= 18.5 ± 3.2M, implying a bulk density of 5.6 ± 1.4 g cm−3. TOI-1824 b's mass and radius situate it near a small group of “superdense sub-Neptunes” (Rp≲ 3RandMp≳ 20M). While the formation mechanism of superdense sub-Neptunes is a mystery, one possible explanation is the constructive collision of primordial icy cores; such giant impacts would drive atmospheric escape and could help explain these planets' apparent lack of massive envelopes. We discuss TOI-1824 b in the context of these overdense planets, whose unique location in the exoplanet mass–radius plane make them a potentially valuable tracer of planet formation.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    An intriguing pattern among exoplanets is the lack of detected planets between approximately 1.5Rand 2.0R. One proposed explanation for this “radius gap” is the photoevaporation of planetary atmospheres, a theory that can be tested by studying individual planetary systems. Kepler-105 is an ideal system for such testing due to the ordering and sizes of its planets. Kepler-105 is a Sun-like star that hosts two planets straddling the radius gap in a rare architecture with the larger planet closer to the host star (Rb= 2.53 ± 0.07R,Pb= 5.41 days,Rc= 1.44 ± 0.04R,Pc= 7.13 days). If photoevaporation sculpted the atmospheres of these planets, then Kepler-105b would need to be much more massive than Kepler-105c to retain its atmosphere, given its closer proximity to the host star. To test this hypothesis, we simultaneously analyzed radial velocities and transit-timing variations of the Kepler-105 system, measuring disparate masses ofMb= 10.8 ± 2.3M(ρb= 3.68 ± 0.84 g cm−3) andMc= 5.6 ± 1.2M(ρc= 10.4 ± 2.39 g cm−3). Based on these masses, the difference in gas envelope content of the Kepler-105 planets could be entirely due to photoevaporation (in 76% of scenarios), although other mechanisms like core-powered mass loss could have played a role for some planet albedos.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract The surface abundances of the light elements lithium (Li) and beryllium (Be) reveal information about the physical processes taking place in stellar interiors. The investigation of the amount of these two elements in stars in open clusters shows the effect of age on those mechanisms. We have obtained spectra of both Li and Be in main-sequence stars in NGC 752 at high spectral resolution and high signal-to-noise ratios with HIRES on the Keck I telescope. In order to make meaningful comparisons with other clusters, we have determined the stellar parameters on a common scale. We have found abundances of Li and Be by spectral synthesis techniques. NGC 752 is twice the age of the well-studied Hyades. We find that (1) the Li dip centered near 6500 K is wider in NGC 752, having expanded toward cooler temperatures; (2) the Be dip is deeper in the older NGC 752; (3) the Li “peak” near 6200 K is lower by about 0.3 dex; (4) although there is little Be depletion in the cooler stars, it is possible that Be may be lower in NGC 752 than in the Hyades; and (5) the Li content in both clusters declines with decreasing temperature, but there is less Li in NGC 752 at a given temperature by ∼0.4 dex. These differences are consistent with the transport of the light-element nuclei below the surface convection zone as predicted by theory. That connection to rotational spin-down is indicated by the pattern of rotation with temperature in the two clusters. 
    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    We present and confirm TOI-1751 b, a transiting sub-Neptune orbiting a slightly evolved, solar-type, metal-poor star (Teff= 5996 ± 110 K,log(g)=4.2±0.1,V= 9.3 mag, [Fe/H] = −0.40 ± 0.06 dex) every 37.47 days. We use TESS photometry to measure a planet radius of2.770.07+0.15R. We also use both Keck/HIRES and APF/Levy radial velocities (RV) to derive a planet mass of14.53.14+3.15M, and thus a planet density of 3.6 ± 0.9 g cm−3. There is also a long-period (∼400 days) signal that is observed in only the Keck/HIRES data. We conclude that this long-period signal is not planetary in nature and is likely due to the window function of the Keck/HIRES observations. This highlights the role of complementary observations from multiple observatories to identify and exclude aliases in RV data. Finally, we investigate the potential compositions of this planet, including rocky and water-rich solutions, as well as theoretical irradiated ocean models. TOI-1751 b is a warm sub-Neptune with an equilibrium temperature of ∼820 K. As TOI-1751 is a metal-poor star, TOI-1751 b may have formed in a water-enriched formation environment. We thus favor a volatile-rich interior composition for this planet.

     
    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    The extreme environments of ultra-short-period planets (USPs) make excellent laboratories to study how exoplanets obtain, lose, retain, and/or regain gaseous atmospheres. We present the confirmation and characterization of the USP TOI-1347 b, a 1.8 ± 0.1Rplanet on a 0.85 day orbit that was detected with photometry from the TESS mission. We measured radial velocities of the TOI-1347 system using Keck/HIRES and HARPS-N and found the USP to be unusually massive at 11.1 ± 1.2M. The measured mass and radius of TOI-1347 b imply an Earth-like bulk composition. A thin H/He envelope (>0.01% by mass) can be ruled out at high confidence. The system is between 1 and 1.8 Gyr old; therefore, intensive photoevaporation should have concluded. We detected a tentative phase-curve variation (3σ) and a secondary eclipse (2σ) in TESS photometry, which, if confirmed, could indicate the presence of a high-mean-molecular-weight atmosphere. We recommend additional optical and infrared observations to confirm the presence of an atmosphere and investigate its composition.

     
    more » « less
  8. Abstract

    We report on the discovery and validation of a transiting long-period mini-Neptune orbiting a bright (V= 9.0 mag) G dwarf (TOI 4633;R= 1.05R,M= 1.10M). The planet was identified in data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite by citizen scientists taking part in the Planet Hunters TESS project. Modelling of the transit events yields an orbital period of 271.9445 ± 0.0040 days and radius of 3.2 ± 0.20R. The Earth-like orbital period and an incident flux of1.560.16+0.20Fplaces it in the optimistic habitable zone around the star. Doppler spectroscopy of the system allowed us to place an upper mass limit on the transiting planet and revealed a non-transiting planet candidate in the system with a period of 34.15 ± 0.15 days. Furthermore, the combination of archival data dating back to 1905 with new high angular resolution imaging revealed a stellar companion orbiting the primary star with an orbital period of around 230 yr and an eccentricity of about 0.9. The long period of the transiting planet, combined with the high eccentricity and close approach of the companion star makes this a valuable system for testing the formation and stability of planets in binary systems.

     
    more » « less
  9. Abstract We use a high-precision radial velocity survey of FGKM stars to study the conditional occurrence of two classes of planets: close-in small planets (0.023–1 au, 2–30 M ⊕ ) and distant giant planets (0.23–10 au, 30–6000 M ⊕ ). We find that 41 − 13 + 15 % of systems with a close-in, small planet also host an outer giant, compared to 17.6 − 1.9 + 2.4 % for stars irrespective of small planet presence. This implies that small planet hosts may be enhanced in outer giant occurrences compared to all stars with 1.7 σ significance. Conversely, we estimate that 42 − 13 + 17 % of cold giant hosts also host an inner small planet, compared to 27.6 − 4.8 + 5.8 % of stars irrespective of cold giant presence. We also find that more massive and close-in giant planets are not associated with small inner planets. Specifically, our sample indicates that small planets are less likely to have outer giant companions more massive than approximately 120 M ⊕ and within 0.3–3 au, than to have less massive or more distant giant companions, with ∼2.2 σ confidence. This implies that massive gas giants within 0.3–3 au may suppress inner small planet formation. Additionally, we compare the host-star metallicity distributions for systems with only small planets and those with both small planets and cold giants. In agreement with previous studies, we find that stars in our survey that only host small planets have a metallicity distribution that is consistent with the broader solar-metallicity-median sample, while stars that host both small planets and gas giants are distinctly metal rich with ∼2.3 σ confidence. 
    more » « less
  10. Abstract

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered hundreds of new worlds, with TESS planet candidates now outnumbering the total number of confirmed planets from Kepler. Owing to differences in survey design, TESS continues to provide planets that are better suited for subsequent follow-up studies, including mass measurement through radial velocity (RV) observations, compared to Kepler targets. In this work, we present the TESS-Keck Survey’s (TKS) Mass Catalog: a uniform analysis of all TKS RV survey data that has resulted in mass constraints for 126 planets and candidate signals. This includes 58 mass measurements that have reached ≥5σprecision. We confirm or validate 32 new planets from the TESS mission either by significant mass measurement (15) or statistical validation (17), and we find no evidence of likely false positives among our entire sample. This work also serves as a data release for all previously unpublished TKS survey data, including 9,204 RV measurements and associated activity indicators over our three-year survey. We took the opportunity to assess the performance of our survey and found that we achieved many of our goals, including measuring the mass of 38 small (<4R) planets, nearly achieving the TESS mission’s basic science requirement. In addition, we evaluated the performance of the Automated Planet Finder as survey support and observed meaningful constraints on system parameters, due to its more uniform phase coverage. Finally, we compared our measured masses to those predicted by commonly used mass–radius relations and investigated evidence of systematic bias.

     
    more » « less