skip to main content

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 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 suppressmore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 17, 2023
  2. 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,more »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Abstract Asteroseismology of bright stars has become increasingly important as a method to determine the fundamental properties (in particular ages) of stars. The Kepler Space Telescope initiated a revolution by detecting oscillations in more than 500 main-sequence and subgiant stars. However, most Kepler stars are faint and therefore have limited constraints from independent methods such as long-baseline interferometry. Here we present the discovery of solar-like oscillations in α Men A, a naked-eye ( V = 5.1) G7 dwarf in TESS’s southern continuous viewing zone. Using a combination of astrometry, spectroscopy, and asteroseismology, we precisely characterize the solar analog α Men A ( T eff = 5569 ± 62 K, R ⋆ = 0.960 ± 0.016 R ⊙ , M ⋆ = 0.964 ± 0.045 M ⊙ ). To characterize the fully convective M dwarf companion, we derive empirical relations to estimate mass, radius, and temperature given the absolute Gaia magnitude and metallicity, yielding M ⋆ = 0.169 ± 0.006 M ⊙ , R ⋆ = 0.19 ± 0.01 R ⊙ , and T eff = 3054 ± 44 K. Our asteroseismic age of 6.2 ± 1.4 (stat) ± 0.6 (sys) Gyr for the primary places α Men B within amore »small population of M dwarfs with precisely measured ages. We combined multiple ground-based spectroscopy surveys to reveal an activity cycle of P = 13.1 ± 1.1 yr for α Men A, a period similar to that observed in the Sun. We used different gyrochronology models with the asteroseismic age to estimate a rotation period of ∼30 days for the primary. Alpha Men A is now the closest ( d = 10 pc) solar analog with a precise asteroseismic age from space-based photometry, making it a prime target for next-generation direct-imaging missions searching for true Earth analogs.« less
  4. Abstract The Kepler and TESS missions have demonstrated that planets are ubiquitous. However, the success of these missions heavily depends on ground-based radial velocity (RV) surveys, which combined with transit photometry can yield bulk densities and orbital properties. While most Kepler host stars are too faint for detailed follow-up observations, TESS is detecting planets orbiting nearby bright stars that are more amenable to RV characterization. Here, we introduce the TESS-Keck Survey (TKS), an RV program using ∼100 nights on Keck/HIRES to study exoplanets identified by TESS. The primary survey aims are investigating the link between stellar properties and the compositions of small planets; studying how the diversity of system architectures depends on dynamical configurations or planet multiplicity; identifying prime candidates for atmospheric studies with JWST; and understanding the role of stellar evolution in shaping planetary systems. We present a fully automated target selection algorithm, which yielded 103 planets in 86 systems for the final TKS sample. Most TKS hosts are inactive, solar-like, main-sequence stars (4500 K ≤ T eff <6000 K) at a wide range of metallicities. The selected TKS sample contains 71 small planets ( R p ≤ 4 R ⊕ ), 11 systems with multiple transiting candidates, sixmore »sub-day-period planets and three planets that are in or near the habitable zone ( S inc ≤ 10 S ⊕ ) of their host star. The target selection described here will facilitate the comparison of measured planet masses, densities, and eccentricities to predictions from planet population models. Our target selection software is publicly available and can be adapted for any survey that requires a balance of multiple science interests within a given telescope allocation.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 30, 2023
  5. Abstract We report the discovery of HIP-97166b (TOI-1255b), a transiting sub-Neptune on a 10.3 day orbit around a K0 dwarf 68 pc from Earth. This planet was identified in a systematic search of TESS Objects of Interest for planets with eccentric orbits, based on a mismatch between the observed transit duration and the expected duration for a circular orbit. We confirmed the planetary nature of HIP-97166b with ground-based radial-velocity measurements and measured a mass of M b = 20 ± 2 M ⊕ along with a radius of R b = 2.7 ± 0.1 R ⊕ from photometry. We detected an additional nontransiting planetary companion with M c sin i = 10 ± 2 M ⊕ on a 16.8 day orbit. While the short transit duration of the inner planet initially suggested a high eccentricity, a joint RV-photometry analysis revealed a high impact parameter b = 0.84 ± 0.03 and a moderate eccentricity. Modeling the dynamics with the condition that the system remain stable over >10 5 orbits yielded eccentricity constraints e b = 0.16 ± 0.03 and e c < 0.25. The eccentricity we find for planet b is above average for the small population of sub-Neptunes with well-measuredmore »eccentricities. We explored the plausible formation pathways of this system, proposing an early instability and merger event to explain the high density of the inner planet at 5.3 ± 0.9 g cc −1 as well as its moderate eccentricity and proximity to a 5:3 mean-motion resonance.« less
  6. Abstract

    Exoplanet systems with multiple transiting planets are natural laboratories for testing planetary astrophysics. One such system is HD 191939 (TOI 1339), a bright (V= 9) and Sun-like (G9V) star, which TESS found to host three transiting planets (b, c, and d). The planets have periods of 9, 29, and 38 days each with similar sizes from 3 to 3.4R. To further characterize the system, we measured the radial velocity (RV) of HD 191939 over 415 days with Keck/HIRES and APF/Levy. We find thatMb= 10.4 ± 0.9MandMc= 7.2 ± 1.4M, which are low compared to most known planets of comparable radii. The RVs yield only an upper limit onMd(<5.8Mat 2σ). The RVs further reveal a fourth planet (e) with a minimum mass of 0.34 ± 0.01MJupand an orbital period of 101.4 ± 0.4 days. Despite its nontransiting geometry, secular interactions between planet e and the inner transiting planets indicate that planet e is coplanar with the transiting planets (Δi< 10°). We identify a second high-mass planet (f) with 95% confidence intervals on mass between 2 and 11MJupand period between 1700 and 7200 days, based on a joint analysis of RVs and astrometry from Gaia and Hipparcos. As a bright starmore »hosting multiple planets with well-measured masses, HD 191939 presents many options for comparative planetary astronomy, including characterization with JWST.

    « less