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Creators/Authors contains: "Dalba, Paul A."

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  1. Abstract We describe the discovery of a solar neighborhood ( d = 468 pc) binary system with a main-sequence sunlike star and a massive noninteracting black hole candidate. The spectral energy distribution of the visible star is described by a single stellar model. We derive stellar parameters from a high signal-to-noise Magellan/MIKE spectrum, classifying the star as a main-sequence star with T eff = 5972 K, log g = 4.54 , and M = 0.91 M ⊙ . The spectrum shows no indication of a second luminous component. To determine the spectroscopic orbit of the binary, we measured the radial velocities of this system with the Automated Planet Finder, Magellan, and Keck over four months. We show that the velocity data are consistent with the Gaia astrometric orbit and provide independent evidence for a massive dark companion. From a combined fit of our spectroscopic data and the astrometry, we derive a companion mass of 11.39 − 1.31 + 1.51 M ⊙ . We conclude that this binary system harbors a massive black hole on an eccentric ( e = 0.46 ± 0.02), 185.4 ± 0.1 day orbit. These conclusions are independent of El-Badry et al., who recently reported the discovery of the same system. A joint fit to all available data yields a comparable period solution but a lower companion mass of 9.32 − 0.21 + 0.22 M ⊙ . Radial velocity fits to all available data produce a unimodal solution for the period that is not possible with either data set alone. The combination of both data sets yields the most accurate orbit currently available. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 8, 2024
  2. Abstract We propose to design and build an algorithm that will use a convolutional neural network (CNN) and observations from the Unistellar Network to reliably detect asteroid occultations. The Unistellar Network is made of more than 10,000 digital telescopes owned by citizen scientists, and is regularly used to record asteroid occultations. In order to process the increasing amount of observational produced by this network, we need a quick and reliable way to analyze occultations. In an effort to solve this problem, we trained a CNN with artificial images of stars with 20 different types of photometric signals. Inputs to the network consist of two stacks of snippet images of stars, one around the star that is supposed to be occulted and a reference star used for comparison. We need the reference star to distinguish between a true occultation and artifacts introduced by a poor atmospheric condition. Our Occultation Detection Neural Network can analyze three sequences of stars per second with 91% precision and 87% recall. The algorithm is sufficiently fast and robust so we can envision incorporating it on board the eVscopes to deliver real-time results. We conclude that citizen science represents an important opportunity for the future studies and discoveries in the occultations, and that application of artificial intelligence will permit us to to take better advantage of the ever-growing quantity of data to categorize asteroids. 
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  3. Abstract We identify targets in the Kepler field that may be characterized by transit timing variations and are detectable by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Despite the reduced signal-to-noise ratio of TESS transits compared to Kepler, we recover 48 transits from 13 systems in Sectors 14, 15, 26, 40 and 41. We find strong evidence of a nontransiting perturber orbiting Kepler-396 (KOI-2672) and explore two possible cases of a third planet in that system that could explain the measured transit times. We update the ephemerides and mass constraints where possible at KOI-70 (Kepler-20), KOI-82 (Kepler-102), KOI-94 (Kepler-89), KOI-137 (Kepler-18), KOI-244 (Kepler-25), KOI-245 (Kepler-37), KOI-282 (Kepler-130), KOI-377 (Kepler-9), KOI-620 (Kepler-51), KOI-806 (Kepler-30), KOI-1353 (Kepler-289), and KOI-1783 (Kepler-1662). 
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  4. 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.

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  5. 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. 
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  6. Abstract

    We present a radial velocity (RV) analysis of TOI-1136, a bright Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) system with six confirmed transiting planets, and a seventh single-transiting planet candidate. All planets in the system are amenable to transmission spectroscopy, making TOI-1136 one of the best targets for intra-system comparison of exoplanet atmospheres. TOI-1136 is young (∼700 Myr), and the system exhibits transit timing variations (TTVs). The youth of the system contributes to high stellar variability on the order of 50 m s−1, much larger than the likely RV amplitude of any of the transiting exoplanets. Utilizing 359 High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer and Automated Planet Finder RVs collected as part of the TESS-Keck Survey, and 51 High-Accuracy Radial velocity Planetary Searcher North RVs, we experiment with a joint TTV-RV fit. With seven possible transiting planets, TTVs, more than 400 RVs, and a stellar activity model, we posit that we may be presenting the most complex mass recovery of an exoplanet system in the literature to date. By combining TTVs and RVs, we minimized Gaussian process overfitting and retrieved new masses for this system: (mb−g=3.500.7+0.8,6.321.3+1.1,8.351.6+1.8,6.071.01+1.09,9.73.7+3.9,5.63.2+4.1M). We are unable to significantly detect the mass of the seventh planet candidate in the RVs, but we are able to loosely constrain a possible orbital period near 80 days. Future TESS observations might confirm the existence of a seventh planet in the system, better constrain the masses and orbital properties of the known exoplanets, and generally shine light on this scientifically interesting system.

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  7. Abstract The observed correlation between outer giant planets and inner super-Earths is emerging as an important constraint on planet formation theories. In this study, we focus on Kepler-167, which is currently the only system known to contain both inner transiting super-Earths and a confirmed outer transiting gas giant companion beyond 1 au. Using long-term radial velocity monitoring, we measure the mass of the gas giant Kepler-167e ( P = 1071 days) to be 1.01 − 0.15 + 0.16 M J , thus confirming it as a Jupiter analog. We refit the Kepler photometry to obtain updated radii for all four planets. Using a planetary structure model, we estimate that Kepler-167e contains 66 ± 19 M ⊕ of solids and is significantly enriched in metals relative to its solar-metallicity host star. We use these new constraints to explore the broader question of how systems like Kepler-167 form in the pebble accretion framework for giant planet core formation. We utilize simple disk evolution models to demonstrate that more massive and metal-rich disks, which are the most favorable sites for giant planet formation, can also deliver enough solids to the inner disk to form systems of super-Earths. We use these same models to constrain the nature of Kepler-167's protoplanetary disk and find that it likely contained ≳300 M ⊕ of dust and was ≳40 au in size. These values overlap with the upper end of the observed dust mass and size distributions of Class 0 and I disks and are also consistent with the observed occurrence rate of Jupiter analogs around Sun-like stars. 
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  8. Abstract

    We report the discovery and confirmation of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) single-transit, warm and dense sub-Saturn, TIC 139270665 b. This planet is unusually dense for its size: with a bulk density of 2.13 g cm−3(0.645RJ, 0.463MJ), it is the densest warm sub-Saturn of the TESS family. It orbits a metal-rich G2 star. We also found evidence of a second planet, TIC 139270665 c, with a longer period of1010220+780days and minimum massMPsiniof4.890.37+0.66MJ. First clues of TIC 139270665 b’s existence were found by citizen scientists inspecting TESS photometric data from sector 47 in 2022 January. Radial velocity measurements from the Automated Planet Finder combined with TESS photometry and spectral energy distributions viaEXOFASTv2system modeling suggested a23.6240.031+0.030day orbital period for TIC 139270665 b and also showed evidence for the second planet. Based on this estimated period, we mobilized the Unistellar citizen science network for photometric follow-up, capitalizing on their global distribution to capture a second transit of TIC 139270665 b. This citizen science effort also served as a test bed for an education initiative that integrates young students into modern astrophysics data collection. The Unistellar photometry did not definitively detect a second transit, but did enable us to further constrain the planet’s period. As a transiting, warm, and dense sub-Saturn, TIC 139270665 b represents an interesting laboratory for further study to enhance our models of planetary formation and evolution.

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