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Creators/Authors contains: "Henry, Gregory W."

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  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 distortions of absorption line profiles caused by photospheric brightness variations on the surfaces of cool, main-sequence stars can mimic or overwhelm radial velocity (RV) shifts due to the presence of exoplanets. The latest generation of precision RV spectrographs aims to detect velocity amplitudes ≲ 10 cm s −1 , but requires mitigation of stellar signals. Statistical techniques are being developed to differentiate between Keplerian and activity-related velocity perturbations. Two important challenges, however, are the interpretability of the stellar activity component as RV models become more sophisticated, and ensuring the lowest-amplitude Keplerian signatures are not inadvertently accounted for in flexible models of stellar activity. For the K2V exoplanet host ϵ Eridani, we separately used ground-based photometry to constrain Gaussian processes for modeling RVs and TESS photometry with a light-curve inversion algorithm to reconstruct the stellar surface. From the reconstructions of TESS photometry, we produced an activity model that reduced the rms scatter in RVs obtained with EXPRES from 4.72 to 1.98 m s −1 . We present a pilot study using the CHARA Array and MIRC-X beam combiner to directly image the starspots seen in the TESS photometry. With the limited phase coverage, our spot detections are marginal withmore »current data but a future dedicated observing campaign should allow for imaging, as well as allow the stellar inclination and orientation with respect to the debris disk to be definitively determined. This work shows that stellar surface maps obtained with high-cadence, time-series photometric and interferometric data can provide the constraints needed to accurately reduce RV scatter.« less
  3. Abstract

    Measured spectral shifts due to intrinsic stellar variability (e.g., pulsations, granulation) and activity (e.g., spots, plages) are the largest source of error for extreme-precision radial-velocity (EPRV) exoplanet detection. Several methods are designed to disentangle stellar signals from true center-of-mass shifts due to planets. The Extreme-precision Spectrograph (EXPRES) Stellar Signals Project (ESSP) presents a self-consistent comparison of 22 different methods tested on the same extreme-precision spectroscopic data from EXPRES. Methods derived new activity indicators, constructed models for mapping an indicator to the needed radial-velocity (RV) correction, or separated out shape- and shift-driven RV components. Since no ground truth is known when using real data, relative method performance is assessed using the total and nightly scatter of returned RVs and agreement between the results of different methods. Nearly all submitted methods return a lower RV rms than classic linear decorrelation, but no method is yet consistently reducing the RV rms to sub-meter-per-second levels. There is a concerning lack of agreement between the RVs returned by different methods. These results suggest that continued progress in this field necessitates increased interpretability of methods, high-cadence data to capture stellar signals at all timescales, and continued tests like the ESSP using consistent data sets withmore »more advanced metrics for method performance. Future comparisons should make use of various well-characterized data sets—such as solar data or data with known injected planetary and/or stellar signals—to better understand method performance and whether planetary signals are preserved.

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