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  1. Abstract

    Close binary systems present challenges to planet formation. As binary separations decrease, so do the occurrence rates of protoplanetary disks in young systems and planets in mature systems. For systems that do retain disks, their disk masses and sizes are altered by the presence of the binary companion. Through the study of protoplanetary disks in binary systems with known orbital parameters, we seek to determine the properties that promote disk retention and therefore planet formation. In this work, we characterize the young binary−disk system FO Tau. We determine the first full orbital solution for the system, finding masses of0.350.05+0.06Mand 0.34 ± 0.05Mfor the stellar components, a semimajor axis of22(1+2)au, and an eccentricity of0.21(0.03+0.04). With long-baseline Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array interferometry, we detect 1.3 mm continuum and12CO (J= 2–1) line emission toward each of the binary components; no circumbinary emission is detected. The protoplanetary disks are compact, consistent with being truncated by the binary orbit. The dust disks are unresolved in the image plane, and the more extended gas disks are only marginally resolved. Fitting the continuum and CO visibilities, we determine the inclination of each disk, finding evidence for alignment of the disk and binary orbital planes. This study is the first of its kind linking the properties of circumstellar protoplanetary disks to a precisely known binary orbit. In the case of FO Tau, we find a dynamically placid environment (coplanar, low eccentricity), which may foster its potential for planet formation.

     
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  2. Abstract

    The dispersed remnants of stellar nurseries, stellar associations, provide unparalleled samples of coeval stars critical for studies of stellar and planetary formation and evolution. The Carina Stellar Association is one of the closest stellar associations to Earth, and yet measurements of its age have varied from 13 to 45 Myr. We aim to update the age of Carina using the lithium depletion boundary (LDB) method. We obtain new measurements of the Li 6708 Å absorption feature in likely members using optical spectra from the Goodman High Throughput Spectrograph on SOAR and NRES on LCO. We detect the depletion boundary atMK≃ 6.8 (M5). This age is consistent within uncertainties across six different models, including those that account for magnetic fields and spots. We also estimate the age through analysis of the group’s overall variability, and by comparing the association members’ color–magnitude diagram to stellar evolutionary models using a Gaussian Mixture Model, recovering ages consistent with the LDB. Combining these age measures we obtain an age for the Carina association of415+3Myr. The resulting age agrees with the older end of previous age measurements and is consistent with the lithium depletion age for the neighboring Tucana-Horologium moving group.

     
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  3. Abstract

    Young terrestrial worlds are critical test beds to constrain prevailing theories of planetary formation and evolution. We present the discovery of HD 63433 d—a nearby (22 pc), Earth-sized planet transiting a young Sun-like star (TOI-1726, HD 63433). HD 63433 d is the third planet detected in this multiplanet system. The kinematic, rotational, and abundance properties of the host star indicate that it belongs to the young (414 ± 23 Myr) Ursa Major moving group, whose membership we update using new data from the third data release of the Gaia mission and TESS. Our transit analysis of the TESS light curves indicates that HD 63433 d has a radius of 1.1Rand closely orbits its host star with a period of 4.2 days. To date, HD 63433 d is the smallest confirmed exoplanet with an age less than 500 Myr, and the nearest young Earth-sized planet. Furthermore, the apparent brightness of the stellar host (V≃ 6.9 mag) makes this transiting multiplanet system favorable to further investigations, including spectroscopic follow-up to probe the atmospheric loss in a young Earth-sized world.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 10, 2025
  4. Abstract

    Identifying rocky planets in or near the habitable zones of their stars (near-Earth analogs) is one of the key motivations of many past and present planet-search missions. The census of near-Earth analogs is important because it informs calculations of the occurrence rate of Earth-like planets, which in turn feed into calculations of the yield of future missions to directly image other Earths. Only a small number of potential near-Earth analogs have been identified, meaning that each planet should be vetted carefully and then incorporated into the occurrence rate calculation. A number of putative near-Earth analogs have been identified within binary-star systems. However, stellar multiplicity can bias measured planetary properties, meaning that apparent near-Earth analogs in close binaries may have different radii or instellations than initially measured. We simultaneously fit unresolved optical spectroscopy, optical speckle and near-IR adaptive optics contrasts, and unresolved photometry and retrieved revised stellar temperatures and radii for a sample of 11 binary Kepler targets that host at least one near-Earth-analog planet, for a total of 17 planet candidates. We found that 10 of the 17 planets in our sample had radii that fell in or above the radius gap, suggesting that they are not rocky planets. Only two planets retained super-Earth radii and stayed in the habitable zone, making them good candidates for inclusion in rocky-planet occurrence rate calculations.

     
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  5. Abstract

    To fully leverage the statistical strength of the large number of planets found by projects such as the Kepler survey, the properties of planets and their host stars must be measured as accurately as possible. One key population for planet demographic studies is circumstellar planets in close binaries (ρ< 50 au), where the complex dynamical environment of the binary inhibits most planet formation, but some planets nonetheless survive. Accurately characterizing the stars and planets in these complex systems is a key factor in better understanding the formation and survival of planets in binaries. Toward that goal, we have developed a new Markov Chain Monte Carlo fitting algorithm to retrieve the properties of binary systems using unresolved spectra, unresolved photometry, and resolved contrasts. We have analyzed eight Kepler Objects of Interest in M-star binary systems using literature data, and have found that the temperatures of the primary stars (and presumed planet hosts) are revised upward by an average of 200 K. The planetary radii should be revised upward by an average of 20% if the primary star is the host, and 80% if the secondary star is the planet host. The average contrast between stellar components in the Kepler band is 0.75 mag, which is small enough that neither star in any of the binaries can be conclusively ruled out as a potential planet host. Our results emphasize the importance of accounting for multiplicity when measuring stellar parameters, especially in the context of exoplanet characterization.

     
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  6. Abstract

    Binary stars are ubiquitous; the majority of solar-type stars exist in binaries. Exoplanet occurrence rate is suppressed in binaries, but some multiples do still host planets. Binaries cause observational biases in planet parameters, with undetected multiplicity causing transiting planets to appear smaller than they truly are. We have analyzed the properties of a sample of 119 planet-host binary stars from the Kepler mission to study the underlying population of planets in binaries that fall in and around the radius valley, which is a demographic feature in period–radius space that marks the transition from predominantly rocky to predominantly gaseous planets. We found no statistically significant evidence for a radius gap for our sample of 122 planets in binaries when assuming that the primary stars are the planet hosts, with a low probability (p< 0.05) of the binary planet sample radius distribution being consistent with the single-star population of small planets via an Anderson–Darling test. These results reveal demographic differences in the planet size distribution between planets in binary and single stars for the first time, showing that stellar multiplicity may fundamentally alter the planet formation process. A larger sample and further assessment of circumprimary versus circumsecondary transits is needed to either validate this nondetection or explore other scenarios, such as a radius gap with a location that is dependent on binary separation.

     
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  7. Abstract

    Accretion is one of the defining characteristics of classical T Tauri stars, fueled by the presence of a circumstellar disk comprised of dust and gas. Accretion produces a UV and optical excess, while re-radiated emission at the inner edge of the dust component of the disk produces a near-infrared (NIR) excess. The interplay between stars and their disks helps regulate protoplanetary disk evolution and dispersal, which is key to a full understanding of planet formation. To investigate the relations between NIR excess and optical excess in both single and binary stars, we used an archival sample of spectroscopically characterized members of the Taurus star-forming region (τ∼ 1–2 Myr) with measured luminosities, spectral types, and optical veiling. We combined the archival sample with the Two Micron All Sky Survey and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer NIR photometry and high-resolution imaging surveys. We found that NIR and optical excesses are correlated in multiple NIR photometric bands, suggesting that they are closely related, likely because more massive disks have higher inner dust disk walls and are also associated with higher accretion rates. We also found that multiplicity has no impact on accretion or inner disk properties in a sample with a wide range of separations, but the sample was too small to specifically investigate close binaries, where the effects of multiplicity on disk properties should be most significant.

     
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  8. Abstract

    Stellar radius measurements from eclipsing binaries are typically ∼5% larger than standard stellar models predict. This disagreement means we are unable to derive reliable model-dependent radii, which impact stellar and exoplanet characterization. Using light curves from the TESS satellite and high-resolution, near-infrared spectra from IGRINS, we determine the masses and radii of a main sequence eclipsing binary, V1177 Cen (TIC 3099339). We detrend the light curve using a Gaussian process and derive radial velocities using spectral-line broadening functions, fitting both jointly in an MCMC framework. We find that both stars are near 1Mwith radii 6%–9% larger than the Sun. Based on the absence of Lithium in optical spectra, the inflation is potentially the effect of early post-main sequence evolution, or magnetic fields. We compare our measurement to model isochrones, finding the most consistent agreement with models that include magnetic fields, and correspond to an age of ∼4 Gyr.

     
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  9. Abstract We report an Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array 0.88 mm (Band 7) continuum detection of the accretion disk around SR 12 c, an ∼11 M Jup planetary-mass companion (PMC) orbiting its host binary at 980 au. This is the first submillimeter detection of a circumplanetary disk around a wide PMC. The disk has a flux density of 127 ± 14 μ Jy and is not resolved by the ∼0.″1 beam, so the dust disk radius is likely less than 5 au and can be much smaller if the dust continuum is optically thick. If, however, the dust emission is optically thin, then the SR 12 c disk has a comparable dust mass to the circumplanetary disk around PDS 70 c but is about five times lower than that of the ∼12 M Jup free-floating OTS 44. This suggests that disks around bound and unbound planetary-mass objects can span a wide range of masses. The gas mass estimated with an accretion rate of 10 −11 M ☉ yr −1 implies a gas-to-dust ratio higher than 100. If cloud absorption is not significant, a nondetection of 12 CO(3–2) implies a compact gas disk around SR 12 c. Future sensitive observations may detect more PMC disks at 0.88 mm flux densities of ≲100 μ Jy. 
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  10. Abstract

    We present the latest and most precise characterization of the architecture for the ancient (≈11 Gyr) Kepler-444 system, which is composed of a K0 primary star (Kepler-444 A) hosting five transiting planets and a tight M-type spectroscopic binary (Kepler-444 BC) with an A–BC projected separation of 66 au. We have measured the system’s relative astrometry using the adaptive optics imaging from Keck/NIRC2 and Kepler-444 A’s radial velocities from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and reanalyzed relative radial velocities between BC and A from Keck/HIRES. We also include the Hipparcos-Gaia astrometric acceleration and all published astrometry and radial velocities in an updated orbit analysis of BC’s barycenter. These data greatly extend the time baseline of the monitoring and lead to significant updates to BC’s barycentric orbit compared to previous work, including a larger semimajor axis (a=52.22.7+3.3au), a smaller eccentricity (e= 0.55 ± 0.05), and a more precise inclination (i=85404+03). We have also derived the first dynamical masses of B and C components. Our results suggest that Kepler-444 A’s protoplanetary disk was likely truncated by BC to a radius of ≈8 au, which resolves the previously noticed tension between Kepler-444 A’s disk mass and planet masses. Kepler-444 BC’s barycentric orbit is likely aligned with those of A’s five planets, which might be primordial or a consequence of dynamical evolution. The Kepler-444 system demonstrates that compact multiplanet systems residing in hierarchical stellar triples can form at early epochs of the universe and survive their secular evolution throughout cosmic time.

     
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