skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "MacDougall, Mason"

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 Highly eccentric orbits are one of the major surprises of exoplanets relative to the solar system and indicate rich and tumultuous dynamical histories. One system of particular interest is Kepler-1656, which hosts a sub-Jovian planet with an eccentricity of 0.8. Sufficiently eccentric orbits will shrink in the semimajor axis due to tidal dissipation of orbital energy during periastron passage. Here our goal was to assess whether Kepler-1656b is currently undergoing such high-eccentricity migration, and to further understand the system’s origins and architecture. We confirm a second planet in the system with M c = 0.40 ± 0.09 M jup and P c = 1919 ± 27 days. We simulated the dynamical evolution of planet b in the presence of planet c and find a variety of possible outcomes for the system, such as tidal migration and engulfment. The system is consistent with an in situ dynamical origin of planet b followed by subsequent eccentric Kozai–Lidov perturbations that excite Kepler-1656b’s eccentricity gently, i.e., without initiating tidal migration. Thus, despite its high eccentricity, we find no evidence that planet b is or has migrated through the high-eccentricity channel. Finally, we predict the outer orbit to be mutually inclined in a nearlymore »perpendicular configuration with respect to the inner planet orbit based on the outcomes of our simulations and make observable predictions for the inner planet’s spin–orbit angle. Our methodology can be applied to other eccentric or tidally locked planets to constrain their origins, orbital configurations, and properties of a potential companion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 22, 2023
  2. Abstract

    TOI-561 is a galactic thick-disk star hosting an ultra-short-period (0.45-day-orbit) planet with a radius of 1.37R, making it one of the most metal-poor ([Fe/H] = −0.41) and oldest (≈10 Gyr) sites where an Earth-sized planet has been found. We present new simultaneous radial velocity (RV) measurements from Gemini-N/MAROON-X and Keck/HIRES, which we combined with literature RVs to derive a mass ofMb= 2.24 ± 0.20M. We also used two new sectors of TESS photometry to improve the radius determination, findingRb= 1.37 ± 0.04Rand confirming that TOI-561 b is one of the lowest-density super-Earths measured to date (ρb= 4.8 ± 0.5 g cm−3). This density is consistent with an iron-poor rocky composition reflective of the host star’s iron and rock-building element abundances; however, it is also consistent with a low-density planet with a volatile envelope. The equilibrium temperature of the planet (∼2300 K) suggests that this envelope would likely be composed of high mean molecular weight species, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, or silicate vapor, and is likely not primordial. We also demonstrate that the composition determination is sensitive to the choice of stellar parameters and that further measurements are needed to determine whether TOI-561 b is a bare rockymore »planet, a rocky planet with an optically thin atmosphere, or a rare example of a nonprimordial envelope on a planet with a radius smaller than 1.5R.

    « less
  3. Abstract

    We present the Distant Giants Survey, a three-year radial velocity campaign to measure P(DG∣CS), the conditional occurrence of distant giant planets (DG;Mp∼ 0.3–13MJ,P> 1 yr) in systems hosting a close-in small planet (CS;Rp< 10R). For the past two years, we have monitored 47 Sun-like stars hosting small transiting planets detected by TESS. We present the selection criteria used to assemble our sample and report the discovery of two distant giant planets, TOI-1669 b and TOI-1694 c. For TOI-1669 b we find thatMsini=0.573±0.074MJ,P= 502 ± 16 days, ande< 0.27, while for TOI-1694 c,Msini=1.05±0.05MJ,P= 389.2 ± 3.9 days, ande= 0.18 ± 0.05. We also confirmed the 3.8 days transiting planet TOI-1694 b by measuring a true mass ofM= 26.1 ± 2.2M. At the end of the Distant Giants Survey, we will incorporate TOI-1669 b and TOI-1694 c into our calculation of P(DG∣CS), a crucial statistic for understanding the relationship between outer giants and small inner companions.

  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