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  1. Abstract

    Atmospheric escape shapes the fate of exoplanets, with statistical evidence for transformative mass loss imprinted across the mass–radius–insolation distribution. Here, we present transit spectroscopy of the highly irradiated, low-gravity, inflated hot Saturn HAT-P-67 b. The Habitable Zone Planet Finder spectra show a detection of up to 10% absorption depth of the 10833 Å helium triplet. The 13.8 hr of on-sky integration time over 39 nights sample the entire planet orbit, uncovering excess helium absorption preceding the transit by up to 130 planetary radii in a large leading tail. This configuration can be understood as the escaping material overflowing its small Roche lobe and advecting most of the gas into the stellar—and not planetary—rest frame, consistent with the Doppler velocity structure seen in the helium line profiles. The prominent leading tail serves as direct evidence for dayside mass loss with a strong day-/nightside asymmetry. We see some transit-to-transit variability in the line profile, consistent with the interplay of stellar and planetary winds. We employ one-dimensional Parker wind models to estimate the mass-loss rate, finding values on the order of 2 × 1013g s−1, with large uncertainties owing to the unknown X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) flux of the F host star. The large mass loss in HAT-P-67 b represents a valuable example of an inflated hot Saturn, a class of planets recently identified to be rare, as their atmospheres are predicted to evaporate quickly. We contrast two physical mechanisms for runaway evaporation: ohmic dissipation and XUV irradiation, slightly favoring the latter.

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  2. Theories of planet formation predict that low-mass stars should rarely host exoplanets with masses exceeding that of Neptune. We used radial velocity observations to detect a Neptune-mass exoplanet orbiting LHS 3154, a star that is nine times less massive than the Sun. The exoplanet’s orbital period is 3.7 days, and its minimum mass is 13.2 Earth masses. We used simulations to show that the high planet-to-star mass ratio (>3.5 × 10−4) is not an expected outcome of either the core accretion or gravitational instability theories of planet formation. In the core-accretion simulations, we show that close-in Neptune-mass planets are only formed if the dust mass of the protoplanetary disk is an order of magnitude greater than typically observed around very low-mass stars.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Long-baseline monitoring of the HAT-P-32Ab system reveals helium escaping through tidal tails 50 times the size of the planet. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 9, 2024
  4. Abstract We report the characterization of 28 low-mass (0.02 M ⊙ ≤ M 2 ≤ 0.25 M ⊙ ) companions to Kepler objects of interest (KOIs), eight of which were previously designated confirmed planets. These objects were detected as transiting companions to Sunlike stars (G and F dwarfs) by the Kepler mission and are confirmed as single-lined spectroscopic binaries in the current work using the northern multiplexed Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment near-infrared spectrograph (APOGEE-N) as part of the third and fourth Sloan Digital Sky Surveys. We have observed hundreds of KOIs using APOGEE-N and collected a total of 43,175 spectra with a median of 19 visits and a median baseline of ∼1.9 yr per target. We jointly model the Kepler photometry and APOGEE-N radial velocities to derive fundamental parameters for this subset of 28 transiting companions. The radii for most of these low-mass companions are overinflated (by ∼10%) when compared to theoretical models. Tidally locked M dwarfs on short-period orbits show the largest amount of inflation, but inflation is also evident for companions that are well separated from the host star. We demonstrate that APOGEE-N data provide reliable radial velocities when compared to precise high-resolution spectrographs that enable detailed characterization of individual systems and the inference of orbital elements for faint ( H > 12) KOIs. The data from the entire APOGEE-KOI program are public and present an opportunity to characterize an extensive subset of the binary population observed by Kepler. 
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  5. Abstract

    We confirm the planetary nature of TOI-5344 b as a transiting giant exoplanet around an M0-dwarf star. TOI-5344 b was discovered with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite photometry and confirmed with ground-based photometry (the Red Buttes Observatory 0.6 m telescope), radial velocity (the Habitable-zone Planet Finder), and speckle imaging (the NN-Explore Exoplanet Stellar Speckle Imager). TOI-5344 b is a Saturn-like giant planet (ρ= 0.800.15+0.17g cm−3) with a planetary radius of 9.7 ± 0.5R(0.87 ± 0.04RJup) and a planetary mass of13518+17M(0.420.06+0.05MJup). It has an orbital period of3.7926220.000010+0.000010days and an orbital eccentricity of0.060.04+0.07. We measure a high metallicity for TOI-5344 of [Fe/H] = 0.48 ± 0.12, where the high metallicity is consistent with expectations from formation through core accretion. We compare the metallicity of the M-dwarf hosts of giant exoplanets to that of M-dwarf hosts of nongiants (≲8R). While the two populations appear to show different metallicity distributions, quantitative tests are prohibited by various sample caveats.

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  6. Abstract We present a spectroscopic analysis of a sample of 48 M-dwarf stars (0.2 M ⊙ < M < 0.6 M ⊙ ) from the Hyades open cluster using high-resolution H -band spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey/Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey. Our methodology adopts spectrum synthesis with LTE MARCS model atmospheres, along with the APOGEE Data Release 17 line list, to determine effective temperatures, surface gravities, metallicities, and projected rotational velocities. The median metallicity obtained for the Hyades M dwarfs is [M/H] = 0.09 ± 0.03 dex, indicating a small internal uncertainty and good agreement with optical results for Hyades red giants. Overall, the median radii are larger than predicted by stellar models by 1.6% ± 2.3% and 2.4% ± 2.3%, relative to a MIST and DARTMOUTH isochrone, respectively. We emphasize, however, that these isochrones are different, and the fractional radius inflation for the fully and partially convective regimes have distinct behaviors depending on the isochrone. Using a MIST isochrone there is no evidence of radius inflation for the fully convective stars, while for the partially convective M dwarfs the radii are inflated by 2.7% ± 2.1%, which is in agreement with predictions from models that include magnetic fields. For the partially convective stars, rapid rotators present on average higher inflation levels than slow rotators. The comparison with SPOTS isochrone models indicates that the derived M-dwarf radii can be explained by accounting for stellar spots in the photosphere of the stars, with 76% of the studied M dwarfs having up to 20% spot coverage, and the most inflated stars with ∼20%–40% spot coverage. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  7. Abstract

    The purpose of this work is to extend a sample of accurately modeled, benchmark-grade eclipsing binaries (EBs) with accurately determined masses and radii. We select four “well-behaved” Kepler binaries, KIC 2306740, KIC 4076952, KIC 5193386 and KIC 5288543, each with at least eight double-lined spectra from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment instrument that is part of the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys III and IV, and from the Hobby–Eberly High Resolution Spectrograph. We obtain masses and radii with uncertainties of 2.5% or less for all four systems. Three of these systems have orbital periods longer than 9 days, and thus populate an undersampled region of the parameter space for extremely well-characterized detached EBs. We compare the derived masses and radii againstmesa mistisochrones to determine the ages of the systems. All systems were found to be coeval, showing that the results are consistent acrossmesa mistandphoebe.

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  8. Abstract TOI-1899 b is a rare exoplanet, a temperate warm Jupiter orbiting an M dwarf, first discovered by Cañas et al. (2020) from a TESS single-transit event. Using new radial velocities (RVs) from the precision RV spectrographs HPF and NEID, along with additional TESS photometry and ground-based transit follow-up, we are able to derive a much more precise orbital period of P = 29.090312 − 0.000035 + 0.000036 days, along with a radius of R p = 0.99 ± 0.03 R J . We have also improved the constraints on planet mass, M p = 0.67 ± 0.04 M J , and eccentricity, which is consistent with a circular orbit at 2 σ ( e = 0.044 − 0.027 + 0.029 ). TOI-1899 b occupies a unique region of parameter space as the coolest known ( T eq ≈ 380 K) Jovian-sized transiting planet around an M dwarf; we show that it has great potential to provide clues regarding the formation and migration mechanisms of these rare gas giants through transmission spectroscopy with JWST, as well as studies of tidal evolution. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 3, 2024
  9. Abstract We confirm the planetary nature of two gas giants discovered by TESS to transit M dwarfs with stellar companions at wide separations. TOI-3984 A ( J = 11.93) is an M4 dwarf hosting a short-period (4.353326 ± 0.000005 days) gas giant ( M p = 0.14 ± 0.03 M J and R p = 0.71 ± 0.02 R J ) with a wide-separation white dwarf companion. TOI-5293 A ( J = 12.47) is an M3 dwarf hosting a short-period (2.930289 ± 0.000004 days) gas giant ( M p = 0.54 ± 0.07 M J and R p = 1.06 ± 0.04 R J ) with a wide-separation M dwarf companion. We characterize both systems using a combination of ground- and space-based photometry, speckle imaging, and high-precision radial velocities from the Habitable-zone Planet Finder and NEID spectrographs. TOI-3984 A b ( T eq = 563 ± 15 K and TSM = 138 − 27 + 29 ) and TOI-5293 A b ( T eq = 675 − 30 + 42 K and TSM = 92 ± 14) are two of the coolest gas giants among the population of hot Jupiter–sized gas planets orbiting M dwarfs and are favorable targets for atmospheric characterization of temperate gas giants and 3D obliquity measurements to probe system architecture and migration scenarios. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2024
  10. Precision laser spectroscopy is key to many developments in atomic and molecular physics and the advancement of related technologies such as atomic clocks and sensors. However, in important spectroscopic scenarios, such as astronomy and remote sensing, the light is of thermal origin, and interferometric or diffractive spectrometers typically replace laser spectroscopy. In this work, we employ laser-based heterodyne radiometry to measure incoherent light sources in the near-infrared and introduce techniques for absolute frequency calibration with a laser frequency comb. Measuring the solar continuum, we obtain a signal-to-noise ratio that matches the fundamental quantum-limited prediction given by the thermal photon distribution and our system’s efficiency, bandwidth, and averaging time. With resolving powerR∼<#comment/>106, we determine the center frequency of an iron line in the solar spectrum to sub-MHz absolute frequency uncertainty in under 10 min, a fractional precision 1/4000 the linewidth. Additionally, we propose concepts that take advantage of refractive beam shaping to decrease the effects of pointing instabilities by100×<#comment/>, and of frequency comb multiplexing to increase data acquisition rates and spectral bandwidths by comparable factors. Taken together, our work brings the power of telecommunications photonics and the precision of frequency comb metrology to laser heterodyne radiometry, with implications for solar and astronomical spectroscopy, remote sensing, and precise Doppler velocimetry.

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