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  1. Abstract

    Stars are known to be more active when they are young, resulting in a strong correlation between age and photometric variability. The amplitude variation between stars of a given age is large, but the age–variability relation becomes strong over large groups of stars. We explore this relation using the excess photometric uncertainty in Gaia photometry (VarG,VarBP, andVarRP) as a proxy for variability. The metrics follow a Skumanich-like relation, scaling as ≃t−0.4. By calibrating against a set of associations with known ages, we show how theVar of population members can predict group ages within 10%–20% for associations younger than ≃2.5 Gyr. In practice, age uncertainties are larger, primarily due to the finite group size. The index is most useful at the youngest ages (<100 Myr), where the uncertainties are comparable to or better than those derived from a color–magnitude diagram (CMD). The index is also widely available, easy to calculate, and can be used at intermediate ages where there are few or no pre- or post-main-sequence stars. We further show howVar can be used to find new associations and test if a group of comoving stars is a real coeval population. We apply our methods to Theia groups within 350more »pc and find ≳90% are inconsistent with drawing stars from the field and ≃80% have variability ages consistent with those derived from the CMD. Our findings suggest the great majority of these groups contain real populations.

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  2. Abstract Young exoplanets are attractive targets for atmospheric characterization to explore the early phase of planetary evolution and the surrounding environment. Recent observations of the 10 Myr young Neptune-sized exoplanet K2-33b revealed that the planet’s transit depth drastically decreases from the optical to near-infrared wavelengths. Thao et al. suggested that a thick planetary haze and/or stellar spots may be the cause; however, even the best-fit model only barely explains the data. Here, we propose that the peculiar transmission spectrum may indicate that K2-33b possesses a circumplanetary dust ring; an analog of Jupiter’s dust ring. We demonstrate that the ring could produce a steep slope in the transmission spectrum even if its optical depth is as low as ∼10 −2 . We then apply a novel joint atmosphere-ring retrieval to K2-33b and find that the ring scenario could well explain the observed spectrum for various possible ring compositions. Importantly, the dust ring also exhibits prominent ring particle absorption features of ring particles around ∼10 μ m, whose shape and strength depend on the composition of the ring. Thus, future observations by JWST-MIRI would be able to test not only the ring hypothesis but also, if it indeed exists, to constrain themore »composition of the ring—providing a unique opportunity to explore the origins of the dust ring around its parent planet, soon after the planetary system’s formation.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 25, 2023
  3. 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 tomore »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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  4. 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 bandmore »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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  5. Abstract We present design considerations for the Transiting Exosatellites, Moons, and Planets in Orion (TEMPO) Survey with the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. This proposed 30 days survey is designed to detect a population of transiting extrasolar satellites, moons, and planets in the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC). The young (1–3 Myr), densely populated ONC harbors about a thousand bright brown dwarfs (BDs) and free-floating planetary-mass objects (FFPs). TEMPO offers sufficient photometric precision to monitor FFPs with M >1 M J for transiting satellites. The survey is also capable of detecting FFPs down to sub-Saturn masses via direct imaging, although follow-up confirmation will be challenging. TEMPO yield estimates include 14 (3–22) exomoons/satellites transiting FFPs and 54 (8–100) satellites transiting BDs. Of this population, approximately 50% of companions would be “super-Titans” (Titan to Earth mass). Yield estimates also include approximately 150 exoplanets transiting young Orion stars, of which >50% will orbit mid-to-late M dwarfs. TEMPO would provide the first census demographics of small exosatellites orbiting FFPs and BDs, while simultaneously offering insights into exoplanet evolution at the earliest stages. This detected exosatellite population is likely to be markedly different from the current census of exoplanets with similar masses (e.g., Earth-mass exosatellites thatmore »still possess H/He envelopes). Although our yield estimates are highly uncertain, as there are no known exoplanets or exomoons analogous to these satellites, the TEMPO survey would test the prevailing theories of exosatellite formation and evolution, which limit the certainty surrounding detection yields.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  6. 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.

  7. ABSTRACT Studies of T Tauri discs inform planet formation theory; observations of variability due to occultation by circumstellar dust are a useful probe of unresolved, planet-forming inner discs, especially around faint M dwarf stars. We report observations of 2M0632, an M dwarf member of the Carina young moving group that was observed by Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite over two 1-yr intervals. The combined light curve contains >300 dimming events, each lasting a few hours, and as deep as 40 per cent (0.55 magnitudes). These stochastic events are correlated with a distinct, stable 1.86-d periodic signal that could be stellar rotation. Concurrent ground-based, multiband photometry show reddening consistent with interstellar medium-like dust. The star’s excess emission in the infrared and emission lines in optical and infrared spectra reveal a T Tauri-like accretion disc around the star. We confirm membership of 2M0632 in the Carina group by a Bayesian analysis of its Galactic space motion and position. We combine stellar evolution models with Gaia photometry and constraints on Teff, luminosity, and the absence of detectable lithium in the photosphere to constrain the age of the group and 2M0632 to 40–60 Myr, consistent with earlier estimates. 2M0632 joins a handful of long-lived discs which challenge themore »canon that disc lifetimes are ≲10 Myr. All known examples surround M dwarfs, suggesting that lower X-ray/ultraviolet irradiation and slower photoevaporation by these stars can dramatically affect disc evolution. The multiplanet systems spawned by long-lived discs probably experienced significant orbital damping and migration into close-in, resonant orbits, and perhaps represented by the TRAPPIST-1 system.« less
  8. Abstract

    Although all-sky surveys have led to the discovery of dozens of young planets, little is known about their atmospheres. Here, we present multiwavelength transit data for the super-Neptune sized exoplanet, K2-33b—the youngest (∼10 Myr) transiting exoplanet to date. We combined photometric observations of K2-33 covering a total of 33 transits spanning >2 yr, taken from K2, MEarth, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and Spitzer. The transit photometry spanned from the optical to the near-infrared (0.6–4.5μm), enabling us to construct a transmission spectrum of the planet. We find that the optical transit depths are nearly a factor of 2 deeper than those from the near-infrared. This difference holds across multiple data sets taken over years, ruling out issues of data analysis and unconstrained systematics. Surface inhomogeneities on the young star can reproduce some of the difference, but required spot coverage fractions (>60%) are ruled out by the observed stellar spectrum (<20%). We find a better fit to the transmission spectrum using photochemical hazes, which were predicted to be strong in young, moderate-temperature, and large-radius planets like K2-33b. A tholin haze with CO as the dominant gaseous carbon carrier in the atmosphere can reasonably reproduce the data with small or nomore »stellar surface inhomogeneities, consistent with the stellar spectrum. The HST data quality is insufficient for the detection of any molecular features. More observations would be required to fully characterize the hazes and spot properties and confirm the presence of CO suggested by current data.

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  9. Abstract

    Young planets provide a window into the early stages and evolution of planetary systems. Ideal planets for such research are in coeval associations, where the parent population can precisely determine their ages. We describe a young association (MELANGE-3) in the Kepler field, which harbors two transiting planetary systems (KOI-3876 and Kepler-970). We identify MELANGE-3 by searching for kinematic and spatial overdensities around Kepler planet hosts with high levels of lithium. To determine the age and membership of MELANGE-3, we combine new high-resolution spectra with archival light curves, velocities, and astrometry of stars near KOI-3876 spatially and kinematically. We use the resulting rotation sequence, lithium levels, and color–magnitude diagram of candidate members to confirm the presence of a coeval 105 ± 10 Myr population. MELANGE-3 may be part of the recently identified Theia 316 stream. For the two exoplanet systems, we revise the stellar and planetary parameters, taking into account the newly determined age. Fitting the 4.5 yr Kepler light curves, we find that KOI-3876b is a 2.0 ± 0.1Rplanet on a 19.58 day orbit, while Kepler-970 b is a 2.8 ± 0.2Rplanet on a 16.73 day orbit. KOI-3876 was previously flagged as an eclipsing binary, which we rule outmore »using radial velocities from APOGEE and statistically validate the signal as planetary in origin. Given its overlap with the Kepler field, MELANGE-3 is valuable for studies of spot evolution on year timescales, and both planets contribute to the growing work on transiting planets in young stellar associations.

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