skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Twicken, Joseph D."

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

    A new generation of observatories is enabling detailed study of exoplanetary atmospheres and the diversity of alien climates, allowing us to seek evidence for extraterrestrial biological and geological processes. Now is therefore the time to identify the most unique planets to be characterized with these instruments. In this context, we report on the discovery and validation of TOI-715 b, a $R_{\rm b}=1.55\pm 0.06\rm R_{\oplus }$ planet orbiting its nearby (42 pc) M4 host (TOI-715/TIC 271971130) with a period $P_{\rm b} = 19.288004_{-0.000024}^{+0.000027}$ d. TOI-715 b was first identified by TESS and validated using ground-based photometry, high-resolution imaging and statistical validation. The planet’s orbital period combined with the stellar effective temperature $T_{\rm eff}=3075\pm 75~\rm K$ give this planet an installation $S_{\rm b} = 0.67_{-0.20}^{+0.15}~\rm S_\oplus$, placing it within the most conservative definitions of the habitable zone for rocky planets. TOI-715 b’s radius falls exactly between two measured locations of the M-dwarf radius valley; characterizing its mass and composition will help understand the true nature of the radius valley for low-mass stars. We demonstrate TOI-715 b is amenable for characterization using precise radial velocities and transmission spectroscopy. Additionally, we reveal a second candidate planet in the system, TIC 271971130.02, with a potential orbital period of $P_{02} = 25.60712_{-0.00036}^{+0.00031}$ d and a radius of $R_{02} = 1.066\pm 0.092\, \rm R_{\oplus }$, just inside the outer boundary of the habitable zone, and near a 4:3 orbital period commensurability. Should this second planet be confirmed, it would represent the smallest habitable zone planet discovered by TESS to date.

     
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 28, 2024
  2. We report the confirmation and characterisation of TOI-1820 b, TOI-2025 b, and TOI-2158 b, three Jupiter-sized planets on short-period orbits around G-type stars detected by TESS. Through our ground-based efforts using the FIES and Tull spectrographs, we have confirmed these planets and characterised their orbits, and find periods of around 4.9 d, 8.9 d, and 8.6 d for TOI-1820 b, TOI-2025 b, and TOI-2158 b, respectively. The sizes of the planets range from 0.96 to 1.14 Jupiter radii, and their masses are in the range from 0.8 to 4.4 Jupiter masses. For two of the systems, namely TOI-2025 and TOI-2158, we see a long-term trend in the radial velocities, indicating the presence of an outer companion in each of the two systems. For TOI-2025 we furthermore find the star to be well aligned with the orbit, with a projected obliquity of 9 −31 +33 °. As these planets are all found in relatively bright systems ( V ~ 10.9–11.6 mag), they are well suited for further studies, which could help shed light on the formation and migration of hot and warm Jupiters. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    With JWST’s successful deployment and unexpectedly high fuel reserves, measuring the masses of sub-Neptunes transiting bright, nearby stars will soon become the bottleneck for characterizing the atmospheres of small exoplanets via transmission spectroscopy. Using a carefully curated target list and observations from more than 2 yr of APF-Levy and Keck-HIRES Doppler monitoring, the TESS-Keck Survey is working toward alleviating this pressure. Here we present mass measurements for 11 transiting planets in eight systems that are particularly suited to atmospheric follow-up with JWST. We also report the discovery and confirmation of a temperate super-Jovian-mass planet on a moderately eccentric orbit. The sample of eight host stars, which includes one subgiant, spans early-K to late-F spectral types (Teff= 5200–6200 K). We homogeneously derive planet parameters using a joint photometry and radial velocity modeling framework, discuss the planets’ possible bulk compositions, and comment on their prospects for atmospheric characterization.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We report the discovery and characterization of a nearby (∼85 pc), older (27 ± 3 Myr), distributed stellar population near Lower Centaurus Crux (LCC), initially identified by searching for stars comoving with a candidate transiting planet from TESS (HD 109833; TOI 1097). We determine the association membership using Gaia kinematics, color–magnitude information, and rotation periods of candidate members. We measure its age using isochrones, gyrochronology, and Li depletion. While the association is near known populations of LCC, we find that it is older than any previously found LCC subgroup (10–16 Myr), and distinct in both position and velocity. In addition to the candidate planets around HD 109833, the association contains four directly imaged planetary-mass companions around three stars, YSES-1, YSES-2, and HD 95086, all of which were previously assigned membership in the younger LCC. Using the Notch pipeline, we identify a second candidate transiting planet around HD 109833. We use a suite of ground-based follow-up observations to validate the two transit signals as planetary in nature. HD 109833 b and c join the small but growing population of <100 Myr transiting planets from TESS. HD 109833 has a rotation period and Li abundance indicative of a young age (≲100 Myr), but a position and velocity on the outskirts of the new population, lower Li levels than similar members, and a color–magnitude diagram position below model predictions for 27 Myr. So, we cannot reject the possibility that HD 109833 is a young field star coincidentally nearby the population.

     
    more » « less
  5. ABSTRACT

    We report the discovery of TOI-2119b, a transiting brown dwarf (BD) that orbits and is completely eclipsed by an active M-dwarf star. Using light-curve data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission and follow-up high-resolution Doppler spectroscopic observations, we find the BD has a radius of Rb = 1.08 ± 0.03RJ, a mass of Mb = 64.4 ± 2.3MJ, an orbital period of P = 7.200865 ± 0.00002 d, and an eccentricity of e = 0.337 ± 0.002. The host star has a mass of M⋆ = 0.53 ± 0.02M⊙, a radius of R⋆ = 0.50 ± 0.01R⊙, an effective temperature of Teff = 3621 ± 48K, and a metallicity of $\rm [Fe/H]=+0.06\pm 0.08$. TOI-2119b joins an emerging population of transiting BDs around M-dwarf host stars, with TOI-2119 being the ninth such system. These M-dwarf–brown dwarf systems typically occupy mass ratios near q = Mb/M⋆ ≈ 0.1−0.2, which separates them from the typical mass ratios for systems with transiting substellar objects and giant exoplanets that orbit more massive stars. The nature of the secondary eclipse of the BD by the star enables us to estimate the effective temperature of the substellar object to be 2030 ± 84K, which is consistent with predictions by substellar evolutionary models.

     
    more » « less
  6. Abstract We present the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovery of the LHS 1678 (TOI-696) exoplanet system, comprised of two approximately Earth-sized transiting planets and a likely astrometric brown dwarf orbiting a bright ( V J = 12.5, K s = 8.3) M2 dwarf at 19.9 pc. The two TESS-detected planets are of radius 0.70 ± 0.04 R ⊕ and 0.98 ± 0.06 R ⊕ in 0.86 day and 3.69 day orbits, respectively. Both planets are validated and characterized via ground-based follow-up observations. High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher RV monitoring yields 97.7 percentile mass upper limits of 0.35 M ⊕ and 1.4 M ⊕ for planets b and c, respectively. The astrometric companion detected by the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory/Small and Moderate Aperture Telescope System 0.9 m has an orbital period on the order of decades and is undetected by other means. Additional ground-based observations constrain the companion to being a high-mass brown dwarf or smaller. Each planet is of unique interest; the inner planet has an ultra-short period, and the outer planet is in the Venus zone. Both are promising targets for atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope and mass measurements via extreme-precision radial velocity. A third planet candidate of radius 0.9 ± 0.1 R ⊕ in a 4.97 day orbit is also identified in multicycle TESS data for validation in future work. The host star is associated with an observed gap in the lower main sequence of the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. This gap is tied to the transition from partially to fully convective interiors in M dwarfs, and the effect of the associated stellar astrophysics on exoplanet evolution is currently unknown. The culmination of these system properties makes LHS 1678 a unique, compelling playground for comparative exoplanet science and understanding the formation and evolution of small, short-period exoplanets orbiting low-mass stars. 
    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    We report the discovery of two transiting planets around the bright (V= 9.9 mag) main-sequence F7 star TOI-1670 by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. TOI-1670 b is a sub-Neptune (Rb=2.060.15+0.19R) on a 10.9 day orbit, and TOI-1670 c is a warm Jupiter (Rc=0.9870.025+0.025RJup) on a 40.7 day orbit. Using radial velocity observations gathered with the Tull Coudé Spectrograph on the Harlan J. Smith telescope and HARPS-N on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, we find a planet mass ofMc=0.630.08+0.09MJupfor the outer warm Jupiter, implying a mean density ofρc=0.810.11+0.13g cm−3. The inner sub-Neptune is undetected in our radial velocity data (Mb< 0.13MJupat the 99% confidence level). Multiplanet systems like TOI-1670 hosting an outer warm Jupiter on a nearly circular orbit (ec=0.090.04+0.05) and one or more inner coplanar planets are more consistent with “gentle” formation mechanisms such as disk migration or in situ formation rather than high-eccentricity migration. Of the 11 known systems with a warm Jupiter and a smaller inner companion, eight (73%) are near a low-order mean-motion resonance, which can be a signature of migration. TOI-1670 joins two other systems (27% of this subsample) with period commensurabilities greater than 3, a common feature of in situ formation or halted inward migration. TOI-1670 and the handful of similar systems support a diversity of formation pathways for warm Jupiters.

     
    more » « less
  8. null (Ed.)
    We present the discovery of TOI-1518b -- an ultra-hot Jupiter orbiting a bright star $V = 8.95$. The transiting planet is confirmed using high-resolution optical transmission spectra from EXPRES. It is inflated, with $R_p = 1.875\pm0.053\,R_{\rm J}$, and exhibits several interesting properties, including a misaligned orbit (${240.34^{+0.93}_{-0.98}}$ degrees) and nearly grazing transit ($b =0.9036^{+0.0061}_{-0.0053}$). The planet orbits a fast-rotating F0 host star ($T_{\mathrm{eff}} \simeq 7300$ K) in 1.9 days and experiences intense irradiation. Notably, the TESS data show a clear secondary eclipse with a depth of $364\pm28$ ppm and a significant phase curve signal, from which we obtain a relative day-night planetary flux difference of roughly 320 ppm and a 5.2$\sigma$ detection of ellipsoidal distortion on the host star. Prompted by recent detections of atomic and ionized species in ultra-hot Jupiter atmospheres, we conduct an atmospheric cross-correlation analysis. We detect neutral iron (${5.2\sigma}$), at $K_p = 157^{+68}_{-44}$ km s$^{-1}$ and $V_{\rm sys} = -16^{+2}_{-4}$ km s$^{-1}$, adding another object to the small sample of highly irradiated gas-giant planets with Fe detections in transmission. Detections so far favor particularly inflated gas giants with radii $rsim 1.78\,R_{\rm J}$; although this may be due to observational bias. With an equilibrium temperature of $T_{\rm eq}=2492\pm38$ K and a measured dayside brightness temperature of $3237\pm59$ K (assuming zero geometric albedo), TOI-1518b is a promising candidate for future emission spectroscopy to probe for a thermal inversion. 
    more » « less
  9. null (Ed.)