Authors:Hrudková et alAbstract:We report on the discovery of a planetary companion candidate with a minimum mass Msini = 4.6 M_J orbiting the K2 III giant star HD 175370 (KIC 007940959). This star was a target in our program to search for planets around a sample of 95 giant stars observed with Kepler. This detection was made possible using precise stellar radial velocity measurements of HD 175370 taken over five years and four months using the coude echelle spectrograph of the 2-m Alfred Jensch Telescope and the fibre-fed echelle spectrograph HERMES of the 1.2-m Mercator Telescope. Our radial velocity measurements reveal a periodic (349.5 days) variation with a semi-amplitude K = 133 m/s, superimposed on a long-term trend. A low-mass stellar companion with an orbital period of ~88 years in a highly eccentric orbit and a planet in a Keplerian orbit with an eccentricity e = 0.22 are the most plausible explanation of the radial velocity variations. However, we cannot exclude the existence of stellar envelope pulsations as a cause for the low-amplitude radial velocity variations and only future continued monitoring of this system may answer this uncertainty. From Kepler photometry we find that HD 175370 is most likely a low-mass red-giant branch or asymptotic-giant branch star.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Figuiera et alAbstract:Aims:Several studies suggest that the activity level of a planet-host star can be influenced by the presence of a close-by orbiting planet. Moreover, the interaction mechanisms that have been proposed, magnetic interaction and tidal interaction, exhibit a very different dependence on orbital separation between the star and the planet. A detection of activity enhancement and characterization of its dependence on planetary orbital distance can, in principle, allow us to characterize the physical mechanism behind the activity enhancement.Methods:We used the HARPS-N spectrograph to measure the stellar activity level of HD 80606 during the planetary periastron passage and compared the activity measured to that close to apastron. Being characterized by an eccentricity of 0.93 and an orbital period of 111 days, the system's extreme variation in orbital separation makes it a perfect target to test our hypothesis.Results:We find no evidence for a variation in the activity level of the star as a function of planetary orbital distance, as measured by all activity indicators employed log(R′HK), Hα, NaI, and HeI. None of the models employed, whether magnetic interaction or tidal interaction, provides a good description of the data.Conclusions:We find no evidence for star-planet interaction in HD\,80606 at the moment of the periastron passage of its very eccentric planet. The straightforward explanation for the non-detection is the absence of interaction as a result of a low magnetic field strength on either the planet or the star and of the low level of tidal interaction between the two. However, we cannot exclude two scenarios: i) the interaction can be instantaneous and of magnetic origin, being concentrated on the substellar point and its surrounding area, and ii) the interaction can lead to a delayed activity enhancement.
94 Ceti: a triple star with a planet and dust disc
Wiegert et al
94 Ceti is a triple star system with a circumprimary gas giant planet and far-infrared excess. Such excesses around main sequence stars are likely due to debris discs, and are considered as signposts of planetary systems and, therefore, provide important insights into the configuration and evolution of the planetary system. Consequently, in order to learn more about the 94 Ceti system, we aim to precisely model the dust emission to fit its observed SED and to simulate its orbital dynamics. We interpret our APEX bolometric observations and complement them with archived Spitzer and Herschel bolometric data to explore the stellar excess and to map out background sources in the fields. Dynamical simulations and 3D radiative transfer calculations were used to constrain the debris disc configurations and model the dust emission. The best fit dust disc model for 94 Ceti implies a circumbinary disc around the secondary pair, limited by dynamics to radii smaller than 40 AU and with a grain size power-law distribution of ~a^-3.5. This model exhibits a dust-to-star luminosity ratio of 4.6+-0.4*10^-6. The system is dynamically stable and N-body symplectic simulations results are consistent with semi-analytical equations that describe orbits in binary systems. In the observations we also find tentative evidence of a circumtertiary ring that could be edge-on.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Limits on Planetary Companions from Doppler Surveys of Nearby Stars
Howard et al
Most of our knowledge of planets orbiting nearby stars comes from Doppler surveys. For spaced-based, high-contrast imaging missions, nearby stars with Doppler-discovered planets are attractive targets. The known orbits tell imaging missions where and when to observe, and the dynamically-determined masses provide important constraints for the interpretation of planetary spectra. Quantifying the set of planet masses and orbits that could have been detected will enable more efficient planet discovery and characterization. We analyzed Doppler measurements from Lick and Keck Observatories collected by the California Planet Survey. We focused on stars that are likely targets for three space-based planet imaging mission concepts studied by NASA--WFIRST-AFTA, Exo-C, and Exo-S. The Doppler targets are primarily F8 and later main sequence stars, with observations spanning 1987-2014. We identified 76 stars with Doppler measurements from the prospective mission target lists. We developed an automated planet search and a methodology to estimate the pipeline completeness using injection and recovery tests. We applied this machinery to the Doppler data and computed planet detection limits for each star as a function of planet minimum mass and semi-major axis. For typical stars in the survey, we are sensitive to approximately Saturn-mass planets inside of 1 AU, Jupiter-mass planets inside of ~3 AU, and our sensitivity declines out to ~10 AU. For the best Doppler targets, we are sensitive to Neptune-mass planets in 3 AU orbits. Using an idealized model of Doppler survey completeness, we forecast the precision of future surveys of non-ideal Doppler targets that are likely targets of imaging missions.
Authors:Shukla et alAbstract:In many real life situations, it is observed that the first digits (i.e., 1,2,…,9) of a numerical data-set, which is expressed using decimal system, do not follow a random distribution. Instead, smaller numbers are favoured by nature in accordance with a logarithmic distribution law, which is referred to as Benford's law. The existence and applicability of this empirical law have been extensively studied by physicists, accountants, computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, etc., and it has been observed that a large number of data-sets related to diverse problems follow this distribution. However, applicability of Benford's law has been hardly tested for extrasolar objects. Motivated by this fact, this paper investigates the existence of Benford's distribution in the extrasolar world using Kepler data for exoplanets. The investigation has revealed the presence of Benford's distribution in various physical properties of these exoplanets. Further, Benford goodness parameters are computed to provide a quantitative measure of coincidence of real data with the ideal values obtained from Benford's distribution. The quantitative analysis and the plots have revealed that several physical parameters associated with the exoplanets (e.g., mass, volume, density, orbital semi-major axis, orbital period, and radial velocity) nicely follow Benford's distribution, whereas some physical parameters (e.g., total proper motion, stellar age and stellar distance) moderately follow the distribution, and some others (e.g., longitude, radius, and effective temperature) do not follow Benford's distribution. Further, some specific comments have been made on the possible generalizations of the obtained result, its potential applications in analyzing data-set of candidate exoplanets, and how interested readers can perform similar investigations on other interesting data-sets.
Anomalous precession of planets on a Weyl conformastatic solution
Capistrano et al
In this paper, we investigate the anomalous planets precession in the so-called nearly-newtonian gravitational regime. This limit is obtained from the application of the slow motion condition to the geodesic equations without altering the geodesic deviation equations, which leads to an intermediate gravitational field stronger than the newtonian one. Using a non-standard expression for the perihelion advance from the Weyl conformastatic vacuum solution as a model, we can describe the anomaly in planets precession compared with different observational data from Ephemerides of the Planets and the Moon (EPM2008 and EPM2011) and Planetary and Lunar Ephemeris (INPOP10a). As a result, using the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm and calculating the related Chi-squared statistic, we find that the anomaly is statistical irrelevant in accordance with INPOP10a observations. As a complement to this work, we also do application to the relativistic precession of giant planets using observational data calibrated with the EPM2011.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Authors:Brugger et alAbstract:We explore the possible Proxima Centauri b's interiors assuming the planet belongs to the class of dense solid planets (rocky with possible addition of water) and derive the corresponding radii. To do so, we use an internal structure model that computes the radius of the planet along with the locations of the different layers of materials, assuming that its mass and bulk composition are known. Lacking detailed elementary abundances of the host star to constrain the planet's composition, we base our model on solar system values. We restrained the simulations to the case of solid planets without massive atmospheres. With these assumptions, the possible radius of Proxima Centauri b spans the 0.94--1.40 R⊕ range. The minimum value is obtained considering a 1.10 M⊕ Mercury-like planet with a 65% core mass fraction, whereas the highest radius is reached for 1.46 M⊕ with 50% water in mass, constituting an ocean planet. Although this range of radii still allows very different planet compositions, it helps characterizing many aspects of Proxima Centauri b, such as the formation conditions of the system or the current amount of water on the planet. This work can also help ruling out future measurements of the planet's radius that would be physically incompatible with a solid planetary body.