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Diffuser-assisted Infrared Transit Photometry for Four Dynamically Interacting Kepler Systems

Vissapragada, Shreyas and Jontof-Hutter, Daniel and Shporer, Avi and Knutson, Heather A. and Liu, Leo and Thorngren, Daniel and Lee, Eve J. and Chachan, Yayaati and Mawet, Dimitri and Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A. and Nilsson, Ricky and Tinyanont, Samaporn and Vasisht, Gautam and Wright, Jason T. (2020) Diffuser-assisted Infrared Transit Photometry for Four Dynamically Interacting Kepler Systems. Astronomical Journal, 159 (3). Art. No. 108. ISSN 1538-3881. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ab65c8.

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We present ground-based infrared transit observations for four dynamically interacting Kepler planets, including Kepler-29b, Kepler-36c, KOI-1783.01, and Kepler-177c, obtained using the Wide-field Infrared Camera on the Hale 200 inch telescope at Palomar Observatory. By utilizing an engineered diffuser and custom guiding software, we mitigate time-correlated telluric and instrumental noise sources in these observations. We achieve an infrared photometric precision comparable to or better than that of space-based observatories such as the Spitzer Space Telescope, and detect transits with greater than 3σ significance for all planets. For Kepler-177c (J = 13.9), our measurement uncertainties are only 1.2 times the photon noise limit and 1.9 times better than the predicted photometric precision for Spitzer IRAC photometry of this same target. We find that a single transit observation obtained 4–5 yr after the end of the original Kepler mission can reduce dynamical mass uncertainties by as much as a factor of 3 for these systems. Additionally, we combine our new observations of KOI-1783.01 with information from the literature to confirm the planetary nature of this system. We discuss the implications of our new mass and radius constraints in the context of known exoplanets with low incident fluxes, and we note that Kepler-177c may be a more massive analog to the currently known super-puffs given its core mass (3.8 ± 0.9 M⊙) and large gas-to-core ratio (2.8 ± 0.7). Our demonstrated infrared photometric performance opens up new avenues for ground-based observations of transiting exoplanets previously thought to be restricted to space-based investigation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Vissapragada, Shreyas0000-0003-2527-1475
Jontof-Hutter, Daniel0000-0002-6227-7510
Shporer, Avi0000-0002-1836-3120
Knutson, Heather A.0000-0002-0822-3095
Thorngren, Daniel0000-0002-5113-8558
Lee, Eve J.0000-0002-1228-9820
Chachan, Yayaati0000-0003-1728-8269
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.0000-0001-6205-9233
Nilsson, Ricky0000-0002-5408-4954
Tinyanont, Samaporn0000-0002-1481-4676
Vasisht, Gautam0000-0002-1871-6264
Wright, Jason T.0000-0001-6160-5888
Additional Information:© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 July 9; revised 2019 December 20; accepted 2019 December 24; published 2020 February 13. The authors thank the entire Palomar Observatory staff for their tireless support of our work. We additionally acknowledge Jessie Christiansen for helpful discussions on KOI-1783, B.J. Fulton for assistance with the California Kepler Survey data set, Erik Petigura for useful comments on time-correlated noise and joint RV–TTV modeling, Nicole Wallack for discussions on light-curve fitting, and Gudmundur Stefansson for conversations regarding diffuser-assisted photometry at Palomar and other observatories. Support for this program was provided by NSF Career grant 1555095 and by NASA Origins grant NNX14AD22G. This work was partially supported by funding from the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, which is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. This research has made use of the NASA Exoplanet Archive, which is operated by the California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Exoplanet Exploration Program. Facilities: Hale (WIRC - , PHARO) - , Kepler - , OHP:1.52 m (SOPHIE) - , PO:1.5 m (ROBO-AO) - , Keck:II (NIRC2) - , ADS - , Exoplanet Archive - . Software: photutils (Bradley et al. 2016), numpy (van der Walt et al. 2011), astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013; Collaboration et al. 2018), scipy (Jones et al. 2001), matplotlib (Hunter 2007), batman (Kreidberg 2015), emcee (Foreman-Mackey et al. 2013), corner (Foreman-Mackey 2016), PyKE (Still & Barclay 2012), Aladin Lite (Bonnarel et al. 2000; Boch & Fernique 2014).
Group:TAPIR, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Center for Exoplanets and Habitable WorldsUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Eberly College of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Exoplanet astronomy; Exoplanet dynamics; Ground-based astronomy; Exoplanet systems
Issue or Number:3
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Exoplanet astronomy (486); Exoplanet dynamics (490); Ground-based astronomy (686); Exoplanet systems (484)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200213-090300949
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Official Citation:Shreyas Vissapragada et al 2020 AJ 159 108
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101265
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Feb 2020 17:13
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:01

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