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Direct confirmation of the radial-velocity planet β Pictoris c

Nowak, M. and Lacour, S. and Lagrange, A.-M. and Rubini, P. and Wang, J. and Stolker, T. and Abuter, R. and Amorim, A. and Asensio-Torres, R. and Bauböck, M. and Benisty, M. and Berger, J. P. and Beust, H. and Blunt, S. and Boccaletti, A. and Bonnefoy, M. and Bonnet, H. and Brandner, W. and Cantalloube, F. and Charnay, B. and Choquet, E. and Christiaens, V. and Clénet, Y. and Coudé du Foresto, V. and Cridland, A. and de Zeeuw, P. T. and Dembet, R. and Dexter, J. and Drescher, A. and Duvert, G. and Eckart, A. and Eisenhauer, F. and Gao, F. and Garcia, P. and Garcia Lopez, R. and Gardner, T. and Gendron, E. and Genzel, R. and Gillessen, S. and Girard, J. and Grandjean, A. and Haubois, X. and Heißel, G. and Henning, T. and Hinkley, S. and Hippler, S. and Horrobin, M. and Houllé, M. and Hubert, Z. and Jiménez-Rosales, A. and Jocou, L. and Kammerer, J. and Kervella, P. and Keppler, M. and Kreidberg, L. and Kulikauskas, M. and Lapeyrère, V. and Le Bouquin, J.-B. and Léna, P. and Mérand, A. and Maire, A.-L. and Mollière, P. and Monnier, J. D. and Mouillet, D. and Müller, A. and Nasedkin, E. and Ott, T. and Otten, G. and Paumard, T. and Paladini, C. and Perraut, K. and Perrin, G. and Pueyo, L. and Pfuhl, O. and Rameau, J. and Rodet, L. and Rodríguez-Coira, G. and Rousset, G. and Scheithauer, S. and Shangguan, J. and Stadler, J. and Straub, O. and Straubmeier, C. and Sturm, E. and Tacconi, L. J. and van Dishoeck, E. F. and Vigan, A. and Vincent, F. and von Fellenberg, S. D. and Ward-Duong, K. and Widmann, F. and Wieprecht, E. and Wiezorrek, E. and Woillez, J. (2020) Direct confirmation of the radial-velocity planet β Pictoris c. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 642 . Art. No. L2. ISSN 0004-6361.

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Context. Methods used to detect giant exoplanets can be broadly divided into two categories: indirect and direct. Indirect methods are more sensitive to planets with a small orbital period, whereas direct detection is more sensitive to planets orbiting at a large distance from their host star. This dichotomy makes it difficult to combine the two techniques on a single target at once. Aims. Simultaneous measurements made by direct and indirect techniques offer the possibility of determining the mass and luminosity of planets and a method of testing formation models. Here, we aim to show how long-baseline interferometric observations guided by radial-velocity can be used in such a way. Methods. We observed the recently-discovered giant planet β Pictoris c with GRAVITY, mounted on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. Results. This study constitutes the first direct confirmation of a planet discovered through radial velocity. We find that the planet has a temperature of T = 1250 ± 50 K and a dynamical mass of M = 8.2 ± 0.8 M_(Jup). At 18.5 ± 2.5 Myr, this puts β Pic c close to a ‘hot start’ track, which is usually associated with formation via disk instability. Conversely, the planet orbits at a distance of 2.7 au, which is too close for disk instability to occur. The low apparent magnitude (M_K = 14.3 ± 0.1) favours a core accretion scenario. Conclusions. We suggest that this apparent contradiction is a sign of hot core accretion, for example, due to the mass of the planetary core or the existence of a high-temperature accretion shock during formation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Nowak, M.0000-0001-6923-1315
Wang, J.0000-0003-0774-6502
Blunt, S.0000-0002-3199-2888
Additional Information:© ESO 2020. Received 27 July 2020 / Accepted 26 August 2020. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No. 639248 (LITHIUM), 757561 (HiRISE) and 832428 (Origins). A.A. and P.G. were supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, with grants reference UIDB/00099/2020 and SFRH/BSAB/142940/2018.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)639248
European Research Council (ERC)757561
European Research Council (ERC)832428
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)UIDB/00099/2020
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)SFRH/BSAB/142940/2018
Subject Keywords:planets and satellites: detection – planets and satellites: formation – techniques: interferometric
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201002-155842878
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Direct confirmation of the radial-velocity planet β Pictoris c M. Nowak, S. Lacour, A.-M. Lagrange, P. Rubini, J. Wang, T. Stolker, R. Abuter, A. Amorim, R. Asensio-Torres, M. Bauböck, M. Benisty, J. P. Berger, H. Beust, S. Blunt, A. Boccaletti, M. Bonnefoy, H. Bonnet, W. Brandner, F. Cantalloube, B. Charnay, E. Choquet, V. Christiaens, Y. Clénet, V. Coudé du Foresto, A. Cridland, P. T. de Zeeuw, R. Dembet, J. Dexter, A. Drescher, G. Duvert, A. Eckart, F. Eisenhauer, F. Gao, P. Garcia, R. Garcia Lopez, T. Gardner, E. Gendron, R. Genzel, S. Gillessen, J. Girard, A. Grandjean, X. Haubois, G. Heißel, T. Henning, S. Hinkley, S. Hippler, M. Horrobin, M. Houllé, Z. Hubert, A. Jiménez-Rosales, L. Jocou, J. Kammerer, P. Kervella, M. Keppler, L. Kreidberg, M. Kulikauskas, V. Lapeyrère, J.-B. Le Bouquin, P. Léna, A. Mérand, A.-L. Maire, P. Mollière, J. D. Monnier, D. Mouillet, A. Müller, E. Nasedkin, T. Ott, G. Otten, T. Paumard, C. Paladini, K. Perraut, G. Perrin, L. Pueyo, O. Pfuhl, J. Rameau, L. Rodet, G. Rodríguez-Coira, G. Rousset, S. Scheithauer, J. Shangguan, J. Stadler, O. Straub, C. Straubmeier, E. Sturm, L. J. Tacconi, E. F. van Dishoeck, A. Vigan, F. Vincent, S. D. von Fellenberg, K. Ward-Duong, F. Widmann, E. Wieprecht, E. Wiezorrek, J. Woillez and the GRAVITY Collaboration A&A, 642 (2020) L2 DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105775
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Oct 2020 14:19
Last Modified:05 Oct 2020 14:19

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