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A Super-Earth and Two Neptunes Orbiting the Nearby Sun-like Star 61 Virginis

Vogt, Steven S. and Wittenmyer, Robert A. and Butler, R. Paul and O'Toole, Simon and Henry, George W. and Rivera, Eugenio J. and Meschiari, Stefano and Laughlin, Gregory and Tinney, C. G. and Jones, Hugh R. A. and Bailey, Jeremy and Carter, Brad D. and Batygin, Konstantin (2010) A Super-Earth and Two Neptunes Orbiting the Nearby Sun-like Star 61 Virginis. Astrophysical Journal, 708 (2). pp. 1366-1375. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present precision radial velocity data that reveal a multiple exoplanet system orbiting the bright nearby G5V star 61 Virginis. Our 4.6 years of combined Keck/HIRES and Anglo-Australian Telescope precision radial velocities indicate the hitherto unknown presence of at least three planets orbiting this well-studied star. These planets are all on low-eccentricity orbits with periods of 4.2, 38.0, and 124.0 days, and projected masses (Msin i) of 5.1, 18.2, and 24.0 M_⊕, respectively. Test integrations of systems consistent with the radial velocity data suggest that the configuration is dynamically stable. Depending on the effectiveness of tidal dissipation within the inner planet, the inner two planets may have evolved into an eccentricity fixed-point configuration in which the apsidal lines of all three planets corotate. This conjecture can be tested with additional observations. We present a 16-year time series of photometric observations of 61 Virginis, which comprise 1194 individual measurements, and indicate that it has excellent photometric stability. No significant photometric variations at the periods of the proposed planets have been detected. This new system is the first known example of a G-type Sun-like star hosting a Super-Earth mass planet. It joins HD 75732 (55 Cnc), HD 69830, GJ 581, HD 40307, and GJ 876 in a growing group of exoplanet systems that have multiple planets orbiting with periods less than an Earth-year. The ubiquity of such systems portends that space-based transit-search missions such as Kepler and CoRoT will find many multi-transiting systems.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Wittenmyer, Robert A.0000-0001-9957-9304
Henry, George W.0000-0003-4155-8513
Laughlin, Gregory0000-0002-3253-2621
Tinney, C. G.0000-0002-7595-0970
Batygin, Konstantin0000-0002-7094-7908
Additional Information:© 2010 American Astronomical Society. Print publication: Issue 2 (2010 January 10); received 2009 September 4; accepted for publication 2009 November 17; published 2009 December 22. We gratefully acknowledge the major contributions of fellow members of our previous California-Carnegie Exoplanet team, Geoff Marcy, Jason Wright, Debra Fischer, and Katie Peek, in helping to obtain the radial velocities presented in this paper. S.S.V. gratefully acknowledges support from NSF grant AST-0307493. R.P.B. gratefully acknowledges support from NASA OSS Grant NNX07AR40G, theNASAKeck PI program, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington. G.L. acknowledges support from NSF AST-0449986. G.W.H. acknowledges support from NASA, NSF, Tennessee State University, and the state of Tennessee through its Centers of Excellence program. The work herein is based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology, and we thank the UC-Keck and NASA-Keck Time Assignment Committees for their support. We gratefully acknowledge the UK and Australian government support of the AAT through their PPARC, STFC, DETYA, and DIISR funding. C.G.T. and H.R.A.J. acknowledge support from STFC grant PP/C000552/1, while C.G.T. acknowledges support from ARC Grant DP0774000. Travel support to the AAT has been generously provided by the Anglo-Australian Observatory (to C.G.T., B.D.C., and J.B.). We are grateful for the extraordinary support we have received from the AAT technical staff—E. Penny, R. Paterson, D. Stafford, F. Freeman, S. Lee, J. Pogson, S. James, J. Stevenson, K. Fiegert, and W. Campbell. We also wish to extend our special thanks to those ofHawaiian ancestry on whose sacred mountain of Mauna Kea we are privileged to be guests. Without their generous hospitality, the Keck observations presented herein would not have been possible. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. Facilities: AAT (UCLES) Keck (HIRES).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Carnegie Institution of WashingtonUNSPECIFIED
Tennessee State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
State of Tennessee Centers of Excellence programUNSPECIFIED
Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (Australia)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (Australia)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)PP/C000552/1
Australian Research CouncilDP0774000
Anglo-Australian ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:astrobiology; planetary systems; stars: individual (61 Vir)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100115-111944217
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Official Citation:A Super-Earth and Two Neptunes Orbiting the Nearby Sun-like Star 61 Virginis Steven S. Vogt, Robert A. Wittenmyer, R. Paul Butler, Simon O'Toole, Gregory W. Henry, Eugenio J. Rivera, Stefano Meschiari, Gregory Laughlin, C. G. Tinney, Hugh R. A. Jones, Jeremy Bailey, Brad D. Carter, and Konstantin Batygin 2010 ApJ 708 1366-1375 doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1366
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17197
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:19 Jan 2010 17:28
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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