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Three Super-Earths Orbiting HD 7924

Fulton, Benjamin J. and Weiss, Lauren M. and Sinukoff, Evan and Isaacson, Howard and Howard, Andrew W. and Marcy, Geoffrey W. and Henry, Gregory W. and Holden, Bradford P. and Kibrick, Robert I. (2015) Three Super-Earths Orbiting HD 7924. Astrophysical Journal, 805 (2). Art. No. 175. ISSN 1538-4357.

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We report the discovery of two super-Earth-mass planets orbiting the nearby K0.5 dwarf HD 7924, which was previously known to host one small planet. The new companions have masses of 7.9 and 6.4 M_⨁, and orbital periods of 15.3 and 24.5 days. We perform a joint analysis of high-precision radial velocity data from Keck/HIRES and the new Automated Planet Finder Telescope (APF) to robustly detect three total planets in the system. We refine the ephemeris of the previously known planet using 5 yr of new Keck data and high-cadence observations over the last 1.3 yr with the APF. With this new ephemeris, we show that a previous transit search for the inner-most planet would have covered 70% of the predicted ingress or egress times. Photometric data collected over the last eight years using the Automated Photometric Telescope shows no evidence for transits of any of the planets, which would be detectable if the planets transit and their compositions are hydrogen-dominated. We detect a long-period signal that we interpret as the stellar magnetic activity cycle since it is strongly correlated with the Ca ii H and K activity index. We also detect two additional short-period signals that we attribute to rotationally modulated starspots and a one-month alias. The high-cadence APF data help to distinguish between the true orbital periods and aliases caused by the window function of the Keck data. The planets orbiting HD 7924 are a local example of the compact, multi-planet systems that the Kepler Mission found in great abundance.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Fulton, Benjamin J.0000-0003-3504-5316
Weiss, Lauren M.0000-0002-3725-3058
Sinukoff, Evan0000-0002-5658-0601
Isaacson, Howard0000-0002-0531-1073
Howard, Andrew W.0000-0001-8638-0320
Marcy, Geoffrey W.0000-0002-2909-0113
Henry, Gregory W.0000-0003-4155-8513
Holden, Bradford P.0000-0002-6153-3076
Additional Information:© 2015 American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 January 11. Accepted 2015 April 1. Published 2015 June 2. We are very grateful for the donations of the Levy family that helped facilitate the construction of the Levy spectrograph on APF. Without their support the APF would not be contributing to the discovery of planets like these. In their honor we informally name the HD 7924 system "The Levy Planetary System." We thank the many observers who contributed to the measurements reported here. We thank Kyle Lanclos, Matt Radovan, Will Deich, and the rest of the UCO Lick staff for their invaluable help shepherding, planning, and executing observations, in addition to writing the low-level software that made the automated APF observations possible. We thank Debra Fischer, Jason Wright, and John Johnson for their many nights of observing that contributed to the Keck data presented in this work. We gratefully acknowledge the efforts and dedication of the Keck Observatory staff, especially Scott Dahm, Greg Doppman, Hien Tran, and Grant Hill for support of HIRES and Greg Wirth for support of remote observing. We are grateful to the time assignment committees of the University of Hawaii, the University of California, and NASA for their generous allocations of observing time. Without their long-term commitment to RV monitoring, these planets would likely remain unknown. We acknowledge R. Paul Butler and S. S. Vogt for many years of contributing to the data presented here. A.W.H. acknowledges NASA grant NNX12AJ23G. L.M.W. gratefully acknowledges support from Ken and Gloria Levy. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant No. 2014184874. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. G.W.H. acknowledges support from NASA, NSF, Tennessee State University, and the State of Tennessee through its Centers of Excellence program. This research made use of the Exoplanet Orbit Database and the Exoplanet Data Explorer at This work made use of the SIMBAD database (operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France), NASA's Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services, and the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database (NStED). Finally, the authors wish to extend special thanks to those of Hawaiian ancestry on whose sacred mountain of Maunakea we are privileged to be guests. Without their generous hospitality, the Keck observations presented herein would not have been possible.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Kenneth and Gloria LevyUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship2014184874
Tennessee State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
State of Tennessee Centers of Excellence programUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:planetary systems; stars: individual (HD 7924)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170620-101149828
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Official Citation:Benjamin J. Fulton et al 2015 ApJ 805 175
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:78373
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:21 Jun 2017 19:48
Last Modified:03 Nov 2019 19:47

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