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A 2 R_⊕ Planet Orbiting the Bright Nearby K Dwarf Wolf 503

Peterson, Merrin S. and Benneke, Björn and David, Trevor J. and Dressing, Courtney D. and Ciardi, David and Crossfield, Ian J. M. and Schlieder, Joshua E. and Petigura, Erik A. and Mamajek, Eric E. and Christiansen, Jessie L. and Quinn, Sam N. and Fulton, Benjamin J. and Howard, Andrew W. and Sinukoff, Evan and Beichman, Charles and Latham, David W. and Yu, Liang and Arango, Nicole and Shporer, Avi and Henning, Thomas and Huang, Chelsea X. and Kosiarek, Molly R. and Dittmann, Jason and Isaacson, Howard (2018) A 2 R_⊕ Planet Orbiting the Bright Nearby K Dwarf Wolf 503. Astronomical Journal, 156 (5). Art. No. 188. ISSN 1538-3881. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aaddfe.

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Since its launch in 2009, the Kepler telescope has found thousands of planets with radii between that of Earth and Neptune. Recent studies of the distribution of these planets have revealed a gap in the population near 1.5–2.0 R⊕, informally dividing these planets into "super-Earths" and "sub-Neptunes." The origin of this division is difficult to investigate directly because the majority of planets found by Kepler orbit distant, dim stars and are not amenable to radial velocity follow-up or transit spectroscopy, making bulk density and atmospheric measurements difficult. Here, we present the discovery and validation of a newly found 2.03^(+0.08)_(-0.07) R⊕ planet in direct proximity to the radius gap, orbiting the bright (J = 8.32 mag), nearby (D = 44.5 pc) high proper motion K3.5V star Wolf 503 (EPIC 212779563). We determine the possibility of a companion star and false positive detection to be extremely low using both archival images and high-contrast adaptive optics images from the Palomar observatory. The brightness of the host star makes Wolf 503b a prime target for prompt radial velocity follow-up, and with the small stellar radius (0.690 ± 0.025R⊙), it is also an excellent target for HST transit spectroscopy and detailed atmospheric characterization with JWST. With its measured radius near the gap in the planet radius and occurrence rate distribution, Wolf 503b offers a key opportunity to better understand the origin of this radius gap as well as the nature of the intriguing populations of "super-Earths" and "sub-Neptunes" as a whole.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Benneke, Björn0000-0001-5578-1498
David, Trevor J.0000-0001-6534-6246
Dressing, Courtney D.0000-0001-8189-0233
Ciardi, David0000-0002-5741-3047
Crossfield, Ian J. M.0000-0002-1835-1891
Schlieder, Joshua E.0000-0001-5347-7062
Petigura, Erik A.0000-0003-0967-2893
Mamajek, Eric E.0000-0003-2008-1488
Christiansen, Jessie L.0000-0002-8035-4778
Quinn, Sam N.0000-0002-8964-8377
Fulton, Benjamin J.0000-0003-3504-5316
Howard, Andrew W.0000-0001-8638-0320
Sinukoff, Evan0000-0002-5658-0601
Beichman, Charles0000-0002-5627-5471
Latham, David W.0000-0001-9911-7388
Yu, Liang0000-0003-1667-5427
Shporer, Avi0000-0002-1836-3120
Huang, Chelsea X.0000-0003-0918-7484
Kosiarek, Molly R.0000-0002-6115-4359
Isaacson, Howard0000-0002-0531-1073
Alternate Title:A 2 Earth Radius Planet Orbiting the Bright Nearby K-Dwarf Wolf 503
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 June 8; revised 2018 August 28; accepted 2018 August 28; published 2018 October. We acknowledge support from NASA through K2GO grant 80NSSC18K0308 and from NSF through grant AST-1824644. This paper includes data collected by the Kepler mission. Funding for the Kepler mission is provided by the NASA Science Mission directorate. Some of the data presented in this paper were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS526555. Support for MAST for nonHST data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NNX13AC07G and by other grants and contracts. This research has made use of the Exoplanet Follow-up Observing Program (ExoFOP), which is operated by the California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. E.E.M. and T.J.D. acknowledge support from the JPL Exoplanet Science Initiative. E.E.M. acknowledges support from the NASA NExSS program.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:methods: observational – planets and satellites: atmospheres – planets and satellites: gaseous planets – planets and satellites: individual (Wolf 503b) – planets and satellites: physical evolution
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180817-160156081
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Merrin S. Peterson et al 2018 AJ 156 188
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:88943
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:20 Aug 2018 14:39
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:31

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