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Discovery of a Third Transiting Planet in the Kepler-47 Circumbinary System

Orosz, Jerome A. and Welsh, William F. and Haghighipour, Nader and Quarles, Billy and Short, Donald R. and Mills, Sean M. and Satyal, Suman and Torres, Guillermo and Agol, Eric and Fabrycky, Daniel C. and Jontof-Hutter, Daniel and Windmiller, Gur and Müller, Tobias W. A. and Hinse, Tobias C. and Cochran, William D. and Endl, Michael and Ford, Eric B. and Mazeh, Tsevi and Lissauer, Jack J. (2019) Discovery of a Third Transiting Planet in the Kepler-47 Circumbinary System. Astronomical Journal, 157 (5). Art. No. 174. ISSN 1538-3881. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ab0ca0.

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Of the nine confirmed transiting circumbinary planet systems, only Kepler-47 is known to contain more than one planet. Kepler-47 b (the "inner planet") has an orbital period of 49.5 days and a radius of about 3 R⊕. Kepler-47 c (the "outer planet") has an orbital period of 303.2 days and a radius of about 4.7 R⊕. Here we report the discovery of a third planet, Kepler-47 d (the "middle planet"), which has an orbital period of 187.4 days and a radius of about 7 R⊕. The presence of the middle planet allows us to place much better constraints on the masses of all three planets, where the 1σranges are less than 26 M⊕, between 7–43 M⊕, and between 2–5 M⊕ for the inner, middle, and outer planets, respectively. The middle and outer planets have low bulk densities, with ρ_(middle) < 0.68 g cm^(−3) and ρ_(outer) < 0.26 g cm^(−3) at the 1σ level. The two outer planets are "tightly packed," assuming the nominal masses, meaning no other planet could stably orbit between them. All of the orbits have low eccentricities and are nearly coplanar, disfavoring violent scattering scenarios and suggesting gentle migration in the protoplanetary disk.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Orosz, Jerome A.0000-0001-9647-2886
Welsh, William F.0000-0003-2381-5301
Haghighipour, Nader0000-0002-5234-6375
Mills, Sean M.0000-0002-4535-6241
Torres, Guillermo0000-0002-5286-0251
Agol, Eric0000-0002-0802-9145
Fabrycky, Daniel C.0000-0003-3750-0183
Jontof-Hutter, Daniel0000-0002-6227-7510
Hinse, Tobias C.0000-0001-8870-3146
Cochran, William D.0000-0001-9662-3496
Endl, Michael0000-0002-7714-6310
Ford, Eric B.0000-0001-6545-639X
Lissauer, Jack J.0000-0001-6513-1659
Additional Information:© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 March 24; revised 2019 March 1; accepted 2019 March 1; published 2019 April 16. Kepler was selected as the 10th mission of the Discovery Program. Funding for this mission is provided by the NASA Science Mission Directorate. The Kepler data were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Support for MAST for non-HST data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NXX09AF08G and by other grants and contracts. This work is based in part on observations obtained with the Hobby–Eberly Telescope, which is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, the Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. This research made use of data from the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey (APASS), funded by the Robert Martin Ayers Sciences Fund and NSF AST-1412587. This work presents results from the European Space Agency (ESA) space mission Gaia. Gaia data are being processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). Funding for the DPAC is provided by national institutions, particularly the institutions participating in the Gaia MultiLateral Agreement (MLA). The Gaia mission website is The Gaia archive website is Some of the simulations in this paper made use of the REBOUND code, which can be downloaded freely at J.A.O. and W.F.W. acknowledge support from the Kepler Participating Scientist Program via NASA grant NNX14AB91G and support from NSF grant AST-1617004. J.A.O., W.F.W., G.W., and B.Q. also gratefully acknowledge support from NASA via grant NNX13AI76G. D.C.F. acknowledges support from the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. D.C.F. and S.M.M. were supported by NASA through the Kepler Participating Scientist Program award NNX14AB87G. N.H. acknowledges support from the NASA ADAP program under grant NNX13AF20G, NASA PAST program grant NNX14AJ38G, and NASA XRP program under grant 80NSSC18K0519. T.C.H. acknowledges KASI research grant #2015-1-850-04. B.Q. gratefully acknowledges support by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Ames Research Center, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. G.T. acknowledges partial support for this work from NSF grant AST-1509375. E.B.F. acknowledges support from NASA Participating Scientists Program awards NNX12AF73G and NNX14AN76G, NASA ADAP program under grant NNX13AF20G, as well as the University of Florida and the Pennsylvania State University's Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds. The Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. J.J.L.'s work on this project was supported by NASA's Astrophysics Data Analysis Program under grant no. 16-ADAP16-0034. Finally, we are deeply grateful to John Hood Jr. for his generous support of exoplanet research at San Diego State University.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gaia Multilateral AgreementUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI)2015-1-850-04
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
University of FloridaUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Eberly College of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:binaries: eclipsing – planets and satellites: detection – planets and satellites: fundamental parameters – stars: fundamental parameters
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190418-095640481
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Jerome A. Orosz et al 2019 AJ 157 174
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94783
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Apr 2019 18:22
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:07

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