Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published August 10, 2015 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

The Five Planets in the Kepler-296 Binary System All Orbit the Primary: A Statistical and Analytical Analysis


Kepler-296 is a binary star system with two M-dwarf components separated by 0 2. Five transiting planets have been confirmed to be associated with the Kepler-296 system; given the evidence to date, however, the planets could in principle orbit either star. This ambiguity has made it difficult to constrain both the orbital and physical properties of the planets. Using both statistical and analytical arguments, this paper shows that all five planets are highly likely to orbit the primary star in this system. We performed a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo simulation using a five transiting planet model, leaving the stellar density and dilution with uniform priors. Using importance sampling, we compared the model probabilities under the priors of the planets orbiting either the brighter or the fainter component of the binary. A model where the planets orbit the brighter component, Kepler-296A, is strongly preferred by the data. Combined with our assertion that all five planets orbit the same star, the two outer planets in the system, Kepler-296 Ae and Kepler-296 Af, have radii of 1.53 ± 0.26 and 1.80 ± 0.31 R⊕, respectively, and receive incident stellar fluxes of 1.40 ± 0.23 and 0.62 ± 0.10 times the incident flux the Earth receives from the Sun. This level of irradiation places both planets within or close to the circumstellar habitable zone of their parent star.

Additional Information

© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 March 7; accepted 2015 May 7; published 2015 August 4. This paper includes data collected by the Kepler mission. Funding for the Kepler mission is provided by the NASA Science Mission Directorate. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who have worked on the Kepler pipeline over the many years of the Kepler mission. Some Kepler data presented in this paper were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). 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 NNX09AF08G and by other grants and contracts. This research has made use of the NASA Exoplanet Archive, which is operated by the California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Exoplanet Exploration Program. This research made use of APLpy, an open-source plotting package for Python hosted at http://aplpy.github.com. This work was supported by a NASA Keck PI Data Award, administered by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory from telescope time allocated to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through the agency's scientific partnership with the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. E.V.Q. is supported by a NASA Senior Fellowship at the Ames Research Center, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. B.T.M. is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE1144469. D.H. acknowledges support by the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (project number DE140101364) and support by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant NNX14AB92G issued through the Kepler Participating Scientist Program.

Attached Files

Submitted - 1505.01845v1.pdf

Published - Barclay_2015.pdf


Files (2.3 MB)
Name Size Download all
980.2 kB Preview Download
1.3 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023