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Published June 10, 2015 | Published
Journal Article Open

A Comprehensive Characterization of the 70 Virgins Planetary System


An on-going effort in the characterization of exoplanetary systems is the accurate determination of host star properties. This effort extends to the relatively bright host stars of planets discovered with the radial velocity method. The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS) is aiding in these efforts as part of its observational campaign for exoplanet host stars. One of the first known systems is that of 70 Virginis, which harbors a jovian planet in an eccentric orbit. Here we present a complete characterization of this system with a compilation of TERMS photometry, spectroscopy, and interferometry. We provide fundamental properties of the host star through direct interferometric measurements of the radius (1.5% uncertainty) and through spectroscopic analysis. We combined 59 new Keck HIRES radial velocity measurements with the 169 previously published from the ELODIE, Hamilton, and HIRES spectrographs, to calculate a refined orbital solution and construct a transit ephemeris for the planet. These newly determined system characteristics are used to describe the Habitable Zone of the system with a discussion of possible additional planets and related stability simulations. Finally, we present 19 years of precision robotic photometry that constrain stellar activity and rule out central planetary transits for a Jupiter-radius planet at the 5σ level, with reduced significance down to an impact parameter of b = 0.95.

Additional Information

© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 January 6. Accepted 2015 April 15. Published 2015 June 8. We thank the anonymous referee for helpful comments which improved the manuscript. S.R.K and N.R.H. acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation through grant AST-1109662. T.S.B acknowledges support provided through NASA grant ADAP12-0172. The CHARA Array is funded by the National Science Foundation through NSF grants AST-0606958 and AST-0908253 and by Georgia State University through the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the W.M. Keck Foundation. G.W.H. acknowledges support from NASA, NSF, Tennessee State University, and the State of Tennessee through its Centers of Excellence program. Y.K.F. and J.T.W. acknowledge support from NASA Keck PI Data Awards, administered by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, including awards 2007B N095Hr, 2010A N147Hr, 2011A&B N141Hr, & 2012A N129Hr; NASA Origins of Solar Systems grant NNX09AB35G; NASA Astrobiology Institute grant NNA09DA76A; and the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds (which is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium). This research has made use of the Habitable Zone Gallery at hzgallery.org. This research has also made use of the SIMBAD and VIZIER Astronomical Databases, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France (http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/), and of NASA's Astrophysics Data System, of the Jean-Marie Mariotti Center SearchCal service (http://www.jmmc.fr/searchcal), co-developed by FIZEAU and LAOG/IPAG.

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Published - Kane_2015_ApJ_806_60.pdf


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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023