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A Pair of TESS Planets Spanning the Radius Valley around the Nearby Mid-M Dwarf LTT 3780

R. Cloutier, J. D. Eastman, J. E. Rodriguez, N. Astudillo-Defru, X. Bonfils, A. Mortier, C. A. Watson, M. Stalport, M. Pinamonti, F. Lienhard, A. Harutyunyan, M. Damasso, D. W. Latham, K. A. Collins, R. Massey, J. M. Irwin, J. G. Winters, D. Charbonneau, C. Ziegler, E. C. Matthews, I. J. M. Crossfield, L. Kreidberg, S. N. Quinn, G. R. Ricker, R. K. Vanderspek, S. Seager, J. N. Winn, J. M. Jenkins, M. Vezie, S. Udry, J. D. Twicken, P. Tenenbaum, A. Sozzetti, D. Ségransan, J. E. Schlieder, D. Sasselov, N. C. Santos, K. Rice, E. Poretti, G. Piotto, D. F. Phillips, F. Pepe, E. Molinari, L. Mignon, G. Micela, C. Melo, J. R. de Medeiros, M. Mayor, R. A. Matson, A. F. Martinez Fiorenziano, A. W. Mann, A. Magazzú, C. Lovis, M. López-Morales, E. Lopez, J. J. Lissauer, S. Lépine, N. M. Law, J. F. Kielkopf, J. A. Johnson, E. L. N. Jensen, S. B. Howell, E. J. Gonzales, A. Ghedina, T. Forveille, P. Figueira, X. Dumusque, C. D. Dressing, R. Doyon, R. F. Díaz, L. Di Fabrizio, X. Delfosse, R. Cosentino, D. M. Conti, K. I. Collins, A. C. Cameron, D. Ciardi, D. A. Caldwell, C. J. Burke, L. A. Buchhave, C. Briceño, P. T. Boyd, F. Bouchy, C. Beichman, E. Artigau, J. -M. Almenara

We present the confirmation of two new planets transiting the nearby mid-M dwarf LTT 3780 (TIC 36724087, TOI-732, V = 13.07, Ks = 8.204, Rs = 0.374 R, Ms = 0.401 M, d = 22 pc). The two planet candidates are identified in a single Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite sector and validated with reconnaissance spectroscopy, ground-based photometric follow-up, and high-resolution imaging. With measured orbital periods of Pb = 0.77, Pc = 12.25 days and sizes rp,b = 1.33 ± 0.07, rp,c = 2.30 ± 0.16 R, the two planets span the radius valley in period-radius space around low-mass stars, thus making the system a laboratory to test competing theories of the emergence of the radius valley in that stellar mass regime. By combining 63 precise radial velocity measurements from the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) and HARPS-N, we measure planet masses of mp,b=2.62+0.48−0.46 and mp,c=8.6+1.6−1.3 M, which indicates that LTT 3780b has a bulk composition consistent with being Earth-like, while LTT 3780c likely hosts an extended H/He envelope. We show that the recovered planetary masses are consistent with predictions from both photoevaporation and core-powered mass-loss models. The brightness and small size of LTT 3780, along with the measured planetary parameters, render LTT 3780b and c as accessible targets for atmospheric characterization of planets within the same planetary system and spanning the radius valley.

Radial velocity; M dwarf stars; Exoplanet systems; Transit photometry; UAT:1709; UAT:982; UAT:1332; UAT:484; Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics

The Astronomical Journal
Volume 160, Number 1
2020 July

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia