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A quarter century of spectroscopic monitoring of the nearby M dwarf Gl 514. A super-Earth on an eccentric orbit moving in and out of the habitable zone

M. Damasso, M. Perger, J. -M. Almenara, D. Nardiello, M. Pérez-Torres, A. Sozzetti, N. Hara, A. Quirrenbach, X. Bonfils, M. R. Zapatero Osorio, N. Astudillo-Defru, J. I. González Hernández, A. Suárez Mascareño, P. J. Amado, T. Forveille, J. Lillo-Box, Y. Alibert, J. A. Caballero, C. Cifuentes, X. Delfosse, P. Figueira, D. Galadí-Enríquez, A. Hatzes, T. Henning, A. Kaminski, M. Mayor, F. Murgas, D. Montes, M. Pinamonti, A. Reiners, I. Ribas, V. J. Sánchez Béjar, A. Schweitzer, M. Zechmeister

Context. Statistical analyses based on Kepler data show that most of the early-type M dwarfs host multi-planet systems consisting of Earth- to sub-Neptune-sized planets with orbital periods of up to ~250 days, and that at least one such planet is likely located within the habitable zone. M dwarfs are therefore primary targets to search for potentially habitable planets in the solar neighbourhood.
Aims. We investigated the presence of planetary companions around the nearby (7.6 pc) and bright (V = 9 mag) early-type M dwarf Gl 514, analysing 540 radial velocities collected over nearly 25 yr with the HIRES, HARPS, and CARMENES spectrographs.
Methods. The data are affected by time-correlated signals at the level of 2–3 m s−1 due to stellar activity, which we filtered out, testing three different models based on Gaussian process regression. As a sanity cross-check, we repeated the analyses using HARPS radial velocities extracted with three different algorithms. We used HIRES radial velocities and Hipparcos-Gaia astrometry to put constraints on the presence of long-period companions, and we analysed TESS photometric data.
Results. We find strong evidence that Gl 514 hosts a super-Earth on a likely eccentric orbit, residing in the conservative habitable zone for nearly 34% of its orbital period. The planet Gl 514b has minimum mass mb sin ib = 5.2 ± 0.9 M, orbital period Pb = 140.43 ± 0.41 days, and eccentricity eb = 0.45−0.14+0.15. No evidence for transits is found in the TESS light curve. There is no evidence for a longer period companion in the radial velocities and, based on astrometry, we can rule out a ~0.2 MJup planet at a distance of ~3–10 astronomical units, and massive giant planets and brown dwarfs out to several tens of astronomical units. We discuss the possible presence of a second low-mass companion at a shorter distance from the host than Gl 514 b.
Conclusions. Gl 514 b represents an interesting science case for studying the habitability of planets on eccentric orbits. We advocate for additional spectroscopic follow-up to get more accurate and precise planetary parameters. Further follow-up is also needed to investigate the presence of additional planetary signals of less than 1 m s−1.

techniques: radial velocities / techniques: photometric / planetary systems / stars: activity / stars: individual: Gl 514

Tables A.1–A.4 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

★★ Based on HIRES, CARMENES and HARPS observations, the latter carried out during programs 072.C-0488, 183.C-0437, and 191.C-0873.

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 666, Article Number A187, Number of pages 33
2022 October

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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