Exoplanets and Astrobiology

    General
    Description

    The search for life in the universe has been driven by recent discoveries of planets around other stars (known as exoplanets), becoming one of the most active fields in modern astrophysics. The growing number of new exoplanets discovered in recent years and the recent advance on the study of their atmospheres are not only providing new valuable information about its physical properties, but also allowing to constrain the properties of the Solar system's planets within a more global context. The field is approaching to the important discovery of the first potentially habitable planets and encouraging more detailed studies of them. With the launching of upcoming related satellites like JWST, CHEOPS, TESS, ARIEL and PLATO, the exoplanets field faces a bright future.

    It is for this reason that this field is aid of, and at the same time promotes, the development of increasingly sensitive and stable instrumentation for both, ground-based telescopes and space missions. Our group is particularly prepared for these two fronts. On the one hand, during the last years we have developed observational and reduction techniques of exoplanet transits data for the ORM telescopes, ours being one of the most productive groups in the exploitation of GTC. On the other hand, all ESA space missions (present and future) related to exoplanets have one or more components of the project as CoIs. Within the frame of this project, we intend that IAC researchers maintain an advantageous position regarding the operation of OSIRIS and CanariCam, first light

    GTC's instruments, and participate in the construction, commissioning and operation of new instruments such as the high resolution optical spectrograph HORUS at GTC. The exploitation of the photometry and spectroscopy of transits with LIRIS at WHT is also one of our principal interests, especially in preparation for the installation in 2015 of EMIR on the GTC .

    To summarize, the project "Exoplanets and Astrobiology" will focus on these four action lines:

    1) The characterization of atmospheric and physical properties of exoplanets (GTC, WHT, ARIEL, HARPSN, CARMENES, ESPRESSO, etc. ..)

    2) The search and confirmation of exoplanets by transits techniques (CoRoT, Kepler, K2, CHEOPS, XO, LCOGT, W FC, DISH, etc. ..)

    3) The search and confirmation of exoplanet by radial velocity techniques (HARPSN, HORUS, LCOGT, SONG, CARMENES)

    4) Astrobiology

    Principal investigator
    Project staff
    1. Detection of He in the atmosphere of an exoplanet from the ground, published in Science
    2. Detection of a super-earth around Barnard star, published in Nature
    3. Detection of the first TESS planets, with several papers of high relevance
    4. Discovery of Na and Halpha features in the spectrum of KELT-20b with TNG
    5. Publication of the Handbook of Exoplanets, the most extensive work of reference in the field of exoplanets. The Handbook was edited by members of our group, and includes contributions by about 300 experts worldwide, including 12 members of IAC.

    Related publications

    • No random transits in CHEOPS observations of HD 139139

      Context. The star HD 139139 (a.k.a. `the Random Transiter') is a star that exhibited enigmatic transit-like features with no apparent periodicity in K2 data. The shallow depth of the events (~200 ppm - equivalent to transiting objects with radii of ~1.5 R⊕ in front of a Sun-like star) and their non-periodicity constitute a challenge for the

      Alonso, R. et al.

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      12
      2023
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    • TOI-1801 b: A temperate mini-Neptune around a young M0.5 dwarf

      We report the discovery, mass, and radius determination of TOI-1801 b, a temperate mini-Neptune around a young M dwarf. TOI-1801 b was observed in TESS sectors 22 and 49, and the alert that this was a TESS planet candidate with a period of 21.3 days went out in April 2020. However, ground-based follow-up observations, including seeing-limited

      Goffo, E. et al.

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      12
      2023
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    • Planetary companions orbiting the M dwarfs GJ 724 and GJ 3988. A CARMENES and IRD collaboration

      We report the discovery of two exoplanets around the M dwarfs GJ 724 and GJ 3988 using the radial velocity (RV) method. We obtained a total of 153 3.5 m Calar Alto/CARMENES spectra for both targets and measured their RVs and activity indicators. We also added archival ESO/HARPS data for GJ 724 and infrared RV measurements from Subaru/IRD for GJ

      Gorrini, P. et al.

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      12
      2023
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    • Photometric follow-up of the 20 Myr old multi-planet host star V1298 Tau with CHEOPS and ground-based telescopes

      Context. The 20 Myr old star V1298 Tau hosts at least four planets. Since its discovery, this system has been a target of intensive photometric and spectroscopic monitoring. To date, the characterisation of its architecture and planets' fundamental properties has been very challenging. Aims: The determination of the orbital ephemeris of the

      Damasso, M. et al.

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      12
      2023
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      1
    • Evidence for Low-level Dynamical Excitation in Near-resonant Exoplanet Systems

      The geometries of near-resonant planetary systems offer a relatively pristine window into the initial conditions of exoplanet systems. Given that near-resonant systems have likely experienced minimal dynamical disruptions, the spin-orbit orientations of these systems inform the typical outcomes of quiescent planet formation, as well as the

      Rice, Malena et al.

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      12
      2023
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    • Stellar spectral-type (mass) dependence of the dearth of close-in planets around fast-rotating stars. Architecture of Kepler confirmed single-exoplanet systems compared to star-planet evolution models

      In 2013 a dearth of close-in planets around fast-rotating host stars was found using statistical tests on Kepler data. The addition of more Kepler and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) systems in 2022 filled this region of the diagram of stellar rotation period (Prot) versus the planet orbital period (Porb). We revisited the Prot

      García, R. A. et al.

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      11
      2023
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    • A resonant sextuplet of sub-Neptunes transiting the bright star HD 110067

      Planets with radii between that of the Earth and Neptune (hereafter referred to as `sub-Neptunes') are found in close-in orbits around more than half of all Sun-like stars1,2. However, their composition, formation and evolution remain poorly understood3. The study of multiplanetary systems offers an opportunity to investigate the outcomes of planet

      Winn, J. N. et al.

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      11
      2023
      Citations
      2
    • The GAPS programme at TNG. XLVIII. The unusual formation history of V1298 Tau

      Context. Observational data from space- and ground-based campaigns have revealed that the 10-30 Ma old V1298Tau star hosts a compact and massive system of four planets. Mass estimates are available for the two outer giant planets and point to unexpectedly high densities for their young ages. Aims: We investigate the formation of these two outermost

      Turrini, D. et al.

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      11
      2023
      Citations
      2
    • Workshop Summary: Exoplanet Orbits and Dynamics

      Exoplanetary systems show a wide variety of architectures, which can be explained by different formation and dynamical evolution processes. Precise orbital monitoring is mandatory to accurately constrain their orbital and dynamical parameters. Although major observational and theoretical advances have been made in understanding the architecture and

      Maire, Anne-Lise et al.

      Advertised on:

      10
      2023
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      0
    • Measuring small-scale magnetic fields of 44 M dwarfs from SPIRou spectra with ZeeTurbo

      We present the results of an analysis aimed at probing the small-scale magnetic fields of M dwarfs observed with SPIRou, the nIR high-resolution spectro-polarimeter installed at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, in the context of the SPIRou Legacy Survey. Our analysis relies on high-resolution median spectra built from several tens of spectra

      Cristofari, P. I. et al.

      Advertised on:

      12
      2023
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    • Refining the properties of the TOI-178 system with CHEOPS and TESS

      Context. The TOI-178 system consists of a nearby late K-dwarf transited by six planets in the super-Earth to mini-Neptune regime, with radii ranging from ~1.1 to 2.9 R⊕ and orbital periods between 1.9 and 20.7 days. All planets but the innermost one form a chain of Laplace resonances. Mass estimates derived from a preliminary radial velocity (RV)

      Delrez, L. et al.

      Advertised on:

      10
      2023
      Citations
      1
    • A compact multi-planet system transiting HIP 29442 (TOI-469) discovered by TESS and ESPRESSO. Radial velocities lead to the detection of transits with low signal-to-noise ratio

      Context. One of the goals of the Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO) Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) consortium is the precise characterisation of a selected sample of planetary systems discovered by TESS. One such target is the K0V star HIP 29442 (TOI-469), already known to host a validated

      Damasso, M. et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2023
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    • TOI-199 b: A Well-characterized 100 day Transiting Warm Giant Planet with TTVs Seen from Antarctica

      We present the spectroscopic confirmation and precise mass measurement of the warm giant planet TOI-199 b. This planet was first identified in TESS photometry and confirmed using ground-based photometry from ASTEP in Antarctica including a full 6.5 hr long transit, PEST, Hazelwood, and LCO; space photometry from NEOSSat; and radial velocities (RVs)

      Hobson, Melissa J. et al.

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      11
      2023
      Citations
      1
    • A super-massive Neptune-sized planet

      Neptune-sized planets exhibit a wide range of compositions and densities, depending on factors related to their formation and evolution history, such as the distance from their host stars and atmospheric escape processes. They can vary from relatively low-density planets with thick hydrogen-helium atmospheres1,2 to higher-density planets with a

      Naponiello, Luca et al.

      Advertised on:

      10
      2023
      Citations
      1
    • GJ 806 (TOI-4481): A bright nearby multi-planetary system with a transiting hot low-density super-Earth

      One of the main scientific goals of the TESS mission is the discovery of transiting small planets around the closest and brightest stars in the sky. Here, using data from the CARMENES, MAROON-X, and HIRES spectrographs together with TESS, we report the discovery and mass determination of aplanetary system around the M1.5 V star GJ 806 (TOI-4481)

      Palle, E. et al.

      Advertised on:

      10
      2023
      Citations
      3
    • TOI 4201 b and TOI 5344 b: Discovery of Two Transiting Giant Planets around M-dwarf Stars and Revised Parameters for Three Others

      We present the discovery from the TESS mission of two giant planets transiting M-dwarf stars: TOI 4201 b and TOI 5344 b. We also provide precise radial velocity measurements and updated system parameters for three other M dwarfs with transiting giant planets: TOI 519, TOI 3629, and TOI 3714. We measure planetary masses of 0.525 ± 0.064 M J, 0.243 ±

      Hartman, J. D. et al.

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      10
      2023
      Citations
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    • Detection of Carbon Monoxide in the Atmosphere of WASP-39b Applying Standard Cross-correlation Techniques to JWST NIRSpec G395H Data

      Carbon monoxide was recently reported in the atmosphere of the hot Jupiter WASP-39b using the NIRSpec PRISM transit observation of this planet, collected as part of the JWST Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program. This detection, however, could not be confidently confirmed in the initial analysis of the higher-resolution

      Esparza-Borges, Emma et al.

      Advertised on:

      9
      2023
      Citations
      3
    • Two super-Earths at the edge of the habitable zone of the nearby M dwarf TOI-2095

      The main scientific goal of TESS is to find planets smaller than Neptune around stars that are bright enough to allow for further characterization studies. Given our current instrumentation and detection biases, M dwarfs are prime targets in the search for small planets that are in (or near) the habitable zone of their host star. In this work, we

      Murgas, F. et al.

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      9
      2023
      Citations
      3
    • A Massive Hot Jupiter Orbiting a Metal-rich Early M Star Discovered in the TESS Full-frame Images

      Observations and statistical studies have shown that giant planets are rare around M dwarfs compared with Sun-like stars. The formation mechanism of these extreme systems has remained under debate for decades. With the help of the TESS mission and ground-based follow-up observations, we report the discovery of TOI-4201b, the most massive and

      Gan, Tianjun et al.

      Advertised on:

      10
      2023
      Citations
      3
    • A 5M<SUB>Jup</SUB> non-transiting coplanar circumbinary planet around Kepler-1660AB

      Over a dozen transiting circumbinary planets have been discovered around eclipsing binaries. Transit detections are biased towards aligned planet and binary orbits, and indeed all of the known planets have mutual inclinations less than 4.5○. One path to discovering circumbinary planets with misaligned orbits is through eclipse timing variations

      Goldberg, Max et al.

      Advertised on:

      11
      2023
      Citations
      1

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