A super-Earth and two Neptunes orbiting the nearby Sun-like star 61 Virginis

Vogt, Steven S. and Wittenmyer, Robert A. and Butler, R. Paul and O'Toole, Simon and Henry, Gregory W. and Rivera, Eugenio J. and Meschiari, Stefano and Laughlin, Gregory and Tinney, C. G. and Jones, Hugh R. A. and Bailey, Jeremy and Carter, Brad D. and Batygin, Konstantin (2010) A super-Earth and two Neptunes orbiting the nearby Sun-like star 61 Virginis. The Astrophysical Journal, 708 (2). pp. 1366-1375. ISSN 0004-637X

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Abstract

We present precision radial velocity data that reveal a multiple exoplanet system orbiting the bright nearby G5V star 61 Virginis. Our 4.6 years of combined Keck/HIRES and Anglo-Australian Telescope precision radial velocities indicate the hitherto unknown presence of at least three planets orbiting this well-studied star. These planets are all on low-eccentricity orbits with periods of 4.2, 38.0, and 124.0 days, and projected masses (Msin i) of 5.1, 18.2, and 24.0 M ⊕, respectively. Test integrations of systems consistent with the radial velocity data suggest that the configuration is dynamically stable. Depending on the effectiveness of tidal dissipation within the inner planet, the inner two planets may have evolved into an eccentricity fixed-point configuration in which the apsidal lines of all three planets corotate. This conjecture can be tested with additional observations. We present a 16-year time series of photometric observations of 61 Virginis, which comprise 1194 individual measurements, and indicate that it has excellent photometric stability. No significant photometric variations at the periods of the proposed planets have been detected. This new system is the first known example of a G-type Sun-like star hosting a Super-Earth mass planet. It joins HD 75732 (55 Cnc), HD 69830, GJ 581, HD 40307, and GJ 876 in a growing group of exoplanet systems that have multiple planets orbiting with periods less than an Earth-year. The ubiquity of such systems portends that space-based transit-search missions such as Kepler and CoRoT will find many multi-transiting systems.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Depositing User: Dr Brad Carter
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2010 03:31
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2013 01:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: astrobiology; planetary systems; individual stars; 61 Virginis
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020108 Planetary Science (excl. Extraterrestrial Geology)
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020101 Astrobiology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1366
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/6554

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