Kepler-10c: a 2.2 earth radius transiting planet in a multiple system

Fressin, François and Torres, Guillermo and Desert, Jean Michel and Charbonneau, David and Batalha, Natalie M. and Fortney, Jonathan J. and Rowe, Jason F. and Allen, Christopher and Borucki, William J. and Brown, Timothy M. and Bryson, Stephen T. and Ciardi, David R. and Holman, Matthew J. and Latham, David W. and Ragozzine, Darin and Cochran, William D. and Sasselov, Dimitar D. and Fabrycky, Daniel C. and Henze, Christopher E. and Jenkins, Jon M. and Kinemuchi, Karen and Lissauer, Jack J. and Still, Martin and Tenenbaum, Peter and Uddin, Kamal and Koch, David G. and Deming, Drake and Dunham, Edward W. and Gautier, Thomas N. and Gilliland, Ronald L. and Howell, Steve B. and Knutson, Heather and Marcy, Geoffrey W. (2011) Kepler-10c: a 2.2 earth radius transiting planet in a multiple system. Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series, 197 (1). ISSN 0067-0049

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Abstract: The Kepler mission has recently announced the discovery of Kepler-10b, the smallest exoplanet discovered to date and the first rocky planet found by the spacecraft. A second, 45 day period transit-like signal present in the photometry from the first eight months of data could not be confirmed as being caused by a planet at the time of that announcement. Here we apply the light curve modeling technique known as BLENDER to explore the possibility that the signal might be due to an astrophysical false positive (blend). To aid in this analysis we report the observation of two transits with the Spitzer Space Telescope at 4.5μm. When combined, they yield a transit depth of 344 ± 85ppm that is consistent with the depth in the Kepler passband (376 ± 9ppm, ignoring limb darkening), which rules out blends with an eclipsing binary of a significantly different color than the target. Using these observations along with other constraints from high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, we are able to exclude the vast majority of possible false positives. We assess the likelihood of the remaining blends, and arrive conservatively at a false alarm rate of 1.6 × 10-5 that is small enough to validate the candidate as a planet (designated Kepler-10c) with a very high level of confidence. The radius of this object is measured to be Rp = 2.227+0.052 -0.057 R ⊕ (in which the error includes the uncertainty in the stellar properties), but currently available radial-velocity measurements only place an upper limit on its mass of about 20 M ⊕. Kepler-10c represents another example (with Kepler-9d and Kepler-11g) of statistical 'validation' of a transiting exoplanet, as opposed to the usual 'confirmation' that can take place when the Doppler signal is detected or transit timing variations are measured. It is anticipated that many of Kepler's smaller candidates will receive a similar treatment since dynamical confirmation may be difficult or impractical with the sensitivity of current instrumentation.'

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 02:07
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 04:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: binaries: eclipsing; planetary systems; stars: individual (Kepler-10, KOI-072, KIC 11904151); stars: statistics;
Fields of Research (2008): 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
Fields of Research (2020): 51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5101 Astronomical sciences > 510109 Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
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