An accurate mass determination for Kepler-1655b, a moderately-irradiated world with a significant volatile envelope

R. D. Haywood, A. Vanderburg, A. Mortier, H. A. C. Giles, M. López-Morales, E. D. Lopez, L. Malavolta, D. Charbonneau, A. Collier Cameron, J. L. Coughlin, C. D. Dressing, C. Nava, D. W. Latham, X. Dumusque, C. Lovis, E. Molinari, F. Pepe, A. Sozzetti, S. Udry, F. BouchyJ. A. Johnson, M. Mayor, G. Micela, D. Phillips, G. Piotto, K. Rice, D. Sasselov, D. Ségransan, Chris Watson, L. Affer, A. S. Bonomo, L. A. Buchhave, D. R. Ciardi, A. F. Fiorenzano, A. Harutyunyan

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Abstract

We present the confirmation of a small, moderately-irradiated (F = 155 +/- 7 Fearth) Neptune with a substantial gas envelope in a P=11.8728787+/-0.0000085-day orbit about a quiet, Sun-like G0V star Kepler-1655. Based on our analysis of the Kepler light curve, we determined Kepler-1655b's radius to be 2.213+/-0.082 Rearth. We acquired 95 high-resolution spectra with TNG/HARPS-N, enabling us to characterize the host star and determine an accurate mass for Kepler-1655b of 5.0+3.1/-2.8 Mearth via Gaussian-process regression. Our mass determination excludes an Earth-like composition with 98\% confidence. Kepler-1655b falls on the upper edge of the evaporation valley, in the relatively sparsely occupied transition region between rocky and gas-rich planets. It is therefore part of a population of planets that we should actively seek to characterize further.
Original languageEnglish
Article number203
Number of pages19
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume155
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

21 pages, 14 figures, 4 tables; accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal

Keywords

  • astro-ph.EP

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