The Orbit and Mass of the Third Planet in the Kepler-56 System

Oderah Justin Otor, Benjamin T. Montet, John Asher Johnson, David Charbonneau, Andrew Collier-Cameron, Andrew W. Howard, Howard Isaacson, David W. Latham, Mercedes Lopez-Morales, Christophe Lovis, Michel Mayor, Giusi Micela, Emilio Molinari, Francesco Pepe, Giampaolo Piotto, David F. Phillips, Didier Queloz, Ken Rice, Dimitar Sasselov, Damien SégransanAlessandro Sozzetti, Stéphane Udry, Chris Watson

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While the vast majority of multiple-planet systems have orbital angular momentum axes that align with the spin axis of their host star, Kepler-56 is an exception: its two transiting planets are coplanar yet misaligned by at least 40° with respect to the rotation axis of their host star. Additional follow-up observations of Kepler-56 suggest the presence of a massive, non-transiting companion that may help explain this misalignment. We model the transit data along with Keck/HIRES and HARPS-N radial velocity data to update the masses of the two transiting planets and infer the physical properties of the third, non-transiting planet. We employ a Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampler to calculate the best-fitting orbital parameters and their uncertainties for each planet. We find the outer planet has a period of 1002 ± 5 days and minimum mass of 5.61 ± 0.38 {M}{Jup}. We also place a 95% upper limit of 0.80 m s-1 yr-1 on long-term trends caused by additional, more distant companions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number165
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
Early online date15 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2016


  • planets and satellites: fundamental parameters
  • planets and satellites: individual: Kepler-56
  • techniques: radial velocities

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    Otor, O. J., Montet, B. T., Johnson, J. A., Charbonneau, D., Collier-Cameron, A., Howard, A. W., Isaacson, H., Latham, D. W., Lopez-Morales, M., Lovis, C., Mayor, M., Micela, G., Molinari, E., Pepe, F., Piotto, G., Phillips, D. F., Queloz, D., Rice, K., Sasselov, D., ... Watson, C. (2016). The Orbit and Mass of the Third Planet in the Kepler-56 System. Astronomical Journal, 152(6), [165].