Precise mass and radius of a transiting super-Earth planet orbiting the M dwarf TOI-1235: a planet in the radius gap?

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We report the confirmation of a transiting planet around the bright weakly active M0.5 V star TOI-1235 (TYC 4384–1735–1, V ≈ 11.5 mag), whose transit signal was detected in the photometric time series of sectors 14, 20, and 21 of the TESS space mission. We confirm the planetary nature of the transit signal, which has a period of 3.44 d, by using precise RV measurements with the CARMENES, HARPS-N, and iSHELL spectrographs, supplemented by high-resolution imaging and ground-based photometry. A comparison of the properties derived for TOI-1235 b with theoretical models reveals that the planet has a rocky composition, with a bulk density slightly higher than that of Earth. In particular, we measure a mass of M_(p) = 5.9 ± 0.6 M_(⊕) and a radius of Rp = 1.69 ± 0.08 R_(⊕), which together result in a density of ρ_(p) = 6.7^(+1.3)_(−1.1) g cm^(−3) . When compared with other well-characterized exoplanetary systems, the particular combination of planetary radius and mass places our discovery in the radius gap, which is a transition region between rocky planets and planets with significant atmospheric envelopes. A few examples of planets occupying the radius gap are known to date. While the exact location of the radius gap for M dwarfs is still a matter of debate, our results constrain it to be located at around 1.7 R_(⊕) or larger at the insolation levels received by TOI-1235 b (∼60 S_(⊕)). This makes it an extremely interesting object for further studies of planet formation and atmospheric evolution.
© ESO 2020. Artículo firmado por 84 autores. CARMENES is an instrument for the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán de Calar Alto (CAHA, Almería, Spain). CARMENES is funded by the German Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the European Union through FEDER/ERF FICTS-2011-02 funds, and the members of the CARMENES Consortium (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Landessternwarte Königstuhl, Institut de Ciències de l’Espai, Institut für Astrophysik Göttingen, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Hamburger Sternwarte, Centro de Astrobiología and Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán), with additional contributions by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, the German Science Foundation through the Major Research Instrumentation Programme and DFG Research Unit FOR2544 “Blue Planets around Red Stars”, the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, the states of Baden-Württemberg and Niedersachsen, and by the Junta de Andalucía. We acknowledge the use of public TESS Alert data from pipelines at the TESS Science Office and at the TESS Science Processing Operations Center. This research has made use of the Exoplanet Follow-up Observation Program website, which is operated by the California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Exoplanet Exploration Program. Resources supporting this work were provided by the NASA High-End Computing (HEC) Program through the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at Ames Research Center for the production of the SPOC data products. We acknowledge financial support from the European Research Council under the Horizon 2020 Framework Program via the ERC Advanced Grant Origins 83 24 28, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through projects RE 281/32-1, RE 1664/14-1, RE 2694/4-1, and RA714/14-1, PA525/18-1, PA525/19-1 within the Schwerpunkt SPP 1992, the Agencia Estatal de Investigación of the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades and the European FEDER/ERF funds through projects PGC2018-098153-B-C31, ESP2016-80435-C2-1-R, ESP2016-80435-C2-2-R, AYA2016-79425-C3-1/2/3- P, AYA2015-69350-C3-2-P, RYC-2015-17697, and BES-2017-082610, the Centre of Excellence “Severo Ochoa” and “María de Maeztu” awards to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (SEV-2015-0548), Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (SEV-2017-0709), and Centro de Astrobiología (MDM-2017-0737), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant 713673, the Centre national d’études spatiales through grants PLATO and GOLF, the Czech Academy of Sciences through grant LTT20015, NASA through grants NNX17AF27G and NNX17AG24G, JSPS KAKENHI through grants JP18H01265 and JP18H05439, JST PRESTO through grant JPMJPR1775, the Fundación Bancaria “la Caixa” through grant INPhINIT LCF/BQ/IN17/11620033, and the Generalitat de Catalunya/CERCA programme. NESSI was funded by the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program and the NASA Ames Research Center and built at the Ames Research Center. The authors are honored to be permitted to conduct observations on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain within the Tohono O’odham Nation with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham people. This work made use of observations from the LCOGT network and the following software: astrasens, AstroImageJ, Banzai, batman, caracal, emcee, juliet, serval, TESS Transit Finder, tpfplotter, Yabi, and the python packages astropy, lightkurve, matplotlib, and numpy. We thank the SuperWASP team and J. Sanz-Forcada for sharing unpublished information with us. Special thanks to Ismael Pessa for all their support through this work.
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