Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 520, A93-93 (2010/9-2)
An investigation into the radial velocity variations of CoRoT-7.
HATZES A.P., DVORAK R., WUCHTERL G., GUTERMAN P., HARTMANN M., FRIDLUND M., GANDOLFI D., GUENTHER E. and PAETZOLD M.
Abstract (from CDS):
CoRoT-7b, the first transiting ``superearth'' exoplanet, has a radius of 1.7 R⊕ and a mass of 4.8M⊕. The HARPS radial velocity (RV) measurements used for deriving this mass also detected an additional companion with a period of 3.7 days and a mass of 8.4M⊕. The mass of CoRoT-7b is a crucial parameter for planet structure models, but is difficult to determine because CoRoT-7 is a modestly active star and there is at least one additional companion. The aims of this paper are to assess the statistical significance of the RV variations of CoRoT-7b and CoRoT-7c, to obtain a better measurement of the planet mass for CoRoT-7b, and to search for additional companions in the RV data. A Fourier analysis is performed on the HARPS spectral data of CoRoT-7. These data include RV measurements, spectral line bisectors, the full width at half maximum of the cross-correlation function, and CaII emission. The latter 3 quantities vary due to stellar activity and were used to assess the nature of the observed RV variations. An analysis of a sub-set of the RV measurements where multiple observations were made per night was also used to estimate the RV amplitude from CoRoT-7b that was less sensitive to activity variations. Our analysis indicates that the 0.85-d and 3.7-d RV signals of CoRoT-7b and CoRoT-7c are present in the spectral data with a high degree of statistical significance. We also find evidence for another significant RV signal at 9 days. An analysis of the activity indicator data reveals that this 9-d signal most likely does not arise from activity, but possibly from an additional companion. If due to a planetary companion the mass is m=19.5M⊕, assuming co-planarity with CoRoT-7b. A dynamical study of the three planet system shows that it is stable over several hundred millions of years. Our analysis yields a RV amplitude of 5.04±1.09m/s for CoRoT-7b which corresponds to a planet mass of m=6.9±1.4M⊕. This increased mass would make the planet CoRoT-7b more Earth-like in its internal structure. CoRoT-7 is confirmed to be a planet system with at least 2 and possibly 3 exoplanets having masses in the range 7-20M⊕. If the third companion can be confirmed then CoRoT-7 may represent a case of an ultra-compact planetary system.
star: individual: CoRoT-7 - techniques: radial velocities - planetary systems - stars: activity - starspots
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