Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 601A, 117-117 (2017/5-1)
The Spitzer search for the transits of HARPS low-mass planets. II. Null results for 19 planets.
GILLON M., DEMORY B.-O., LOVIS C., DEMING D., EHRENREICH D., LO CURTO G., MAYOR M., PEPE F., QUELOZ D., SEAGER S., SEGRANSAN D. and UDRY S.
Abstract (from CDS):
Short-period super-Earths and Neptunes are now known to be very frequent around solar-type stars. Improving our understanding of these mysterious planets requires the detection of a significant sample of objects suitable for detailed characterization. Searching for the transits of the low-mass planets detected by Doppler surveys is a straightforward way to achieve this goal. Indeed, Doppler surveys target the most nearby main-sequence stars, they regularly detect close-in low-mass planets with significant transit probability, and their radial velocity data constrain strongly the ephemeris of possible transits. In this context, we initiated in 2010 an ambitious Spitzer multi-Cycle transit search project that targeted 25 low-mass planets detected by radial velocity, focusing mainly on the shortest-period planets detected by the HARPS spectrograph. We report here null results for 19 targets of the project. For 16 planets out of 19, a transiting configuration is strongly disfavored or firmly rejected by our data for most planetary compositions. We derive a posterior probability of 83% that none of the probed 19 planets transits (for a prior probability of 22%), which still leaves a significant probability of 17% that at least one of them does transit. Globally, our Spitzer project revealed or confirmed transits for three of its 25 targeted planets, and discarded or disfavored the transiting nature of 20 of them. Our light curves demonstrate for Warm Spitzer excellent photometric precisions: for 14 targets out of 19, we were able to reach standard deviations that were better than 50 ppm per 30 min intervals. Combined with its Earth-trailing orbit, which makes it capable of pointing any star in the sky and to monitor it continuously for days, this work confirms Spitzer as an optimal instrument to detect sub-mmag-deep transits on the bright nearby stars targeted by Doppler surveys.
© ESO, 2017
binaries: eclipsing - planetary systems - stars: general - techniques: radial velocities - techniques: photometric - techniques: photometric
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/A+A/601/A117): table1.dat rv.dat phot/*>
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