Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 625A, 22-22 (2019/5-1)
Precise radial velocities of giant stars. XII. Evidence against the proposed planet Aldebaran b.
REICHERT K., REFFERT S., STOCK S., TRIFONOV T. and QUIRRENBACH A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Context. Radial-velocity variations of the K giant star Aldebaran (α Tau) were first reported in the early 1990s. After subsequent analyses, the radial-velocity variability with a period of ∼629d has recently been interpreted as caused by a planet of several Jovian masses.
Aims. We want to further investigate the hypothesis of an extrasolar planet around Aldebaran.
Methods. We combine 165 new radial-velocity measurements from Lick Observatory with seven already published data sets comprising 373 radial-velocity measurements. We perform statistical analyses and investigate whether a Keplerian model properly fits the radial velocities. We also perform a dynamical stability analysis for a possible two-planet solution. Furthermore, the possibility of oscillatory convective modes as cause for the observed radial-velocity variability is discussed.
Results. As best Keplerian fit to the combined radial-velocity data we obtain an orbit for the hypothetical planet with a smaller period (P=607d) and a larger eccentricity (e=0.33±0.04) than the previously proposed one. However, the residual scatter around that fit is still large, with a standard deviation of 117m/s. In 2006/2007, the statistical power of the ∼620d period showed a temporary but significant decrease. Plotting the growth of power in reverse chronological order reveals that a period around 620d is clearly present in the newest data but not in the data taken before ∼2006. Furthermore, an apparent phase shift between radial-velocity data and orbital solution is observable at certain times. A two-planet Keplerian fit matches the data considerably better than a single-planet solution, but poses severe dynamical stability issues.
Conclusions. The radial-velocity data from Lick Observatory do not further support but in fact weaken the hypothesis of a substellar companion around Aldebaran. Oscillatory convective modes might be a plausible alternative explanation of the observed radial-velocity variations.
© ESO 2019
stars: individual: alpha Tau - planets and satellites: detection - techniques: radial velocities - instrumentation: spectrographs
Fig.8 HIP 37826 not identified.
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