Exoplanets & Exomoons

Characterization of the Wolf 1061 Planetary System

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
January 2, 2017
Filed under
Characterization of the Wolf 1061 Planetary System

A critical component of exoplanetary studies is an exhaustive characterization of the host star, from which the planetary properties are frequently derived. Of particular value are the radius, temperature, and luminosity, which are key stellar parameters for studies of transit and habitability science.

Here we present the results of new observations of Wolf~1061, known to host three super-Earths. Our observations from the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) interferometric array provide a direct stellar radius measurement of 0.3207±0.0088~R⊙, from which we calculate the effective temperature and luminosity using spectral energy distribution models. We obtained seven years of precise, automated photometry that reveals the correct stellar rotation period of 89.3±1.8~days, finds no evidence of photometric transits, and confirms the radial velocity signals are not due to stellar activity.

Finally, our stellar properties are used to calculate the extent of the Habitable Zone for the Wolf~1061 system, for which the optimistic boundaries are 0.09–0.23~AU. Our simulations of the planetary orbital dynamics shows that the eccentricity of the Habitable Zone planet oscillates to values as high as ∼0.15 as it exchanges angular momentum with the other planets in the system.

Stephen R. Kane, Kaspar von Braun, Gregory W. Henry, Miranda A. Waters, Tabetha S. Boyajian, Andrew W. Mann
(Submitted on 29 Dec 2016)

Comments: 11 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1612.09324 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1612.09324v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Stephen Kane
[v1] Thu, 29 Dec 2016 21:52:42 GMT (390kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻