Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The CARMENES Search For Exoplanets Around M Dwarfs. A Sub-Neptunian Mass Planet In The Habitable Zone Of HN Lib

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
May 31, 2023
Filed under , , , , ,
The CARMENES Search For Exoplanets Around M Dwarfs. A Sub-Neptunian Mass Planet In The Habitable Zone Of HN Lib
Evolution of the s-BGLS periodogram of the CARMENES, HIRES, and HARPS RV data around 36 d (left) and in the region between 90 d and 130 d (right). The periodograms were generated using the residuals after subtracting the respective other periodicity, namely, the 113-d period in the left panel and the 36-d signal in the right panel. Both s-BGLS periodograms include the stellar rotation period. The colorbar on the top shows the Bayesian probability, where higher values are more likely. The right side of each plot indicates the instrument from which the individual added data points originate. — astro-ph.EP

We report the discovery of HN Lib b, a sub-Neptunian mass planet orbiting the nearby (d≈ = 6.25 pc) M4.0 V star HN Lib detected by our CARMENES radial-velocity (RV) survey.

We determined a planetary minimum mass of Mbsini= 5.46 ± 0.75 M⊕ and an orbital period of Pb= 36.116 ± 0.029 d, using ∼5 yr of CARMENES data, as well as archival RVs from HARPS and HIRES spanning more than 13 years. The flux received by the planet equals half the instellation on Earth, which places it in the middle of the conservative habitable zone (HZ) of its host star. The RV data show evidence for another planet candidate with M[c]sini= 9.7 ± 1.9 M⊕ and P[c]= 113.46 ± 0.20 d.

The long-term stability of the signal and the fact that the best model for our data is a two-planet model with an independent activity component stand as strong arguments for establishing a planetary origin. However, we cannot rule out stellar activity due to its proximity to the rotation period of HN Lib, which we measured using CARMENES activity indicators and photometric data from a ground-based multi-site campaign as well as archival data.

The discovery adds HN Lib b to the shortlist of super-Earth planets in the habitable zone of M dwarfs, but HN Lib [c] probably cannot be inhabited because, if confirmed, it would most likely be an icy giant.

Comparison to other small (i.e., M sin i ≤ 10M⊕) potentially habitable planets orbiting M-dwarf stars at less than 10 pc from the Sun. HN Lib b is highlighted in red, while the other planets are iterated between orange and blue for better distinguishability. The light green and dark green shaded areas denote the optimistic and conservative HZs of Kopparapu et al. (2013, 2014), respectively. The planet list was taken from the habitable planets catalog of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico and merged with the composite planetary parameters table of the NASA Exoplanet Archive. — astro-ph.EP

E. González-Álvarez, J. Kemmer, P. Chaturvedi, J. A. Caballero, A. Quirrenbach, P. J. Amado, V. J. S. Béjar, C. Cifuentes, E. Herrero, D. Kossakowski, A. Reiners, I. Ribas, E. Rodríguez, C. Rodríguez-López, J. Sanz-Forcada, Y. Shan, S. Stock, H. M. Tabernero, L. Tal-Or, M. R. Zapatero Osorio, A. P. Hatzes, Th. Henning, M. J. López-González, D. Montes, J. C. Morales, E. Pallé, S. Pedraz, M. Perger, S. Reffert, S. Sabotta, A. Schweitzer, M. Zechmeister

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2305.19677 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2305.19677v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Esther González-Álvarez
[v1] Wed, 31 May 2023 09:16:48 UTC (3,001 KB)

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) 🖖🏻