Habitable Zones & Global Climate

A 1.55 R⊕ Habitable-zone Planet Hosted By TOI-715, An M4 Star Near The Ecliptic South Pole

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
July 8, 2023
Filed under , , , , , ,
A 1.55 R⊕ Habitable-zone Planet Hosted By TOI-715, An M4 Star Near The Ecliptic South Pole
PDCSAP flux extracted from the short (2 minute) cadence data of the 24 sectors (1–13, 27, 29–37, 39) in which TOI-715 was observed. Light grey point show the 120 s exposures and the purple line shows the flux in 3minute bins. The transit events of TOI-715.01 are shown with the dark pink arrows and the locations of possible transits of TIC 271971130.02 are indicated with green arrows; we note that individual transits are not readily apparent by eye. — astro-ph.EP

A new generation of observatories is enabling detailed study of exoplanetary atmospheres and the diversity of alien climates, allowing us to seek evidence for extraterrestrial biological and geological processes.

Now is therefore the time to identify the most unique planets to be characterised with these instruments. In this context, we report on the discovery and validation of TOI-715 b, a Rb=1.55±0.06R⊕ planet orbiting its nearby (42 pc) M4 host (TOI-715/TIC 271971130) with a period Pb=19.288004+0.000027−0.000024 days.

TOI-715 b was first identified by TESS and validated using ground-based photometry, high-resolution imaging and statistical validation. The planet’s orbital period combined with the stellar effective temperature Teff=3075±75 K give this planet an instellation Sb=0.67+0.15−0.20 S⊕, placing it within the most conservative definitions of the habitable zone for rocky planets. TOI-715 b’s radius falls exactly between two measured locations of the M-dwarf radius valley; characterising its mass and composition will help understand the true nature of the radius valley for low-mass stars. We demonstrate TOI-715 b is amenable for characterisation using precise radial velocities and transmission spectroscopy.

Additionally, we reveal a second candidate planet in the system, TIC 271971130.02, with a potential orbital period of P02=25.60712+0.00031−0.00036 days and a radius of R02=1.066±0.092R⊕, just inside the outer boundary of the habitable zone, and near a 4:3 orbital period commensurability. Should this second planet be confirmed, it would represent the smallest habitable zone planet discovered by TESS to date.

Georgina Dransfield, Mathilde Timmermans, Amaury H.M.J. Triaud, Martín Dévora-Pajares, Christian Aganze, Khalid Barkaoui, Adam J. Burgasser, Karen A. Collins, Marion Cointepas, Elsa Ducrot, Maximilian N. Günther, Steve B. Howell, Catriona A. Murray, Prajwal Niraula, Benjamin V. Rackham, Daniel Sebastian, Keivan G. Stassun, Sebastián Zúñiga-Fernández, José Manuel Almenara, Xavier Bonfils, François Bouchy, Christopher J. Burke, David Charbonneau, Jessie L. Christiansen, Laetitia Delrez, Tianjun Gan, Lionel J. García, Michaël Gillon, Yilen Gómez Maqueo Chew, Katharine M. Hesse, Matthew J. Hooton, Giovanni Isopi, Emmanuël Jehin, Jon M. Jenkins, David W. Latham, Franco Mallia, Felipe Murgas, Peter P. Pedersen, Francisco J. Pozuelos, Didier Queloz, David R. Rodriguez, Nicole Schanche, Sara Seager, Gregor Srdoc, Chris Stockdale, Joseph D. Twicken, Roland Vanderspek, Robert Wells, Joshua N. Winn, Julien de Wit, Aldo Zapparata

Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2305.06206 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2305.06206v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Georgina Dransfield
[v1] Wed, 10 May 2023 14:35:29 UTC (12,083 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) 🖖🏻