Thursday, August 27, 2015

HATS-7b: A Hot Super Neptune Transiting a Quiet K Dwarf Star

HATS-7b: A Hot Super Neptune Transiting a Quiet K Dwarf Star


Bakos et al


We report the discovery by the HATSouth network of HATS-7b, a transiting Super-Neptune with a mass of 0.120+/-0.012 M_Jup, a radius of 0.563+0.046-0.034 R_Jup, and an orbital period of 3.1853 days. The host star is a moderately bright (V = 13.340+/-0.010 mag, K_S = 10.976+/-0.026 mag) K dwarf star with a mass of 0.849+/-0.027 M_Sun, a radius of 0.815+0.049-0.035 R_Sun, and a metallicity of [Fe/H]= +0.250+/-0.080. The star is photometrically quiet to within the precision of the HATSouth measurements, has low RV jitter, and shows no evidence for chromospheric activity in its spectrum. HATS-7b is the second smallest radius planet discovered by a wide-field ground-based transit survey, and one of only a handful of Neptune-size planets with mass and radius determined to 10% precision. Theoretical modeling of HATS-7b yields a hydrogen-helium fraction of 18+/-4% (rock-iron core and H2-He envelope), or 9+/-4% (ice core and H2-He envelope), has a composition broadly similar to that of Uranus and Neptune, and very different from that of Saturn, which has 75% of its mass in H2-He. Based on a sample of transiting exoplanets with accurately (less than 20%) determined parameters, we establish approximate power-law relations for the envelopes of the mass-density distribution of exoplanets. HATS-7b, which, together with the recently discovered HATS-8b, is one of the first two transiting Neptunes discovered in the Southern sky, is a prime target for additional follow-up observations with southern hemisphere facilities to characterize the atmospheres of super-Neptunes.

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