Volume 641, September 2020
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||16 September 2020|
GJ 357 b
A super-Earth orbiting an extremely inactive host star
Università di Palermo, Department of Physics and Chemistry,
Via Archirafi 36,
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
3 Institut für Astronomie & Astrophysik, Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
4 Institut für Astrophysik, Universität Wien, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
5 Departamento de Astrofísica, Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), ESAC Campus, Camino bajo del Castillo s/n, 28692 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
6 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, London, UK
Accepted: 16 July 2020
Aims. In this paper we present a deep X-ray observation of the nearby M dwarf GJ 357 and use it to put constraints on the atmospheric evolution of its planet, GJ 357 b. We also analyse the systematic errors in the stellar parameters of GJ 357 in order to see how they affect the perceived planetary properties.
Methods. By comparing the observed X-ray luminosity of its host star, we estimate the age of GJ 357 b as derived from a recent XMM-Newton observation (log Lx [erg s−1] = 25.73), with Lx− age relations for M dwarfs. We find that GJ 357 presents one of the lowest X-ray activity levels ever measured for an M dwarf, and we put a lower limit on its age of 5 Gyr. Using this age limit, we performed a backwards reconstruction of the original primordial atmospheric reservoir. Furthermore, by considering the systematic errors in the stellar parameters, we find a range of possible planetary masses, radii, and densities.
Results. From the backwards reconstruction of the irradiation history of GJ 357 b’s we find that the upper limit of its initial primordial atmospheric mass is ~38 M⊕. An initial atmospheric reservoir significantly larger than this may have survived through the X-ray and ultraviolet irradiation history, which would not be consistent with current observations that suggest a telluric composition. However, given the relatively small mass of GJ 357 b, even accreting a primordial envelope ≳10 M⊕ would have been improbable as an unusually low protoplanetary disc opacity, large-scale migration, and a weak interior luminosity would have been required. For this reason, we discard the possibility that GJ 357 b was born as a Neptunian- or Jovian-sized body. In spite of the unlikelihood of a currently existing primordial envelope, volcanism and outgassing may have contributed to a secondary atmosphere. Under this assumption, we present three different synthetic IR spectra for GJ 357 b that one might expect, consisting of 100% CO2, 100% SO2, and 75% N2, 24% CO2 and 1% H2O, respectively. Future observations with space-based IR spectroscopy missions will be able to test these models. Finally, we show that the uncertainties in the stellar and planetary quantities do not have a significant effect on the estimated mass or radius of GJ 357 b.
Key words: planets and satellites: terrestrial planets / planets and satellites: atmospheres / planet–star interactions / planets and satellites: physical evolution / X-rays: stars
© ESO 2020
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