Volume 643, November 2020
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||28 October 2020|
Transmission spectroscopy and Rossiter-McLaughlin measurements of the young Neptune orbiting AU Mic
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC),
2 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
3 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551, Japan
4 Queen Mary University, London, UK
5 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Hawai’i at Mänoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
6 Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (ICE, CSIC), Campus UAB, Can Magrans s/n, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
7 Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
8 Department of Physics and Astronomy, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MSN3F3, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
9 University of Southern Queensland, West St, Darling Heights QLD 4350, Australia
Accepted: 6 August 2020
AU Mic b is a Neptune-sized planet on an 8.47-day orbit around the nearest pre-main sequence (~20 Myr) star to the Sun, the bright (V = 8.81) M dwarf AU Mic. The planet was preliminary detected in Doppler radial velocity time series and recently confirmed to be transiting with data from the TESS mission. AU Mic b is likely to be cooling and contracting and might be accompanied by a second, more massive planet, in an outer orbit. Here, we present the observations of the transit of AU Mic b using ESPRESSO on the Very Large Telescope. We obtained a high-resolution time series of spectra to measure the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, to constrain the spin-orbit alignment of the star and planet, and to simultaneously attempt to retrieve the planet’s atmospheric transmission spectrum. These observations allowed us to study, for the first time, the early phases of the dynamical evolution of young systems. We applied different methodologies to derive the spin-orbit angle of AU Mic b, and all of them retrieve values consistent with the planet being aligned with the rotation plane of the star. We determined a conservative spin-orbit angle λ value of −2.96−10.30+10.44 degrees, indicative that the formation and migration of the planets of the AU Mic system occurred within the disc. Unfortunately, and despite the large signal-to-noise ratio of our measurements, the degree of stellar activity prevented us from detecting any features from the planetary atmosphere. In fact, our results suggest that transmission spectroscopy for recently formed planets around active young stars is going to remain very challenging, if at all possible, for the near future.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres – techniques: radial velocities – planets and satellites: formation – planets and satellites: individual: Au Mic
© ESO 2020
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