Volume 650, June 2021
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||14 June 2021|
II. Rotational, orbital, and high-energy fluxes evolution of the system
Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève,
Chemin Pegasi 51,
2 Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Gesellschaftsstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Accepted: 1 April 2021
Context. Kepler-444 is one of the oldest planetary systems known thus far. Its peculiar configuration consisting of five sub-Earth-sized planets orbiting the companion to a binary stellar system makes its early history puzzling. Moreover, observations of HI-Lyα variations raise many questions about the potential presence of escaping atmospheres today.
Aims. We aim to study the orbital evolution of Kepler-444-d and Kepler-444-e and the impact of atmospheric evaporation on Kepler-444-e.
Methods. Rotating stellar models of Kepler-444-A were computed with the Geneva stellar evolution code and coupled to an orbital evolution code, accounting for the effects of dynamical, equilibrium tides and atmospheric evaporation. The impacts of multiple stellar rotational histories and X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) luminosity evolutionary tracks are explored.
Results. Using detailed rotating stellar models able to reproduce the rotation rate of Kepler-444-A, we find that its observed rotation rate is perfectly in line with what is expected for this old K0-type star, indicating that there is no reason for it to be exceptionally active as would be required to explain the observed HI-Lyα variations from a stellar origin. We show that given the low planetary mass (~0.03 M⊕) and relatively large orbital distance (~0.06 AU) of Kepler-444-d and e, dynamical tides negligibly affect their orbits, regardless of the stellar rotational history considered. We point out instead how remarkable the impact is of the stellar rotational history on the estimation of the lifetime mass loss for Kepler-444-e. We show that, even in the case of an extremely slow rotating star, it seems unlikely that such a planet could retain a fraction of the initial water-ice content if we assume that it formed with a Ganymede-like composition.
Key words: planet-star interactions / planetary systems / stars: evolution / stars: rotation / stars: solar-type
© ESO 2021
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