The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey: Dynamical Mass of the Exoplanet β Pictoris b from Combined Direct Imaging and Astrometry

February 2020 • 2020AJ....159...71N

Authors • Nielsen, Eric L. • De Rosa, Robert J. • Wang, Jason J. • Sahlmann, Johannes • Kalas, Paul • Duchêne, Gaspard • Rameau, Julien • Marley, Mark S. • Saumon, Didier • Macintosh, Bruce • Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A. • Nguyen, Meiji M. • Ammons, S. Mark • Bailey, Vanessa P. • Barman, Travis • Bulger, Joanna • Chilcote, Jeffrey • Cotten, Tara • Doyon, Rene • Esposito, Thomas M. • Fitzgerald, Michael P. • Follette, Katherine B. • Gerard, Benjamin L. • Goodsell, Stephen J. • Graham, James R. • Greenbaum, Alexandra Z. • Hibon, Pascale • Hung, Li-Wei • Ingraham, Patrick • Konopacky, Quinn • Larkin, James E. • Maire, Jérôme • Marchis, Franck • Marois, Christian • Metchev, Stanimir • Oppenheimer, Rebecca • Palmer, David • Patience, Jennifer • Perrin, Marshall • Poyneer, Lisa • Pueyo, Laurent • Rajan, Abhijith • Rantakyrö, Fredrik T. • Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste • Savransky, Dmitry • Schneider, Adam C. • Sivaramakrishnan, Anand • Song, Inseok • Soummer, Remi • Thomas, Sandrine • Wallace, J. Kent • Ward-Duong, Kimberly • Wiktorowicz, Sloane • Wolff, Schuyler

Abstract • We present new observations of the planet β Pictoris b from 2018 with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), the first GPI observations following conjunction. Based on these new measurements, we perform a joint orbit fit to the available relative astrometry from ground-based imaging, the Hipparcos Intermediate Astrometric Data (IAD), and the Gaia DR2 position, and demonstrate how to incorporate the IAD into direct imaging orbit fits. We find a mass consistent with predictions of hot-start evolutionary models and previous works following similar methods, though with larger uncertainties: 12.8+5.3-3.2 MJup. Our eccentricity determination of ${0.12}_{-0.03}^{+0.04}$ disfavors circular orbits. We consider orbit fits to several different imaging data sets, and find generally similar posteriors on the mass for each combination of imaging data. Our analysis underscores the importance of performing joint fits to the absolute and relative astrometry simultaneously, given the strong covariance between orbital elements. Time of conjunction is well-constrained within 2.8 days of 2017 September 13, with the star behind the planet's Hill sphere between 2017 April 11 and 2018 February 16 (±18 days). Following the recent radial velocity detection of a second planet in the system, β Pic c, we perform additional two-planet fits combining relative astrometry, absolute astrometry, and stellar radial velocities. These joint fits find a significantly smaller mass (8.0 ± 2.6 MJup) for the imaged planet β Pic b, in a somewhat more circular orbit. We expect future ground-based observations to further constrain the visual orbit and mass of the planet in advance of the release of Gaia DR4.


IPAC Authors

Alexandra Greenbaum

Assistant Scientist