Doppler Constraints on Planetary Companions to Nearby Sun-like Stars: An Archival Radial Velocity Survey of Southern Targets for Proposed NASA Direct Imaging Missions

April 2023 • 2023AJ....165..176L

Authors • Laliotis, Katherine • Burt, Jennifer A. • Mamajek, Eric E. • Li, Zhexing • Perdelwitz, Volker • Zhao, Jinglin • Butler, R. Paul • Holden, Bradford • Rosenthal, Lee • Fulton, B. J. • Feng, Fabo • Kane, Stephen R. • Bailey, Jeremy • Carter, Brad • Crane, Jeffrey D. • Furlan, Elise • Gnilka, Crystal L. • Howell, Steve B. • Laughlin, Gregory • Shectman, Stephen A. • Teske, Johanna K. • Tinney, C. G. • Vogt, Steven S. • Wang, Sharon Xuesong • Wittenmyer, Robert A.

Abstract • Directly imaging temperate rocky planets orbiting nearby, Sun-like stars with a 6 m class IR/O/UV space telescope, recently dubbed the Habitable Worlds Observatory, is a high-priority goal of the Astro2020 Decadal Survey. To prepare for future direct imaging (DI) surveys, the list of potential targets should be thoroughly vetted to maximize efficiency and scientific yield. We present an analysis of archival radial velocity data for southern stars from the NASA/NSF Extreme Precision Radial Velocity (EPRV) Working Group's list of high-priority target stars for future DI missions (drawn from the HabEx, LUVOIR, and Starshade Rendezvous studies). For each star, we constrain the region of companion mass and period parameter space we are already sensitive to based on the observational baseline, sampling, and precision of the archival radial velocity (RV) data. Additionally, for some of the targets, we report new estimates of magnetic activity cycle periods, rotation periods, improved orbital parameters for previously known exoplanets, and new candidate planet signals that require further vetting or observations to confirm. Our results show that for many of these stars we are not yet sensitive to even Saturn-mass planets in the habitable zone, let alone smaller planets, highlighting the need for future EPRV vetting efforts before the launch of a DI mission. We present evidence that the candidate temperate super-Earth exoplanet HD 85512b is most likely due to the star's rotation, and report an RV acceleration for δ Pav that supports the existence of a distant giant planet previously inferred from astrometry. * This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.


IPAC Authors


Benjamin Fulton

Assistant Scientist