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The Orbit and Mass of the Third Planet in the Kepler-56 System

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Oderah Justin Otor
  • Benjamin T. Montet
  • John Asher Johnson
  • David Charbonneau
  • Andrew Collier-Cameron
  • Andrew W. Howard
  • Howard Isaacson
  • David W. Latham
  • Mercedes Lopez-Morales
  • Christophe Lovis
  • Michel Mayor
  • Giusi Micela
  • Emilio Molinari
  • Francesco Pepe
  • Giampaolo Piotto
  • David F. Phillips
  • Didier Queloz
  • Dimitar Sasselov
  • Damien Ségransan
  • Alessandro Sozzetti
  • Stéphane Udry
  • Chris Watson

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


While the vast majority of multiple-planet systems have orbital angular momentum axes that align with the spin axis of their host star, Kepler-56 is an exception: its two transiting planets are coplanar yet misaligned by at least 40° with respect to the rotation axis of their host star. Additional follow-up observations of Kepler-56 suggest the presence of a massive, non-transiting companion that may help explain this misalignment. We model the transit data along with Keck/HIRES and HARPS-N radial velocity data to update the masses of the two transiting planets and infer the physical properties of the third, non-transiting planet. We employ a Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampler to calculate the best-fitting orbital parameters and their uncertainties for each planet. We find the outer planet has a period of 1002 ± 5 days and minimum mass of 5.61 ± 0.38 {M}{Jup}. We also place a 95% upper limit of 0.80 m s-1 yr-1 on long-term trends caused by additional, more distant companions.

    Research areas

  • planets and satellites: fundamental parameters, planets and satellites: individual: Kepler-56, techniques: radial velocities

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