A Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Transiting the Late-type M Dwarf LP 791-18

Ian J.M. Crossfield, William Waalkes, Elisabeth R. Newton, Norio Narita, Philip Muirhead, Kristo Ment, Elisabeth Matthews, Adam Kraus, Veselin Kostov, Molly R. Kosiarek, Stephen R. Kane, Howard Isaacson, Sam Halverson, Erica Gonzales, Mark Everett, Diana Dragomir, Karen A. Collins, Ashley Chontos, David Berardo, Jennifer G. WintersJoshua N. Winn, Nicholas J. Scott, Barbara Rojas-Ayala, Aaron C. Rizzuto, Erik A. Petigura, Merrin Peterson, Teo Mocnik, Thomas Mikal-Evans, Nicholas Mehrle, Rachel Matson, Masayuki Kuzuhara, Jonathan Irwin, Daniel Huber, Chelsea Huang, Steve Howell, Andrew W. Howard, Teruyuki Hirano, Benjamin J. Fulton, Trent Dupuy, Courtney D. Dressing, Paul A. Dalba, David Charbonneau, Jennifer Burt, Zachory Berta-Thompson, Björn Benneke, Noriharu Watanabe, Joseph D. Twicken, Motohide Tamura, Joshua Schlieder, S. Seager, Mark E. Rose, George Ricker, Elisa Quintana, Sébastien Lépine, David W. Latham, Takayuki Kotani, Jon M. Jenkins, Yasunori Hori, Knicole Colon, Douglas A. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Planets occur most frequently around cool dwarfs, but only a handful of specific examples are known to orbit the latest-type M stars. Using TESS photometry, we report the discovery of two planets transiting the low-mass star called LP 791-18 (identified by TESS as TOI 736). This star has spectral type M6V, effective temperature 2960 K, and radius 0.17 R o, making it the third-coolest star known to host planets. The two planets straddle the radius gap seen for smaller exoplanets; they include a 1.1R planet on a 0.95 day orbit and a 2.3R planet on a 5 day orbit. Because the host star is small the decrease in light during these planets' transits is fairly large (0.4% and 1.7%). This has allowed us to detect both planets' transits from ground-based photometry, refining their radii and orbital ephemerides. In the future, radial velocity observations and transmission spectroscopy can both probe these planets' bulk interior and atmospheric compositions, and additional photometric monitoring would be sensitive to even smaller transiting planets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL16
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 20 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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