One of the most significant revelations from Kepler is that roughly one-third of Sun-like stars host planets which orbit their stars within 100 days and are between the size of Earth and Neptune. How do these super-Earth and sub-Neptune planets form, what are they made of, and do they represent a continuous population or naturally divide into separate groups? Measuring their masses and thus bulk densities can help address these questions of their origin and composition. To that end, we began the Magellan-TESS Survey (MTS), which uses Magellan II/PFS to obtain radial velocity (RV) masses of 30 transiting exoplanets discovered by TESS and develops an analysis framework that connects observed planet distributions to underlying populations. In the past, RV measurements of small planets have been challenging to obtain due to the faintness and low RV semi-amplitudes of most Kepler systems, and challenging to interpret due to the potential biases in the existing ensemble of small planet masses from non-algorithmic decisions for target selection and observation plans. The MTS attempts to minimize these biases by focusing on bright TESS targets and employing a quantitative selection function and multi-year observing strategy. In this paper, we (1) describe the motivation and survey strategy behind the MTS, (2) present our first catalog of planet mass and density constraints for 25 TESS Objects of Interest (TOIs; 20 in our population analysis sample, five that are members of the same systems), and (3) employ a hierarchical Bayesian model to produce preliminary constraints on the mass-radius (M-R) relation. We find qualitative agreement with prior mass-radius relations but some quantitative differences (abridged). The the results of this work can inform more detailed studies of individual systems and offer a framework that can be applied to future RV surveys with the goal of population inferences.
- Pub Date:
- November 2020
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 101 pages (39 of main text and references, the rest an appendix of figures and tables). Submitted to AAS Journals