Direct detection and orbital analysis of the exoplanets HR 8799 bcd from archival 2005 Keck/NIRC2 data

Thayne Currie, Misato Fukagawa, Christian Thalmann, Soko Matsumura, Peter Plavchan

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    45 Citations (Scopus)


    We present previously unpublished 2005 July H-band coronagraphic data of the young, planet-hosting star HR 8799 from the newly released Keck/NIRC2 archive. Despite poor observing conditions, we detect three of the planets (HR 8799 bcd), two of them (HR 8799 bc) without advanced image processing. Comparing these data with previously published 1998-2011 astrometry and that from re-reduced 2010 October Keck data constrains the orbits of the planets. Analyzing the planets' astrometry separately, HR 8799 d's orbit is likely inclined at least 25 degrees from face-on and the others may be on inclined orbits. For semimajor axis ratios consistent with a 4: 2: 1 mean-motion resonance, our analysis yields precise values for HR 8799 bcd's orbital parameters and strictly constrains the planets' eccentricities to be less than 0.18-0.3. However, we find no acceptable orbital solutions with this resonance that place the planets in face-on orbits; HR 8799 d shows the largest deviation from such orbits. Moreover, few orbits make HR 8799 d coplanar with b and c, whereas dynamical stability analyses used to constrain the planets' masses typically assume coplanar and/or face-on orbits. This Letter illustrates the significant science gain enabled with the release of the NIRC2 archive.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberARTN L34
    Number of pages7
    JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2012


    • companion
    • inclination
    • star
    • system
    • planet
    • disk
    • image
    • stars: individual (HR 8799)
    • discovery
    • stability
    • planetary systems
    • mass
    • stars: early-type


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