Princeton University Library Catalog

Revealing the Mystery (and Kepler's Longest Period) Planet in the Kepler-56 System

Otor, Oderah [Browse]
Senior thesis
Bakos, Gaspar [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Astrophysical Sciences [Browse]
Class year:
7 pages
Summary note:
While the vast majority of multiple-planet systems have their orbital angular momentum axes aligned with the spin axis of their host star, Kepler-56 is an exception: its two transiting planets are coplanar yet misaligned by 40 degrees with respect to 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 orbital parameters of the two transiting planets and infer the physical properties of the third, nontransiting planet. We employ a Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampler to calculate the best- tting orbital parameters and the uncertainties, calculating posterior distributions on the physical parameters of each planet. We nd a maximally likely scenario in which the additional RV signal beyond the two transiting planets come from only one planet with a period of 1000 days and minimum mass of 6 Jupiter masses. Given this minimum mass, the perturber could be a giant planet or brown dwarf, either of which would have implications on the formation of the Kepler-56 system. To further re ne the allowed parameters of Kepler-56d, we attempt to use REBOUND to test the gravitational stability of simulated Kepler-56 systems to determine which of our RV-allowed systems are dynamically stable over the lifetime of this planetary system.