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Astronomical Journal


We report the discovery of KELT-6b, a mildly inflated Saturn-mass planet transiting a metal-poor host. The initial transit signal was identified in KELT-North survey data, and the planetary nature of the occulter was established using a combination of follow-up photometry, high-resolution imaging, high-resolution spectroscopy, and precise radial velocity measurements. The fiducial model from a global analysis including constraints from isochrones indicates that the V = 10.38 host star (BD+31 2447) is a mildly evolved, late-F star with T eff = 6102 ± 43 K, log g_\star =4.07_{-0.07}^{+0.04}, and [Fe/H] = -0.28 ± 0.04, with an inferred mass M sstarf = 1.09 ± 0.04 M and radius R_\star =1.58_{-0.09}^{+0.16} \,R_\odot. The planetary companion has mass MP = 0.43 ± 0.05 M Jup, radius R_{P}=1.19_{-0.08}^{+0.13} \,R_Jup, surface gravity log g_{P}=2.86_{-0.08}^{+0.06}, and density \rho _{P}=0.31_{-0.08}^{+0.07}\,g\,cm^{-3}. The planet is on an orbit with semimajor axis a = 0.079 ± 0.001 AU and eccentricity e=0.22_{-0.10}^{+0.12}, which is roughly consistent with circular, and has ephemeris of T c(BJDTDB) = 2456347.79679 ± 0.00036 and P = 7.845631 ± 0.000046 days. Equally plausible fits that employ empirical constraints on the host-star parameters rather than isochrones yield a larger planet mass and radius by ~4}-7}. KELT-6b has surface gravity and incident flux similar to HD 209458b, but orbits a host that is more metal poor than HD 209458 by ~0.3 dex. Thus, the KELT-6 system offers an opportunity to perform a comparative measurement of two similar planets in similar environments around stars of very different metallicities. The precise radial velocity data also reveal an acceleration indicative of a longer-period third body in the system, although the companion is not detected in Keck adaptive optics images.KELT is a joint project of The Ohio State University, Vanderbilt University, and Lehigh University.


instrumentation: adaptive optics, planetary systems, stars: individual: KELT-6 BD+31 2447 TYC 2532-556-1 HD 209458, techniques: photometric, techniques: spectroscopic, Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Astronomical Society and IOP Publishing.