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Astronomy And Astrophysics


Context. The NASA mission TESS is currently doing an all-sky survey from space to detect transiting planets around bright stars. As part of the validation process, the most promising planet candidates need to be confirmed and characterized using follow-up observations. Aims. In this article, our aim is to confirm the planetary nature of the transiting planet candidate TOI-674b using spectroscopic and photometric observations. Methods. We use TESS, Spitzer, ground-based light curves, and HARPS spectrograph radial velocity measurements to establish the physical properties of the transiting exoplanet candidate TOI-674b. We perform a joint fit of the light curves and radial velocity time series to measure the mass, radius, and orbital parameters of the candidate. Results. We confirm and characterize TOI-674b, a low-density super-Neptune transiting a nearby M dwarf. The host star (TIC 158588995, V = 14.2 mag, J = 10.3 mag) is characterized by its M2V spectral type with M = 0.420 ± 0.010 M, R = 0.420 ± 0.013 R, and Teff = 3514 ± 57 K; it is located at a distance d = 46.16 ± 0.03 pc. Combining the available transit light curves plus radial velocity measurements and jointly fitting a circular orbit model, we find an orbital period of 1.977143 ± 3 × 10⁻⁶ days, a planetary radius of 5.25 ± 0.17 R, and a mass of 23.6 ± 3.3 M implying a mean density of ρp =0.91 ± 0.15 g cm⁻³. A non-circular orbit model fit delivers similar planetary mass and radius values within the uncertainties. Given the measured planetary radius and mass, TOI-674b is one of the largest and most massive super-Neptune class planets discovered around an M-type star to date. It is found in the Neptunian desert, and is a promising candidate for atmospheric characterization using the James Webb Space Telescope.


planets and satellites: general, planets and satellites: gaseous planets, stars: individual: TOI-674, techniques: photometric, techniques: radial velocities


This work is freely available courtesy of the European Southern Observatory and EDP Sciences. It was originally published in volume 653 of Astronomy and Astrophysics. © ESO 2021. All rights reserved.