A Resonant Sextuplet Of Sub-Neptunes Transiting The Bright Star HD 110067

Wednesday, November 29, 2023
by nayanika

Planets with radii between that of the Earth and Neptune (hereafter referred to as “sub-Neptunes”) are found in close-in orbits around more than half of all Sun-like stars [1, 2]. Yet, their composition, formation, and evolution remain poorly understood [3]. The study of multi-planetary systems offers an opportunity to investigate the outcomes of planet formation and evolution while controlling for initial conditions and environment. Those in resonance (with their orbital periods related by a ratio of small integers) are particularly valuable because they imply a system architecture practically unchanged since its birth. Here, we present the observations of six transiting planets around the bright nearby star HD 110067. We find that the planets follow a chain of resonant orbits. A dynamical study of the innermost planet triplet allowed the prediction and later confirmation of the orbits of the rest of the planets in the system. The six planets are found to be sub-Neptunes with radii ranging from 1.94 to 2.85 R⊕. Three of the planets have measured masses, yielding low bulk
densities that suggest the presence of large hydrogen-dominated atmospheres.

Read more on Nature