Astronomy and Astrophysics
Aims: In this study we present the discovery of TOI-2257 b (TIC 198485881), a long-period (35 d) sub-Neptune orbiting an M3 star at 57.8 pc. Its transit depth is about 0.4%, large enough to be detected with medium-size, ground-based telescopes. The long transit duration suggests the planet is in a highly eccentric orbit (e ~ 0.5), which would make it the most eccentric planet known to be transiting an M-dwarf star.
Methods: We combined TESS and ground-based data obtained with the 1.0-meter SAINT-EX, 0.60-meter TRAPPIST-North, and 1.2-meter FLWO telescopes to find a planetary size of 2.2 R⊕ and an orbital period of 35.19 days. In addition, we make use of archival data, high-resolution imaging, and vetting packages to support our planetary interpretation.
Results: With its long period and high eccentricity, TOI-2257 b falls into a novel slice of parameter space. Despite the planet's low equilibrium temperature (~256 K), its host star's small size (R* = 0.311 ± 0.015) and relative infrared brightness (Kmag = 10.7) make it a suitable candidate for atmospheric exploration via transmission spectroscopy.
Our goal is to study the processes that lead to the formation of low mass stars, brown dwarfs and planets and to characterize the physical properties of these objects in various evolutionary stages. Low mass stars and brown dwarfs are likely the most numerous type of objects in our Galaxy but due to their low intrinsic luminosity they are not so