Trio of super-Earth candidates orbiting K-dwarf HD 48948: a new habitable zone candidate

Dalal, S.; Rescigno, F.; Cretignier, M.; Anna John, A.; Majidi, F. Z.; Malavolta, L.; Mortier, A.; Pinamonti, M.; Buchhave, L. A.; Haywood, R. D.; Sozzetti, A.; Dumusque, X.; Lienhard, F.; Rice, K.; Vanderburg, A.; Lakeland, B.; Bonomo, A. S.; Cameron, A. Collier; Damasso, M.; Affer, L.; Boschin, W.; Cooke, B.; Cosentino, R.; Fabrizio, L. Di; Ghedina, A.; Harutyunyan, A.; Latham, D. W.; López-Morales, M.; Lovis, C.; Fiorenzano, A. F. Martínez; Mayor, M.; Nicholson, B.; Pepe, F.; Stalport, M.; Udry, S.; Watson, C. A.; Wilson, T. G.
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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We present the discovery of three super-Earth candidates orbiting HD 48948, a bright K-dwarf star with an apparent magnitude of $m_V$ = 8.58 mag. As part of the HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search programme, we collect 189 high-precision radial velocity measurements using the HARPS-N spectrograph from 2013 October 6, to 2023 April 16. Various methodologies are applied to extract the radial velocities from the spectra, and we conduct a comprehensive comparative analysis of the outcomes obtained through these diverse extraction techniques. To ensure the robustness of our findings, we employ several methods to address stellar variability, with a focus on Gaussian Process regression. To account for the impact of stellar variability and correlated noise in the radial velocity data set, we include activity indicators, such as $\log R^{^{\prime }}_{\mathrm{HK}}$ and bisector span, in the multidimensional Gaussian Process regression. Our analysis reveals three planetary candidates with orbital periods of 7.3, 38, and 151 d, and minimum masses estimated at $4.88 \pm 0.21$ M$_{\oplus }$, $7.27 \pm 0.70$ M$_{\oplus }$, and $10.59 \pm 1.00$ M$_{\oplus }$, respectively. The outermost planet resides within the (temperate) habitable zone, positioned at a projected distance of $0.029\,{\rm arcsec}$ from its star. Given the close proximity of this planetary system, situated at a distance of 16.8 parsecs, HD 48498 emerges as a promising target (closest super-Earth around FGK stars) for future high-contrast direct imaging and high-resolution spectroscopic studies.