Characterization of K2-167 b and CALM, a new stellar activity mitigation method

Zoë L. de Beurs*, Andrew Vanderburg, Erica Thygesen, Joseph E. Rodriguez, Xavier Dumusque, Annelies Mortier, Luca Malavolta, Lars A. Buchhave, Christopher J. Shallue, Sebastian Zieba, Laura Kreidberg, John H. Livingston, R. D. Haywood, David W. Latham, Mercedes López-Morales, André M. Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

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We report precise radial velocity (RV) observations of HD 212657 (= K2-167), a star shown by K2 to host a transiting sub-Neptune-sized planet in a 10 d orbit. Using Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) photometry, we refined the planet parameters, especially the orbital period. We collected 74 precise RVs with the HARPS-N spectrograph between August 2015 and October 2016. Although this planet was first found to transit in 2015 and validated in 2018, excess RV scatter originally limited mass measurements. Here, we measure a mass by taking advantage of reductions in scatter from updates to the HARPS-N Data Reduction System (2.3.5) and our new activity mitigation method called CCF Activity Linear Model (CALM), which uses activity-induced line shape changes in the spectra without requiring timing information. Using the CALM framework, we performed a joint fit with RVs and transits using EXOFASTv2 and find Mp = 6.3-1.4+1.4 M and Rp = 2.33-0.15+0.17 R, which places K2-167 b at the upper edge of the radius valley. We also find hints of a secondary companion at a ∼22 d period, but confirmation requires additional RVs. Although characterizing lower mass planets like K2-167 b is often impeded by stellar variability, these systems especially help probe the formation physics (i.e. photoevaporation, core-powered mass-loss) of the radius valley. In the future, CALM or similar techniques could be widely applied to FGK-type stars, help characterize a population of exoplanets surrounding the radius valley, and further our understanding of their formation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1047-1066
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Exoplanets
  • Methods: statistical
  • Planets and satellites: terrestrial planets
  • Stars: activity
  • Techniques: radial velocities


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