Contributed Talk - Splinter Exoplanets

Wednesday, 23 September 2020, 16:35   (virtual room D)

Challenges of validating Earth-like transiting planets around Sun-like stars

Heller R (1), Hippke M (2), Freudenthal J (3), Rodenbeck K (4), Batalha N (5), Bryson S (6)
(1) Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, (2) Sonneberg Observatory, (3) Institute for Ast

Space-based photometry from the CoRoT, Kepler, and TESS missions provided high-accuracy photometry that allowed the discoveries of a multitude of new exoplanet populations such as mini-Neptunes and hot rocky planets. Some Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones (HZs) around M dwarf stars were also found, but the detection of Earth-sized transiting planets in the HZs around Sun-like stars remains unfeasible. The PLATO mission of ESA might have the potential to overcome the final challenges that have hitherto prevented these detections by continuously looking a large sample of bright (mV ~ 8) Sun-like stars for 2 or 3 years. I will review the main obstacles of finding, characterizing, and validating Earth-sized transiting planets in the HZs around Sun-like stars and present our discovery of 1.9 Earth radius planet candidate KOI-456.04 in the HZ around the Sun-like star Kepler-160 as an illustrative example.