Tsevi Mazeh - Wise Observatory, Tel Aviv Univ., Israel

Tsevi Mazeh
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Tsevi Mazeh
Wise Observatory, Tel Aviv Univ., Israel

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (34)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (24)
Astrophysics (3)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)

Publications Authored By Tsevi Mazeh

The eShel, an off-the-shelf, fiber-fed echelle spectrograph ($R \approx 10,000$), was installed on the 1m telescope at the Wise observatory in Israel. We report the installation of the multi-order spectrograph, and describe our pipeline to extract stellar radial velocity from the obtained spectra. We also introduce a new algorithm---UNICOR, to remove radial-velocity systematics that can appear in some of the observed orders. Read More

The two most common techniques for measuring planetary masses - the radial velocity (RV) and the transit timing variations (TTVs) techniques - have been observed to yield systematically different masses for planets of similar radii. Following Steffen (2016), we consider the effects of the observational biases of the two methods as a possible cause for this difference. We find that at short orbital periods ($P<11$ day), the two methods produce statistically similar results, whereas at long periods ($P>11$ day) the RV masses are systematically higher than the TTV ones. Read More

We report the detections of a giant planet (MARVELS-7b) and a brown dwarf candidate (MARVELS-7c) around the primary star in the close binary system, HD 87646. It is the first close binary system with more than one substellar circum-primary companion discovered to the best of our knowledge. The detection of this giant planet was accomplished using the first multi-object Doppler instrument (KeckET) at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope. Read More

Kepler has discovered hundreds of systems with multiple transiting exoplanets which hold tremendous potential both individually and collectively for understanding the formation and evolution of planetary systems. Many of these systems consist of multiple small planets with periods less than ~50 days known as Systems with Tightly-spaced Inner Planets, or STIPs. One especially intriguing STIP, Kepler-80 (KOI-500), contains five transiting planets: f, d, e, b, and c with periods of 1. Read More

We present a new transit timing catalog of 2599 Kepler Objects of Interest (=KOIs), using the PDC-MAP long-cadence light curves that include the full seventeen quarters of the mission (ftp://wise- ftp.tau.ac. Read More

In anticipation of the Gaia astrometric mission, a large sample of spectroscopic binaries has been observed since 2010 with the SOPHIE spectrograph at the Haute--Provence Observatory. Our aim is to derive the orbital elements of double-lined spectroscopic binaries (SB2s) with an accuracy sufficient to finally obtain the masses of the components with relative errors as small as 1 % when the astrometric measurements of Gaia are taken into account. In this paper we present the results from five years of observations of 10 SB2 systems with periods ranging from 37 to 881 days. Read More

A few studies have reported a significant dearth of exoplanets with Neptune mass and radius with orbital periods below $2$--$4$ d. This cannot be explained by observational biases because many Neptunian planets with longer orbital periods have been detected. The existence of this desert is similar to the appearance of the so-called brown-dwarf desert that suggests different formation mechanisms of planets and stellar companions with short orbital periods. Read More

We infer dynamical masses in eight multi-planet systems using transit times measured from Kepler's complete dataset, including short-cadence data where available. Of the eighteen dynamical masses that we infer, ten pass multiple tests for robustness. These are in systems; Kepler-26 (KOI-250), Kepler-29 (KOI-738), Kepler-60 (KOI-2086), Kepler-105 (KOI-115), and Kepler-307 (KOI-1576). Read More

We report the discovery of a new Kepler transiting circumbinary planet (CBP). This latest addition to the still-small family of CBPs defies the current trend of known short-period planets orbiting near the stability limit of binary stars. Unlike the previous discoveries, the planet revolving around the eclipsing binary system Kepler-1647 has a very long orbital period (~1100 days) and was at conjunction only twice during the Kepler mission lifetime. Read More

We report the discovery of four short-period eclipsing systems in the Kepler light curves, consisting of an A-star primary and a low-mass white dwarf (WD) secondary (dA+WD) - KIC 4169521, KOI-3818, KIC 2851474, and KIC 9285587. The systems show BEaming, Ellipsoidal and Reflection (BEER) phase modulations together with primary and secondary eclipses. These add to the 6 Kepler and 18 WASP short-period eclipsing dA+WD binaries that were previously known. Read More

There are by now ten published detections of fast radio bursts (FRBs), single bright GHz-band millisecond pulses of unknown origin. Proposed explanations cover a broad range from exotic processes at cosmological distances to atmospheric and terrestrial sources. Loeb et al. Read More

The Kepler mission has yielded the discovery of eight circumbinary systems, all found around eclipsing binaries with periods greater than 7 d. This is longer than the typical eclipsing binary period found by Kepler, and hence there is a dearth of planets around the closest binaries. In this paper we suggest how this dearth may be explained by the presence of a distant stellar tertiary companion, which shrunk the inner binary orbit by the process of Kozai cycles and tidal friction, a mechanism that has been implicated for producing most binaries with periods below 7 d. Read More

(abridged for arXiv) The BEER algorithm searches stellar light curves for the BEaming, Ellipsoidal, and Reflection photometric modulations that are caused by a short-period companion. Applying the search to the first five long-run center CoRoT fields, we identified $481$ non-eclipsing candidates with periodic flux amplitudes of $0.5-87$ mmag. Read More

Mazeh, Holczer, and Shporer (2015) have presented an approach that can, in principle, use the derived transit timing variation (TTV) of some transiting planets observed by the $Kepler$ mission to distinguish between prograde and retrograde motion of their orbits with respect to their parent stars' rotation. The approach utilizes TTVs induced by spot-crossing events that occur when the planet moves across a spot on the stellar surface, looking for a correlation between the derived TTVs and the stellar brightness derivatives at the corresponding transits. This can work even in data that cannot temporally resolve the spot-crossing events themselves. Read More

The observed amplitude of the rotational photometric modulation of a star with spots should depend on the inclination of its rotational axis relative to our line of sight. Therefore, the distribution of observed rotational amplitudes of a large sample of stars depends on the distribution of their projected axes of rotation. Thus, comparison of the stellar rotational amplitudes of the Kepler KOIs with those of Kepler single stars can provide a measure to indirectly infer the properties of the spin-orbit obliquity of Kepler planets. Read More

We applied the BEER algorithm to the CoRoT lightcurves from the first five LRc fields and identified $481$ non-eclipsing BEER candidates with periodic lightcurve modulations and amplitudes of $0.5-87$ mmag. Medium-resolution spectra of $281$ candidates were obtained in a seven-night AAOmega radial-velocity (RV) campaign, with a precision of $\sim1$ km/s. Read More

We make use of the high photometric precision of Kepler to search for periodic modulations among 14 normal (DA- and DB-type, likely non-magnetic) hot white dwarfs (WDs). In five, and possibly up to seven of the WDs, we detect periodic, ~2 hr to 10 d, variations, with semi-amplitudes of 60 - 2000 ppm, lower than ever seen in WDs. We consider various explanations: WD rotation combined with magnetic cool spots; rotation combined with magnetic dichroism; rotation combined with hot spots from an interstellar-medium accretion flow; transits by size ~50 - 200 km objects; relativistic beaming due to reflex motion caused by a cool companion WD; or reflection/re-radiation of the primary WD light by a brown-dwarf or giant-planet companion, undergoing illumination phases as it orbits the WD. Read More

In anticipation of the Gaia astrometric mission, a large sample of spectroscopic binaries is being observed since 2010 with the Sophie spectrograph at the Haute--Provence Observatory. Our aim is to derive the orbital elements of double-lined spectroscopic binaries (SB2s) with an accuracy sufficient to finally obtain the masses of the components with relative errors as small as 1% when the astrometric measurements of Gaia are taken into account. Simultaneously, the luminosities of the components in the Gaia photometric band G will also be obtained. Read More

We analyzed the Kepler light curves of four transiting hot Jupiter systems --- KOI-13, HAT-P-7, TrES-2, and Kepler-76, which show BEaming, Ellipsoidal and Reflection (BEER) phase modulations. The mass of the four planets can be estimated from either the beaming or the ellipsoidal amplitude, given the mass and radius of their parent stars. For KOI-13, HAT-P-7, and Kepler-76 we find that the beaming-based planetary mass estimate is larger than the mass estimated from the ellipsoidal amplitude, consistent with previous studies. Read More

Some transiting planets discovered by the Kepler mission display transit timing variations (TTVs) induced by stellar spots that rotate on the visible hemisphere of their parent stars. An induced TTV can be observed when a planet crosses a spot and modifies the shape of the transit light curve, even if the time resolution of the data does not allow to detect the crossing event itself. We present an approach that can, in some cases, use the derived TTVs of a planet to distinguish between a prograde and a retrograde planetary motion with respect to the stellar rotation. Read More

We analyzed 3 years of data from the Kepler space mission to derive rotation periods of main-sequence stars below 6500 K. Our automated autocorrelation-based method detected rotation periods between 0.2 and 70 days for 34,030 (25. Read More

We report the discovery of a transiting, Rp = 4.347+/-0.099REarth, circumbinary planet (CBP) orbiting the Kepler K+M Eclipsing Binary (EB) system KIC 12351927 (Kepler-413) every ~66 days on an eccentric orbit with ap = 0. Read More

We show that the Kepler spacecraft in two-reaction wheel mode of operation is very well suited for the study of eclipsing binary star systems. Continued observations of the Kepler field will provide the most enduring and long-term valuable science. It will enable the discovery and characterization of eclipsing binaries with periods greater than 1 year - these are the most important, yet least understood binaries for habitable-zone planet background considerations. Read More

We propose a scientific program to complete a census of planets, characterizing their masses, orbital properties, and dynamical histories using continued observations of the Kepler field of view with the Kepler spacecraft in a two reaction wheel mission. Even with a significantly reduced photometric precision, extending time-domain observations of this field is uniquely capable of pursuing several critical science goals: 1) measuring the architectures of planetary systems by identifying non-transiting planets interleaved among known transiting planets, 2) establishing the mass-radius relationship for planets in the important transition region between small, gas-rich sub-Neptune planets and large, rocky super-Earths, and 3) uncovering dynamical evidence of the formation and evolution of the inner regions of planetary systems. To meet these objectives, the unique multi-object observing capabilities of Kepler will be used in a set of concurrent campaigns with specific motivations. Read More

We present a large sample of stellar rotation periods for Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), based on three years of public Kepler data. These were measured by detecting periodic photometric modulation caused by star spots, using an algorithm based on the autocorrelation function (ACF) of the light curve, developed recently by McQuillan, Aigrain & Mazeh (2013). Of the 1919 main-sequence exoplanet hosts analyzed, robust rotation periods were detected for 737. Read More

We present the first case in which the BEER algorithm identified a hot Jupiter in the Kepler light curve, and its reality was confirmed by orbital solutions based on follow-up spectroscopy. The companion Kepler-76b was identified by the BEER algorithm, which detected the BEaming (sometimes called Doppler boosting) effect together with the Ellipsoidal and Reflection/emission modulations (BEER), at an orbital period of 1.54 days, suggesting a planetary companion orbiting the 13. Read More

We have analysed 10 months of public data from the Kepler space mission to measure rotation periods of main-sequence stars with masses between 0.3 and 0.55 M_sun. Read More

SDSS 1355+0856 was identified as a hot white dwarf (WD) with a binary companion from time-resolved SDSS spectroscopy as part of the ongoing SWARMS survey. Follow-up observations with the ARC 3.5m telescope and the MMT revealed weak emission lines in the central cores of the Balmer absorption lines during some phases of the orbit, but no line emission during other phases. Read More

We have analysed radial velocity measurements for known transiting exoplanets to study the empirical signature of tidal orbital evolution for close-in planets. Compared to standard eccentricity determination, our approach is modified to focus on the rejection of the null hypothesis of a circular orbit. We are using a MCMC analysis of radial velocity measurements and photometric constraints, including a component of correlated noise, as well as Bayesian model selection to check if the data justifies the additional complexity of an eccentric orbit. Read More

Eighty planetary systems of two or more planets are known to orbit stars other than the Sun. For most, the data can be sufficiently explained by non-interacting Keplerian orbits, so the dynamical interactions of these systems have not been observed. Here we present 4 sets of lightcurves from the Kepler spacecraft, which each show multiple planets transiting the same star. Read More

The detection and characterization of the first transiting super-Earth, CoRoT-7 b, has required an unprecedented effort in terms of telescope time and analysis. Although the star does display a radial velocity signal at the period of the planet, this has been difficult to disentangle from the intrinsic stellar variability, and pinning down the velocity amplitude has been very challenging. As a result, the precise value of the mass of the planet - and even the extent to which it can be considered to be confirmed - have been debated in the recent literature, with six mass measurements published so far based on the same spectroscopic observations, ranging from about 2 to 8 Earth masses. Read More

The beaming effect (aka Doppler boosting) induces a variation in the observed flux of a luminous object, following its observed radial velocity variation. We describe a photometric signal induced by the beaming effect during eclipse of binary systems, where the stellar components are late type Sun-like stars. The shape of this signal is sensitive to the angle between the eclipsed star's spin axis and the orbital angular momentum axis, thereby allowing its measurement. Read More

We present a simple algorithm, BEER, to search for a combination of the BEaming, Ellipsoidal and the Reflection/heating periodic modulations, induced by short-period non-transiting low-mass companions. The beaming effect is due to the increase (decrease) of the brightness of any light source approaching (receding from) the observer. To first order, the beaming and the reflection/heating effects modulate the stellar brightness at the orbital period, with phases separated by a quarter of a period, whereas the ellipsoidal effect is modulated with the orbital first harmonic. Read More

The two dominant features in the distribution of orbital parameters for close-in exoplanets are the prevalence of circular orbits for very short periods, and the observation that planets on closer orbits tend to be heavier. The first feature is interpreted as a signature of tidal evolution, while the origin of the second, a "mass-period relation" for hot Jupiters, is not understood. In this paper we re-consider the ensemble properties of transiting exoplanets with well-measured parameters, focussing on orbital eccentricity and the mass-period relation. Read More

We report on the first ground-based measurement of the relativistic beaming effect (aka Doppler boosting). We observed the beaming effect in the detached, non-interacting eclipsing double white dwarf (WD) binary NLTT 11748. Our observations were motivated by the system's high mass ratio and low luminosity ratio, leading to a large beaming-induced variability amplitude at the orbital period of 5. Read More

CoRoT-3b is a 22 Jupiter-mass massive-planet/brown-dwarf object, orbiting an F3-star with a period of 4.3 days. We analyzed the out-of-transit CoRoT-3 red-channel lightcurve obtained by the CoRoT mission and detected the ellipsoidal modulation, with half the orbital period and amplitude of 59+/-9 ppm (parts per million) and the relativistic beaming effect, with the orbital period and an amplitude of 27+/-9 ppm. Read More

As part of the long-term radial velocity monitoring of known transiting planets -- designed to measure orbital eccentricities, spin-orbit alignments and further planetary companions -- we have acquired radial velocity data for the two transiting systems WASP-12 and WASP-14, each harbouring gas giants on close orbits (orbital period of 1.09 and 2.24 days respectively). Read More

Affiliations: 1Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, 2Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, 3Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, 4MIT Lincoln Lab, 5Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, 6Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, 7Wise Observatory, Tel Aviv Univ., Israel

A rare eclipse of the mysterious object Epsilon Aurigae will occur in 2009-2011. We report an updated single-lined spectroscopic solution for the orbit of the primary star based on 20 years of monitoring at the CfA, combined with historical velocity observations dating back to 1897. There are 518 new CfA observations obtained between 1989 and 2009. Read More

This paper reviews the basic technical characteristics of the ground-based photometric searches for transiting planets, and discusses a possible observational selection effect. I suggest that additional photometric observations of the already observed fields might discover new transiting planets with periods around 4-6 days. The set of known transiting planets support the intriguing correlation between the planetary mass and the orbital period suggested already in 2005. Read More

Affiliations: 1Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 2Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 3Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 4Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 5Wise Observatory, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, 6Wise Observatory, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, 7Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 8Planetary Science Institute

We present photometry of six transits of the exoplanet XO-2b. By combining the light-curve analysis with theoretical isochrones to determine the stellar properties, we find the planetary radius to be 0.996 +0. Read More

Photometry is presented of the Dec. 25, 2007 transit of HD 17156b, which has the longest orbital period and highest orbital eccentricity of all the known transiting exoplanets. New measurements of the stellar radial velocity are also presented. Read More

This paper presents multi-band photometric follow-up observations of the Neptune-mass transiting planet GJ 436b, consisting of 5 new ground-based transit light curves obtained in May 2007. Together with one already published light curve we have at hand a total of 6 light curves, spanning 29 days. The analysis of the data yields an orbital period P = 2. Read More