Stellar and Planetary Characterization of the Ross 128 Exoplanetary System from APOGEE Spectra

Diogo Souto, Cayman T. Unterborn, Verne V. Smith, Katia Cunha, Johanna Teske, Kevin Covey, Bárbara Rojas-Ayala, D. A. García-Hernández, Keivan Stassun, Olga Zamora, Thomas Masseron, J. A. Johnson, Steven R. Majewski, Henrik Jönsson, Steven Gilhool, Cullen Blake, Felipe Santana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The first detailed chemical abundance analysis of the M-dwarf (M4.0) exoplanet-hosting star Ross 128 is presented here, based upon near-infrared (1.5-1.7 μm), high-resolution (R ∼ 22,500) spectra from the SDSS Apache Point Galactic Evolution Experiment survey. We determined precise atmospheric parameters T eff = 3231 ±100 K, log g = 4.96 ±0.11 dex and chemical abundances of eight elements (C, O, Mg, Al, K, Ca, Ti, and Fe), finding Ross 128 to have near solar metallicity ([Fe/H] = +0.03 ± 0.09 dex). The derived results were obtained via spectral synthesis (1D LTE) adopting both MARCS and PHOENIX model atmospheres; stellar parameters and chemical abundances derived from the different adopted models do not show significant offsets. Mass-radius modeling of Ross 128b indicates that it lies below the pure-rock composition curve, suggesting that it contains a mixture of rock and iron, with the relative amounts of each set by the ratio of Fe/Mg. If Ross 128b formed with a subsolar Si abundance, and assuming the planet's composition matches that of the host star, it likely has a larger core size relative to the Earth despite this producing a planet with a Si/Mg abundance ratio ∼34% greater than the Sun. The derived planetary parameters - insolation flux (S Earth = 1.79 ±0.26) and equilibrium temperature (T eq = 294 ±10 K) - support previous findings that Ross 128b is a temperate exoplanet in the inner edge of the habitable zone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2018


  • infrared: stars
  • planetary systems
  • planetstar interactions
  • stars: abundances
  • stars: fundamental parameters
  • stars: low-mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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