Presentation #102.70 in the session Poster Session.
M dwarfs, especially the smallest and least massive M dwarfs, offer a promising opportunity for the detection and characterization of Earth-like planets. They are also the most abundant type of star in the galaxy. Studying planets around nearby M dwarfs gives us a fantastic opportunity to understand the occurrence, formation, and characteristics of these systems.
We have performed a suite of simulations of the TESS yield of transiting planets around nearby M dwarfs. We find that the TESS data indicate that the frequency of rocky M dwarf planets decreases around the smallest host stars, which is contrary to some previous studies. In addition, we find that there are likely tens of transiting rocky planets around nearby M dwarfs that will still not be detected by the end of TESS’s 4th year.
We are also currently performing RV follow-up of the M dwarf planetary systems that have been found by TESS using the MAROON-X spectrograph, which delivers ~30 cm/s precision. With this instrument, we have the goal of achieving a 5% mass precision on all observable transiting M dwarf planets detected via TESS within 30 parsecs, and we have already been able to achieve a sub-10% precision on a sample of these planets. Precise mass and radius measurements of these planets allow us to constrain planetary compositions and probe the exoplanet radius gap. This volume-limited sample of nearby planets is allowing us to answer questions about the homogeneity of M dwarf systems, as well as how they differ from planetary systems around other types of stars.