BEBOP III. Observations and an independent mass measurement of Kepler-16 (AB) b -- the first circumbinary planet detected with radial velocities

Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, Matthew R. Standing, Neda Heidari, David V. Martin, Isabelle Boisse, Alexandre Santerne, Alexandre C. M. Correia, Lorana Acuña, Matthew Battley, Xavier Bonfils, Andrés Carmona, Andrew Collier Cameron, Pía Cortés-Zuleta, Georgina Dransfield, Shweta Dalal, Magali Deleuil, Xavier Delfosse, João Faria, Thierry Forveille, Nathan C. HaraGuillaume Hébrard, Sergio Hoyer, Flavien Kiefer, Vedad Kunovac, Pierre F. L. Maxted, Eder Martioli, Nikki Miller, Richard P. Nelson, Mathilde Poveda, Hanno Rein, Lalitha Sairam, Stéphane Udry, Emma Willett

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The radial velocity method is amongst the most robust and most established means of detecting exoplanets. Yet, it has so far failed to detect circumbinary planets despite their relatively high occurrence rates. Here, we report velocimetric measurements of Kepler-16A, obtained with the SOPHIE spectrograph, at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence’s 193cm telescope, collected during the BEBOP survey for circumbinary planets. Our measurements mark the first radial velocity detection of a circumbinary planet, independently determining the mass of Kepler-16 (AB) b to be 0.313±0.039MJup⁠, a value in agreement with eclipse timing variations. Our observations demonstrate the capability to achieve photon-noise precision and accuracy on single-lined binaries, with our final precision reaching 1.5 ms−1 on the binary and planetary signals. Our analysis paves the way for more circumbinary planet detections using radial velocities which will increase the relatively small sample of currently known systems to statistically relevant numbers, using a method that also provides weaker detection biases. Our data also contain a long-term radial velocity signal, which we associate with the magnetic cycle of the primary star.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3561–3570
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date25 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

under review at MNRAS, 7 pages, 4 figures, all RV data in appendix


  • astro-ph.EP
  • astro-ph.SR
  • techniques: radial velocities
  • planets and satellites: detection
  • planets and satellites: individual: Kepler-16
  • binaries: eclipsing
  • binaries: spectroscopic


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