Néstor Espinoza, Rafael Brahm, Andrés Jordán, James S. Jenkins, Felipe Rojas, Paula Jofré, Thomas Mädler, Markus Rabus, Julio Chanamé, Blake Pantoja, Maritza G. Soto, Katie M. Morzinski, Jared R. Males, Kimberly Ward-Duong, Laird M. Close

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We report the discovery of K2-56b, a high-density sub-Neptune exoplanet, made using photometry from Campaign 4 of the two-wheeled Kepler (K2) mission, ground-based radial velocity (RV) follow-up from HARPS and high-resolution lucky and adaptive optics imaging obtained using AstraLux and MagAO, respectively. The host star is a bright (V = 11.04, K s = 9.37), slightly metal-poor ([Fe/H] = -0.15 0.05 dex) solar analogue located at pc from Earth, for which we find a radius of and a mass of . A joint analysis of the K2 photometry and HARPS RVs reveal that the planet is in a ≈42 day orbit around its host star, has a radius of , and a mass of . Although the data at hand put the planet in the region of the mass-radius diagram where we could expect planets with a pure rock (i.e., magnesium silicate) composition using two-layer models (i.e., between rock/iron and rock/ice compositions), we discuss more realistic three-layer composition models which can explain the high density of the discovered exoplanet. The fact that the planet lies in the boundary between "possibly rocky" and "non-rocky" exoplanets makes it an interesting planet for future RV follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2016


  • composition
  • detection
  • fundamental parameters
  • planets and satellites
  • planets and satellites
  • planets and satellites
  • planets and satellites
  • terrestrial planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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