Vetting Kepler planet candidates in the sub-Jovian desert with multiband photometry

Knicole D. Colón, Robert C. Morehead, Eric B. Ford

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11 Scopus citations


We present newmultiband transit photometry of three small (Rp ≲ 6 R), short-period (P ≲ 6 d) Kepler planet candidates acquired with the Gran Telescopio Canarias. These observations supplement the results presented in Colón & Ford and Colón, Ford & Morehead, where we used multicolour transit photometry of five Kepler planet candidates to search for wavelengthdependent transit depths and either validate planet candidates or identify eclipsing binary false positives within our sample. In those previous studies, we provided evidence that three targets were false positives and two targets were planets. Here, we present observations that provide evidence supporting a planetary nature for Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) 439.01 and KOI 732.01, and we find that KOI 531.01, a 6 R planet candidate around an M dwarf, is likely a false positive. We also present a discussion of the purported 'sub-Jovian desert' in the orbital period-planet radius plane, which cannot be easily explained by observational bias. Both KOI 439.01 and KOI 732.01 are likely planets located within the so-called desert and should be investigated with further follow-up observations. As only ~30 of the ~3600 currently active Kepler planet candidates are located within the sub-Jovian desert, it will be interesting to see if these candidates also survive the vetting process and fill in the gap in the period-radius plane. Confirming planets in this regime will be important for understanding planetary migration and evolution processes, and we urge additional follow-up observations of these planet candidates to confirm their nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3001-3009
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 27 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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