Institute of Astronomy

Exploiting the accuracy of Kepler : Discovery of the hottest and largest exoplanet

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Dimitris Mislis26 October 2011Institute of Astronomy Seminars


We present a new approach to determine the parameters of transiting extrasolar planetary systems using photometric light curves (LCs). An analysis that combines a treatment of various phenomena in high-accuracy LCs allows a derivation of orbital and physical parameters. Our method considers the primary transit, the secondary eclipses, and the overall phase shape of a LC between the occultations. Phase variations are induced by reflected and thermally emitted light from the planet. Moreover, the ellipsoidal shape of the star due to the gravitational pull from the planet induce phase variations. As we find, the complete decipherment of LCs yields information about the planetary mass, orbital eccentricity, orientation of periastron, and the planet’s albedo. Furthermore, we present the analysis of a Kepler candidate exoplanet system. Using the LC from Kepler mission, we have found ellipsoidal variations due to tidal forces (star-planet), thermal emission from the planet and possible signature due to planetary reflected light. The analysis has shown that the system is a hot Jupiter with mass MP = 1.20MJ. Because the high temperature of the host star (SP = A0V , Teff = 8848oK), the exoplanet becomes one of the hottest exoplanets, with strong thermal emission (Tp = 3341.5o K ). Except ellipsoidal variations and thermal emission, a weak reflected light component is also present in the LC.


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