Journal Article

Transiting planets – light-curve analysis for eccentric orbits

David M. Kipping

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 389, issue 3, pages 1383-1390
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13658.x
Transiting planets – light-curve analysis for eccentric orbits

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Transiting planet light curves have historically been used predominantly for measuring the depth and hence ratio of the planet–star radii, p. Equations have previously been presented by Seager & Mallén-Ornelas for the analysis of the total and trough transit light-curve time to derive the ratio of semimajor axis to stellar radius, a/R*, in the case of circular orbits. Here, a new analytic model is proposed which operates for the more general case of an eccentric orbit. We aim to investigate three major effects our model predicts: (i) the degeneracy in transit light-curve solutions for eccentricity, e > 0; (ii) the asymmetry of the light curve and the resulting shift in the mid-transit time, TMID; (iii) the effect of eccentricity on the ingress and egress slopes. It is also shown that a system with changing eccentricity and inclination may produce a long-term transit time variation (LTTV). Furthermore, we use our model in a re-analysis of HD 209458b archived data by Richardson et al., where we include the confirmed non-zero eccentricity and derive a 24-μm planetary radius of RP= 1.275RJ± 0.082RJ (where RJ= 1 Jovian radius), which is ∼1 per cent larger than if we assume a circular orbit.

Keywords: methods: analytical; techniques: photometric; occultations; planetary systems

Journal Article.  5849 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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