Journal Article

Homogeneous studies of transiting extrasolar planets – IV. Thirty systems with space-based light curves

John Southworth

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 417, issue 3, pages 2166-2196
Published in print November 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Homogeneous studies of transiting extrasolar planets – IV. Thirty systems with space-based light curves

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I calculate the physical properties of 32 transiting extrasolar planet and brown-dwarf systems from existing photometric observations and measured spectroscopic parameters. The systems studied include 15 observed by the CoRoT satellite, 10 by Kepler and five by the Deep Impact spacecraft. Inclusion of the objects studied in previous papers leads to a sample of 58 transiting systems with homogeneously measured properties. The Kepler data include observations from Quarter 2, and my analyses of several of the systems are the first to be based on short-cadence data from this satellite.

The light curves are modelled using the jktebop code, with attention paid to the treatment of limb darkening, contaminating light, orbital eccentricity, correlated noise and numerical integration over long exposure times. The physical properties are derived from the light-curve parameters, spectroscopic characteristics of the host star and constraints from five sets of theoretical stellar model predictions. An alternative approach using a calibration from eclipsing binary star systems is explored and found to give comparable results whilst imposing a much smaller computational burden.

My results are in good agreement with published properties for most of the transiting systems, but discrepancies are identified for CoRoT-5, CoRoT-8, CoRoT-13, Kepler-5 and Kepler-7. Many of the error bars quoted in the literature are underestimated. Refined orbital ephemerides are given for CoRoT-8 and for the Kepler planets. Asteroseismic constraints on the density of the host stars are in good agreement with the photometric equivalents for HD 17156 and TrES-2, but not for HAT-P-7 and HAT-P-11.

Complete error budgets are generated for each transiting system, allowing identification of the observations best-suited to improve measurements of their physical properties. Whilst most systems would benefit from further photometry and spectroscopy, HD 17156, HD 80606, HAT-P-7 and TrES-2 are now extremely well characterized. HAT-P-11 is an exceptional candidate for studying starspots. The orbital ephemerides of some transiting systems are becoming uncertain and they should be re-observed in the near future.

The primary results from the current work and from previous papers in the series have been placed in an online catalogue, from where they can be obtained in a range of formats for reference and further study. TEPCat is available at

Keywords: binaries: eclipsing; binaries: spectroscopic; stars: fundamental parameters; planetary systems

Journal Article.  24299 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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