The Telltale Heartbeat: Detection and Characterization of Eccentric Orbiting Planets via Tides on Their Host Star

Zephyr Penoyre, Nicholas C. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present an analytic description of tides raised on a star by a small orbiting body. In particular, we highlight the disproportionate effect of eccentricity and thus the scope for using these tides to detect and characterize the orbits of exoplanets and brown dwarfs. The tidal distortions of the star produced by an eccentric orbit are, in comparison to a circular orbit, much richer in detail and potentially visible from any viewing angle. The magnitude of these variations is much larger than that in a circular orbit of the same semimajor axis. These variations are visible in both photometric and spectroscopic data and dominate other regular sources of phase variability (e.g., reflection and Doppler beaming) over a particularly interesting portion of parameter space. These tidal signatures will be a useful tool for planet detection on their own and, used in concert with other methods, provide powerful constraints on planetary and stellar properties.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number60
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume157
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • asteroseismology
  • methods: analytical
  • planetary systems
  • planets and satellites: detection
  • stars: kinematics and dynamics
  • stars: oscillations

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