A Survey for Very Short-Period Planets in the Kepler Data45th Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences with Historical Astronomy Division (HAD) (2013)
AbstractMost gas giant exoplanets with orbital periods less than or equal to a few days are unstable against tidal decay and may be tidally disrupted before their host stars leave the main sequence. These gas giants may contain rocky and icy solid cores, and tidal disruption of the gas giants could strand these cores near their progenitors’ Roche limits (in orbital periods of a few to several hours). Whatever their origins, such short-period objects will evade the Kepler mission’s transit search because it is focused on periods > 0.5 days. Motivated by these considerations, we conducted a search for very short-period transiting objects in the publicly available Kepler dataset. Our preliminary survey has revealed about a dozen planetary candidates, with periods ranging from 3.3 to 10 hours. We have analyzed the data for these candidates using photometric models that include transit light curves, as well as ellipsoidal variations and secondary eclipses, to constrain the candidates’ radii, masses, and brightness temperatures. Even with masses of only a few Earth masses, the candidates’ short periods mean they may induce stellar radial velocity signals (~ 10 m/s) detectable by currently operating facilities. In this presentation, we will describe our survey, constraints from Kepler photometry, and plans for follow-up observations. If confirmed, these planets would be among the shortest-period planets ever discovered, and if common, such planets would be particularly amenable to discovery by the planned TESS mission, which is specifically designed to find short-period rocky planets.
Publication DateOctober 8, 2013
Citation InformationBrian K. Jackson, Christopher C. Stark, Elisabeth R. Adams, Michael Endl, et al.. "A Survey for Very Short-Period Planets in the Kepler Data" 45th Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences with Historical Astronomy Division (HAD) (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/brian_jackson/5/