Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kepler Planet Masses and Eccentricities from Transit TIming Variation Analysis


Hadden et al


We conduct a uniform analysis of the transit timing variations (TTVs) of 145 planets from 55 Kepler multiplanet systems to infer planet masses and eccentricities. Eighty of these planets do not have previously reported mass and eccentricity measurements. We employ two complementary methods to fit TTVs: Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations based on N-body integration and an analytic fitting approach. Mass measurements of 49 planets, including 12 without previously reported masses, meet our criterion for classification as robust. Using mass and radius measurements, we infer the masses of planets' gaseous envelopes for both our TTV sample as well as transiting planets with radial velocity observations. Insight from analytic TTV formulae allows us to partially circumvent degeneracies inherent to inferring eccentricities from TTV observations. We find that planet eccentricities are generally small, typically a few percent, but in many instances are non-zero.

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