Friday, March 20, 2015

Is hot Jupiter HD 189733b Being Eaten by its Host Star???

FUV variability of HD 189733. Is the star accreting material from its hot Jupiter?


Pillitteri et al


Hot Jupiters are subject to strong irradiation from the host stars and, as a consequence, they do evaporate. They can also interact with the parent stars by means of tides and magnetic fields. Both phenomena have strong implications for the evolution of these systems. Here we present time resolved spectroscopy of HD~189733 observed with the Cosmic Origin Spectrograph (COS) on board to HST. The star has been observed during five consecutive HST orbits, starting at a secondary transit of the planet (ϕ ~0.50-0.63). Two main episodes of variability of ion lines of Si, C, N and O are detected, with an increase of line fluxes. Si IV lines show the highest degree of variability. The FUV variability is a signature of enhanced activity in phase with the planet motion, occurring after the planet egress, as already observed three times in X-rays. With the support of MHD simulations, we propose the following interpretation: a stream of gas evaporating from the planet is actively and almost steadily accreting onto the stellar surface, impacting at 70−90deg ahead of the sub-planetary point.

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