Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Eccentric Jupiter HD 17156b's Interaction With its Host Star

Coordinated X-ray and Optical observations of Star-Planet Interaction in HD 17156


Maggio et al


The large number of close-in Jupiter-size exoplanets prompts the question whether star-planet interaction (SPI) effects can be detected. We focused our attention on the system HD 17156, having a Jupiter-mass planet in a very eccentric orbit. Here we present results of the XMM-Newton observations and of a five month coordinated optical campaign with the HARPS-N spectrograph. We observed HD 17156 with XMM-Newton when the planet was approaching the apoastron and then at the following periastron passage, quasi simultaneously with HARPS-N. We obtained a clear (≈5.5σ) X-ray detection only at the periastron visit, accompanied by a significant increase of the R′HK chromospheric index. We discuss two possible scenarios for the activity enhancement: magnetic reconnection and flaring or accretion onto the star of material tidally stripped from the planet. In any case, this is possibly the first evidence of a magnetic SPI effect caught in action.

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