Thursday, September 10, 2015

Measurement of the Nodal Precession of hot Jupiter WASP-33b

Measurement of the Nodal Precession of WASP-33 b via Doppler Tomography


Johnson et al


We have analyzed new and archival time series spectra taken six years apart during transits of the hot Jupiter WASP-33b, and spectroscopically resolved the line profile perturbation caused by the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. The motion of this line profile perturbation is determined by the path of the planet across the stellar disk, which we show to have changed between the two epochs due to nodal precession of the planetary orbit. We measured rates of change of the impact parameter and the sky-projected spin-orbit misalignment of db/dt=−0.0228+0.0050−0.0018 yr−1 and dλ/dt=−0.487+0.089−0.076 ∘ yr−1, respectively, corresponding to a rate of nodal precession of dΩ/dt=0.117+0.012−0.029 ∘ yr−1. This is only the second measurement of nodal precession for a confirmed exoplanet transiting a single star. Finally, we used the rate of precession to set limits on the stellar gravitational quadrupole moment of 0.0017≤J2≤0.011.

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