Planet-induced Stellar Pulsations in HAT-P-2's Eccentric System
Author(s)Lewis, Nikole K.; Knutson, Heather A.; Fuller, Jim; Antoci, Victoria; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Laughlin, Gregory; Deming, Drake; Shporer, Avi; Batygin, Konstantin; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Agol, Eric; Burrows, Adam S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Langton, Jonathan; Showman, Adam P.; de Wit, Julien; ... Show more Show less
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Extrasolar planets on eccentric short-period orbits provide a laboratory in which to study radiative and tidal interactions between a planet and its host star under extreme forcing conditions. Studying such systems probes how the planet's atmosphere redistributes the time-varying heat flux from its host and how the host star responds to transient tidal distortion. Here, we report the insights into the planet–star interactions in HAT-P-2's eccentric planetary system gained from the analysis of ~350 hr of 4.5 μm observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The observations show no sign of orbit-to-orbit variability nor of orbital evolution of the eccentric planetary companion, HAT-P-2 b. The extensive coverage allows us to better differentiate instrumental systematics from the transient heating of HAT-P-2 b's 4.5 μm photosphere and yields the detection of stellar pulsations with an amplitude of approximately 40 ppm. These pulsation modes correspond to exact harmonics of the planet's orbital frequency, indicative of a tidal origin. Transient tidal effects can excite pulsation modes in the envelope of a star, but, to date, such pulsations had only been detected in highly eccentric stellar binaries. Current stellar models are unable to reproduce HAT-P-2's pulsations, suggesting that our understanding of the interactions at play in this system is incomplete.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Wit, Julien de; Lewis, Nikole K.; Knutson, Heather A.; Fuller, Jim; Antoci, Victoria; Fulton, Benjamin J. and Laughlin, Gregory et al. “Planet-Induced Stellar Pulsations in HAT-P-2’s Eccentric System.” The Astrophysical Journal 836, no. 2 (February 2017): L17 © 2017 The American Astronomical Society
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