THE TRANSIT LIGHT CURVE PROJECT. XIII. SIXTEEN TRANSITS OF THE SUPER-EARTH GJ 1214b
Author(s)Carter, Joshua Adam; Winn, Joshua Nathan; Holman, Matthew J.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Berta-Thompson, Zach; Burke, Christopher J.; Nutzman, Philip; ... Show more Show less
MetadataShow full item record
We present optical photometry of 16 transits of the super-Earth GJ 1214b, allowing us to refine the system parameters and search for additional planets via transit timing. Starspot-crossing events are detected in two light curves, and the star is found to be variable by a few percent. Hence, in our analysis, special attention is given to systematic errors that result from starspots. The planet-to-star radius ratio is 0.11610 ± 0.00048, subject to a possible upward bias by a few percent due to the unknown spot coverage. Even assuming this bias to be negligible, the mean density of the planet can be either 3.03 ± 0.50 g cm[superscript –3] or 1.89 ± 0.33 g cm[superscript –3], depending on whether the stellar radius is estimated from evolutionary models, or from an empirical mass-luminosity relation combined with the light curve parameters. One possible resolution is that the orbit is eccentric (e [almost equal to] 0.14), which would favor the higher density, and hence a much thinner atmosphere for the planet. The transit times were found to be periodic within about 15 s, ruling out the existence of any other super-Earths with periods within a factor of two of the known planet.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Institute of Physics Publishing
Carter, Joshua A. et al. “THE TRANSIT LIGHT CURVE PROJECT. XIII. SIXTEEN TRANSITS OF THE SUPER-EARTH GJ 1214b.” The Astrophysical Journal 730.2 (2011): 82. Web.
Author's final manuscript