A method for the direct determination of the surface gravities of transiting extrasolar planets
Southworth, J. (John), Wheatley, P. J. and Sams, Giles. (2007) A method for the direct determination of the surface gravities of transiting extrasolar planets. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol.379 (No.1). L11-L15. ISSN 0035-8711Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3933.2007.00324.x
We show that the surface gravity of a transiting extrasolar planet can be calculated from only the spectroscopic orbit of its parent star and the analysis of its transit light curve. This does not require additional constraints, such as are often inferred from theoretical stellar models or model atmospheres. The surface gravity of the planet can therefore be measured precisely and from only directly observable quantities. We outline the method and apply it to the case of the first known transiting extrasolar planet, HD 209458b. We find a surface gravity of g(p) = 9.28 +/- 0.15 m s(-2), which is an order of magnitude more precise than the best available measurements of its mass, radius and density. This confirms that the planet has a much lower surface gravity than that predicted by published theoretical models of gas giant planets. We apply our method to all 14 known transiting extrasolar planets and find a significant correlation between surface gravity and orbital period, which is related to the known correlation between mass and period. This correlation may be the underlying effect as surface gravity is a fundamental parameter in the evaporation of planetary atmospheres.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QB Astronomy|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Physics|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society|
|Official Date:||21 July 2007|
|Number of Pages:||5|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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