Kepler-63 - Transiting hot Jupiter in a polar orbit

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Kepler-63 - Transiting hot Jupiter in a polar orbit

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 31st July 2013, 8:33 pm

Kepler-63b: A Giant Planet in a Polar Orbit around a Young Sun-like Star

We present the discovery and characterization of a giant planet orbiting the young Sun-like star Kepler-63 (KOI-63, $m_{\rm Kp} = 11.6$, $T_{\rm eff} = 5576$ K, $M_\star = 0.98\, M_\odot$). The planet transits every 9.43 days, with apparent depth variations and brightening anomalies caused by large starspots. The planet's radius is $6.1 \pm 0.2 R_{\earth}$, based on the transit light curve and the estimated stellar parameters. The planet's mass could not be measured with the existing radial-velocity data, due to the high level of stellar activity, but if we assume a circular orbit we can place a rough upper bound of $120 M_{\earth}$ (3$\sigma$). The host star has a high obliquity ($\psi$ = $104^{\circ}$), based on the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect and an analysis of starspot-crossing events. This result is valuable because almost all previous obliquity measurements are for stars with more massive planets and shorter-period orbits. In addition, the polar orbit of the planet combined with an analysis of spot-crossing events reveals a large and persistent polar starspot. Such spots have previously been inferred using Doppler tomography, and predicted in simulations of magnetic activity of young Sun-like stars.

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