Title

Identifying Exoplanets with Detectable Precession Rates with Dynamical and Light Curve Modeling of Multi-Planet Systems

Poster Number

10

Lead Author Major

Patrick Maragos

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Daniel Jontof-Hutter

Faculty Mentor Department

Physics Department

Abstract/Artist Statement

A transiting exoplanet is a planet that passes in front of its host star and blocks a fraction of the star’s observed brightness each orbit. When an exoplanet passes in front of the middle of its star, the transit duration could be ∼10 hours, but if it grazes the edge of the star, it may be just 1 hour. Precession is the rotation of a planet’s orbit orientation over thousands of orbital periods, due to the gravity of other planets in the system. Precession can change the observed duration of a transit. The precession rate of a planet is determined by three effects: the mass of the other planet, distance from the transiting planet, and the inclination of the other planet’s orbit relative to the transiting planet. In some extreme cases, we could detect these changes in 10 years if there are: massive planets, grazing transits, or planets that are very close to the transiting planet. We searched for candidates in multi-planet systems discovered by NASA’s space- based Kepler mission, where the transit duration may change detectably this decade. We ran simulations of multi-planet systems with well constrained masses and orbital parameters to identify planets that may have rapidly changing transit durations. Another goal is to identify systems where the duration changes may constrain previously unknown masses and mutual inclinations in multi-planet systems. We have identified massive candidates with rapid transit duration variations (e.g. Kepler-88), and evaluated systems with low- mass planets where one planet has a grazing transit geometry (e.g. Kepler-51). Our identified candidates are worth follow-up observations, given our dynamical models. These duration changes should be observable from ground-based telescopes.

Location

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211

Start Date

24-4-2021 1:00 PM

End Date

24-4-2021 2:15 PM

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Apr 24th, 1:00 PM Apr 24th, 2:15 PM

Identifying Exoplanets with Detectable Precession Rates with Dynamical and Light Curve Modeling of Multi-Planet Systems

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211

A transiting exoplanet is a planet that passes in front of its host star and blocks a fraction of the star’s observed brightness each orbit. When an exoplanet passes in front of the middle of its star, the transit duration could be ∼10 hours, but if it grazes the edge of the star, it may be just 1 hour. Precession is the rotation of a planet’s orbit orientation over thousands of orbital periods, due to the gravity of other planets in the system. Precession can change the observed duration of a transit. The precession rate of a planet is determined by three effects: the mass of the other planet, distance from the transiting planet, and the inclination of the other planet’s orbit relative to the transiting planet. In some extreme cases, we could detect these changes in 10 years if there are: massive planets, grazing transits, or planets that are very close to the transiting planet. We searched for candidates in multi-planet systems discovered by NASA’s space- based Kepler mission, where the transit duration may change detectably this decade. We ran simulations of multi-planet systems with well constrained masses and orbital parameters to identify planets that may have rapidly changing transit durations. Another goal is to identify systems where the duration changes may constrain previously unknown masses and mutual inclinations in multi-planet systems. We have identified massive candidates with rapid transit duration variations (e.g. Kepler-88), and evaluated systems with low- mass planets where one planet has a grazing transit geometry (e.g. Kepler-51). Our identified candidates are worth follow-up observations, given our dynamical models. These duration changes should be observable from ground-based telescopes.