The Earth transiting the Sun as seen from Jupiter's moons

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Friday, September 4, 2015

The Earth transiting the Sun as seen from Jupiter's moons: detection of an inverse Rossiter-McLaughlin effect produced by the Opposition Surge of the icy Europa

Paolo Molaro, Mauro Barbieri, Lorenzo Monaco, Simone Zaggia, Christophe Lovis
(Submitted on 3 Sep 2015)

We report on a multi-wavelength observational campaign which followed the Earth's transit on the Sun as seen from Jupiter on 5 Jan the 2014. Simultaneous observations of Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede obtained with HARPS from La Silla, Chile, and HARPS-N from La Palma, Canary Islands, were performed to measure the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect due to the Earth's passage using the same technique successfully adopted for the 2012 Venus Transit (Molaro et al 2013). The expected modulation in radial velocities was of about 20 cm/s but an anomalous drift as large as 38 m/s, i.e. more than two orders of magnitude higher and opposite in sign, was detected instead. The consistent behaviour of the two spectrographs rules out instrumental origin of the radial velocity drift and BiSON observations rule out the possible dependence on the Sun's magnetic activity. We suggest that this anomaly is produced by the Opposition Surge on Europa's icy surface, which amplifies the intensity of the solar radiation from a portion of the solar surface centered around the crossing Earth which can then be observed as a a sort of inverse Rossiter-McLaughling effect. in fact, a simplified model of this effect can explain in detail most features of the observed radial velocity anomalies, namely the extensions before and after the transit, the small differences between the two observatories and the presence of a secondary peak closer to Earth passage. This phenomenon, observed here for the first time, should be observed every time similar Earth alignments occur with rocky bodies without atmospheres. We predict it should be observed again during the next conjunction of Earth and Jupiter in 2026.

Comments: 9 pages, 7 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Journal reference: MNRAS 2015 453, 1684
Cite as: arXiv:1509.01136 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1509.01136v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Molaro Paolo
[v1] Thu, 3 Sep 2015 15:51:39 GMT (974kb,D)

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