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The Dark Planets of the WASP-47 Planetary System

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020

Stephen R. Kane, Tara Fetherolf, Michelle L. Hill

(Submitted on 19 Feb 2020)

Exoplanet discoveries have demonstrated a vast range of planetary system architectures. The demographic of compact planetary systems are especially interesting from the perspective of planetary formation and the evolution of orbital dynamics. Another interesting demographic is that of giant planets in eccentric orbits, since these planets have likely had a dynamical history involving planet-planet scattering events. The WASP-47 system is particularly fascinating since it combines these two demographics, having both compact planetary orbits and a giant planet on an eccentric orbit within the system Habitable Zone. Here we provide an analysis of the WASP-47 system from the perspective of atmospheric detection and characterization. We discuss the system architecture and the potential for additional long-period planets. We simulate expected phase variations as a function of planet orbital phase for the system due to the combined effect of the planets. We present analysis of precision photometry of WASP-47 from the K2 mission, phased on each of the planets. The analysis rules out the detection of phase signatures for the two inner-most planets, enabling constraints upon their albedos and atmospheric properties. Our study concludes that WASP-47b is an example of a "dark" planet with a tentative geometric albedo of 0.016 and a 1σ upper limit of 0.17. The WASP-47e data are consistent with a broad range of albedos, but also show early evidence of having a relatively low albedo. The growing number of dark, short-period giant planets provide the framework of an ideal sample for studying low albedo dependence on atmospheric composition.

Comments: 13 pages, 6 figures, 2 tables, accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:2002.08381 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2002.08381v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Stephen Kane 

[v1] Wed, 19 Feb 2020 19:00:23 UTC (338 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/2002.08381

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