P. F. L. Maxted

Keele University, Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (298)971.61 Total impact

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    P. F. L. Maxted, A. M. Serenelli, J. Southworth
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies suggest that tidal interactions may be responsible for discrepancies between the ages of exoplanet host stars estimated using stellar models (isochronal ages) and age estimates based on the stars' rotation periods (gyrochronological ages). We have compiled a sample of 28 transiting exoplanet host stars with measured rotation periods. We use a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method to determine the joint posterior distribution for the mass and age of each star in the sample, and extend this method to include a calculation of the posterior distribution of the gyrochronological age. The gyrochronological age ($\tau_{\rm gyro}$) is significantly less than the isochronal age for about half of the stars in our sample. Tidal interactions between the star and planet are a reasonable explanation for this discrepancy in some cases, but not all. The distribution of $\tau_{\rm gyro}$ values is evenly spread from very young ages up to a maximum value of a few Gyr. There is no clear correlation between $\tau_{\rm gyro}$ and the strength of the tidal force on the star due to the innermost planet. There is clear evidence that the isochronal ages for some K-type stars are too large, and this may also be the case for some G-type stars. This may be the result of magnetic inhibition of convection. There is currently no satisfactory explanation for the discrepancy between the young age for CoRoT-2 estimated from either gyrochronology or its high lithium abundance, and the extremely old age for its K-type stellar companion inferred from its very low X-ray flux. There is now strong evidence that the gyrochronological ages of some transiting exoplanet host stars are significantly less than their isochronal ages, but it is not always clear that this is good evidence for tidal interactions between the star and the planet.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2015; 577. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201525774 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: WASP-80b is a missing link in the study of exo-atmospheres. It falls between the warm Neptunes and the hot Jupiters and is amenable for characterisation, thanks to its host star's properties. We observed the planet through transit and during occultation with Warm Spitzer. Combining our mid-infrared transits with optical time series, we find that the planet presents a transmission spectrum indistinguishable from a horizontal line. In emission, WASP-80b is the intrinsically faintest planet whose dayside flux has been detected in both the 3.6 and 4.5 $\mu$m Spitzer channels. The depths of the occultations reveal that WASP-80b is as bright and as red as a T4 dwarf, but that its temperature is cooler. If planets go through the equivalent of an L-T transition, our results would imply this happens at cooler temperatures than for brown dwarfs. Placing WASP-80b's dayside into a colour-magnitude diagram, it falls exactly at the junction between a blackbody model and the T-dwarf sequence; we cannot discern which of those two interpretations is the more likely. Flux measurements on other planets with similar equilibrium temperatures are required to establish whether irradiated gas giants, like brown dwarfs, transition between two spectral classes. An eventual detection of methane absorption in transmission would also help lift that degeneracy. We obtained a second series of high-resolution spectra during transit, using HARPS. We reanalyse the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. The data now favour an aligned orbital solution and a stellar rotation nearly three times slower than stellar line broadening implies. A contribution to stellar line broadening, maybe macroturbulence, is likely to have been underestimated for cool stars, whose rotations have therefore been systematically overestimated. [abridged]
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 03/2015; 450(3). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stv706 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: V1094 Tau is bright eclipsing binary star with an orbital period close to 9 days containing two stars similar to the Sun. Our aim is to test models of Sun-like stars using precise and accurate mass and radius measurements for both stars in V1094 Tau. We present new spectroscopy of V1094 Tau which we use to estimate the effective temperatures of both stars and to refine their spectroscopic orbits. We also present new, high-quality photometry covering both eclipses of V1094 Tau in the Stroemgren uvby system and in the Johnson V-band. The masses, radii and effective temperatures of the stars in V1094 Tau are found to be M$_A$ = 1.0964 $\pm$ 0.0040 M$_{\odot}$, R$_A$ = 1.4129 $\pm$ 0.0058 R$_{\odot}$, T$_{\rm eff,A}$ = 5850 $\pm$ 100 K, and M$_B$ = 1.0120 $\pm$ 0.0028 M$_{\odot}$, R$_B$ = 1.0913 $\pm$ 0.0066 R$_{\odot}$, T$_{\rm eff,B}$ = 5700 $\pm$ 100 K. An analysis of the times of mid-eclipse and the radial velocity data reveals apsidal motion with a period of 14500 $\pm$ 3700 years. The observed masses, radii and effective temperatures are consistent with stellar models for an age $\approx$ 6 Gyr if the stars are assumed to have a metallicity similar to the Sun. This estimate is in reasonable agreement with our estimate of the metallicity derived using Stroemgren photometry and treating the binary as a single star ([Fe/H] $= -0.09 \pm 0.11$). The rotation velocities of the stars suggest that V1094 Tau is close to the limit at which tidal interactions between the stars force them to rotate pseudo-synchronously with the orbital motion.
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of almost 2000 exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general population of planets in our Milky Way. The key science questions that urgently need addressing are therefore: What are exoplanets made of? Why are planets as they are? What causes the exceptional diversity observed as compared to the Solar System? EChO (Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory) has been designed as a dedicated survey mission for transit and eclipse spectroscopy capable of observing a large and diverse planet sample within its four-year mission lifetime. EChO can target the atmospheres of super-Earths, Neptune-like, and Jupiter-like planets, in the very hot to temperate zones (planet temperatures of 300K-3000K) of F to M-type host stars. Over the next ten years, several new ground- and space-based transit surveys will come on-line (e.g. NGTS, CHEOPS, TESS, PLATO), which will specifically focus on finding bright, nearby systems. The current rapid rate of discovery would allow the target list to be further optimised in the years prior to EChO's launch and enable the atmospheric characterisation of hundreds of planets. Placing the satellite at L2 provides a cold and stable thermal environment, as well as a large field of regard to allow efficient time-critical observation of targets randomly distributed over the sky. A 1m class telescope is sufficiently large to achieve the necessary spectro-photometric precision. The spectral coverage (0.5-11 micron, goal 16 micron) and SNR to be achieved by EChO, thanks to its high stability and dedicated design, would enable a very accurate measurement of the atmospheric composition and structure of hundreds of exoplanets.
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    ABSTRACT: The project Massive Unseen Companions to Hot Faint Underluminous Stars from SDSS (MUCHFUSS) aims to find sdBs with compact companions like massive white dwarfs, neutron stars or black holes. Here we provide classifications, atmospheric parameters and a complete radial velocity (RV) catalogue containing 1914 single measurements for an sample of 177 hot subluminous stars discovered based on SDSS DR7. 110 stars show significant RV variability, while 67 qualify as candidates. We constrain the fraction of close massive compact companions {of hydrogen-rich hot subdwarfs} in our sample to be smaller than $\sim1.3\%$, which is already close to the theoretical predictions. However, the sample might still contain such binaries with longer periods exceeding $\sim8\,{\rm d}$. We detect a mismatch between the $\Delta RV_{\rm max}$-distribution of the sdB and the more evolved sdOB and sdO stars, which challenges our understanding of their evolutionary connection. Furthermore, irregular RV variations of unknown origin with amplitudes of up to $\sim180\,{\rm km\,s^{-1}}$ on timescales of years, days and even hours have been detected in some He-sdO stars. They might be connected to irregular photometric variations in some cases.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 02/2015; 577. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201525666 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hot subdwarfs (sdBs) are core helium-burning stars, which lost almost their entire hydrogen envelope in the red-giant phase. Since a high fraction of those stars are in close binary systems, common envelope ejection is an important formation channel. We identified a total population of 51 close sdB+WD binaries based on time-resolved spectroscopy and multi-band photometry, derive the WD mass distribution and constrain the future evolution of these systems. Most WDs in those binaries have masses significantly below the average mass of single WDs and a high fraction of them might therefore have helium cores. We found 12 systems that will merge in less than a Hubble time and evolve to become either massive C/O WDs, AM\,CVn systems, RCrB stars or even explode as supernovae type Ia.
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    ABSTRACT: The project Massive Unseen Companions to Hot Faint Underluminous Stars from SDSS (MUCHFUSS) aims at finding hot subdwarf stars with massive compact companions like massive white dwarfs (M>1.0 M$_\odot$), neutron stars, or stellar-mass black holes. We present orbital and atmospheric parameters and put constraints on the nature of the companions of 12 close hot subdwarf B star (sdB) binaries found in the course of the MUCHFUSS project. The systems show periods between 0.14 and 7.4 days. Three systems most likely have white dwarf companions. SDSS J083006.17+475150.3 is likely to be a rare example of a low-mass helium-core white dwarf. SDSS J095101.28+034757.0 shows an excess in the infrared that probably originates from a third companion in a wide orbit. SDSS J113241.58-063652.8 is the first helium deficient sdO star with a confirmed close companion. This study brings to 142 the number of sdB binaries with orbital periods of less than 30 days and with measured mass functions. We present an analysis of the minimum companion mass distribution and show that it is bimodal. One peak around 0.1 M$_\odot$ corresponds to the low-mass main sequence and substellar companions. The other peak around 0.4 M$_\odot$ corresponds to the white dwarf companions. The derived masses for the white dwarf companions are significantly lower than the average mass for single carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. In a T$_{\rm eff}$-log(g) diagram of sdB+dM companions, we find signs that the sdB components are more massive than the rest of the sample. The full sample was compared to the known population of extremely low-mass white dwarf binaries as well as short-period white dwarfs with main sequence companions. Both samples show a significantly different companion mass distribution. We calculate merger timescales and timescales when the companion will fill its Roche Lobe and the system evolves into a cataclysmic variable.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2015; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201425213 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    P. F. L. Maxted, A. M. Serenelli, J. Southworth
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    ABSTRACT: The mean density of a star transited by a planet, brown dwarf or low mass star can be accurately measured from its light curve. This measurement can be combined with other observations to estimate its mass and age by comparison with stellar models. Our aim is to calculate the posterior probability distributions for the mass and age of a star given its density, effective temperature, metallicity and luminosity. We computed a large grid of stellar models that densely sample the appropriate mass and metallicity range. The posterior probability distributions are calculated using a Markov-chain Monte-Carlo method. The method has been validated by comparison to the results of other stellar models and by applying the method to stars in eclipsing binary systems with accurately measured masses and radii. We have explored the sensitivity of our results to the assumed values of the mixing-length parameter, $\alpha_{\rm MLT}$, and initial helium mass fraction, Y. For a star with a mass of 0.9 solar masses and an age of 4 Gyr our method recovers the mass of the star with a precision of 2% and the age to within 25% based on the density, effective temperature and metallicity predicted by a range of different stellar models. The masses of stars in eclipsing binaries are recovered to within the calculated uncertainties (typically 5%) in about 90% of cases. There is a tendency for the masses to be underestimated by about 0.1 solar masses for some stars with rotation periods P$_{\rm rot}< 7$d. Our method makes it straightforward to determine accurately the joint posterior probability distribution for the mass and age of a star eclipsed by a planet or other dark body based on its observed properties and a state-of-the art set of stellar models.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 12/2014; 575. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201425331 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of the transiting hot Jupiter exoplanet WASP-85Ab. Using a combined analysis of spectroscopic and photometric data, we determine that the planet orbits its host star every 2.66 days, and has a mass of 1.09+/-0.03 M_Jup and a radius of 1.44+/-0.02 R_Jup. The host star is of G5 spectral type, with magnitude V=11.2, and lies 125+/-80 pc distant. We find stellar parameters of T_eff=5685+/-65 K, super-solar metallicity ([Fe/H]=0.08+/-0.10), M_star=1.04+/-0.07 M_sun and R_star=0.96+/-0.13 R_sun. The system has a K-dwarf binary companion, WASP-85B, at a separation of approximately 1.5". The close proximity of this companion leads to contamination of our photometry, decreasing the apparent transit depth that we account for during our analysis. Without this correction, we find the depth to be 50 percent smaller, the stellar density to be 32 percent smaller, and the planet radius to be 18 percent smaller than the true value. Many of our radial velocity observations are also contaminated; these are disregarded when analysing the system in favour of the uncontaminated HARPS observations, as they have reduced semi-amplitudes that lead to underestimated planetary masses. We find a long-term trend in the binary position angle, indicating a misalignment between the binary and orbital planes. WASP observations of the system show variability with a period of 14.64 days, indicative of rotational modulation caused by stellar activity. Analysis of the Ca ii H+K lines shows strong emission that implies that both binary components are strongly active. We find that the system is likely to be less than a few Gyr old. WASP-85 lies in the field of view of K2 Campaign 1. Long cadence observations of the planet clearly show the planetary transits, along with the signature of stellar variability. Analysis of the K2 data, both long and short cadence, is ongoing.
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    ABSTRACT: WD0137-349 is a white dwarf-brown dwarf binary system in a 116 minute orbit. We present radial velocity observations and multiwaveband photometry from V, R and I in the optical, to J, H and Ks in the near-IR and [3.6], [4.5], [5.8] and [8.0] microns in the mid-IR. The photometry and lightcurves show variability in all wavebands, with the amplitude peaking at [4.5] microns, where the system is also brightest. Fluxes and brightness temperatures were computed for the heated and unheated atmosphere of the brown dwarf (WD0137-349B) using synthetic spectra of the white dwarf using model atmosphere simulations. We show that the flux from the brown dwarf dayside is brighter than expected in the Ks and [4.5] micron bands when compared to models of irradiated brown dwarfs with full energy circulation and suggest this over-luminosity may be attributed to H2 fluorescence or H3+ being generated in the atmosphere by the UV irradiation.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 12/2014; 447(4). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu2721 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of three new transiting hot Jupiters by WASP-South together with the TRAPPIST photometer and the Euler/CORALIE spectrograph. WASP-74b orbits a star of V = 9.7, making it one of the brighter systems accessible to Southern telescopes. It is a 0.95 M_Jup planet with a moderately bloated radius of 1.5 R_Jup in a 2-d orbit around a slightly evolved F9 star. WASP-83b is a Saturn-mass planet at 0.3 M_Jup with a radius of 1.0 R_Jup. It is in a 5-d orbit around a fainter (V = 12.9) G8 star. WASP-89b is a 6 M_Jup planet in a 3-d orbit with an eccentricity of e = 0.2. It is thus similar to massive, eccentric planets such as XO-3b and HAT-P-2b, except that those planets orbit F stars whereas WASP-89 is a K star. The V = 13.1 host star is magnetically active, showing a rotation period of 20.2 d, while star spots are visible in the transits. There are indications that the planet's orbit is aligned with the stellar spin. WASP-89 is a good target for an extensive study of transits of star spots.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the discoveries of six transiting hot Jupiters: WASP-87b, WASP-108b, WASP-109b, WASP-110b, WASP-111b and WASP-112b. The planets have masses of 0.51--2.2 $M_{\rm Jup}$ and radii of 1.19--1.44 $R_{\rm Jup}$ and are in orbits of 1.68--3.78 d around stars with masses 0.81--1.50 $M_{\rm \odot}$. WASP-111b is in a prograde, near-aligned ($\lambda = -5 \pm 16^\circ$), near-circular ($e < 0.10$ at 2 $\sigma$) orbit around a mid-F star. As tidal alignment around such a hot star is thought to be inefficient, this suggests that either the planet migrated inwards through the protoplanetary disc or that scattering processes happened to leave it in a near-aligned orbit. WASP-111 appears to have transitioned from an active to a quiescent state between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, which makes the system a candidate for studying the effects of variable activity on a hot-Jupiter atmosphere. We find evidence that the mid-F star WASP-87 is a visual binary with a mid-G star. Two host stars are metal poor: WASP-112 has [Fe/H] = $-0.64 \pm 0.15$ and WASP-87 has [Fe/H] = $-0.41 \pm 0.10$. The low density of WASP-112 (0.81 $M_{\rm \odot}$, $0.80 \pm 0.04$ $\rho_{\rm \odot}$) cannot be matched by standard models for any reasonable value of the age of the star, suggesting it to be affected by the "radius anomaly".
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of two hot-Jupiter planets, each orbiting one of the stars of a wide binary system. WASP-94A (2MASS 20550794-3408079) is an F8 type star hosting a transiting planet with a radius of 1.72 +/- 0.06 R_Jup, a mass of 0.445 +/- 0.026 M_Jup, and an orbital period of 3.95 days. The Rossiter-McLaughlin effect is clearly detected, and the measured projected spin-orbit angle indicates that the planet occupies a retrograde orbit. WASP-94B (2MASS 20550915-3408078) is an F9 stellar companion at an angular separation of 15" (projected separation 2700 au), hosting a gas giant with a minimum mass of 0.617 +/- 0.028 M_Jup with a period of 2.008 days, detected by Doppler measurements. The orbital planes of the two planets are inclined relative to each other, indicating that at least one of them is inclined relative to the plane of the stellar binary. These hot Jupiters in a binary system bring new insights into the formation of close-in giant planets and the role of stellar multiplicity.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 09/2014; 572. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424744 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the sky-projected orbital obliquity (spin-orbit angle) of WASP-84b, a 0.70-$M_{\rm Jup}$ planet in a 8.52-day orbit around a G9V/K0V star, to be $\lambda = 0.3 \pm 1.7^\circ$. We obtain a true obliquity of $\psi = 14.8 \pm 8.0^\circ$ from a measurement of the inclination of the stellar spin axis with respect to the sky plane. Due to the young age and the weak tidal forcing of the system, we suggest that the orbit of WASP-84b is unlikely to have both realigned and circularised from the misaligned and/or eccentric orbit likely to have arisen from high-eccentricity migration. Therefore we conclude that the planet probably migrated via interaction with the protoplanetary disc. This would make it the first short-orbit, giant planet to have been shown to have migrated via this pathway. Further, we argue that the distribution of obliquities for planets orbiting cool stars ($T_{\rm eff}$ < 6250 K) suggests that high-eccentricity migration is an important pathway for the formation of short-orbit, giant planets.
    09/2014; 800(1). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/800/1/L9
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery from the WASP survey of two exoplanetary systems, each consisting of a Jupiter-sized planet transiting an 11th magnitude (V) main-sequence star. WASP-104b orbits its star in 1.75 d, whereas WASP-106b has the fourth-longest orbital period of any planet discovered by means of transits observed from the ground, orbiting every 9.29 d. Each planet is more massive than Jupiter (WASP-104b has a mass of $1.27 \pm 0.05~\mathrm{M_{Jup}}$, while WASP-106b has a mass of $1.93 \pm 0.08~\mathrm{M_{Jup}}$). Both planets are just slightly larger than Jupiter, with radii of $1.14 \pm 0.04$ and $1.09 \pm 0.04~\mathrm{R_{Jup}}$ for WASP-104 and WASP-106 respectively. No significant orbital eccentricity is detected in either system, and while this is not surprising in the case of the short-period WASP-104b, it is interesting in the case of WASP-106b, because many otherwise similar planets are known to have eccentric orbits.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2014; 570. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424752 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The star 1SWASP J162842.31+101416.7 (WASP 1628+10) is one of several EL CVn-type stars recently identified using the WASP database, i.e., an eclipsing binary star in which an A-type dwarf star (WASP 1628+10A) eclipses the remnant of a disrupted red giant star (WASP1628+10B). We have measured the masses, radii and luminosities of the stars in WASP 1628+10 using photometry obtained in three bands (u', g', r') with the Ultracam instrument and medium-resolution spectroscopy. The properties of the remnant are well-matched by models for stars in a rarely-observed state evolving to higher effective temperatures at nearly constant luminosity prior to becoming a very low-mass white dwarf composed almost entirely of helium, i.e., we confirm that WASP 1628+10B is a pre-He-WD. WASP 1628+10A appears to be a normal A2V star with a mass of $1.36 \pm 0.05 M_{\odot}$. By fitting models to the spectrum of this star around the H$\gamma$ line we find that it has an effective temperature T$_{\rm eff,A} = 7500 \pm 200$K and a metallicity [Fe/H]$ = -0.3 \pm 0.3$. The mass of WASP 1628+10B is only $0.135 \pm 0.02M_{\odot}$. The effective temperature of this pre-He-WD is approximately 9200K. The Ultracam photometry of WASP 1628+10 shows variability at several frequencies around 40 cycles per day, which is typical for $\delta$ Sct-type pulsations often observed in early A-type stars like WASP 1628+10A. We also observe frequencies near 114 cycles/day and 129 cycles/day, much higher than the frequencies normally seen in $\delta$ Sct stars. Additional photometry through the primary eclipse will be required to confirm that these higher frequencies are due to pulsations in WASP 1628+10B. If confirmed, this would be only the second known example of a pre-He-WD showing high-frequency pulsations.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2014; 444(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu1465 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of WASP-117b, the first planet with a period beyond 10 days found by the WASP survey. The planet has a mass of M_p = 0.2755 (+/-0.0090) M_jup, a radius of R_p = 1.021 (-0.065 +0.076) R_jup and is in an eccentric (e = 0.302 +/-0.023), 10.02165 +/- 0.00055 d orbit around a main-sequence F9 star. The host star's brightness (V=10.15 mag) makes WASP-117 a good target for follow-up observations, and with a planetary equilibrium temperature of T_eq = 1024 (-26 +30) K and a low planetary density (rho_p = 0.259 (-0.048 +0.054) rho_jup) it is one of the best targets for transmission spectroscopy among planets with periods around 10 days. From a measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, we infer a projected angle between the planetary orbit and stellar spin axes of beta = -44 (+/-11) deg, and we further derive an orbital obliquity of psi = 69.5 (+3.6 -3.1) deg. Owing to the large orbital separation, tidal forces causing orbital circularization and realignment of the planetary orbit with the stellar plane are weak, having had little impact on the planetary orbit over the system lifetime. WASP-117b joins a small sample of transiting giant planets with well characterized orbits at periods above ~8 days.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2014; 568. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424481 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Period or amplitude variations in eclipsing binaries may reveal the presence of additional massive bodies in the system, such as circumbinary planets. Here, we have studied twelve previously-known eclipsing post-common-envelope binaries for evidence of such light curve variations, on the basis of multi-year observations in the SuperWASP archive. The results for HW Vir provided strong evidence for period changes consistent with those measured by previous studies, and help support a two-planet model for the system. ASAS J102322-3737.0 exhibited plausible evidence for a period increase not previously suggested; while NY Vir, QS Vir and NSVS 14256825 afforded less significant support for period change, providing some confirmation to earlier claims. In other cases, period change was not convincingly observed; for AA Dor and NSVS 07826147, previous findings of constant period were confirmed. This study allows us to present hundreds of new primary eclipse timings for these systems, and further demonstrates the value of wide-field high-cadence surveys like SuperWASP for the investigation of variable stars.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2014; 566. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424027 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The MUCHFUSS project aims at finding sdBs with massive compact companions. Here we report on the current status of our spectroscopic and photometric follow-up campaigns and present some highlight results. We derive orbital solutions of seven new sdB binaries and estimate the fraction of close substellar companions to sdBs. Finally, we present an ultracompact sdB+WD binary as possible progenitor of a thermonuclear supernova and connect it to the only known hypervelocity subdwarf star, which might be the donor remnant of such an event.
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    ABSTRACT: We present Rossiter-McLaughlin observations of WASP-13b and WASP-32b and determine the sky-projected angle between the normal of the planetary orbit and the stellar rotation axis ($\lambda$). WASP-13b and WASP-32b both have prograde orbits and are consistent with alignment with measured sky-projected angles of $\lambda={8^{\circ}}^{+13}_{-12}$ and $\lambda={-2^{\circ}}^{+17}_{-19}$, respectively. Both WASP-13 and WASP-32 have $T_{\mathrm{eff}}<6250$K and therefore these systems support the general trend that aligned planetary systems are preferentially found orbiting cool host stars. A Lomb-Scargle periodogram analysis was carried out on archival SuperWASP data for both systems. A statistically significant stellar rotation period detection (above 99.9\% confidence) was identified for the WASP-32 system with $P_{\mathrm{rot}}=11.6 \pm 1.0 $ days. This rotation period is in agreement with the predicted stellar rotation period calculated from the stellar radius, $R_{\star}$, and $v \sin i$ if a stellar inclination of $i_{\star}=90^{\circ}$ is assumed. With the determined rotation period, the true 3D angle between the stellar rotation axis and the planetary orbit, $\psi$, was found to be $\psi=11^{\circ} \pm 14$. We conclude with a discussion on the alignment of systems around cool host stars with $T_{\mathrm{eff}}<6150$K by calculating the tidal dissipation timescale. We find that systems with short tidal dissipation timescales are preferentially aligned and systems with long tidal dissipation timescales have a broad range of obliquities.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 03/2014; 440(4). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu520 · 5.23 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
971.61 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2015
    • Keele University
      • Department of Physics and Astrophysics
      Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, United Kingdom
  • 1994–2011
    • University of St Andrews
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Saint Andrews, SCT, United Kingdom
  • 1997–2002
    • University of Southampton
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Southampton, England, United Kingdom