P. F. L. Maxted

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

Are you P. F. L. Maxted?

Claim your profile

Publications (309)1021.51 Total impact

  • Source
    A. S. Binks · R. D. Jeffries · P. F. L. Maxted
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a kinematically-unbiased search to identify young, nearby low-mass members of kinematic moving groups (MGs). Objects with both rotation periods shorter than 5 days in the SuperWASP All-Sky Survey and X-ray counterparts in the ROSAT All-Sky Survey were chosen to create a catalog of several thousand rapidly-rotating, X-ray active FGK stars. These objects are expected to be either young single stars or tidally-locked spectroscopic binaries. We obtained optical spectra for a sub-sample of 146 stars to determine their ages and kinematics, and in some cases repeat radial velocity (RV) measurements were used to identify binarity. Twenty-six stars are found to have lithium abundances consistent with an age of <=200 Myr, and show no evidence for binarity and in most cases measurements of H-alpha and v\sin i support their youthful status. Based on their youth, their radial velocities and estimates of their 3-dimensional kinematics, we find 11 objects that may be members of known MGs, 8 that do not appear associated with any young MG and a further 7 that are close to the kinematics of the recently proposed "Octans-Near" MG, and which may be the first members of this MG found in the northern hemisphere. The initial search mechanism was ~18 per cent efficient at identifying likely-single stars younger than 200 Myr, of which 80 per cent were early-K spectral types.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2015; 453(1):172. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stv1309 · 5.23 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our aim is to precisely measure the physical parameters of the eclipsing binary IO Aqr and derive a distance to this system by applying a surface brightness - colour relation. Our motivation is to combine these parameters with future precise distance determinations from the GAIA space mission to derive precise surface brightness - colour relations for stars. We extensively used photometry from the Super-WASP and ASAS projects and precise radial velocities obtained from HARPS and CORALIE high-resolution spectra. We analysed light curves with the code JKTEBOP and radial velocity curves with the Wilson-Devinney program. We found that IO Aqr is a hierarchical triple system consisting of a double-lined short-period (P=2.37 d) spectroscopic binary and a low-luminosity and low-mass companion star orbiting the binary with a period of ~25000 d (~70 yr) on a very eccentric orbit. We derive high-precision (better than 1%) physical parameters of the inner binary, which is composed of two slightly evolved main-sequence stars (F5 V-IV + F6 V-IV) with masses of M1=1.569+/-0.004 and M2=1.655+/-0.004 M_sun and radii R1=2.19+/-0.02 and R2=2.49+/-0.02 R_sun. The companion is most probably a late K-type dwarf with mass ~0.6 M_sun. The distance to the system resulting from applying a (V-K) surface brightness - colour relation is 255+/-6(stat.)+/-6(sys.) pc, which agrees well with the Hipparcos value of 270+/-73 pc, but is more precise by a factor of eight.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the discovery by the WASP-South survey, in close collaboration with the Euler and TRAPPIST telescopes, of WASP-121 b, a new remarkable short-period transiting hot Jupiter, whose planetary nature has been statistically validated by the PASTIS software. The planet has a mass of $1.183_{-0.062}^{+0.064}$ $M_{\mathrm{Jup}}$, a radius of 1.865 $\pm$ 0.044 $R_{\mathrm{Jup}}$, and transits every $1.2749255_{-0.0000025}^{+0.0000020}$ days an active F6-type main-sequence star ($V$=10.4, $1.353_{-0.079}^{+0.080}$ $M_{\odot}$, 1.458 $\pm$ 0.030 $R_{\odot}$, $T_{\mathrm{eff}}$ = 6460 $\pm$ 140 K). A notable property of WASP-121 b is that its orbital semi-major axis is only $\sim$1.15 times larger than its Roche limit, which suggests that the planet might be close to tidal disruption. Furthermore, its large size and extreme irradiation ($\sim$$7.1\:10^{9}$ erg $\mathrm{s}^{-1} \mathrm{cm}^{-2}$) make it an excellent target for atmospheric studies via secondary eclipse observations. Using the TRAPPIST telescope, we indeed detect its emission in the $z'$-band at better than $\sim$4$\sigma$, the measured occultation depth being 603 $\pm$ 130 ppm. Finally, from a measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect with the CORALIE spectrograph, we infer a sky-projected spin-orbit angle of $257.8_{-5.5}^{+5.3}$ deg. This result indicates a significant misalignment between the spin axis of the host star and the orbital plane of the planet, the planet being in a nearly polar orbit. Such a high misalignment suggests a migration of the planet involving strong dynamical events with a third body.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of a new totally-eclipsing binary (RA=06:40:29.11; Dec=+38:56:52.2; J=2000.0; Rmax=17.2 mag) with an sdO primary and a strongly irradiated red dwarf companion. It has an orbital period of Porb=0.187284394(11) d and an optical eclipse depth in excess of 5 magnitudes. We obtained two low-resolution classification spectra with GTC/OSIRIS and ten medium-resolution spectra with WHT/ISIS to constrain the properties of the binary members. The spectra are dominated by H Balmer and He II absorption lines from the sdO star, and phase-dependent emission lines from the irradiated companion. A combined spectroscopic and light curve analysis implies a hot subdwarf temperature of Teff(spec) = 55 000 +/- 3000K, surface gravity of log g(phot) = 6.2 +/- 0.04 (cgs) and a He abundance of log(nHe/nH) = -2.24 +/- 0.40. The hot sdO star irradiates the red-dwarf companion, heating its substellar point to about 22 500K. Surface parameters for the companion are difficult to constrain from the currently available data: the most remarkable features are the strong H Balmer and C II-III lines in emission. Radial velocity estimates are consistent with the sdO+dM classification. The photometric data do not show any indication of sdO pulsations with amplitudes greater than 7mmag, and Halpha-filter images do not provide evidence of the presence of a planetary nebula associated with the sdO star.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2015; 808(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/808/2/179 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    P. F. L. Maxted · A. M. Serenelli · J. Southworth
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2015; 578. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201525873 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    P. F. L. Maxted · A. M. Serenelli · J. Southworth
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: WD0137−349 is a white dwarf–brown dwarf binary system in a 116 min 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] μm in the mid-IR. The photometry and light curves show variability in all wavebands, with the amplitude peaking at [4.5] μm, 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] μm bands when compared to models of irradiated brown dwarfs with full energy circulation and suggest this overluminosity may be attributed to H2 fluorescence or H$_{3}^{+}$ 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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    The Astronomical Journal 10/2014; 150(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/150/1/18 · 4.05 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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".
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The star 1SWASP J162842.31+101416.7 (WASP 1628+10) is one of several EL CVn-type stars recently identified using the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) data base, i.e. an eclipsing binary star in which an A-type dwarf star (WASP 1628+10 A) eclipses the remnant of a disrupted red giant star (WASP 1628+10 B). 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+10 B is a precursor of a helium white dwarf (pre-He-WD). WASP 1628+10 A appears to be a normal A2 V star with a mass of 1.36 ± 0.05 M⊙. By fitting models to the spectrum of this star around the Hγ line we find that it has an effective temperature Teff, A = 7500 ± 200 K and a metallicity [Fe/H] = −0.3 ± 0.3. The mass of WASP 1628+10 B is only 0.135 ± 0.02 M⊙. The effective temperature of this pre-He-WD is approximately 9200 K. The ULTRACAM photometry of WASP 1628+10 shows variability at several frequencies around 40 cycles d−1, which is typical for δ Sct-type pulsations often observed in early A-type stars like WASP 1628+10 A. We also observe frequencies near 114 and 129 cycles d−1, much higher than the frequencies normally seen in δ Sct stars. Additional photometry through the primary eclipse will be required to confirm that these higher frequencies are due to pulsations in WASP 1628+10 B. 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

Publication Stats

5k Citations
1,021.51 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