CoRoT Observations of HD 46375 (with detection of b)

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CoRoT Observations of HD 46375 (with detection of b) Empty CoRoT Observations of HD 46375 (with detection of b)

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 11th November 2010, 9:24 pm

Possible detection of phase changes from the non-transiting planet HD 46375b by CoRoT

The present work deals with the detection of phase changes in an exoplanetary system. HD 46375 is a solar analog known to host a non-transiting Saturn-mass exoplanet with a 3.0236 day period. It was observed by the CoRoT satellite for 34 days during the fall of 2008. We attempt to identify at optical wavelengths, the changing phases of the planet as it orbits its star. We then try to improve the star model by means of a seismic analysis of the same light curve and the use of ground-based spectropolarimetric observations. The data analysis relies on the Fourier spectrum and the folding of the time series. We find evidence of a sinusoidal signal compatible in terms of both amplitude and phase with light reflected by the planet. Its relative amplitude is Delta Fp/F* = [13.0, 26.8] ppm, implying an albedo A=[0.16, 0.33] or a dayside visible brightness temperature Tb ~ [1880,2030] K by assuming a radius R=1.1 R_Jup and an inclination i=45 deg. Its orbital phase differs from that of the radial-velocity signal by at most 2 sigma_RV. However, the tiny planetary signal is strongly blended by another signal, which we attribute to a telluric signal with a 1 day period. We show that this signal is suppressed, but not eliminated, when using the time series for HD 46179 from the same CoRoT run as a reference. This detection of reflected light from a non-transiting planet should be confirmable with a longer CoRoT observation of the same field. In any case, it demonstrates that non-transiting planets can be characterized using ultra-precise photometric lightcurves with present-day observations by CoRoT and Kepler. The combined detection of solar-type oscillations on the same targets (Gaulme et al. 2010a) highlights the overlap between exoplanetary science and asteroseismology and shows the high potential of a mission such as Plato.

HD 46375: seismic and spectropolarimetric analysis of a young Sun hosting a Saturn-like planet

HD 46375 is known to host a Saturn-like exoplanet orbiting at 0.04 AU from its host star. Stellar light reflected by the planet was tentatively identified in the 34-day CoRoT run acquired in October-November 2008. We constrain the properties of the magnetic field of HD 46375 based on spectropolarimetric observations with the NARVAL spectrograph at the Pic du Midi observatory. In addition, we use a high-resolution NARVAL flux spectrum to contrain the atmospheric parameters. With these constraints, we perform an asteroseismic analysis and modelling of HD 46375 using the frequencies extracted from the CoRoT light curve. We used Zeeman Doppler imaging to reconstruct the magnetic map of the stellar surface. In the spectroscopic analysis we fitted isolated lines using 1D LTE atmosphere models. This analysis was used to constrain the effective temperature, surface gravity, and chemical composition of the star. To extract information about the p-mode oscillations, we used a technique based on the envelope autocorrelation function (EACF). From the Zeeman Doppler imaging observations, we observe a magnetic field of ~5 gauss. From the spectral analysis, HD 46375 is inferred to be an unevolved K0 type star with high metallicity [Fe/H]=+0.39. Owing to the relative faintness of the star (m_hip=8.05), the signal-to-noise ratio is too low to identify individual modes. However, we measure the p-mode excess power and large separation Delta nu_0=153.0 +/- 0.7 muHz. We are able do constrain the fundamental parameters of the star thanks to spectrometric and seismic analyses. We conclude that HD 46375 is similar to a young version of Alpha-CenB. This work is of special interest because of its combination of exoplanetary science and asteroseismology, which are the subjects of the current Kepler mission and the proposed PLATO mission.

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