Photometric Amplitude Distribution of Stellar Rotation of Kepler KOIs-Indication for Spin-Orbit Alignment of Cool Stars and High Obliquity for Hot Star

The observed amplitude of the rotational photometric modulation of a star with spots should depend on the inclination of its rotational axis relative to our line of sight. Therefore, the distribution of observed rotational amplitudes of a large sample of stars depends on the distribution of their projected axes of rotation. Thus, comparison of the stellar rotational amplitudes of the Kepler KOIs with those of Kepler single stars can provide a measure to indirectly infer the properties of the spin-orbit obliquity of Kepler planets. We apply this technique to the large samples of 993 KOIs and 33,614 single Kepler stars in temperature range of 3500-6500 K. We find with high significance that the amplitudes of cool KOIs are larger, on the order of 10%, than those of the single stars. In contrast, the amplitudes of hot KOIs are systematically lower. After correcting for an observational bias, we estimate that the amplitudes of the hot KOIs are smaller than the single stars by about the same factor of 10%. The border line between the relatively larger and smaller amplitudes, relative to the amplitudes of the single stars, occurs at about 6000K. Our results suggest that the cool stars have their planets aligned with their stellar rotation, while the planets around hot stars have large obliquities, consistent with the findings of Winn et al. (2010) and Albrecht et al. (2012). We show that the low obliquity of the planets around cool stars extends up to at least 50 days, a feature that is not expected in the framework of a model that assumes the low obliquity is due to planet-star tidal realignment.

Comments: ApJ, in press

Similar Publications

We provide an overview of the prospects for biosignature detection and general characterization of temperate Earth-sized planets. We review planned space-based missions and ground-based projects as well as the basic methods they will employ, and summarize which exoplanet properties will become observable as these new facilities come on line. The observational strategies depend on whether the planets are transiting or not as well as on the spectral type of the host star. Read More


We analytically derive the expressions for the structure of the inner region of protoplanetary disks based on the results from the recent hydrodynamical simulations. The inner part of a disk can be divided into four regions: dust-free region with gas temperature in the optically thin limit, optically thin dust halo, optically thick condensation front and the classical optically thick region in order from the inside. We derive the dust-to-gas mass ratio profile in the dust halo using the fact that partial dust condensation regulates the temperature to the dust evaporation temperature. Read More


We present evidence that the recently discovered, directly-imaged planet HD 131399 Ab is a background star with non-zero proper motion. From new JHK1L' photometry and spectroscopy obtained with the Gemini Planet Imager, VLT/SPHERE, and Keck/NIRC2, and a reanalysis of the discovery data obtained with VLT/SPHERE, we derive colors, spectra, and astrometry for HD 131399 Ab. The broader wavelength coverage and higher data quality allow us to re-investigate its status. Read More


The AMD-stability criterion allows to discriminate between a-priori stable planetary systems and systems for which the stability is not granted and needs further investigations. AMD-stability is based on the conservation of the Angular Momentum Deficit (AMD) in the averaged system at all orders of averaging. While the AMD criterion is rigorous, the conservation of the AMD is only granted in absence of mean-motion resonances (MMR). Read More


Planetary atmospheres are subject to mass loss through a variety of mechanisms including irradiation by XUV photons from their host star. Here we explore the consequences of XUV irradiation by supermassive black holes as they grow by the accretion of gas in galactic nuclei. Based on the mass distribution of stars in galactic bulges and disks and the luminosity history of individual black holes, we estimate the probability distribution function of XUV fluences as a function of galaxy halo mass, redshift, and stellar component. Read More


We study the effect of dynamical tides associated with the excitation of gravity waves in an interior radiative region of the central star on orbital evolution in observed systems containing Hot Jupiters. We consider WASP-43, Ogle-tr-113, WASP-12, and WASP-18 which contain stars on the main sequence (MS). For these systems there are observational estimates regarding the rate of change of the orbital period. Read More


We present a new method of identifying protostellar disc fragments in a simulation based on density derivatives, and analyse our data using this and the existing CLUMPFIND method, which is based on an ordered search over all particles in gravitational potential energy. Using smoothed particle hydrodynamics, we carry out 9 simulations of a $0.25$ M$_{\odot}$ disc around a 1 M$_{\odot}$ star, all of which fragment to form at least 2 bound objects. Read More


We report the discovery of a super-Earth orbiting at the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star GJ 625 based on the analysis of the radial-velocity (RV) time series from the HARPS-N spectrograph, consisting in 151 HARPS-N measurements taken over 3.5 yr. GJ 625 b is a planet with a minimum mass M sin $i$ of 2. Read More


Finding life on exoplanets from telescopic observations is the ultimate goal of exoplanet science. Life produces gases and other substances, such as pigments, which can have distinct spectral or photometric signatures. Whether or not life is found in future data must be expressed with probabilities, requiring a framework for biosignature assessment. Read More


OTS44 is one of only four free-floating planets known to have a disk. We have previously shown that it is the coolest and least massive known free-floating planet ($\sim$12 M$_{\rm Jup}$) with a substantial disk that is actively accreting. We have obtained Band 6 (233 GHz) ALMA continuum data of this very young disk-bearing object. Read More