Theory of extrasolar giant planet transits

William B. Hubbard, J. J. Fortney, J. I. Lunine, A. Burrows, D. Sudarsky, Philip A Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a synthesis of physical effects influencing the observed light curve of an extrasolar giant planet (EGP) transiting its host star. The synthesis includes a treatment of Rayleigh scattering, cloud scattering, refraction, and molecular absorption of starlight in the EGP atmosphere. Of these effects, molecular absorption dominates in determining the transit-derived radius R for planetary orbital radii less than a few AU. Using a generic model for the atmosphere of EGP HD 209458b, we perform a fit to the best available transit light-curve data and infer that this planet has a radius at a pressure of 1 bar, R1, equal to 94,430 km, with an uncertainty of ∼500 km arising from plausible uncertainties in the atmospheric temperature profile. We predict that R will be a function of wavelength of observation, with a robust prediction of at least ±1% variations at infrared wavelengths where H2O opacity in the high EGP atmosphere dominates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume560
Issue number1 PART 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2001

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transit
planets
planet
molecular absorption
atmospheres
light curve
radii
atmosphere
scattering
wavelength
atmospheric temperature
Rayleigh scattering
synthesis
opacity
refraction
wavelengths
temperature profile
temperature profiles
air temperature
stars

Keywords

  • Planetary systems
  • Radiative transfer
  • Stars: individual (HD 209458)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Hubbard, W. B., Fortney, J. J., Lunine, J. I., Burrows, A., Sudarsky, D., & Pinto, P. A. (2001). Theory of extrasolar giant planet transits. Astrophysical Journal, 560(1 PART 1), 413-419. https://doi.org/10.1086/322490

Theory of extrasolar giant planet transits. / Hubbard, William B.; Fortney, J. J.; Lunine, J. I.; Burrows, A.; Sudarsky, D.; Pinto, Philip A.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 560, No. 1 PART 1, 10.10.2001, p. 413-419.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hubbard, WB, Fortney, JJ, Lunine, JI, Burrows, A, Sudarsky, D & Pinto, PA 2001, 'Theory of extrasolar giant planet transits', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 560, no. 1 PART 1, pp. 413-419. https://doi.org/10.1086/322490
Hubbard WB, Fortney JJ, Lunine JI, Burrows A, Sudarsky D, Pinto PA. Theory of extrasolar giant planet transits. Astrophysical Journal. 2001 Oct 10;560(1 PART 1):413-419. https://doi.org/10.1086/322490
Hubbard, William B. ; Fortney, J. J. ; Lunine, J. I. ; Burrows, A. ; Sudarsky, D. ; Pinto, Philip A. / Theory of extrasolar giant planet transits. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2001 ; Vol. 560, No. 1 PART 1. pp. 413-419.
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