Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1304.4283 (David Nesvorny et al.)

KOI-142, the King of Transit Variations, is a Pair of Planets near the 2:1 Resonance    [PDF]

David Nesvorny, David Kipping, Dirk Terrell, Joel Hartman, Gaspar A. Bakos, Lars A. Buchhave
The Transit Timing Variations (TTVs) can be used as a diagnostic of gravitational interactions between planets in a multi-planet system. Many Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) exhibit significant TTVs, but KOI-142.01 stands out among them with an unrivaled, 12-hour TTV amplitude. Here we report a thorough analysis of KOI-142.01's transits. We discover periodic Transit Duration Variations (TDVs) of KOI-142.01 that are nearly in phase with the observed TTVs. We show that KOI-142.01's TTVs and TDVs uniquely detect a non-transiting companion with a mass 0.7 that of Jupiter (KOI-142c). KOI-142.01's mass inferred from the transit variations is consistent with the measured transit depth, suggesting a Neptune class planet (KOI-142b). The orbital period ratio P_c/P_b=2.03 indicates that the two planets are just wide of the 2:1 resonance. The present dynamics of this system, characterized here in detail, can be used to test various formation theories that have been proposed to explain the near-resonant pairs of exoplanets.
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