Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1306.2311 (K. Poppenhaeger et al.)

Transit observations of the Hot Jupiter HD 189733b at X-ray wavelengths    [PDF]

K. Poppenhaeger, J. H. M. M. Schmitt, S. J. Wolk
We present new X-ray observations obtained with Chandra ACIS-S of the HD 189733 system, consisting of a K-type star orbited by a transiting Hot Jupiter and an M-type stellar companion. We report a detection of the planetary transit in soft X-rays with a significantly larger transit depth than observed in the optical. The X-ray data favor a transit depth of 6-8%, versus a broadband optical transit depth of 2.41%. While we are able to exclude several possible stellar origins for this deep transit, additional observations will be necessary to fully exclude the possibility that coronal inhomogeneities influence the result. From the available data, we interpret the deep X-ray transit to be caused by a thin outer planetary atmosphere which is transparent at optical wavelengths, but dense enough to be opaque to X-rays. The X-ray radius appears to be larger than the radius observed at far-UV wavelengths, most likely due to high temperatures in the outer atmosphere at which hydrogen is mostly ionized. We furthermore detect the stellar companion HD 189733B in X-rays for the first time with an X-ray luminosity of log LX = 26.67 erg/s. We show that the magnetic activity level of the companion is at odds with the activity level observed for the planet-hosting primary. The discrepancy may be caused by tidal interaction between the Hot Jupiter and its host star.
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