- Published on 29 August 2012
In section 1. Letters
Evidence for the disintegration of KIC 12557548 b
Recently, Rappaport et al. (2012, ApJ, 752, 1) have found a strange object in the Kepler catalog: KIC 12557548 b. It exhibits transit-like features every 15.7 hours that vary in depth between 0.2% and 1.2%. They explain the observations in terms of a disintegrating rocky planet with a trailing cloud of dust. Brogi et al. use a light-scattering code to study the signature of such a dust cloud in detail. They show that the light curves indeed exhibit clear signatures of light scattering, absorption by dust, and a brightening in flux before ingress, which is explained by the forward scattering of 0.1 μm particules. This lends support to this surprising and a priori extreme explanation that KIC 12557548 b is a disintegrating rocky object. Further monitoring will be extremely important to learn more about this surprising object.