Volume 506, Number 1, October IV 2009
The CoRoT space mission: early results
|Page(s)||369 - 375|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||04 June 2009|
An analysis of the transit times of CoRoT-1b*
Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 24 April 2009
The CoRoT satellite is expected to discover tens of new transiting exoplanets during its mission. For each of these planets there will be a resulting long, continuous sequence of transit times that can be used to search for perturbations arising from an additional planet in the system. I report the results from a study of the transit times for CoRoT-1b, which was one of the first planets discovered by CoRoT. Analysis of the pipeline-reduced CoRoT light curve yields a new determination of the physical and orbital parameters of planet and star, along with 35 individual transit times at a typical precision of 36 s. I estimate a planet-to-star radius ratio of ± 0.0010, a ratio of the planet's orbital semimajor axis to the host star radius of ± 0.045, and an orbital inclination for the planet of ± . The observed transit times are consistent with CoRoT-1b having a constant period and there is no evidence of an additional planet in the system. I use the observed constancy of the transit times to set limits on the mass of a hypothetical additional planet in a nearby, stable orbit. I ascertain that the most stringent limits (4 at 3σ confidence) can be placed on planets residing in a 1:2 mean motion resonance with the transiting planet. In contrast, the data yield less stringent limits on planets near a 1:3 mean motion resonance (5 MJup at 3σ confidence) than in the surrounding parameter space. In addition, I use a simulation to investigate what sensitivity to additional planets could be obtained from the analysis of data measured for a similar system during a CoRoT long run (100 sequential transit times). I find that for such a scenario, planets with masses greater than twice that of Mars (0.2 ) in a 1:2 mean motion resonance would cause high-significance transit time deviations. Therefore, such planets could be detected or ruled out using CoRoT long run data. I conclude that CoRoT data will indeed be very useful for searching for planets with the transit timing method.
Key words: techniques: photometric / eclipses / stars: individual: CoRoT-1 / planetary systems
© ESO, 2009
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