Interior structure models and fluid Love numbers of exoplanets in the super-Earth regime★
Institute of Physics, University of Rostock,
Accepted: 8 February 2018
Space missions such as CoRoT and Kepler have made the transit method the most successful technique in observing extrasolar planets. However, although the mean density of a planet can be derived from its measured mass and radius, no details about its interior structure, such as the density profile, can be inferred so far. If determined precisely enough, the shape of the transiting light curve might, in principle, reveal the shape of the planet, and in particular, its deviation from spherical symmetry. These deformations are caused, for instance, by the tidal interactions of the planet with the host star and by other planets that might orbit in the planetary system. The deformations depend on the interior structure of the planet and its composition and can be parameterized as Love numbers kn. This means that the diversity of possible interior models for extrasolar planets might be confined by measuring this quantity. We present results of a wide-ranging parameter study in planet mass, surface temperature, and layer mass fractions on such models for super-Earths and their corresponding Love numbers. Based on these data, we find that k2 is most useful in assessing the ratio of rocky material to iron and in ruling out certain compositional configurations for measured mass and radius values, such as a prominent core consisting of rocky material. Furthermore, we apply the procedure to exoplanets K2-3b and c and predict that K2-3c probably has a thick outer water layer.
Key words: equation of state / planets and satellites: terrestrial planets / planets and satellites: composition / planets and satellites: individual: K2-3 system / planets and satellites: interiors / planet–star interactions
Tables of the computed k2 coefficients are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/615/A39
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