Volume 635, March 2020
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||23 March 2020|
Impact of tides on the transit-timing fits to the TRAPPIST-1 system
Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève,
51 chemin des Maillettes,
2 Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bern, Gesellschaftsstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
4 Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
5 Laboratoire d’astrophysique de Bordeaux, Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, B18N, allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 33615 Pessac, France
Accepted: 5 February 2020
Transit timing variations (TTVs) can be a very efficient way of constraining masses and eccentricities of multi-planet systems. Recent measurements of the TTVs of TRAPPIST-1 have led to an estimate of the masses of the planets, enabling an estimate of their densities and their water content. A recent TTV analysis using data obtained in the past two years yields a 34 and 13% increase in mass for TRAPPIST-1b and c, respectively. In most studies to date, a Newtonian N-body model is used to fit the masses of the planets, while sometimes general relativity is accounted for. Using the Posidonius N-body code, in this paper we show that in the case of the TRAPPIST-1 system, non-Newtonian effects might also be relevant to correctly model the dynamics of the system and the resulting TTVs. In particular, using standard values of the tidal Love number k2 (accounting for the tidal deformation) and the fluid Love number k2f (accounting for the rotational flattening) leads to differences in the TTVs of TRAPPIST-1b and c that are similar to the differences caused by general relativity. We also show that relaxing the values of tidal Love number k2 and the fluid Love number k2f can lead to TTVs which differ by as much as a few 10 s on a 3−4-yr timescale, which is a potentially observable level. The high values of the Love numbers needed to reach observable levels for the TTVs could be achieved for planets with a liquid ocean, which if detected might then be interpreted as a sign that TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c could have a liquid magma ocean. For TRAPPIST-1 and similar systems the models to fit the TTVs should potentially account for general relativity, for the tidal deformation of the planets, for the rotational deformation of the planets, and to a lesser extent for the rotational deformation of the star, which would add up to 7 × 2 + 1 = 15 additional free parameters in the case of TRAPPIST-1.
Key words: planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability / planets and satellites: individual: TRAPPIST-1 / planet-star interactions
© ESO 2020
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