Volume 654, October 2021
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||27 October 2021|
The Rossiter–McLaughlin effect revolutions: an ultra-short period planet and a warm mini-Neptune on perpendicular orbits★
Observatoire Astronomique de l’Université de Genève,
Chemin Pegasi 51b,
2 Department of Physics, and Institute for Research on Exoplanets, Université de Montréal, Montréal, H3T 1J4, Canada
3 Physics Institute of University of Bern, Gesellschaftsstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via G. B. Tiepolo 11, 34143, Trieste, Italy
5 Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Via Lactea, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
6 Universidad de La Laguna, Departamento de Astrofísica, 38206, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
7 Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, CAUP, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762, Porto, Portugal
8 Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
9 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
10 Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
11 Institute for Fundamental Physics of the Universe, Via Beirut 2, 34151 Miramare, Trieste, Italy
12 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate, Italy
13 INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, Via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
14 INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
15 INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
16 Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Carretera de Ajalvir km 4, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
17 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
18 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 28006 Madrid, Spain
19 Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA), Depto. de Astrofísica, ESAC campus 28692 Villanueva de la Cañada (Madrid), Spain
Accepted: 7 September 2021
Comparisons of the alignment of exoplanets with a common host star and each other can be used to distinguish among concurrent evolution scenarios for the star and the planets. However, multi-planet systems usually host mini-Neptunes and super-Earths, whose sizes make orbital architecture measurements challenging. We introduce the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect Revolutions (RMR) technique, which can access the spin-orbit angle of small exoplanets by exploiting the full extent of information contained in spectral transit time series. We validated the technique through its application to published HARPS-N data of the mini-Neptune HD 3167c (P = 29.8 days), refining its high sky-projected spin-orbit angle (−108.9−5.5+5.4°), and we applied it to new ESPRESSO observations of the super-Earth HD 3167 b (P = 0.96 days), revealing an aligned orbit (−6.6−7.9+6.6°). Surprisingly different variations in the contrast of the stellar lines occulted by the two planets can be reconciled by assuming a latitudinal dependence of the stellar line shape. In this scenario, a joint fit to both datasets constrains the inclination of the star (111.6−3.3+3.1°) and the 3D spin-orbit angles of HD 3167b (29.5−9.4+7.2°) and HD 3167c (107.7−4.9+5.1°). The projected spin-orbit angles do not depend on the model for the line contrast variations, and so, with a mutual inclination of 102.3−8.0+7.4°, we can conclude that the two planets are on perpendicular orbits. This could be explained by HD 3167b being strongly coupled to the star and retaining its primordial alignment, whereas HD 3167c would have been brought to a nearly polar orbit via secular gravitational interactions with an outer companion. Follow-up observations of the system and simulations of its dynamical evolution are required to search for this companion and explore the likelihood of this scenario. HD 3167 b (R = 1.7 REarth) is the smallest exoplanet with a confirmed spectroscopic Rossiter-McLaughlin signal. The RMR technique opens the way to determining the orbital architectures of the super-Earth and Earth-sized planet populations.
Key words: methods: data analysis / planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability / techniques: spectroscopic
© ESO 2021
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