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Absolute densities in exoplanetary systems: photodynamical modelling of Kepler-138


Almenara, J M; Díaz, R F; Dorn, C; Bonfils, X; Udry, S (2018). Absolute densities in exoplanetary systems: photodynamical modelling of Kepler-138. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 478(1):460-486.

Abstract

In favourable conditions, the density of transiting planets in multiple systems can be determined from photometry data alone. Dynamical information can be extracted from light curves, providing modelling is done self-consistently, i.e. using a photodynamical model, which simulates the individual photometric observations instead of the more generally used transit times. We apply this methodology to the Kepler-138 planetary system. The derived planetary bulk densities are a factor of 2 more precise than previous determinations, and we find a discrepancy in the stellar bulk density with respect to a previous study. This leads, in turn, to a discrepancy in the determination of masses and radii of the star and the planets. In particular, we find that interior planet, Kepler-138b, has a size in between Mars and the Earth. Given our mass and density estimates, we characterize the planetary interiors using a generalized Bayesian inference model. This model allows us to quantify for interior degeneracy and calculate confidence regions of interior parameters such as thicknesses of the core, the mantle, and ocean and gas layers. We find that Kepler-138b and Kepler-138 d have significantly thick volatile layers and that the gas layer of Kepler-138b is likely enriched. On the other hand, Kepler-138c can be purely rocky.

Abstract

In favourable conditions, the density of transiting planets in multiple systems can be determined from photometry data alone. Dynamical information can be extracted from light curves, providing modelling is done self-consistently, i.e. using a photodynamical model, which simulates the individual photometric observations instead of the more generally used transit times. We apply this methodology to the Kepler-138 planetary system. The derived planetary bulk densities are a factor of 2 more precise than previous determinations, and we find a discrepancy in the stellar bulk density with respect to a previous study. This leads, in turn, to a discrepancy in the determination of masses and radii of the star and the planets. In particular, we find that interior planet, Kepler-138b, has a size in between Mars and the Earth. Given our mass and density estimates, we characterize the planetary interiors using a generalized Bayesian inference model. This model allows us to quantify for interior degeneracy and calculate confidence regions of interior parameters such as thicknesses of the core, the mantle, and ocean and gas layers. We find that Kepler-138b and Kepler-138 d have significantly thick volatile layers and that the gas layer of Kepler-138b is likely enriched. On the other hand, Kepler-138c can be purely rocky.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:21 July 2018
Deposited On:01 Mar 2019 15:55
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 19:39
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sty1050

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