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Refining the Transit-timing and Photometric Analysis of TRAPPIST-1: Masses, Radii, Densities, Dynamics, and Ephemerides


Agol, Eric; Dorn, Caroline; Grimm, Simon L; Turbet, Martin; Ducrot, Elsa; et al (2021). Refining the Transit-timing and Photometric Analysis of TRAPPIST-1: Masses, Radii, Densities, Dynamics, and Ephemerides. Planetary Science Journal, 2:1.

Abstract

We have collected transit times for the TRAPPIST-1 system with the Spitzer Space Telescope over four years. We add to these ground-based, HST, and K2 transit-time measurements, and revisit an N-body dynamical analysis of the seven-planet system using our complete set of times from which we refine the mass ratios of the planets to the star. We next carry out a photodynamical analysis of the Spitzer light curves to derive the density of the host star and the planet densities. We find that all seven planets' densities may be described with a single rocky mass–radius relation which is depleted in iron relative to Earth, with Fe 21 wt% versus 32 wt% for Earth, and otherwise Earth-like in composition. Alternatively, the planets may have an Earth-like composition but enhanced in light elements, such as a surface water layer or a core-free structure with oxidized iron in the mantle. We measure planet masses to a precision of 3%–5%, equivalent to a radial-velocity (RV) precision of 2.5 cm s−1, or two orders of magnitude more precise than current RV capabilities. We find the eccentricities of the planets are very small, the orbits are extremely coplanar, and the system is stable on 10 Myr timescales. We find evidence of infrequent timing outliers, which we cannot explain with an eighth planet; we instead account for the outliers using a robust likelihood function. We forecast JWST timing observations and speculate on possible implications of the planet densities for the formation, migration, and evolution of the planet system.

Abstract

We have collected transit times for the TRAPPIST-1 system with the Spitzer Space Telescope over four years. We add to these ground-based, HST, and K2 transit-time measurements, and revisit an N-body dynamical analysis of the seven-planet system using our complete set of times from which we refine the mass ratios of the planets to the star. We next carry out a photodynamical analysis of the Spitzer light curves to derive the density of the host star and the planet densities. We find that all seven planets' densities may be described with a single rocky mass–radius relation which is depleted in iron relative to Earth, with Fe 21 wt% versus 32 wt% for Earth, and otherwise Earth-like in composition. Alternatively, the planets may have an Earth-like composition but enhanced in light elements, such as a surface water layer or a core-free structure with oxidized iron in the mantle. We measure planet masses to a precision of 3%–5%, equivalent to a radial-velocity (RV) precision of 2.5 cm s−1, or two orders of magnitude more precise than current RV capabilities. We find the eccentricities of the planets are very small, the orbits are extremely coplanar, and the system is stable on 10 Myr timescales. We find evidence of infrequent timing outliers, which we cannot explain with an eighth planet; we instead account for the outliers using a robust likelihood function. We forecast JWST timing observations and speculate on possible implications of the planet densities for the formation, migration, and evolution of the planet system.

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Additional indexing

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:22 January 2021
Deposited On:16 Feb 2021 08:06
Last Modified:25 Apr 2022 07:22
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:2632-3338
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3847/psj/abd022

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