On the detectability of star-planet interaction

Brendan P. Miller, Elena Gallo, Jason T. Wright, Andrea K. Dupree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Magnetic (or tidal) interactions between "hot Jupiters" and their host stars can potentially enhance chromospheric and coronal activity. An ideal test bed for investigating this effect is provided by the extreme WASP-18 system, which features a massive (10times Jupiter) close-in (≲1day period) transiting planet orbiting a young F6 star. Optical and X-ray observations of WASP-18 were conducted in 2011 November. The high-resolution echelle spectrograph Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle was used on the 6.5m Magellan Clay Telescope to obtain 13 spectra spanning planetary orbital phases of 0.7-1.4, while the X-ray Telescope on Swift provided contemporaneous monitoring with a stacked exposure of 50 ks. The cores of the Ca II H and K lines do not show significant variability over multiple orbits spanning 8 days, in contrast to the expectation of phase-dependent chromospheric activity enhancements for efficient star-planet interaction. The star is also X-ray faint, with log L X < 27.6, indicating that coronal activity is likewise low. The lack of detectable star-planet interaction in this extreme system requires that any such effect here must be transient, if indeed present. We demonstrate that searches for Ca II H and K variability can potentially mistake a stellar hotspot, if observed over a short segment of the rotation period, for planet-induced activity. Taken together, these results suggest that the utility of star-planet interaction as a robust method of estimating exoplanet magnetic field strengths may be limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume754
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012

Fingerprint

planets
planet
stars
Jupiter
interactions
Jupiter (planet)
telescopes
H lines
K lines
x rays
test stands
extrasolar planets
clays
spectrographs
field strength
magnetic field
estimating
clay
orbits
orbitals

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Miller, Brendan P. ; Gallo, Elena ; Wright, Jason T. ; Dupree, Andrea K. / On the detectability of star-planet interaction. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2012 ; Vol. 754, No. 2.
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On the detectability of star-planet interaction. / Miller, Brendan P.; Gallo, Elena; Wright, Jason T.; Dupree, Andrea K.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 754, No. 2, 137, 01.08.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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