Monday, December 23, 2013

Kepler-410b: a hot Neptune in an Eccentric Orbit

What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets: Kepler-410A b is a Small Neptune around a bright star, in an eccentric orbit consistent with low obliquity


Van Eylen et al


We confirm the Kepler planet candidate Kepler-410b (KOI-42b) as a Neptune sized exoplanet on a 17.8 day, eccentric orbit around the bright (Kp = 9.4) star Kepler-410A. This is the third brightest confirmed planet host star in the Kepler field and one of the brightest hosts of all currently known transiting exoplanets. Kepler-410 consists of a blend between the fast rotating planet host star (Kepler-410A) and a fainter star (Kepler-410B), which has complicated the confirmation of the planetary candidate. Employing asteroseismology, using constraints from the transit light curve, adaptive optics and speckle images, and Spitzer transit observations, we demonstrate that the candidate can only be an exoplanet orbiting Kepler-410A. Via asteroseismology we determine the following stellar and planetary parameters with high precision; M⋆=1.214±0.033 M⊙, R⋆=1.352±0.010 R⊙, Age = 2.76±0.54 Gyr, planetary radius (2.838±0.054 R⊕), and orbital eccentricity (0.17+0.07−0.06). In addition, rotational splitting of the pulsation modes allows for a measurement of Kepler-410A's inclination and rotation rate. Our measurement of an inclination of 82.5+7.5−2.5 [∘] indicates a low obliquity in this system. Transit timing variations indicate the presence of at least one additional (non-transiting) planet in the system.

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