Radial velocity eclipse mapping of exoplanets
American Astronomical Society / IOP Publishing
Planetary rotation rates and obliquities provide information regarding the history of planet formation, but have not yet been measured for evolved extrasolar planets. Here we investigate the theoretical and observational perspective of the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect during secondary eclipse (RMse) ingress and egress for transiting exoplanets. Near secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the parent star, the star sequentially obscures light from the approaching and receding parts of the rotating planetary surface. The temporal block of light emerging from the approaching (blueshifted) or receding (redshifted) parts of the planet causes a temporal distortion in the planet's spectral line profiles resulting in an anomaly in the planet's radial velocity curve. We demonstrate that the shape and the ratio of the ingress-to-egress radial velocity amplitudes depends on the planetary rotational rate, axial tilt, and impact factor (i.e., sky-projected planet spin–orbital alignment). In addition, line asymmetries originating from different layers in the atmosphere of the planet could provide information regarding zonal atmospheric winds and constraints on the hot spot shape for giant irradiated exoplanets. The effect is expected to be most-pronounced at near-infrared wavelengths, where the planet-to-star contrasts are large. We create synthetic near-infrared, high-dispersion spectroscopic data and demonstrate how the sky-projected spin axis orientation and equatorial velocity of the planet can be estimated. We conclude that the RMse effect could be a powerful method to measure exoplanet spins.
N.N. acknowledges support from an STFC consolidated grant. F.S.M. acknowledges the University of Exeter and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under ERC starting grant agreement No. 337705 (CHASM). N.N. acknowledges support from an STFC grant ST/J0016/1. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement No. 336792.
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Vol. 808: 57