A Window on Exoplanet Dynamical Histories: Rossiter-McLaughlin Observations of WASP-13b and WASP-32b [EPA]


We present Rossiter-McLaughlin observations of WASP-13b and WASP-32b and determine the sky-projected angle between the normal of the planetary orbit and the stellar rotation axis ($\lambda$). WASP-13b and WASP-32b both have prograde orbits and are consistent with alignment with measured sky-projected angles of $\lambda={8^{\circ}}^{+13}_{-12}$ and $\lambda={-2^{\circ}}^{+17}_{-19}$, respectively.
Both WASP-13 and WASP-32 have $T_{\mathrm{eff}}<6250$K and therefore these systems support the general trend that aligned planetary systems are preferentially found orbiting cool host stars. A Lomb-Scargle periodogram analysis was carried out on archival SuperWASP data for both systems. A statistically significant stellar rotation period detection (above 99.9\% confidence) was identified for the WASP-32 system with $P_{\mathrm{rot}}=11.6 \pm 1.0 $ days. This rotation period is in agreement with the predicted stellar rotation period calculated from the stellar radius, $R_{\star}$, and $v \sin i$ if a stellar inclination of $i_{\star}=90^{\circ}$ is assumed. With the determined rotation period, the true 3D angle between the stellar rotation axis and the planetary orbit, $\psi$, was found to be $\psi=11^{\circ} \pm 14$. We conclude with a discussion on the alignment of systems around cool host stars with $T_{\mathrm{eff}}<6150$K by calculating the tidal dissipation timescale. We find that systems with short tidal dissipation timescales are preferentially aligned and systems with long tidal dissipation timescales have a broad range of obliquities.

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R. Brothwell, C. Watson, G. Hebrard, et. al.
Tue, 18 Mar 14