KELT-16b: A highly irradiated, ultra-short period hot Jupiter nearing tidal disruption [EPA]

We announce the discovery of KELT-16b, a highly irradiated, ultra-short period hot Jupiter transiting the relatively bright ($V = 11.7$) star TYC 2688-1839-1/KELT-16. A global analysis of the system shows KELT-16 to be a F7V star with $T_{\rm eff} = 6236\pm54$ K, $\log{g_\star} = 4.253_{-0.036}^{+0.031}$, $[Fe/H] = -0.002_{-0.085}^{+0.086}$, $M_\star = 1.211_{-0.046}^{+0.043} M_\odot$, and $R_\star = 1.360_{-0.053}^{+0.064} R_\odot$. The planet is a relatively high mass inflated gas giant with $M_P = 2.75_{-0.15}^{+0.16} M_J$, $R_P = 1.415_{-0.067}^{+0.084} R_J$, density $\rho_{P} = 1.20\pm0.18$ g cm$^{-3}$, surface gravity $\log{g_{P}} = 3.530_{-0.049}^{+0.042}$, and $T_{eq} = 2453_{-47}^{+55}$ K. The best-fitting linear ephemeris is $T_C = 2457247.24791\pm0.00019$ BJD$_{TBD}$ and $P = 0.9689951 \pm 0.0000024$ days. KELT-16b joins WASP-18b, -19b, -43b, -103b, and HATS-18b as the only giant transiting planets with $P < 1$ day. Its ultra-short period and high irradiation make it a benchmark target for atmospheric studies by HST, Spitzer, and eventually JWST. For example, as a hotter, higher mass analog of WASP-43b, KELT-16b may feature an atmospheric temperature-pressure inversion and day-to-night temperature swing extreme enough for TiO to rain out at the terminator. KELT-16b could also join WASP-43b in extending tests of the observed mass-metallicity relation of the Solar System gas giants to higher masses. KELT-16b currently orbits at a mere $\sim$ 1.7 Roche radii from its host star, and could be tidally disrupted in as little as a few $\times 10^{5}$ years (for a stellar tidal quality factor of $Q_*’ = 10^5$). Finally, the likely existence of a widely separated bound stellar companion in the KELT-16 system makes it possible that Kozai-Lidov oscillations played a role in driving KELT-16b inward to its current precarious orbit.

Read this paper on arXiv…

T. Oberst, J. Rodriguez, K. Colon, et. al.
Wed, 3 Aug 16

Comments: 15 pages, 16 Figures, 7 Tables, Submitted to AAS Journals