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Finding the Next Doomed Worlds

Presentation #215.04 in the session Exoplanets Orbital Dynamics (iPosters).

Published onOct 20, 2022
Finding the Next Doomed Worlds

Ultra-hot Jupiters (UHJs), defined here as giant planets with orbital periods under 2 days, are so large that tidal effects play a critical role in their formation and long-term dynamical stability. The population of hot-Jupiter host stars is younger than the general population of either field stars or planet-hosting stars, suggesting that many giant, close-in planets quickly inspiral or are otherwise destroyed. UHJs are also relatively rare among planets, and the possible range of tidal dissipation parameters is unknown, making it hard to predict which particular UHJs might be decaying on human observable time scales. Identifying orbital decay can take 10+ years of repeated transit timing measurements; to date just one UHJ (WASP-12 b) has been conclusively identified [1]. We report on a new SuPerPiG survey to obtain repeated transits of 30-40 UHJs over four years, using both small robotic telescopes and 1-m class telescopes. We present results from the initial observation period which spanned the first half of 2022, with nearly 30 full or partial transits obtained of 10 unique UHJs in the northern hemisphere, and 2 more UHJs in the southern hemisphere.

[1] K. C. Patra, J. N. Winn, M. J. Holman, L. Yu, D. Deming, and F. Dai. The Apparently Decaying Orbit of WASP-12b. AJ, 154:4, July 2017. doi: 10.3847/1538-3881/aa6d75.

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