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Finding Doomed Worlds: searching for ultra-hot Jupiters with decaying orbits

Presentation #403.05 in the session Exoplanets Formation & Evolution (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Finding Doomed Worlds: searching for ultra-hot Jupiters with decaying orbits

Two decades after the discovery of the first transiting exoplanets, we now know of dozens of Jupiter-sized planets with very short orbital periods. These are the worlds for which tidal interactions are expected to cause their already short orbital periods to decrease further, until eventually the planets are engulfed. But many key details of the process are unknown, such as how quickly inspiral proceeds and how that time scale might vary between and within different types of stars. To date, there is only one definitive case of tidal decay, WASP-12b, and in the six years since it was discovered to be decaying, only a small number of other potential candidates have been proposed. Here we present results from the first year of the Short Period Planet Group (SuPerPiG) search for doomed worlds, which combines regular, new observations from several sites. We present candidates for orbital decay, systems that should be closely observed in the future, and also systems which, if decaying, are doing so much more slowly than WASP-12b. These results are the first in a population study of ultra-hot Jupiters to determine how orbital decay proceeds among these potentially doomed worlds.

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