Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1307.7161 (Markus Janson)

A Systematic Search for Trojan Planets in the Kepler data    [PDF]

Markus Janson
Trojans are circumstellar bodies that reside in characteristic 1:1 orbital resonances with planets. While all the trojans in our Solar System are small (< ~100 km), stable planet-size trojans may exist in extrasolar planetary systems, and the Kepler telescope constitutes a formidable tool to search for them. Here we report on a systematic search for extrasolar trojan companions to 2244 known Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), with epicyclic orbital characteristics similar to those of the Jovian trojan families. No convincing trojan candidates are found, despite a typical sensitivity down to Earth-size objects. This fact can however not be used to stringently exclude the existence of trojans in this size range, since stable trojans need not necessarily share the same orbital plane as the planet, and thus may not transit. Following this reasoning, we note that if Earth-sized trojans exist at all, they are almost certainly both present and in principle detectable in the full set of Kepler data, although a very substantial computational effort would be required to detect them. On the same token, we also note that some of the existing KOIs could in principle be trojans themselves, with a primary planet orbiting outside of the transiting plane. A few examples are given for which this is a readily testable scenario.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.7161

No comments:

Post a Comment