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Can we detect the stellar differential rotation of WASP-7 through the Rossiter-McLaughlin observations?

L. M. Serrano, M. Oshagh, H. M. Cegla, S. C. C. Barros, N. C. Santos, J. P. Faria, B. Akinsanmi

The Rossiter–McLaughlin (RM) effect is the radial velocity signal generated when an object transits a rotating star. Stars rotate differentially and this affects the shape and amplitude of this signal, on a level that can no longer be ignored with precise spectrographs. Highly misaligned planets provide a unique opportunity to probe stellar differential rotation via the RM effect, as they cross several stellar latitudes. In this sense, WASP-7, and its hot Jupiter with a projected misalignment of ∼90°, is one of the most promising targets. The aim of this work is to understand if the stellar differential rotation is measurable through the RM signal for systems with a geometry similar to WASP-7. In this sense, we use a modified version of soap3.0 to explore the main hurdles that prevented the precise determination of the differential rotation of WASP-7. We also investigate whether the adoption of the next generation spectrographs, like ESPRESSO, would solve these issues. Additionally, we assess how instrumental and stellar noise influence this effect and the derived geometry of the system. We found that, for WASP-7, the white noise represents an important hurdle in the detection of the stellar differential rotation, and that a precision of at least 2 m s−1 or better is essential.

techniques: radial velocities; stars: fundamental parameters; planetary systems; Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume 493, Issue 4, Page 5928
2020 April

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Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia