Characterizing transiting extrasolar giant planets: On companions, rings, and love handles
AuthorBarnes, Jason Wayne
KeywordsPhysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics.
AdvisorBrown, Robert H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFor my Ph.D. research I investigated the prospects for characterizing transiting extrasolar giant planets from their transit lightcurves. Hubble Space Telescope photometry of transiting planet HD209458b revealed that the planet has no moons. Here, I show that tidal orbital evolution of moons limits their lifetimes, and hence that no moons larger than Amalthea in size should survive around HD209458b, consistent with observations. I then calculate the detectability and scientific potential of planetary rings and oblateness. Oblateness will prove difficult to reliably detect, even with the Hubble Space Telescope. However, large Saturn-like ring systems should be easy to find around transiting extrasolar giant planets if such rings exist.
Degree ProgramGraduate College