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2010ApJ...716.1047B - Astrophys. J., 716, 1047-1059 (2010/June-3)

A search for additional planets in the NASA EPOXI observations of the exoplanet system GJ 436.

BALLARD S., CHRISTIANSEN J.L., CHARBONNEAU D., DEMING D., HOLMAN M.J., FABRYCKY D., A'HEARN M.F., WELLNITZ D.D., BARRY R.K., KUCHNER M.J., LIVENGOOD T.A., HEWAGAMA T., SUNSHINE J.M., HAMPTON D.L., LISSE C.M., SEAGER S. and VEVERKA J.F.

Abstract (from CDS):

We present time series photometry of the M dwarf transiting exoplanet system GJ 436 obtained with the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) component of the NASA EPOXI mission. We conduct a search of the high-precision time series for additional planets around GJ 436, which could be revealed either directly through their photometric transits or indirectly through the variations these second planets induce on the transits of the previously known planet. In the case of GJ 436, the presence of a second planet is perhaps indicated by the residual orbital eccentricity of the known hot Neptune companion. We find no candidate transits with significance higher than our detection limit. From Monte Carlo tests of the time series, we rule out transiting planets larger than 1.5 R interior to GJ 436b with 95% confidence and larger than 1.25 R with 80% confidence. Assuming coplanarity of additional planets with the orbit of GJ 436b, we cannot expect that putative planets with orbital periods longer than about 3.4 days will transit. However, if such a planet were to transit, we would rule out planets larger than 2.0 R with orbital periods less than 8.5 days with 95% confidence. We also place dynamical constraints on additional bodies in the GJ 436 system, independent of radial velocity measurements. Our analysis should serve as a useful guide for similar analyses of transiting exoplanets for which radial velocity measurements are not available, such as those discovered by the Kepler mission. From the lack of observed secular perturbations, we set upper limits on the mass of a second planet as small as 10 M in coplanar orbits and 1 M in non-coplanar orbits close to GJ 436b. We present refined estimates of the system parameters for GJ 436. We find P = 2.64389579 ±0.00000080 d, R{sstarf}= 0.437±0.016 R, and Rp= 3.880 ±0.147 R. We also report a sinusoidal modulation in the GJ 436 light curve that we attribute to star spots. This signal is best fit by a period of 9.01 days, although the duration of the EPOCh observations may not have been long enough to resolve the full rotation period of the star.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): eclipses - planetary systems - stars: individual: GJ 436 - techniques: image processing - techniques: photometric

Simbad objects: 16

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2019.11.12-08:21:51

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