Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 440, 2164-2184 (2014/May-3)
Characterizing distant worlds with asterodensity profiling.
Abstract (from CDS):
Eclipsing systems, such as transiting exoplanets, allow one to measure the mean stellar density of the host star under various idealized assumptions. Asterodensity profiling (AP) compares this density to an independently determined value in order to check the validity of the assumptions and ultimately derive useful parameters. Several physical effects can cause said assumptions to become invalid, with the most well-known example being the so-called photoeccentric effect. In this work, we provide analytic expressions for five other effects which induce AP deviations: the photoblend, -spot, -timing, -duration and -mass effects. We find that these effects can easily reproduce large AP deviations and so we caution that extracting the eccentricity distribution is only viable with careful consideration of the prior distributions for these other effects. We also re-investigate the photoeccentric effect and derive a single-domain minimum eccentricity expression and the parameter range for which analytic formulae are valid. The latter result shows that the assumptions underlying the analytic model for the photoeccentric effect break down for close-in, highly eccentric planets, meaning that extreme care must be taken in this regime. Finally, we demonstrate that contaminated light fraction can be solved for, indicating that AP could be a potent tool for planet validation.