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Astrophysics > Earth and Planetary Astrophysics

Title: On the Inclination Dependence of Exoplanet Phase Signatures

Abstract: Improved photometric sensitivity from space-based telescopes have enabled the detection of phase variations for a small sample of hot Jupiters. However, exoplanets in highly eccentric orbits present unique opportunities to study the effects of drastically changing incident flux on the upper atmospheres of giant planets. Here we expand upon previous studies of phase functions for these planets at optical wavelengths by investigating the effects of orbital inclination on the flux ratio as it interacts with the other effects induced by orbital eccentricity. We determine optimal orbital inclinations for maximum flux ratios and combine these calculations with those of projected separation for application to coronagraphic observations. These are applied to several of the known exoplanets which may serve as potential targets in current and future coronagraph experiments.
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Journal reference: 2011, ApJ, 729, 74
Cite as: arXiv:1101.1087 [astro-ph.EP]
  (or arXiv:1101.1087v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Stephen Kane [view email]
[v1] Wed, 5 Jan 2011 21:00:04 GMT (78kb)