Mass transfer, transiting stream, and magnetopause in close-in exoplanetary systems with applications to WASP-12

Dong Lai, Christiane Helling, E. P. J. van den Heuvel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study mass transfer by Roche lobe overflow in close-in exoplanetary systems. The planet's atmospheric gas passes through the inner Lagrangian point and flows along a narrow stream, accelerating to 100-200 km s(-1) velocity before forming an accretion disk. We show that the cylinder-shaped accretion stream can have an area (projected in the plane of the sky) comparable to that of the planet and a significant optical depth to spectral line absorption. Such a "transiting cylinder" may produce an earlier ingress of the planet transit, as suggested by recent Hubble Space Telescope observations of the WASP-12 system. The asymmetric disk produced by the accretion stream may also lead to time-dependent obscuration of the starlight and apparent earlier ingress. We also consider the interaction of the stellar wind with the planetary magnetosphere. Since the wind speed is subsonic/sub-Alfvenic and comparable to the orbital velocity of the planet, the head of the magnetopause lies eastward relative to the substellar line (the line joining the planet and the star). The gas around the magnetopause may, if sufficiently compressed, give rise to asymmetric ingress/egress during the planet transit, although more works are needed to evaluate this possibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-928
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume721
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010

Keywords

  • hydrodynamics
  • planetary systems
  • stars: individual (WASP-12)
  • stars: winds, outflows
  • SEMIDETACHED BINARIES
  • GAS-DYNAMICS
  • HD 209458B
  • PLANET
  • SIMULATION
  • AERONOMY
  • ESCAPE
  • STARS

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Mass transfer, transiting stream, and magnetopause in close-in exoplanetary systems with applications to WASP-12'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this