Probing Planetary Magnetic Fields During Transits

A. A. Vidotto, M. Jardine, C. Helling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, Fossati et al. observed that the near-UV transit light curve of the close-in giant planet WASP-12b shows an early ingress as compared to its optical transit. Such observations were interpreted as due to the presence of asymmetries in the exosphere of the planet. In particular, we suggest that this asymmetry could be explained by the presence of a shock formed around the planet's magnetosphere. Bow shocks are formed as a result of the interaction of the planet with the coronal material of the host star, similar to the one formed around the Earth's magnetosphere. According to our model, shock detection through transit observations can be a useful tool to probe and constrain exoplanetary magnetic field. In the case of WASP- 12b, we derive an upper limit for the magnetic field of ∼ 24 G. In addition, we predict that observable shocks should be a common feature in other transiting systems. Promising candidates are: WASP- 19b, WASP-4b, WASP-18b, CoRoT-7b, HAT-P-7b, CoRoT-1b, TrES-3 and WASP-5b.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253
JournalEPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011, held 2-7 October 2011 in Nantes, France
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


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