Constraining the Magnetic Fields of Transiting Exoplanets through Ground-based Near-UV Observations
American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #45, #113.13
Published in Oct 2013
We observed the primary transits of the exoplanets CoRoT-1b, HAT-P-1b, HAT-P-13b, HAT-P-22b, TrES-2b, TrES-4b, WASP-12b, WASP-33b, WASP-44b, WASP-48b, and WASP77A-b in the near-ultraviolet photometric band in an attempt to detect their magnetic fields and update their planetary parameters. Vidotto et al. (2011) suggest that the magnetic fields of these targets could be constrained if their near-UV light curves show an early ingress compared to their optical light curves, while their egress remain unaffected. We do not observe this effect in any of our targets, however, we have determined an upper limit on their magnetic field strengths. Our results are consistent with observations of TrES-3b and HAT-P-16b which both have had upper limits on their magnetic fields found using this method. We find abnormally low field strengths for all our targets. Due to this result we advocate for follow-up studies on the magnetic fields of all our targets using other detection methods (such as radio emission and magnetic star-planet interactions) and other telescopes capable of achieving a better near-UV cadence to verify our findings and the techniques of Vidotto et al. (2011). We find that the near-UV planetary radii of all our targets are consistent within error of their optical radii. Our data includes the only published near-UV light curves of CoRoT-1b, HAT-P-1b, HAT-P-13b, HAT-P-22b, TrES-2b, TrES-4b, WASP-33b, WASP-44b, WASP-48b, and WASP77A-b. We used an automated reduction pipeline, ExoDRPL, to perform aperture photometry on our data. In addition, we developed a modeling package called EXOMOP that utilizes the Levenberg-Marquardt minimization algorithm to find a least-squares best fit and a differential evolution Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm to find the best fit to the light curve. To constrain the red noise in both fitting models we used the residual permutation (rosary bead), time-averaging, and wavelet method.
(c) 2013: American Astronomical Society