3 years ago

TESS full orbital phase curve of the WASP-18b system.

Avi Shporer, Ian Wong, Chelsea X. Huang, Michael R. Line, Keivan G. Stassun, Tara Fetherolf, Stephen Kane, George R. Ricker, David W. Latham, Sara Seager, Joshua N. Winn, Jon M. Jenkins, Ana Glidden, Zach Berta-thompson, Eric B. Ting, Jie Li, Kari Haworth

We present the full visible-light orbital phase curve of the transiting planet WASP-18b measured by the TESS Mission. The phase curve includes the transit, secondary eclipse, and sinusoidal modulations across the orbital phase shaped by the planet's atmospheric characteristics and the star-planet gravitational interaction. We measure the beaming (Doppler boosting) and tidal ellipsoidal distortion phase modulations and show that the amplitudes of both agree with theoretical expectations. We find that the light from the planet's day side occulted during secondary eclipse, with a relative brightness of 355 $\pm$ 21 ppm, is dominated by thermal emission, leading to an upper limit on the geometric albedo in the TESS band of 0.057 (2 $\sigma$). We also detect the phase modulation due to the planet's atmosphere longitudinal brightness distribution. We find that its maximum is well-aligned with the sub-stellar point, and we place an upper limit on the phase shift of 3.5 deg (2 $\sigma$). Finally, we do not detect light from the planet's night-side hemisphere, with an upper limit of 53 ppm (2 $\sigma$), which is 15 % of the day-side brightness. The low albedo, lack of atmospheric phase shift, and inefficient heat distribution from the day to night hemispheres that we deduce from our analysis are consistent with theoretical expectations and similar findings for other strongly irradiated gas giant planets. This work demonstrates the potential of TESS data for studying full orbital phase curves of transiting systems.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1811.06020

DOI: arXiv:1811.06020v1

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