WTS-2 b: Too close for comfort?

J.L. Birkby, M. Cappetta, P. Cruz, J. Koppenhoefer, O. Ivanyuk, A. Mustill, S.T. Hodgkin, D.J. Pinfield, B. Sipőcz, G. Kovács, R. Saglia, Y. Pavlenko (+1 others)
2013 EPJ Web of Conferences  
We report the discovery of WTS-2 b, a typical hot Jupiter in an unusually close 1.02-day orbit to a K-dwarf star. This is the second planet to be discovered in the infrared light curves of the WFCAM Transit Survey (WTS) and is only one-and-a-half times the separation from its host star at which is would be destroyed by Roche lobe overflow. The predicted remaining lifetime of the planet is just 38 Myrs, assuming a tidal dissipation quality factor of Q = 10 6 . The magnitude of Q is largely
more » ... Q is largely unconstrained by observations, thus WTS-2 b provides a useful calibration point for theories describing how frictional processes within a host star affect the tidal orbital evolution of its companion giant planets. It is expected that stars with large convective envelopes are more efficient at dissipating the orbital energy of the planet, and WTS-2 b provides an observational constraint in the sparsely populated K-dwarf regime. In addition, despite its relatively faint magnitude, the favourable size ratio of the WTS-2 star-planet system and the predicted hot equilibrium temperature of the planet will make it possible to characterise the planet's atmosphere via secondary eclipse measurements using existing ground-based instrumentation.
doi:10.1051/epjconf/20134701004 fatcat:tzfa7lxpf5gcjiprrh7dgrgsq4