A Transit Timing Analysis of Mine RISE Light Curves of the Exoplanet System TrES-3

N.P. Gibson, D. Pollacco, E.K. Simpson, S. Barros, Y. C. Joshi, I. Todd, F. P. Keenan, I. Skillen, C. Benn, D. Christian, M. Hrudkova, I.A. Steele

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We present nine newly observed transits of TrES-3, taken as part of a transit timing program using the RISE instrument on the Liverpool Telescope. A Markov-Chain Monte Carlo analysis was used to determine the planet star radius ratio and inclination of the system, which were found to be R-p/R-star = 0.1664(-0.0018)(+0.0011) and i = 81.73(-0.04)(+0.13), respectively, consistent with previous results. The central transit times and uncertainties were also calculated, using a residual-permutation algorithm as an independent check on the errors. A re-analysis of eight previously published TrES-3 light curves was conducted to determine the transit times and uncertainties using consistent techniques. Whilst the transit times were not found to be in agreement with a linear ephemeris, giving chi(2) = 35.07 for 15 degrees of freedom, we interpret this to be the result of systematics in the light curves rather than a real transit timing variation. This is because the light curves that show the largest deviation from a constant period either have relatively little out-of-transit coverage or have clear systematics. A new ephemeris was calculated using the transit times and was found to be T-c(0) = 2454632.62610 +/- 0.00006 HJD and P = 1.3061864 +/- 0.0000005 days. The transit times were then used to place upper mass limits as a function of the period ratio of a potential perturbing planet, showing that our data are sufficiently sensitive to have probed sub-Earth mass planets in both interior and exterior 2:1 resonances, assuming that the additional planet is in an initially circular orbit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1078-1085
Number of pages8
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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