Successful telescope proposal: X-ray driven evaporation of exoplanet atmospheres: discovery of a uniquely suited test system

Katja Poppenhaeger

Research output: Other contribution


The evaporation of exoplanetary atmospheres is thought to be driven by high-energy irradiation. However, the actual mass loss rates are not well constrained. Co-I Kipping has recently discovered that the star KOI-314, an M1V dwarf at 65 pc distance, is orbited by two earth-sized planets, the inner one of them rocky and the outer one gaseous (P_orb = 14d and 23d). Other recent works have shown an abundance of small rocky planets in very close orbits around their host stars, suggesting that the stellar high-energy irradiation evaporates away gaseous envelopes. KOI-314 is the first nearby system in which earth-sized planets of both types are detected, allowing us to constrain the efficiency of planetary evaporation if the stellar X-ray irradiation is measured. We therefore propose a 10 ks Chandra ACIS-S pointing to determine the stellar X-ray luminosity and hardness ratio. The accuracy of the orbital solution decreases quickly due to Transit-Timing Variations, which is why we ask for DDT.
Original languageEnglish
TypeAccepted observing proposal
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2013


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