We present the discovery of NGTS-3Ab, a hot Jupiter found transiting the primary star of an unresolved binary system. We develop a joint analysis of multicolour photometry, centroids, radial velocity (RV) cross-correlation function (CCF) profiles, and their bisector inverse slopes (BIS) to disentangle this three-body system. Data from the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), SPECULOOS and HARPS are analysed and modelled with our new BLENDFITTER software. We find that the binary consists of NGTS-3A (G6V-dwarf) and NGTS-3B (K1Vdwarf) at < 1 arcsec separation. NGTS-3Ab orbits every 1.675 d. The planet radius and mass are Rplanet = 1.48 ± 0.37 RJ and Mplanet = 2.38 ± 0.26MJ, suggesting it is potentially inflated. We emphasize that only combining all the information frommulticolour photometry, centroids and RV CCF profiles can resolve systems like NGTS-3. Such systems cannot be disentangled from single-colour photometry and RV measurements alone. Importantly, the presence of a BIS correlation indicates a blend scenario, but is not sufficient to determine which star is orbited by the third body. Moreover, even if no BIS correlation is detected, a blend scenario cannot be ruled out without further information. The choice of methodology for calculating the BIS can influence the measured significance of its correlation. The presented findings are crucial to consider for wide-field transit surveys, which require wide CCD pixels (> 5 arcsec) and are prone to contamination by blended objects. With TESS on the horizon, it is pivotal for the candidate vetting to incorporate all available follow-up information from multicolour photometry and RV CCF profiles.
- Binaries: eclipsing
- Planets and satellites: detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science