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Measuring stellar granulation during planet transits

Abstract : Stellar activity and convection-related surface structures might cause bias in planet detection and characterization that use these transits. Surface convection simulations help to quantify the granulation signal. We used realistic three-dimensional radiative hydrodynamical simulations from the Stagger grid and synthetic images computed with the radiative transfer code Optim3D to model the transits of three prototype planets: a hot Jupiter, a hot Neptune, and a terrestrial planet. We computed intensity maps from RHD simulations of the Sun and a K-dwarf star at different wavelength bands from optical to far-infrared. We modeled the transit using synthetic stellar-disk images and emulated the temporal variation of the granulation intensity. We identified two types of granulation noise that act simultaneously during the planet transit: (i) the intrinsic change in the granulation pattern with timescales smaller than the usual planet transit, and (ii) the fact that the transiting planet occults isolated regions of the photosphere that differ in local surface brightness. Our modeling approach shows that the granulation pattern has a non-negligible effect on the light curve depth during the transit, and, consequentially on the determination of the radius of the planet transiting. The granulation noise appears to be correlated among the different wavelength ranges either in the visible or in the infrared regions. The granulation has to be considered as an intrinsic uncertainty (as a result of stellar variability) on the precise measurements of exoplanet transits of planets. The full characterization of the granulation is essential for determining the degree of uncertainty on the planet parameters. In this context, the use of 3D RHD simulations is important to measure the convection-related fluctuations.
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Contributor : Marie-Paule Pomies <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 10:36:38 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 6:50:59 PM

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A., Chiavassa, A. Caldas, Franck Selsis, J. Leconte, P. von Paris, et al.. Measuring stellar granulation during planet transits. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2017, 597, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201528018⟩. ⟨hal-01373723⟩



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