Planetary phase variations of the 55 Cancri system

Kane, Stephen R. and Gelino, Dawn M. and Ciardi, David R. and Dragomir, Diana and von Braun, Kaspar (2011) Planetary phase variations of the 55 Cancri system. The Astrophysical Journal, 740 (2). pp. 61-67. ISSN 0004-637X

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Characterization of the composition, surface properties, and atmospheric conditions of exoplanets is a rapidly progressing field as the data to study such aspects become more accessible. Bright targets, such as the multi-planet 55 Cancri system, allow an opportunity to achieve high signal-to-noise for the detection of photometric phase variations to constrain the planetary albedos. The recent discovery that innermost planet, 55 Cancri e, transits the host star introduces new prospects for studying this system. Here we calculate photometric phase curves at optical wavelengths for the system with varying assumptions for the surface and atmospheric properties of 55 Cancri e. We show that the large differences in geometric albedo allows one to distinguish between various surface models, that the scattering phase function cannot be constrained with foreseeable data, and that planet b will contribute significantly to the phase variation, depending upon the surface of planet e. We discuss detection limits and how these models may be used with future instrumentation to further characterize these planets and distinguish between various assumptions regarding surface conditions.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 22:32
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 04:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: planetary systems; stars; 55 Cancri; photometric techniques
Fields of Research (2008): 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
Fields of Research (2020): 51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5101 Astronomical sciences > 510109 Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
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