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Journal Articles The Astrophysical Journal Year : 2020

Gravity-darkening Analysis of the Misaligned Hot Jupiter MASCARA-4 b

John P. Ahlers
  • Function : Author
Ethan Kruse
  • Function : Author
Knicole D. Colón
  • Function : Author
Patrick Dorval
  • Function : Author
Geert Jan Talens
  • Function : Author
Ignas Snellen
Simon Albrecht
  • Function : Author
George Ricker
Roland Vanderspek
David Latham
Sara Seager
Joshua Winn
Jon M. Jenkins
  • Function : Author
Kari Haworth
  • Function : Author
Scott Cartwright
  • Function : Author
Robert Morris
  • Function : Author
Pam Rowden
  • Function : Author
Peter Tenenbaum
  • Function : Author
Eric B. Ting
  • Function : Author


MASCARA-4 b is a hot Jupiter in a highly misaligned orbit around a rapidly rotating A3V star that was observed for 54 days by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). We perform two analyses of MASCARA-4 b using a stellar gravity-darkened model. First, we measure MASCARA-4 b’s misaligned orbital configuration by modeling its TESS photometric light curve. We take advantage of the asymmetry in MASCARA-4 b’s transit due to its host star’s gravity-darkened surface to measure MASCARA-4 b’s true spin-orbit angle to be 104°{}-{13^\circ }+{7^\circ }. We also detect a ∼4σ secondary eclipse at 0.491 ± 0.007 orbital phase, proving that the orbit is slightly eccentric. Second, we model MASCARA-4 b’s insolation including gravity darkening and find that the planet’s received X-ray and ultraviolet flux varies by 4% throughout its orbit. MASCARA-4 b’s short-period, polar orbit suggests that the planet likely underwent dramatic orbital evolution to end up in its present-day configuration and that it receives a varying stellar irradiance that perpetually forces the planet out of thermal equilibrium. These findings make MASCARA-4 b an excellent target for follow-up characterization to better understand the orbital evolution and present-day environment of planets around high-mass stars.

Dates and versions

insu-03667143 , version 1 (13-05-2022)



John P. Ahlers, Ethan Kruse, Knicole D. Colón, Patrick Dorval, Geert Jan Talens, et al.. Gravity-darkening Analysis of the Misaligned Hot Jupiter MASCARA-4 b. The Astrophysical Journal, 2020, 888, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ab59d0⟩. ⟨insu-03667143⟩
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