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Transit probability of precessing circumstellar planets in binaries and exomoons
Martin, David. V.
AA(Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 chemin des Maillettes, Sauverny 1290, Switzerland )
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 467, Issue 2, p.1694-1701 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
binaries: close, eclipsing, astrometry and celestial, mechanics: celestial mechanics, eclipses, planets and satellites: detection, dynamical evolution and stability, fundamental parameters, methods: analytical, celestial mechanics, planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
Abstract Copyright:
2017 The Author Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Bibliographic Code:


Over two decades of exoplanetology has yielded thousands of discoveries, yet some types of systems are still to be observed. Circumstellar planets around one star in a binary have been found, but not for tight binaries (≲5 au). Additionally, extra-solar moons are yet to be found. This paper motivates finding both types of three-body system by calculating analytic and numerical probabilities for all transit configurations, accounting for any mutual inclination and orbital precession. The precession and relative three-body motion can increase the transit probability to as high as tens of per cent, and make it inherently time-dependent over a precession period as short as 5-10 yr. Circumstellar planets in such tight binaries present a tempting observational challenge: enhanced transit probabilities but with a quasi-periodic signature that may be difficult to identify. This may help explain their present non-detection, or maybe they simply do not exist. Whilst this paper considers binaries of all orientations, it is demonstrated how eclipsing binaries favourably bias the transit probabilities, sometimes to the point of being guaranteed. Transits of exomoons exhibit a similar behaviour under precession, but unfortunately only have one star to transit rather than two.
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