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Eastwood, Australia

Pont F.,University of Exeter | Endl M.,University of Texas at Austin | Cochran W.D.,University of Texas at Austin | Barnes S.I.,The Anglo Australian Observatory | And 12 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2010

We measure the angle between the planetary orbit and the stellar rotation axis in the transiting planetary system CoRoT-1, with new HIRES/Keck and FORS/VLT high-accuracy photometry. The data indicate a highly tilted system, with a projected spin-orbit angle λ = 77° ± 11°. Systematic uncertainties in the radial velocity data could cause the actual errors to be larger by an unknown amount, and this result needs to be confirmed with further high-accuracy spectroscopic transit measurements. Spin-orbit alignment has now been measured in a dozen extra-solar planetary systems, and several show strong misalignment. The first three misaligned planets were all much more massive than Jupiter and followed eccentric orbits. CoRoT-1, however, is a jovian-mass close-in planet on a circular orbit. If its strong misalignment is confirmed, it would break this pattern. The high occurrence of misaligned systems for several types of planets and orbits favours planet-planet scattering as a mechanism to bring gas giants on very close orbits. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 RAS. Source

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