During 2017-2018, the Hill sphere of the directly imaged planet Beta Pictoris b transited its stellar host. This provided a unique opportunity to probe the gas and dust in the circumplanetary environment of a young, recently formed gas-giant planet. We present the results from a high-resolution monitoring campaign with the UVES spectrograph (R 100,000) at the VLT. Over the course of 160 epochs distributed across one year we obtained observations of both the Hill sphere transit and an out-of-transit baseline. This cadence is more than sufficient to detect ring crossings as well as monitor any variations in gas absorption along the line of sight, in particular in the Ca H & K lines, where there are also signs of the circumstellar gas and exocomets. In addition, this unique dataset provides strong constraints on the presence of transiting giant planets on short (<200 day) orbital periods.
AAS/Division for Extreme Solar Systems Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- August 2019