A cool starspot or a second transiting planet in the TrES-1 system?

Rabus, M.; Alonso, R.; Belmonte, J. A.; Deeg, H. J.; Gilliland, R. L.; Almenara, J. M.; Brown, T. M.; Charbonneau, D.; Mandushev, G.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 494, Issue 1, 2009, pp.391-397

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Aims: We investigate the origin of a flux increase found during a transit of TrES-1, observed with the HST (Hubble Space Telescope). This feature in the HST light curve cannot be attributed to noise and is supposedly a dark area on the stellar surface of the host star eclipsed by TrES-1 during its transit. We investigate the likelihood of two possible hypotheses for its origin. A starspot or a second transiting planet. Methods: We made use of several transit observations of TrES-1 from space with the HST and from ground with the IAC 80-cm telescope (IAC-80). On the basis of these observations we did a statistical study of flux variations in each of the observed events to investigate whether similar flux increases are present in other parts of the data set. Results: The HST observation presents a single clear flux rise during a transit, whereas the ground observations lead to detecting two such events but with low significance. In the case of having observed a starspot in the HST data, assuming a central impact between the spot and TrES-1, we would obtain a lower limit for the spot radius of 42 000 km. For this radius the spot temperature would be 4690 K, 560 K lower then the stellar surface of 5250 K. For a putative second transiting planet, we can set a lower limit for its radius at 0.37 RJ and for periods of less than 10.5 days, we can set an upper limit at 0.72 RJ. Conclusions: Assuming a conventional interpretation, this HST observation then constitutes the detection of a starspot. Alternatively, this flux rise might also be caused by an additional transiting planet. The true nature of the origin can be revealed if a wavelength dependency of the flux rise can be shown or discarded with higher certainty. Additionally, the presence of a second planet can be detected by radial velocity measurements. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
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