H-alpha Variability in PTFO8-8695 and the Possible Direct Detection of Emission from a 2 Million Year Old Evaporating Hot Jupiter

Christopher M. Johns-Krull, Lisa Prato, Jacob N. McLane, David R. Ciardi, Julian C. van Eyken, Wei Chen, John R. Stauffer, Charles A. Beichman, Sarah A. Frazier, Andrew F. Boden, Maria Morales-Calderon, Luisa M. Rebull. 2016. H-alpha Variability in PTFO8-8695 and the Possible Direct Detection of Emission from a 2 Million Year Old Evaporating Hot Jupiter. Astrophysical Journal 830, 1 DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/830/1/15

We use high time cadence, high spectral resolution optical observations to detect excess Ha emission from the 2-3 Myr old weak-lined T Tauri star PTFO 8-8695. This excess emission appears to move in velocity as expected if it were produced by the suspected planetary companion to this young star. The excess emission is not always present, but when it is, the predicted velocity motion is often observed. We have considered the possibility that the observed excess emission is produced by stellar activity (flares), accretion from a disk, or a planetary companion; we find the planetary companion to be the most likely explanation. If this is the case, the strength of the Ha line indicates that the emission comes from an extended volume around the planet, likely fed by mass loss from the planet which is expected to be overflowing its Roche lobe.

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