A misaligned prograde orbit for Kepler-13 Ab via doppler tomography

Marshall C. Johnson, William D. Cochran, Simon Albrecht, Sarah E. Dodson-Robinson, Joshua N. Winn, Kevin Gullikson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Transiting planets around rapidly rotating stars are not amenable to precise radial velocity observations, such as are used for planet candidate validation, as they have wide, rotationally broadened stellar lines. Such planets can, however, be observed using Doppler tomography, wherein stellar absorption line profile distortions during transit are spectroscopically resolved. This allows the validation of transiting planet candidates and the measurement of the stellar spin-planetary orbit (mis)alignment, which is an important statistical probe of planetary migration processes. We present Doppler tomographic observations that provide direct confirmation of the hot Jupiter Kepler-13 Ab and also show that the planet has a prograde, misaligned orbit with λ = 58.°6 ± 2.°0. Our measured value of the spin-orbit misalignment is in significant disagreement with the value of λ = 23° ± 4° previously measured by Barnes et al. (2011) from the gravity-darkened Kepler light curve. We also place an upper limit of 0.75 M (95% confidence) on the mass of Kepler-13 C, the spectroscopic companion to Kepler-13 B, which is the proper-motion companion of the planet host star Kepler-13 A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • line: profiles
  • planetary systems
  • planets and satellites: individual (Kepler-13 Ab)
  • techniques: spectroscopic


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