Hot stars with hot jupiters have high obliquities

Joshua N. Winn, Daniel Fabrycky, Simon Albrecht, John Asher Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

488 Scopus citations


We showthat starswith transiting planets for which the stellar obliquity is large are preferentially hot (Teff > 6250 K). This could explain why small obliquities were observed in the earliest measurements, which focused on relatively cool stars drawn from Doppler surveys, as opposed to hotter stars that emerged more recently from transit surveys. The observed trend could be due to differences in planet formation and migration around stars of varying mass. Alternatively, we speculate that hot-Jupiter systems begin with a wide range of obliquities, but the photospheres of cool stars realign with the orbits due to tidal dissipation in their convective zones, while hot stars cannot realign because of their thinner convective zones. This in turn would suggest that hot Jupiters originate from few-body gravitational dynamics and that disk migration plays at most a supporting role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L145-L149
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Formation-planet-star interactions-stars
  • Planetary systems-planets and satellites
  • Rotation


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