Obliquities of Kepler stars: Comparison of single- and multiple-transit systems

Timothy D. Morton, Joshua N. Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The stellar obliquity of a transiting planetary system can be constrained by combining measurements of the star's rotation period, radius, and projected rotational velocity. Here, we present a hierarchical Bayesian technique for recovering the obliquity distribution of a population of transiting planetary systems and apply it to a sample of 70 Kepler objects of interest. With ≈95% confidence, we find that the obliquities of stars with only a single detected transiting planet are systematically larger than those with multiple detected transiting planets. This suggests that a substantial fraction of Kepler's single-transiting systems represent dynamically hotter, less orderly systems than the "pancake-flat" multiple-transiting systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number47
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 20 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Methods: statistical
  • Planetary systems
  • Planets and satellites: general


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