The Rossiter-McLaughlin effect for exoplanets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


There are now more than 35 stars with transiting planets for which the stellar obliquity-or more precisely its sky projection-has been measured, via the eponymous effect of Rossiter and McLaughlin. The history of these measurements is intriguing. For 8 years a case was gradually building that the orbits of hot Jupiters are always well-aligned with the rotation of their parent stars. Then in a sudden reversal, many misaligned systems were found, and it now seems that even retrograde systems are not uncommon. I review the measurement technique underlying these discoveries, the patterns that have emerged from the data, and the implications for theories of planet formation and migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Astrophysics of Planetary Systems
Subtitle of host publicationFormation, Structure, and Dynamical Evolution
EditorsAlessandro Sozzetti, Mario Lattanzi, Alan Boss
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Planetary systems
  • Planetary systems: formation
  • Stars: rotation


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