The exoplanets known as hot Jupiters - Jupiter-sized planets with periods of less than 10 days - likely are relics of dynamical processes that shape all planetary system architectures. Socrates et al. argued that high eccentricity migration (HEM) mechanisms proposed for situating these close-in planets should produce an observable population of highly eccentric proto-hot Jupiters that have not yet tidally circularized. HEM should also create failed-hot Jupiters, with periapses just beyond the influence of fast circularization. Using the technique we previously presented for measuring eccentricities from photometry (the "photoeccentric effect"), we are distilling a collection of eccentric proto- and failed-hot Jupiters from the Kepler Objects of Interest (KOI). Here, we present the first, KOI-1474.01, which has a long orbital period (69.7340 days) and a large eccentricity e = 0.81+0.10 -0.07, skirting the proto-hot Jupiter boundary. Combining Kepler photometry, ground-based spectroscopy, and stellar evolution models, we characterize host KOI-1474 as a rapidly rotating F star. Statistical arguments reveal that the transiting candidate has a low false-positive probability of 3.1%. KOI-1474.01 also exhibits transit-timing variations of the order of an hour. We explore characteristics of the third-body perturber, which is possibly the "smoking-gun" cause of KOI-1474.01's large eccentricity. We use the host star's period, radius, and projected rotational velocity to measure the inclination of the stellar spin. Comparing KOI 1474.01's inclination, we find that its orbit is marginally consistent with being aligned with the stellar spin axis, although a reanalysis is warranted with future additional data. Finally, we discuss how the number and existence of proto-hot Jupiters will not only demonstrate that hot Jupiters migrate via HEM, but also shed light on the typical timescale for the mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science