Kepler’s Optical Phase Curve of the Exoplanet HAT-P-7b

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Science  07 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5941, pp. 709
DOI: 10.1126/science.1178312

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Ten days of photometric data were obtained during the commissioning phase of the Kepler mission, including data for the previously known giant transiting exoplanet HAT-P-7b. The data for HAT-P-7b show a smooth rise and fall of light from the planet as it orbits its star, punctuated by a drop of 130 ± 11 parts per million in flux when the planet passes behind its star. We interpret this as the phase variation of the dayside thermal emission plus reflected light from the planet as it orbits its star and is occulted. The depth of the occultation is similar in photometric precision to the detection of a transiting Earth-size planet for which the mission was designed.

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