Methods for exomoon characterization: Combining transit photometry and the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect

A. E. Simon, G. M. Szabó, K. Szatmáry, L. L. Kiss

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25 Citations (Scopus)


It has been suggested that moons around transiting exoplanets may cause an observable signal in transit photometry or in the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect. In this paper, a detailed analysis of parameter reconstruction from the RM effect is presented for various planet-moon configurations, described with 20 parameters. We also demonstrate the benefits of combining photometry with the RM effect. We simulated 2.7 × 109 configurations of a generic transiting system to map the confidence region of the parameters of the moon, find the correlated parameters and determine the validity of reconstructions. The main conclusion is that the strictest constraints from the RM effect are expected for the radius of the moon. In some cases, there is also meaningful information on its orbital period. When the transit time of the moon is exactly known, for example from transit photometry, the angle parameters of the moon's orbit will also be constrained from the RM effect. From transit light curves the mass can be determined, and combining this result with the radius from the RM effect, the experimental determination of the density of the moon is also possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2038-2046
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2010



  • Methods: numerical
  • Planetary systems
  • Planets and satellites: detection
  • Techniques: photometric
  • Techniques: radial velocities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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