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A&A 420, 11531162 (2004) DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20035720

Summary: A&A 420, 11531162 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20035720
c ESO 2004
The detectability of extrasolar planet surroundings
I. Reflected-light photometry of unresolved rings
L. Arnold1 and J. Schneider2
Observatoire de Haute-Provence, CNRS, 04870 Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire, France
Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
e-mail: Jean.Schneider@obspm.fr
Received 20 November 2003 / Accepted 9 March 2004
Abstract. It is expected that the next generation of high-contrast imaging instruments will deliver the first unresolved image of
an extrasolar planet. The emitted thermal infrared light from the planet should show no phase effect assuming the planet is in
thermal equilibrium. But the reflected visible light will vary with phase angle. Here we study the photometric variation of the
reflected light with orbital phase of a ringed extrasolar planet. We show that a ring around an extrasolar planet, both obviously
unresolved, can be detected by its specific photometric signature. A simple quantitative model is discussed, taking into account


Source: Arnold, Luc - Observatoire de Haute-Provence


Collections: Physics