Densities and eccentricities of 139 Kepler planets from transit time variations

Sam Hadden, Yoram Lithwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


We extract densities and eccentricities of 139 sub-Jovian planets by analyzing transit time variations (TTVs) obtained by the Kepler mission through Quarter 12. We partially circumvent the degeneracies that plague TTV inversion with the help of an analytical formula for the TTV. From the observed TTV phases, we find that most of these planets have eccentricities of the order of a few percent. More precisely, the rms eccentricity is , and planets smaller than 2.5 R ⊕ are around twice as eccentric as those bigger than 2.5 R ⊕. We also find a best-fit density-radius relationship ρ 3 g cm-3 × (R/3 R ⊕)-2.3 for the 56 planets that likely have small eccentricity and hence small statistical correction to their masses. Many planets larger than 2.5 R ⊕ are less dense than water, implying that their radii are largely set by a massive hydrogen atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number80
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2014


  • Planets and satellites: composition
  • Planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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