Frequency of close companions among kepler planets - A transit time variation study

Ji Wei Xie, Yanqin Wu, Yoram Lithwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


A transiting planet exhibits sinusoidal transit time variations (TTVs) if perturbed by a companion near a mean-motion resonance. We search for sinusoidal TTVs in more than 2600 Kepler candidates, using the publicly available Kepler light curves (Q0-Q12). We find that the TTV fractions rise strikingly with the transit multiplicity. Systems where four or more planets transit enjoy a TTV fraction that is roughly five times higher than those where a single planet transits, and about twice as high as those for doubles and triples. In contrast, models in which all transiting planets arise from similar dynamical configurations predict comparable TTV fractions among these different systems. One simple explanation for our results is that there are at least two different classes of Kepler systems, one closely packed and one more sparsely populated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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