Generation of a circumstellar gas disc by hot Jupiter WASP-12b

Alex Debrecht, Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback, Adam Frank, Luca Fossati, Eric G. Blackman, Ian Dobbs-Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Observations of transiting extra-solar planets provide rich sources of data for probing the in-system environment. In the WASP-12 system, a broad depression in the usually bright Mg II h & k lines has been observed, in addition to atmospheric escape from the extremely hot Jupiter WASP-12b. It has been hypothesized that a translucent circumstellar cloud is formed by the outflow from the planet, causing the observed signatures.We perform 3D hydrodynamic simulations of the full system environment ofWASP-12, injecting a planetary wind and stellar wind from their respective surfaces.We find that a torus of density high enough to account for the lack of Mg II h & k line core emission in WASP-12 can be formed in approximately 13 yr. We also perform synthetic observations of the Lyman α spectrum at different points in the planet's orbit, which demonstrate that significant absorption occurs at all points in the orbit, not just during transits, as suggested by the observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2592-2598
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Planet-star interactions
  • Planets and satellites: atmospheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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