James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 2/12/2024

Harvard ADS: Using JWST transits and occultations to determine \sim1\% stellar radii and temperatures of low-mass stars

Paper abstract: Using JWST observations of a primary transit and two secondary eclipses for GJ 1214b, we determine an eccentricity that is more precise than a decade of HARPS data, which enables us to measure the stellar density to 2.62%. Coupled with a prior on the stellar mass from a dynamically calibrated K-M_* relation, we determine R_* to 1.13% -- 3 times more precise than any other published analysis of this system. Then, using the bolometric flux from an SED model, we determine T_{\rm eff} to 1.39% -- 40% more precise than systematic floors from spectroscopy. Within the global model, these also improve the planetary radius and insolation. This is a proof of concept for a new method to determine accurate R_* and T_{\rm eff} to a precision currently achieved for only a small number of low-mass stars. By applying our method to all high signal-to-noise planetary transits and occultations, we can expand the sample of precisely measured stars without assuming tidal circularization and calibrate new relations to improve our understanding of all low-mass stars.