WASP-21b: a hot-Saturn exoplanet transiting a thick disc star

Bouchy, F.; Hebb, L.; Skillen, I.; Collier Cameron, A.; Smalley, B.; Udry, S.; Anderson, D. R.; Boisse, I.; Enoch, B.; Haswell, C. A.; Hébrard, G.; Hellier, C.; Joshi, Y.; Kane, S. R.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Mayor, M.; Moutou, C.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Queloz, D.; Ségransan, D.; Simpson, E. K.; Smith, A. M. S.; Stempels, H. C.; Street, R.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; West, R. G. and Wheatley, P. J. (2010). WASP-21b: a hot-Saturn exoplanet transiting a thick disc star. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 519, article no. A98.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201014817


We report the discovery of WASP-21b, a new transiting exoplanet discovered by the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) Consortium and established and characterized with the FIES, SOPHIE, CORALIE and HARPS fiber-fed echelle spectrographs. A 4.3-d period, 1.1% transit depth and 3.4-h duration are derived for WASP-21b using SuperWASP-North and high precision photometric observations at the Liverpool Telescope. Simultaneous fitting to the photometric and radial velocity data with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo procedure leads to a planet in the mass regime of Saturn. With a radius of 1.07 RJup and mass of 0.30 MJup, WASP-21b has a density close to 0.24 ?Jup corresponding to the distribution peak at low density of transiting gaseous giant planets. With a host star metallicity [Fe/H] of '0.46, WASP-21b strengthens the correlation between planetary density and host star metallicity for the five known Saturn-like transiting planets. Furthermore there are clear indications that WASP-21b is the first transiting planet belonging to the thick disc.

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