The spin-orbit angle of the transiting hot Jupiter CoRoT-1b

F. Pont*, M. Endl, W. D. Cochran, S. I. Barnes, C. Sneden, P. J. MacQueen, C. Moutou, S. Aigrain, R. Alonso, A. Baglin, F. Bouchy, M. Deleuil, M. Fridlund, G. Hébrard, A. Hatzes, T. Mazeh, A. Shporer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


We measure the angle between the planetary orbit and the stellar rotation axis in the transiting planetary system CoRoT-1, with new HIRES/Keck and FORS/VLT high-accuracy photometry. The data indicate a highly tilted system, with a projected spin-orbit angle λ = 77° ± 11°. Systematic uncertainties in the radial velocity data could cause the actual errors to be larger by an unknown amount, and this result needs to be confirmed with further high-accuracy spectroscopic transit measurements. Spin-orbit alignment has now been measured in a dozen extra-solar planetary systems, and several show strong misalignment. The first three misaligned planets were all much more massive than Jupiter and followed eccentric orbits. CoRoT-1, however, is a jovian-mass close-in planet on a circular orbit. If its strong misalignment is confirmed, it would break this pattern. The high occurrence of misaligned systems for several types of planets and orbits favours planet-planet scattering as a mechanism to bring gas giants on very close orbits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1-L5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: individual: CoRoT-Exo-1, CoRoT-1
  • Techniques: photometric
  • Techniques: radial velocities


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