The Rossiter-McLaughlin eﬀect for exoplanets
Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Published online: 16 February 2011
There are now more than 30 stars with transiting planets for which the stellar obliquity—or more precisely its sky projection—has been measured, via the eponymous eﬀect of Rossiter and McLaughlin. The history of these measurements is intriguing. For 8 years a case was gradually building that the orbits of hot Jupiters are always well-aligned with the rotation of their parent stars. Then in a sudden reversal, many misaligned systems were found, and it now seems that even retrograde systems are not uncommon. I review the measurement technique underlying these discoveries, the patterns that have emerged from the data, and the implications for theories of planet formation and migration.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011