Internal gravity waves modulate the apparent misalignment of exoplanets around hot stars

T. M. Rogers, D. N.C. Lin, H. H.B. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


We propose that the observed misalignment between extrasolar planets and their hot host stars can be explained by angular momentum transport within the host star. Observations have shown that this misalignment is preferentially around hot stars, which have convective cores and extended radiative envelopes. This situation is amenable to substantial angular momentum transport by internal gravity waves (IGW) generated at the convective-radiative interface. Here, we present numerical simulations of this process and show that IGW can modulate the surface rotation of the star. With these two-dimensional simulations, we show that IGW could explain the retrograde orbits observed in systems such as HAT-P-6 and HAT-P-7. However, extension to high-obliquity objects will await future three-dimensional simulations. We note that these results also imply that individual massive stars should show temporal variations in their v sin i measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL6
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • hydrodynamics stars
  • interiors stars
  • rotation waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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