Hint of an exocomet transit in the CHEOPS light curve of HD 172555
HD 172555 is a young (~20 Myr) A7V star surrounded by a 10 au wide debris disk suspected to be replenished partly by collisions between large planetesimals. Small evaporating transiting bodies, that is exocomets, have also been detected in this system by spectroscopy. After ß Pictoris, this is another example of a system possibly witnessing a phase of the heavy bombardment of planetesimals. In such a system, small bodies trace dynamical evolution processes. We aim to constrain their dust content by using transit photometry. We performed a 2-day-long photometric monitoring of HD 172555 with the CHEOPS space telescope in order to detect shallow transits of exocomets with a typical expected duration of a few hours. The large oscillations in the light curve indicate that HD 172555 is a d Scuti pulsating star. After removing those dominating oscillations, we found a hint of a transient absorption. If fitted with an exocomet transit model, it would correspond to an evaporating body passing near the star at a distance of 6.8±1.4R? (or 0.05±0.01 au) with a radius of 2.5 km. These properties are comparable to those of the exocomets already found in this system using spectroscopy, as well as those found in the ß Pic system. The nuclei of the Solar System's Jupiter family comets, with radii of 2-6 km, are also comparable in size. This is the first piece of evidence of an exocomet photometric transit detection in the young system of HD 172555.
|Acceptance Date||Dec 10, 2022|
|Publication Date||Mar 1, 2023|
|Journal||Astronomy & Astrophysics|
|Additional Information||Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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