Jonathan Langton’s new paper (available now!)
The Spitzer telescope recently observed HAT-P-2b (data not yet analyzed) and the Nov. 19-20th encounter with HD 80606b is coming right up. No better time, then, to go out on a limb with our predictions of what will be seen. Our latest paper (Langton & Laughlin 2007) has been accepted by the Astrophysical Journal, and will be posted to astro-ph shortly. In the meantime, here’s a .pdf file containing the full paper. We’re happy with the way it came out, and we’re working hard to push the models to the next level.
From the conclusion:
A short-period Jovian planet on an eccentric orbit likely presents one of the Galaxyâ€™s most thrilling sights. One can imagine, for example, how HD 86060 b appears during the interval surrounding its hair-rising encounter with its parent star. The blast of periastron heating drives global shock waves that reverberate several times around the globe. From Earthâ€™s line of sight, the hours and days following periastron are characterized by a gradually dimming crescent of reflected starlight, accompanied by planet-wide vortical storms that fade like swirling embers as the planet recedes from the star. Itâ€™s remarkable that we now have the ability to watch this scene (albeit at one-pixel and two-frequency resolution) from a vantage several hundred light years away.