High-precision photometry by telescope defocussing - II. the transiting planetary system WASP-4

John Southworth, T. C. Hinse, M. J. Burgdorf, M. Dominik, A. Hornstrup, U. G. Jørgensen, C. Liebig, D. Ricci, C. C. Thöne, T. Anguita, V. Bozza, S. Calchi Novati, K. Harpsøe, L. Mancini, G. Masi, M. Mathiasen, S. Rahvar, G. Scarpetta, C. Snodgrass, J. SurdejM. Zub

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62 Citations (Scopus)


We present and analyse light curves of four transits of the Southern hemisphere extrasolar planetary system WASP-4, obtained with a telescope defocused so the radius of each point spread function was 17 arcsec (44 pixels). This approach minimizes both random and systematic errors, allowing us to achieve scatters of between 0.60 and 0.88 mmag per observation over complete transit events. The light curves are augmented by published observations and analysed using the jktebop code. The results of this process are combined with theoretical stellar model predictions to derive the physical properties of the WASP-4 system. We find that the mass and radius of the planet are M b = 1.289 +0.090 -0.090 +0.039 -0.000 M Jup and R b = 1.371 +0.032 -0.035 +0.021 -0.000 R Jup, respectively (statistical and systematic uncertainties). These quantities give a surface gravity and density of g b = 17.03 +0.97 -0.54 m s -2 and ρ b = 0.500 +0.032 -0.021 +0.000 -0.008 ρ Jup, and fit the trends for short-period extrasolar planets to have relatively high masses and surface gravities. WASP-4 is now one of the best-quantified transiting extrasolar planetary systems, and significant further progress requires improvements to our understanding of the physical properties of low-mass stars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Binaries: eclipsing
  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: individual: WASP-4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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