Massive companions in close orbits around G dwarfs are thought to undergo rapid orbital decay due to runaway tidal dissipation. We report here the discovery of WASP-128b, a brown dwarf discovered by the WASP survey transiting a G0V host on a 2.2d orbit, where the measured stellar rotation rate places the companion in a regime where tidal interaction is dominated by dynamical tides. Under the assumption of dynamical equilibrium, we derive a value of the stellar tidal quality factor logQ′⋆=6.96±0.19. A combined analysis of ground-based photometry and high-resolution spectroscopy reveals a mass and radius of the host, M⋆=1.16±0.04M⊙, R⋆=1.16±0.02R⊙, and for the companion, Mb=37.5±0.8MJ, Rb=0.94±0.02RJ, placing WASP-128b in the driest parts of the brown dwarf desert, and suggesting a mild inflation for its age. We estimate a remaining lifetime for WASP-128b similar to that of some ultra-short period massive hot Jupiters, and note it may be a propitious candidate for measuring orbital decay and testing tidal theories.
7 pages, 3 figures. Accepted in MNRAS. Added references, fixed typos, and clarified some parts of the text
- methods: data analysis
- planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
- binaries: eclipsing
- brown dwarfs