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Astronomical Journal


We report the discovery of KELT-18b, a transiting hot Jupiter in a 2.87-day orbit around the bright ( V = 10.1), hot, F4V star BD+60 1538 (TYC 3865-1173-1). We present follow-up photometry, spectroscopy, and adaptive optics imaging that allow a detailed characterization of the system. Our preferred model fits yield a host stellar temperature of K and a mass of , situating it as one of only a handful of known transiting planets with hosts that are as hot, massive, and bright. The planet has a mass of , a radius of , and a density of , making it one of the most inflated planets known around a hot star. We argue that KELT-18b’s high temperature and low surface gravity, which yield an estimated ∼600 km atmospheric scale height, combined with its hot, bright host, make it an excellent candidate for observations aimed at atmospheric characterization. We also present evidence for a bound stellar companion at a projected separation of ∼1100 au, and speculate that it may have contributed to the strong misalignment we suspect between KELT-18's spin axis and its planet’s orbital axis. The inferior conjunction time is 2457542.524998 ± 0.000416 (BJD TDB ) and the orbital period is 2.8717510 ± 0.0000029 days. We encourage Rossiter–McLaughlin measurements in the near future to confirm the suspected spin–orbit misalignment of this system.


This work is a preprint that is freely available courtesy of IOP Publishing and the American Astronomical Society. The final published version is available online.