Astrophys. J., 646, 1241-1251 (2006/August-1)
An upper limit on the albedo of HD 209458b: direct imaging photometry with the MOST satellite.
ROWE J.F., MATTHEWS J.M., SEAGER S., KUSCHNIG R., GUENTHER D.B., MOFFAT A.F.J., RUCINSKI S.M., SASSELOV D., WALKER G.A.H. and WEISS W.W.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present space-based photometry of the transiting exoplanetary system HD 209458 obtained with the Microvariablity and Oscillations of Stars (MOST) satellite, spanning 14 days and covering 4 transits and 4 secondary eclipses. The HD 209458 photometry was obtained in MOST's lower precision direct imaging mode, which is used for targets in the brightness range 6.5≥V≥13. We describe the photometric reduction techniques for this mode of observing, in particular the corrections for stray earthshine. We do not detect the secondary eclipse in the MOST data, to a limit in depth of 0.053 mmag (1 σ). We set a 1 σ upper limit on the planet-star flux ratio of 4.88x10–5 corresponding to a geometric albedo upper limit in the MOST bandpass (400-700 nm) of 0.25. The corresponding numbers at the 3 σ level are 1.34x10–4 and 0.68, respectively. HD 209458b is half as bright as Jupiter in the MOST bandpass. This low geometric albedo value is an important constraint for theoretical models of the HD 209458b atmosphere, in particular ruling out the presence of reflective clouds. A second MOST campaign on HD 209458 is expected to be sensitive to an exoplanet albedo as low as 0.13 (1 σ), if the star does not become more intrinsically variable in the meantime.
Stars: Planetary Systems - Stars: Individual: Henry Draper Number: HD 209458 - Techniques: Photometric
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