Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 436, 2974-2988 (2013/December-3)
The optical transmission spectrum of the hot Jupiter HAT-P-32b: clouds explain the absence of broad spectral features ?
GIBSON N.P., AIGRAIN S., BARSTOW J.K., EVANS T.M., FLETCHER L.N. and IRWIN P.G.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report Gemini-North Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph observations of the inflated hot Jupiter HAT-P-32b during two primary transits. We simultaneously observed two comparison stars and used differential spectrophotometry to produce multiwavelength light curves. `White' light curves and 29 `spectral' light curves were extracted for each transit and analysed to refine the system parameters and produce transmission spectra from 520 to 930nm in ~14nm bins. The light curves contain time-varying white noise as well as time-correlated noise, and we used a Gaussian process model to fit this complex noise model. Common mode corrections derived from the white light-curve fits were applied to the spectral light curves which significantly improved our precision, reaching typical uncertainties in the transit depth of ∼ 2x10–4, corresponding to about half a pressure scale height. The low-resolution transmission spectra are consistent with a featureless model, and we can confidently rule out broad features larger than about one scale height. The absence of Na/K wings or prominent TiO/VO features is most easily explained by grey absorption from clouds in the upper atmosphere, masking the spectral features. However, we cannot confidently rule out clear atmosphere models with low abundances ( ∼ 10–3 solar) of TiO, VO or even metal hydrides masking the Na and K wings. A smaller scale height or ionization could also contribute to muted spectral features, but alone are unable to account for the absence of features reported here.
© 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013)
methods: data analysis - techniques: spectroscopic - stars: individual: HAT-P-32 - planetary systems - techniques: Gaussian processes
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