Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 602A, 36-36 (2017/6-1)
Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy (HEARTS). I. Detection of hot neutral sodium at high altitudes on WASP-49b.
WYTTENBACH A., LOVIS C., EHRENREICH D., BOURRIER V., PINO L., ALLART R., ASTUDILLO-DEFRU N., CEGLA H.M., HENG K., LAVIE B., MELO C., MURGAS F., SANTERNE A., SEGRANSAN D., UDRY S. and PEPE F.
Abstract (from CDS):
High-resolution optical spectroscopy during the transit of HD 189733b, a prototypical hot Jupiter, allowed the resolution of the NaI D sodium lines in the planet, giving access to the extreme conditions of the planet upper atmosphere. We have undertaken HEARTS, a spectroscopic survey of exoplanet upper atmospheres, to perform a comparative study of hot gas giants and determine how stellar irradiation affect them. Here, we report on the first HEARTS observations of the hot Saturn-mass planet WASP-49b. We observed the planet with the HARPS high-resolution spectrograph at ESO 3.6 m telescope. We collected 126 spectra of WASP-49, covering three transits of WASP-49b. We analyzed and modeled the planet transit spectrum, while paying particular attention to the treatment of potentially spurious signals of stellar origin. We spectrally resolve the NaI D lines in the planet atmosphere and show that these signatures are unlikely to arise from stellar contamination. The large contrasts of 2.0±0.5% (D2) and 1.8±0.7% (D1) require the presence of hot neutral sodium (2950+400–500 K) at high altitudes (∼1.5 planet radius or ∼45000km). From estimating the cloudiness index of WASP-49b, we determine its atmosphere to be cloud free at the altitudes probed by the sodium lines. WASP-49b is close to the border of the evaporation desert and exhibits an enhanced thermospheric signature with respect to a farther-away planet such as HD 189733b.
© ESO, 2017
planets and satellites: atmospheres - planets and satellites: individual: WASP-49b - techniques: spectroscopic - instrumentation: spectrographs - methods: observational - methods: observational
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