SIMBAD references

2021A&A...646A..15B - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 646A, 15-15 (2021/2-1)

1D atmospheric study of the temperate sub-Neptune K2-18b.


Abstract (from CDS):

Context. The atmospheric composition of exoplanets with masses between 2 and 10M is poorly understood. In that regard, the sub-Neptune K2-18b, which is subject to Earth-like stellar irradiation, offers a valuable opportunity for the characterisation of such atmospheres. Previous analyses of its transmission spectrum from the Kepler, Hubble (HST), and Spitzer space telescopes data using both retrieval algorithms and forward-modelling suggest the presence of H2O and an H2-He atmosphere, but have not detected other gases, such as CH4.
Aims. We present simulations of the atmosphere of K2-18 b using Exo-REM, our self-consistent 1D radiative-equilibrium model, using a large grid of atmospheric parameters to infer constraints on its chemical composition.
Methods. We compared the transmission spectra computed by our model with the above-mentioned data (0.4-5 µm), assuming an H2-He dominated atmosphere. We investigated the effects of irradiation, eddy diffusion coefficient, internal temperature, clouds, C/O ratio, and metallicity on the atmospheric structure and transit spectrum.
Results. We show that our simulations favour atmospheric metallicities between 40 and 500 times solar and indicate, in some cases, the formation of H2O-ice clouds, but not liquid H2O clouds. We also confirm the findings of our previous study, which showed that CH4 absorption features nominally dominate the transmission spectrum in the HST spectral range. We compare our results with results from retrieval algorithms and find that the H2O-dominated spectrum interpretation is either due to the omission of CH4 absorptions or a strong overfitting of the data. Finally, we investigated different scenarios that would allow for a CH4-depleted atmosphere. We were able to fit the data to those scenarios, finding, however, that it is very unlikely for K2-18b to have a high internal temperature. A low C/O ratio (≃0.01-0.1) allows for H2O to dominate the transmission spectrum and can fit the data but so far, this set-up lacks a physical explanation. Simulations with a C/O ratio <0.01 are not able to fit the data satisfactorily.

Abstract Copyright: © D. Blain et al. 2021

Journal keyword(s): planets and satellites: atmospheres - infrared: planetary systems - planets and satellites: gaseous planets - molecular data

Simbad objects: 13

goto Full paper

goto View the references in ADS

To bookmark this query, right click on this link: simbad:2021A&A...646A..15B and select 'bookmark this link' or equivalent in the popup menu


© Université de Strasbourg/CNRS

    • Contact