Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 617A, 134-134 (2018/9-1)
Stellar contributions to the line profiles of high-resolution transmission spectra of exoplanets.
BORSA F. and ZANNONI A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Context. In-depth studies of exoplanetary atmospheres are starting to become reality. In order to unveil their properties in detail, we need spectra with a higher signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and also more sophisticated analysis methods. Aims. With high-resolution spectrographs, we can not only detect the sodium feature in the atmosphere of exoplanets, but also characterize it by studying its line profile. After finding a clearly w-shaped sodium line profile in the transmission spectrum of HD 189733b, we investigated the possible sources of contamination given by the star and tried to correct for these spurious deformations. Methods. By analyzing the single transmission spectra of HD 189733b in the wavelength space, we show that the main sodium signal that causes the absorption in the transmission spectrum is centered on the stellar rest frame. We concentrate on two main stellar effects that contaminate the exoplanetary transmission spectrum: center-to-limb variations (CLVs) and stellar rotation. We show the effects on the line profile: while we correct for the CLV using simulated theoretical stellar spectra, we provide a new method, based directly on observational data, to correct for the Rossiter-McLaughlin contribution to the line profile of the retrieved transmission spectrum. Results. We apply the corrections to the spectra of HD 189733b. Our analysis shows line profiles of the Na D lines in the transmission spectrum that are narrower than reported previously. The correction of the sodium D2 line, which is deeper than the D1 line, is probably still incomplete since the planetary radius is larger at this wavelength. A careful detrending from spurious stellar effects followed by an inspection in the velocity space is mandatory when studying the line profile of atmospheric features in the high-resolution transmission spectrum of exoplanets. Since the line profile is used to retrieve atmospheric properties, the resulting atmospheric parameters could be incorrectly estimated when the stellar contamination is not corrected for. Data with higher S/N coupled with improved atmospheric models will allow us to adapt the magnitude of the corrections of stellar effects in an iterative way.