Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 637A, 76-76 (2020/5-1)
HST/STIS transmission spectrum of the ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-76 b confirms the presence of sodium in its atmosphere.
VON ESSEN C., MALLONN M., HERMANSEN S., NIXON M.C., MADHUSUDHAN N., KJELDSEN H. and TAUTVAISIENE G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present an atmospheric transmission spectrum of the ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-76 b by analyzing archival data obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The dataset spans three transits, two with a wavelength coverage between 2900 and 5700Å, and the third one between 5250 and 10 300Å. From the one-dimensional, time dependent spectra we constructed white and chromatic light curves, the latter with typical integration band widths of ∼200Å. We computed the wavelength dependent planet-to-star radii ratios taking into consideration WASP-76's companion. The resulting transmission spectrum of WASP-76 b is dominated by a spectral slope of increasing opacity towards shorter wavelengths of amplitude of about three scale heights under the assumption of planetary equilibrium temperature. If the slope is caused by Rayleigh scattering, we derive a lower limit to the temperature of ∼870K. Following-up on previous detection of atomic sodium derived from high resolution spectra, we re-analyzed HST data using narrower bands centered around sodium. From an atmospheric retrieval of this transmission spectrum, we report evidence of sodium at 2.9σ significance. In this case, the retrieved temperature at the top of the atmosphere (10–5bar) is 2300–392+412K. We also find marginal evidence for titanium hydride. However, additional high resolution ground-based data are required to confirm this discovery.
© ESO 2020
planetary systems - stars: individual: WASP-76 - methods: observational - planets and satellites: atmospheres
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