Exoplanets & Exomoons

Water Vapor in the Spectrum of Extrasolar Planet HD 189733b: 2. The eclipse

By Keith Cowing
September 16, 2014
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Water Vapor in the Spectrum of Extrasolar Planet HD 189733b: 2. The eclipse

Spectroscopic observations of exoplanets are crucial to infer the composition and properties of their atmospheres. HD 189733b is one of the most extensively studied exoplanets and is a corner stone for hot Jupiter models.

In this paper, we report the day-side emission spectrum of HD 189733b in the wavelength range 1.1 to 1.7 μ m obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 in spatial scan mode. The quality of the data is such that even a straightforward analysis yields a high precision Poisson noise limited spectrum: the median 1- σ uncertainty is 57 ppm per 0.02 μ m bin. We also build a white-light curve correcting for systematic effects and derive an absolute eclipse depth of 96 ± 39 ppm.

The resulting spectrum shows marginal evidence for water vapor absorption, but can also be well explained by a blackbody spectrum. However, the combination of these WFC3 data with previous Spitzer photometric observations is best explained by a day-side atmosphere of HD 189733b with no thermal inversion and a nearly solar or sub-solar H2O abundance in a cloud-free atmosphere. Alternatively, this apparent sub-solar abundance may be the result of clouds or hazes which future studies need to investigate.

Nicolas Crouzet, Peter R. McCullough, Drake Deming, Nikku Madhusudhan (Submitted on 13 Sep 2014)

Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1409.4000 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1409.4000v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history
From: Nicolas Crouzet
[v1] Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:29:55 GMT (770kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻