- Status Report
- June 5, 2023
Detection of Aerosols at Microbar Pressures in an Exoplanet Atmosphere
Formation of hazes at microbar pressures has been explored by theoretical models of exoplanet atmospheres to explain Rayleigh scattering and/or featureless transmission spectra, however observational evidence of aerosols in the low pressure formation environments has proved elusive.
Here, we show direct evidence of aerosols existing at ∼1 microbar pressures in the atmosphere of the warm sub-Saturn WASP-69b using observations taken with Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope. The transmission spectrum shows a wavelength-dependent slope induced by aerosol scattering that covers 11 scale heights of spectral modulation.
Drawing on the extensive studies of haze in our Solar System, we model the transmission spectrum based on a scaled version of Jupiter’s haze density profile to show that WASP-69b transmission spectrum can be produced by scattering from an approximately constant density of particles extending throughout the atmospheric column from 40 millibar to microbar pressures. These results are consistent with theoretical expectations based on microphysics of the aerosol particles that have suggested haze can exist at microbar pressures in exoplanet atmospheres.
Raissa Estrela, Mark Swain, Gael Roudier, Robert West, Elyar Sedaghati, Adriana Valio
Comments: 15 pages, 13 figures, accepted for publication in AJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2106.10292 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2106.10292v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
From: Raissa Estrela
[v1] Fri, 18 Jun 2021 18:00:05 UTC (6,252 KB)