Publication details

High-resolution Transmission Spectroscopy of Four Hot Inflated Gas Giant Exoplanets

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ŽÁK Jiří KABÁTH Petr BOFFIN Henri M. J. IVANOV Valentin D. SKARKA Marek

Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Astronomical Journal
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

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Keywords planetary systems; planets and satellites: atmospheres; planets and satellites: individual (WASP-76b; WASP-127b; WAS P-166b; KELT-11); techniques: spectroscopic
Description The technique of transmission spectroscopy allows us to constrain the chemical composition of the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets. It relies on very high signal-to-noise spectroscopic (or spectrophotometric) observations and is thus most suited for bright exoplanet host stars. In the era of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, Next Generation Space Telescope, and PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO), more and more suitable targets, even for mid-sized telescopes, are discovered. Furthermore, a wealth of archival data is available that could become a basis for long-term monitoring of exo-atmospheres. We analyzed archival High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectroscopic time series of four host stars to transiting bloated gas exoplanets, namely WASP-76b, WASP-127b, WASP-166b, and KELT-11b, searching for traces of sodium (sodium doublet), hydrogen (H alpha, H beta), and lithium (670.8 nm). The archival data sets include spectroscopic time series taken during transits. Comparing in- and out-of-transit spectra we can filter out the stellar lines and investigate the absorption from the planet. Simultaneously, the stellar activity is monitored using the Mg I and Ca I lines. We detect sodium in the atmosphere of WASP-76b at a 7-9 sigma level. Furthermore, we report also at a 4-8 sigma level of significance the detection of sodium in the atmosphere of WASP-127b, confirming earlier results based on low-resolution spectroscopy. The data show no sodium nor any other atom at high confidence levels for WASP-166b nor KELT-11b, hinting at the presence of thick high clouds.
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