Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hot Jupiter CoRoT-1b Appears to NOT Have Titanium Oxide or Vanadium Oxide in its Exoatmosphere



Schlawin et al


Hot Jupiters with brightness temperatures gsim2000 K can have TiO and VO molecules as gaseous species in their atmospheres. The TiO and VO molecules can potentially induce temperature inversions in hot Jupiter atmospheres and also have an observable signature of large optical to infrared transit depth ratios. Previous transmission spectra of very hot Jupiters have shown a lack of TiO and VO, but only in planets that also appear to lack temperature inversions. We measure the transmission spectrum of CoRoT-1b, a hot Jupiter that was predicted to have a temperature inversion potentially due to significant TiO and VO in its atmosphere. We employ the multi-object spectroscopy method using the SpeX and MORIS instruments on the Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and the Gaussian process method to model red noise. By using a simultaneous reference star on the slit for calibration and a wide slit to minimize slit losses, we achieve transit depth precision of 0.03%-0.09%, comparable to the atmospheric scale height but detect no statistically significant molecular features. We combine our IRTF data with optical CoRoT transmission measurements to search for differences in the optical and near-infrared absorption that would arise from TiO/VO. Our IRTF spectrum and the CoRoT photometry disfavor a TiO/VO-rich spectrum for CoRoT-1b, suggesting that the atmosphere has another absorber that could create a temperature inversion or that the blackbody-like emission from the planet is due to a spectroscopically flat cloud, dust, or haze layer that smoothes out molecular features in both CoRoT-1b's emission and transmission spectra. This system represents the faintest planet hosting star (K = 12.2) with a measured planetary transmission spectrum.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.