Monday, October 20, 2014

Emission Spectra of Gas Giant HD 209458b

The ground-based H, K, and L-band absolute emission spectra of HD 209458b


Zellem et al


Here we explore the capabilities of NASA's 3.0 meter Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and SpeX spectrometer and the 5.08 meter Hale telescope with the TripleSpec spectrometer with near-infrared H, K, and L-band measurements of HD 209458b's secondary eclipse. Our IRTF/SpeX data are the first absolute L-band spectroscopic emission measurements of any exoplanet other than the hot Jupiter HD 189733b. Previous measurements of HD 189733b's L-band indicate bright emission hypothesized to result from non-LTE CH4 ν3 fluorescence. We do not detect a similar bright 3.3 μm feature to ~3σ, suggesting that fluorescence does not need to be invoked to explain HD 209458b's L-band measurements. The validity of our observation and reduction techniques, which decrease the flux variance by up to 2.8 orders of magnitude, is reinforced by 1σ agreement with existent Hubble/NICMOS and Spitzer/IRAC1 observations which overlap the H, K, and L-bands, suggesting that both IRTF/SpeX and Palomar/TripleSpec can measure an exoplanet's emission with high precision.

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