Thursday, October 29, 2015

Center-to-limb Variation Very Important to the Interpretation of Planetary Transit Spectroscopy

The center-to-limb variation across the Fraunhofer lines of HD 189733; Sampling the stellar spectrum using a transiting planet


Czesla et al


The center-to-limb variation (CLV) describes the brightness of the stellar disk as a function of the limb angle. Across strong absorption lines, the CLV can vary quite significantly. We obtained a densely sampled time series of high-resolution transit spectra of the active planet host star HD 189733 with UVES. Using the passing planetary disk of the hot Jupiter HD 189733 b as a probe, we study the CLV in the wings of the Ca II H and K and Na I D1 and D2 Fraunhofer lines, which are not strongly affected by activity-induced variability. In agreement with model predictions, our analysis shows that the wings of the studied Fraunhofer lines are limb brightened with respect to the (quasi-)continuum. The strength of the CLV-induced effect can be on the same order as signals found for hot Jupiter atmospheres. Therefore, a careful treatment of the wavelength dependence of the stellar CLV in strong absorption lines is highly relevant in the interpretation of planetary transit spectroscopy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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