Thursday, January 28, 2016

Evidence for Water in the Atmosphere of hot Neptune HAT-P-26b

Evidence for Water in the Atmosphere of HAT-P-26b Using LDSS-3C


Stevenson et al


The characterization of a physically-diverse set of transiting exoplanets is an important and necessary step towards establishing the physical properties linked to the production of obscuring clouds or hazes. Only planets with identifiable spectroscopic features can effectively enhance our understanding of atmospheric chemistry and metallicity. Using data acquired by the newly-commissioned LDSS-3C instrument on Magellan and the Spitzer Space Telescope, we find evidence for water in the transmission spectrum of the Neptune-mass planet HAT-P-26b. Surprisingly, we detect no trace of potassium. Our measured spectrum is best explained by either a high-metallicity, cloud-free atmosphere or a solar-metallicity atmosphere with a cloud deck at ~10 mbar. The presence of strong spectral features in our data suggests that future observations at higher precision could break this degeneracy and reveal the planet's atmospheric composition. We also update HAT-P-26b's transit ephemeris, t_0 = 2455304.65218(25) BJD_TDB, and orbital period, p = 4.2345023(7) days.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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