Thursday, February 16, 2017

Near-IR Emission Spectrum of hot Jupiter WASP-103b


Cartier et al


We present here our observations and analysis of the dayside emission spectrum of the hot Jupiter WASP-103b. We observed WASP-103b during secondary eclipse using two visits of the Hubble Space Telescope with the G141 grism on Wide Field Camera 3 in spatial scan mode. We generated secondary eclipse light curves of the planet in both blended white-light and spectrally binned wavechannels from 1.1-1.7 micron and corrected the light curves for flux contamination from a nearby companion star. We modeled the detector systematics and secondary eclipse spectrum using Gaussian process regression and found that the near-IR emission spectrum of WASP-103b is featureless across the observed near-IR region to down to a sensitivity of 175 ppm, and shows a shallow slope towards the red. The atmosphere has a single brightness temperature of T_B = 2890 K across this wavelength range. This region of the spectrum is indistinguishable from isothermal, but may not manifest from a physically isothermal system, i.e. pseudo-isothermal. A Solar-metallicity profile with a thermal inversion layer at 10^-2 bar fits WASP-103b's spectrum with high confidence, as do an isothermal profile with Solar metallicity and a monotonically decreasing atmosphere with C/O>1. The data rule out a monotonically decreasing atmospheric profile with Solar composition, and we rule out a low-metallicity decreasing profile as non-physical for this system. The pseudo-isothermal profile could be explained by a thermal inversion layer just above the layer probed by our observations, or by clouds or haze in the upper atmosphere. Transmission spectra at optical wavelengths would allow us to better differentiate between potential atmospheric models.

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