DETECTION OF H2O AND EVIDENCE FOR TiO/VO IN AN ULTRA-HOT EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERE

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/614712
Title:
DETECTION OF H2O AND EVIDENCE FOR TiO/VO IN AN ULTRA-HOT EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERE
Author:
Evans, Thomas M.; Sing, David K.; Wakeford, Hannah R. ( 0000-0003-4328-3867 ) ; Nikolov, Nikolay ( 0000-0002-6500-3574 ) ; Ballester, Gilda E.; Drummond, Benjamin ( 0000-0001-7589-5484 ) ; Kataria, Tiffany; Gibson, Neale P.; Amundsen, David S. ( 0000-0002-5612-7321 ) ; Spake, Jessica
Affiliation:
Univ Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab
Issue Date:
2016-04-21
Publisher:
IOP PUBLISHING LTD
Citation:
DETECTION OF H2O AND EVIDENCE FOR TiO/VO IN AN ULTRA-HOT EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERE 2016, 822 (1):L4 The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Journal:
The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Rights:
© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Collection Information:
This item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at repository@u.library.arizona.edu.
Abstract:
We present a primary transit observation for the ultra-hot (T-eq similar to 2400 K) gas giant expolanet WASP-121b, made using the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 in spectroscopic mode across the 1.12-1.64 mu m wavelength range. The 1.4 mu m water absorption band is detected at high confidence (5.4 sigma) in the planetary atmosphere. We also reanalyze ground-based photometric light curves taken in the B, r', and z' filters. Significantly deeper transits are measured in these optical bandpasses relative to the near-infrared wavelengths. We conclude that scattering by high-altitude haze alone is unlikely to account for this difference and instead interpret it as evidence for titanium oxide and vanadium oxide absorption. Enhanced opacity is also inferred across the 1.12-1.3 mu m wavelength range, possibly due to iron hydride absorption. If confirmed, WASP-121b will be the first exoplanet with titanium oxide, vanadium oxide, and iron hydride detected in transmission. The latter are important species in M/L dwarfs and their presence is likely to have a significant effect on the overall physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, including the production of a strong thermal inversion.
ISSN:
2041-8213
DOI:
10.3847/2041-8205/822/1/L4
Keywords:
planets and satellites: atmospheres; stars: individual (WASP-121); techniques: photometric; techniques: spectroscopic
Version:
Final published version
Sponsors:
The authors would like to thank the referee for their prompt and thoughtful review. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program GO-14468. The authors are grateful to the WASP-121 discovery team for generously providing the ground-based photometric light curves. The research leading to these results received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) ERC grant agreement no. 336792. H.R.W. acknowledges support by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at Goddard Space Flight Center, administered by ORAU and USRA through a contract with NASA. N.P.G. gratefully acknowledges support from the Royal Society in the form of a University Research Fellowship.
Additional Links:
http://stacks.iop.org/2041-8205/822/i=1/a=L4?key=crossref.72557cd537c4ccc96ffe7b3f88f6018c

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorEvans, Thomas M.en
dc.contributor.authorSing, David K.en
dc.contributor.authorWakeford, Hannah R.en
dc.contributor.authorNikolov, Nikolayen
dc.contributor.authorBallester, Gilda E.en
dc.contributor.authorDrummond, Benjaminen
dc.contributor.authorKataria, Tiffanyen
dc.contributor.authorGibson, Neale P.en
dc.contributor.authorAmundsen, David S.en
dc.contributor.authorSpake, Jessicaen
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-24T22:05:21Z-
dc.date.available2016-06-24T22:05:21Z-
dc.date.issued2016-04-21-
dc.identifier.citationDETECTION OF H2O AND EVIDENCE FOR TiO/VO IN AN ULTRA-HOT EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERE 2016, 822 (1):L4 The Astrophysical Journal Lettersen
dc.identifier.issn2041-8213-
dc.identifier.doi10.3847/2041-8205/822/1/L4-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/614712-
dc.description.abstractWe present a primary transit observation for the ultra-hot (T-eq similar to 2400 K) gas giant expolanet WASP-121b, made using the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 in spectroscopic mode across the 1.12-1.64 mu m wavelength range. The 1.4 mu m water absorption band is detected at high confidence (5.4 sigma) in the planetary atmosphere. We also reanalyze ground-based photometric light curves taken in the B, r', and z' filters. Significantly deeper transits are measured in these optical bandpasses relative to the near-infrared wavelengths. We conclude that scattering by high-altitude haze alone is unlikely to account for this difference and instead interpret it as evidence for titanium oxide and vanadium oxide absorption. Enhanced opacity is also inferred across the 1.12-1.3 mu m wavelength range, possibly due to iron hydride absorption. If confirmed, WASP-121b will be the first exoplanet with titanium oxide, vanadium oxide, and iron hydride detected in transmission. The latter are important species in M/L dwarfs and their presence is likely to have a significant effect on the overall physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, including the production of a strong thermal inversion.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors would like to thank the referee for their prompt and thoughtful review. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program GO-14468. The authors are grateful to the WASP-121 discovery team for generously providing the ground-based photometric light curves. The research leading to these results received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) ERC grant agreement no. 336792. H.R.W. acknowledges support by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at Goddard Space Flight Center, administered by ORAU and USRA through a contract with NASA. N.P.G. gratefully acknowledges support from the Royal Society in the form of a University Research Fellowship.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherIOP PUBLISHING LTDen
dc.relation.urlhttp://stacks.iop.org/2041-8205/822/i=1/a=L4?key=crossref.72557cd537c4ccc96ffe7b3f88f6018cen
dc.rights© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.en
dc.subjectplanets and satellites: atmospheresen
dc.subjectstars: individual (WASP-121)en
dc.subjecttechniques: photometricen
dc.subjecttechniques: spectroscopicen
dc.titleDETECTION OF H2O AND EVIDENCE FOR TiO/VO IN AN ULTRA-HOT EXOPLANET ATMOSPHEREen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniv Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Laben
dc.identifier.journalThe Astrophysical Journal Lettersen
dc.description.collectioninformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at repository@u.library.arizona.edu.en
dc.eprint.versionFinal published versionen
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