Volume 551, March 2013
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||22 February 2013|
Atmospheric escape from HD 189733b observed in H I Lyman-α: detailed analysis of HST/STIS September 2011 observations
1 CNRS, UMR 7095, Institut d’astrophysique de Paris, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
2 UPMC Univ. Paris 6, UMR 7095, Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
3 Observatoire astronomique de l’Université de Genève, 51 chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
4 Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1541 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721-0063, USA
5 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
6 Astrophysics Group, School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL, UK
7 Department of Physics,University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Received: 10 October 2012
Accepted: 9 January 2013
Observations of transits of the hot giant exoplanet HD 189733b in the unresolved H i Lyman-α line show signs of hydrogen escaping the upper atmosphere of the planet. New resolved Lyman-α observations obtained with the STIS spectrograph onboard the Hubble Space Telescope in April 2010 and September 2011 confirmed that the planet is evaporating, and furthermore discovered significant temporal variations in the physical conditions of its evaporating atmosphere. Here we present a detailed analysis of the September 2011 observations of HD 189733b, when an atmospheric signature was detected. We present specific methods to find and characterize this absorption signature of escaping hydrogen in the Lyman-α line, and to calculate its false-positive probability, found to be 3.6%. Taking advantage of the spectral resolution and high sensitivity of the STIS spectrograph, we also present new results on temporal and spectro-temporal variability of this absorption feature. We also report the observation of HD 189733b in other lines (Si iii at 1206.5 Å, N v at 1240 Å). Variations in these lines could be explained either by early occultation by a bow-shock rich in highly ionized species, or by stellar variations.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres / stars: individual: HD 189733
© ESO, 2013
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