Volume 576, April 2015
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||08 April 2015|
Regaining the FORS: optical ground-based transmission spectroscopy of the exoplanet WASP-19b with VLT+FORS2⋆
1 ESO, Alonso de Córdova 3107, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
2 Institut für Planetenforschung, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Rutherfordstr. 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
3 ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
4 Astronomical Institute ASCR, Fričova 298, 25165 Ondřejov, Czech Republic
5 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 5 February 2015
Accepted: 12 March 2015
In the past few years, the study of exoplanets has evolved from being pure discovery, then being more exploratory in nature and finally becoming very quantitative. In particular, transmission spectroscopy now allows the study of exoplanetary atmospheres. Such studies rely heavily on space-based or large ground-based facilities, because one needs to perform time-resolved, high signal-to-noise spectroscopy. The very recent exchange of the prisms of the FORS2 atmospheric diffraction corrector on ESO’s Very Large Telescope should allow us to reach higher data quality than was ever possible before. With FORS2, we have obtained the first optical ground-based transmission spectrum of WASP-19b, with 20 nm resolution in the 550–830 nm range. For this planet, the data set represents the highest resolution transmission spectrum obtained to date. We detect large deviations from planetary atmospheric models in the transmission spectrum redwards of 790 nm, indicating either additional sources of opacity not included in the current atmospheric models for WASP-19b or additional, unexplored sources of systematics. Nonetheless, this work shows the new potential of FORS2 for studying the atmospheres of exoplanets in greater detail than has been possible so far.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres / techniques: spectroscopic / instrumentation: spectrographs / stars: individual: WASP-19
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015
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