Interpreting the photometry and spectroscopy of directly imaged planets: a new atmospheric model applied to β Pictoris b and SPHERE observations
LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne
Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, Univ. Paris Diderot, Sorbonne
5 place Jules Janssen,
2 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France ; CNRS, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
Received: 16 April 2015
Accepted: 31 July 2015
Context. Since the end of 2013 a new generation of instruments optimized to image young giant planets around nearby stars directly is becoming available on 8-m class telescopes, both at Very Large Telescope and Gemini in the southern hemisphere. Beyond the achievement of high contrast and the discovery capability, these instruments are designed to obtain photometric and spectral information to characterize the atmospheres of these planets.
Aims. We aim to interpret future photometric and spectral measurements from these instruments, in terms of physical parameters of the planets, with an atmospheric model using a minimal number of assumptions and parameters.
Methods. We developed the Exoplanet Radiative-convective Equilibrium Model (Exo-REM) to analyze the photometric and spectroscopic data of directly imaged planets. The input parameters are a planet’s surface gravity (g), effective temperature (Teff), and elemental composition. The model predicts the equilibrium temperature profile and mixing ratio profiles of the most important gases. Opacity sources include the H2-He collision-induced absorption and molecular lines from eight compounds (including CH4 updated with the Exomol line list). Absorption by iron and silicate cloud particles is added above the expected condensation levels with a fixed scale height and a given optical depth at some reference wavelength. Scattering was not included at this stage.
Results. We applied Exo-REM to photometric and spectral observations of the planet β Pictoris b obtained in a series of near-infrared filters. We derived Teff = 1550 ± 150 K, log (g) = 3.5 ± 1, and radius R = 1.76 ± 0.24 RJup (2σ error bars from photometric measurements). These values are comparable to those found in the literature, although with more conservative error bars, consistent with the model accuracy. We were able to reproduce, within error bars, the J- and H-band spectra of β Pictoris b. We finally investigated the precision to which the above parameters can be constrained from SPHERE measurements using different sets of near-infrared filters as well as low-resolution spectroscopy.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: gaseous planets / stars: individual: beta Pictoris / radiative transfer
© ESO, 2015