Volume 598, February 2017
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||26 January 2017|
A cautionary tale: limitations of a brightness-based spectroscopic approach to chromatic exoplanet radii
1 Astrophysics Research Centre, School of Mathematics & Physics, Queen’s University Belfast, University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
2 Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3 Swiss National Science Foundation NCCR-PlanetS CHEOPS Fellow, Switzerland
Received: 31 October 2016
Accepted: 23 December 2016
Determining wavelength-dependent exoplanet radii measurements is an excellent way to probe the composition of exoplanet atmospheres. In light of this, Borsa et al. (2016) sought to develop a technique to obtain such measurements by comparing ground-based transmission spectra to the expected brightness variations during an exoplanet transit. However, we demonstrate herein that this is not possible due to the transit light curve normalisation necessary to remove the effects of the Earth’s atmosphere on the ground-based observations. This is because the recoverable exoplanet radius is set by the planet-to-star radius ratio within the transit light curve; we demonstrate this both analytically and with simulated planet transits, as well as through a reanalysis of the HD 189733 b data.
Key words: methods: data analysis / planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: fundamental parameters / planets and satellites: individual: HD 189733 b / techniques: radial velocities / techniques: spectroscopic
© ESO, 2017
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