Volume 612, April 2018
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||20 April 2018|
Combining low- to high-resolution transit spectroscopy of HD 189733b
Linking the troposphere and the thermosphere of a hot gas giant
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “Galileo Galilei”, Univ. di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3,
2 Observatoire astronomique de l’Université de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3 University of Bern, Center for Space and Habitability, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Accepted: 25 September 2017
Space-borne low- to medium-resolution (ℛ ~ 102–103) and ground-based high-resolution spectrographs (ℛ ~ 105) are commonly used to obtain optical and near infrared transmission spectra of exoplanetary atmospheres. In this wavelength range, space-borne observations detect the broadest spectral features (alkali doublets, molecular bands, scattering, etc.), while high-resolution, ground-based observations probe the sharpest features (cores of the alkali lines, molecular lines). The two techniques differ by several aspects. (1) The line spread function of ground-based observations is ~103 times narrower than for space-borne observations; (2) Space-borne transmission spectra probe up to the base of thermosphere (P ≳ 10−6 bar), while ground-based observations can reach lower pressures (down to ~10−11 bar) thanks to their high resolution; (3) Space-borne observations directly yield the transit depth of the planet, while ground-based observations can only measure differences in the apparent size of the planet at different wavelengths. These differences make it challenging to combine both techniques. Here, we develop a robust method to compare theoretical models with observations at different resolutions. We introduce πη, a line-by-line 1D radiative transfer code to compute theoretical transmission spectra over a broad wavelength range at very high resolution (ℛ ~ 106, or Δλ ~ 0.01 Å). An hybrid forward modeling/retrieval optimization scheme is devised to deal with the large computational resources required by modeling a broad wavelength range ~0.3–2 μm at high resolution. We apply our technique to HD 189733b. In this planet, HST observations reveal a flattened spectrum due to scattering by aerosols, while high-resolution ground-based HARPS observations reveal sharp features corresponding to the cores of sodium lines. We reconcile these apparent contrasting results by building models that reproduce simultaneously both data sets, from the troposphere to the thermosphere. We confirm: (1) the presence of scattering by tropospheric aerosols; (2) that the sodium core feature is of thermospheric origin. When we take into account the presence of aerosols, the large contrast of the core of the sodium lines measured by HARPS indicates a temperature of up to ~10 000K in the thermosphere, higher than what reported in the literature. We also show that the precise value of the thermospheric temperature is degenerate with the relative optical depth of sodium, controlled by its abundance, and of the aerosol deck.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: gaseous planets
© ESO 2018
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