Volume 618, October 2018
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||17 October 2018|
The atmosphere of WASP-17b: Optical high-resolution transmission spectroscopy
Hamburg Observatory, Hamburg University,
2 Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstrasse 6, 8042 Graz, Austria
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 01238, USA
4 Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
5 Institute for Astrophysics, Göttingen University, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
6 Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV47AL, UK
7 Institut für Astronomie, Universität Wien, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
8 Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 26 July 2018
High-resolution transmission spectroscopy is a method for understanding the chemical and physical properties of upper exoplanetary atmospheres. Due to large absorption cross-sections, resonance lines of atomic sodium D-lines (at 5889.95 and 5895.92 Å) produce large transmission signals. Our aim is to unveil the physical properties of WASP-17b through an accurate measurement of the sodium absorption in the transmission spectrum. We analyze 37 high-resolution spectra observed during a single transit of WASP-17b with the MIKE instrument on the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes. We exclude stellar flaring activity during the observations by analyzing the temporal variations of Hα and Ca II infrared triplet (IRT) lines. We then obtain the excess absorption light curves in wavelength bands of 0.75, 1, 1.5, and 3 Å around the center of each sodium line (i.e., the light curve approach). We model the effects of differential limb-darkening, and the changing planetary radial velocity on the light curves. We also analyze the sodium absorption directly in the transmission spectrum, which is obtained by dividing in-transit by out-of-transit spectra (i.e., the division approach). We then compare our measurements with a radiative transfer atmospheric model. Our analysis results in a tentative detection of exoplanetary sodium: we measure the width and amplitude of the exoplanetary sodium feature to be σNa = (0.128 ± 0.078) Å and ANa = (1.7 ± 0.9)% in the excess light curve approach and σNa = (0.850 ± 0.034) Å and ANa = (1.3 ± 0.6)% in the division approach. By comparing our measurements with a simple atmospheric model, we retrieve an atmospheric temperature of 15501550 −200+700 K and radius (at 0.1 bar) of 1.81 ± 0.02 RJup for WASP-17b.
Key words: techniques: high angular resolution / planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: composition / methods: observational / stars: activity
© ESO 2018
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