Volume 631, November 2019
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||30 October 2019|
Planet and star synergy at high-spectral resolution. A rationale for the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres
I. The infrared
Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur,
Lagrange, CS 34229 Nice, France
2 Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
3 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
4 Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Accepted: 25 September 2019
Context. Spectroscopy of exoplanet atmospheres at high-resolving powers is rapidly gaining popularity for measuring the presence of atomic and molecular species. While this technique is particularly robust against contaminant absorption in the Earth’s atmosphere, the non-stationary stellar spectrum, in the form of either Doppler shift or distortion of the line profile during planetary transits, creates a non-negligible source of noise that can alter or even prevent detection.
Aims. Our aim was to use state-of-the art three-dimensional stellar simulations to directly remove the signature of the star from observations prior to cross correlation with templates for the planet’s atmosphere, which are commonly used to extract the faint exoplanet signal from noisy data.
Methods. We computed synthetic spectra from 3D simulations of stellar convection resolved both spatially and temporally, and we coupled them with an analytical model reproducing the correct geometry of a transiting exoplanet. We applied the method to the early K-dwarf, HD 189733, and re-analyzed transmission and emission spectroscopy of its hosted exoplanet. In addition, we also analyzed emission spectroscopy of the non transiting exoplanet 51 Pegasi b, orbiting a solar-type star.
Results. We find a significant improvement in planet detectability when removing the stellar spectrum with our method. In all cases, we show that the method is superior to a simple parametrisation of the stellar line profile or to the use of 1D stellar models. We show that this is due to the intrinsic treatment of convection in 3D simulations, which allows us to correctly reproduce asymmetric and blue-shifted spectral lines, and intrinsically model center-to-limb variation and Rossiter-McLaughlin effect potentially altering the interpretation of exoplanet transmission spectra. In the case of 51 Pegasi b, we succeed in confirming a previous tentative detection of the planet’s K-band spectrum due to the improved suppression of stellar residuals.
Conclusions. Future high-resolution observations will benefit from the synergy with stellar spectroscopy and can be used to test the correct modeling of physical processes in stellar atmospheres. We highlight key improvements in modeling techniques and knowledge of opacity sources to extend this work to shorter wavelengths and later-type stars.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres / stars: atmospheres / planets and satellites: individual: HD 189733 b / planets and satellites: individual: 51 Peg b / techniques: spectroscopic / hydrodynamics
© A. Chiavassa and M. Brogi 2019
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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