HST HOT-JUPITER TRANSMISSION SPECTRAL SURVEY: CLEAR SKIES FOR COOL SATURN WASP-39b
AuthorFischer, Patrick D.
Knutson, Heather A.
Sing, David K.
Henry, Gregory W.
Williamson, Michael W.
Fortney, Jonathan J.
Burrows, Adam S.
Showman, Adam P.
Ballester, Gilda E.
des Etangs, Alain Lecavelier
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab
planets and satellites
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationPatrick D. Fischer et al 2016 ApJ 827 19
Rights© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractWe present the. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) optical transmission spectroscopy of the cool Saturn-mass exoplanet WASP-39b from 0.29-1.025 mu m, along with complementary transit observations from Spitzer IRAC at 3.6 and 4.5 mu m. The low density and large atmospheric pressure scale height of WASP-39b make it particularly amenable to atmospheric characterization using this technique. We detect a Rayleigh scattering slope as well as sodium and potassium absorption features; this is the first exoplanet in which both alkali features are clearly detected with the extended wings predicted by cloud-free atmosphere models. The full transmission spectrum is well matched by a clear H-2-dominated atmosphere, or one containing a weak contribution from haze, in good agreement with the preliminary reduction of these data presented in Sing et al.. WASP-39b is predicted to have a pressure-temperature profile comparable to that of HD 189733b and WASP-6b, making it one of the coolest transiting gas giants observed in our HST STIS survey. Despite this similarity, WASP-39b appears to be largely cloud-free, while the transmission spectra of HD 189733b and WASP-6b both indicate the presence of high altitude clouds or hazes. These observations further emphasize the surprising diversity of cloudy and cloud-free gas giant planets in short-period orbits and the corresponding challenges associated with developing predictive cloud models for these atmospheres.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsEuropean Research Council under European Union's Seventh Framework Program/ERC ; NASA from STScI [HST-GO-12473]; Tennessee State University; State of Tennessee through its Centers of Excellence program; NASA