Ultraviolet C ii and Si iii Transit Spectroscopy and Modeling of the Evaporating Atmosphere of GJ436b
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab
planets and satellites: atmospheres
planets and satellites: individual (GJ436b)
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationUltraviolet C ii and Si iii Transit Spectroscopy and Modeling of the Evaporating Atmosphere of GJ436b 2017, 834 (2):L17 The Astrophysical Journal
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AbstractHydrogen gas evaporating from the atmosphere of the hot-Neptune GJ436b absorbs over 50% of the stellar Lya emission during transit. Given the planet's atmospheric composition and energy-limited escape rate, this hydrogen outflow is expected to entrain heavier atoms such as C and O. We searched for C and Si in the escaping atmosphere of GJ436b using far-ultraviolet Hubble Space Telescope COS G130M observations made during the planet's extended H I transit. These observations show no transit absorption in the C II 1334,1335 angstrom and Si III 1206 angstrom lines integrated over [-100, 100] km s(-1), imposing 95% (2 sigma) upper limits of 14% (C II) and 60% (Si III) depth on the transit of an opaque disk and 22% (C II) and 49% (Si III) depth on an extended highly asymmetric transit similar to that of H I Ly alpha. C+ is likely present in the outflow according to a simulation we carried out using a spherically symmetric photochemical-hydrodynamical model. This simulation predicts an similar to 2% transit over the integrated bandpass, consistent with the data. At line center, we predict the C II transit depth to be as high as 19%. Our model predicts a neutral hydrogen escape rate of 1.6 x 10(9) g s(-1) (3.1 x 10(9) g s(-1) for all species) for an upper atmosphere composed of hydrogen and helium.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsHST Guest Observing program ; NASA [HST-GO-13650.01]