A systematic retrieval analysis of secondary eclipse spectra. II. A uniform analysis of nine planets and their C to O ratios

Michael R. Line, Heather Knutson, Aaron S. Wolf, Yuk L. Yung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Scopus citations


Secondary eclipse spectroscopy provides invaluable insights into the temperatures and compositions of exoplanetary atmospheres. We carry out a systematic temperature and abundance retrieval analysis of nine exoplanets (HD 189733b, HD 209458b, HD 149026b, GJ436b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b, WASP-43b, TrES-2b, and TrES-3b) observed in secondary eclipse using a combination of space- and ground-based facilities. Our goal with this analysis is to provide a consistent set of temperatures and compositions from which self-consistent models can be compared and to probe the underlying processes that shape these atmospheres. This paper is the second in a three part series of papers exploring the retrievability of temperatures and abundances from secondary eclipse spectra and the implications of these results for the chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. In this investigation we present a catalogue of temperatures and abundances for H2O, CH4, CO, and CO2. We find that our temperatures and abundances are generally consistent with those of previous studies, although we do not find any statistically convincing evidence for super-solar C to O ratios (e.g., solar C/O falls in the 1σ confidence intervals in eight of the nine planets in our sample). Furthermore, within our sample we find little evidence for thermal inversions over a wide range of effective temperatures (with the exception of HD 209458b), consistent with previous investigations. The lack of evidence for inversions for most planets in our sample over such a wide range of effective temperatures provides additional support for the hypothesis that TiO is unlikely to be the absorber responsible for the formation of these inversions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2014



  • methods: statistical
  • planets and satellites: atmospheres
  • planets and satellites: composition
  • planets and satellites: gaseous planets
  • planets and satellites: individual (HD 189733b, HD 149026b, GJ436b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b, WASP-43b, TrES-2b, TrES-3b)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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