Emergent Spectral Fluxes of Hot Jupiters: An Abrupt Rise in Dayside Brightness Temperature Under Strong Irradiation

Drake Deming, Michael R. Line, Heather A. Knutson, Ian J.M. Crossfield, Eliza M.R. Kempton, Thaddeus D. Komacek, Nicole L. Wallack, Guangwei Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the emergent spectral fluxes of transiting hot Jupiters, using secondary eclipses from Spitzer. To achieve a large and uniform sample, we have reanalyzed all secondary eclipses for all hot Jupiters observed by Spitzer at 3.6 and/or 4.5 μm. Our sample comprises 457 eclipses of 122 planets, including eclipses of 13 planets not previously published. We use these eclipse depths to calculate the spectral fluxes emergent from the exoplanetary atmospheres, and thereby infer the temperatures and spectral properties of hot Jupiters. We find that an abrupt rise in brightness temperature, similar to a phase change, occurs on the dayside atmospheres of the population at an equilibrium temperature between 1714 and 1818 K (99% confidence limits). The amplitude of the rise is 291 ± 49 K, and two viable causes are the onset of magnetic drag that inhibits longitudinal heat redistribution, and/or the rapid dissipation of dayside clouds. We also study hot Jupiter spectral properties with respect to metallicity and temperature inversions. Models exhibiting 4.5 μm emission from temperature inversions reproduce our fluxes statistically for the hottest planets, but the transition to emission is gradual, not abrupt. The Spitzer fluxes are sensitive to metallicity for planets cooler than ∼1200 K, and most of the hot Jupiter population falls between model tracks having solar to 30× solar metallicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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