The dark world: A tale of WASP-43b in reflected light with HST WFC3/UVIS

Jonathan Fraine, L. C. Mayorga, Kevin B. Stevenson, Nikole K. Lewis, Tiffany Kataria, Jacob L. Bean, Giovanni Bruno, Jonathan J. Fortney, Laura Kreidberg, Caroline V. Morley, Nelly C. Mouawad, Kamen O. Todorov, Vivien Parmentier, Hannah Wakeford, Y. Katherina Feng, Brian M. Kilpatrick, Michael R. Line

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Optical reflected light eclipse observations provide a direct probe of exoplanet scattering properties, such as from aerosols. We present here the photometric reflected light observations of WASP-43b using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFC3/UVIS instrument with the F350LP filter (346–822 nm) encompassing the entire optical band. This is the first reflected light photometric eclipse using UVIS in scanning mode; as such, we further detail our scanning extraction and analysis pipeline Arctor. Our HST WFC3/UVIS eclipse light curve for WASP-43b derived a 3σ upper limit of 67 ppm on the eclipse depth, which implies that WASP-43b has a very dark dayside atmosphere. With our atmospheric modeling campaign, we compared our reflected light constraints with predictions from global circulation and cloud models benchmarked with HST and Spitzer observations of WASP-43b. We infer that we do not detect clouds on the dayside within the pressure levels probed by HST WFC3/UVIS with the F350LP filter (P > 1 bar). This is consistent with the general circulation model predictions based on previous WASP-43b observations. Dayside emission spectroscopy results from WASP-43b with HST and Spitzer observations are likely to not be significantly affected by contributions from cloud particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number269
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume161
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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