Thermal structure of an exoplanet atmosphere from phase-resolved emission spectroscopy

Kevin B. Stevenson, Jean Michel Désert, Michael R. Line, Jacob L. Bean, Jonathan J. Fortney, Adam P. Showman, Tiffany Kataria, Laura Kreidberg, Peter R. McCullough, Gregory W. Henry, David Charbonneau, Adam Burrows, Sara Seager, Nikku Madhusudhan, Michael H. Williamson, Derek Homeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exoplanets that orbit close to their host stars are much more highly irradiated than their solar system counterparts. Understanding the thermal structures and appearances of these planets requires investigating how their atmospheres respond to such extreme stellar forcing.We present spectroscopic thermal emission measurements as a function of orbital phase ("phase-curve observations") for the highly irradiated exoplanet WASP-43b spanning three full planet rotations using the Hubble Space Telescope. With these data, we construct a map of the planet's atmospheric thermal structure, from which we find large day-night temperature variations at all measured altitudes and a monotonically decreasing temperature with pressure at all longitudes.We also derive a Bond albedo of 0:180:07 -0:12 and an altitude dependence in the hot-spot offset relative to the substellar point.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)838-841
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume346
Issue number6211
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 14 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Stevenson, K. B., Désert, J. M., Line, M. R., Bean, J. L., Fortney, J. J., Showman, A. P., Kataria, T., Kreidberg, L., McCullough, P. R., Henry, G. W., Charbonneau, D., Burrows, A., Seager, S., Madhusudhan, N., Williamson, M. H., & Homeier, D. (2014). Thermal structure of an exoplanet atmosphere from phase-resolved emission spectroscopy. Science, 346(6211), 838-841. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1256758