High-resolution Transit Spectroscopy of Warm Saturns

Emily K. Deibert, Ernst J.W. De Mooij, Ray Jayawardhana, Jonathan J. Fortney, Matteo Brogi, Zafar Rustamkulov, Motohide Tamura

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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We present high-resolution optical transmission spectroscopy of two sub-Saturn mass transiting exoplanets, HAT-P-12b and WASP-69b. With relatively low densities and high atmospheric scale heights, these planets are particularly well-suited to characterization through transit spectroscopy, and serve as ideal candidates for extending previously tested methods to lower planetary masses. Using a single transit for each planet, we take advantage of the Doppler cross-correlation technique to search for sodium, potassium, and water absorption features. Our analysis reveals a likely (3.2σ) detection of sodium absorption features in the atmosphere of HAT-P-12b, and enables us to place constraints on the presence of alkaline and molecular species in the atmospheres of both planets. With our results, we highlight the efficacy of ground-based campaigns for characterizing exoplanetary atmospheres and pave the way for future analyses of low-mass planets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • planets and satellites: atmospheres
  • planets and satellites: gaseous planets
  • techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Deibert, E. K., De Mooij, E. J. W., Jayawardhana, R., Fortney, J. J., Brogi, M., Rustamkulov, Z., & Tamura, M. (2019). High-resolution Transit Spectroscopy of Warm Saturns. Astronomical Journal, 157(2), [58]. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/aaf56b