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.
- planets and satellites: atmospheres
- planets and satellites: gaseous planets
- techniques: spectroscopic
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science