Improving the Atmospheric Studies of Hot Jupiters from the Ground

Research output: Other contribution

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Abstract

The goal of this project is to advance observational techniques of extrasolar planet atmospheres using large ground-based telescopes. These advancements will allow us to improve our knowledge of the chemical compositions of exoplanetary atmospheres,as well as their atmospheric circulation and thermal inversion layers. In this work I focus on the study of the hot-Jupiter WASP-18b via transmission spectroscopy. I analysed spectra of WASP-18b collected during three transit epochs with the multi-object IMACS spectrograph at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. My results show that it is possible to obtain transmission spectra of exoplanets with this instrument with a resolution of 6.7˚A under 1 arcsec of seeing and an average precision of 3.06% per bin, per transit. This precision is not enough to detect the atmosphere of WASP-18b, because of this planet’s very high mass and therefore small atmospheric scale height. However, with the precision I obtain it will be possible to measure atmospheric features in less massive, Jupiter-sized exoplanets. This work is part of ACCESS (the Arizona CfA-Catolica Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey), which is a project to create the first comprehensive database of optical exoplanet spectra, using ground-based facilities.
Original languageEnglish
TypeMasters Thesis (University of Southampton)
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2015

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extrasolar planets
Jupiter (planet)
transit
atmospheres
atmospheric circulation
scale height
Chile
spectroscopy
spectrographs
planets
observatories
chemical composition
time measurement
telescopes
inversions

Cite this

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title = "Improving the Atmospheric Studies of Hot Jupiters from the Ground",
abstract = "The goal of this project is to advance observational techniques of extrasolar planet atmospheres using large ground-based telescopes. These advancements will allow us to improve our knowledge of the chemical compositions of exoplanetary atmospheres,as well as their atmospheric circulation and thermal inversion layers. In this work I focus on the study of the hot-Jupiter WASP-18b via transmission spectroscopy. I analysed spectra of WASP-18b collected during three transit epochs with the multi-object IMACS spectrograph at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. My results show that it is possible to obtain transmission spectra of exoplanets with this instrument with a resolution of 6.7˚A under 1 arcsec of seeing and an average precision of 3.06{\%} per bin, per transit. This precision is not enough to detect the atmosphere of WASP-18b, because of this planet’s very high mass and therefore small atmospheric scale height. However, with the precision I obtain it will be possible to measure atmospheric features in less massive, Jupiter-sized exoplanets. This work is part of ACCESS (the Arizona CfA-Catolica Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey), which is a project to create the first comprehensive database of optical exoplanet spectra, using ground-based facilities.",
author = "Robert Wells",
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Improving the Atmospheric Studies of Hot Jupiters from the Ground. / Wells, Robert.

2015, Masters Thesis (University of Southampton).

Research output: Other contribution

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AU - Wells, Robert

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N2 - The goal of this project is to advance observational techniques of extrasolar planet atmospheres using large ground-based telescopes. These advancements will allow us to improve our knowledge of the chemical compositions of exoplanetary atmospheres,as well as their atmospheric circulation and thermal inversion layers. In this work I focus on the study of the hot-Jupiter WASP-18b via transmission spectroscopy. I analysed spectra of WASP-18b collected during three transit epochs with the multi-object IMACS spectrograph at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. My results show that it is possible to obtain transmission spectra of exoplanets with this instrument with a resolution of 6.7˚A under 1 arcsec of seeing and an average precision of 3.06% per bin, per transit. This precision is not enough to detect the atmosphere of WASP-18b, because of this planet’s very high mass and therefore small atmospheric scale height. However, with the precision I obtain it will be possible to measure atmospheric features in less massive, Jupiter-sized exoplanets. This work is part of ACCESS (the Arizona CfA-Catolica Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey), which is a project to create the first comprehensive database of optical exoplanet spectra, using ground-based facilities.

AB - The goal of this project is to advance observational techniques of extrasolar planet atmospheres using large ground-based telescopes. These advancements will allow us to improve our knowledge of the chemical compositions of exoplanetary atmospheres,as well as their atmospheric circulation and thermal inversion layers. In this work I focus on the study of the hot-Jupiter WASP-18b via transmission spectroscopy. I analysed spectra of WASP-18b collected during three transit epochs with the multi-object IMACS spectrograph at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. My results show that it is possible to obtain transmission spectra of exoplanets with this instrument with a resolution of 6.7˚A under 1 arcsec of seeing and an average precision of 3.06% per bin, per transit. This precision is not enough to detect the atmosphere of WASP-18b, because of this planet’s very high mass and therefore small atmospheric scale height. However, with the precision I obtain it will be possible to measure atmospheric features in less massive, Jupiter-sized exoplanets. This work is part of ACCESS (the Arizona CfA-Catolica Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey), which is a project to create the first comprehensive database of optical exoplanet spectra, using ground-based facilities.

M3 - Other contribution

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