Tuesday 26 Feb 2019: [Journal Club] Detection of Na, K and H2O in the atmosphere of WASP-6b
Aarynn Carter - University of Exeter
4th Floor Interaction Area 11:15-11:45
Transiting hot Jupiters present the best opportunity to study the atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system. Many observations of these planets in both transmission and emission have revealed a host of molecular species within their atmospheres, as well as their bulk atmospheric properties.
The hot Jupiter exoplanet WASP-6b has thus far only been observed across optical wavelengths, revealing clear evidence of haze in its atmosphere and hints towards Na and K absorption features in its transmission spectrum. We have performed new observations of WASP-6b, using both the ground based FORS2 instrument at the VLT, alongside space based observations with Hubble WFC3. This has produced a transmission spectrum from 0.4 to 1.7 microns, in which we clearly detect Na, K and H2O despite the presence of a significant optical slope likely due to the effects of atmospheric haze or stellar activity.
Throughout this talk, I will present the results of our investigation into WASP-6b and discuss their implications both in isolation, and to future observations of hot Jupiter exoplanets.