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Journal Articles Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A Year : 2020

Search for He I airglow emission from the hot Jupiter τ Boo b

Yapeng Zhang
  • Function : Author
I. A. G. Snellen
  • Function : Author
P. Mollière
  • Function : Author
F. J. Alonso-Floriano
  • Function : Author
R. K. Webb
  • Function : Author
M. Brogi
  • Function : Author


Context. It has been suggested that the helium absorption line at 10 830 Å that originates from the metastable triplet state 23S is an excellent probe for the extended atmospheres of hot Jupiters and their hydrodynamic escape processes. It has recently been detected in the transmission spectra of a handful of planets. The isotropic reemission will lead to helium airglow that may be observable at other orbital phases.
Aims: We investigate the detectability of He I emission at 10 830 Å in the atmospheres of exoplanets using high-resolution spectroscopy. This would provide insights into the properties of the upper atmospheres of close-in gas giants.
Methods: We estimated the expected strength of He I emission in hot Jupiters based on their transmission signal. We searched for the He I 10 830 Å emission feature in τ Boo b in three nights of high-resolution spectra taken by CARMENES at the 3.5m Calar Alto telescope. The spectra from each night were corrected for telluric absorption, sky emission lines, and stellar features, and were shifted to the planetary rest frame to search for the emission.
Results: The He I emission is not detected in τ Boo b at a 5σ contrast limit of 4 × 10-4 for emission line widths of >20 km s-1. This is about a factor 8 above the expected emission level (assuming a typical He I transit absorption of 1% for hot Jupiters). This suggests that targeting the He I emission with well-designed observations using upcoming instruments such as VLT/CRIRES+ and E-ELT/HIRES is possible.
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Dates and versions

insu-03705184 , version 1 (27-06-2022)



Yapeng Zhang, I. A. G. Snellen, P. Mollière, F. J. Alonso-Floriano, R. K. Webb, et al.. Search for He I airglow emission from the hot Jupiter τ Boo b. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2020, 641, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202038412⟩. ⟨insu-03705184⟩
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