skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: NARROW-K-BAND OBSERVATIONS OF THE GJ 1214 SYSTEM

GJ 1214 is a nearby M dwarf star that hosts a transiting super-Earth-size planet, making this system an excellent target for atmospheric studies. Most studies find that the transmission spectrum of GJ 1214b is flat, which favors either a high mean molecular weight or cloudy/hazy hydrogen (H) rich atmosphere model. Photometry at short wavelengths (<0.7 μm) and in the K band can discriminate the most between these different atmosphere models for GJ 1214b, but current observations do not have sufficiently high precision. We present photometry of seven transits of GJ 1214b through a narrow K-band (2.141 μm) filter with the Wide Field Camera on the 3.8 m United Kingdom Infrared Telescope. Our photometric precision is typically 1.7 × 10{sup –3} (for a single transit), comparable with other ground-based observations of GJ 1214b. We measure a planet-star radius ratio of 0.1158 ± 0.0013, which, along with other studies, also supports a flat transmission spectrum for GJ 1214b. Since this does not exclude a scenario where GJ 1214b has an H-rich envelope with heavy elements that are sequestered below a cloud/haze layer, we compare K-band observations with models of H{sub 2} collision-induced absorption in an atmosphere for a range of temperatures. Whilemore » we find no evidence for deviation from a flat spectrum (slope s = 0.0016 ± 0.0038), an H{sub 2}-dominated upper atmosphere (<60 mbar) cannot be excluded. More precise observations at <0.7 μm and in the K band, as well as a uniform analysis of all published data, would be useful for establishing more robust limits on atmosphere models for GJ 1214b.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270733
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 776; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DWARF STARS; HYDROGEN; INFRARED SPECTRA; PHOTOMETRY; PLANETS; SATELLITE ATMOSPHERES; TELESCOPES; WAVELENGTHS