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ARES. V. No Evidence for Molecular Absorption in the HST WFC3 Spectrum of GJ 1132 b


Mugnai, LV and Modirrousta-Galian, D and Edwards, B and Changeat, Q and Bouwman, J and Morello, G and Al-Refaie, A and Baeyens, R and Bieger, MF and Blain, D and Gressier, A and Guilluy, G and Jaziri, Y and Kiefer, F and Morvan, M and Pluriel, W and Poveda, M and Skaf, N and Whiteford, N and Wright, S and Yip, KH and Zingales, T and Charnay, B and Drossart, P and Leconte, J and Venot, O and Waldmann, I and Beaulieu, J-P, ARES. V. No Evidence for Molecular Absorption in the HST WFC3 Spectrum of GJ 1132 b, Astronomical Journal, 161, (6) Article 284. ISSN 0004-6256 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.3847/1538-3881/abf3c3


We present a study on the spatially scanned spectroscopic observations of the transit of GJ 1132 b, a warm (~500 K) super-Earth (1.13 RO) that was obtained with the G141 grism (1.125-1.650 μm) of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We used the publicly available Iraclis pipeline to extract the planetary transmission spectra from the five visits and produced a precise transmission spectrum. We analyzed the spectrum using the TauREx3 atmospheric retrieval code, with which we show that the measurements do not contain molecular signatures in the investigated wavelength range and are best fit with a flat-line model. Our results suggest that the planet does not have a clear primordial, hydrogen-dominated atmosphere. Instead, GJ 1132 b could have a cloudy hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, have a very enriched secondary atmosphere, be airless, or have a tenuous atmosphere that has not been detected. Due to the narrow wavelength coverage of WFC3, these scenarios cannot be distinguished yet, but the James Webb Space Telescope may be capable of detecting atmospheric features, although several observations may be required to provide useful constraints.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Galactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Beaulieu, J-P (Dr Jean-Philippe Beaulieu)
ID Code:152297
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2022-08-16
Last Modified:2022-09-15

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