Characterizing a World Within the Hot-Neptune Desert: Transit Observations of LTT 9779 b with the Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3

Article


Lowson, Nataliea. 2023. "Characterizing a World Within the Hot-Neptune Desert: Transit Observations of LTT 9779 b with the Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3." The Astronomical Journal. 166 (4). https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/acea77
Article Title

Characterizing a World Within the Hot-Neptune Desert: Transit Observations of LTT 9779 b with the Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3

ERA Journal ID1048
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsLowson, Nataliea
Journal TitleThe Astronomical Journal
Journal Citation166 (4)
Article Number158
Number of Pages26
Year2023
PublisherIOP Publishing
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN0004-6256
1538-3881
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/acea77
Web Address (URL)https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-3881/acea77
AbstractWe present an atmospheric analysis of LTT 9779 b, a rare planet situated in the hot-Neptune desert, that has been observed with Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/WFC3 with G102 and G141. The combined transmission spectrum, which covers 0.8–1.6 μm, shows a gradual increase in transit depth with wavelength. Our preferred atmospheric model shows evidence for H2O, CO2, and FeH with a significance of 3.1σ, 2.4σ, and 2.1σ, respectively. In an attempt to constrain the rate of atmospheric escape for this planet, we search for the 1.083 μm helium line in the G102 data but find no evidence of excess absorption that would indicate an escaping atmosphere using this tracer. We refine the orbital ephemerides of LTT 9779 b using our HST data and observations from TESS, searching for evidence of orbital decay or apsidal precession, which are not found. The phase-curve observation of LTT 9779 b with JWST NIRISS should provide deeper insights into the atmosphere of this planet and the expected atmospheric escape might be detected with further observations concentrated on other tracers such as Lyα.
KeywordsHubble Space Telescope; Infrared spectroscopy; Hot Neptunes; Exoplanets
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 20205101. Astronomical sciences
Byline AffiliationsCentre for Astrophysics
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