Detection of Thermal Emission from an Extrasolar Planet

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2005

image Astrophysics, abstract

From: David Charbonneau [view email]
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 21:33:12 GMT   (65kb)
Detection of Thermal Emission from an Extrasolar Planet Authors:

David Charbonneau, Lori E. Allen, S. Thomas Megeath, Guillermo Torres, Roi Alonso, Timothy M. Brown, Ronald L. Gilliland, David W. Latham, Georgi Mandushev, Francis T. O'Donovan, Alessandro Sozzetti
Comments: 20 pages, 4 figures, to appear in the Astrophysical Journal, 20 June 2005

We present Spitzer Space Telescope infrared photometric time series of the transiting extrasolar planet system TrES-1. The data span a predicted time of secondary eclipse, corresponding to the passage of the planet behind the star. In both bands of our observations, we detect a flux decrement with a timing, amplitude, and duration as predicted by published parameters of the system. This signal represents the first direct detection of (i.e. the observation of photons emitted by) a planet orbiting another star. The observed eclipse depths (in units of relative flux) are 0.00066 +/- 0.00013 at 4.5um and 0.00225 +/- 0.00036 at 8.0um. These estimates provide the first observational constraints on models of the thermal emission of hot Jupiters. Assuming that the planet emits as a blackbody, we estimate an effective temperature of T_p=1060 +/- 50 K. Under the additional assumptions that the planet is in thermal equilibrium with the radiation from the star and emits isotropically, we find a Bond albedo of A = 0.31 +/- 0.14. This would imply that the planet absorbs the majority of stellar radiation incident upon it, a conclusion of significant impact to atmospheric models of these objects. We compare our data to a previously-published model of the planetary thermal emission, which predicts prominent spectral features in our observational bands due to water and carbon monoxide. Based on the time of secondary eclipse, we present an upper limit on the orbital eccentricity that is sufficiently small that we conclude that tidal dissipation is unlikely to provide a significant source of energy interior to the planet.(abridged)
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