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Lowest Earth's atmosphere layers probed during a lunar eclipse

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2018


Kiyoe Kawauchi, Norio Narita, Bun'ei Sato, Teruyuki Hirano, Yui Kawashima, Taishi Nakamoto, Takuya Yamashita, Motohide Tamura
(Submitted on 24 Jun 2018)

We report the results of detailed investigation of the Earth's transmission spectra during the lunar eclipse on UT 2011 December 10. The spectra were taken by using the High Dispersion Spectrograph (HDS) mounted on the Subaru 8.2 m telescope with unprecedented resolutions both in time and wavelength (300 s exposure time in umbra and 160,000 spectral resolution, respectively). In our penumbra and umbra data, we detected the individual absorption lines of O2 and H2O in transmission spectra and found that it became deeper as the eclipse became deeper. It indicates that the sunlight reaching the Moon passed through lower layers in the Earth's atmosphere with time because we monitored a given point on the Moon during the full eclipse duration. From the comparison between the observed and theoretically constructed transmission spectra, the lowest altitude at which the sunlight actually passed through the atmosphere is estimated to be about 10 km from the ground, which suggests the existence of sunlight blocking clouds below that altitude. Our result would be a test case for future investigations of atmospheric structure of Earth-like exoplanets via transmission spectroscopy including the refraction effect of the planetary atmosphere.

Comments:    28 pages, 17 figures, accepted for publication in PASJ
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as:    arXiv:1806.09085 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1806.09085v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Kiyoe Kawauchi 
[v1] Sun, 24 Jun 2018 05:18:05 GMT (3586kb)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.09085

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