Aims: We report on ESPRESSO high-resolution transmission spectroscopic observations of two primary transits of the highly irradiated, ultra-hot Jupiter-sized planet, WASP-76b. We investigated the presence of several key atomic and molecular features of interest that may reveal the atmospheric properties of the planet.
Methods: We extracted two transmission spectra of WASP-76b with R ≈ 140 000 using a procedure that allowed us to process the full ESPRESSO wavelength range (3800-7880 Å) simultaneously. We observed that at a high signal-to-noise ratio, the continuum of ESPRESSO spectra shows `wiggles', which are likely caused by an interference pattern outside the spectrograph. To search for the planetary features, we visually analysed the extracted transmission spectra and cross-correlated the observations against theoretical spectra of different atomic and molecular species.
Results: The following atomic features are detected: Li I, Na I, Mg I, Ca II, Mn I, K I, and Fe I. All are detected with a confidence level between 9.2 σ (Na I) and 2.8 σ (Mg I). We did not detect the following species: Ti I, Cr I, Ni I, TiO, VO, and ZrO. We impose the following 1 σ upper limits on their detectability: 60, 77, 122, 6, 8, and 8 ppm, respectively.
Conclusions: We report the detection of Li I on WASP-76b for the first time. In addition, we confirm the presence of Na I and Fe I as previously reported in the literature. We show that the procedure employed in this work can detect features down to the level of ~0.1% in the transmission spectrum and ~10 ppm by means of a cross-correlation method. We discuss the presence of neutral and singly ionised features in the atmosphere of WASP-76b.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- February 2021
- planets and satellites: atmospheres;
- planets and satellites: individual: WASP-76b;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 20 pages, 19 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics