A Spitzer search for water in the transiting exoplanet HD 189733b
Lecavelier des Etangs, A.
Sing, David K.
IOP Publishing for American Astronomical Society
We present Spitzer Space Telescope observations of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b primary transit, obtained simultaneously at 3.6 and 5.8 μm with the Infrared Array Camera. The system parameters, including planetary radius, stellar radius, and impact parameter, are derived from fits to the transit light curves at both wavelengths. We measure two consistent planet-to-star radius ratios, (Rp/R★)3.6 μm = 0.1560 ± 0.0008(stat) ± 0.0002(syst) and (Rp/R★)5.8 μm = 0.1541 ± 0.0009(stat) ± 0.0009(syst), which include both the random and systematic errors in the transit baseline. Although planet radii are determined at 1% accuracy, if all uncertainties are taken into account, the resulting error bars are still too large to allow for the detection of atmospheric constituents like water vapor. This illustrates the need to observe multiple transits with the longest possible out-of-transit baseline, in order to achieve the precision required by transmission spectroscopy of giant extrasolar planets.
Copyright © 2007 IOP Publishing / American Astronomical Society
Vol. 668 (2), article L179