Exploring the Ability of Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 G141 to Uncover Trends in Populations of Exoplanet Atmospheres through a Homogeneous Transmission Survey of 70 Gaseous Planets - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series Year : 2023

Exploring the Ability of Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 G141 to Uncover Trends in Populations of Exoplanet Atmospheres through a Homogeneous Transmission Survey of 70 Gaseous Planets

Abstract

We present analysis of the atmospheres of 70 gaseous extrasolar planets via transit spectroscopy with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). For over half of these, we statistically detect spectral modulation that our retrievals attribute to molecular species. Among these, we use Bayesian hierarchical modeling to search for chemical trends with bulk parameters. We use the extracted water abundance to infer the atmospheric metallicity and compare it to the planet's mass. We also run chemical equilibrium retrievals, fitting for the atmospheric metallicity directly. However, although previous studies have found evidence of a mass-metallicity trend, we find no such relation within our data. For the hotter planets within our sample, we find evidence for thermal dissociation of dihydrogen and water via the H − opacity. We suggest that the general lack of trends seen across this population study could be due to (i) the insufficient spectral coverage offered by the Hubble Space Telescope's WFC3 G141 band, (ii) the lack of a simple trend across the whole population, (iii) the essentially random nature of the target selection for this study, or (iv) a combination of all the above. We set out how we can learn from this vast data set going forward in an attempt to ensure comparative planetology can be undertaken in the future with facilities such as the JWST, Twinkle, and Ariel. We conclude that a wider simultaneous spectral coverage is required as well as a more structured approach to target selection.
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insu-04280813 , version 1 (11-11-2023)

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Billy Edwards, Quentin Changeat, Angelos Tsiaras, Kai Hou Yip, Ahmed F Al-Refaie, et al.. Exploring the Ability of Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 G141 to Uncover Trends in Populations of Exoplanet Atmospheres through a Homogeneous Transmission Survey of 70 Gaseous Planets. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 2023, 269, 31 (46pp). ⟨10.3847/1538-4365/ac9f1a⟩. ⟨insu-04280813⟩
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