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Lego Figure holding a lego telescope. Photo

Nicholas Borsato

Doctoral student

Lego Figure holding a lego telescope. Photo

Titanium oxide and chemical inhomogeneity in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-189 b

Author

  • Bibiana Prinoth
  • Jens Hoeijmakers
  • Daniel Kitzmann
  • Elin Sandvik
  • Julia V. Seidel
  • Monika Lendl
  • Nicholas Borsato
  • Brian Thorsbro
  • David R. Anderson
  • David Barrado
  • Kateryna Kravchenko
  • Romain Allart
  • Vincent Bourrier
  • Heather M. Cegla
  • David Ehrenreich
  • Chloe Fisher
  • Christophe Lovis
  • Andrea Guzmán-Mesa
  • Simon Grimm
  • Matthew Hooton
  • Brett M. Morris
  • Maria Oreshenko
  • Lorenzo Pino
  • Kevin Heng

Summary, in English

The temperature of an atmosphere decreases with increasing altitude, unless a shortwave absorber that causes a temperature inversion exists. Ozone plays this role in the Earth’s atmosphere. In the atmospheres of highly irradiated exoplanets, the shortwave absorbers are predicted to be titanium oxide (TiO) and vanadium oxide (VO). Detections of TiO and VO have been claimed using both low-, and high- spectral-resolution observations, but subsequent observations have failed to confirm these claims or overturned them. Here we report the unambiguous detection of TiO in the ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-189 b using high-resolution transmission spectroscopy. This detection is based on applying the cross-correlation technique to many spectral lines of TiO from 460 to 690 nm. Moreover, we report detections of metals, including neutral and singly ionized iron and titanium, as well as chromium, magnesium, vanadium and manganese (Fe, Fe+, Ti, Ti+, Cr, Mg, V, Mn). The line positions of the detected species differ, which we interpret as a consequence of spatial gradients in their chemical abundances, such that they exist in different regions or dynamical regimes. This is direct observational evidence for the three-dimensional thermochemical stratification of an exoplanet atmosphere derived from high-resolution ground-based spectroscopy.

Department/s

  • Lund Observatory

Publishing year

2022-01-27

Language

English

Pages

449-457

Publication/Series

Nature Astronomy

Volume

6

Issue

4

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

Topic

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 2397-3366