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Bibiana Prinoth

Bibiana Prinoth

Doctoral student

Bibiana Prinoth

Small but mighty : High-resolution spectroscopy of ultra-hot Jupiter atmospheres with compact telescopes Transmission spectrum of KELT-9 b with Wendelstein’s FOCES spectrograph


  • N. W. Borsato
  • H. J. Hoeijmakers
  • D. Cont
  • D. Kitzmann
  • J. Ehrhardt
  • C. Gössl
  • C. Ries
  • B. Prinoth
  • K. Molaverdikhani
  • B. Ercolano
  • H. Kellerman
  • Kevin Heng

Summary, in English

When observing transmission spectra produced by the atmospheres of ultra-hot Jupiters (UHJs), large telescopes are typically the instrument of choice given the very weak signal of the planet’s atmopshere. The aim of the present study is to demonstrate that, for favourable targets, smaller telescopes are fully capable of conducting high-resolution cross-correlation spectroscopy. We apply the cross-correlation technique to data from the 2.1 m telescope at the Wendelstein Observatory, using its high-resolution spectrograph FOCES, in order to demonstrate its efficacy in resolving the atmosphere of the UHJ KELT-9 b. Using three nights of observations with the FOCES spectrograph and one with the HARPS-N spectrograph, we conduct a performance comparison between FOCES and HARPS-N. This comparison considers both single-transit and combined observations over the three nights. We then consider the potential of 2 m class telescopes by generalising our results to create a transit emulator capable of evaluating the potential of telescopes of this size. With FOCES, we detected seven species in the atmosphere of KELT-9 b: Ti II, Fe I, Fe II, Na I, Mg I, Na II, Cr II, and Sc II. Although HARPS-N surpasses FOCES in performance thanks to the mirror of the TNG, our results reveal that smaller telescope classes are capable of resolving the atmospheres of UHJs given sufficient observing time. This broadens the potential scope of such studies, demonstrating that smaller telescopes can be used to investigate phenomena such as temporal variations in atmospheric signals and the atmospheric loss characteristics of these close-in planets.


  • Astrophysics
  • eSSENCE: The e-Science Collaboration

Publishing year





Astronomy and Astrophysics



Document type

Journal article


EDP Sciences


  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • instrumentation: spectrographs
  • methods: observational
  • planets
  • satellites: atmospheres
  • techniques: spectroscopic
  • telescopes




  • ISSN: 0004-6361