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WASP-8b: characterization of a cool and eccentric exoplanet with Spitzer

WASP-8b: characterization of a cool and eccentric exoplanet with Spitzer Thumbnail


WASP-8b has 2.18 times Jupiter's mass and is on an eccentric ($e=0.31$) 8.16-day orbit. With a time-averaged equilibrium temperature of 948 K, it is one of the least-irradiated hot Jupiters observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope. We have analyzed six photometric light curves of WASP-8b during secondary eclipse observed in the 3.6, 4.5, and 8.0 {\microns} Infrared Array Camera bands. The eclipse depths are $0.113\pm 0.018$%, $0.069\pm 0.007$%, and $0.093\pm 0.023$%, respectively, giving respective brightness temperatures of 1552, 1131, and 938 K. We characterized the atmospheric thermal profile and composition of the planet using a line-by-line radiative transfer code and a Markov-chain Monte Carlo sampler. The data indicated no thermal inversion, independently of any assumption about chemical composition. We noted an anomalously high 3.6-{\microns} brightness temperature (1552 K); by modeling the eccentricity-caused thermal variation, we found that this temperature is plausible for radiative time scales less than $\sim 10^{2}$ hours. However, as no model spectra fit all three data points well, the temperature discrepancy remains as an open question.

Acceptance Date Mar 4, 2013
Publication Date Apr 12, 2013
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Keywords planetary systems, stars: individual (WASP-8), techniques: photometric
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