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Transmission spectroscopy of the inflated exoplanet WASP-52b, and evidence for a bright region on the stellar surface

Kirk, J and Wheatley, PJ and Louden, T and Littlefair, SP and Copperwheat, CM and Armstrong, DJ and Marsh, TR and Dhillon, VS (2016) Transmission spectroscopy of the inflated exoplanet WASP-52b, and evidence for a bright region on the stellar surface. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 463 (3). ISSN 0035-8711

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We have measured the transmission spectrum of the extremely inflated hot Jupiter WASP-52b using simultaneous photometric observations in Sloan Digital Sky Survey u΄, g΄ and a filter centred on the sodium doublet (Na i) with the ULTRACAM instrument mounted on the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope. We find that Rayleigh scattering is not the dominant source of opacity within the planetary atmosphere and find a transmission spectrum more consistent with wavelength-independent opacity such as from clouds. We detect an in-transit anomaly that we attribute to the presence of stellar activity and find that this feature can be more simply modelled as a bright region on the stellar surface akin to solar faculae rather than spots. A spot model requires a significantly larger planet/star radius ratio than that found in previous studies. Our results highlight the precision that can be achieved by ground-based photometry with errors in the scaled planetary radii of less than one atmospheric scale height, comparable to Hubble Space Telescope observations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
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Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2017 12:51
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 19:57
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stw2205
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6261

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