Detection of carbon monoxide and water absorption lines in an exoplanet atmosphere

Quinn M. Konopacky, Travis S. Barman, Bruce A. Macintosh, Christian Marois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

192 Scopus citations

Abstract

Determining the atmospheric structure and chemical composition of an exoplanet remains a formidable goal. Fortunately, advancements in the study of exoplanets and their atmospheres have come in the form of direct imaging - spatially resolving the planet from its parent star - which enables high-resolution spectroscopy of self-luminous planets in jovian-like orbits. Here, we present a spectrum with numerous, well-resolved molecular lines from both water and carbon monoxide from a massive planet orbiting less than 40 astronomical units from the star HR 8799. These data reveal the planet's chemical composition, atmospheric structure, and surface gravity, confirming that it is indeed a young planet. The spectral lines suggest an atmospheric carbon-to-oxygen ratio that is greater than that of the host star, providing hints about the planet's formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1398-1401
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume339
Issue number6126
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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