Ground-based, near-infrared exospectroscopy. II. Tentative detection of emission from the extremely hot Jupiter WASP-12b

Ian J.M. Crossfield, Brad M.S. Hansen, Travis Barman

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26 Scopus citations


We report the tentative detection of the near-infrared emission of the hot Jupiter WASP-12b with the low-resolution prism on Infrared Telescope Facility/SpeX. We find a K - H contrast color of 0.137% 0.054%, corresponding to a blackbody of temperature 2400+1500 - 500 K and consistent with previous, photometric observations. We also revisit WASP-12b's energy budget on the basis of secondary eclipse observations: the dayside luminosity is a relatively poorly constrained (2.0-4.3) × 10 30ergs-1, but this still allows us to predict a day/night effective temperature contrast of 200-1000K (assuming AB = 0). Thus, we conclude that WASP-12b probably does not have both a low albedo and low recirculation efficiency. Our results show the promise and pitfalls of using single-slit spectrographs for characterization of extrasolar planet atmospheres, and we suggest future observing techniques and instruments which could lead to further progress. Limiting systematic effects include the use of too narrow a slit on one night - which observers could avoid in the future - and chromatic slit losses (resulting from the variable size of the seeing disk) and variations in telluric transparency - which observers cannot control. Single-slit observations of the type we present remain the best option for obtaining λ > 1.7 μm spectra of transiting exoplanets in the brightest systems. Further and more precise spectroscopy is needed to better understand the atmospheric chemistry, structure, and energetics of this, and other, intensely irradiated planet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2012


  • infrared: stars
  • planetary systems
  • stars: individual (WASP-12)
  • techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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