The Hubble PanCET Program: A Featureless Transmission Spectrum for WASP-29b and Evidence of Enhanced Atmospheric Metallicity on WASP-80b

Ian Wong, Yayaati Chachan, Heather A. Knutson, Gregory W. Henry, Danica Adams, Tiffany Kataria, Björn Benneke, Peter Gao, Drake Deming, Mercedes López-Morales, David K. Sing, Munazza K. Alam, Gilda E. Ballester, Joanna K. Barstow, Lars A. Buchhave, Leonardo A. Dos Santos, Guangwei Fu, Antonio Garciá Munõz, Ryan J. MacDonald, Thomas Mikal-EvansJorge Sanz-Forcada, Hannah R. Wakeford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present a uniform analysis of transit observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope of two warm gas giants orbiting K-type stars-WASP-29b and WASP-80b. The transmission spectra, which span 0.4-5.0 μm, are interpreted using a suite of chemical equilibrium PLATON atmospheric retrievals. Both planets show evidence of significant aerosol opacity along the day-night terminator. The spectrum of WASP-29b is flat throughout the visible and near-infrared, suggesting the presence of condensate clouds extending to low pressures. The lack of spectral features hinders our ability to constrain the atmospheric metallicity and C/O ratio. In contrast, WASP-80b shows a discernible, albeit muted H2O absorption feature at 1.4 μm, as well as a steep optical spectral slope that is caused by fine-particle aerosols and/or contamination from unocculted spots on the variable host star. WASP-80b joins the small number of gas-giant exoplanets that show evidence for enhanced atmospheric metallicity: The transmission spectrum is consistent with metallicities ranging from a1/430-100 times solar in the case of cloudy limbs to a few hundred times solar in the cloud-free scenario. In addition to the detection of water, we infer the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere of WASP-80b based on the enhanced transit depth in the Spitzer 4.5 μm bandpass. From a complementary analysis of Spitzer secondary eclipses, we find that the dayside emission from WASP-29b and WASP-80b is consistent with brightness temperatures of 937 ± 48 and 851 ± 14 K, respectively, indicating relatively weak day-night heat transport and low Bond albedo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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