The hubble PanCET program: A metal-rich atmosphere for the inflated hot jupiter HAT-P-41b

Kyle B. Sheppard, Luis Welbanks, Avi M. Mandell, Nikku Madhusudhan, Nikolay Nikolov, Drake Deming, Gregory W. Henry, Michael H. Williamson, David K. Sing, Mercedes López-Morales, Jegug Ih, Jorge Sanz-Forcada, Panayotis Lavvas, Gilda E. Ballester, Thomas M. Evans, Antonio García Muñoz, Leonardo A. dos Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We present a comprehensive analysis of the 0.3-5 μm transit spectrum for the inflated hot Jupiter HAT-P-41b. The planet was observed in transit with Hubble STIS and WFC3 as part of the Hubble Panchromatic Comparative Exoplanet Treasury (PanCET) program, and we combine those data with warm Spitzer transit observations. We extract transit depths from each of the data sets, presenting the STIS transit spectrum (0.29-0.93 μm) for the first time. We retrieve the transit spectrum both with a free-chemistry retrieval suite (AURA) and a complementary chemical equilibrium retrieval suite (PLATON) to constrain the atmospheric properties at the day-night terminator. Both methods provide an excellent fit to the observed spectrum. Both AURA and PLATON retrieve a metal-rich atmosphere for almost all model assumptions (most likely O/H ratio of log10 Z Z☉ = 1.46-+0.680.53 log10 Z Z☉ = 2.33-+0.250.23, respectively); this is driven by a 4.9σ detection of H2O as well as evidence of gas and absorption in the optical (>2.7σ detection) due to Na, AlO, and/or VO/TiO, though no individual species is strongly detected. Both retrievals determine the transit spectrum to be consistent with a clear atmosphere, with no evidence of haze or high-altitude clouds. Interior modeling constraints on the maximum atmospheric metallicity (log10 Z Z☉ < 1.7) favor the AURA results. The inferred elemental oxygen abundance suggests that HAT-P-41b has one of the most metal-rich atmospheres of any hot Jupiters known to date. Overall, the inferred high metallicity and high inflation make HAT-P-41b an interesting test case for planet formation theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 6 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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