ACCESS: Confirmation of a Clear Atmosphere for WASP-96b and a Comparison of Light Curve Detrending Techniques

Chima D. McGruder, Mercedes López-Morales, James Kirk, Néstor Espinoza, Benjamin V. Rackham, Munazza K. Alam, Natalie Allen, Nikolay Nikolov, Ian C. Weaver, Kevin Ortiz Ceballos, David J. Osip, Dániel Apai, Andrés Jordán, Jonathan J. Fortney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

One of the strongest Na i features was observed in WASP-96b. To confirm this novel detection, we provide a new 475-825 nm transmission spectrum obtained with Magellan/IMACS, which indeed confirms the presence of a broad sodium absorption feature. We find the same result when reanalyzing the 400-825 nm VLT/FORS2 data. We also utilize synthetic data to test the effectiveness of two common detrending techniques: (1) a Gaussian processes (GP) routine, and (2) common-mode correction followed by polynomial correction (CMC+Poly). We find that both methods poorly reproduce the absolute transit depths but maintain their true spectral shape. This emphasizes the importance of fitting for offsets when combining spectra from different sources or epochs. Additionally, we find that, for our data sets, both methods give consistent results, but CMC+Poly is more accurate and precise. We combine the Magellan/IMACS and VLT/FORS2 spectra with literature 800-1644 nm HST/WFC3 spectra, yielding a global spectrum from 400 to 1644 nm. We used the PLATON and Exoretrievals retrieval codes to interpret this spectrum, and find that both yield relatively deeper pressures where the atmosphere is optically thick at log-pressures between 1.3 − 1.1 + 1.0 and 0.29 − 2.02 + 1.86 bars, respectively. Exoretrievals finds solar to supersolar Na i and H2O log-mixing ratios of − 5.4 − 1.9 + 2.0 and − 4.5 − 2.0 + 2.0 , respectively, while PLATON finds an overall metallicity of log 10 ( Z / Z ⊙ ) = − 0.49 − 0.37 + 1.0 dex. Therefore, our findings are in agreement with the literature and support the inference that the terminator of WASP-96b has few aerosols obscuring prominent features in the optical to near-infrared (near-IR) spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume164
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

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