An optical transmission spectrum of the transiting hot Jupiter in the metal-poorWASP-98 planetary system

L. Mancini, M. Giordano, P. Mollière, J. Southworth, R. Brahm, S. Ciceri, Th Henning

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20 Scopus citations


The WASP-98 planetary system represents a rare case of a hot Jupiter hosted by a metalpoor main-sequence star. We present a follow-up study of this system based on multiband photometry and high-resolution spectroscopy. Two new transit events of WASP-98 b were simultaneously observed in four passbands (g', r', i', z '), using the telescope-defocusing technique, yielding eight high-precision light curves with point-to-point scatters of less than 1 mmag. We also collected three spectra of the parent star with a high-resolution spectrograph, which we used to remeasure its spectral characteristics, in particular its metallicity. We found this to be very low, [Fe/H] = -0.49 ± 0.10, but larger than was previously reported, [Fe/H]=-0.60 ± 0.19. We used these new photometric and spectroscopic data to refine the orbital and physical properties of this planetary system, finding that the stellar and planetary mass measurements are significantly larger than those in the discovery paper. In addition, the multiband light curves were used to construct an optical transmission spectrum ofWASP-98 b and probe the characteristics of its atmosphere at the terminator. We measured a lower radius at z' compared with the other three passbands. The maximum variation is between the r' and z' bands, has a confidence level of roughly 6σ and equates to 5.5 pressure scale heights. We compared this spectrum to theoretical models, investigating several possible types of atmospheres, including hazy, cloudy, cloud-free, and clear atmospheres with titanium and vanadium oxide opacities. We could not find a good fit to the observations, except in the extreme case of a clear atmosphere with TiO and VO opacities, in which the condensation of Ti and V was suppressed. As this case is unrealistic, our results suggest the presence of an additional optical-absorbing species in the atmosphere of WASP-98 b, of unknown chemical nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1061
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: fundamental parameters
  • Stars: individual: WASP-98
  • Techniques: photometric
  • Techniques: spectroscopic


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