Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy (HEARTS)

Bourrier, V.; Ehrenreich, D.; Lendl, M.; Cretignier, M.; Allart, R.; Dumusque, X.; Cegla, H. M; Suarez-Mascareno, A.; Wyttenbach, A.; Hoeijmakers, H. J.; Melo, C.; Kuntzer, T.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Giles, H.; Heng, K.; Kitzmann, D.; Lavie, B.; Lovis, C.; Murgas, F.; Nascimbeni, V.; ... (2020). Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy (HEARTS). Astronomy and astrophysics, 635, A205. EDP Sciences 10.1051/0004-6361/201936640

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Ultra-hot Jupiters offer interesting prospects for expanding our theories on dynamical evolution and the properties of extremely irradiated atmospheres. In this context, we present the analysis of new optical spectroscopy for the transiting ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-121b. We first refine the orbital properties of WASP-121b, which is on a nearly polar (obliquity ψ North=88.1±0.25° or ψ South=91.11±0.20°) orbit, and exclude a high differential rotation for its fast-rotating (P<1.13 days), highly inclined (i*North?=8.1+3.0°−2.6° or i*South=171.9+2.5°−3.4) star. We then present a new method that exploits the reloaded Rossiter-McLaughlin technique to separate the contribution of the planetary atmosphere and of the spectrum of the stellar surface along the transit chord. Its application to HARPS transit spectroscopy of WASP-121b reveals the absorption signature from metals, likely atomic iron, in the planet atmospheric limb. The width of the signal (14.3±1.2 km s⁻¹) can be explained by the rotation of the tidally locked planet. Its blueshift (-5.2±0.5 km s⁻¹)could trace strong winds from the dayside to the nightside, or the anisotropic expansion of the planetary thermosphere.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Hoeijmakers, Herman Jens, Kuntzer, Thibault, Heng, Kevin, Kitzmann, Daniel, Lavie, Baptiste


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics




EDP Sciences




Danielle Zemp

Date Deposited:

05 May 2020 11:10

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:38

Publisher DOI:





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