Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy (HEARTS)

Seidel, J. V.; Ehrenreich, D.; Bourrier, V.; Allart, R.; Attia, O.; Hoeijmakers, H. J.; Lendl, M.; Linder, E.; Wyttenbach, A.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Bayliss, D.; Cegla, H. M.; Heng, K.; Lavie, B.; Lovis, C.; Melo, C.; Pepe, F.; dos Santos, L. A.; Ségransan, D. and Udry, S. (2020). Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy (HEARTS). Astronomy and astrophysics, 641(L7), L7. EDP Sciences 10.1051/0004-6361/202038497

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Planet formation processes or evolution mechanisms are surmised to be at the origin of the hot Neptune desert. Studying exoplanets currently living within or at the edge of this desert could allow disentangling the respective roles of formation and evolution. We present the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) transmission spectrum of the bloated super-Neptune WASP-166b, located at the outer rim of the Neptune desert. Neutral sodium is detected at the 3.4σ level (0.455 ± 0.135%), with a tentative indication of line broadening, which could be caused by winds blowing sodium farther into space, a possible manifestation of the bloated character of these highly irradiated worlds. We put this detection into context with previous work claiming a non-detection of sodium in the same observations and show that the high noise in the trace of the discarded stellar sodium lines was responsible for the non-detection. We highlight the impact of this low signal-to-noise ratio remnant on detections for exoplanets similar to WASP-166b.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


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; Linder, Esther; Heng, Kevin and Lavie, Baptiste


500 Science
500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




EDP Sciences




Danielle Zemp

Date Deposited:

15 Apr 2021 12:17

Last Modified:

18 Apr 2021 03:03

Publisher DOI:





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