Spitzer CoRoT-1, CoRoT-2 secondary eclipse photometry

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Spitzer CoRoT-1, CoRoT-2 secondary eclipse photometry

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 4th November 2010, 9:20 pm

Warm Spitzer Photometry of the Transiting Exoplanets CoRoT-1 and CoRoT-2 at Secondary Eclipse

We measure secondary eclipses of the hot giant exoplanets CoRoT-1 at 3.6 and 4.5 microns, and CoRoT-2 at 3.6 microns, both using Warm Spitzer. We find that the Warm Spitzer mission is working very well for exoplanet science. For consistency of our analysis we also re-analyze archival cryogenic Spitzer data for secondary eclipses of CoRoT-2 at 4.5 and 8 microns. We compare the total data for both planets, including optical eclipse measurements by the CoRoT mission, and ground-based eclipse measurements at 2 microns, to existing models. Both planets exhibit stronger eclipses at 4.5 than at 3.6 microns, which is often indicative of an atmospheric temperature inversion. The spectrum of CoRoT-1 is best reproduced by a 2460K blackbody, due either to a high altitude layer that strongly absorbs stellar irradiance, or an isothermal region in the planetary atmosphere. The spectrum of CoRoT-2 is unusual because the 8 micron contrast is anomalously low. Non-inverted atmospheres could potentially produce the CoRoT-2 spectrum if the planet exhibits line emission from CO at 4.5 microns, caused by tidal-induced mass loss. However, the viability of that hypothesis is questionable because the emitting region cannot be more than about 30-percent larger than the planet's transit radius, based on the ingress and egress times at eclipse. An alternative possibility to account for the spectrum of CoRoT-2 is an additional opacity source that acts strongly at wavelengths less than 5 microns, heating the upper atmosphere while allowing the deeper atmosphere seen at 8 microns to remain cooler. We obtain a similar result as Gillon et al. for the phase of the secondary eclipse of CoRoT-2, implying an eccentric orbit with e*cos(omega)=-0.0030 +/- 0.0004.

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