NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0316

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Proposal Information for 2013B-0316


PI: Kevin Stevenson, University of Chicago, kbs@uchicago.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

CoI: Jean-Michel Desert, Caltech Astronomy
CoI: Jacob Bean, University of Chicago
CoI: Nikku Madhusudhan, Yale University
CoI: Jonathan Fortney, UC Santa Cruz
CoI: Marcel Bergmann, NOAO

Title: Validation of FLAMINGOS-2 for Exoplanet Research: The WASP-18b Case Study

Abstract: Recent surveys have revealed an amazing, yet unexplained, diversity of planets orbiting other stars. Studying the atmospheres of representative exoplanets is the next step in leveraging these detections to further transform our understanding of planet formation and planetary physics. However, revealing the fundamental properties of exoplanet atmospheres to investigate their nature and origins requires high-precision spectroscopy that is sensitive to spectral features from multiple chemical species. Such data can only be obtained with broad-wavelength studies using large telescopes. We propose to use the FLAMINGOS-2 instrument to perform long-slit, spectroscopy observations of the higly-irradiated exoplanet WASP-18b during secondary eclipse to constrain its dayside atmospheric composition, chemistry, and thermal profile. These observations will be sensitive to molecules such as H2O and CH4 and they will definitively constrain the presence of a thermal inversion. This study is the first step in a planned survey of transiting exoplanets using FLAMINGOS-2. A survey is the next logical step to put analyses of individual objects into a broader context and to get at the underlying physics that results in a diverse array of emergent properties.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0316

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