NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0107

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Program Information for 2016B-0107


PI: Neale Gibson, Queen's University of Belfast, n.gibson@qub.ac.uk
Address: Department of Pure and Applied Physics, Belfast BT7 1NN United Kingdom

CoI: Tom Evans, University of Exeter
CoI: Ersnt de Mooij, Queen's University of Belfast
CoI: David Sing, University of Exeter
CoI: Nikolay Nikolov, University of Exeter

Title: Solving the TiO mystery in hot exoplanets: the optical transmission spectrum of WASP-121b

Abstract: Titanium Oxide (TiO) has long been thought to be a key constituent in hot Jupiter atmospheres, leading to temperature inversions due to strong optical absorption of incoming stellar radiation. Until now, it has eluded detection despite enormous efforts. Recently, using HST, we have uncovered strong (but indirect) evidence for its presence in the very hot Jupiter WASP-121b. Here we propose to observe two transits of WASP-121b using GMOS in order to finally confirm the presence of TiO in a hot Jupiter. Differential spectro-photometry with GMOS has already proven extremely successful, reaching precision of 0.1mmag. The TiO signal of WASP-121b is 0.8mmag, therefore easily within reach of GMOS. Our observations will be the first unambiguous detection of TiO, which is key to understanding basic atmospheric physics in the hottest exoplanets.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016B):  GEM-SQ/GMOSS -- 9.7hrs band 2 (GS-2016B-Q-42)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0107

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