CARMENES detection of the Ca II infrared triplet and possible evidence of He I in the atmosphere of WASP-76b

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Ultra-hot Jupiters are highly irradiated gas giants with equilibrium temperatures typically higher than 2000 K. Atmospheric studies of these planets have shown that their transmission spectra are rich in metal lines, with some of these metals being ionised due to the extreme temperatures. Here, we use two transit observations of WASP-76b obtained with the CARMENES spectrograph to study the atmosphere of this planet using high-resolution transmission spectroscopy. Taking advantage of the two channels and the coverage of the red and near-infrared wavelength ranges by CARMENES, we focus our analysis on the study of the Ca II infrared triplet (IRT) at 8500 A and the He I triplet at 10 830 A. We present the discovery of the Ca II IRT at 7 sigma in the atmosphere of WASP-76b using the cross-correlation technique, which is consistent with previous detections of the Ca II H&K lines in the same planet, and with the atmospheric studies of other ultra-hot Jupiters reported to date. The low mass density of the planet, and our calculations of the XUV (X-ray and EUV) irradiation received by the exoplanet, show that this planet is a potential candidate to have a He I evaporating envelope and, therefore, we performed further investigations focussed on this aspect. The transmission spectrum around the He I triplet shows a broad and red-shifted absorption signal in both transit observations. However, due to the strong telluric contamination around the He I lines and the relatively low signal-to-noise ratio of the observations, we are not able to unambiguously conclude if the absorption is due to the presence of helium in the atmosphere of WASP-76b, and we consider the result to be only an upper limit. Finally, we revisit the transmission spectrum around other lines such as Na I, Li I, H alpha, and K I. The upper limits reported here for these lines are consistent with previous studies.
Artículo firmado por 28 autores. "We thank the referee for the helpful report, and constructive remarks on this manuscript. CARMENES is an instrument at the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto (Almeria, Spain), operated jointly by the Junta de Andalucía and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC). CARMENES was funded by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through projects FICTS-2011-02, ICTS-2017-07-CAHA-4, and CAHA16-CE-3978, and the members of the CARMENES Consortium (Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Landessternwarte Konigstuhl, Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai, Institut fur Astrophysik Gottingen, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Thuringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Hamburger Sternwarte, Centro de Astrobiología and Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán), with additional contributions by the MINECO, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through the Major Research Instrumentation Programme and Research Unit FOR2544 "Blue Planets around Red Stars", the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, the states of Baden-Wurttemberg and Niedersachsen, and by the Junta de Andalucía. This work was based on data from the CARMENES data archive at CAB (CSIC-INTA). We acknowledge funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 694513, the Agencia Estatal de Investigación of the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades and the ERDF through projects PID2019-109522GB-C5[1:4]/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, PID2019-110689RB-I00/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, ESP2017-87143-R, and ESP201680435-C2-2-R, and the Centre of Excellence "Severo Ochoa" and "María de Maeztu" awards to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (CEX2019-000920-S), Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (SEV-2017-0709), and Centro de Astrobiología (MDM-2017-0737), and the Generalitat de Catalunya/CERCA programme. T.H. acknowledges support by the European Research Council under the Horizon 2020 Framework Program via the ERC Advanced Grant Origins 83 24 28. G.M. has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 895525. This work made use of PyAstronomy (Czesla et al. 2019) and of the VALD database, operated at Uppsala University, the Institute of Astronomy RAS in Moscow, and the University of Vienna."
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