Detection of He I λ10830 Å absorption on HD 189733 b with CARMENES high-resolution transmission spectroscopy

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We present three transit observations of HD 189733 b obtained with the high-resolution spectrograph CARMENES at Calar Alto. A strong absorption signal is detected in the near-infrared He I triplet at 10830 Å in all three transits. During mid-transit, the mean absorption level is 0.88 ± 0.04% measured in a ±10 km s^(−1) range at a net blueshift of −3.5 ± 0.4 km s s^(−1) (10829.84–10830.57 Å). The absorption signal exhibits radial velocities of +6.5 ± 3.1 km s s^(−1) and −12.6 ± 1.0 km s s^(−1) during ingress and egress, respectively; all radial velocities are measured in the planetary rest frame. We show that stellar activity related pseudo-signals interfere with the planetary atmospheric absorption signal. They could contribute as much as 80% of the observed signal and might also affect the observed radial velocity signature, but pseudo-signals are very unlikely to explain the entire signal. The observed line ratio between the two unresolved and the third line of the He I triplet is 2.8 ± 0.2, which strongly deviates from the value expected for an optically thin atmospheres. When interpreted in terms of absorption in the planetary atmosphere, this favors a compact helium atmosphere with an extent of only 0.2 planetary radii and a substantial column density on the order of 4 × 10^(12) cm s^(−2) . The observed radial velocities can be understood either in terms of atmospheric circulation with equatorial superrotation or as a sign of an asymmetric atmospheric component of evaporating material. We detect no clear signature of ongoing evaporation, like pre- or post-transit absorption, which could indicate material beyond the planetary Roche lobe, or radial velocities in excess of the escape velocity. These findings do not contradict planetary evaporation, but only show that the detected helium absorption in HD 189733 b does not trace the atmospheric layers that show pronounced escape signatures.
© ESO 2018. Artículo firmado por 38 autores. CARMENES is an instrument for the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán de Calar Alto (CAHA, Almería, Spain). CARMENES is funded by the German Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the European Union through FEDER/ERF FICTS-2011-02 funds, and the members of the CARMENES Consortium (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Landessternwarte Königstuhl, Institut de Ciències de l’Espai, Insitut für Astrophysik Göttingen, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Hamburger Sternwarte, Centro de Astrobiología and Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán), with additional contributions by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades through projects ESP2013-48391-C4-1-R, ESP2014- 54062-R, ESP2014-54362-P, ESP2014-57495-C2-2-R, AYA2015-69350-C3-2- P, AYA2016-79425-C3-1/2/3-P, ESP2016 76076-R, ESP2016-80435-C2-1-R, ESP2017-87143-R, and AYA2018-84089; the German Science Foundation through the Major Research Instrumentation Programme and DFG Research Unit FOR2544 “Blue Planets around Red Stars”; the Klaus Tschira Stiftung; the states of Baden-Württemberg and Niedersachsen; and by the Junta de Andalucía. We also acknowledge support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through projects SCHM 1032/57-1 and SCH 1382/2-1, the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt through projects 50OR1706 and 50OR1710, the European Research Council through project No. 694513, the Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional, and the Generalitat de Catalunya/CERCA programme. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC; gaia/dpac/consortium). Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. Finally, we thank the referee for constructive comments that helped to improve this publication.
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