Silicon in the dayside atmospheres of two ultra-hot Jupiters

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Atmospheres of highly irradiated gas giant planets host a large variety of atomic and ionic species. Here we observe the thermal emission spectra of the two ultra-hot Jupiters WASP-33b and KELT-20b /MASCARA-2b in the near-infrared wavelength range with CARMENES. Via high-resolution Doppler spectroscopy, we searched for neutral silicon (Si) in their dayside atmospheres. We detect the Si spectral signature of both planets via cross-correlation with model spectra. Detection levels of 4.8 sigma and 5.4 sigma, respectively, are observed when assuming a solar atmospheric composition. This is the first detection of Si in exoplanet atmospheres. The presence of Si is an important finding due to its fundamental role in cloud formation and, hence, for the planetary energy balance. Since the spectral lines are detected in emission, our results also confirm the presence of an inverted temperature profile in the dayside atmospheres of both planets.
© ESO 2022. Artículo firmado por 25 autores. CARMENES is an instrument at the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto (Almería, 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. We acknowledge financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through the priority program SPP 1992 "Exploring the Diversity of Extrasolar Planets" (RE 1664/16-1), and the Research Unit FOR2544 "Blue Planets around Red Stars" (RE 1664/21-1). T.H. acknowledges support from 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. E.S. acknowledges support from ANID - Millennium Science Initiative -ICN12 009. A.S.L. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 694513. This research was supported by the Excellence Cluster ORIGINS which is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany's Excellence Strategy -EXC-2094 -390783311.
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