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Science. 2018 Dec 21;362(6421):1388-1391. doi: 10.1126/science.aat5348. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Ground-based detection of an extended helium atmosphere in the Saturn-mass exoplanet WASP-69b.

Author information

1
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Vía Láctea s/n, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain. nortmann.astro@gmail.com.
2
Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.
3
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Vía Láctea s/n, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.
4
Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany.
5
Centro de Astrobiología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (CSIC-INTA), European Space Astronomy Centre campus, Camino bajo del castillo s/n, 28692 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
6
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA, Leiden, Netherlands.
7
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
8
Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China.
9
Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
10
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, 18008 Granada, Spain.
11
Departamento de Astrofísica y Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
12
Landessternwarte, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
13
Institut de Ciències de l'Espai, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Campus Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, c/ de Can Magrans s/n, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
14
Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.
15
Centro de Astrobiología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (CSIC-INTA), Crta. de Ajalvir km 4, E-28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Hot gas giant exoplanets can lose part of their atmosphere due to strong stellar irradiation, and these losses can affect their physical and chemical evolution. Studies of atmospheric escape from exoplanets have mostly relied on space-based observations of the hydrogen Lyman-α line in the far ultraviolet region, which is strongly affected by interstellar absorption. Using ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy, we detected excess absorption in the helium triplet at 1083 nanometers during the transit of the Saturn-mass exoplanet WASP-69b, at a signal-to-noise ratio of 18. We measured line blueshifts of several kilometers per second and posttransit absorption, which we interpret as the escape of part of the atmosphere trailing behind the planet in comet-like form.

PMID:
30523081
DOI:
10.1126/science.aat5348

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