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Paper: A Ground-Based Search For Absorption Features In Transmission Spectra Of Transiting Extrasolar Planets
Volume: 398, Extreme Solar Systems
Page: 373
Authors: Redfield, S.; Endl, M.; Cochran, W.D.; Koesterke, L.
Abstract: We present details of a ground-based program designed to make extremely precise measurements of optical transmission absorption spectrum through a transiting extrasolar planetary atmosphere or extended exosphere. We combine multiple in-transit observations taken by the 9.2m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS) and compare directly with out-of-transit observations. Without high resolution space-based optical or UV spectrographs, ground-based facilities provide the only opportunity to probe the extrasolar atmospheric signatures in the visible waveband. We discuss the challenges of such ground-based observations, the sensitivity of our observations to date, and evidence for a transmission absorption detection. Measurements, and even upper limits, of atmospheric lines should provide important constraints on models of giant exoplanet atmospheres, including for example, cloud cover altitudes, atomic and molecular composition, and temperature profiles.
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