ARES. V. No Evidence For Molecular Absorption in the HST WFC3 Spectrum of GJ 1132 b

Mugnai, Lorenzo V.; Modirrousta-Galian, Darius; Edwards, Billy; Changeat, Quentin; Bouwman, Jeroen; Morello, Giuseppe; Al-Refaie, Ahmed; Baeyens, Robin; Bieger, Michelle Fabienne; Blain, Doriann et al.
Bibliographical reference

The Astronomical Journal

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We present a study on the spatially scanned spectroscopic observations of the transit of GJ 1132 b, a warm (∼500 K) super-Earth (1.13 R⊕) that was obtained with the G141 grism (1.125-1.650 μm) of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We used the publicly available Iraclis pipeline to extract the planetary transmission spectra from the five visits and produced a precise transmission spectrum. We analyzed the spectrum using the TauREx3 atmospheric retrieval code, with which we show that the measurements do not contain molecular signatures in the investigated wavelength range and are best fit with a flat-line model. Our results suggest that the planet does not have a clear primordial, hydrogen-dominated atmosphere. Instead, GJ 1132 b could have a cloudy hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, have a very enriched secondary atmosphere, be airless, or have a tenuous atmosphere that has not been detected. Due to the narrow wavelength coverage of WFC3, these scenarios cannot be distinguished yet, but the James Webb Space Telescope may be capable of detecting atmospheric features, although several observations may be required to provide useful constraints. * Ariel Retrieval Exoplanet School.