A Caltech Library Service

Water vapour in the atmosphere of a transiting extrasolar planet

Tinetti, Giovanna and Vidal-Madjar, Alfred and Liang, Mao-Chang and Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe and Yung, Yuk L. and Carey, Sean and Barber, Robert J. and Tennyson, Jonathan and Ribas, Ignasi and Allard, Nicole and Ballester, Gilda E. and Sing, David K. and Selsis, Franck (2007) Water vapour in the atmosphere of a transiting extrasolar planet. Nature, 448 (7150). pp. 169-171. ISSN 0028-0836.

PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Water is predicted to be among the most abundant (if not the most abundant) molecular species after hydrogen in the atmospheres of close-in extrasolar giant planets ('hot Jupiters'). Several attempts have been made to detect water on such planets, but have either failed to find compelling evidence for it or led to claims that should be taken with caution. Here we report an analysis of recent observations of the hot Jupiter HD 189733b (ref. 6) taken during the transit, when the planet passed in front of its parent star. We find that absorption by water vapour is the most likely cause of the wavelength-dependent variations in the effective radius of the planet at the infrared wavelengths 3.6 µm, 5.8 µm (both ref. 7) and 8 µm (ref. 8). The larger effective radius observed at visible wavelengths^9 may arise from either stellar variability or the presence of clouds/hazes. We explain the report of a non-detection of water on HD 189733b (ref. 4) as being a consequence of the nearly isothermal vertical profile of the planet's atmosphere.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ReadCube access
Liang, Mao-Chang0000-0002-5294-9344
Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe0000-0003-0014-3354
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Carey, Sean0000-0002-0221-6871
Selsis, Franck0000-0001-9619-5356
Additional Information:© 2007 Nature Publishing Group. Received 8 April; accepted 1 June 2007. We thank A. Lecavelier, D. Ehrenreich, J.-M. Désert, Roger Ferlet and G. Hebrard for their work on the IRAC observations. We thank A. Noriega-Crespo and the Spitzer Staff for helping to schedule the observations with IRAC, and E. Lellouch, A. Morbidelli, B. Schultz, F. Bouchy and J. B. Marquette for useful input to the paper. M.-C.L. and Y.Y. were supported by NASA and the Virtual Planetary Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Virtual Planetary Laboratory, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7150
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140724-161026901
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Tinetti, G., Vidal-Madjar, A., Liang, M.-C., Beaulieu, J.-P., Yung, Y., Carey, S., . . . Selsis, F. (2007). Water vapour in the atmosphere of a transiting extrasolar planet. [10.1038/nature06002]. Nature, 448(7150), 169-171.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47486
Deposited By: Joanne McCole
Deposited On:25 Jul 2014 19:40
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page